Vyvlander language

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Vyvlander
Vyvluder
Pronunciation /ˈvaɪv.lan.dɜː/ (English)
/ˈvʏvlɘdeːɾ/ (Vyvlander)
Spoken in  Vyvland
 Magane
Native speakers 34 million (2010)
L2: 10 million
Language family
Writing system Latin script
Official status
Official language in

 Vyvland
 Magane

Esquarian Community
Regulated by Vyvlander Language Board
Vyvluder Sbriksprovisie
Language codes
ISO 639-3 vyv
Linguasphere 52-ACC

Vyvlander (Vyvluder, pronounced /vʏvlədeɾ/) is a language spoken in and originating from Vyvland, where it is an official language. It is an Ingvaeonic West Germanic language closely related to Frisian, English, Low German and Saexish.

Vyvlander developed from the Germanic dialects spoken in the Dark Age by the first immigrants to the island. Although the major component of the language developed from Saxon and Frisian dialects which have since died out in those areas, Old Norse also influenced Vyvlander's development during its formative years.

Prior to approximately 1100 AD, Vyvlander was mainly written in a runic alphabet, but it gradually switched to writing in the Latin alphabet over the next few centuries.

History

Vyvlander is most closely related to the fellow Ingvaeonic English and Frisian languages, in addition to Low German. Much work on the ancient formation of Vyvlander, and reconstruction of Old Vyvander through its Elder Futhark runic script, was carried out by Geadish linguist Arvid Kulmo in the 20th century, leading to a relatively complete understanding of how the language was spoken in its formative years. However, due to the migration of those who would later become Vyvlanders away from other Germanic populations, the language started to branch off from other Germanic languages. This was most evident in the sound shifts, including the loss of voiceless fricatives, which started in Wesel in the 1200s and spread across the country by 1600. Immigration by Swedes and Geads during the shaped some individual dialects and, to a very small extent, the language as a whole, while Helish, which is often cited as Vyvlander's closest relative, continued to exert an influence.

In the 1820s, the language's then-irregular spellings were regularised by the then-king Adulv the New in the Niysgroib reforms, which massively changed the look of the language, in addition to simplifying it grammatically and phonetically. The reforms are credited with increasing literacy rates over the following decades, although the dialect elimination parts of the reforms were far less welcome; they were seen as an attempt by central government to keep control on isolated or distant parts of the country, especially the vowel harmony dialects of Brudon and Welland. Smaller reforms are implemented to this day by the Vyvlander Language Board (Vyvluder Sbriksprovisie), which deals especially with regulating the spelling of foreign loans to ensure they conform to Vyvlander's orthographical and pronunciation rules.

Since 1900, many loanwords and dialect changes have come in from English as it has become widespread in academia and technology. Vyvlander has adopted or modified a significant number of words, and due to English-language immigration and influence, a majority of Vyvlanders can speak English in addition to Vyvlander.

Sound shifts

The major vowel shifts between Proto-Anglo-Frisian and Vyvlander were:

  • /uː/→/aʊ/→/aː/→/äː/ - hūs → haus → aas ([h] also lost) - house
  • /iː/→/o̞i/ - fīf → voiv ([f] also mutated to [v]) - five
  • /oː/→/ʏ/ - mōdēr → myfre - mother
  • /ai/→/ʏ/ or /jʏ/ - twai → tiy - two
  • /i/→/ɪ/→/e̞/ - hring → ring → reng - circle
  • /ɛ/→/e̞/, /e/→/e̞/
  • /au/→/eː/ baum → beum → beem - tree
  • /au/→/eu/ blāw, blāo → blew → bley - blue, word-final only
  • /a/→/äː/ - man → maan - man, in stressed syllables when followed by a voiced nasal or stop only

In other positions, consonant-vowel clusters and combinations mutated into other sounds:

  • /e̞ve̞/→/e̞/ - seven → sen - seven
  • /ol/→/ʊl/, /wol/→/ʊl/ - wolf → ulv - wolf
  • /ol/→/ou/ - gold → goyd - gold, before stop consonants only (l-vocalisation)
  • /al/→/ɒl/ - all → ohl - all

Various consonants also shifted during Vyvlander's development, mostly in the process of sonorisation of fricatives. Other changes have also occurred:

  • /xt/→/kt/→/çt/ - nahts → naakt - night

Orthography

Vyvlander orthography is very regular and standardised, despite the few oddities evident to beginner speakers. It contains a sound set fairly similar to English, despite its different spelling system. Vyvlander uses the basic 26-letter Latin alphabet, although the letter q does not occur in any native words, and is officially eliminated from the majority of loanwords by the Vyvlander Language Board.

Since the loss of voiced fricatives, the letters z and f have been used for roles markedly different to their common phonetic values in other languages. The letter z represents /ʒ/, while f represents /ð/. Previously, the /ʒ/ phoneme and its voiceless counterpart /ʃ/ had been represented by the digraphs sj and sc, while the /θ/ and /ð/ sounds used þ and ð, neither of which were accessible on the standard printing press. The letter f was chosen for the phoneme /ð/ due to the graphical similarities between the the letters f and ð.

Two digraphs exist in standard Vyvlander orthography;〈ng〉and〈jr〉, which are used to represent the phonemes /ŋ/ and /ʑ/ respectively. The only regular trigraph is〈sjr〉, which is used for the affricate /tʃ/. Another phenomenon of Vyvlander orthography is the g-shift, where a letter g at the end of words is pronounced as /ʝ/ - as if written 〈j〉 - instead of the normal /g/.

The pronunciation of many vowel letters in Vyvlander is governed by whether the vowel occurs in a closed or open syllable. In open syllables, a tense vowel /eː/, /iː/, /yː/, /uː/ or /oː/ is pronounced, while in closed syllables, the corresponding lax vowel /e/, /i/, /ʏ/, /ʊ/ or /o/ is pronounced. This can cause different pronunciations within inflectional paradigms of some words, even though both inflections are spelt with the same vowel letter, such as sbor [zboɾ] (track) and sboren [zboːɾən] (tracks). The phones /eː/ and /oː/ can be written as〈ee〉and〈oo〉, in which case they are always pronouned with a tense vowel. However, the phones /iː/, /yː/, /uː/ cannot be written with a double vowel letter and thus only occur in open syllables.

One aspect which otherwise breaks with Vyvlander's non-defective orthography is the lack of a distinct letter for /ə/, which is represented usually by〈e〉, thereby being ambiguous with the /e/ phoneme. It is also, more rarely transcribed as〈u〉and very occasionally as〈o〉,〈y〉and〈a〉. However, this ambiguity is compensated for by the absence of /ə/ in stressed syllables and predictable presence in various suffixes.

Phonology

Vyvlander phonology is generally similar to other Germanic languages.

Consonants

Vyvlander Consonants
  Bilabial Labio-
dental
Dental Alveolar Post-
alveolar
Retroflex Alveolo-
palatal
Palatal Velar Labial-
velar
Nasal m     n     ŋ
Plosive p  b     t  d     k  ɡ
Affricate       tʃ  (dʒ)1    
Fricative   f ~ v θ ~ ð s ~ z ʃ ~ ʒ (ʂ)2 ɕ ~ ʑ (ç)3, ʝ
Approximant         j   w
Flap or tap       ɾ    
Lateral       l      
  1. Occurs in most speakers in recently-borrowed English loanwords such as jet, [dʒe̞t].
  2. Occurs as an allophone of /z/ after /ɾ/, as in Mars, [mɐɾʂ], meaning 'Mars'.
  3. Occurs as an allophone of /k/ before /t/, as in naakt, [näːçt], meaning 'night'. Occasionally, this is vocalised to an [i] sound, to make a diphthong with the previous vowel, making naakt into [nait].

Voiceless fricative phonemes began to be lost relatively early on in Vyvlander's development, and were gone by the 14th century; this period marks the transition from Old Vyvlander to its early modern variety. This lack of fricative phoneme pairs is shared with the Geadish language. A few dialects, however, still use voiceless fricatives, including in Welland and Southwest provinces. Today, it is generally based on the choice of the speaker as to whether one uses the voiced or voiceless counterpart, or a sound in between; voiced and voiceless allophones are in free variation. The voiced consonant is more commonly heard, however, and as such is used in the vast majority of phonetic transcriptions of Vyvlander. In northern Vyvland, there is a tendency to voice intervocalic stop consonants.

Among younger speakers, there is a tendency pronounce all instances of〈g〉as /ʝ/, or even to vocalise all occurrences of〈g〉to /i/ or /j/, depending on position. Although these changes are stigmatised as incorrect in standard Vyvlander, they have become widespread across most of the country, especially among younger Vyvlander speakers.

Another dialectical variation in Vyvlander consonants is the variation of the /ɾ/ phoneme (represented by the letter〈r〉), which can variously be realised as [ɾ], [ɹ], [r] or [ʁ] depending on the speaker's dialect. For example, [ɹ] is most frequent in Bajre. A 1991 study in Lyksdal found no fewer than 9 allophones of /ɾ/ among native speakers Iin the city (though not all speakers surveyed had grown up there).

Vyvlander consonants with example words
Symbol Example
IPA IPA Orthography English translation
p pɾʊk pruk 'farm'
b bɒl bohl 'ball'
t toid toid 'time'
d deʝ deg 'day'
k kat kat 'cat'
ɡ ɡɜːn geuen 'to go'
m mäːn maan 'man'
n njʉː niy 'new'
ŋ äːŋ haang 'hook'
ð ðeŋkən fengken 'to think'
v veʒ vez 'fish'
z zeŋən sengen 'to sing'
ʒ ʒeb zeb 'ship'
ʑ ʑiː jri 'three'
ʝ ʝeːz jees 'cheese'
ɾ ɾeŋ reng 'ring'
w wʊʑə wujre 'water'
l läːn laan 'land / country'
tʃiː sjrat 'street'

Vowels

Monophthongs

Vyvlander vowels vary greatly between dialects. A somewhat 'standard' dialect is that spoken in more rural areas of the central plains, and the vowels used there are as follows.

Plains dialect Vowels
Front Central Back
Close i, (iː) (ʉː) ()
Near-Close ʏ ʊ
Mid e, ə o,
Open-Mid ɜː
Open a äː ɒ*, (ɒː)

* = The /ɒ/ sound is pronounced with a breathy voice. It only occurs before current or historical /l/, or in loanwords from languages such as Geadish and Swedish which contain the letter å.

The sounds /uː/, /ʉː/ and /iː/ are not phonemic, instead being allophones of /ʊ/, /ʏ/ and /i/ respectively in open syllables. However, /eː/ and /oː/ are phonemic, contrasting with short /e/ and /o/ while also being allophones of the latter sounds in open syllables. Hence eren (to plough) and eeren (sandbanks) are homophones, both being pronounced [eːɾən]. However the singular form of eeren, eer (sandbank), pronounced [eːɾ], and the first-person singular form of eren, er ([I] plough), pronounced [eɾ], are pronounced differently. No such contrast is found for /uː/, /ʉː/ and /iː/.

Other areas use many different vowel sets to the one illustrated above. For example, the dialect of the Kros area uses /ɛ/ and /ɔ/ in the place of /e̞/ and /o̞/ respectively, while the Wik dialect collapses all sounds represented by the letter y into the /ʉ/ phoneme and replaces /ʊ, uː/ with /ɜ, ɜː/, thereby merging with the existing /ɜː/ phoneme, written 〈eu〉.

Diphthongs

Vyvlander also possesses between three and five diphthongs, depending on the dialect spoken. In standard orthography, these are:

  • /oi/, represented by〈oi〉, as in roiget (right)
  • /iʏ/ or /jʏ/, represented by〈iy〉, as in niy (new)
  • /ou/, represented by〈oy〉, as in koyd (cold)
  • /ɑʊ/, represented by〈ay〉, as in lay (law)
  • /əu/, represented by〈ey〉, as in soreynes (sorrow)

The latter two are merged in many dialects to /oː/ and /ɜː/ respectively, while a few accents eliminate the /ou/ sound, replacing it with /o̞/. Both of these diphthongs are relatively rare, being the least used of all consonants, monophthongs and diphthongs in Vyvlander.

Grammar

Nouns

Plurals

In Vyvlander, plurals are formed in two different ways depending on what kind of sound the word ends in.

Words ending in fricatives (ð, ʝ, z, v, ʒ), represented by the letters f, j, s, v and z, are pluralised by the addition of -en to the end of the word. As such, aas, the word for house, becomes aasen in its plural form. Words ending in e, l or r are also pluralised this way, while it is the most common way for the few words ending in x to be pluralised.

Words ending in stops (p, b, t, d, k, g), and nasals (m, n, ŋ), represented by m, n and ng, are pluralised by the addition of -s to the end of the word. Therefore, the word maan, meaning man, is pluralised to form maans. Words ending in a i, o, u and y are also pluralised this way.

Few irregular plurals exist, although most of the ones which do fall into the category of “strong nouns” (sdurknomen). These are a set of basic nouns ending in b, d and g which are pluralised by adding -en instead of the regular -s. They include aand - aanden (hand - hands). The majority of words whose penultimate letter is s and are followed by the aforementioned consonants fall into this category.

Gender

Grammatical gender exists in Vyvlander, although in a more diluted fashion than many other Indo-European languages. It is only evident in the definite article (the), with older speakers often retaining a slight inflection in the indefinite article (a or an). The language possesses three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. For masculine nouns, the article used is fe, for feminine it is fi, and for neuter it is de. Plural nouns generally also take fi. The traditional inflection of the indefinite article is yn for masculine and neuter, and yne for feminine, although the yne form is relatively uncommon today. No indefinite article is used in the plural.

There is also considerable variation between dialects with regards to gender - up to a third of Vyvlander speakers, and historically more, use either two or one noun genders. Generally, the area of a single gender (using the article de) is confined to the south, or approximately further south than Jesel, while Nevel and eastern Kros use two genders - common and neuter. Common is an admixture of masculine and feminine usually represented by the pronoun fe, while neuter is represented, as in most areas, with de. As such, the three dialects are often described as fi-dialect, de-dialect and fe-dialect. All dialects use "fi" in the plural. Historically, the authorities in South Vyvland encouraged the use of de-dialect through the National Language Academy (Nazonal Sbrik Akademie), although as the former Southern government has come to be portrayed in a negative light, the de-dialect has become stigmatised.

Verbs

Vyvlander verbs are divided into weak verbs and strong verbs. The former is regularly declined in one class, with a few irregular verbs with consonant changes (such as aaven - to have). Weak verbs' past tenses are formed by the addition of -d to the end of the verb stem. Strong verbs can be again divided into eleven categories based on the vowel changes that take place in their two past tense forms, although a few of these verbs also have irregular consonant changes (such as brengen/gebrygd - to bring). The strong verb conjugations are generally regular, with ge- and -en added in the perfect tense form of the verb. The copula word for to be - weesen - is very irregular.

Strong verbs

The strong verb conjugations are as follows, with their roughly corresponding form in Proto-Germanic strong verbs indicated:

Class Corresponds to (PGm) Infinitive form Imperfect form Perfect form English verb
A 2b aa
slaaten
o
slot
o
gesloten
to shut
B 6 a or aa
graaven
y
gryv
a or aa
gegraaven
to dig
C 5 e
geven
a
gav
e
gegeven
to give
D 3a e
benden
a
band
y
gebynden
to tie/bind
E 4 ee
beeren
u
bur
y
gebyren
to wear
F 2a i
vrisen
a
vreys
oh
gevrohsen
to freeze
G 1 oi
sgroiben
i
sgrib
e
gesgreben
to write
H 7 o
hoten
i
hit
o
gehoten
to call
I 7 ey
leypen
i
lip
o
gelopen
to run
J 7 y
rypen
i
rip
u
gerupen
to shout
K 3b y
wyrfen
o
worf
o
geworfen
to become

Irregular verbs

There are two totally irregular verbs in Vyvlander, both of which were formed by suppletion. These are weesen - to be, and geuen - to go.

Type Form to be to go
Non-finite Infinitive wesen geuen
Causative infinitive bien gangien
gengien
Past participle gewesen gegangen
Present participle wesende gangende
Noun sieng geueng
Present oig ben gang
fay bes geus
i/zi/e es gang
wi/wit sen geu
iy sen geu
fee sen geu
Preterite oig was iged
fay was iged
i/zi/e was iged
wi/wit wur iged
iy wur iged
fee wur iged

Pronouns

Unlike most Germanic languages, Vyvlander retains a vestigial dual personal pronoun in the first person - wit - which is used predominantly by romantic and marital couples. Apart from this, pronouns follow a three-case system similar to other Germanic languages.

Vyvlander personal pronouns
First person Second person Third person
Singular Dual Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative oig wit wi fay iy i zi e fee
Accusative mig ys fig iys en er fur
Genitive moin yses foin iyses es feer

Word order

Similarly to continental Germanic languages, Vyvlander uses V2 word order, whereby the standard order is subject-verb-object but with all verbs but the main verb moved to the end of the clause. However, unlike German and Dutch (but similarly to Yiddish and Icelandic), V2 word order is used in all clauses, not just independent clauses.

Use

Vyvlander is the native language of 84% of the population of Vyvland, and is official in all areas of the country. Almost all other inhabitants speak the language with some proficiency. Some areas within Vyvland have native linguistic minorities, although most of these people also have proficiency in Vyvlander. The Nevel dialect was historically considered to be a dialect of Vyvlander and still is in some circles; however, the overwhelming linguistic and political consensus holds that it is a separate language.

Outside of Vyvland, the language is spoken as an official language in Magane; among the urban middle-classes in Kapsdad, it is the dominant language. Most Maganese in cities can also speak Vyvlander to some degree, although knowlegde of it in rural areas is rare. The language historically was seen as elitist and a marker of colonial oppression, although this has lessened with time and since the end of Magane's internal conflicts.

Use as a foreign language

ADD YOUR USES OF VYVLANDER HERE

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    Greonterp: In Greonterp, Vyvlander is an optional language course in most secondary schools and universities. An estimated 26% of Greonlians have a knowledge of the language.
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    Jetan: In Jetan, Vyvlander is an optional language in some universities, although the extent of available courses varies.
  •  Luziyca: In Luziyca, Vyvlander is an optional language course in many secondary schools, especially in the north, and in universities.
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    Mingwok: Among the White Min groups, a variant dialect, called Eastern Vïv is spoken among the groups with Vyvlander ancestry. However, such peoples were few at the time, amd has lost its mutual intelligibility from its parent language.
  •  Pavonistade: In Pavonistade, Vyvlander is an optional language course in some universities.
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    Sandhelm: In Sandhelm, Vyvlander is an optional language course in some universities.