Bearlandic

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Bearlandic
Bʉrnlannts
Pronunciation /ˈbœːrnlɑnːts/
Created by
Setting
Native speakers Approximately 20 million  (2653)
Language family
Iropo-Antilonian languages
  • Berilonian languages
    • Western Berilonian languages
      • Bearlandic
Early forms:
Old Bearlandic
  • Bearlandic
Writing system Berilonian alphabet, western style
ISO 639-3

Background

Bearlandic (Bʉrnlannts, IPA: /ˈbœːrnlɑnːts/) is one of many languages of the planet which is called dē Virrolt in Bearlandic. The language belongs to the Berilonian language family, which in its turn is a branch of the Iropo-Antilonian language family.

Spoken natively by approximately 20 million people, it is one of the most spoken Berilonian languages. It is also one of the major lingua francas of the world, so it also has millions of second-language speakers. Most speakers can pretend to speak Antilonian (another Berilonian language) as well, and many also know a few words in random other languages such as Kunesian.

"Coincidentally", it is very similar to real-world Germanic languages, in particular to Dutch, which happens to be the creator's native language. However, it is not a member of the Germanic language family, but is instead related to various languages which do not bear such similarities to real-world languages.

Phonology

Consonants

Bilabial Labio-dental Alveolar Post-alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m /m/ n /n/ ng /ŋ/
Plosive p b /p b/ t d /t d/ k q /k kʷ/
Fricative f v /f v/ s z /s z/ (ʃ) (ç) g /x ~ ɣ/ h /h/
Approximant w /ʋ/ j /j/
Trill r /r/
Lateral app. l /l/

[ʃ] and [ç] are quite common as allophones of /s/ before stops and /x/ after /i/ respectively. This is however nonstandard and typically associated with lower classes.

The velar fricative is often slightly fronted or palatalized in the standard dialect.

All consonants except /b d ŋ kʷ v z h/ can be geminated.

The velar fricative is pronounced /ɣ/ in onsets (except in the cluster /sx/) and /x/ in codas.

Coda consonants may be voiced when the following syllable begins with a voiced consonant.

Vowels

Front Rounded Back
High i /ɪ iː/ u /ʏ yː/ ú /uː/
Mid e /ɛ eː/ ʉ /œ œː/ o /ɔ oː/
Low a /ɑ aː/

Short vowels are followed by long vowels and vice versa. Orthographically, vowel length is indicated by the doubling of the following consonant. Word-finally, short vowels are marked with a macron.

There are two diphthongs: y, pronounced /ɛɪ̯/ and au, pronounced /aʊ̯/. Just like long vowels, they are always followed by a short consonant.

In affixes, which are always unstressed, /iː/ is shortened to /i/.

Phonotactics

Bearlandic roots consist of one or two syllables and allow clusters of up to three consonants. Affixes usually consist of a single syllable (though a few consist of just a consonant) and never contain any consonant clusters.

The following rules determine which onsets are possible:

  • S can be followed by any of p t g w n l.
  • An obstruent other than q s z h can be followed by r.
  • An obstruent other than q t d h can be followed by l.
  • T d z can be followed by w.
  • K can be followed by n.
  • Ng does not occur at the beginning of a syllable.

To codas the following rules apply:

  • There is no phonemic voicing contrast, but instead all syllable-final obstruents are voiceless by default. However, they may be optionally voiced if the following syllable starts with a voiced consonant.
  • P t k s can be preceded by r l s or a homorganic nasal consonant.
  • H q do not occur at the end of a syllable.

In general, disyllabic roots consist of a syllable which would be a valid monosyllabic root followed by a sequence of a vowel and a consonant or just a vowel. In native roots, the only such sequences that are known to occur are /ər ɛrː ɪrː ɔlː ol ɪmː ɪsː ɛ ɪ ʏ oː/, and of these, /ɪmː ʏ oː/ are all restricted to a single root. In addition to the possible syllable-final cluster, /tj/ is also a possible medial cluster in disyllabic roots.

There is a slight tendency to shorten disyllabic roots to monosyllabic ones. Occasionally this has created two variants of a single root, as in valt "go for a walk" and its derived noun vantl-ing "walk".

Some non-native or recently coined words break these rules. /tl/, which is realised as [tɬ] by most speakers, is a particularly common cluster in non-inherited vocabulary.

Verbs

Conjugation

Weak verbs

"walk" "shoot" "improve" "need" "leave"
Present lop sgit byterr bi-húf aus-dwyn, dwyn aus
Past lop-ti sgit-i byterr-ti bi-húf-ti aus-dwyn-ti, dwyn-ti aus
Perfect gi-lop-t gi-sgit-Ø gi-byterr-t bi-húf-t aus-gi-dwyn-t
Infinitive lop-ē sgit-ē bytr bi-húv aus-dwyn-ē
Present participle lop-nē sgit-nē bytre-nē bi-húf-nē aus-dwin-nē
Past participle gi-lop-t-nē gi-sgit-Ø-nē gi-byterr-t-nē bi-húf-t-nē aus-gi-dwyn-t-nē

There are a few minor irregularities (marked in red in the table above) which are all fully predictable:

  • Verbs ending in -t don't add an extra t in the past and perfect forms.
  • Verbs ending in -n do add an extra n in the present participle, causing the preceding vowel to become short. If this vowel is y, it becomes i. If the verb already has a short vowel, the participle is written with three consecutive n's, but there is no change in pronunciation.
  • Verbs with a disyllabic root drop the second vowel in the infinitive and the present participle. In the latter form, this would result in an unpronounceable consonant cluster which is broken up by an /ə/ directly before the ending.
  • If the stem ends in a short f or s, this final fricative becomes voiced in the infinitive.
  • Verbs beginning with an unstressed prefix don't add an extra prefix in the perfect forms.
  • Verbs beginning with a stressed prefix are separable. Depending on the context, the prefix may be separated from the stem in the present and past tenses, and in the perfect, the gi- prefix comes between the separable prefix and the stem.

It should be noted that the verb form labeled as "infinitive" represents the merger of various verb forms in earlier stages of the language and is therefore used for other purposes as well. For this reason, this description will sometimes use the term "ē-form" instead to avoid possible confusion with the use infinitives in other languages.

Strong verbs

Strong verbs are conjugated just like weak verbs, but additionally feature some vowel changes. These vowel changes can be summarised like this.

Present Past Perfect
a i o
a i short i
e a o
e a short i
i a o
o i short i
y i short i

The infinitive of strong verbs always has either an y or a short i, depending on the length of the stem vowel. There are three verbs whose infinitive seemingly has the wrong vowel, namely zegg "say", whose infinitive is zygē, stass "stand", whose infinitive may be either stissē or styzē, and slap "sleep", whose infinitive slapē retains the stem vowel of the present tense.

Some examples:

"carry" "stand" "weigh" "read" "win" "come" "write"
Present barr stass veg les winn komm sgryf
Past birrti stissti vagti lasti wannti kimmti sgrifti
Perfect giborrt gistisst givogt gilisst giwonnt gikimmt gisgrifft
Infinitive birrē stissē/styzē vygē lyzē winnē kimmē sgryvē
Present participle barrnē stassnē vegnē lesnē winnnē kommnē sgryfnē
Past participle giborrtnē gistisstnē givogtnē gilisstnē giwonntnē gikimmtnē gisgrifftnē

Irregular verbs

"be" "have" "go" "give" "eat" "know" "become"
Present iss heppt ga gef et wet vort
Past wast haptē gigti giffti ati wati virti
Perfect giasst gihapt gigisst gigifft giotē giwotē givirtē
Infinitive yē, zyt hypē gatē gyvē ytē wytē vortē
Present participle zytnē hepptnē gatnē gefnē etnē wetnē vortnē
Past participle wastnē gihaptnē gigisstnē gigifftnē giotnē giwotnē givirtnē

Where all other verbs have one "infinitive", iss has two. is used as an actual infinitive, i.e. it is used after modal verbs, whereas zyt is a finite form which is used where other verbs would use an ē-form. In glosses, zyt will be indicated as be.DEF, because it indicates the so-called "definite mood" (see here).

Tenses

Bearlandic has two simple tenses, two perfect tenses and two future tenses.

Formation

The formation of the present and the simple past is described above. The remaining four tenses are all formed periphrastically.

The perfect tenses are formed using the perfect form and an auxiliary, which depending on the verb can be either heppt or iss. As a general rule, intransitive verbs use iss, whereas transitive and impersonal verbs all use heppt. The present perfect uses the present of the auxiliary, while the past perfect uses the past.

Ig heppt a appoll giotē.
I have eaten an apple.

Dē mann iss gilopt.
The man has walked.

heppt gisniwwt.
It has snowed.

Modal verbs take the same auxiliary as the main verb. The modal is put in the perfect form, while the main verb is put in the infinitive and preceded by oss.

Ig heppt gikusst oss ytē.
I have been able to eat.

Dē mann iss gikusst oss lopē.
The man has been able to walk.

The prase dē zyt "there is" becomes dē zyt giasst in the present perfect.

zyt a pegging giasst.
There has been an accident.

The verb zʉll and its past form zʉllti are used to form the future and the future past respectively. These are both followed by the infinitive, which in the case of iss is .

Ig zʉll ytē.
I will eat.

Anymann zʉllti bly .
Everyone would be happy.

Usage

The passive

The passive is formed with the verb vort and the perfect form.

Dē appoll vort giotē.
The apple is eaten.

In the perfect tenses, the perfect form of vort is optional and may be left out.

Miess ferrpratter iss gidift (givirtē).
My phone has been stolen.

Modality

Modality is expressed using a variety of modal auxiliary verbs. The main ones are basic auxiliaries kuss "can", mut "must", will "want", mogg "may", as well as tyē, yē, hyē, wylē and kynē, which are remnants of old optative forms of "do", iss "be", heppt "have", will and kuss respectively.

After the basic auxiliaries one can choose between two possible constructions: SVOV using an infinitive and SVVO using the base form. These two constructions differ slightly in meaning in some contexts and are known as the "definite" and "uncertain" mood respectively. An optative may only be followed by an infinitive when used as an auxiliary. Thus one may say:

  • Ig kuss dē túē. (definite)
  • Ig kuss tú dē. (uncertain)
  • Ig kynē dē túē. (optative)

The choice between these forms is a complicated matter and varies considerably between dialects and even between different speakers of the same dialect. Some guidelines are presented below, but the reader should bear in mind that the actual usage is considerably more complicated than can be shown here.

Kuss

Kuss indicates an ability or a possibility. In affirmative sentences, it normally takes the definite mood.

Ig kuss dē Bʉrnlannts prattē.
I can speak Bearlandic.

In negative sentences, the definite mood indicates a "stronger" impossibility that the uncertain mood.

Hissē kuss nikkt flikē.
Houses cannot fly.

Ig kuss nikkt les oss dē tē dorrk zyt.
I can't read because it's too dark.

Mut

Just like kuss, mut usually takes the definite mood in affirmative sentences.

Ig mut oss itē slapē.
I should get some sleep.

In negative sentences, the definite mood indicates something which is disrecommendable, while the uncertain mood indicates something which is possible but not necessary.

Man mut gyn rʉtig gʉmless ytē.
You shouldn't eat rotten fruit.

Will

With will, the definite mood implies determination or immediacy, whereas the uncertain mood may imply hesitation or hindrance.

Ig will pratt oss emm, mar hi bigryf miess spraking nikkt.
I want to talk to him, but he doesn't understand my dialect.

Mogg

Mogg usually indicates permission, but occasionally it may indicate a possibility instead. In affirmative sentences it usually takes the uncertain mood.

In negative sentences, it indicates something which is forbidden and typically takes the definite mood.

The optative

As mentioned above, there exist five synthetic optatives. All other optatives are made by using one of these as an auxiliary verb. Note that although wylē derives from the ancient optative of will, it functions as a separate verb in modern Bearlandic rather than as a form of "want".

The optative can be used in several ways, two of which will be discussed in this section. Firstly, it may be used to express a wish. In this case, the optative verb comes at the beginning of the sentence, and tyē is used when the subject can control the action, whereas wylē is used when it can't.

his oss hirr!
If only he were here!

Tyē hi ytē!
May he eat!

Wylē dē zoll sgynē!
May the sun shine!

The optative may also be used to express a possibility. In this case, the normal word order (SVOV) is used and the auxiliary verb is kynē.

Ig túpig.
I may be mad.

Ig kynētúē.
I could do that.

The optative also appears in certain conditional clauses. These uses are explained here.

Verbal prefixes

Verbs can have up to two derivational prefixes. There are two types of prefixes: stressed prefixes, which are separable, and unstressed prefixes, which always remain attached to the root. A verb may have at most one prefix of either type, and when both are present, the stressed one comes first. Most are very productive and also very vague semantically.

  • Stressed prefixes:
    • aus-: this one generally marks the end of an action or a state.
      • mogg "be allowed to" -> ausmogg "forbid"
      • gygē "beard" -> ausgyg "shave" ("end the state of having a beard")
    • ferr-: this one usually creates a causative verb.
      • dwyn "disappear" -> ferrdwyn "remove"
      • sgill "be different" -> ferrsgill "distinguish"
    • inn-: this one generally indicates being or going inside, or the beginning of a state.
      • heppt "have" -> innhyf "contain" ("have inside")
      • vúr "bring" -> innvúr "bring in"
      • slap "sleep" -> innslap "fall asleep"
    • oss-: this one usually marks either a causative verbs or the beginning of a state.
      • lag "laugh" -> osslag "be ridiculous, make someone laugh"
      • rʉtig "rotten" -> ossrʉt "rot"
    • yt-: this one is no longer productive and its meaning is not yet well understood.
      • pratt "speak" -> ytpratt "pronounce"
  • Unstressed prefixes:
    • bi-: this one is very productive and can form verbs from any other word.
      • kopp "buy" -> bikopp "sell"
      • irrig "annoying" -> biirr "annoy"
      • kis "choose" -> bikis "vote"
      • straf "punishment" -> bistraf "punish"
      • siff "number" -> bisiff "calculate"
    • her-: this one indicates a repetition.
      • "do" -> hertú "repeat"
      • wet "know" -> herwet "remember"

Conjugation of prefixed verbs

Verbs derived from other verbs are conjugated the same as their base verbs. The only exceptions to this rule are the verbs derived from iss and heppt, which become zyt and hyf respectively when a prefix is added. Both are then conjugated like weak verbs.

Verbs derived from other parts of speech are almost always weak, except if the base word has y as its stem vowel, in which case it is strong. Thus ossrʉt is weak while ausgyg is strong.

Separation

As mentioned, the stressed prefixes can be separated from the root. This happens in the main clause, whereas the prefix remains attached in subordinate clauses.

Hi pratti miess nam fautlyk yt.
3SG.SUBJ speak-PST 1SG.POSS name wrong-ADV YT
He pronounced my name wrongly.
Ig bizaggti oss emm dass hi miess nam fautlyk ytpratti.
1SG.SUBJ tell.PST to 3SG.OBJ that 3SG.SUBJ 1SG.POSS name wrong-ADV YT-speak-PST
I told him that he pronounced my name wrongly.

Nouns

Nouns distinguish two numbers and are otherwise uninflected. A few ancient case forms survive in fixed expressions, all of them preceded by the preposition oss.

Pluralisation

Most nouns form their plural by adding -s. If the noun ends in a short vowel, the plural suffix is a long -ss.

  • vogg "bird" > voggs "birds"
  • mann "man" > manns "men"
  • kennī "dog" > kenniss "dogs"

A few nouns feature an irregular vowel change in the plural.

  • ze "sea" > zyess "seas"
  • sten "stone" > styness "stones"

The nouns which end in -s in the singular are all irregular. Three of them have a plural in -issē.

  • haus "house" > hissē "houses"
  • maus "mouse" > missē "mice"
  • voss "fox" > vissē "foxes"

The remaining native nouns ending in -s, as well as some thirty other irregular nouns, have plurals in -er.

  • fiss "fish" > fisser "fish"
  • bom "tree" > bomer "trees"

Nouns which end in -er in the singular have identical singular and plural forms.

  • jaggter "hunter" > jaggter "hunters"

Nominalising suffixes

The main nominalising suffixes are:

  • : an all-purpose noun suffix. Among the functions it can have are:
    • Forming a noun meaning "person/thing with quality X" from an adjective: stirg "strong" -> a stirgē "a strong person", lykig "similar" -> a lykigē "something similar"
    • Forming various kinds of associated nouns from various other parts of speech: knirr "cut with scissors" -> knirrē "scissors"
    • Forming diminutives, often with highly idiomatic meanings and frequently accompanied by a vowel change: vogg "bird" -> vʉggē "feather"
    • For many nouns ending in -ē, this ending has no meaning at all: atjē "bridge", hillvē "hill"
  • -hyt: an abstract noun suffix, usually but not always added to adjectives to form a nouns referring a state:
    • bly "happy" -> blyhyt "happiness"
    • brútē "brother" -> brúthyt "family"
  • -ing: an abstract noun suffix which is usually added to verbs:
    • kis "choose" -> kising "choice"
    • kopp "buy" -> kopping "trade"
  • -er: forms a noun referring to either the person doing something or the instrument used for it
    • jaggt "hunt" -> jaggter "hunter"
    • sgit "shoot" -> sgiter "gun"
  • -ness: technically not a single suffix but a pluralised nominalised participle. It forms collective nouns.
    • won "live, dwell" -> wonness "population"
    • burr "happen" -> giburrtness "history"

Adjectives

Adjectives are placed before the nouns they modify.

Formation

With a few exceptions, all adjectives end in the highly productive adjectivising suffix -ig. Adjectives derived from place names and names of ethnic groups end in -iess instead, and a closed class of native adjectives has no suffix at all.

Inflection

Adjectives are inflected for three degrees of comparison. The positive is unmarked. The comparative and superlative are marked with the suffixes -err and -iss respectively, which become -terr and -tiss after vowels.

  • klyn "small" > klynerr "smaller" > klyniss "smallest"
  • mojj "beautiful" > mojjerr "more beautiful" > mojjiss "most beautiful"
  • kra "big" > kraterr "bigger" > kratiss "biggest"

There are three irregular adjectives.

  • gut "good" > byterr "better" > bisst "best"
  • fill "much/many" > mirr "more" > filless "most"
  • ferr "far" > ferrtē "further" > firrst "furthest"

Adverbs can be derived from adjectives using the suffix -lyk. Most adjectives not ending in -ig can be used as adverbs without first adding -lyk.

Comparison

In the formal standard language, comparisons of equality are expressed by ef ... solls. However, in informal language, solls in this expression is often replaced by oss.

Dē bom iss ef kra solls dē haus.
DEF tree be equally big as DEF house
The tree is as tall as the house

Comparisons of inequality always use oss.

Ig iss auterr oss emm.
1SG.SUBJ be old-COMP than 3SG.OBJ
I am older than him.
Dē missē iss minnig snell oss dē katt.
DEF mouse.PL be less fast than DEF cat
The mice are not as fast as the cat.

Pronouns

Personal and possessive pronouns

Subject Object Possessive
1sg ig mi miess
2sg ji /jɪ/ ji /jɪ/ jiess
3sg Masculine hi emm, zigg hiess
Feminine zy, zigg zess
Neuter dē, zigg dess
1pl wi oss oss
2pl jis jis jisiss
3pl Human zess hʉn, zess, zy hʉness, zess
Non-human zess zess, zy zess

Zigg and zy are singular and plural reflexive pronouns respectively. Hʉn and hʉness are mainly used for emphasis, and tend to be replaced by zess in other contexts.

The gender distinction in the third person singular is based purely on natural gender. Children and animals of unknown gender may be referred to by , but for teenagers and adults of unknown gender it is more common to use hi as a gender-neutral pronoun.

Relative pronouns

Without preposition With preposition
Person
Thing dy
Several things dy
Sentence
"that which"

Other pronouns

Which This That All Some None
Determiner willg ditt, dē di, dē all, anē somm, imig, itig gyn
Thing wass all, alltingiss itiss nikktitiss, nytitiss, nitiss
Person wi hi, zē, zess anmann, all imann, imē nimē, nytimē
Place warr hirr dirr oss allpē irgiss nytirgiss, nirgiss
Time wann nu tann alltyt oss ojjē nauter
Reason werrmē darross, derrmē
Manner hu, hulyk zoss, solls dē

Ditt and di are used less often than "this" and "that" in English.

The determiners all and somm cannot be followed by a singular countable noun; they have to be followed by either a plural noun or an uncountable one. Anē, imig and itig on the other hand can only be followed by a singular noun. Imig is only used before nouns referring to people, whereas itig is only used before other nouns.

Alltingiss is an emphatic variant of all in the sense of "everything".

All in the sense of "everyone" is dialectal and tends to be avoided in formal speech and writing.

The short forms nitiss and nirgiss of the negative pronouns are colloquial, and in many situations the full forms are preferred. By contrast, the short form nimē is generally preferred to the somewhat archaic nytimē.

solls dē generally refers to something more concrete than zoss.

Numerals

x 10x Ordinal
1 a tinn astē, atiss
2 to totē tostē
3 tri tritē tristē
4 forr forrtē forrstē
5 vy vytē vystē
6 zett zetttē zettstē
7 safē saftē safstē
8 ottjo otttē ottstē
9 nippē nipptē nippstē
10 tinn horrt tinnstē

Words for higher numbers are dass "thousand" and millē "million".

Numbers from 11-99 are expressed as units-tens. Multiples of hundred and thousand are expressed as compounds, but millē behaves as a noun and needs to be pluralised when making multiples of it. Numbers above 100 are formed by placing the parts of it after each other, starting with the largest number.

  • toforrtē 42
  • horrt atotē 121
  • nippēdass nippēhorrt nippēnipptē 9999
  • to milless 2,000,000
  • zetttinn milless vyhorrtnippētinndass trihorrt safēnipptē 16,519,397

Ordinals are formed by adding -stē to the last part: forrhorrt tonipptēstē "492nd".

Non-final ē in numerals is usually pronounced as /ə/.

Compounding

Compounds can be made freely and are always head-last. There are several types:

  • Noun-noun:
    • bʉk "book" + haus "house" -> bʉkhaus "library"
  • Verb-noun:
    • slap "to sleep" + kammerr "room" -> slapkammerr "bedroom"

Adjective-noun compounds can be used when the adjective describes a typical quality.

Either part of a compound can in itself also be a compound, thus a compound can theoretically be infinitely long. Long compounds do however have some complications:

  • Noun-noun-noun compounds can be slightly ambiguous as to whether it's compound-noun or noun-compound. They can sometimes be disambiguated by context or meaning, but sometimes a workaround is needed.
  • In an adjective-noun-noun compound, the adjective refers to the first noun only, whereas when the adjective is used as a separate word, it refers to the entire compound.

Word order

Sentence

Bearlandic normally has SVO and V2 word order, but questions have a VSO order. Any constituent can be placed in front of the verb to add emphasis, but because of the V2 word order, the subject will have to be moved to directly after the verb.

Dē jaggter sgit dē konin oss a sgiter.
The hunter shoot the rabbit with a gun
The hunter shoots the rabbit with a gun.
Oss a sgiter sgit dē jaggter dē konin.
With a gun shoot the hunter the rabbit.
With a gun, the hunter shoots the rabbit.

The object is usually not fronted; instead the passive is usually used. However, since pronouns distinguish between subject and object forms, if either the subject or the object (or both) is a pronoun, an OVS construction will be used.

Dē konin vort oss dē jaggter gisgit.
The rabbit become by the hunter PERF-shoot-PERF.
The rabbit is shot by the hunter with a gun.
Dē konin sgit ig.
The rabbit shoot I.
The rabbit I shoot.

Noun phrase

Within the noun phrase the word order is determiner - number - adjective(s) - noun - modifying phrase, where the modifying phrase may be either a relative clause or a prepositional phrase. A single noun phrase may contain several adjectives, though all other elements can appear only once.

dē tri klyn witt hissē inn dē tarrp
the three small white house.PL in the village
the three small white houses in the village

Complex sentences

Subordinate clauses

Subordinate clauses always begin with a subordinating word, which, depending on the type of clause, is either a conjunction or a relative pronoun, and can be preceded by a preposition. Just like modal verbs, subordinate clauses distinguish between definite, uncertain and optative moods.

Complement clauses

Complement clauses begin with the conjunction dass, which becomes dy after prepositions. Unlike in English, the conjunction cannot be left out. Usually the definite mood is used in complement clauses.

Ig wet dass hi a yzēpart hypē.
1SG.SUBJ know that 3SG.M.SUBJ INDEF car have.INF
I know (that) he has a car.
Ig iss zykrig oss dy ji dē wytē.
1SG.SUBJ be certain PREP that 2SG 3SG.N know.INF
I am certain that you know that.

Indirect questions

Indirect yes-no questions are introduced by oss dy.

Ig wet nikkt oss dy dē a prʉlē zyt.
1SG.SUBJ know not PREP that 3SG.N INDEF problem be.DEF
I don't know if that's a problem.

Indirect open questions can be formed in two ways:

  • oss dy + interrogative pronoun
  • interrogative pronoun + dy
Hi frigti oss mi warr dy dē pispott dē zyti.
3SG.M.SUBJ ask.PST PREP 1SG.OBJ where that DEF toilet PT exist-PST
He asked me where the toilet was.

Relative clauses

Relative clauses start with a relative pronoun. The pronoun is followed by the subject of the clause (if it isn't the same as the antecedent), which in turn is followed by the verb.

Dē mann wē plʉkti dē fiss iss stoppig.
DEF man REL.HUM catch-PST DEF fish be stupid
The man who caught the fish is stupid.
Hi heppt dē fiss dē hi plʉkti giotē.
3SG.M.SUBJ have DEF fish REL.NHUM 3SG.M.SUBJ catch-PST eat.PERF
He has eaten the fish he caught.

Since the position of the verb within a relative clause is determined by strict rules, so is the choice of the verb form. In the present tense, an ē-form is used if the verb is the last word in the clause, while otherwise the ordinary present is used.

Ig tú dy ig willē.
1SG.SUBJ do that.which 1SG.SUBJ want-INF
I do what I want.

Conditional and causal clauses

Conditional and causal clauses both start with the conjunction oss, but are distinguished from one another by the choice of moods.

Participial phrases

A participial phrase consists of the preposition oss and a participle and functions as a kind of temporal or adverbial clause. A subject may be specified, in which case it comes between oss and the participle. If no subject is specified, the subject of the participial phrase is taken to be the same as the sentence's subject.

Oss zangnē lopti wi nass haus.
PREP sing-PTC walk-PST 1PL.SUBJ to house
While singing, we walked home.
Oss mi zangnē lopti wi nass haus.
PREP 1SG.OBJ sing-PTC walk-PST 1PL.SUBJ to house
While I was singing, we walked home.

Participial phrases can also have objects and adverbial phrases, both of which follow the participle. Having multiple modifiers within a single participial phrase is considered awkward and is best avoided.

Hi zitti oss dirr oss lesnē a bʉk.
3SG.SUBJ sit-PST PREP there PREP read-PTC INDEF book
He sat there, reading a book.

Independent infinitives

Infinitives can be used as nouns. Just like participial phrases, independent infinitives can be followed by objects and adverbs, though they cannot have a subject.

Ytē gʉmless iss gut oss dē zaning.
eat.INF fruit-PL be good for DEF health
Eating fruit is good for your health.

Negation

Sentences are negated by means of a variety of negative words. The most basic negator is the adverb nikkt "not", which is usually placed after the object, or after the verb if there is no object.

Hi ziti dē mann nikkt.
3SG.SUBJ see-PST DEF man not
He didn't see the man.

Sentences with indefinite objects, however, are negated with gyn "no, none" instead.

Miess brútē lif gyn vyn.
1SG.POSS brother like no wine
My brother doesn't like wine.

When a negative pronoun is used, no other negator has to be used.

Ig wet nikktitiss oss dē talllirring.
1SG.SUBJ know nothing about DEF linguistics.
I know nothing about linguistics.

Questions

Yes-no questions are made by inverting the subject and the verb and raising the tone:

Pratt ji dē Bʉrnlannts?
speak 2SG DEF Bearlandic
Do you speak Bearlandic?

Interrogative pronouns are always placed at the beginning of the phrase:

Wass tú ji?
what do 2SG
What are you doing?

In questions, iss, kuss and will usually appear in their optative forms , kynē and wylē. The latter two are used to make polite requests or offers.

Yē dē a maktall?
be.OPT 3SG.N INDEF conlang
Is that a conlang?
Kynē ji mi hellfē?
can.OPT 2SG 1SG.OBJ help-INF
Could you help me?
Wylē ji itiss oss ytē?
want.OPT 2SG something PREP eat-INF
Would you like something to eat?

The particle nyē can be placed at the end of a sentence to form a tag question.

Ji pratt gyn Kunyziess, nyē?
2SG speak none Kunesian Q
You don't speak Kunesian, do you?

Dē zyt

The phrase dē zyt "there is, exist" behaves a bit oddly syntactically. The word is treated as the subject, while the thing that exists behaves as an object.

Dē zyt a haus.
PT exist a house.
there is a house.
Mi zyt dē.
1SG.OBJ exist PT
I exist.

Samples

The North Wind and the Sun

Dē Norrtwinnt enn dē Sonn wast toig oss dy wi stirgiss wast. Oss dē tythyt kimmti a lauf wē barrti a warrm klúk oss dē vegg, enn zess avirti oss dass hi wē oss atiss kussti bitúē dass dē lauf hiess klúk austúti solls dē stirgissē gisgaut zʉllti vortē. Tann blissti dē Norrtwinnt ef hart solls dē kussti, mar oss dē harterr blissti túti dē lauf hiess klúk byigerr oss, enn oss dē ynt ferrgifti dē dē pogging. Tann bisgynti dē Sonn hilliglyk warrm oss dess lygess, enn dellyk túti dē lauf hiess klúk aus enn wast dē Norrtwinnt ferrgimut oss bizeggē dass dē sonn dē stirgissē wast oss hʉn to.


The North Wind and the Sun were disputing who was the strongest. At that moment, a traveller who wore a warm cloak came on the road, and they agreed that he who first could make the traveller take off his cloak would be considered the strongest. Then The North Wind blew as hard as it could, but the harder it blew the more closely the traveller wrapped the cloak around him, and at last it gave up the attempt. Then the Sun let its rays shine very warmly, and immediately the traveller took off his cloak and the North Wind was forced to admit that the Sun was the strongest of the two.

A bit of history

Oss dē a tingī zyti dē dē norrtig stattryks nikkt willti, wast dē ausgikrygt vortē oss dē Niwryk. Enn oss dē a tingī zytī dē dē Niwryk jagglyk willti, wast dē auskrygē dē norrtig stattryks. A kryg zʉllti kommē, mar wann?

Wyl dē kryg dē nikkt zyti makti dē norrtig stattryks grautig bihellfighyts. Kra murs fisgynti oss dē nikktitiss allig oss dē lannt enn oss sgillig plikks virti wasssgillts gimakt oss stoppē dē fikess. Oss dē tyt virti dē bihellfighyts gibyterrt enn oss zellig virti dē auslanntig veggs ferrgisligt. Oss yntighyt virti dē auslannt a sorrtig dwalstatt. Oss snell tyt wast dē bynē nitkunnig oss finntē dē vegg tʉssig oss dē statts. Zell dē dirrig manns bidwalti, enn fann nu wast difer dē lytness oss dē auslannt.

Dē statts makti oss zesszell aug bihellfighyts: dē graut vorrbylt oss dē iss dē statt Westēfúrt. Dirr virti oss atiss a fúrt gibaut oss sgilltē oss a dirrig lyter. Natig oss dē grúti a klyn statt ronnig oss dē fúrt enn darros virti niw murs gibaut. A mur virti nikkt oss nugig gidenkt, oss allig virti tri murs gibaut, enn tʉssig oss zess zyti dē wasssgillts enn fills.

Wann dē krygness oss dē Niwryk kimmti zyti dē dass dē bihellfighyts dē nikkt oss nititiss zyti: zess virti ausgilslomt, enn dē fillē virti gidot oss dē difer enn dē pylsgiter oss dē murs. Mar dē zyti a kra prʉl oss dē follk: dē etgyving wast sammig oss dē veggs ferrgisligt. Darross zyti dē minnig oss minnig oss ytē, enn dē makti dē follk wyg. Dē verletigti dē winnē oss dē Niwryk.

Ausgislomt virti dē stattryks ausgikrygt. Dē klyn tarrps wast dē letigess oss auskrygē, dʉs zess wast aug de astē oss vortē ausgikrygt. Oss dē nu hilliglyk gyn búrs oss mirr zyti wē dē statts kussti bivútē ginnti a haping inn zess. Wylig oss dē poggti dē Niwryk oss ausbrykē dē murs oss inngatē dē krygness inn dē statts. Nat tyt virti aug dē statts ausgikrygt. Oss ynt virti virti Kyrgeffstatt, dē latiss bizytnē stattryk, ausgikrygt.

Dē hillig ylanntgrúp wast oss dē niwē agivirtē oss a kiksryk.


If there was one thing that the northern city-states did not want, it was to be conquered by the New Kingdom. And if there was one thing that the New Kingdom did want, it was to conquer the northern city-states. A war was to come, but when?

While the war hadn't started yet the northern city-states made impressive defenses. Great walls appeared all over the land and at several spots canals were dug to stop the enemies. Over time the defenses were improved and at the same time the roads got worse. Eventually the countryside literally became a labyrinth. Soon it had become nearly impossible to find a way between the cities. Even the local people got lost, and from now on bandits ruled the countryside.

The cities themselves also made defenses. The great example of this is the city of Westēfúrt. A fortress wast built there to protect a local chief. Afterwards a small town arose around the fortress and new walls were built. One wall wasn't considered enough, in total three walls were built, and between them there were moats and traps.

When the troops of the New Kingdom came it became clear that the defenses hadn't been completely useless: they were slowed down, and many were killed by the bandits and the archers on top of the walls. But the was one big problem for the people: the food supply had become worse together with the roads. Therefore there was increasingly less to eat, and that made the people weak. This made it easier to win for the New Kingdom.

Slowly the city-states were conquered. The smaller villages were the easiest to conquer, so they were also the first ones to be conquered. As there were no farmers at all who could feed the cities a famine began. In the meantime the New Kingdom tried to destroy the walls to let their warriors go inside the cities. After a while the cities were conquered as well. At last Krygeffstatt, the last remaining city-state, was conquered.

The whole archipelago was united in one kingdom again.

A random sentence

Dē fillgikentnē mann hermakti miess aut enn itig mojj bot nat dē pabrúr oss a stoppig mys dē oss pegging oss a aut zworrt zwart gisgat haptē.

The well-known man repaired my old and quite beautiful boat after a stupid girl's uncle by accident had damaged it with an old black sword.