Nevan language

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Nevan kieli
Pronunciation 'nevɑn 'kieli
Spoken in Nevanmaa
Region Esquarium
Native speakers 213 million (2010)
L2: 29 million
Language family
Writing system Latin
Official status
Official language in  Nevanmaa
Recognised minority language in  Ainin
 Costa Sud
Regulated by Nevan Institute for Domestic Languages
(Nevanmaan kotimaisten kielten instituutti)
Language codes
ISO 639-1 nv
ISO 639-3

Nevan (neva, or nevan kieli) is a Nevanic language spoken by the majority of the people of Nevanmaa. It is the sole official language of Nevanmaa and is the official language of all Outer Nevan realms. It is also a recognized minority language in several Esquarian countries.

Nevan is the eponymous member of the Nevanic language family and is typologically between fusional and agglutinative languages. It modifies and inflects nouns, adjectives, pronouns, numerals and verbs, depending on their roles in the sentence.


The history of Nevan can be divided into three parts:

  • Old Nevan: 4th-13th centuries
  • Middle Nevan: 13th-17th centuries
  • Modern Nevan: 17th century – present

Old Nevan

Old Nevan is the oldest known stage of the Nevan language. It emerged from several Nordic languages spoken around Kaarenmaa, especially around the present-day site of the city of Kaarela. Scientists have concluded that several Germanic tribes, including Maris and Hedish people also lived around the idea, leading to large amount of loanwords being taken from them. These include words like "laki" (law, from Mari word "lag") and kahvi (coffee, from Mari word "kaffe").

Before the 7th century, Nevan was written using the Runic alphabet. Following influence from Luziycan merchants in during the 600s and 700s, this was eventually replaced with Latin alphabet.

Kaik imicolenet sintivet vaphain ia tacawertaicin argholtan ia oicewxilten. Cheil ombi anetw ierki ia omentwnto, ia cheiren ombi toimitawa toictanca kochta weliewre chengece.

— UDHR written in Old Nevan

Middle Nevan

Following the conquest of dozens of smaller states by the lords of House of Kaarenmaa-Hennala, the clergy in Kaarela started reforming the language to get rid of illogical spelling patterns. They based their ortography on the Nevan dialect around the area of Kaarenmaa, disregarding wildly different dialects in the recently conquered areas of Uusimaa, Valamonmaa and Savonmaa. They also introduced letters "J", "U", "Y", "Ä" and "Ö" into the Nevan alphabet and phased out "B", "C" "W" and "X".

Kaik immisolennot syntyvät vapain ja tasavertaasin arvooltan ja oekeuksiltaa. Heil ompi annetu järki ja omentunto, ja heirän ompi toemittava toisia kohta veljeyre henkes.

— UDHR written in Middle Nevan

Modern Nevan

The final major change to Nevan language took place following the final conquest of the Nevan archipelago by king Yrjö I. He ordered that the Nevan spelling system should be reformed to be more accessible and include other dialects besides the Kaarenmaa dialect. This was an attempt to prevent division of the Nevan language and promote unity. This change also introduced letters "F" and "G" reintroduced letter "B" in loanwords.

While the changes did help to create a new Nevan identity, it did not destroy the dialects as Yrjö had hoped for. Instead, the new language became the language of the upper class, while lower classes continued to use dialects. This phenomena still exists today, and one can easily hear what social class one hails from simply by listening to their speech.

Kaikki ihmisolennot syntyvät vapaina ja tasavertaisina arvoltaan ja oikeuksiltaan. Heille on annettu järki ja omatunto, ja heidän on toimittava toisiaan kohtaan veljeyden hengessä.

— UDHR written in Modern Nevan



Front Back
Unrounded Rounded Unrounded Rounded
Close i [i] y [y] u [u]
Mid e [e] ö [ø] o [o]
Open ä [æ] a [ɑ]


Nevan Consonants
  Bilabial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n     ŋ
Plosive p, (b) t, d,     k, (g)
Fricative (f)   s (ʃ)   h
Approximant ʋ   l j    
Trill     r      


Nevan alphabet consists of 28 letters: The standard alphabet and two extra letters, Ä and Ö. As there is very little allophony, all letters generally represent a single sound. Doubling of vowels is used to indicate a long vowel. Nk and Ng are unique digraphs and Š and Ž are used in loanwords, thoug neither is considered to be a part of the alphabet.

Letter Sound
A a /ɑ/
B b /b/
C c /s/ or /k/
D d /d/
E e /e/
F f /f/
G g /g/
H h /h/
I i /i/
J j /j/
K k /k/
L l /l/
M m /m/
N n /n/
Ng nk /ŋ:/
Nk nk /ŋk/
O o /o/
P p /p/
Q /k/ or /kv/
R r /r/
S s /s/
Š š /ʃ/
T t /t/
U u /u/
V v /ʋ/
W w /ʋ/
X x /ks/
Y y /y/
Z z /ts/ or /s/
Ž ž /ʒ/
Ä ä /æ/
Ö ö /ø/
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     Northwestern dialect
     Kaarenmaa dialect
     Far Northern dialect
     Valamonmaa dialect
     Southern dialect
     Savonmaa dialect
     Pohja dialect


During its spread across the Nevan archipelago during the Middle Ages, Nevan language fractured into several different dialects that were radically different from traditional written Nevan. Even today, Nevan is characterized by its large amount of dialects with differing vocabulary, phonology and rhythm. Despite their differences, all Nevan dialects are mutually intelligible. Today, dialects are classified into seven main groups, with Northwestern and Kaarenmaa dialects and Savonmaa and Valamonmaa dialects usually classified as a single dialect.

Since the 20th century, it has been considered rude and improper to speak a dialect in official occassions. Since then, the role of dialects has somewhat lessened and new generations have not adopted the more radical forms of dialect into their everyday speech.

Dialect Example
English I had decided to go to a theater with my friend. Tickets had already been bought, but the same night I had to work late. I knew that I would be about thirty minutes late. I called the theater to ask for advice.
Traditional Nevan Olin päättänyt mennä ystäväni kanssa teatteriin. Liput oli jo ostettu, mutta samana iltana jouduin kuitenkin olemaan myöhään töissä. Tiesin, että myöhästyisin puoli tuntia teatterista. Soitin teatteriin ja kysyin neuvoa.
Northwestern & Kaarenmaa Dialect Mä olin päättäny mennä mun kaverin kans teatteriin. Liput oli jo ostettu, mut samana iltana mun pitiki olla myähään töissä. Mää tiesin, et mää myähästysin sieltä puol tuntii. Mää soitin sinne teatteriin ja kysyin että mitä mun pitäs tehä.
Far Northern Dialect Molin päättäny mennä minun kaverin kanssa teatterhin. Met olimma jo ostanu liput, ja samana iltana mie joutusin olemmaan myöhhään töissä. Ja sitten sen takia mie myöhästyisin puoli tuntia sieltä teatterista. Sitte mie soitin sinne teatterhin ja kysyin, että mitä miun pithäs tehdä.
Valamonmaa & Savonmaa Dialect Mie olin päättäny mennä yhen kaverin kaa teatteriin. Me oltii ostettu jo liput, mut samana iltana mie jouvuin sit kuitenkii ollee myöhää töissä. Mie tiesi et mie myöhästyisi sielt teatterist puol tuntii. Mie soitin teatteriin ja kysyi sielt neuvoo.
Southern Dialect Mää olin päättäny mennä yhren kaverin kans teatterii ja. No me sit oli liput ostettu, mut sit saman iltan mää joutusin olemaan viel myöhää töis. No mä sit tiesin et mä myähästyisin siält teatterist pual tuntii. No mä sit soitin sinne teatteriin ja kysysin, et mitä nyt sit vois tehrä.
Pohja Dialect Molin yhren mun kaverin kans päättäny, että nyt mennähän teatteriin. Ostettihin lipukki oikeen hyvis ajoo, mutta siinä samana iltana mua sitte pyyrettiin jäämähä ylitöihi. Tottakai tiesin, että myöhästyysin jotaki puoli tuntia ny ainaki. Soittelin sitte siinä töistä teatterihin päin ja kyselin neuvoa, että mitä tehtääs.