Buerkaans

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Buerkantch
Buerkaans
Pronunciation [bu:ɾ'kaːns]
Created by
Setting
Native speakers No Census Data  (2014)
Language family
Writing system Latin script
ISO 639-3 bue
Buerkáns.png
Dï Huïlands' fläg

Background

Buerkaans is spoken in the fictitious country of Dï Huïlands, known as such in English, even though the translation is literally The Highlands. It has not yet been decided whether Buerkaans shows a strong enough resemblence to Dutch grammar to be classified as Low Franconian, or if it deserves its own branch in the Germanic family.

Buerkaans takes influences from Dutch/Afrikaans, English, and the Scandinavian Languages. I wanted to make something in between all three, with the primary vocabulary a mix of Dutch-Danish/Swedish-derived roots and grammar closer to a simpler version of German.

Phonology

Buerkaans has a large phonology, similar to that of Dutch or Afrikaans, mixed slightly with Danish, with a large vowel inventory of 14 distinct vowel quantities and a typical Germanic consonant inventory.

Vowels

Phonemes
Front Central Back
Closed i y ɨ u
Near-closed ɪ
Mid-closed e ø o
Central ɘ
Mid-open ɛ ʌ ɔ
Near-open æ
Open a

For the most part, /ɨ/ replaces /ɪ/ in word-initial 'i', but can also appear in any instance of 'i', based on the speaker's accent.

Consonants

Phonemes Bilabial Labiodental Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p b t d k g
Affricate t͡s t͡ʃ
Nasal m n ŋ
Fricative f v s ʃ x~ç h
Approximant ɾ j
Lateral approximant w l ɫ
  • It is important to know that /x/ can be palatinized to /ç/ in fast speech, or after certain consonants, where a speaker cannot pull their tongue back fast enough to produce a full /x/.

Stress & Phonotactics

Stress generally falls on the root of a word, normally the first syllable, but this is subject to change if certain prefixes are added, which may transfer stress from the root to the prefix, or move primary stress, along with the root, to the second syllable.

Buerkaans' most common syllable structure is CCVCC. A single, double, or triple cluster of consecutive consonants can proceed a vowel, there may be as many as three vowels between consonants. In some special cases there can be four-consonant clusters, but these are generally in archaic words and most have been simplified. Word structure can vary wildy, but every syllable must have at least one vowel as its nucleus. The only syllalbe construction that is not allowed is CVCV, which must be interpreted as two seperate syllables of CV. These sound clusters can be repeated to create longer words which are still phonotactically correct, but this implies a constructed word.

  • hoebstedsmetroelyn /'ho:b.stɛdz.mɛtɾo:.ləi̯n/ - capital city's metro line (CVVC.CCVCC.CVCCV.CVC)
  • straade /'stɾa:dʌ/ - street (CCCVVCV)
  • regtig /'ɾɛx.tɪç/ - correct (CVCVC)
  • de /dʌ/ - the (CV)
  • älg /ælx/ - interjection, similar to 'ew' (VC)
  • appel /'ab.əl/ - apple (VCCVC)

Orthography

Vowels

  • a - /a/
  • aa - /a:/
  • aai - /ai:/
  • ä - /æ/
  • e - /ɛ/ (/ɘ/ when unstressed and /ʌ/ after d)
  • ee - /e:/
  • i - /ɪ/ (/ɨ/ when word-initial, can replace /ɪ/ with a speaker's accent)
  • ï - /i:/
  • o - /ɔ/
  • oe - /o:/
  • aui - /ø/
  • u - /u/
  • ue - /u:/
  • ui - /y/
  • y - /əi̯/

Note: ¨ is used to differentiate between ën - a, and en - and.


Consonants

  • b - /b/
  • d - /d/
  • f - /f/
  • g - /x/~/ç/ (/x/ after open vowels and /ç/ after closed vowels: so naagt /'na:xt/, but nigt /'nɪçt/)
  • h - /h/
  • j - /j/
  • k - /k/
  • l - /l/ (/ɫ/ when word-initial)
  • m - /m/
  • n - /n/
  • p - /p/
  • r - /ɾ/
  • s - /s/
  • sj - /ʃ/
  • t - /t/
  • tj - /ʧ/
  • v - /v/
  • w - /w/
  • z - /ʦ/



Sound Shifts from other Germanic Languages

Perhaps the largest change from Germanic phonology in Buerkaans is the voicing of the original Germanic /v/ or /ʋ to /b/:

Buerkaans IPA Danish IPA German IPA English
hoeb /ho:b/ hoved /'ho:.ʋɛð/ Kopf /'kɔpf/ head
bebeege /bə'be:.xə/ at bevæge /bɛ'ʋɛi̯.gɛ/ bewegen /bɛ've:.gɛn/ to move
graabe /'xra:.bɘ/ at grave /graʊ̯.ʋɛ graben /'gra:bɛn/ to dig

Word-initial /v/ is left unchanged.


Dutch/Afrikaans IE~E to Y:

Buerkaans IPA Dutch IPA English
hyr /'həi̯ɾ/ hier /'hi:r/ here
spyle /'spəi̯lə/ spelen /'spe:lɛn/ to play
tyke /'təi̯.kə/ tekenen /'te:.kɛn.ɛn/ to draw

This tends to happen rather randomly, without a clearly seen pattern, it is most likely the beginning of a full sound shift. It can also be said that, in many cases, German /ei/ is lowered to /əi̯/.

Buerkaans also experiences a general voicing of plosives in mid-word positions. Word-final plosives are subject to change with voicing sandhi, and word-intial plosives can be pronounced either way, depending on where the speaker is from. Southern Buerkáns tends to lean heavily towards mostly-voiced plosives, and Nothern Buerkáns always devoices intial plosives.


German SS to D:

Buerkaans IPA German IPA English
wader /'wa.dʌɾ/ wasser /'vas.ɛr/ water
te vyde /tɛ 'vəi:.dʌ/ veißen /'wei:s.ɛn/ to know, have knowledge of
straade /'stra:.dʌ/ straße /'ʃtra.sɛ/ street

Additionally, the German suffix -isch has been changed to -is.

  • die Germanische Sprache --> dï Germänise spraaks - The Germanic languages.

Dutch "/u:/ and /au/" to Buerkaans "OEW" /o:(w)/

"Broer" --> "Broewr" "Houd" --> "Hoewd" "Goud" --> "Goewd"

Sandhi

There is a small Sandhi factor to Buerkaans which occurs with the voicing of the last letter of a word in relationship to the phoneme that begins the word after it. This only occurs when a Stop is the last letter of a word, and is followed by an near, mid, or fully-open vowel quality in the next word. If the Stop is not already voiced, it becomes so. In Buerkaans, this means that the letters P~B, T~D, and K are all affected when the next word starts with an A, E, or O. (This rule does not apply to di/trigraphs) The only sound excepted from this function is /ʌ/, which only occurs after R and D, and therefore cannot appear on its own.

This does not change the already voiced stops, but means that there must always be a voiced stop before an open vowel between words:

det appel
/dʌd‿ˈa:bəl/

the apple


ik spyltet epik
/'ɨk 'spəi̯l.tədˈɛpɪk/

I played well (epically)


jep, oemkï anaars is hyr
/'jɛbˈo:m.ki: 'an.a:rs 'ɨs 'həi̯r/

yep, uncle Ánaars is here

Grammar

Buerkaans' grammar is rather simple, and lies somewhere between German and Danish. There are two genders, Common and Neutral, verbs conjugate for person, and there are two genders and three cases for adjective declension. Unlike German, Buerkaans is a very regular language.

Nouns

Nouns in Buerkáns are only marked for number and definiteness, as is other Germanic languages. Here is a table displaying the different forms most Buerkáns nouns can take:

Indefinite Singular Indefinite Plural Definite Singular Definite Plural
common:
ën meetj meetjes de meetj dï meetjes
a girl girls the girl the girls
ën knaag knaags de knaag dï knaags
a boy boys the boy the boys
ën hoond hoonde de hoond dï hoonde
a dog dogs the dog the dogs
ën ruiksak ruiksakke de ruiksak dï ruiksakke
a backpack backpacks the backpack the backpacks
neuter:
et hues hueser det hues dï hueser
a house houses the house the houses
et appel appeler det appel dï appeler
an apple apples the apple the apples
et är är de är dï är
a year years the year the years

As shown above, there are 3 different ways to express plurality in Buerkaans. The first two are by suffixing -s or -e to words of the common gender. There is no pattern for this, some words recieve the 'e-plural' while others receive the 's-plural'. However, most common gender words are made plural by the addition of '-s'. In the neuter gender, the plural marker is always '-er'.

When using the '-e' suffix, word-final consonant doubling sometimes happens, as shown in ruigsak --> ruigsakke. This happens for all plosive consonants:

The common-gender indefinite article, ën, is pronounced /ən/, but is sometimes shortened to just /n/. Consonant doubling for:

  • ruiksak - ruiksakke - backpacks

but not for:

  • uer - uere - clocks

There are also a few special words which cannot be put into plural form, analagous to 'information' in English. An example is given in the table above with the word är - 'year'. The ony way to tell if the word is being used plurally is in when it is definite. There can one see the definite plural article .

Diminutives

There are two diminutive suffixes in Buerkaans: -kï, and -ken. Common gender words take -kï, and neuter words few use -ken. Words that have no plural form tend to favor the -ken:

The diminutive form is often used to convey an affectionate or nepotic feeling towards the noun being marked For example, one would say sokkïs instead of just soks to denote their favorite pair of socks from all the other pairs. Other times it is used to literal effect, and sometimes just for poetic license (for example, to fit a rhyme scheme).

Word Diminutive Form Meaning
common:
meetj meetjkï little girl, schoolgirl
knaag knaagkï little boy, schoolboy
neuter:
hues huesken little house
koelkaast koelkaastken little fridge

Pronouns

This is the only facet of Buerkaans that retains a three-gender system, as it is necessary to distinguish between masculine and feminine when speaking about people.

Case 1st person
Singular Plural
Nominative ik/ek vy
Accusative my os
Genitive myn / myt on / ont
Case 2nd person
Singular Plural
Nominative ju jul
Accusative jy julle
Genitive jyn / jyt jullen / jullet
Case 3rd person
Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Nominative hy sy det
Accusative him sy det daam
Genitive syn / syt syn / syt syn / syt dyn / dyt

The reflexive for all persons is the same as the accusative form. The 3rd person nominative pronouns always use syg instead of differentiating gender.

Additionally, the plural form for all 3rd Person Genitive pronouns is sye.

Ik is the official spelling for I, although ek can also be used.

Numbers

Number Cardinal Ordinal
0 null
1 een vauirs
2 tvy änen
3 try tred
4 vïr vïrd
5 fyf fyfd
6 seks seksd
7 sebe sebd
8 ag agd
9 nyn nynd
10 tyn tynd
11 elf elfd
12 taalv taalvd
13 trytyn trytyndï
14 vïrtyn vïrtyndï
15 fyftyn fyftyndï
16 sekstyn sekstyndï
17 sebtyn sebtyndï
18 agtyn agtyndï
19 nyntyn nytyndï
20 tvytï tvytïte
21 eenentvytï eenentvytïte
22 tvyentvytï tvyentvytïte
30 trytï trytïte
31 eenentrytï eenentrytïte
40 vïrtï vïrttïte
50 fyftï fyftïte
60 sekstïte sekstïte
70 sebtï sebtïte
80 agtï agtïte
90 nyntï nyntïte
100 hundrï hundrïte

Numbers have a very regular structure in Buerkaans, with the exception of numbers 1 and 2, which are irregular. The ordinal ending for numbers 3 to 20 is simply -d. The ordinal ending for all numbers after 20 is -te.

Double-digit numbers are produced as in German. To make the number 21, one must say eenentvytï, literally 'one-and-twenty'.

Verbs - UNDER REVAMP

Verbs are only conjugated for tense and person in Buerkaans. Beyond this, all conjugations of a given verb are usually regular in accordance with other verbs. There are only a few irregular verbs. Most verbs conjugate the same in Present Tense, and verbs are kept in the infinitive if they are not the primary verb in the sentence. However, this functions more like English and the Scandinavian languages in that two verbs can follow each other directly, as opposed to German where and secondary verbs must be at the end of a sentence or phrase.


Irregular Verbs

One major irregular verbs in Buerkaans: to be

Verb Present Past Past Participle Pluperfect Meaning
te zyne is wus heet gezynd heette gezynd to be

Regular Verbs

Regular verbs conjugate as follows. The past tense is formed by vowel changes, in this case /u/ to /ɔ/. The word te is used in infinitive constructions, and cannot be excluded from the infinitive version of a verb.

Here is a full conjugation table for te sjuede - to shoot


1st person
Singular - Ik Plural - Vy
Present sjued sjueden
Past sjod sjoden
Perfect heet gisjod heeten gisjod
2nd person
Singular - Ju Plural - Jul
Present sjuedt sjuedet
Past sjodt sjodet
Perfect heet gisjod heeten gisjod
3rd person
Singular - Hy/Sy/Det Plural - Dï
Present sjuedt sjueden
Past sjodt sjodet
Perfect heet gisjod heeten gisjod


One can see that, for the most part, verbs in Buerkaans do not have different perfect forms. The only real difference is the conjugation of heeten is added to indicate the number. Future tense can be made with either muet - must, sjuet - should, must, or vil - will, depending upon the situation.

Adjectives

Adjectives are declined for gender and case. The table below shows the different forms of the definite articles, based on case and gender.


Case Common Neuter Plural
Nominative de det
Accusative den det
Dative der det dïen

Examples:

  • De män gebt der ball te den meetj - The.NOM man gives the.DAT ball to the.ACC woman

Nouns

Syntax

Buerkaans follows the standard Germanic SVO word order, but it can become muddled when more than one verb is involved. Word order is not as free as in German, due to the lack of case-marking, but sentences can still be switched around in a few cases.

The V2 Rule

A sentence in Buerkaans always follows the V2-rule, which dictates that the verb must always come after the subject of the sentence.

  • Correct: Hy gaar te de maarkt - He goes to the market
  • Incorrect: Hy te de maarkt gaar - He to the market goes

The only instance when this rule is ignored is when a phrase is made into a question.

  • Correct: Gaar hy te de maarkt? - Is he going to the market? (lit. Goes he to the market?)
  • Incorect: Hy gaar te de maarkt? - He goes to the market?

Multiple Verbs

To express a complex idea, more than one verb needs to be used. The first, or main verb, will always follow the V2 rule as shown above. And verbs after the Main verb (Auxiliary verbs), may come directly after or be placed at the end of the sentence, depening on the tense the verb is in.


  • Hei, ik is Darthme, en ik heet de germanise gimaktspraak gimakt! - Hello, I'm Darthme, and I have made the Germanic conlang Buerkaans!

Samples

One bright day in the middle of the night,
two dead boys got up to fight.
Back to back they faced each other
drew their swords and shot each other.
The deaf policeman heard this noise:
came and shot the two dead boys.
if you don't believe this lie is true,
ask the blind man; he saw it too.

Ën lues daag, in de midnaagt,
tvy toede knaags stued op om te sjloeës.
Ruig geeën ruig konfrontïrt dïe damander,
toeg sye swaardkïs uet en sjod damander.
Dï dauife polïsmán heette dehyr klaang gihort:
kom en sjod dï tvy toede knaags.
ib nigt jy trauwe dehyr lueg nigt sänt is,
frag énmaal de blinde män; hy saa et aukso.


Stromae's Bâtard - First Verse From French to English to Buerkaans

Nï de eene or de änen, ik is, ik wus, en ik hoede myn self
Is ju te regts or te links?
Is ju buer or een Pariser?
Ju's1 end een or de änen
Ju's een män, or ju sjteerfe
Kulturd or patetis
Feminis or hued muend!
End is ju macho or homo
Mar fobis or sexuël
boeswïg or terroristis
Ju's langhaard or bebeerted
Konspirisjionister, Illuminati
Muistiker or uitverkoepd
Nïs or onmiddellyk
Radikal or besluetloes
Ha, ju sjifter gedakts, idiot?
Mar ju's Hutu or Tutsi?
Vlemmer or Waloen?
Heet ju hängende arme or is ju influiende?
As leeste is ju racistis!
Mar ju's wit or anders svart, eeh?
Nï de eene or de änen Bastard: ju is, ju wus, en ju blïbe
Nï de eene or de änen, ik is, ik wus, en ik hoede myn self (x4)


1 ju's - Contraction of ju is, = you are.