Etrancoasti dialects

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Language: English

The Etrancoasti language has two major dialects: the Northern Dialect and Southern Dialect. The difference is mainly pronounciation, but it does not render them mutually unintelligible - the two dialects are still 99% mutually intelligible with each other, and any unintelligibility originates in slang exclusive to that dialect rather than pronunciation.

Etrancoasti also has considerable cross-dialectal variation.

The dialects

Northern Etrancoasti

  • Guttural R: /r/ is pronounced as a uvular trill / pproximant [ʀ~ʁ̞]. The syllabic /r̩/ or /ər/ is pronounced as [ɐ]. The geminated /rː/ is always a uvular trill [ʀː].
  • The front vowels /e ɪ i ʏ y/ are centralized to [ə ɪ̈ ɨ ʏ̈ ʉ] before coda-position /r/.
  • The diphthongs /ui̯ ei̯ øy̯ oi̯ ɛe̯ œø̯ ai̯/ become [ʊʉ̯ eʉ̯ øʉ̯ oʉ̯ ɛə̯ œə̯ aʉ̯] before /r/.
  • /l/ is pronounced as a velarized dental [ɫ̪]. /l/ is palatalized to [ʎ] before /j/ and /i/, but not /ɪ/.
  • /n tʰ t s z/ are dental [n̪ t̪ʰ t̪~d̪ s̪ z̪]
  • /t͡ʃʰ t͡ʃ ʃ/ are palato-alveolar [tʃ t͡ʃ~d͡ʒ ʃ]

Southern Etrancoasti

The accent of Southern Etrancoast shares a lot of features with the Etrandish Copperport dialect, such as the retroflex articulation of R, alveolo-palatal shibilants and affrication of alveolar stop + /r/ clusters. It is not known if it was Southern Etrancoasti influencing the Copperport dialect or the other way around.

  • Thick R: /r/ is pronounced as a retroflex flap [ɽ] in the syllable onset, a retroflex approximant [ɻ] in the syllable coda (except before stop consonants, where it's still a flapped [ɽ]). The syllabic /r̩/ or /ər/ is pronounced as an R-coloured vowel [ɚ]. The geminated /rː/ is an apico-alveolar trill [r̺]. The retroflex articulation of /r/ is a feature shared with the Etrandish Copperport dialect.
    • Word-initial /r/ may be also a trilled [r̺], but the retroflex flap [ɽ] is also used.
  • /l/ is pronounced as a clear apico-alveolar [l̺]. In coda-positions, it may be retracted to a retroflex [ɭ] place of articulation.
  • /n tʰ t s z/ are lamino-alveolar [n̻ t̻ʰ t̻~d̻ s̻ z̻].
  • /tʰr tr/ are affricated to [ʈ͡ʂʰɻ ʈ͡ʂɻ~ɖ͡ʐɻ], another feature shared with the Etrandish Copperport dialect.
  • /t͡ʃʰ t͡ʃ ʃ/ are alveolo-palatal [t͡ɕʰ t͡ɕ~d͡ʑ ɕ], another feature shared with the Etrandish Copperport dialect.

Cross-dialectal variation

Some variation in Etrancoasti pronunciation transcends dialectal boundaries. Examples of variation independent of dialects include:

  • The palatalization of the velar /kʰ k x ɣ/ before front vowels and /j/
    • In Standard Etrancoasti, they are meant to be consistently pronounced as purely velar [kʰ k~g x ɣ]. This pronunciation however is restricted to upper-class speakers, and middle-class speakers, many of whom are bilingual and can also speak Etrandish.
    • The use of palatalized velar [kʲʰ kʲ~gʲ xʲ ɣʲ] is currently the most widespread pronunciation in both the North and the South, although [xʲ ɣʲ] are usually replaced by [ç ʝ].
    • The use of post-palatal / pre-velar [k̟ʰ k̟~g̟ x̟ ɣ̟] is also relatively widespread, but declining.
    • The use of purely palatal [cʰ c~ɟ ç ʝ] is currently the rarest pronunciation, but getting more and more widespread in both the North and the South. Within one or two centuries, it may go from being the rarest to the most widespread.
  • Labio-palatalization:
    • /kʷʰ kʷ w/ are meant to be consistently realized as [kʷʰ kʷ~gʷ w] in Standard Etrancoasti
    • In both the North and the South, the majority of speakers realize /kʷʰ kʷ/ as labio-palatalized velar [kᶣʰ kᶣ~gᶣ] and /w/ as a labio-velar [ɥ] before front vowels.
    • Speakers who completely palatalize /kʰ k x ɣ/ to [cʰ c~ɟ ç ʝ] before front vowels will typically realize /kʷʰ kʷ w/ as [cᶣʰ cᶣ~ɟᶣ ɥ] before front vowels. /wi/ may be even coalesced into [y] instead of [ɥi] - for example, /rɪkʷʰi/ may be pronounced as [ɽɪcy~ʀɪcy] instead of [ɽɪcᶣʰi~ʀɪcᶣʰi].
  • Vowel reduction: the shift of word-final /ɑ/ and /e/ to [ə] is not mainstream yet, but getting increasingly widespread in both the North and the South.

Foreign accents

Etrandish accent

A large number burghers in Waterburcht and Yrvhaven have Etrandish origins, and are bilingual in Etrancoasti and Etrandish. This also influences the way they speak Etrancoasti.

  • The unaspirated plosives /p t t͡ʃ k kʷ/ are consistently voiced [b d d͡ʒ g gʷ], unlike in normal Etrancoasti, where they are only voiced word-medially, voiceless word-initially and word-finally.
  • Native Etrandish-speakers have difficulties with the voiced velar fricative /ɣ/ because Etrandish does not contain it, so they either devoice it [x] or fortify it [g]. In the speech of bilingual Etrandish-Etrancoasti speakers who have lived in Etrancoast for generations, /ɣ/ varies between a stop and a fricative [g~ɣ]. In normal Etrancoasti, it is intended to be a weak fricative or approximant with limited friction [ɣ~ɰ].
  • /r/ is pronounced as flap/trill [ɾ~r] before vowels, approximant [ɹ~ɻ] when not followed by a vowel. /r̩/ or /ər/ is realized as an R-coloured vowel [ɚ].
  • The mid vowels /e ø o/ are lowered [ɛ œ ɔ].
  • The tense vowels /i y u/ are consistently long, unless word-final.
  • The diphthong /œø̯/ is merged with /øy̯/. The diphthongs /ɛe̯ ei̯ øy̯ ou̯/ are respectively pronounced as [ɛː eɪ̯ øʏ̯ oʊ̯].
  • The absence of palatalization. /kʰ k ɣ w/ are consistently velar [kʰ g g~ɣ w].