Ways of Darkness
Ways of Darkness
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Etrancoasti language

From Ways of Darkness
Language: English
Etrancoasti
RegionEtrancoast, also in Kingdom of Etrand (diaspora)
EthnicityHumans
Native speakers
~564,400 (833)
Early forms
High Elven
Language codes
ISO 639-3

The Etrancoasti language is the main language of Etrancoast, formerly known as Hulra. While no longer carrying the prestige of its predecessors, it is still considered a good-to-know language when one decides to become involved in maritime trade.

The language has a heavy amount of loanwords from Middle Etrandish, Classical High Elven, and indirectly Middle High Elven via Middle Etrandish. The trade of loanwords between Etrandish and Etrancoasti continues even to this day, although it has now become much more mutual, with both languages borrowing words from each other.

Evolution from Late Hulran

Consonants

The consonantal system of current Etrancoasti is no different from that of Late Hulran, except for the introduction of the new sounds /t͡s z ɲ ʎ/ and the palatalization of /kʰ k~g h ɣ/ of to [k̟ʰ k̟~g̟ xʲ ɣʲ] or even [cʰ c~ɟ ç ʝ] (mainly by rural speakers) before front unrounded vowels.

Vowels

  • The long vowels /eː øː oː ɛː ɔː/ diphthongize to /ɛe̯ œø̯ ou̯ ai̯ au̯/, fully eliminating phonemic vowel length distinction from the language (except for /ɑ/ and /aː/).
    • The original Late Hulran /ei̯/ also merges with /ɛe̯/
  • The original Late Hulran tense vowels /i y/ either diphthongize or get laxed depending on environment
    • In open syllables (except word-finally), they diphthongize to /ei̯ øy̯/
    • Before velar codas, they merge with the laxed /ɪ ʏ/
    • In other closed syllables and word-finally, they remained /i y/
  • The centralizing diphthongs /iə̯ uə̯/ become tense vowels /i u/

Grammar

  • As a result of Etrandish influence, the nominative case for singular masculine nouns becomes unmarked.
  • For regular nouns, the neuter gender is lost, with only masculine and feminine remaining. The neuter pronoun however remains.

Phonology

Consonants

Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar
Plain Labial
Nasal m n (ɲ) ŋ
Stop Aspirated tʰ (t͡sʰ) t͡ʃʰ (cʰ) kʷʰ (kᶣʰ)
Plain p~b t~d t͡ʃ~d͡ʒ (c~ɟ) (k~g) (kʷ~gʷ) (kᶣ~gᶣ)
Fricative f θ s (z) ʃ h~x
Approximant v~ʋ ð l ʝ~j (ʎ) (ɥ) ɣ~ɰ w
Rhotic r~ɾ~ɽ~ʀ*
  • The consonants /t͡sʰ z ɲ ʎ k~g kʷ~gʷ/ appear in foreign loanwords only
    • /t͡sʰ/ is generally mispronounced by uneducated speakers as [s] or [t͡ʃʰ]
    • /z/ is generally mispronounced by uneducated speakers as [s], sometimes even by educated speakers too. Some speakers may hypercorrect it to [d͡z] (the way it's meant to be pronounced in High Elven) even in Etrandish loanwords too.
    • /ɲ/ is generally mispronounced as [nj] or [j] in the syllable onset, [ŋ] in the syllable coda
    • /ʎ/ is mispronounced as [j] even by most of the educated speakers
    • Most speakers may pronounce /k~g/ either as just [k] (without the voiced medial allophone [g]), or merge it with /ɣ/.
    • Most speakers may pronounce /kʷ~gʷ/ either as just [kʷ] (without the voiced medial allophone [gʷ]), or merge it with /w/.
  • Palatalization of velars:
    • /kʰ/, /k/, /h/ and /ɣ/ are palatalized to [k̟ʲʰ k̟ʲ~g̟ʲ xʲ ɣʲ] or even [cʰ c~ɟ ç ʝ] (especially by rural speakers) before front unrounded vowels.
    • /kʷʰ/, /kʷ/, and /w/ are labio-palatalized to [k̟ᶣʰ], [k̟ᶣ~g̟ᶣ], and [ɥ] before front vowels - rounded and unrounded alike.
    • A lot of urban speakers do not palatalize at all.
  • /r/ was traditionally pronounced as an alveolar trill / flap [r~ɾ], and still pronounced as such by higher-class and middle-class speakers, however in lower-class speech, the preferred realization of /r/ is a retroflex flap [ɽ] (in southern dialects) or uvular trill / approximant [ʀ] (in northern dialects).

Vowels

Monophthongs

Front Central Back
Close Tense i~iː y~yː u~uː
Lax ɪ ʏ (ʊ)
Mid e ø ə o
Open ɑɐ̯~aː ɑ
  • The main distinction between the lax /ɪ ʏ ʊ/ and the tense /i y u/ is not length but vowel quality
    • the lax /ɪ ʏ ʊ/ are always short [ɪ ʏ ʊ]
    • the tense /i y u/ are long [iː yː uː] in open syllables (except word-finally), short [i y u] otherwise.
  • The lax /ʊ/ appears in loanwords only, and uneducated speakers may mispronounce it as [o̞]
  • The mid vowels /e ø o/ are true mid, just like /ə/. In other words, they are neither [e ø o] nor [ɛ œ ɔ] but halfway between them: [e̞ ø̞ o̞].
  • /aː/ may be diphthongized to [ɑɐ̯] or even [ɑæ̯~aæ̯] by some speakers

Diphthongs

Fronted Backed
ui̯ iu̯
ei̯ øy̯ oi̯ ou̯
ɛe̯ œø̯
ai̯ au̯ ɒu̯

Grammar

Etrancoast is subject-verb-object and synthetic language.

Nouns

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine
nominative - -a -(i)
genitive -án -ené -(i)n
dative -anó -ré
accusative -nó -(a)né -(i)rné

The various cases had the following functions:

  • The nominative case usually marks the subject of the sentence. Historically - in Late Hulran it was marked by -r, but due to Etrandish influence, it was lost.
  • The genitive case marks ownership. For example, "Húlrán Réct" means "(the) Kingdom of Hulra".
  • The dative case usualy marks indirect objects, similar to the use of English "to" and "for"
  • the accusative case usually marks direct objects, ones that are being directly targeted.

Pronouns

Person First Second Third
Number Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter
nominative ág ághí ha sa cam
genitive méghé mághén fún fín hán sené can sín
dative ágú ághír fúm fye sanó cám she
accusative éghnú ághén fúnám fén hánó sané canám sén

Verbs

Simple Continuous
Past -yl -(i)lme
Present -(i)ri -(i)rghí
Future -eg -enghi
  • The infinitive is marked by -(i)ri, just like Present Simple.
  • Adding an extra -r (or -er, if it ends with a consonant) at the end turns the verb perfect. An example:
    • "seffiri" means "to make someone / something beautiful". It is in Present Simple.
    • "seffeg" is the same verb, but in Future Simple instead. For example, "you will make her beautiful".
    • "seffegher" is the same verb, but in Future Perfect instead. For example, "you will have made her beautiful".

Adjectives

Adjectives have three forms in Etrancoasti:

  • Normal adjective: -en
  • Comparitive adjective: -enri
  • Superlative adjective: -aneg

Adverbs

Adverbs have three forms in Etrancoasti:

  • Normal adverb: -aten
  • Comparitive adverb: -arten
  • Superlative adverb: -ang

Inclusive or vs Exclusive or

Etrancoasti distinguishes between the "inclusive or" and the "exclusive or". The earlier means, "either A, B, or both of them", while the latter means "either A or B, but not both of them - never both of them".

  • The word for the inclusive or is 「ran」
  • The word for the exclusive or is 「hú」

Numerical system

Numbers from 0 to 16

  • 0: mar
  • 1: an
  • 2: fán
  • 3: wen
  • 4:
  • 5:
  • 6:
  • 7: ghé
  • 8: step
  • 9: rón
  • 10: rófán
  • 11: rówen
  • 12: rórei
  • 13: róthé
  • 14: ródé
  • 15: róghé
  • 16: róstep

Numerical postfixes

  • 16 power 1: -(a)p
    • Denotes the first power of 16. For example, "anp-an" means , or 0x11, or simply 17 in decimal.
    • Logic would suggest the number 16 - 0x10 in hexadecimal - be said as "anp" - but it is actually "roustep". This is a holdover from Proto-Elven.
  • 16 power 2: -(i)p
    • Denotes the second power of 16. For example, "enp-an" means , or 0x101, or simply 257 in decimal.
    • When used as a noun - especially plural, and especially in casual usage - the word can also be used as an equivalent of "hundreds".
  • 16 power 3: -quat
    • Denotes the third power of 16. For example, "anquat-an" means , or 0x1001, or simply 4097 in decimal.
    • When used as a noun - especially plural, and especially in casual usage - the word can also be used as an equivalent of "thousands".
  • 16 power 4: -iet
    • Denotes the fourth power of 16. For example, "aniet-an" means , or 0x10001, or simply 65537 in decimal.
  • 16 power 5: -quét
    • Denotes the fifth power of 16. For example, "anquét-an" means , or 0x100001, or simply 1048577 in decimal.
    • When used as a noun - especially plural, and especially in casual usage - the word can also be used as an equivalent of "millions".
  • negative: -n(e)l
    • Used to postfix a negative number. For example, "an" means 1, while "ennel" means -1.
  • Ordinator: -(e)r
    • Turns a cardinal number into an ordinal number. For example, "an" means "one", while "ener" means "first".
  • Radix point: wir
    • Literally means "full", it separates the integral part of a number from the fractional part. For example, "an wir róstep" means 0x1.F, equivalent to the decimal 1.9375.