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Essanian (/ɪˈseɪniən/, native: xanhán /ʃaˈɲan/) is an Iberian Romance language descended from Mozarabic.

La lengua xanhana
لَلَِانْغُوَه شَنَّانَه
Pronunciation[la ˈleŋgwa ʃaˈɲana]
Created byShariifka
Early forms



The endonym xanhán is derived from the place name Xanha, from Latin Hispānia.

The English name Essanian is derived from Medieval Latin Essanianus, a Latinization of Middle Essanian exanyán.



  • Initial I-, DI- (before vowels), G- (before front vowels) become /dʒ ~ ʒ/.
    • Shared with Catalan and Portuguese.
    • E.g. IUVENE(M) > joven /ˈdʒoven/ "young" (Catalan jove, Portuguese jovem vs. Spanish joven, Asturian xoven, Galician xove, Aragonese choven)
  • Intervocalic -I-, -DI- become /j/.
    • Differs from Catalan and (sometimes) Galician/Portuguese.
    • E.g. MAIORE(M) > mayor /maˈjor/ "bigger" (Spanish, Asturian mayor, Galician/Portuguese maior vs Catalan major).
HODIE > wey /wej/ "today" (Spanish hoy, Asturian, Aragonese güe, Catalan vui vs Portuguese hoje, Galician hoxe).
  • Diphthongization of stressed Ŏ & Ĕ to /we/ and /je/.
    • Shared with Aragonese, Astur-Leonese, Spanish (except before yod),Catalan (only before yod).
  • Preservation of initial F-.
    • Differs from Spanish and some varieties of Astur-Leonese.
  • Preservation of initial L-.
    • Differs from Astur-Leonese and Catalan.
  • Preservation of initial N-.
    • Differs from some varieties of Astur-Leonese.
  • Preservation of intervocalic -L- and -N-.
    • Differs from Galician/Portuguese.
  • Monophthongization of falling diphthongs.
    • Shared with Spanish, Catalan, and some varieties of Astur-Leonese.
  • -LT- (after U) and -CT- become /jt/ after stressed vowels and /tʃ/ after unstressed vowels.
    • The outcome after unstressed vowels is shared with Spanish and some varieties of Astur-Leonese, while the outcome after stressed vowels is shared with the remaining Iberian Romance languages.
  • Palatalization of -LI-, -C'L-, -T'L-, -G'L- to /ʎ/.
    • Differs from Spanish and some varieties of Astur-Leonese.
  • Palatalization of -LL- to /ʎ/.
    • Differs from Galician/Portuguese.
  • Palatalization of -NN- to /ɲ/.
    • Differs from Galician/Portuguese.
  • -M'N- becomes /m/.
    • Differs from Spanish.
  • Palatalization of -X-, -PS-, -SC- (the latter before front vowels) to /ʃ/.
    • Differs from Spanish.
  • Preservation of initial CL-, FL-, PL-.
    • Shared with Catalan.
  • Preservation of intervocalic -T-, -P-, -C-.
    • Shared with some Aragonese dialects.
  • Insertion of (or, in some cases, preservation of) /j/ before or after a front vowel to avoid hiatus.
    • Shared with Aragonese and some varieties of Astur-Leonese.
  • Dropping of final -U(M) in many environments.
    • Shared with Catalan.
  • Preservation of non-dropped final -U(M) as /u/.
    • Shared with Astur-Leonese and Portuguese (though it is likely a secondary development in the latter).
  • Dropping of final -E(M) in many environments.
    • Shared with Aragonese, Catalan, and (to some extent) Spanish.
  • Preservation of voiced fricatives/affricates.
    • Shared with Catalan, Portuguese, and Mirandese.
  • Preservation of the distinction between /b/ and /v/.
    • Shared with some varieties of Catalan and most varieties of Portuguese.
  • The following features are unique to Essanian among the Iberian Romance languages:
    • -ST- becomes /θ/.
    • -SC- (non-palatalized) and -SP- become /ʃ/.
    • Palatalization of C (before front vowels) and -TI- (before vowels) to /tʃ/.
  • Insertion of /w/ before or after a front vowel to avoid hiatus.
  • Preservation of W- in loanwords.


  • Pronouns and adjectives form a neuter in -o
    • Shared with Asturian.
  • Words ending in -a form their plural in -es.
    • Shared with Asturian and Catalan.
  • Words ending in -u form their plural in -os.
    • Shared with Asturian.
  • Most masculine words ending in a consonant form their plural in -os.
    • Shared with Catalan (in certain situations).
  • Final -TIS in second person plural verbs became /θ/.
    • Shared with Aragonese.
  • -B- in imperfect preserved as /v/ in all verb classes.
    • Shared with Aragonese, which preserves it as /β/.



Latin orthography

Letter Name IPA
A a a [ä]
B b be [be̞]
C c ce [t͡ʃe̞]
Ç ç çe [θe̞]
D d de [d̪e̞]
E e e [e̞]
F f efe [ˈe̞fe̞]
G g ge [d͡ʒe̞]
Gh gh ghen [ʕe̞n]
H h haca [ˈhäkä]
Letter Name IPA
I i i [i]
J j jota [ˈd͡ʒo̞t̪ä]
K k ka [kä]
L l ele [ˈe̞le̞]
Lh lh elhe [ˈe̞ʎe̞]
M m eme [ˈe̞me̞]
N n ene [ˈe̞ne̞]
Nh nh enhe [ˈe̞ɲe̞]
O o o [o̞]
P p pe [pe̞]
Letter Name IPA
Q q cu [ku]
R r erre [ˈe̞re̞]
S s esse [ˈe̞se̞]
T t te [t̪e̞]
U u u [u]
V v ve [ve̞]
W w we [we̞]
X x exe [ˈe̞ʃe̞]
Y y ye [je̞]
Z z zeta [ˈðe̞t̪ä]
Letter Context IPA Examples Remarks
b word-initial after a pause, or after ⟨m⟩ or ⟨n⟩ [b] buen "good"; ambos "both"
elsewhere (i.e. after a vowel, even across a word boundary, or after any consonant other than ⟨m⟩ or ⟨n⟩) [β̞] sobre "over"
utterance-final [p] or [ɸ̞] ob "where"
c before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩ [tʃ] or [ʃ] (depending on the dialect) ceto "early; in the morning"
elsewhere [k] canta "song"
before voiced consonants [ɣ̞] anécdota "anecdote"
in the cluster ⟨ct⟩ [ɣ̞] or [x̞] actual "current"
ch everywhere [tʃ] or [ʃ] (depending on the dialect) xuchar "to listen"
ç everywhere [θ], [s], or [tʃ] (depending on the dialect) cueça "slope"
d word-initial after a pause, or after ⟨l⟩ or ⟨n⟩ [d̪] dar "to give"; caldu "hot"
after ⟨n⟩ word-finally Ø mond "world"
elsewhere [ð̞] modos "ways, modes"
utterance-final [t̪] or [θ̞] mod "way, mode"
f everywhere [f] formica "ant"
g before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩ not before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩, and either word-initial after a pause, or after ⟨n⟩ [dʒ] germán "brother"
before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩, and not in the above contexts [ʒ] viage "journey"
not before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩, and either word-initial after a pause, or after ⟨n⟩ [ɡ] gat "cat"
not before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩, and not in the above contexts [ɣ˕] suegru "father-in-law"
utterance-final [k] or [x̞] zigzag "zigzag" In loanwords.
gh everywhere [ʕ] ghada "tradition, custom" In Arabic loanwords
gu before ⟨a⟩ or ⟨o⟩, and either word-initial after a pause, or after ⟨n⟩ [ɡw] lengua "tongue, language"
before ⟨a⟩ or ⟨o⟩, and not in the above contexts [ɣ̞w] Paraguay "Paraguay" In loanwords.
before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩, and either word-initial after a pause, or after ⟨n⟩ [ɡ] guitarra "guitar"
before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩, and not in the above contexts [ɣ̞] magues "witches, female Zoroastrians"
before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩, and either word-initial after a pause, or after ⟨n⟩ [ɡw] lengües "tongues, languages"
before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩, and not in the above contexts [ɣ̞w] següey "Segway" In loanwords.
h everywhere [h] or [ħ] or [x] horru "free" Generally occurs in loanwords.
everywhere (rare) Ø honestu "honest" Occurs in loanwords where the letter is silent in the original language. May be pronounced [h] as a spelling pronunciation.
j either word-initial after a pause, or after ⟨n⟩ [dʒ] ja "already"
elsewhere [ʒ] viajar "to travel"
utterance-final [tʃ] or [ʃ] alhaj "Hajj" In loanwords.
k rare; only occurs in a few loanwords and sensational spellings [k] kilogramu "kilogram" Can generally be replaced with c or qu.
l everywhere [l] lengua "tongue, language"
lh everywhere [ʎ] vielh "old"
m everywhere except word-finally [m] mesa "table"
word-final [n] or [ŋ] (depending on the dialect) Adam "Adam"
n everywhere but before other consonants and word-finally [n] manes "hands"
before other consonants [m]; [ɱ]; [n]; [n̪]; [ɲ]; [ŋ] lengua "tongue, language" Assimilates to the following consonant’s place of articulation.
word-finally [n] or [ŋ] (depending on the dialect) man "hand"
nh everywhere [ɲ] suenh "sleep, dream"
p everywhere [p] padre "father"
in the consonant cluster ⟨pt⟩ [β̞] or [ɸ̞] aptu "apt"
q everywhere [k] Qátar "Qatar" In loanwords.
qu before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩ [k] que "what"
elsewhere [kw] quatro "four"
only occurs before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩ [kw] aqües "waters"
r word-initial, morpheme-initial,

or after ⟨l⟩, ⟨n⟩, ⟨s⟩, or ⟨z⟩; in emphatic speech may also be used instead of [ɾ] in syllable-final (especially before ⟨l⟩, ⟨m⟩, ⟨n⟩, ⟨s⟩, ⟨t⟩, or ⟨d⟩) and word-final positions (before pause or consonant-initial words only)

[r] rat "rat"
elsewhere [ɾ] plorar "to cry"
rr only occurs between vowels [r] carru "car"
s word-initial, morpheme initial, before a voiceless consonant, or utterance-final [s] salá "prayer"
everywhere else [z] mesa "table"
ss only occurs between vowels [s] passar "to pass"
t everywhere [t̪] tu "you"
before voiced consonants [ð̞] atmósfera "atmosphere"
after ⟨n⟩ word-finally Ø vient "wind"
v everywhere [v] vient "wind"
w everywhere [w] welh "eye"
x everywhere [ʃ] xuchar "to listen"
between vowels and word-finally [ks] toxina "toxin" In words of Latin or Greek origin; may be replaced with ⟨cs⟩ or ⟨s⟩ (with the associated pronunciation change).
before a consonant [ks] or [s] textu "text" In loanwords; may be replaced with ⟨s⟩ (and pronounced accordingly).
in the prefix ex- [z]; [s] before a plosive examen "exam"
y everywhere except when acting as a vowel [j] yerva "grass"
z utterance-final or before a voiceless consonant [θ] or [s] (depending on the dialect) arroz "rice"
everywhere else [ð] or [z] (depending on the dialect) zagal "boy"
Monophthong Vowels
Letter IPA Examples Remarks
a [ä] gat "cat"
e [e̞] mesa "table"
i [i] felich "happy"
y y "and" Rare. Only commonly used as a vowel in the conjunction y and the homonymous adverbial pronoun.
o [o̞] ora "hour, time"
u [u] amicu "friend"
Vowel letters in diphthongs
Letter IPA Examples Remarks
In rising diphthongs
i ⟨i⟩ before a vowel [j] bien "well"; viage "journey"
u ⟨u⟩ before a vowel (but silent in ⟨qu⟩ and ⟨gu⟩ before an ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩) [w] cueça "slope"; quatro "four"
ü ⟨ü⟩ before a vowel (only used in ⟨qü⟩ and ⟨gü⟩ before an ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩) [w] lengües "tongues, languages"
In falling diphthongs
i ⟨i⟩ after a vowel [j] feit "made"
y ⟨y⟩ after a vowel [j] rey "king" Almost always word-final. ⟨-iy⟩ is pronounced [i].
u ⟨u⟩ after a vowel [w] autobús "bus"
w ⟨w⟩ after a vowel [w] tow "your (dialectal)" Almost always word-final. ⟨-uw⟩ is pronounced [w].


  1. ⟨iu⟩ and ⟨ui⟩ are ambiguous, since they may either be used for rising diphthongs (/ju/ and /wi/ respectively) or falling diphthongs (/iw/ and /uj/ respectively). In most cases, they represent rising diphthongs unless followed by ⟨t⟩. ⟨iw⟩ and ⟨uy⟩ always represent falling diphthongs.
  2. When a vowel (almost always ⟨e⟩) is both preceded and followed by a glide, a triphthong is formed - e.g. nueit, nueu, buey.

Stress in a word can be determined from the way it is written via the following rules:

  • If there is any vowel with an acute accent, that vowel is stressed.
  • If there is no vowel with an acute accent:
    • The penultimate vowel is stressed if the word ends in a vowel, vowel + -n, or vowel + -s.
    • The ultimate vowel is stressed if the word ends in any consonant other than -n or -s.
  • Note that:
    • Diphthongs are always treated as one syllable.
    • iV and uV (where V represents any vowel other than i or u) are treated as diphthongs, and therefore count as one syllable.
      • The exception to this is if the i or u has an accent. However, this is rare since words that would have íV and úV are usually written as iyV and uwV.
    • Final -y and -w are treated as consonants, and they shift the stress to the final syllable.





Primary stress may occur in any of the last three syllables of a word.




Phonological history



Definite Article

Essanian definite article
Singular Plural
Masculine el, l' (before vowels), 'l (after vowels) los
Feminine la, l' (before a) les
Neuter lo, l' (before vowels)


  1. The definite article precedes the noun it modifies.
  2. The neuter definite article is generally used with nominalized neuter adjectives or relative clauses that have an abstract/inanimate referent - e.g. lo bueno "the good/that which is good"; lo que pienso "what I think/that which I think".

Indefinite Article

Essanian indefinite article
Singular Plural
Masculine un unos
Feminine una unes
Neuter uno


Personal pronouns

Essanian personal pronouns
Person, Number, Formality, Gender Independent Clitic
Subject Object Reflexive Object Possessive Direct object Indirect object Reflexive Possessive
1st Singular yo mi miyu/miyos, miya/miyes, miyo me, m'1 mo(n)2/mos, ma(n)2/mes, mo(n)2
Plural Masculine nós; nosotros nuessu/nuessos, nuessa/nuesses, nuesso nos
Feminine nós; nosotres
2nd Singular Informal tu ti tuw/tuwos, tuwa/tuwes, tuwo te, t'1 to(n)2/tos, ta(n)2/tes, to(n)2
Formal Masculine vucé suw/suwos, suwa/suwes, suwo lu, l'1, -l3 lhi se, s'1 so(n)2/sos, sa(n)2/ses, so(n)2
Feminine la, l'4
Plural Informal Masculine vós; vosotros vuessu/vuessos, vuessa/vuesses, vueso vos
Feminine vós; vosotres
Formal Masculine vucés lor/loros, lora/lores, loro los lhis se, s'1, -sen5
Feminine les
3rd Singular Masculine elh suw/suwos, suwa/suwes, suwo lu, l'1, -l3 lhi, lh'1 se, s'1 so(n)2/sos, sa(n)2/ses, so(n)2
Feminine elha la, l'4
Neuter elho lo, l'1
Plural Masculine elhos lor/loros, lora/lores, loro los lhis se, s'1, -sen5
Feminine elhes les
Impersonal wemo suw/suwos, suwa/suwes, suwo lo, l'1 lhi, lh'1 se, s'1 so(n)2/sos, sa(n)2/ses, so(n)2


1 Preverbal before vowel.

2 -n is appended to the singular clitic possessives when the following word begins in a vowel. Also note that in more archaic forms of Essanian, a glide may be added after the initial consonant of the clitic possessives in both the singular and plural. This glide is -i- in the first person and -u- in the second and third persons.

3 Post-verbal after vowel.

4 Preverbal before a.

5 Post-verbal after non-finite form (infinitive, participles, etc.).

Note that post-verbal clitic pronouns are always separated from the verb with a hyphen.

The neuter gender is used to refer to abstract ideas, infinitives, que clauses, inanimate interrogatives and indefinites, and similar.

When a verb has multiple clitic object pronouns, they combine in the following order: reflexive OP + indirect OP + direct OP + adverbial OP (see below).

Adverbial object pronouns

The following adverbial clitic object pronouns are used:

  • y, b' (pre-verbal before vowels), -y (post-verbal) = equivalent to French y
  • en, n' (pre-verbal before vowels), -ne (post-verbal) = equivalent to French en

Note that when post-verbal, the clitic pronouns are separated from the verb with a hyphen.

When both adverbial object pronouns are used at once, they combine as en b' preverbally before vowels and n'y otherwise.



Nouns may be masculine or feminine. Unlike adjectives and pronouns, nouns cannot have neuter gender.


Nouns may be singular or plural. Nouns may also be used in the dual, which is borrowed from Arabic.

Regular plurals

Nouns are pluralized based on their ending and gender as follows:

Plural of nouns based on ending and gender
Ending Gender Plural Dual Remarks
Consonant most M -os -én An exception are nouns ending in -nt that do not refer to people. Such nouns are masculine in gender but take -es in the plural.
F; some M -es -én In addition to feminine nouns, masculine inanimate nouns ending in -nt take -es in the plural.
-a M/F -es -atén Most words ending in -a are feminine.
-u; -o M/F -os -én Most words ending in -u are masculine. Nouns ending in unstressed -o are rare.
-e; -i M/F -es -én Nouns ending in unstressed -i are rare.
Stressed vowel M/F -s -tén These endings are added after the final vowel, which is left unchanged.
Irregular plurals

Some words, mostly of Arabic origin, take a plural in -ín (masculine) or -(w)at (feminine). There are also some broken plurals.

For example:

  • mumin "believer (m.)" → muminín "believers"
  • múmina "believer (f.)" → muminat "believers (f.)"
  • salá "prayer" → salawat "prayers"
  • sultán "sultan" → salatín "sultans"



Adjectives take the following endings:

Essanian adjective declension
Type Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine
1 -u or consonant -a -o -os -es
2 -e -e -e -es -es
3 Stressed vowel Same as masc. Same as masc. -s -s

The neuter gender in adjectives is used for agreement with infinitives, neuter pronouns, impersonal pronouns, or que phrases. It can also be used as an adverb.

Comparatives and Superlatives

The comparative of adjectives ("more ___") is formed by placing plus "more" or menos "less" before the adjective for the positive and negative comparatives respectively.

The following adjectives have irregular positive comparatives:

  • buen "good" → melhor "better"
  • mal "bad" → peyor "worse"
  • muit "much, many" → plus "more"
  • pocu "little, few" → menos "less, fewer"
  • joven "young", cicu "small" → menor "younger, smaller"
  • vielh "old", grand "large" → mayor "older, larger"

The last four (joven, cicu, vielh, grand) can alternatively use regular comparatives.

The superlative ("most _____") is formed by placing the definite article before the corresponding comparative.

Absolute Superlative

In addition to the regular superlative, there is an absolute superlative formed with the suffix -íssimu (declined as a regular adjective). It means "very ______" or "extremely _______".

There are some irregular absolute superlatives. In all cases, the regular forms may also be used.

  • buen "good" -> óptimu "very good, optimal"
  • mal "bad" -> péssimu "very bad"
  • grand "large" -> máximu "very large"
  • cicu "small" -> mínimu "very small"
  • altu "high" -> supremu "very high"
  • baxu "low" -> ínfimu "very low"


Derivation from adjectives

Adverbs are commonly derived from adjectives by one of the following methods:

  • The neuter form of the adjective - e.g. puro "purely"
  • The feminine form of the adjective suffixed with -ment - purament "purely"

When adverbs formed with the suffix -ment are appended to each other, -ment is dropped from all but the last adverb.

Irregular adverbs

The following adverbs are not regularly derived from their corresponding adjectives:

  • buen "good" → bien "well"
  • mal "bad" → mal "badly"


The comparative of adverbs is formed in the same way as adjectives: by placing plus "more" or menos "less" before the adverb.

The following adverbs have irregular comparative forms:

  • bien "well" → melhor "better"
  • mal "badly" → peyor "worse"
  • muito "a lot" → plus "more"
  • poco "a little" → menos "less"


Essanian numerals
Cardinal Ordinal Fractional
0 zero zerén
1 un, una, uno primer
2 dos second meyu
3 tres tercer tierchu
4 quatro quartu quartu
5 cinco quint quint
6 seis sieç sieç
7 siet setén setavu
8 weito oitén oitavu
9 nueve, nueu novén novavu
10 diech decén dechavu
11 onge ongén onjavu
12 doge dogén dojavu
13 trege tregén trejavu
14 quatorge quatorgén quatorjavu
15 quinge quingén quinjavu
16 sege segén sejavu
17 deci-siet deci-setén deci-setavu
18 deci-weito deci-oitén deci-oitavu
19 deci-nueve, deci-nueu deci-novén deci-novavu
20 vint vintén vintavu
21 vinti-ún vinti-unén vinti-unavu
30 trenta trentén trentavu
40 quaranta quarantén quarantavu
50 cinquanta cinquantén cinquantavu
60 sexanta sexantén sexantavu
70 setanta setantén setantavu
80 oitanta oitantén oitantavu
90 novanta novantén novantavu
100 cient centén centavu
1000 mil milén milavu


Constituent order

Noun phrase

Verb phrase

Sentence phrase

Dependent clauses

Example texts

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1)

La Declarachón Universala de los Dreitos Umanos (Artícul 1)

Totos los seros umanos naxen horros ed equalos en dinitá y dreitos. Son dotatos de rachón y conxencha, y deven comportar-sen los unos colos otros en ruhu de germantá.

توتس لس سارس أمانس نشن حرس ءاد ءاكوالس ءان دنتاه إي دريتس. سون دتاتس دا رچون إي كنشنچه، إي داڤن كمپرتارسن لس أونس كلس أترس ءان روح دا جرمانتاه

/ˈtotos los ˈseɾos uˈmanos ˈnaʃen ˈhoros ed eˈkwalos en diniˈta i ˈdreitos ‖ son doˈtatos de raˈt͡ʃon i konˈʃent͡ʃa | i ˈdeven kompoɾˈtaɾsen los ˈunos ˈkolos ˈotɾos en ˈruhu de d͡ʒeɾmanˈta/

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