Azmaran language

Azmaran language
Azmaariś sprek
Native to Azmara
EthnicityAzmaran people
Native speakers
10 million L1 (2017)
5 million L2
Euclean
  • Nordano-Weranian
    • Weranian
      • Estmero-Azmaran
Weranian
Dialects
  • Groonbankish
  • Westmaarkic
  • Southern
  • Hytklifer (disputed)
Solarian alphabet
Official status
Official language in
 Azmara
Regulated byAzmaran Language Authority
Language codes
ISO 639-3

The Azmaran language, (Azmaran: Azmaariś sprek, [ɑzmɑːɹɪʃ spɹɛk]), is a Weranic language spoken by approximately 10 million people in Azmara. It is closely related to Swathish, Estmerish, Buckish and Aldman.

Old Azmaran was brought to Azmara by Weranic settlers in the 4th and 5th centuries in an early form: similar to many early Weranic languages, this form was an inflected language. As the language became the dominant language of the people of Azmara, it developed and modernised, levelling much of the noun inflections of Old Azmaran and undergoing phonological processes of palatalisation and an extensive form of umlaut, giving Azmaran its current feel.

History

Classification

Azmaran is considered to fall into the Weranic family of languages, as well as Estmerish, Buckish, Weranic and Ruttish. It is considered to be part of the Estmero-Azmaran subfamily of this, which excludes the Weranic language. Within this it is thought to make up its own group, due to notable differences from the other three. It is sometimes considered to be part of an Azmaran branch as well as Hytklifer, a divergent dialect of Azmaran spoken in the Hytklif province.

Orthography

In the modern day, Azmaran is written in a modified Solarian alphabet containing 27 letters: F U Þ A R K G W H N I J Â P Z Ź S Ś T B E M L O D Y C. Notably, the order of the letters is derived from the order of the old runes formerly used to write Old Azmaran, as opposed to the normal order of letters. Q V and X are not natively used in Azmaran; the functions of Q and X are replaced by K and KS while the sound V represents is merely a dialectal pronounciation of W.

The Azmaran alphabet features four extra letters: Þ Â Ź Ś, used for the sounds /θ æ ʒ ʃ/ respectively. The first of these, þorn, comes from the old Runic alphabet, while the other three, âś, twii-zet and twii-sig, are modifications of Solarian letters used to express Azmaran sounds.

Phonology

Consonants

Azmaran consonant phonemes
Labial Coronal Palatal Velar
Nasal m n ŋ
Stop p b t d k g
Fricative ɸ β θ ð s z ʃ ʒ x ɣ
Affricate t͡ʃ
Approximant ʋ ~ w j
Lateral l
Rhotic ɹ ~ ɾ
  • [ŋ] is a common realisation of /n/ before /k/, /g/ or /x/.
  • The sequences /mb/ and /nd/ are often realised as [mː] and [nː] in the Groonbankish dialect.
  • Unlike Estmerish, /p t k/ are never aspirated as [pʰ tʰ kʰ], but are often partially voiced when medial or word-final as [b̥ d̥ ɡ̊].
  • /b d g/ are often lenited to fricatives /β ð ɣ/ medially or word-final, hence the pronunciation of daag (day) as [dɑːɣ].
  • /ɸ/ and [β] are often bilabial, although are realised as labiodental [f] and [v] in Southern dialects.
  • /x/ is often realised as /ç/ when preceding or succeeding /æ ɛ ɪ iː ʏ yː/, hence hym (him) being pronounced as [çʏm]
  • /ʋ/ and /ɹ/ are often realised as [w] and [ɾ] in Westmaarkic and as [v] and [r] in some far northern dialects, turning Weraanija (Werania) from /ʋɛɹɑːnɪjɑ/ into [wɛɾɑːnɪjə] and [vɛrɑːnɪjə] respectively.
  • /l/ is released as [ɫ] before velar consonants, and word-final in Westmaarkic.

Vowels

Azmaran vowel phonemes
Front Central Back
Close iː ɪ yː ʏ uː ʊ
Mid ɛ ə o ɔː
Open æ ɑ ɑː

With the exception of /ɛ/ and /æ/, whose long and short forms have merged, most vowels can be considered as long and short pairs, and in some dialects, such as in the Sompland dialect, a lengthening of /ɛ/ to [ɛː] followed by /æ/ moving to [e] has occured, leading to the two being reanalysed as a long-short pair.

Orthography Long Short
i /iː/ /ɪ/
y /yː/ /ʏ/
u /uː/ /ʊ/
e /ɛ/
o /ɔː/ /o/
â /æ/
a /ɑː/ /ɑ/

Azmaran has four diphthongs /ai ei oi au/, spelt either aj ej oj au or less commonly ai ei oi au, such as in the town name Stajnensby [stainɛnzbʏ], the color grej [gɹei], the river Bojner [boinɛɹ] and in the word for female fraulyk [fɹaulʏk].

In most dialects, word-final /ɑ/, /ɛ/ and /ɛɹ/ are reduced to /ə/.

Grammar

Azmaran grammar is the result of a move away from the inflected nature and relatively free word order of Proto-Weranic towards a rather analytic structure and a fixed word order.

Nouns

Azmaran nouns are relatively simple in their morphology. Nouns are only inflected to show plurals, which are made through the affixation of -en to the end of the noun, with maan becoming maanen in the plural form.

The Weranic case system has been discarded in favour of word order; subjects and direct objects are marked by their place in a sentence, while indirect objects and possession are shown through analytic constructions: the indirect object is generally shown using the preposition taa, which translates as to, while possession is shown through the use of âb, which translates as of. An example of this would be the sentence De maan gabeþ en ben taa de hund âb de frâu, in which de maan is the subject, en ben is the direct object, de hund is the indirect object and de frau possesses the indirect object.

While Azmaran technically has two genders, common and neuter, the grammatical characteristics of the common gender have been generalised to all nouns in the past century, leading to the loss of gender in all practical purposes.

Pronouns

Azmaran pronouns are notable among Weranic languages in that the dual first and second person pronouns are retained; they are used often when someone is referring to themselves and their significant other collectively, or to the person they are addressing and their significant other collectively.

Notably, the suppletion of the original second-person singular pronouns, þu/þy/þyn, by the plural second-person pronouns ju/je/jun due to their use as formal forms and generalisation, happened in Azmaran as it did in Estmerish and Hennish, yet as the use of the phrase ju þyyd (you people) caused umlaut to jy þyyd, the form jy became the new second-person plural form in the nominative and jym and jyn developed in comparison to the third-person singular forms.

Azmaran pronouns
Person Nominative Accusative Genitive
1st sing. ik my myn
dual wit unk unken
pl. wy uns wyn
2nd sing. ju je jun
dual jut jet juten
pl. jy jym jyn
3rd sing. masc. hy hym hyn
sing. fem. zy zym zyn
sing. neut. et etân
pl. zer zerâm zerân

Verbs

Like other Weranic languages, Azmaran has two grammaticalised tenses, the past and the present, although a system of marking the future tense through auxiliaries has developed, in which the construction wâsan gaanen taa (to be going to) is conjugated to express the concept in question while the original verb is placed at the end in the infinitive form.

In standard Azmaran, aspect and mood are not grammaticalised, and information shown through aspect and mood in other languages is often shown through adverbs. However, a singular or plural second person inflected verb without a pronoun is often used as an imperative, for example Gaaneþ! is used to mean Go! when talking to one person. However, some dialects, most notably the Ostlaak dialect, have gained a conditional form through the use of past tense forms of wâsan in the future construction, while a habitual aspect has developed in the Haadland dialect through the use of wâsan by itself as an auxiliary and the moving of the original verb to the end of the sentence.

The way tense is grammaticalised depends on the verb; while most verbs are weak verbs and show past tense through the use of the -t- morpheme, some verbs are strong verbs and show tense through the use of vowel ablaut. Infinitive forms are shown using the -en suffix.

Azmaran verbs also conjugate for person, with distinct inflections for the first, second and third person in the singular and a common plural inflections. The dual subject pronouns, wit and jut, normally take their respective singular conjugations, but in some dialects the plural form is used. Most verbs conjugate for person in a regular manner, with the -est, -eþ and -e suffixes for second person, third person and plural being used consistently, but in some verbs these are irregular: wâsan (to be), gaanen (to go) and hâben (to have) are the most notable examples of this.

Weak verbs: talken (to talk)
Person Present Past
Ik/wit talk talkt
Ju/jut talkest talktest
Hy/zy/et talk talkteþ
Wy/jy/zer talke talkte
Strong verbs: singen (to sing)
Person Present Past
Ik/wit sing sang
Ju/jut singest sangest
Hy/zy/et sing sang
Wy/jy/zer singe sange

Syntax

For the most part, Azmaran has an SVO word order; with the subject noun phrase being placed at the start of the sentence, the verb being placed in the middle and the object noun phrase being placed at the end. However, Azmaran has V2 tendencies like many other Weranic languages; this is most notable in future tense constructions such as Ik by gaanen taa de bokhaas loopen. (I will walk to the library), in which the future tense construction, Ik by gaanen taa, is placed at the start of the sentence, while the actual verb, loopen (to walk), is moved to the end, after the object. It can also be seen in phrases such as Afta is gaanen et raad rosen rejnen., in which the word afta (then) moves the initial verb construction is gaanen forward to be the second topic in the sentence, and the second verb construction rejnen is moved to the end.

Due to the use of prepositions to show indirect objects, indirect object noun phrases can sometimes be fronted for emphasis; compare Ik gân for de bok. to For de bok, gân ik. Note the fronting of gân due to Azmaran's V2 tendencies; For de bok counts as the first part of the phrase and thus causes gân to move forwards.

Questions are primarily made by altering the word order; questions take on a VSO word order, with "Gaast ju taa de bokhaas?" translating as "Are you going to the library?" or "Do you go to the library?" based on context.