Wiebian/Script

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The Wiebian alphabet

Wiebian is written in a native alphabet named Trabe&Galster after the first two letters Trabe and Galst, also used to write other languages such as Whetmerish and Cuatham. The spelling rules reflect Classical Wiebian pronunciation; subsequent sound changes have made the relationship between orthography and pronunciation more opaque. The transliteration of Wiebian used in this article attempts to reflect the Wiebian orthographical spelling standardized near the end of the Classical Wiebian period and re-standardized in the modern period in 1811 v.C. using classical texts and internal reconstruction from Wiebian topolects (especially utilizing Whetmerish, known for its conservatism in unstressed prefixes). Another factor in the orthography is that literacy was limited to the upper class. Thus often the elites spoke one language while writing in a fossilized form of the language, so that e.g. case endings were still written even after most of them dropped out in the spoken language. The Classical Wiebian they wrote was, however, written in the stricter syntax of the vernacular.

Modern Standard Wiebian employs consonant alternations triggered by originally unstressed prefixes.

Many words became monosyllabic and homophonous over the history of Wiebian; the resulting homophony was solved by compounding nouns and verbs with other words to disambiguate them, creating a wealth of compounds as in Chinese.

Letter names

Most letter names for consonants are derived from Primitive Tergetian. Vowels, on the other hand, use the vowel itself as the name.

  • T: Trabe < *tenābōˀ 'jaws'
  • G: Gacht < *gaśṭom 'ground'
  • K: Kohl < *kōllom 'bird'
  • W: Weier < *wīrom 'head'
  • N: Narch < *narakom 'cascade'
  • Q: Kreid < *qarīdis 'coast'
  • L: Lecken < *leqnom 'river'
  • P: Pfođ < *pōđom 'lightning'
  • C: Ang < *ˀangom 'face'
  • Ŧ: Ŧeib < *ƛeybom 'goblet'
  • J: Jamm < *yanpom 'house' (Modern Tergetian ˀáb)
  • F: Fitt 'worm'
  • M: Mersch < *merśom 'flag'
  • D: Dachel < *daklom 'tree'
  • Đ: Đrauche < *đirūkōs 'lips'
  • R: Rift < *ripṭom 'throat'
  • S: Schnade < *sanādōs 'gates'
  • H: Hammel < *hamlom 'flower'
  • B: Brog < *barōgom 'knot'
  • ß: Schnader, later discher Schnade 'two Schnade's'
  • Z: Zegehm < *cegāmis 'tent'
  • I
  • U
  • Ü
  • E
  • O
  • Ö
  • A
  • Ä

Capitalization

Wiebian orthography has capital and lowercase letters. Wiebian capitalizes all nouns, but not necessarily words that are in the beginning of the sentence; this is reflected in the Romanization.

Punctuation

The Lusch-Frann ("binding mark") is a hyphen-like symbol used to link genitive nouns to their heads. It is transcribed with a hyphen (-).

The Zu-Hust ("and-space"), also called the serializer in English, is used to link coordinated components in compounds and serial verbs. As its name suggests, it also indicates a missing zu ('and') in poetry. The serializer is transcribed with an ampersand (&).

Early Ancient Wiebian orthography

The gemination sign, transcribed as c (Ang, deriving from ˀangom, the Primitive Tergetian letter for the glottal stop), is also often used in Early Ancient Wiebian texts. It acts like the Japanese sokuon symbol: nu swicle /nuː(ə) s̺wilːə/ 'I slid (intransitive)' (Standard Ancient Wiebian nu schwille). By late Wiebian/Script most gemination signs fell into disuse and were replaced with double letters. c only survived as part of the graphemes ck for /k/ after a short vowel, and ch [x], which was in complementary distribution with h [h] by that time.