|Native speakers||170,000,000 (2312 / 6424)|
|Writing system||Skyrdegan script|
|Official language in||Skyrdagor, Gorjan, Arkjatar, Aksalbor, Karynaktja, Askand, Tulfasysz, Ylvostydh, Ogotet'hep', Lajsmelik, Byrzsysztav, Cselsengeg, Ajverzsiv|
The Skyrdagor language (native name Skyrdegan gjalyn [ɧu͡ɯ˞deːɜ̯n ɟ͡ʝæ͡ɑɮɯn]) is the koiné language of Greater Skyrdagor ([ɧu͡ɯ˞dɒː˞], in Sky. gilyjlydh Skyrdagor [ɟ͡ʝiɮʊɪ̯ɮɘː ɧu͡ɯ˞dɒː˞]), a plurinational area on the planet of Calémere, in northeastern Márusúturon, once part of the Skyrdagor Empire. It is the official language in all countries of this area, as well as a minority language in Brono (Brovn), Qualdomailor (Hvaldymajlyr), and the Inquisition (Snevanemfocsiv). It is one - and by far the most spoken - of the Fargulyn languages.
Written Skyrdagor, usually referred to as International Skyrdagor (szelyhtonggyrhin Skyrdegan gjalyn [sɛɮɯxtoŋɣɯ˞xin ɧu͡ɯ˞deːɜ̯n ɟ͡ʝæ͡ɑɮɯn]), is a standardized Dachsprache for most of the Skyrdagorian languages, which are the local, usually mutually intelligible, languages of most countries of Greater Skyrdagor. It is based mostly on the Skyrdegan dialect of Tol Sakszyv [tɔɮ ʃɑksuː], former imperial capital and modern-day capital of the Republic of Skyrdagor.
- 1 External History
- 2 Greater Skyrdagor
- 3 Phonology
- 4 Orthography
- 5 Morphology
- 6 Syntax
- 7 Vocabulary
- 8 Example texts
- 9 Other resources
I do not know when I first used the name "Skyrdagor" in one of my maps (probably around 2010, maybe even later?) but when I found it again I did like the sound of it - even if, predictably, I pronounced it [skirˈdaːɡor] - and when making up the overall landscape of Calémere I decided to use it for a major country; thinking of the "Chlouvānem" (or whatever those who had that role back then were called) as "Calémerian" India, Skyrdagor should have been either a parallel to China or Japan. In the end, how it currently is on Calémere, while I would say the Toyubeshians are better at representing both (China for the overall geography and position, Japan for how their language sounds), at least in contemporary Calémere I think China is a good parallel (though maybe the Chlouvānem themselves are even better). Anyway, Skyrdagor is what it is and Greater Skyrdagor is a fun part of Calémere to work with, imho. As for the language, the inspirations are clear: Hungarian, Mongolian, Swedish, Marshallese... and the will to have a relatively deep orthography kinda like English has (though definitely Skyrdagor's reminds more of Danish and Swedish). There are a couple of minor inspirations I used for specific dialects, for example Scottish Gaelic for Askandor.
Skyrdagor [ɧu͡ɯ˞dɒː˞] proper is an archipelago nation, made up of the islands in the Skyrdagor Inner Sea. The central and largest island, Tuf Kjegesmeth [tup͡f c͡çeːɛ̯ʃmɛθ], is the most populated and the cradle of Skyrdagor civilization. On it lies Tol Sakszyv [tɔɮ ʃɑksuː], the former imperial capital, the present-day capital of Skyrdagor, and the largest city of Greater Skyrdagor. Almost all islands are divided in two large areas: a narrow northwestern coast, usually cold and windy due to polar winds flowing south and reaching them, and a much more vast southeastern plain where most of each island’s population lie.
The mainland countries, from north to south, are:
Askand [ˈaʃkand], locally [ˈæʃkʰɑnt] is the northernmost country of Greater Skyrdagor and, due to its location, also the second-least populated. Most of the country lies above the 60th parallel north and 90% of its population lies along the Zyszovkes [dzɯsoːkɛʃ] (locally [zɤsuːkʰeʃ]) river in the south of the country. It has, however, more than 70% of the total human population on Calémere living above 60ºN.
Aksalbor [akʃɑɮbɚ], the third-northernmost country (the northernmost islands of Skyrdagor reach 65ºN, three degrees north of Aksalbor’s northernmost point), is the largest country of Greater Skyrdagor by area, and the second least densely populated (after Askand). Most of its population lies in the southwestern corner of the country, on the north side of the large Gepten [ɣɛftɛn] estuary, which is shared with neighboring Arkjatar. Most of the rest of the country is taiga, and the climate is in large areas marked by bitter cold winters, like in most of northern Márusúturon (still not as cold as the areas to its north and east).
Arkjatar [ɒ˞c͡çatɒ˞] is a peculiar country as, apart from the markedly oceanic coast, its interior sees the border between the subarctic taiga and the temperate biomes (decidual forests closer to the coast, but also some grasslands farther away). The Gdaron [ɣdɒ˞ː(n)] river, the main one of the country, is somewhat a boundary as north and east of it the taiga predominates while south and west the temperate biome is dominant; the lower Gdaron also forms part of the border with Cselsengeg.
Cselsengeg [tʃæ͡ɑɬɛŋɒ] is a mainly inland country, covering a relatively low-lying area (with, however, notable hilly formations) in the southern part of the Gdaron river basin. It also has a short coastline to the north.
Karynaktja [kar(ɯ)natʃa] is the most populated country of Greater Skyrdagor, thanks to the large alluvial plain of the Gjolvyr [ɟ͡ʝo͡ɔɮvu͡ɯ˞] river that makes up most of the country, apart for the Ratszan [ratsan] mountains in the north (just south and parallel to the 50th parallel north) and the colder coast north of it. The climate in most of Karynaktja, thanks to these mountains that shelter it from the winds from the polar regions to the north, has more in common with the central and southern islands of Skyrdagor (Tol Sakszyv being roughly on the same latitude as central Karynaktja) and the southern countries than to the subarctic ones to the north, being markedly mediterranean on the coast and continental inland (central-southern France being the closest example on Earth).
Byrzsysztav [bɯ˞ʒɯstɔː] is the smallest country in Greater Skyrdagor and the least populated (however, quite densely populated when compared to most), an inland country south of Arkjatar and southeast of Cselsengeg, also bordering Ajversziv to the south and Čīwēynac to the east. It is mostly hilly and rural.
Tulfasysz [tuɮɑʃɯs] is a mid-sized landlocked country , and it is made up by three different river basins - one draining in the northern Inner Sea through Cselsengeg, Byrzsysztav, and Arkjatar, another into the southern Inner Sea through Karynaktja, and the third into the endorheic Plezyth [pɬɛzɯθ] inland lake, shared with Gorjan and the Chlouvānem Inquisition. It has the driest climate of all Skyrdegan countries, with many grasslands, but the abundant freshwater still supports a relatively large population.
Ajversziv [aɪ̯vɚsʊɪ̯] is an inland country, northeast of Tulfasysz and south of Byrzsysztav, mostly hilly or mountainous, but with a population mostly centered in the valley of the Skjulec [ɧuɮæ͡ets] river, which runs south into Tulfasysz and ultimately into lake Plezyth.
Lajsmelik [ɮɑ͡æɪ̯ʃmɛɮi] lies south of Karynaktja and directly west of Tulfasysz. It is densely populated, mostly flat, fertile, and with a humid continental or mediterranean climate.
Gorjan [gɚjan] is the southernmost of the adjacent countries of Greater Skyrdagor (and containing the southernmost point of the whole area, including Ylvostydh), and the homonymous river (that begins in Southern Gorjan, a diocese of the Inquisition) that runs all the way through it, south to north, is the main geographical feature of the country. It is the third most populated country of the region, and due to its close proximity with culturally Bronic areas, as well as having been the first area to be contacted by the Chlouvānem cultures, it is culturally peculiar in Greater Skyrdagor, for example for being the only country in the area where up to 37% of the population is Yunyalīlti.
Ylvostydh [uːʃtɘː], locally [uːʃtɯð] is the geographical outlier of Greater Skyrdagor, being located on the other side of the Inner Sea, divided from the other mainland countries by the Bronic-speaking areas. It was historically the last area to be colonized by Skyrdagor peoples (something that causes it to have the most phonologically conservative dialects of the language), and it also has a peculiar culture due to being nestled between the Bronic culture space to the southeast and the Qualdomelic one to the southwest. It has the warmest climate of all Greater Skyrdagor, as it is surrounded by the sea on two sides and, apart from the northernmost tip, the whole of the country lies south of the 40th parallel north.
Skyrdagor has a phonemic inventory of 29 consonants. Many of them have "standard" spellings used in almost every instance (consonants like /m n ɮ/), but some consonants do not have a consistent way to be spelled due to etymology.
|Stops||p b||t d||k g|
|Fricatives||Non-sibilant||f v||θ ð ɬ ɮ||ç ʝ||x ɣ|
|Sibilant||s z||ʃ ʒ||ɧ|
Note that /ç ʝ/ are usually affricated as [c͡ç ɟ͡ʝ] word-initially - as for example in gjalyn "language" /ʝaɮɯn/ [ɟ͡ʝæ͡ɑɮɯn]. That means that in this position the distinction between /ç/ and /c͡ç/ is neutralized - c.f. hjezla "woman" /çɛzɮa/ [c͡çe͡ɛːɮɑ], kjivng "seed" /c͡çʊɪ̯ŋ/ [c͡çʊɪ̯ŋ].
Word-initial affrication of fricatives is also seen in most insular Skyrdegan dialects with /z/ becoming [d͡z] (zythul "goat" /zɯθuɮ/ [d͡zɯθuɮ]) and, in Southern Insular Skyrdagor, also with /ʒ/ (zsehjast "sickle" /ʒɛçaʃt/ [d͡ʒæ͡eçæ͡ɑʃt], in most dialects [ʒæ͡eçæ͡ɑʃt]).
As seen in the previous example (hjezla), /z/ and /s/ disappear and lengthen the vowel when before either /ɮ/ or /ɬ/ - however, when word-initially, this does not happen and both consonants are pronounced, typically as a lateral affricate [d͡ɮ] by effect of this rule and the general affrication of word-initial /z/ e.g. in zlab "tree" /zɮab/ [zɮɑb~d͡ɮɑb].
/f/ is also allophonically affricated, but only when in coda position (tuf "island" [tup͡f]).
Askandor has shifted the voicing contrast in stops into an aspiration one, cf. deleg "fish" [dɛɮa] (Insular Skyr.), [tɛɮæx] (Askandor); kilys "apple" [kiɮɯʃ] (Insular Skyr.), [kʰiɮɤʃ] (Askandor).
Skyrdagor has a highly unbalanced vowel inventory consisting of 21 phonemes (17 monophthongs and 4 diphthongs).
|High||i iː ɪ˞||ɯ ɯ˞||u uː|
|Mid||ɛ eː||ɘː ɚ||ɔ ɔː oː|
The three short vowels /a ɛ ɔ/ have various allophones depending on the surrounding consonants. For this purpose, consonants may be divided in the following groups:
- Light consonants: /ts tʃ cç ç ʝ ɧ j/
- Neutral consonants: /m n p b t d k g θ ð s z r/
- Dark consonants: /f v x ɣ ʃ ʒ ɬ ɮ ŋ/
When these three vowels are surrounded by neutral consonants, word-initial, or preceded by a neutral consonant and followed by any other (or none), their usual values are [a ɛ ɔ]. When they are surrounded by light consonants, or only preceded by one of them, their values are [a e o]; when surrounded by dark consonants or only preceded by a dark one they are [ɑ ɛ ɔ]. When they are between polarly opposite consonants, the allophone is a transition between two different "expected" sounds: when preceded by a light consonant and followed by a dark one it's [æ͡ɑ e͡ɛ o͡ɔ]; when preceded by a dark consonant and followed by a light one it's [ɑ͡æ æ͡e ɒ͡o]; the diphthong /aɪ̯/, after a dark consonant, is similarly [ɑ͡æɪ̯].
/i ɯ/ are allophonically [ʏ͡i u͡ɯ] when following either of /ɧ v/; /uː/ is allophonically [ʉ͡u] after a light consonant.
Primary stress is fixed on the first syllable, but first syllables of elements in compound words are also always secondary stressed, e.g. szelyhtonggyrhin [ˈsɛɮɯxˌtoŋɣɯ˞xin] "international".
Skyrdagor is written in an alphabetic, caseless script. By number of languages, it is the third most used script on Calémere (after the Íscégon and the Nivarese scripts) and the most used Eastern one; by number of users, it is the fourth globally and the second Eastern one (the Chlouvānem script has more users than it and the Nivarese one). It is used all throughout Greater Skyrdagor and adapted versions of it are used for Bronic, Fathanic, Čathinow, and various indigenous languages of northern Márusúturon. The Qualdomelic script derives from an earlier version of the Skyrdegan script which has not undergone some later simplifications and is traditionally printed (and typed) in a more rounded font, but they're mostly mutually intellegible.
Spellings of vowels
Due to the assimilation of coda consonants that happened in most of the Skyrdegan-speaking world since the Imperial koiné was orthographically standardized, many vowel-consonant sequences are actually pronounced as single vowels. Usually the result is a long vowel, but quality may often change from the usual value of the vowel letter.
|eg||/æx/ in Askandor, /ax/ or /aɣ/ in Ylvostyzdor; /eː/ in all other dialects when followed by any of a, e, i, y|
|ik||/iç/ in Ylvostyzdor|
|u||/u/||Lengthened to /uː/ before v and another vowel in all Insular Skyrdegan dialects except Northern|
|y||/ɯ/||/ɤ/ in Askandor and northern Aksalburjor, /ʉ/ in Lajsmeliher and coastal dialects of Gorjonur|
|ar, agar, agor||/ɒ˞/|
|er, agir, ogir||/ɚ/|
|or||/ɒ˞/ in Karynaktjur, Lajsmeliher, and all of Gorjonur except the southernmost dialects|
|aj||/aɪ̯/||/ɛɪ̯/ in central and southern Karynaktjur, /ɛː/ in coastal Lajsmeliher|
|ava, avo, ag(a/o)(v)||/ɒː/|
|adh||/að/ in Ylvostyzdor, /ax/ in Askandor|
|af, av||/ɔː/||/aʊ̯/ in Ylvostyzdor|
|og||/ɔx/ in Askandor, /ɔx/ or /ɔɣ/ in Ylvostyzdor|
|edh||/ɛð/ in Ylvostyzdor, /ex/ in Askandor|
|ef, ev||/ɛʊ̯/ in Ylvostyzdor|
|ig||/ex/ in Askandor, /ɛx/ or /ɛɣ/ in Ylvostyzdor|
|idh||/ið/ in Ylvostyzdor, /ix/ in Askandor|
|iv||/ʊɪ̯/||/iː/ in Karynaktjur and Lajsmeliher|
|odh||/oː/||/oð/ in Ylvostyzdor, /ox/ in Askandor|
|ov||/uː/ in Askandor, Aksalburjor, Arkjaturjor, northern Insular Skyrdegan, northern Karynaktjur, and northeastern Cselsengegjer|
|ug||/ux/ in Askandor, /ux/ or /uɣ/ in Ylvostyzdor|
|of||/uː/||/oː/ in Askandor, Aksalburjor, most of Arkjaturjor, and Ylvostyzdor|
|udh||/uð/ in Ylvostyzdor, /ux/ in Askandor|
|yj||/ʊɪ̯/||/ɘː/ in central Karynaktjur|
|yg||/ɘː/||/ɤx/ in Askandor, /ɯx/ or /ɯɣ/ in Ylvostyzdor|
|yf||/ɤː/ in Askandor|
|ydh||/ɯð/ in Ylvostyzdor, /ɤx/ in Askandor|
Note that, in Askandor, Vth sequences are also /Vx/ like the Vdh ones, but they are /Vθ/ in Tol Sakszyv and most other dialects.
Spellings of consonants
|/v/ (in the verbal forms of the root orb- only)|
/c͡ç/ (Lajsmeliher, Gorjonur)
/tj/ (Ylvostyzdor, northern Insular Skyrdegan)
/ʝ/ (Lajsmeliher, Gorjonur)
/dj/ (Ylvostyzdor, northern Insular Skyrdegan)
|g|| /ɣ/ (before orth. i y e a)
/ɡ/ (before orth. u o)
/x/ (anywhere after s)
/k/ (Askandor, before orth. u o)
|see Spellings of vowels|
|f||/f/||see Spellings of vowels|
|v||/v/||see Spellings of vowels|
|dh||/ð/||see Spellings of vowels|
|sk|| /ɧ/ (before orth. i y e)
/s/ (before voiceless consonants)
/ː/ (before l)
/ɬ/ (adjacent to voiceless consonants)
|r||/r/||see Spellings of vowels|
|j||/j/||see Spellings of vowels|
Most Skyrdagor nouns only inflect for two cases (absolutive and ergative), with no number marking on the nouns themselves; generic quantifiers or numbers with classifiers are used instead. Note, though, that some irregular nouns have a third, fossilized, oblique form (used with most adpositions), and there are some apparent singular/plural pairs, which are however usually analyzed as distinct lemmas.
Each noun is defined as naturally animate or inanimate, something that has a notable effect on the whole grammar – inanimate nouns do not exist in the ergative case.
Some Skyrdagor nouns feature obligatory possession, for example the stem bajn- (mother) cannot occur without a possessive suffix, i.e. bajnym "my mother", bajnth "your (M) mother". Most are common stems, such as fon- (father), szyks- (leg), ljav- (head)... The word stem hivly- (hand) is obligatorily possessed, but it also has the form hivlah that acts as the numeral "five".
The only inflection in contemporary Skyrdagor – the ergative, as the absolutive is unmarked – is agglutinative, but the last consonant and, sometimes, the last vowel, determines the shape of the suffix:
|Final consonant ↓ \ Last vowel →|| Front
/i iː ɪ˞ ɛ eː aɪ̯/
|/a ɘː ɚ ɒː ɒ˞/||/ɯ ɯ˞ ʊɪ̯/|| Back rounded|
/u uː ɔ ɔː oː uɪ̯ ɔɪ̯/
|∅ (vowel-final word)|| -z|
Graphically -yz after long vowels written with a vowel letter plus g or f.
/m p b f v/
| Light consonants or /r/
/ts tʃ cç ç ʝ ɧ r/
| Other neutral consonants
/n t d k g θ ð s z/
| Other dark consonants
/x ɣ ʃ ʒ ɬ ɮ ŋ/
Examples: humyg [xumoː] "son" → humygyz [xumoːz]; hjezla [c͡çe͡ɛːɮa] "woman" → hjezlaz [c͡çe͡ɛːɮaz]; leharn [ɮɛxɒ˞n] "man" → leharnaz [ɮɛxɒ˞naz]; cselsengejel [tʃæ͡ɑɬɛŋeːəɮ] "a person from Cselsengeg" → cselsengejelyz; halyncs [xɑɮɯntʃ] "deer" → halyncsjoz [xɑɮɯntɕ(ɪ̆)jɔz].
Obligatorily possessed nouns instead use an -(a)sza- infix before the possessive, e.g. bajnszam "my mother (ERG)", bajnszath "your (m) mother (ERG)"...
Skyrdagor personal pronouns have three forms - absolutive, ergative, and dative, and each one has a suffixed form used for possession and for inflecting most adpositions.
|Singular||1st person|| uj
|2nd person||Masculine|| eth
|3rd person||Masculine|| tog
|Plural||1st person||Exclusive|| blej
|2nd person|| etver
|3rd person||Masculine|| tyvt
Skyrdagor, like all other Fargulyn languages, has a split-S alignment. It distinguishes four different tenses - present, future, recent past, and remote past - and three aspects (perfective, habitual, and continuous) in all of them but the future (where habitual and continuous are merged, but the perfective is still distinct). Skyrdagor verbs furthermore agree with either the patient or the agent for intransitive verbs and with both of them for transitive ones; third-person agreement for both of them also encodes (in)definiteness.
There are participles and gerundives (distinguishing aspect only) and an analytic antipassive voice, formed with the gerundive plus the conjugated form of ojdh "to go" (e.g. "I eat" mil fah → uj fahus ojdh).
Skyrdagor's main vocabulary is traced back to Proto-Fargulyn, a language that had some areal words shared with Proto-Samaidulic and also shows some very early loans from Proto-Lahob, proto-languages whose ancestral homelands are all hypothesized to have been around the High Ivulit. Some examples of words shared with Proto-Samaidulic include Proto-Fargulyn *q'elesi (> Sky. kilys [kiɮɯʃ] "apple") = Proto-Samaidulic *kʷalesi (> Qua. cwalăš "apple", Bro. koresy "apple"), and also basic states such as "to sleep" - PFg *wepn (> Sky. vam [vam]) = PSam *wepn- (> Qua. vẹfn(oț), Bro. van(osy)) and even words as basic as "son" - PFg *kamɨjuq (> Sky. humyg [xumoː]) = PSam *ka-mijuq (> Qua. camiuq, Bro. kaimoa).
Very early Proto-Lahob borrowings include, for example, PFg *laq'obɨr (> Sky. lokjur [ɮɒ͡oc͡çɯ˞] "farmstead") from PLB *ɬakʰober "group, tribe, village, Lahob", PFg *juzjum (> Sky. juzsn [juʒn] "flower") from PLB *juɟom (whence e.g. Chl. yujam "lotus flower", meaning that the Skyrdagor words juzsn and the Chlouvānem borrowing judzsam "lotus" form a doublet), or PFg *onáj "island" (> Sky. ynej [ɯneː] "closed area, cell") from PLB *ʕanaj (whence e.g. Chl. lanai). Some Proto-Lahob borrowings are also shared with Proto-Samaidulic; the latter word, for example, is also reconstructed as PSam *anaj, whence Bronic anea "island".
Skyrdagor's kinship terminology is Calémere's prototypical example of an Hawaiian kinship system – that is, aunts and uncles are referred to with the same terms as "mother" and "father", and cousins are referred to as "brothers" and "sisters". The actual terms used in Skyrdagor are a bit more complicated as they distinguish relative age in same-gendered siblings (incl. cousins), a trait found in many Fargulyn, Samaidulic, and Lahob languages. Note that most kinship terms (excluding, notably, "son" and "daughter") are obligatorily possessed nouns, hence only the stems will be given here:
- fon- — father, uncle
- bajn- — mother, aunt
- myrus- — grandfather, grand uncle
- livsz- — grandmother, grand aunt
- lez- — (male's) older brother or male cousin
- ysza- — (male's) younger brother or male cousin
- hovs- — (female's) brother or male cousin
- ylan- — (female's) older sister or female cousin
- raj- — (female's) younger sister or female cousin
- hiruj- — (male's) sister or female cousin
- The Brono-Fathanic version of the Skyrdegan script uses a different, and more archaic, version of the glyph for r.