Aimilian language

Aimilian
gakunka amideziz
RegionCentral and northeastern Euclea
Native speakers
9 million (2017)
2 million
Aimilian
Early forms
Proto-Aimilian
  • Middle Aimilian
DialectsNorthern, Central, Southern
Solarian
Official status
Official language in
Aimilia
Recognised minority
language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3
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Aimilian is a language spoken in central and northeastern Euclea, with the majority in Aimilia, a significant recognised minority in Swetania, and the much smaller third largest minority in Gaullica. It is an isolate from the Hyndo-Euclean languages spoken in most of Euclea and even in Coius, having its ancestry in the languages spoken before the spread of that language family. It is the only well-documented member of its language family, and is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the modern day. There are about 7 million native speakers, and a further 2 million non-native speakers.

History

Proto-Aimilian was spoken by hunter-gatherers across northeastern and central Euclea in prehistory, but was steadily pushed back by the inmigration of Hyndo-Euclean speaking groups. By the time of the Solarian Empire, in the form of Old Aimilian, it is thought to have been only dominant in areas in modern day Swetania, xxx, Aimilia and Gaullica. The Aimilian Wars and subsequent integration into the Solarian Empire reduced the range of the language to around about its modern boundaries, while later wars against invaders of the Solarian Empire to the west reduced the range in that direction.

In the medieval era, Middle Aimilian lost further ground to Weranian, Gaullican and others owing to cultural assimilation by more powerful neighbours and migration. It was during this time that the modern three dialect areas, Northern, Central and Southern, were established, and all other branches of the Aimilian language family were extinct, leaving only Central Aimilian centred on the area of modern day Aimilia.

By the turn of the 20th century, Aimilian was nearly an endangered language in Gaullica, where around 80% of speakers resided, despite attempts at nationalistic revival, and in slower decline to Weranian in Sunrosia. However, the Swetanian Revolution which guaranteed rights for minorities (including the Aimilian-speaking one) and the establishment of the Aimilian Republic (whose sole official language is Aimilian) after the Great War (Kylaris) greatly rejuvenated the language, codifying it to the level of other Euclean languages for the first time, and it has not been at danger of extinction since. Unusually for a transnational language of over a century, it has not split into dialectal areas along borders, but has retained its Northern-Central-Southern continuum, likely owing to the openness of borders between Aimilia and Swetania. The Central dialect, spoken in Kakzazna, is today the most common one, where Northern and then Southern were more spoken historically.

Phonology

Aimilian has a fairly simple phonology, with for consonants only 11 coming from three places of articulation and three manners of articulation, while there are six vowels. [l] is used in loanwords.

Consonant phonemes
Labial Alveolar Velar
Nasal m n ŋ
Stop p b t d k ɡ
Fricative s z
Vowel phonemes
Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid ø̞
Open a ɒ

There is dialectal variance in pronunciation; /ŋ/ is sometimes realised as [ɲ], while /o̞/ is sometimes brought forward, to near the point of [ə]. More variation tends to occur in vowels than in consonants.

Syllable structure is (c)v(c). Stress is placed on every second syllable, starting from the second last syllable; for example, in a five syllable word, it will be on the second and fourth, whereas in a two syllable word, it will be on the first.

Grammar

Aimilian tends to be considered an inflectional language; it makes considerable use of suffixes to structure its grammar, though its contemporary usage is increasingly analytical, as is the trend with many other languages. For nouns, it has three classes: human, natural and inanimate; four numbers: singular, paucal, indefinite plural and definite plural, while verbs inflect based on person, number, tense, aspect, and the class of the nouns it takes. The normal word order is SOV.

Vocabulary

Because of its history, Aimilian has several superstrata; the most important two are Solarian and Gaullican respectively. It is notable in comparative linguistics for having preserved many of the antiquated features of these languages when borrowing lexical items. For example, in the word ybe, which means an urban area, especially a Solarian one, the Solarian urbs is preserved, whereas in most Solarian languages civitas was the ancestor of words for such cities. Aimilian, however, has a tendency to calque more than borrow, which rather than preserving phonological or orthographic features, has at times preserved semantic features. This tendency to calque was strengthened by modern movements to purify the language in order to forge a stronger national identity, especially during the postwar period.

Examples

tigamipekim Boziskaag ab – I am currently going to Boziskag.

bedeibinpikap kutugab – I will have finished eating myself tomorrow.