Folk's Tongue (folkstunge) is a language that is spoken by the Folk Nation people in Northern California. Folk's Tongue was derived from English and other Germanic languages by the Folk Nation in order to claim an identity of their own. Folk's Tongue is one of the two official languages of Folk Nation alongside English, and is spoken by about 50% of their population. Modern Folk's Tongue evolved from what is now known as the Soft Language. The Soft Language is still widely spoken today in the Folk Nation during ceremonies and special events.
There are 5 principal dialects that are recognized. Many people fall into one of the 5 categories, but a lot of people speak some kind of mix between the dialects. The reason for the dialects has been attributed to the Folk Nation's value of creativity and individuality, and due to the fact that Folk's Tongue has no native speakers. Each dialect has the features of one the four elements.
Folk's Tongue is written in 3 different scripts, the Latin alphabet, the Elder Futhark, and an original script called Folk's Letters. The sound system of Folk's Tongue is really similar to the English sound system. The grammar is very similar to English with some German or Scandinavian influence. Much of the vocabulary is distinctly Germanic in origin. The wide variety of dialects have led to a wide variety of vocabulary and has allowed for a very rich tradition of poetry and music.
Folk's Tongue may refer to either of the two forms of the same language. Modern Folk's Tongue, or the Common Language, was derived from an older form of Folk's Tongue called the Soft Language. The Soft Language was named because compared to the Common Language it sounds softer and lighter. The Soft Language is still used today during ceremonies and special occasions, but it is generally not taught to the public. There is no ban, but it's just not seen as necessary to learn. The Soft Language evolved when the Folk Nation established themselves as a unique and distinct people. Originally it was designed to give the people a sense of unity in their uniqueness. It brought the Folk Nation together. It was used as a daily language by the original Folk Nation people, until the population began to grow and the dialects were formed. What's known today as the Common Language is the collection of those 5 dialects.
As the Folk Nation's population began to grow, the influx of new speakers of the Soft Language led to a lot of changes to occur in the spoken language. This is when the 5 dialects began to form what's known today as the Common Language. At first there was only four dialects that formed, and each of these were named for the four directions. The number four is very sacred to the Folk Nation, and these four dialects were seen to fit into their Wheel of Health, and seen to exhibit the properties of the four elements. The Northern Dialect is seen to represent the Air Element, and the speech resembles this by being very light. Many of the phonemes are dropped or softened. The Eastern Dialect is the language of the Fire Element. Folk Nation consider this speech to be very bright and fiery. This is because the phonemes are sharp and distinct. The Earth Element is represented by the Southern Dialect. This speech is said to be very hard, and there exists a lot of harsher sounds in this dialect. The last dialect is the Western Dialect. This is representative of the Water Element. Many of the phonemes are softened into fricatives or palatalized, making this language seem fluid like water. The fifth dialect was organized as a way to help people learn the language. This is considered to be the neutral language and is the language used for teaching. Many people study this language and naturally their speech takes the form of one of the other four dialects. This neutral dialect is known as the Central Dialect, as is the dialect we use to describe the features of Folk's Tongue on this page. Other pages might come in the future to describe in further detail the specifics of the other four dialects.
Folk's Tongue is written is 3 different scripts. The Soft Language was originally written in the Elder Futhark script. It continues to be written in this script today for ceremonial and magical purposes because the Elder Futhark are considered to have very special qualities. When the language split into the separate dialects, it began to be written with the Latin letters. This continues to be the most common script used to write the Folk's Tongue on a day to day basis. This is also the script we conveniently use on his page. A third script was developed because the other scripts were seen to have some problems representing the full range of sounds in Folk's Tongue. This script is still very new, but there will be some other pages describing the other writing systems of Folk's Tongue. For now we will teach you how the Latin script is used to represent the sound of Folk's Tongue.
The alphabet in the Latin script is as follows:
As you can see there is no Q, X, or Z. These letters were not used in normal Folk's Tongue words. Originally foreign words and names were adapted to the spelling rules of Folk's Tongue, and names like Xavier would be spelled Eksavier or Havier. In more modern times foreign spellings are becoming more accepted, and seeing names like Xavier, Jacqueline, or Zosia is becoming more common.
There are a total of 32 phonemes (in the Central Dialect). There are 12 vowel sounds and 20 consonant sounds. They are not much different from English phonemes so all the sounds should be familiar to English speakers.
There are 12 vowel sounds. They are represented by the 6 letters below.
The each of the letters has two sounds, one long and one short. The long vowels are generally pronounced for twice the length of time as short vowels. A vowel can be long if it is in a stressed syllable and not followed by more than one consonant. The only vowels that are allowed at the end of a word are A, E, and Y, and all are reduced to a schwa at that position.
When a vowel is followed by a single consonant and then an E, it may change quality. In the following example we use the letter N to represent any consonant.
Some diphthongs exist in Folk's Tongue. The semi-vowels j and v are used alongside the vowels to indicate a diphthong.