Maurit

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Maurit
Maurish
Native toMauretiaFlag.svg Mauretia
RegionNative to southwestern Uletha
EthnicityMauroi
Native speakersabout 16.9 million (2016)
about 860,000 L2 speakers
Language familyUletrarephian
  • Proto-Romantian
    • Southwestern Romantish
      • Maurit
        • Maurit
Writing systemMaurit alphabet
Official status
Official language inMauretiaFlag.svg Mauretia
Regulated bySa Qollegiad Maurit
OGFL-1ma
OGFL-2Tmau
Ethnologia InternationalU-MAU


Maurit (Fr. Maurrais, Ing. Maurish, Kalm. Maurisch) is an Uletarephian language and principal surviving language in the Southwestern Romantish language family. It is spoken by the Mauroi people and is the official language of Mauretia. In Ingerish the language is either called Maurit or Maurish, although it is sometimes incorrectly called Mauretian.

Classification

Maurit is a Uletarephian language and the sole surviving member of the southwestern branch of Romantish languages. It evolved from a vulgar Romantian (Maurit: Abriqait) that took hold during the first and second centuries AD. In many ways, Old Maurit has some resemblances of a pigdin. This is because the language quickly absorbed numerous elements from Semetic and Hellanisian languages already in place. Maurit is said to have been entirely distinct by the fifth century AD, although questions of intelligibility with other vulgar Romantian tongues remain unanswered.

History

The early forms of the Maurit language first appeared as a vulgar form of Romantian by the first century AD. Its isolation from the rest of the Romantian-speaking areas and its heavy use by merchants in trading meant that the language took on some very distinct characteristics. As the proto-Maurit vulgar language moved into the interior, it absorbed a lot of characteristics from the preexisting Ponqtai, Fonti, Amzigri, and Hellanisian languages. The constant interaction with Eganian and other Seriothyran peoples further allowed for changes to the otherwise Romantish-based language. One the one hand, elements such as word order, conjugations, prepositional clitics, and words related to personal interactions took on very non-Romantian forms. On the other hand, the language remained very conservative with spelling, pronunciation, and (initially) cases.

The spread of Christicism in the late first and early second centuries brough increased missionary activity in the vulgar Romantian tongue known as Abriqait. As missional work shifted to use the common tongue, its status was elevated among the populace in addition to classical Amzigrit. By the fifth century, the language had fully diverged from its Romantian origins as a separate tongue with a substantial Semetic, Amzigrit, and Hellanisian substratum. Maurit was also used as the royal language during the Maureti unification. Maurit, already fully entrenched into the culture of the Mauroi people, continued to thrive and develop over the next millennium. The language reached a height internationally in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, as Maurit was considered one of the primary trade languages of the Seriothyran region.

Geographic distribution

Maurit is the official language of Mauretia and is spoken by approximately 99% of the population. The language is also spoken in many neighboring regions, either natively among the Mauroi diaspora or among L2 speakers. Native Maurit speakers spread the language throughout the world with the establishment of trading colonies and in the Mauroi diaspora. It is estimated that nearly 450,000 native speakers of Maurit live outside of Mauretia and another 860,000 L2 speakers exist worldwide. It is an officially recognized language of the Assembly of Nations and most daughter organizations. It is the primary language of the Mauroi Church, although religious activities outside Mauretia are often in the local language.

Writing system and phonology

The Maurit alphabet is descendant of the combination of Ponqtai, Fonti, Eganian, and Romantian alphabets. The glyphs are generally Romantian in origin, but the ordering was influenced by the other languages. For example, Maurit preserves many of the original letter orderings from the Semetic and Hellanisian systems. The alphabet features 28 letters in all. The structure has changed little over the years, but a few notable evolutions have taken place. The lower-case Y was originally written as ʏ. This prevented confusion with ɥ—the original W that had no capital letter shape and evolved out of u instead of the Fonti ʏ. During the fourteenth century ɥ was organically replaced with W in trade, commerce, and government. The original letter disappeared before 1550. Over time, the letter "ʏ" evolved into a script "y."

Maurit alphabet
Letter A B G D E F V
Maurit name al be gama del e fa ve
Maurit phonetic value (IPA) /aː/ /b/ /g/ /d/ /e/, /ɛ/ /f/ /v/
 
Letter Z Ʒ H Ħ Ṭ · Ø I Y
Maurit name za ʒad hes ħet ṭet · ðet id yot
Maurit pronunciation (IPA) /z/ /ʒ/ /h/ /χ/ or /ħ/ /θ/ [1] /i/ /j/
 
Letter K L M N S O P
Maurit name kau la me nu so pe
Maurit pronunciation (IPA) /k/ /l/ /m/ /n/ /s/ /o/ /p/
 
Letter C Q R X T W U
Maurit name ce qūf rex xig tea wawa umea
Maurit pronunciation (IPA) /t͡s/ /q/ [2] /r/, /ɾ/ /ʃ/ /t/ /w/ /uː/ or /y/

Maurit generally features stress on the penultimate syllable with a secondary accent sometimes appearing on the first or second syllable. Exceptions to the accent rule are those indicated by accent marks and words ending in -ia/io. The two most common accents are acute (´) and grave (`) and indicate irregular primary stress. Traditionally, these accents also indicated a rising or falling pitch value, but this element is only loosely practiced. As a result, in handwriting accents are sometimes confused or simply marked with dots (◌̇) or macrons (¯). In modern writing, some accents do not typically appear except in dictionaries, learning materials, music, poetry, transcripts, and other special-purpose texts. For words ending in -ia or -io, both vowels of the double vowel are pronounced, but the accent is shifted to the preceding syllable.

In addition to the five vowels listed above, the digraph au has the phonetic value of /ɔ/. Before the consonants l or r some northern speakers morph the vowel into /ø/. The diphthongs /ai/, /oi/, and /ui/ are possible through vowel combinations as all letters in Maurit are pronounced. There are no silent letters.

Grammar

Maurit is a language that uses verb-subject-object word order along with noun-adjective and verb-adverb constructions. All modifying words or subordinate information are added immediately after the relevant element in the text. Clitics are used to string related, continuous information together. Verbs are conjugated according to number, gender, tense, and mood. Nouns are declined according to case, number, and status (principal subject, subordinate subject, direct object, indirect object, passive object, etc.).

Examples

See also: Reading Maurit on the map
Examples
Ingerish Maurit Literal translation
Hello! My name is Lia! Xalm! Nominia Lía! Hello! I am named Lia.
Today the weather is really hot! Adastayata iodias qalide vallemen!
I have to go now. See you later. Dibria (ana) kayil egridire; Ax mustapellu. (I) must now depart. Until/into the future.
She sings those beautiful songs to me often. Qantrat pruri (ella) zia qullem zameram formosam.
Who taught you to play this game? Denelpita qi sita/sat/setam yugire qusse yohi? Who taught you (m/f/p) to play this game?

References

  1. Rarely pronounced as a voiced consonant (/ð/) at the end of a word.
  2. Becoming more common as /ʔ/ at the beginning of a word.