Borish language

Borish language
Borishe spreake, borishe tunge
Pronunciation[ˈbɔːɾɪʃə ˈspɾɛːkə/ˈtʊŋ(ɡ)ə]
Native toparts of Borland
Native speakers
c. 4.1 million
c. 2 million
Standard forms
Rÿkshuis’ standard Borish
Helman’s Borish
Borish alphabet (Solarian script)
Official status
Official language in
Borland (Kylaris) Borland
Euclean Community
Regulated byRÿkshuis Institute for the Borish language (of the Linguistic Faculty of the University of Newstead), advisory
Language codes
ISO 639-1bo
ISO 639-2bor
ISO 639-3bor
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The Borish language (/ˈbɔːrɪʃ/; natively: borishe spreake, borishe tunge or just borish [ˈbɔːɾɪʃ]) is a language belonging to the Estmero-Azmaran branch of the Weranic languages. It is the primary official language of Borland, where it is spoken predominantly in the yends of North Hethland, Maynes-Yord and Midlands. It is also one of the official languages of the Euclean Community.


Borish is usually classified as belonging to the Estmero-Azmaran branch of Weranic. However, some have argued that it forms its own branch within the Weranic languages, due to the absense of some major features shared by all (other) Estmero-Azmaran languages, most prominently the palatalization of historic /k/ and /ɡ/ (compare Borish dagh /ˈdaɣ~ˈdɑːɣ/ or lighe /ˈliːɣə/ to Estmerish day /ˈdeɪ̯/ and lie /ˈlaɪ̯/, respectively).


Before the 19Template:Th century, Borish was not generally considered a language in its own right, but rather a dialect of the closely-related Estmerish language. Prior to the 1860s and 70s, Borish had a sparse written record, mostly short passages within otherwise Estmerish-language texts that used Estmerish-language spelling conventions in a nonstandard manner.

Current Situation



Borish is almost exclusively written using an Estmerish-based Solarian alphabet, though occasional instances of other writing systems being used to write the language can be observed within some social circles. Most texts nowadays use an alphabet consisting of 28 letters (the 26 letters that are also found in the Estmerish alphabet, except for j, but with the addition of the letters Ë, Þ and Ÿ), though older texts often used ⟨i⟩ and/or ⟨e⟩ where modern texts use ⟨ë⟩, with ⟨ei/ey⟩ abd ⟨th⟩ having been a common replacement for ⟨ÿ⟩ and ⟨þ⟩, respectively. Some texts use ⟨æ⟩ and ⟨œ⟩ (sometimes represented by the digraphs ⟨ae⟩ and ⟨oe⟩, respectively) in loan words and some dialectal vocabulary, although their usage is not widespread. It has to be noted that Y is sorted in dictionaries where J would be sorted in other languages. Thus, the Borish alphabet goes as follows: A B C D E Ë F G H I Y Ÿ K L M N O P Q R S T Þ U V W X Z.

There are a multitude of digraphs that are used in the Borish language. These include vowel digraphs for long vowels (aa, ee, ea, oo, oa, ou, ui) and for diphthongs (ai, au, ei, eu, ie, oi, ow). At the end of words and between vowels, the ⟨i⟩ and ⟨u⟩ get respelled to ⟨y⟩ and ⟨w⟩, respectively (thus ai, au, ei, eu, oi, uiay, aw, ey, ew, oy, uy). This does not apply to ou and ow, as these represent different sounds (/uː/ and /ɔʊ̯/, respectively). In loan words, the diphthong /iə̯/ is spelled ⟨ië⟩, while native words use the spelling ⟨ie⟩ instead.
Borish vowel spelling is often reminiscent of Estmerish orthographic conventions, though the spellings often represent different sounds in the two languages. This is largely due to the the monophthongization of diphthongs and the diphthongization of long vowels that happened in the Estmerish language as part of the so-called great vowel shift, which is a phenomenon largely absent from Borish phonology.

The digraphs DG and TCH are used for the postalveolar affricates in all positions, although they are almost entirely absent from word-initial positions in Borish. Other consonant digraphs are CH GH PH RH SH TH ZH. HV also is commonly counted as a digraph in Borish. It often is written as /hw/, though it can represent a variety of different sounds, depending on the dialect. These range from [xf] to [xv] and to [xw] in most dialects, which is mirrored in local Estmerish dialects. ⟨hv⟩ often corresponds to ⟨wh⟩ in Estmerish. ⟨kv⟩ is a similar digraph, represented by ⟨qv⟩ in loan words. There is no clear consensus on whether or not NG could be considered a digraph as its phonemic status is disputed.


Rÿkshuis Standard

The Rÿkshuis standard is based on the writing conventions and rules found in the works of pre-independence Borish author and politician Yoghen Rÿnman with features like Weranian loan words and grammatical structures as well as Borish archaïcisms being (re)introduced. A prominent feature found in texts adhering closely to the Rÿkshuis standard is the similarity to Weranian declension rules on articles (an(er)/ane/an(et) and þer/þe//þet) and adjectives, including the partial presence of grammatical gender (compare the phrase ein großes Haus with an(et) greatet hus).

Helman Standard

The Helman standard is based on the spoken language of Borland. As such, declension is largely limited to verbs and nouns, with adjectives having two forms (for some writers merely one) and articles showing no declension at all.

Popular Usage

Contemporary Borish, both informal and formal, is characterized by a mix of both the Rÿkshuis and the Helman standards. To some extent, this has been “loaned into” the spoken forms of Borish, such as the widespread usage of not only universal þe, but rather singular þer/þe//þet.