|Region||Western Evandor (Besagren Plateau)|
|Native speakers||62,000,000 (2312)|
|Writing system||Íscégon script for Besagren|
Besagren (natively (cerissu) besadxi [(ˈkeriʃu) beˈsaddʒi]) is an Evandorian language of the planet of Calémere (Bes.: Caemmiri [kaˈemmiri]), belonging to the Central Evandorian branch, one of the various modern descendants of Íscégon (Bes.: issèu or cerissu issèunu), the most important classical language in Western Evandorian civilization. It has therefore many similarities with the planet's main lingua franca, Cerian (Bes.: chaddèdxu), a fellow Íscégon descendant, even if the two languages are not mutually intelligible.
Besagren is spoken by around 62 million people, mostly in Besagret ([beˈsag(g)ret]) but also in a few former Besagren colonies in Púríton and Ceránento, as well as among descendents of Besagren immigrants to other former colonies of Western powers.
- 1 External history
- 2 Phonology
- 3 Morphology
- 4 Syntax
- 5 Example texts
- 6 Other resources
- 7 Notes
Besagren is one of the Calémerian languages I have passed more sketches for before deciding which aesthetic to use. The earliest version was rather seseo-Spanish-sounding, but I didn't really like having a language in the far western part of a continent supposed to feel like Europe with an aesthetic based on such a famous language from far western Europe. My second version was more Romanian-inspired, and I quite liked it - but then I came up with the idea for the current aesthetic, which I like even more: you might notice it is heavily inspired by Sardinian (with some very small traces of Sicilian and even Ligurian). I quite like how Besagren turned out to be, as it is phonologically as divergent as Cerian from Íscégon, but in two different ways (e.g. Besagren does not have the strict tendence towards CVn syllables that Cerian has, but did rework the consonant system to a greater extent).
| → PoA
|Nasals||m m||n n|
|Plosives|| p p
| t t
|(dd ɖɖ)|| c k|
|Affricates|| tz ts
| ch tʃ
|Fricatives||f f||s s|| ss ʃ
|Approximants||i j||u w|
|Trill|| r r
A few notes about consonants:
- /l/ is limited to a few reborrowings from Íscégon or borrowings from other languages with that sound (e.g. Nordulaki, Auralian, or Nivarese). Many speakers merge it with /r/, especially in colloquial registers.
- The /rr/ sequence is always pronounced [rʒ] (e.g. irrema "city" [irˈʒema]) and some linguists analyze it as being /rʒ/.
- The contrast between /s/ and /ʃ/ is neutralized before other consonants, with the only phone used in that context being [ʃ] (e.g. urrustu "hawk" [urˈʒuʃtu]).
- Dento-alveolar /d/ and retroflex /ɖ/ are sometimes said to be allophones of the same phoneme, with [ɖɖ] being geminate /dd/, as geminate [dd] only occurs as part of intervocalic /dʒ/ (both are found in Chaddedxì "Ceria" [tʃaɖɖedˈdʒi]). The [ɖ] sound also never occurs outside of [ɖɖ] and [ɳɖ] - the latter being the usually realization of /nd/, e.g. Ebandu "Evandor" [ˈebaɳɖu]. However, both [d] and [ɖɖ] may occur word-initially (cf. ddotà [ɖɖoˈta] "Calémerian avocado" and dicca [ˈdikka] "girl"), and therefore some linguists consider them to be different phonemes.
Besagren has a traditional five-vowel system. [ə] also appears as a phone, but it is considered only an epenthetic vowel arising allophonically in certain phonemic combinations (e.g. before nC- initial clusters).
Besagren's nominal morphology is both more conservative and innovative than Cerian: it has retained plural inflections for most nouns (unlike Cerian, which only has an indefinite plural, although an innovation) but has lost case. Besagren has largely generalized the plural ending for consonant nouns, including a generalized -n-. This plural suffix -nè (with possible consonant assimilation) is usually always accented. Examples:
- barisi "road" → barissè "roads"
- xeci "word" → xecinè "words"
- urrisicce "town hall" → urrisiccenè "town halls"
There are, however, other pluralizing suffixes, most notably -au (also accented):
- irrema "city" → irremau "cities"
- dicca "girl" → diccau "girls"
- urrustu "hawk" → urrustau "hawks"
Some plurals also involve a stem change (and may have irregular accent):
- urranxu "sister" → urranìsso (also urranìssau) "sisters" (< Ísc. ránescus, cf. Cerian ránéco)
Some words are singularia tantum and, therefore, do not have any plural. Examples include utzi "wood" (< Ísc. útin "tree"; for the latter meaning, Besagren uses utzimìt, from the Íscégon diminutive útimítin).
Besagren articles derive from the Íscégon emphatic pronouns cóto, catán (while Cerian's derive from the resumptives sigo, sigen) and also have a single plural form (from Ísc. cótaur): the singular ones are masc. co and fem. ca, while the plural is cau.
After many prepositions, possessive adjectives, and singular articles, initial consonants lenite in this way:
- p t c → b d g
- b d g → ∅ (orthographically represented by an apostrophe)
- dd → r
- tz z ch dx → s s ss x
- f s → ∅
- Other consonants are unchanged; some newer loanwords also do not mutate.
Examples with articles:
- barisi "road" → co 'arisi "the road"
- chaddedxu "Cerian, a Cerian" → co ssaddedxu "the Cerian [man]"
- besadxi "Besagren, a Besagren" → ca 'esadxi "the Besagren [woman]"
- cerissu "language" → co gerissu "the language"
But, with plural articles:
- barissè "roads" → cau barissè "the roads"
- chaddedxunè "Cerians" → cau chaddedxunè "the Cerians"