Weddish

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Weddish
Weðisk
Created by Robert Murphy
Setting
Region Wales
Native speakers 40 000  (2015 census)
Language family
Early forms:
Writing system Hebrew
Official status
Regulated by Beth Diyn d'Weddisk
ISO 639-3 wds

Weddish is a w:West Germanic language spoken by several small communities within w:Wales and several large one within the United States. Approximately 40,000 people speak Weddish as their L1. It is of considerable interest to linguists and ethnographers, because of its complex history and unique place in the world.

Weddish began as a dialect of w:Old Frisian, which fell under the influence of its Welsh-speaking neighbors (unlike its Anglo-Saxon kin). It was "conquered" by Jews in 1066, and "freed" by the w:Edict of Expulsion in 1290, and so returned to being under Welsh influence. English has exerted some small sway over its development.

Design Goals

While I have taken elaborate pains to make Weddish appear naturalistic and give it a rich history, it is nevertheless an auxlang, designed for me to work on my philosophical ideas and methodologies of translations. I welcome feedback and appreciate any advice you might give, but people are often surprised to find out my primary goal is not to avoid artificiality.

My goals are 1) anti-abstraction, 2) marking marriage, 3) lots of Hebrew, 4) close to English, 5) Welsh influence

History

Early Antiquity

Weddish was born under a different name: Frisian. While there are individual words that cannot be explained under this rubric, the overwhelming majority of Weddish vocabulary is clearly of Frisian – not Anglo-Saxon – ancestry. While the differences are small, the evidence is clear. Unlike the Frisians of the continent, however, and unlike the conquering Anglo-Saxons, the ancestors of the Wedds were heavily influenced by the nearby Celts. The Old Welsh language rubbed off on Old Weddish, winnowing down many consonant clusters, producing significant vowel changes, and greatly altering the phonology and phonotactics.

Old Welsh (Proto-Brythonic) also gave Weddish its system of consonantal mutations. Certain words and grammatical processes trigger regular changes in the first consonant of the next word. This is also the only period where Latin words came into the language (until the modern, international terminology).

Late Antiquity

Some time in the eighth or ninth century, a charismatic leader supposedly brought the Weddish community into his quasi-Jewish cult. He also introduced two key elements of the Basque language into Weddish: ergative-absolutive morphosyntax and animate-inanimate distinctions in noun phrases. Folk stories continue to warn young Wedds of the danger of crying wolf, i.e. being like Conrad and hiding under the auspice of false-Judaism, when he was actually just creating a cult.

1066

With the arrival of William the Conqueror, actual Jews arrived from the Continent and called the Wedd's bluff. Mandatory Hebrew schools were formed, and a similar situation to the rest of the U.K. developed for two centuries: strata. The elites and leaders spoke Hebrew, Aramaic, and Judeo-Arabic. Ethnic Jews arrived from Spain and the continent. The common folk spoke Weddish, but like England with the Norman language, Hebrew dominated the upper crust.

1290

When Edward I issued the edict of expulsion in 1290, the influence of external Jewry ceased, and all appearance of Judaism had to be removed from the public eye. The Wedds had their own Domus Conversorum set up, and were allowed to create their own monastic order, where the vows of marriage were conjoined with the vows of holy orders. Hebrew schools continued in private, with Talmud and Maimonides studies going on for several more centuries. Because they were not allowed to officiate over the Mass, Weddish "convents" avoided much of the accreting philosophy, and were among the hotbeds of Protestant theology, until the w:Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542.

With the decline of the surrounding Welsh culture, Wedds happily retreated into the background. By the 19th century, however, a growing concern over the state of the Western world had settled in, and after several Weddish-wide councils, a missions-through-monasticism philosophy was official ensconced in the Weddish laws. Since then, they have actively been involved in evangelism and scholarly theology. w:James B. Jordan and his w:Christian Reconstructionist theology have become the mainstay of Weddish discourse.

Phonology

Consonants of Weddish
Consonant phonemes
Labial Dental Alveolar Post. Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasals voiced m n ŋ
unvoiced ŋ̊
Obstruent voiced b d d͡ʒ g
unvoiced p t͡θ t t͡ʃ k ʔ
Fricative voiced v ð z
unvoiced f θ s ʃ χ h
Trills voiced r
unvoiced
Approximant voiced w l j
unvoiced ʍ ɬ ç

Weddish consonants primarily center around a voiced-unvoiced contrast. Several sounds do not occur in the lexical forms of words, but are nevertheless common as the result of consonant mutation.

Vowels of Weddish
Vowel phonemes
Front Mid Back
High ɪi ɨː ʊu
Near-high ɪ ʊ
High-mid ǝ
Low-mid ɛː ʌ ɔ
Low æ

Weddish vowels are most easily characterized a six-vowel system: the typical five, plus a central vowel. They all occur in "long" and "short" versions, though (as in English) those terms are used colloquially, and not as linguists mean them.

There are also many diphthongs, as in Welsh: eu, ei, au, ai, oi, ui, and the palatalized iu, ie, ia.


Orthography

Weddish is written with the letters of Hebrew abjad and the Massoretic "points" (niqqud). Romanization is unheard of, apart from linguistics literature.

Consonants of Weddish
Consonant graphemes
Labial Dental Alveolar Post. Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasals voiced מ m נ n ע ŋ
unvoiced מה mh נה nh עה ŋh
Obstruent voiced בּ b דּ d ג j גּ g
unvoiced פּ p צ x ט t כ k ק q א `
Fricative voiced ב v ד ð ז z
unvoiced פ f ת þ ס s סי sy ח c ה h
Trills voiced ר r
unvoiced רה rh
Approximant voiced ו w ל l י y
unvoiced הו wh ש ł יה yh

Vowels are written (when they are written at all) above or below the consonantal letters as little dots. The stress-pattern of the word typically indicates whether a given syllable should be "long" or "short", except in the case of high-vowels and the center vowel.

vowel gramemes
Forced Long Normal Forced Short
A אַא a` אַ a אֲ ǎ
E אֶה eh אֵ e אֶ ě
I אִי iy ø אִ i
O אֹו ow אָ o אֳ ǒ
U וּ u ø אֻ ǔ
Ə אֱ ɨ אְ ǝ ø

The diphthongs are generally written as expected, except wy (ui) and yw (iu), which are never written with vowel-points, under any orthography.


Phonotactics

Initials

With S 
,סק, סמ, סנ and סל. Older versions of the language forbid st-, but it is now permissible. The same could be said of ספּר, סטר, סקר, ספּל, and סקל.
With C 
חל, חר, and חו. New words no longer force sl- to change to cl-.
With Þ/X 
In a few Semitic words, תנ and צנ begin the syllable, e.g. צנוע (modest), or תנוך (earlobe). There is also xl, as in צלבן (to crucify).

The bulk of onset consonant clusters are subject to mutation. There are many doubles on this table, but it is important to note the lexical form of a word, and follow the correct mutation path:

mutatable onset clusters
first second Form Soft Nasal Aspirate
p l pl- bl- mhl- fl-
r pr- br- mhr- fr-
t r tr- dr- nhr- þr-
w tw- dw- nhw- bw-
q r qr- gr- ŋhr- cr-
l ql- ql- ŋhl- cl-
w qw- gw- ŋhw- cw-
b l bl- vl- ml-
d r dr- ðr- nr-
g r gr- jr- ŋr-
l gl- jl- ŋl-
w gw- jw- ŋw-

Morphophonology

Mutation

Initial Soft Nasal Aspirate
p b mh f
t d nh þ
q g ŋh c
b v m
d ð n
g j ŋ
m w
ll l
rh r
wh w
yh y


Pronouns

Weddish pronouns are split in two groups. The 1st and 2nd person align nominative-accusative. The third person pronouns are ergative-absolutive.


1st and 2nd

Person Number Nominative Accusative Suffixing Dative Genitive
First singular איִח מיִח ־מִי מֵה מִין
antinomic/dual ויִט אֹוק ־אֹוח אֹוע אֹועְקֶנְז
pl. וִי וס ־וּס וֵה וּסֶר
Second singular תוּ תִיק ־תִי תֵה תִין
antinomic/dual יְהַט אִיעְק ־אִנְך יְהִח אִיעְקִנְז
plural יְהִי יְהוּק ־יְהוּ יְהֹו יְהוּוֶר

3rd

Gender Number Absolutive Ergative Suffixing Dative Genitive
masculine singular אֵי אֵיק ־אֵי אֵיס הִיס
feminine הַר
inanimate singular/antinomic אִט ø ־אִט טֹו אִט דְּ־אִט
masculine antinomic פֹו גּוּר ־אִם הִם הִיס
feminine הִי גּוּרַיגּ ־אִיר הִיר הַר
all dual בֵּית בֵּיק ־אֵיר טֹו בֵּית סִין
all plural יְהַא יְהַק ־יְהַא טֹו יְהַא סִין

Wh-words

what 
וְהַט
who 
Absolutive - וְהַא ; Ergative - וְהַק ; Genitive - וְהַמֵס ; Dative - וְהַם
when 
וְהֵן
how 
וְהֹו
which 
וְהִלְך
why 
וְהִיד


Nominals

It is important to be aware of case, number, and gender (animacy) when dealing with Weddish nouns.

Animacy

Vowel vs consonant ending ... sometimes

Number

Singular vs. Plural, but also antinomic vs. dual

Genitive

Animate vs דְּ־

Dative

Prepositions טֹו

Ergative

־ק


Determiners

Every noun that isn't proper must be covered by a determiner.

Articles

The two articles of Weddish are definite and specific. What in English would be covered by the indefinite article is split between the specific article and anarthrous usage.

Definite Article - דֵה
Singular Antinomic Dual Plural
Animate Genitive דֵס דִיס
Ergative דֵק דִיק
Absolutive דֵר דִיר דֵור דַאר
Inanimate Absolutive דֵה דִי דֵו דַא
Specific Article - אֵן
Singular Antinomic Dual Plural
Animate Genitive אֵנְס אִנִיס
Absolutive אֵן אֵנִיר אִנֵור אִנַאר
Inanimate Absolutive אֵנֶה אֵנִי אִנֵו אִנַא

On the one hand, it is tempting to say that only ðeh is an article. It has more forms (because it can be ergative) and the lexical form is the inanimate singular (unlike the more adjectival specific article). However, both trigger mutation in feminine nouns. 'En is clearly closer to English an than Englih one, so for conventions sake, we say it is an article too.


Anarthrous

Anarthrous clauses might be un-adorned vocative phrase, or non-specific and indefinite. That is, they typically refer to an entity not immediately discernible from discourse and not any particular entity.

Quantifiers

Most of the remaining determiners not mentioned heretofore, are quantifiers, determiners that describe the quantity of an item. Weddish very particular with its quantifiers, distinguishing very particularly between determiners and adjectives based on position. Linguists note that these differences are off a very unique kind, what they call 'evidentials'. Quantifiers used as determiners denote a kind of "God's eye point of view" or "omniscient evidentiality" which is not present when used as an adjective.

For example, consider the two following phrases

  • all men
  • the men all (of them)

While these phrases are synonymous in English, in Weddish they indicate a difference in level of confidence in the information presented: all men is a phrase universal and without any exceptions, whereas the men, all of them is completely human and normal, allowing for natural exceptions.

Others

Distributives, numerals, and possessives make up the remaining determiners (Interrogatives make-up an overlapping category).

Clauses

Verbs

Weddish textbooks call their verb conjugations, present, past, and future, and then list all the ways they aren't. It seems better to call then what they are: aspects and moods. The Continuous, the Perfective, and the Subjunctive are available in most verbs. What makes it more confusing is that two verbs -- to be and to have -- do indeed conjugate for tense, and are used extensively at the start of discourses, and at jumps in the relative time.

Continuous

Continuous Finite
One Many
1st –ם –ן
2nd –ס
3rd –ת

Imperatives are for the singular and –ת for the plural. The participle (verb-made-adjective) is –נד. The infinitive (verb-made-noun) is –ינה. The gerund (auxiliary-verb-complement) is –יע.

Aorist

Aorist Finite
One Many
1st –ון
2nd –ס
3rd


The aorist is made from a different principle part, which is sometimes predictable through umlaut or reverse umlaut, and sometimes not. There is also the suffixing of a -ד or –ט (cp. Germanic weak verbs). The imperative is –ת. The participle is ג...וד. The infinitive is ג...ן. The gerund is ג...ד.

Subjunctive

Often used as a simple future, the subjunctive is made from the same stem as the continuous. one: –א. Many –וח.

Auxiliary

The three main forms of each verb only show aspect. True tense marking requires the presence of a copula.


Other aux verbs include skulen (should), wilen (will), weuþen (to become), dwyn (to do), hauven (to have)

Adnominals

Adjectives is an open class in Weddish. They follow the noun and need not agree in any way, though they often do so in a way that keeps the trochaic meter going (see Prosody). Prepositional phrases and relative clauses follow adjectives. Verbs conjugated as participles are adjectives, taking the head noun as their absolutive argument. Other uses of verbs require relative clauses.

Nouns can be made adnominal, either by being put into the genitive or by certain suffixes. For example ־סק -(i)sq attaches to nouns or adjectives and makes them into adjectives mean "of or pertaining to x" (cp. English -ish).

Adverbials

Like in English, nouns of time can be used as adverbs with zero-derivation. The suffix ־לך '-lik (cp. English -ly) is the most common adverb-maker.

Numerals

Weddish numbers are a true anomaly. The technical description is that they are "sexagesimal, with a duodecimal sub-base". That means, they start off counting by twelves, and then group those into sixties.

Lexicography

For the complete Swadesh list with relative language comparisons, see Weddish/Swadesh


Weddish words are well-defined by historical epochs. From their inception to 1066, the Wedds were warriors, and then farmers. Agrarian words and grammatical words are of Germanic origin, and most illustrate that Weddish came from Old Frisian, though a few look more like Old English. Also, some Welsh words entered in this time, including some Latin words which where already in Old Welsh.

Next, Biblical and religious words came from Hebrew and related languages. These were the words of the ruling class, the educated, and the elite. The end of Jewish dominance may have come in 1290, but new words were still being coined from Hebrew for some time afterwards. Eventually, Welsh served as the conduit for outside influence until the 16th century, at which point English began to enter the scene.

Texts

The Lord's prayer

  • 'Ow 'Av-us 'in llâmayiym,
  • qǎðowll beþ þiyněh nowm
  • þiyněh mamlâk qowměþ

The Tower of Babel

See also article on Weddish/218


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