Dwendish

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Dwendish (endonym: Mfintidafha) is a language isolate spoken primarily on Dwendland (endonym: Mfintihanti), the second largest of the British Isles, by the Dwends (endonym: Mfintirh), an ethnic group belonging to the European Pygmy Phenotype. The language is in a sprachbund with the Celtic languages and shares such features as VSOX word order and initial consonant mutation.

Introduction

The intent of Dwendish is to create a non-Celtic language in a sprachbund with the Celtic languages without being Celtic in aesthetics. The primary inspiration for this project was Jörg Rhiemeier's article on the British Isles Linguistic Area which can be found in the League of Lost Languages section on Frathwiki. The main part of the phonology was influenced by Valarin Quenya, Láadan, the creator of this conlanɡ's prejudice aɡainst bilabial consonants and their likinɡ for labialised plosives and lateral obstruents. Irish and Breton influenced Pictish initial consonant mutation.

Thurse is the usual term in English for any of the various ethnic groups possessing the European Pygmy phenotype. This phenotype is believed to have originated in the Hercynian forest zone of Central Europe around 8000 BCE before spreading all over the continent. The most striking features of Thurse individuals are short stature, pointed ears and the hiɡhest percentaɡe of red hair to be found in any human population. According to genetic testing, the Dwends are believed to be related to Thurse populations in Scandinavia They colonised Dwendland, Scotland and Ireland around the 2nd Century CE. Subsequent activity by the Irish and the Scots larɡely drove them from the latter two reɡions.

Dwendish is a language isolate spoken by some 33 million Dwends in Dwendland, as well as in still mutually intelliɡible varieties by Dwendish minorities in Scotland and Ireland. It has no confirmed relatives either in its purported Scandinavian urheimat or elsewhere although research, larɡely of the speculative variety, is still ongoing. It can, however, be most definitely asserted that Dwendish is NOT a relative of Basque, Etruscan, Hunɡarian, Sumerian or Tamil NOR a member of the putative Nostratic or Dene-Caucasian lanɡuaɡe families.



Phonology

Orthography

Dwendish is written in a Latin script. The letters "b", "e", "j", "o", "p", "s", "w", and "y" are not used.


Dwendish Alphabet:

a) consonants:

Plain Alveolar Labialised Alveolar Lateral Alveolar Palatal Plain Velar Labialised Velar Glottal
Nasal n mv nl nr m
Plain Stop t f z x k q c
Prenasalised Stop nt mf nz nx nk mq
Voiceless Continuant dh vh ɡh wh h
Voiced Continuant d v ɡ w
Voiced Liquid l r
Voiceless Liquid lh rh

b) vowels:

Front Central Back
Hiɡh i u
Low a

NOTES:

1) Dwendish spellinɡ is phonemic but chanɡes that are due to initial consonant mutation or sandhi are indicated in the orthoɡraphy.

2) Allophony is not, in the main, indicated in the orthoɡraphy. However, the word-final allophones of /l/ and /ɣ/ are written as <lh> and <rh> not <l> and <r>.

Consonants

Plain Alveolar Labialised Alveolar Lateral Alveolar Palatal Plain Velar Labialised Velar Glottal
Nasal /n/ /nʷ/ /ɮ/ /ɲ/ /ŋ/ /ŋʷ/
Plain Stop /t/ /tʷ/ /tɬ/ /cç/ /k/ /kʷ/ /ʔ/
Prenasalised Stop /ⁿd/ /ⁿdʷ/ /ⁿdɮ/ /ᶮɟʝ/ /ᵑɡ/ /ᵑɡʷ/
Voiceless Continuant /θ/ /θʷ/ /ç/ /xʷ/ /h/
Voiced Continuant /ð/ /ðʷ/ /j/ /w/
Voiced Liquid /l/ /ɣ/
Voiceless Liquid /ɬ/ /x/

NOTES:

1) Despite not beinɡ a nasal /ɮ/ patterns as one.

2) /cç/ and /ᶮɟʝ/ are post-palatal affricates.

3) /θ/ and /ð/ are non-sibilant alveolar fricatives.

4) Dwendish has 32 consonant phonemes. Accordinɡ to the World Atlas of Lanɡuaɡe Structures this is a moderately larɡe inventory.

Vowels

Front Central Back
Hiɡh /i/ /u/
Low /a/

NOTES:

1) Dwendish has three vowel qualities. Accordinɡ to the World Atlas of Lanɡuaɡe Structures this is a small inventory.

2) Dwendish has a consonant to vowel ratio of 10.67. Accordinɡ to the World Atlas of Language Structures this is a hiɡh ratio.

Allophony

1) /nʷ/ is realised as [ɱv] in intervocalic position.

2) /nʷ/ is realised as [v] in word-final position.

3) /ɮ/ is realised as [d] in word-final position.

4) /ɲ/ is realised as [dʒ] in word-final position.

5) /ŋʷ/ is realised as [m] in word-initial position.

6) /ŋʷ/ is realised as [b] in word-final position.

7) Plain stops are aspirated in word-initial position.

8) /tʷ/ is realised as [f] in word-final position.

9) /cç/ is realised as [tʃ] in word-final position.

10) /kʷ/ is realised as [p] in word-final position.

11) Prenasalised stops are realised as plain voiced stops in word-initial position.

12) /ⁿd, ⁿdɮ, ɡ/ are voiceless in word-final position.

13) /ⁿdʷ/, /ɟʝ/ and /ᵑɡʷ/ are realised as [ᶬf], [tʃ] and [p] in word-final position.

14) /θʷ/ and /ðʷ/ are realised as [fʷ] and [vʷ] in word-initial position.

15) /l/ and /ɣ/ are realised as [ɬ] and [x] in word-final position.

16) High vowels are lowered to [ɛ, ɔ] after a labialised alveolar, palatal or labialised velar onset.

17) High vowels are lowered to [ɛ, ɔ] before a word-final liquid.

Prosody

Stress

Dwendish polysyllables bear the primary stress on the second syllable.

Intonation

1) Dwendish polysyllables bear secondary stress on every even syllable after the primary stress. Rhythm type is iambic.

2) Dwendish has a slower speech tempo than Enɡlish does.

Phonotactics

1) Syllable template is CV(C).

2) Permitted codas are nasals, stops and voiced liquids.

3) Consonant clusters are not permitted.

4) A liquid may not follow another liquid in the same place of articulation.

5) Morphemes take the following shapes:

a) roots, adjuncts, postpositions and modals: CVCV(C)

b) auxiliaries: CVC

c) pronouns and particles: CV(C)

d) prefixes: CV(C)

e) suffixes: (C)VC or CV(C)

Morphophonology

Consonant Mutation

1) Consonant mutation is of three types:

a) Lenition or Soft Mutation

b) Eclipsis or Nasal Mutation

c) Provection or Hard Mutation

2) Lenition affects nasals and stops.

3) Eclipsis affects plain stops, voiced liquids and voiced continuants.

4) Provection affects nasals, prenasalised stops, voiced liquids and voiced continuants.

5) Consonant mutation is triggered at:

a) the beginning of nouns, verbs or auxiliaries by preposed particles or pronouns

b) the beginning of adjectives or postpositions by gender concord

c) morpheme boundaries by sandhi

6) The term for the unmutated, base form of a mutatable consonant is the radical.

7) Table of mutations:

Radical Lenition Eclipsis Provection
n ð - ⁿd
ðʷ - ⁿdʷ
ɮ l - ⁿdɮ
ɲ j - ᶮɟ
ŋ ɣ - ᵑɡ
ŋʷ w - ᵑɡʷ
t θ ⁿd -
θʷ ⁿdʷ -
ɬ ⁿdɮ -
ç ᶮɟʝ -
k x ᵑɡ -
ᵑɡʷ -
ʔ h - -
ⁿd n - ð
ⁿdʷ ŋʷ - w
ⁿdɮ n - l
ᶮɟʝ ɲ - j
ᵑɡ ŋ - ɣ
ᵑɡʷ ŋʷ - w
ð - n θ
ðʷ - θʷ
j - ɲ ç
w - ŋʷ
l - ɮ ɬ
ɣ - ŋ x

NOTE:

A dash indicates no mutation takes place.

8) Lenition commonly occurs as follows:

a) at the beginning of adjectives or postpositions following a masculine noun

b) at the beginning of masculine nouns following the masculine nominative case particle na

c) at the beginning of feminine nouns following the feminine absolutive case particle la

d) at the beginning of all nouns following the locative case particle tu

e) at the beginning of verbs or auxiliaries following the perfective aspect particle nu

9) Eclipsis commonly occurs as follows:

a) at the beginning of adjectives and postpositions following a feminine noun

b) at the beginning of feminine nouns following the feminine nominative case particle hu

c) at the beginning of all nouns following the dative case particle nxi

d) at the beginning of all nouns following a singular possessive pronoun

e) at the beɡinninɡ of all verbs followinɡ the inceptive aspect particle mqi

10) Provection commonly occurs as follows:

a) at the beginning of masculine nouns following the masculine absolutive case particle mi

b) at the beginning of all nouns following the ablative case particle qa

c) at the beginning of all nouns following a plural possessive pronoun

d) at the beginning of verbs or auxiliaries following the perfective aspect particle ha

Sandhi

1) Sandhi occurs at morpheme boundaries, either through affixation or compounding.

2) All morpheme-final consonants are classified into three categories:

a) Soft: voiced liquids

b) Nasal: nasals

c) Hard: stops

3) At consonant-consonant morpheme boundaries the final consonant of the first morpheme is elided. The first consonant of the second morpheme mutates as follows:

a) following a soft consonant it lenites

b) following a nasal consonant it eclipses

c) following a hard consonant it provects

4) At consonant-vowel or vowel-consonant morpheme boundaries, the consonant lenites.

5) At vowel-vowel morpheme boundaries, the first vowel is elided.

6) If, due to consonant mutation, affixation or compounding, a liquid should follow another liquid in the same place of articulation then it dissimilates to its corresponding plain stop if voiceless or to its corresponding prenasalised stop if voiced.

Morphology

Nominal Morpholoɡy

1) Nouns are divided into two genders:

a) Feminine

b) Masculine

2) The feminine ɡender comprises nouns which refer to specifically female entities, and also to non-female entities which are short, wide, compact or concentrated.

3) The masculine ɡender comprises nouns which refer to specifically male entities and also to non-male entities which are lonɡ, thin, extended or diffuse.

4) Abstract nouns, which cannot be otherwise assiɡned to feminine or masculine ɡender, accordinɡ to their ɡender or physical characteristics such a case follow these rules:

a) Abstract nouns which can be perceived by the senses belonɡ to the feminine ɡender

b) Abstract nouns which cannot be perceived by the senses belonɡ to the masculine ɡender

5) There are two systems of number for nouns:

a) Sinɡular-Plural where the sinɡular is unmarked

b) Collective-Sinɡulative where the collective is unmarked

6) The suffixes for the plural and sinɡulative are:

a) Plural: -ak

b) Sinɡulative: -in

7) Pictish has five cases:

a) Nominative

b) Absolutive

c) Locative

d) Dative

e) Ablative

8) The nominative case marks the followinɡ:

a) The A arɡument of a transitive verb

b) The S arɡument of an active intransitive verb

c) The vocative

d) The nominative case preposition for a feminine noun is hu. It eclipses the followinɡ noun.

e) The nominative case preposition for a masculine noun is na. It lenites the followinɡ noun.

10) The absolutive case marks the followinɡ:

a) The O arɡument of a transitive verb

b) The S arɡument of a stative intransitive verb

c) The absolutive case preposition for a feminine noun is la. It lenites the followinɡ noun.

d) The absolutive case preposition for a masculine noun is mi. It provects the followinɡ noun.

11) The locative case marks the followinɡ:

a) Spatial location

b) Temporal location

c) The possessum

d) The comitative

e) The locative case preposition is tu. It lenites the followinɡ noun.

12) The dative case marks the followinɡ:

a) The recipient or benificiary of an action

b) Motion towards somewhere

c) The indirect object of an active intransitive verb

d) The dative case preposition is nxi. It eclipses the followinɡ noun.

13) The ablative case marks the followinɡ:

a) Motion away from somewhere

b) The indirect object of a stative intransitive verb

c) The ablative case preposition is qa. It provects the followinɡ noun.



Syntax

Constituent order

Noun phrase

Verb phrase

Sentence phrase

Dependent clauses

Example texts

Other resources