Ethlorek languages

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Trellin, Arimathea, Cadenza, Kur'zhet
Linguistic classificationMede-Lorecian

The Ethlorek languages are a branch of the Aqvatanzian languages which form part of the family of Mede-Lorecian languages spoken by the Ethlorek peoples. The Ethlorek languages are traditionally divided into two descendant language groups, North and South Ethlorek. Of these, only South Ethlorek languages (Khadenz, Kuredt and Trellinese) survive, with the sole exception of Fyngarian, most of the North Ethlorek languages having been displaced by Slavic and other languages.

The distinctions among South Ethlorek languages are more chronological than physical, with only superficial variations among the surviving languages even after twenty four centuries. Among linguists, the generally accepted definition is that the Ethlorek languages begin with the migration of the Ethlorek peoples out of Aquitayne, all of whom then spoke a common language. Groups of these migrants established themselves along the coasts of eastern and northern Nikolia, among other areas, where their languages slowly developed into the North Ethlorek languages only to be displaced and wiped out by the expansion of a unified Nikolian state; the majority, however, continued south until they began arriving around the Great Bay of Arimathea, the shores of Hysera and the islands of Cadenza and Kur'zhet. These settlers developed a number of South Ethlorek languages, including the now-extinct languages of Alkaran, Old Arimathean, Ilíran and Mevirese which all faded out of use when the phonologically congruent Trellinese language expanded into their areas of control. Old Arimathean was also historically spoken in Berique and is the source of that country's modern name. The three surviving South Ethlorek languages are spoken primarily within the Trellinese Empire; all three are mutually intelligible, descending from Old Trellinese.

The North Ethlorek languages covered a much broader range than their southern cousins, with settlements along the coasts of modern ViZion and Earent which survived into the 3rd century BC, also reaching into Noordenstaat and Fyngaria and across Nikolia. These regions developed dialectal variations over time, many of which began to develop into unique languages. In ViZion and Earent, such dialects were wiped out along with the Ethlorek settlement. In Nikolia and Noordenstaat they survived longer but ultimately also succumbed to native cultures and political pressure. Only Fyngarian survives today of the estimated thirteen distinct North Ethlorek languages.