Biscayan

From Linguifex
Jump to: navigation, search

Not to be confused with the Biscayan dialect of Basque


Biscayan
la ljengüa bisguena
Type
Synthetic
Alignment
Nominative-accusative
Head direction
Initial Mixed Final
Primary word order
Subject-verb-object
Tonal
No
Declensions
Yes
Conjugations
Yes
Genders
2
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect
This language or user is a member of the Latin League of Languages.

General information

The Biscayan language (Biscayan: la ljengüa bisguena, pronounced [la ˈʎɛŋgwa bizˈgɛna]) is a Romance language spoken in the south-west of France and northern Spain. The language holds no official status in either France or Spain. As of 2009 there are 412,301 native speakers of Biscayan.

The language has two numbers, singular and plural; two genders, masculine and feminine; and two cases, nominative and oblique.

Phonology and orthography

See also: IPA for Biscayan

As Biscayan is a Romance language its phonology and orthography are rather similar to that of languages such as French, Catalan or Venetian. However, the orthographical representation of the phonemes /ɲ/ and /ʎ/ as "nj" and "lj" is unusual for Romance languages. This is thought to be due to the creation of ligatures of "n" and "l" with "i" which resembled "nj" and "lj". These were then abandoned in favour of the current orthography.

Alphabet

Biscayan alphabet
A a B b C c D d E e F f G g H h I i J j K k L l M m
[a] [be] [se] [de] [ɛ] [ɛf] [ge] [aʃ] [i] [ʒe] [ke] [ɛɫ] [ɛm]
N n O o P p Q q R r S s T t U u V v W w X x Y y Z z
[ɛn] [o] [pe] [ku] [ɛɾ] [ɛs] [te] [u] [ve] [ve dyplo] [ʃe] [i gɾɛk] [zɛd]
  • The italicised letters are only used in foreign words, such as place names.

Consonants

Consonant chart

Bilabial Labio-dental Alveolar Post-alveolar Palatal Labio-palatal Labio-velar Velar Uvular
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive p b t d k g
Fricative f v s z ʃ ʒ ʁ
Affricate t͡s d͡z t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Approximant j ɥ w
Flap or tap ɾ
Lateral l ʎ ɫ

Graphemes

Grapheme IPA Notes
B b [b] -
C c [k], [s] [k] before "a", "o" and "u"; [s] before "e" and "i"
Ç ç [s] used instead of "c" before "a", "o" and "u"
D d [d] -
DS ds [d͡z] -
DX dx [d͡ʒ] -
F f [f] -
G g [g], [ʒ] [[g] before "a", "o" and "u"; [ʒ] before "e" and "i"
GU gu [g] used instead of "g" before "e" and "i"
[gw] -
J j [ʒ] -
L l [l], [ɫ] word final and preconsonantal /l/ is realised as [ɫ]
LJ lj [ʎ] -
M m [m] -
N n [n], [ŋ] /n/ is realised as [ŋ] before /k/ and /g/
NJ nj [ɲ] -
P p [p] -
QU qu [k] -
[kw] -
R r [ɾ], [ʁ] /ɾ/ becomes [ʁ] when word initial
RR rr [ʁ] -
S s [s], [z] "s" is pronounced [z] when intervocalic and preconsonantally syllable final
SS ss [s] used intervocalically instead of "s"
T t [t] -
TS ts [t͡s] -
TX tx [t͡ʃ] -
V v [v] -
X x [ʃ] -
Z z [z] -

Vowels

Vowel chart

Front Central Back
Close i y u
Close-mid e ø o
Mid ə
Open-mid ɛ œ ɔ
Open a

Graphemes

Grapheme IPA Notes
A a [a] -
À à [a] used to distinguish homophones and stress
E e [ɛ], [ə] [ɛ] when stressed and [ə] when unstressed
È è [ɛ] used to distinguish homophones or stress
Ê ê [ɛ] used to distinguish homophones
É é [e] -
ER er [e] -
EU eu [œ] -
[ø] -
I i [i], [j] [j] when post-consonantal
Ï ï [j] used word initially or intervocalically
O o [o] -
Ò ò [ɔ] -
Ô ô [ɔ] used to distinguish homophones or stress
OE oe [œ] -
U u [u] -
Ü ü [u], [w] used to distinguish homophones or stress; [w] when post-consonantal or word initial
Û û [y] -
Ù ù [y], [ɥ] used to distinguish homophones or stress; [ɥ] when post-consonantal

Word stress

In Biscayan word stress normally falls on the penultimate syllable. If this is not the case stress is usually marked with an accent. For example:

  • "òvô" is pronounced /ɔˈvɔ/, however if it were spelt "òvò" it would be pronounced /ˈɔvɔ/.

It is also important to note that when "é" appears only once it a word it is the stressed syllable, however, if it occurs more than once then stress patterns as normal.

  • "révoluciò" is pronounced /ˈʁevolusjɔ/.
  • "préférir" is pronounced /pɾeˈfeɾir/.

Use of capital letters

Capital letters are used sparingly in Biscayan. Unlike in English they are not used for "" ("I"), days of the week, months of the year or nouns or adjectives of nationalities and language. As in English they are not used for adherents of non-partisan ideologies but they are used for adherents of religions.

  • "lûndia" ("Monday")
  • "eûgustò" ("August")
  • "lo Païo euscaro" ("the Basque Country")
  • "on'inglès" ("an Englishman")
  • "on'indu" ("a Hindu")

They are however used for countries, places and religions themselves as well as given names.

  • "França" ("France")
  • "Tolosò" ("Toulouse")
  • "Islàm" ("Islam")
  • "Matieu" ("Matthew")

Grammar

Case system

Like all Romance languages, Biscayan is descended from Vulgar Latin and as a remnant of this has retained a weak case system. There are just two cases, the nominative and the oblique. The collapse of cases into the oblique means that declensions, moreover nominal declensions, can be unpredictable and this has resulted in several declension paradigms. Personal pronouns have retained more of the case system, with most having distinct accusative and dative forms.

Nominative

The nominative case (Biscayan: lo cas nòminativ, [ˈlo ˈkas nɔmiˈnativ]) marks the subject of a verb or the predicate noun or adjective. It is also used to simply name an object and is the dictionary form of the noun.

Oblique

The oblique case (Biscayan: lo cas oblìc, [ˈlo ˈkas oˈblik]) is used to mark the object of either a verb or a preposition, that is something that is in the oblique case cannot be the subject of a verb.

Articles

Definite

Gender → Masculine Feminine
Case ↓ Singular Plural Partitive Singular Plural Partitive
Nominative lo, el los dellos la, l' les delles
Oblique le, el elos dellos le, l' eles delles
  • Italicised articles are prevocalic variants.

Indefinite

Masculine Feminine
Singular Plural Partitive Singular Plural Partitive
Nominative ono, on' onos dos ona, on' onas das
Oblique uno, un' unos des una, un' unas des
  • Italicised articles are prevocalic variants.

Nouns

Gender

Nominal gender is usually distinguished by ending. Masculine nouns normally end in a consonant, "o" (and accented variants), "e" (and accented variants) and "u". Feminine nouns usually end in "a" (and accented variants) but may also end in "e" (and accented variants). Words ending in "i" are also usually masculine.

  • "ljeon" (m, "lion")
  • "papago" (m, "parrot")
  • "caribu" (m, "caribou")
  • "monja" (f, "mountain")
  • "serpe" (m, "snake"); "serpe" (f, "snake")

The feminine versions of nouns are usually produced from the masculine by adding "a" or thus replacing the terminating vowel.

  • "cano" (m, "dog");"cana" (f, "bitch")
  • "catto" (m, "tom-cat"); "catta" (f, "she-cat")
  • "filjo" (m, "son"); "filja" (f, "daughter")
  • "sinjor" (m, "mister"); "sinjora" (f, "missus")

Declensions

First declension

First declension nouns end in consonants.

Translation → seed root
Case ↓ Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative sem semus radiç radiçus
Oblique seme semes radice radices
  • Note the mutation of "ç" to "c" before "e" when "radiç" is declined.
Second declension

Second declension nouns end in "a", "à" or "é".

Translation → language, tongue brotherhood
Case ↓ Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative ljengüa ljengüi fratronité fratroniti
Oblique ljengüé ljengüis fratronita fratronitas
Third declension

Second declension nouns end in "o" (and accent variants) or "u" (and accent variants),.

Translation → bird fish
Case ↓ Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative eûço eûços denò denòs
Oblique eûce eûces dene denes
Translation → owl road
Case ↓ Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative ibu ibus rûs
Oblique ibeu ibeus reû reûs
Fourth declension

Fourth declension nouns end in "i".

Translation → zombie
Case ↓ Singular Plural
Nominative zombi zombe
Oblique zombé zombés
  • Note that the stress in "zombi" shifts when oblique.
Irregular nouns

There are a number of irregular nouns in Biscayan. There are, however, also many which are not completely irregular, for example, they may be of mixed declension pattern.

Common irregular nouns:

  • "abric" (m, "cloak")
  • "òs" (m, "bone")
  • "" (m, "tea")
  • "xa" (f, "tea")
  • More to come...

Adjectives

Declensions

First declension

First declension adjectives end in "o" (and accented variants) in the nominative masculine singular.

Translation → public
Gender → Masculine Feminine
Case ↓ Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative pûblico pûblicos pûblica pûblic
Oblique pûbliqui pûbliquis pûblique pûbliques
  • Note the mutation of "c" to "qu" before "i" and "e" in order to keep the /k/ sound.
Second declension

Second declension adjectives end in "e" (and accented variants) in the nominative masculine singular.

Translation → some
Gender → Masculine Feminine
Case ↓ Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative alqué alqués alqué alqués
Oblique alqui alquix alqui alquix

Adverbs

Manner

In Biscayan, adverbs of manner are formed simply, much as in English. Adjectives that in "o" replace this with "emente" while adjectives that end in "e" simply add "mente". These roughly correspond to the English "ly".

  • "rapido" /ʁaˈpido/ ("quick"); "rapidemente" /ʁapidəˈmɛntə/ ("quickly")
  • "pûblico" /ˈpybliko/ ("public"); "publiquemente" /publikəˈmɛntə/ ("publicly")
  • "feminino" /ˈfɛminino/ ("feminine"); "femininemente" /fɛmininəˈmɛntə/ ("femininely")

There are however some exceptions to this rule and the majority are shown below.

Degree and quantity

Time

Place

Interrogative

Other

Pronouns

Personal

Singular
Case ↓ 1st person 2nd person 3rd person masc 3rd person fem
Nominative elè ela
Accusative me te
Dative mi ti
Reflexive me te se sa
Disjunctive ïo to elè ela
Plural
Case ↓ 1st person 2nd person 3rd person masc 3rd person fem
Nominative nòs vòs elès elas
Accusative nòs vòs lòs las
Dative nosso vosso lés lés
Reflexive no vo se sa
Disjunctive nosi vosi elès elas

Vocabulary

Contionary

Biscayan:

Swadesh list


No. English Biscayan
1I
2you (singular)
3heelè
4wenòs
5you (plural)vòs
6theyelès
7thisestò
8thatelò
9hereic
10thereli
11whoqui
12whatqué
13whereovi
14whenquandò
15howcomo
16not
17alltòto
18manymulto
19somealqué
20fewpeûco
21otheraltro
22oneono
23twodòs
24threetres
25fourquatòr
26fivecinc
27biggrando
28longlongo
29widelargo
30thickcrebo
31heavygravo
32smallpitlo
33shortcûrto
34narrowannusto
35thinmaçro
36womanfema
37man (adult male)umò
38man (human being)umanò
39childimfanò
40wifemulra
41husbandmarito
42mothermatra
43fatherpatro
44animalanimal
45fishpixo
46birdeûço
47dogcano
48lousepediço
49snakeserpe
50wormver
51treearbro
52forestbosco
53stickfusto
54fruitfruxo
55seedsem
56leaffoljò
57rootradiç
58barkcorteç
59flowerfloro
60grasserba
61ropetxorda
62skinpeljo
63meatcarno
64bloodsannüo
65boneòs
66fatcrasso
67eggòvô
68horncorno
69tailqueûda
70featherpluma
71haircapiljo
72headcapa
73eareûrica
74eyeoclo
75nosenaso
76mouthoro
77toothdenò
78tongueljengüa
79fingernailunga
80footpedo
81legcrûs
82kneegueno
83handmanò
84wingala
85bellyventro
86gutsintestinos
87neckcoljò
88backdorsò
89breastpexo
90heartcoer
91liverficatò
92drinkbibèr
93eatedèr
94bitemorder
95sucksûguèr
96spitsperèr
97vomitvomitar
98blowflar
99breatherespirar
100laughrider
101seevêr
102heareûdir
103knowxèr
104thinkcôctar
105smellsentir
106feartimèr
107sleepdormir
108livevir
109diemoerèr
110killnecrar
111fightluxèr
112huntxasèr
113hitbatter
114cutsecar
115splitdivider
116stabpunguer
117scratchxalper
118digsappar
119swimnatar
120flyvolar
121walkgradèr
122comevenir
123liejacèr
124sitsedèr
125standstar
126turntorquèr
127fallcader
128givedar
129holdtenèr
130squeezestringuer
131rubfricar
132washlavar
133wipexucar
134pulltraïer
135pushpeljer
136throwlançar
137tieligar
138sewcosüer
139countcontar
140saydicer
141singcantar
142playjocar
143floatboïar
144flowflùir
145freezeglaçar
146swellimflar
147sunsolò
148moonlûna
149starstelja
150wateragüa
151rainxuva
152riverrivo
153lakelaco
154seamar
155saltsal
156stonepetra
157sandaréa
158dustpulvo
159earthterra
160cloud
161fogneba
162skycélò
163windvento
164snowniç
165iceguelo
166smokefûmo
167firefoco
168ashcino
169burnadèr
170road
171mountainmonja
172redvermiljo
173greenvere
174yellowgalbo
175whiteblanco
176blacknùerro
177nightnoç
178daydia
179yearanjo
180warmcaldo
181coldfriço
182fullpleno
183newnovo
184oldviexo
185goodbono
186badmalo
187rottenputrit
188dirtysordido
189straightrexo
190roundguro
191sharpacûto
192dullbruto
193smoothlevo
194wetmoljatò
195drysisso
196correctcorrexo
197nearproxo
198fardistanò
199rightdetxo
200leftsinistro
201ata
202inen
203with
204andé
205if
206becauseproqué
207namenòm


Example texts