The Karolian language (Karolian: Karolijas Keelti) is part of the Ugric family which developed in near-isolation in central Uletha, having been spread at some point from the north-west. It is one of two official languages in Karolia along with Romans. It has no structural relation to any Romantisch or Saxonic language and shares its characteristics only with Teps, Kyori and Eeste as well as distantly Istanors. In the last two centuries loanwords have been appearing borrowed from Darcodian, Kalmish and Inglish. There are also several dialects which can differ considerably from Standard Karolian.
Karolian and all related languages are thought to have developed from a common ancestor which was spoken in mid-Northern Uletha around 4000-50BC and gradually split into different variants. Limited examples of written material from this time survive, but the language appears to have been written using glyphs that correspond roughly to the use of the modern Latin alphabet. Most of the other variants died out as they were replaced by Romantisch and Saxonic languages from eastern Uletha. Karolian seems to have survived due to the country being more isolated by the mountains. The Latin alphabet was used alongside a version of the earlier glyphs which is gradually superseded from around AD100, largely due to the influence of the Latin empire and subsequently the trade relations with Darcodia
By medieval times the usage of grammar and orthography of the modern tongue were established, but with significant differences between the versions spoken in different states. In general the fifteen of so dialects could be grouped into 'southern', 'central-eastern' and 'western' with similar characteristics. However, it was still difficult for a person from Lapise to understand what somebody from Gorjee was speaking.
Karolian as a standard national language was not officially adopted until after the foundation of the Republic, when in 1835 the council decided to adopt the form of the language most often spoken in the south-central areas of the country as the 'standard' form. However, it was recognised that other areas had their own unique dialects and so these were allowed to be used and taught in schools alongside the official tongue. Today many dialects survive as strong marks of regional identity. Some language reform occurred towards the end of the nineteenth century, standardising spellings and adding consistent diacritic marks to the Latin alphabet now in use. However, many of the variations in regional use were so entrenched that a great many place names and common terms still exist in several different spellings.
Karolian uses a modified Latin script with extra diacritic marks.
Standard Karolian uses the following eleven vowels:
|Öö||short oh with glottal stop|
|Őő||like ohr but darker||less common but found in words like Őtsa (avenue)|
|Uu||quite short uh in middle of mouth and with relaxed lips|
|Üü||ouh, like German ü, with lips rounded|
In general umlauts indicate a 'lighter' tone at the front of the mouth, and double acutes a 'darker' tone at the back. Dialects may also include the letter Íí and/or Ïï to indicate a very short ee sound, and substitute in ó and õ for variants of o and u. Due to the frequency with which double vowels appear in Karolian, some linguists have argued for these to be included as letters as well.
The following consonants are found in Standard Karolian:
|B||halfway between B and P, voiced||Not seen very often|
|C||Like K, but softer attack, longer, and further forward in the mouth|
|D||Halfway between D and T, unvoiced and soft||In some areas D and T are pronounced very similarly|
|F||standard English eff|
|G||Voiced at back of mouth like go|
|H||standard English h|
|K||English K, more attacked than Karolian C|
|L||standard English L|
|M||standard English M|
|N||standard English nasel N|
|P||Plosive and unvoiced pee|
|R||with trilled tongue|
|S||soft unvoiced ess|
|T||standard English T||In some areas D and T are pronounced very similarly|
|V||standard English V|
|Ć||ch||Mostly found in dialects|
|Ś||sh||Mostly found in dialects|
|Ŕ||like j in French jeux||Mostly found in dialects|
|DY||short dyu||Mostly found in Kyori dialects|
|GY||similar to DY but slightly longer||Mostly found in Kyori dialects|
|KY||fast kiy sound||Mostly found in Kyori dialects|
|SZ||buzzing zz||Originally from Kyori but has found its way into common usage, eg in abbreviation of 'Saint'|
Q, W, X, Y and Z alone are used for foreign words only.
Karolian is an agglutinating language and uses a series of different cases, expressed as suffixes, to show relation between nouns and actions affecting them. This means that whereas Inglish, Darcodian or Saxonix would use separate prepositions or articles, in Karolian they are attached to the end of the word.
Nouns do not have gender in Karolian, and have mostly lost their vowel harmony. Nouns also do not take any article (they do take personal pronouns and possessives, but these are added as suffixes) so it has to be inferred from the rest of the phrase whether the noun is definite or abstract.
Several different nouns can and often are combined together to form a new compound word - see below.
There is no distinction between formal and informal you in Karolian.
- ma = I
- sa = you
- ha = he or she
- mil = we
- sil = you all
- hal = they
There is no verb meaning 'to have' instead verbs meaning 'to be' or more often the genitive case is used
The following sixteen cases are used in modern Karolian:
|Nominative||Subject of a verb|
|Accusative||Concerning whole object|
|Genitive||Of||-as or -s||Säntjanas||Of Säntjana|
|Partitive||Concerning part object|
|Ablative||From||Can also be used as an associative case|
The plural is formed by adding -d or -t to the end of a noun. If the noun ends in a consonant, -id or -it are used.
There are also irregular forms of the plural which are used with abstract quantities that do not take this form but add other endings. One example is the word for 'champions' - meisteri - which adds -i. Another is the plural of the korona (unit of national currency) which is korone. Both are thought to originate from a Romans-influenced dialect or Darcodian as this is a common plural ending in Romance languages.
Karolian is spoken with a flowing, slightly lilting intonation that makes the language natural for singing and reciting epic verse. Stress is generally on the first syllable but there are exceptions.
There is no specific word for 'please' in Karolian (perhaps a reflection of the national character where material exchanges are often very practical and unemotional). Instead certain modifiers - 'I would like', 'Is good' - are used.
Karolian has a relatively small core base of words from which others are derived, but often contains many synonyms which carry subtle differences in meaning and tone. This is among the most difficult aspect of the language for non-native speakers to master, in addition to the differences in spelling. Another labarynthine aspect is the number of agglutinating suffixes which can be added to create related words. For example:
From saar (island)
- saaras = 'of the island'
- saarmila = 'island-place'
- saarao = 'island-like'
- saar(i)nen = 'island-person'
Several suffixes can be combined to produce more detail:
- saaraonen = 'island-like person'
- saaraskainen = 'daughter of the island'
- Yes = Jö
- No = Ae
- Thank you = Tek/Kiivas/Aiita (depending on the situation and level of formality)
- Right = Őikea
- Left = Vasea
- Good = Head
Note: The order of compound numbers always follows the form biggest to smallest, so 'one hundred and sixty-seven' would be sëiitsakűűsakummasaad = 'seven - six-tens - hundred'.
- One = juksi
- Two = kaksi
- Three = kolma
- Four = nëljia
- Five = viisa
- Six = kűűsa
- Seven = sëiitsa
- Eight = äheksa
- Nine = käheksa
- Ten = kumma
- Eleven = jukstöista
- Twelve = kakstöista
- Thirteen = kolmtöista
- Twenty = kakskumma
- Twenty-one = juksikakskumma
- Thirty = kolmkumma
- Thirty-five = viisakolmkumma
- Forty = nëljiakumma
- Fifty = viisakumma
- One hundred = saad
- Two hundred = kaksaad
- Three hundred = kolmaad
- Monday = Eesemipaevä
- Tuesday = paevä
- Wednesday = Keskipaevä
- Thursday = paevä
- Friday = paevä
- Saturday = Lauspaevä
- Sunday = Puhäspaevä
- January = Uusastakuu ('new year month')
- February = Talvikuu ('winter month')
- March = Herkamiinekuu ('awakening month')
- April = Veeskuu ('water month')
- May = Õiskuu ('flower month')
- June = Taevaskuu ('sky month')
- July = Keskkuu ('middle month')
- August = Aulamaekuu ('sun-goddess month')
- September = Laulaskuu ('singing month')
- October = Saatokuu ('harvest month')
- November = Tuumekuu ('dark month')
- December = Jouliskuu ('Yule month')