Evie

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Introduction

Evie /ivi/ (Евье сал Атегге, Ewye sal Ategge [ˈeʋʲə saɫ ˈatʰekːə], “the Evie language”) is a language spoken in Western Siberia. While a descendant of the Ivugi language, which originated in Siberia circa 1000 CE, it is not considered mutually intelligible with the other Ivugean languages.

The speaker pool of Evie is estimated at around 250,000 speakers, mostly living throughout the Russian federal district Tyumen Oblast, and a small pool of speakers living within the city of Tyumen itself. Pockets of speakers are scattered throughout much of Europe, of which are mostly immigrant families.

Evie is a nominative-accusative, analytic language with SOV (subject-object-verb) word order and no grammatical gender, grammatical case, or verbal conjugation. Despite its low pool of speakers, Evie has significant dialectal variation. Although this is mostly seen regarding pronunciation and such variations shall be noted in this article.

Phonology

Orthography

While Evie has no standardized orthography, early speakers adapted the Russian variant of the Cyrillic alphabet in order to write the language, which has been reformed haphazardly over time. This is evident by a lack of written distinction between /r/ and /ʀ/, with both being written as <р>. Or even the lack of a written distinction between /x/ and /h/ (both as <х>), which have been phonemically distinct for hundreds of years.

Russian speakers may find the some of the conventions to be a bit confusing, as, for example, <ж> is used to represent /ɰ/ rather than the expected /ʐ/. Other than these small discrepancies, the current orthography is rather shallow, and the pronunciation is almost always easily discernible.

Consonants

Consonants

 

Bilabial

Labiodental

Alveolar

Palatal

Velar

Uvular

Glottal

Nasal

Plain

   

н /n/

       

Palatalized

 

 

м /nʲ/

 

 

 

 

 

Plosive

Aspirated

п /pʰ/

 

т /tʰ/

 

к /kʰ/

   

Plain

б/p/

 

 д /t/

 

г /k/

 

 

Palatalized

пь /pʲ/

 

ть /tʲ/

 

 кь /kʲ/

 

 

Fricative

Plain

 

ф /f/

с /s/

ш /ç/

x /x/

 

x /h/

Palatalized

 

фь /fʲ/

сь /sʲ/

 

хь /xʲ/

 

 

       Affricate

 

 

ц /t͡s/

щ /c͡ç/

 

 

 

       Laterals

   

л /l/

ль /ʎ/

     

Approx.

Plain

 

в /ʋ/

 

й /j/

ж /ɰ/

   

Palatized

 

вь /ʋʲ/

 

 

э /ɥ/

 

 

Rhotics

Plain

   

р /r/

   

 р /ʀ/

 

Palatalized

 

 

рь /rʲ/

 

 

 

 

  • /n/ is realized as [m] before /u/ and /ɔ/
      нут, nýt "disgusted" [mut]; ноке nokye "to bury" [ˈmɔkʲe]
  • /l/ is realized as [ɫ] in all positions.

Vowels

Vowels

Front

Back

Close

и /i/

у /u/

Close-mid

э /e/

 

Open-mid

Ѧ /ɛ̃/

о /o/

Open

а /a/

Ѫ /ɑ̃/

Ѫ /ɒ̃/

  • Some speakers merge /ɒ̃/ and /ɑ̃/, pronouncing both as [ɑ̃]. Others have raised /ɛ̃/ to [ẽ].
  • Other speakers realize the nasal vowels as [ɛw̃], [ɔw̃], and [ɑw̃], similar to Polish.
  • There exists broad free variation concerning the back vowels, /u/ can be realized as [ʊ~ʉ~y], and /ɔ/ as [o~ɒ~ø].
  • /e/ is typically reduced to [ə] in word final syllables, open or closed.

Stress

Lexical Stress

Syllable stress in Evie is governed by the following principles:

  • Stress is non-phonemic, always falling on the penultimate syllable of roots. This rule applies even when a root is inflected or derived.
       ольѧ, olyę coat [ˈɔlʲɛ̃]; plural ольѧдэ, olyęde coats [ˈɔlʲɛ̃tə] 
  • In compounds, stress falls on the syllable of the head-root. If both roots are monosyllabic, the stress falls on the ultimate syllable.
       рог, rrog half [ʀɔk] + бэк, bek circle [pekʰ] = рогбэк rrogbek semicircle [ʀɔkˈpekʰ]

Isochrony

Evie is considered to be a stress-timed language, however it notably lacks much of the associated vowel reduction. The language shares this particular feature with languages such as English, Thai, German, Russian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Faroese, Dutch, European Portuguese, and Persian

Phonotactics

The syllable structure is, maximally, (t,p,k)(s,ɰ)V(C) or (C1)V(C2), where C1 is any consonant, while C2 is any consonant except /j/, /ɰ/, /ʋ/, /ç/, and any nasal consonant.

There are no restrictions on consonants meeting across syllable or word boundaries, save that across syllable boundaries they must assimilate in voicing, which is not always indicated in the orthography.

Evie is typically not tolerant of loanword phonotactics, aggressively altering them to better suit its own syllable structures.

The language does not natively have diphthongs, as vowels are not allowed to occur adjacent to one another within word boundaries. Thus, any time derivation or inflection might cause two or more vowels to come together, an epenthetic /k/ is inserted to keep the vowels apart.

  • Ex: де, de you [te]; дека, deka yours [ˈtekɑ]

Foreign loans with diphthongs simply clip to the diphthong to its onset vowel, some speakers may lengthen this clipped vowel.

  • English boy > Evie бо, bo teenager [pɔ] or [pɔː]

Dialectal Variation

There are no distinct dialects in Evie (such as how Ewige boasts the Jugřé and Třařé dialects), but rather that pronunciation varies from the North to South. There are some general trends, as shown in the following table:

  • Northerners realize /ɰ/ as [w] before rounded vowels and [ɰ] elsewhere, for most Southerners it’s realized as [w] in all positions.
  • Southerners tend to voice fricatives between vowels, most commonly /h/, which is realized as [ɦ]. Northerners have described this as gogech riehade, or “thick words”.
  • /ʋ/ is typically [v] for Northerners, [w] in the more central regions, and [ʋ] for southerners.
  • All speakers realize /n/ as [m] before /pʰ, p/ as [ɱ] before /f/, and as [ŋ] before /kʰ, k, x, ɰ/. This rule applies across syllable boundaries, but not across words.
  • /l/ is realized by most speakers as [ɫ] in all positions, others realize it as [ʟ]. [l] is so rare that it’s considered a speech impediment when it does occur.
  • In the North, the contrast between /ʀ/ and /r/ is significantly stronger than in the South. Centrally the two phones are in free variation with each other, whereas in the South it’s almost always [ʀ] for both phonemes. [ɹ] is sometimes heard when reaching the most Southern area of the region, although many speakers consider rękęórikó, an “ear-sore” (lit. ear-damage), when they hear it.
  • /t l n s/ are realized as dental in most Central reasons, everywhere else as [t l n s]. This is attributed to Slavic influences.
  • In the more Southern regions, speakers realize /s/ as [ʃ] before all instances of /i/ and /e/.
  • There exists broad dialectal variation concerning /u/, often realized as [u] in the North, [ʊ] in some Central areas, and [ʉ] in the South. Claims of [y] occurring in the most Northern areas have been made, however no observations have occurred officially.
  • Some Southern speakers may merge /ɔ/ and /u/ to [o], while others merge /ɔ/ and /ɒ/ to [ɔ].
  • Diphthongs do not occur natively, and their acceptance into the language vary only slightly amongst the North-South continuum. Northerners typically clip diphthongs to their first vowel, or the closest native approximation. Southerners and more Central speakers do the same, but lengthen the new monophthong. Thus, it can be said that Southerners distinguish vowel length in select words.
       English Loan “boy” > North: Bo [pɔ], South/Central: [pɔː] “teenager”
  • The aspiration distinction amongst stops is weaker in the South, with aspiration either being extremely weak or not present at all. Southerners also tend to pronounce word final stops unreleased, and some go as far as pronouncing /s/ as [t̚] in word final position.

Morphology

Nouns

Declension

Evie nouns are not marked for case or gender, with the only declension being plurality. Almost all nouns have both a plural and singular, with the exception of a few plurale tantum nouns and nouns whose forms don't change.

There are several methods to pluralize nouns, although it must be noted that these rules have numerous exceptions, as the plurality system as a whole is highly irregular.

  • Suffix with -de.
      жэ, ve father; жэдэ, vede "fathers"
      акьэ, akye "snake"; акьэдэ akyede "snakes"
  • Add nothing, many nouns retain the same form.
      ага, aga "egg, eggs"
      асаж, asav "moon, moons"
  • If the noun ends in a consonant, double the consonant and add -e.
       асал, asal "mountain"; асалле, asalle "mountains"
       вок, wok "family"; воккэ wokke "families"
  • Nasalize one of the stem's vowels, the vowel to be nasalized is unpredictable.
        эско, esko "pole"; ѧско, ęsko "poles"
        гарьэ, garye "star"; гарьѧ, garyę "stars"
  • Nasalize one of the stem's vowels and add -de (rare)
        хэ, he "summer"; хѧдэ hęde "summers"
  • Many nouns have suppletive plural forms or simply add suffixes outside of the regular paradigm.
        йал yal "hair"; нѧла nęla "hairs"
        на, na "finger"; нар, nar "fingers"

Syntax

Constituent order

Noun phrase

Verb phrase

Sentence phrase

Dependent clauses

Example texts

Other resources