Middle Etrandish language

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Language: English
Middle Etrandish
RegionEtrand
EthnicityHumans
Extinctevolved into Current Etrandish around 600 AEKE
Keldorni Etrandish split off around 150 AEKE.
Torgyrian
Early forms
High Elven
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Middle Etrandish was a stage of the Etrandish language from 0 BEKE / BEKE to 600 AEKE.

Middle Etrandish had marked differences from Old Etrandish, in multiple respects. The birth of the Kingdom of Etrand coincided with a great vowel shift that rendered it mutually unintelligible from its predecessor (although it is likely that the vowel shift was not so sudden, and more like a gradual shift happening between 200 BEKE and 100 AEKE).

In addition to internal changes, the language also received a heavy dose of exposure to influence from Middle High Elven - the latter have even contributed four new consonant phonemes to the language, /t͡s/, /ɲ/, /ʎ/ and /gʷ/ and its writing system. Due to the religious changes, a large amount of Classical High Elven loanwords entered the Etrandish language.

It is important to note that neither Middle Etrandish nor its predecessor Old Etrandish were in no way a unified monolithic languages, but both had a variety of dialects.

Evolution from Old Etrandish

Consonants

  • The voiceless sonorants /m̥ n̥ l̥/ merge with their voiced counterparts /m n l/. /r̥ ʍ/ are preserved, but only word-initially: medial /r̥ ʍ/ become /r w/.
  • The syllabic consonants /m̩ n̩ ŋ̩ l̩ r̩/ dissimilate to /um ɛn ɔŋ ər ɛl/.
    • Word-initial /l̩ r̩/ dissimilate /li ri/ instead.
    • The dissimilation of the syllabic consonants happened gradually, and not all of them dissimilated at once. The dissimilation of word-initial /l̩ r̩/ to /li ri/ happened the earliest, already ongoing in Late Old Etrandish, fully complete by early Middle Etrandish. The non-coronal /m̩ n̩/ dissimilated to /um ɔŋ/ relatively early as well, already evident in spellings as early as the reign of King Corlagon I of Etrand. The dissimilation of /l̩ r̩/ to /ər ɛl/ can be dated to around 50-100 AEKE, while the dissimilation of /n̩/ to /ɛn/ happened the latest: as late as 150-200 AEKE, evidenced by the respelling of Etrandn RéctEtrandn Réct」 to Etranden RéctEtranden Réct」 from 212.
  • Four new consonants are introduced to the language via loanwords from High Elven: /t͡s/, /ɲ/, /ʎ/ and /gʷ/
  • Due to exposure to High Elven, the voiced labiodental fricative /v/ has become a phoneme on its own, previously having been only the intervocalic allophone of /f/

Vowels

  • "Close vowel synthesis"
    • /CuCu//CoːC/
    • /CiCi//CeːC/
  • /ɑː/ becomes /aː/, except before /r l/
    • /ɑːr/ and /ɑːl/ become /ɒːl/ and /ɒːl/
  • /ɑr/ and /ɑl/ become /ɒr/ and /ɒl/
  • Merger of /æː/ and /æi/ as [ɐi̯]
  • Shift of /æ/ to /ɛ/, except before /r l/
    • /ær æl/ became /ɒr ɒl/
  • Shift of /e/ to /ɛ/, except before /r/
    • /er/ became /ər/
    • /eː/ remains /eː/
  • Shift of /ø/ to /œ/, except before /r/
    • /ør/ became /ər/
    • /øː/ remains /øː/
  • /o/ gets lowered to /ɔ/, while /oː/ remains /oː/
  • Diphthong simplifications:
    • /yːi̯/ and /yi̯/ merge as /yː/
    • /eːi̯/ and /ei̯/ merge as /ɛi̯/
    • /ui̯/ becomes /ʊi̯/
    • /øːi̯/ and /øi̯/ merge as /œi̯/
    • /oːu̯/ and /ou̯/ merge as /ɔu̯/
    • /æːi̯/, /æi̯/ and /æː/ merge as /ɐi̯/
    • /ɑːu̯/ and /ɑu̯/ merge as /ɐu̯/

Grammar

  • Cases for nouns increasingly start to fall out of use, replaced by prepositions
    • The ownership-marking preposition "ven" appears, starting to gradually displace the genitive case.

Consonants

Labial Dental Palatal Velar
Plain Sibilant Plain Labialized
Nasal m n (ɲ) ŋ
Stop Voiceless p t (t͡s) t͡ʃ k
Voiced b d d͡ʒ g (gʷ)
Fricative Voiceless f θ s ʃ h~x~ç
Voiced v ð z
Approximant l j (ʎ) w ʍ
Rhotic r* r̥*
  • [x] and [ç] were coda-position allophones of /h/ after back / central and front vowels respectively.
  • /t͡s/, /ɲ/, /ʎ/ and /gʷ/ were not native phonemes to Etrandish - they were introduced from High Elven loanwords - so monolingual speakers probably mispronounced them
    • /ɲ/ was most likely mispronounced as /nj/
    • /ʎ/ was most likely mispronounced as /j/ or /lj/ even in educated speech
    • /t͡s/ was probably deaffricated to /s/ in uneducated speech
  • The voiceless /r̥/ was a relic from Old Etrandish that was already under the process of being merged with the voiced /r/ in all environments. By the end of the Middle Etrandish period, it has completely merged with /r/, and remained only in the spellings of a few family names and personal names.
  • /r/ was realized in multiple ways, depending on the envorniment:
    • Apico-alveolar trill [r̺] word-initially and when geminated
    • Post-velar (optionally raised) trill [ʀ̟~ʀ̟̝] after /k/ and /g/
    • Apico-alveolar / retroflex flap [ɾ̺~ɽ] medially when not geminated
    • Velarized alveolar / retroflex approximant [ɹˠ~ɻ] in the syllable coda
  • It is rather unlikely that voiceless stops and affricates were already aspirated at this point.

Vowels

Monophthongs

Front Central Back
Unrounded Rounded
Close Long
Short i~ɪ y~ʏ u~ʊ
Mid Long eː (ɛː) øː oː (ɔː)
Short ɛ œ ə ɔ
Open Long (ɒː)
Short ɑ (ɒ)
  • [ɒ] and [ɒː] were allophones of /ɑ/ and /aː/ before /r/ and /l/
  • The diphthongs /ɐu̯/ and /ɐi̯/ monphthongized to /ɔː/ and /ɛː/ before /r/ and /l/ around 200 AEKE.
  • /i/, /y/ and /u/ laxed to /ɪ/, /ʏ/, and /ʊ/ around 350 AEKE.

Diphthongs

Fronted Backed
Close (ui̯)
Mid ɛi̯ œi̯ (ɔi̯) ɔu̯
Open ɐi̯ ɐu̯
  • The dipththongs /ui̯/ and /ɔi̯/ were not native to Etrandish - they were from loanwords from either High Elven or Wood Elven
  • The Wood Elven loanwords were loaned to Old Etrandish, so they could be considered nativized.
  • The diphthongs /ɐu̯/ and /ɐi̯/ monphthongized to /ɔː/ and /ɛː/ before /r/ and /l/ around 200 AEKE.

Grammar

Middle Etrandish was a subject-verb-object and synthetic language, although now with analytical elements.

Nouns

While Old Etrandish used cases and relied on them, and Current Etrandish did away with cases altogether (except for the genitive in formal usage and archaicisms) - relying almost entirely on prepositions instead - Middle Etrandish marked the transitional stage between the two, where both systems coexisted.

Number Singular Plural
nominative - (-i)
genitive -(e)n -(i)n
dative / accusative -aem -rae

The various cases had the following functions:

  • The nominative case usually marks the subject of the sentence.
  • The genitive case marks ownership. For example, "Etranden Réct" means "(the) Kingdom of Etrand". In Middle Etrandish, this case coexisted with the preoposition "ven", which fufills the same function. For example, "Réct ven Etrand" also meant "Kingdom of Etrand", but is never used.
  • The dative case usualy marks indirect objects, similar to the use of English "to" and "for"

The dative case was increasingly falling out of use during this stage of the language, gradually being replaced by prepositions that fufill its function instead.

Pronouns

Person First Second Third
Number Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Case / gender Masculine Feminine Neuter
nominative ai ayé he se kem
genitive mae mayén fón fén haen sená ken sén
dative ágó ayair fóm fae sanó kaem sae

Verbs

Simple Continuous
Past -yl -ilm
Present -ir -ér
Future -ei -enj
  • The infinitive is marked by -ir, just like Present Simple.
  • Adding an extra -(e)r at the end turns the verb perfect. An example:
    • "seffir" means "to make someone / something beautiful". It is in Present Simple.
    • "seffei" is the same verb, but in Future Simple instead. For example, "you will make her beautiful".
    • "seffeier" is the same verb, but in Future Perfect instead. For example, "you will have made her beautiful".

Adjectives

Adjectives have three forms in Middle Etrandish:

  • Normal adjective: -en
  • Comparitive adjective: -ener
  • Superlative adjective: -enei

Adverbs

Adverbs have three forms in Etrandish:

  • Normal adverb: -eten
  • Comparitive adverb: -arten
  • Superlative adverb: -eng

Inclusive or vs Exclusive or

Middle Etrandish distinguished 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 「ze」
  • The word for the exclusive or is 「ho」

Vocabulary

Work under progress

See also