Norlensk language

From OpenGeofiction Encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Norlensk is a norse language mostly spoken in Norðurland, where it is the official language. It has common roots with the ingerish and kalmish language; however, it resembles a more primal state of this language family. It is spoken by more than 20 Million people.

History

During the last thousand years, the norlenksk language didn't change much from the old norse. Grammatical peculiarities which vanished in other dialects during the centuries were kept while the pronunciation underwent considerable changes. However, apart from the addition of new vocabulary, the language basics changed so little that modern speakers are still able to understand even most of the early historic writings. They are usually read with updated spelling and annotations, but otherwise intact. With some effort, it is even possible to understad the original manuscripts.

The most important reasons for this might be the ongoing conflicts with Ingerland during the middle ages. Norlensk was heavily influenced by the ingerish language as parts of Norðurland were in hand of Ingerland for longer periods. The riddance of ingerish (and other) influences was finally used as a vehicle for (re)building a sense of a nationalistic norlensk identity in the 19th and 20th century.

Dialects

Due to the archipelagic structure of Norðurland, Norlensk is rich in dialects. However, four large dialectic blocks can be defined:

1. The bjarnish block (spoken in Bjarneland) 2. The sigurðish block (spoken in Sigurðland) 3. The hleðish block (spoken on the Hleðesund islands) 3. The næers block (spoken on the Næersland bank islands)

Næers, however, differs from norlensk in so many aspects that it is officially classified as an own norlensk-based language.

The oldest preserved document is the Reyðarvíksmáldagi, a cartulary containing rights and properties of the praish of Reyðarvík, which contains deeds and documents starting from 1021.

Vocabulary

Distinctive language

Norlensks is a language rich in distinctions. For example, the translation of the word 'spotted' depends on the animal it is related to: skjöldóttur (cow), flekkóttur (sheep) oder skjóttur (horse). Further, there are often different words for male and female animals, like female (urta) and male (brimill) seals, female (gimbur) and male (gimbill) lambs etc.

Loanwords

It is paid much of attention to avoid as many loanwords as possible. If new words become neccessary, the are mostly built out of the existing norlensk vocabulary. For example, the norlensk word for 'computer' is tölva, built from tala, number and völva, fortuneteller.

However, some loanwords made it into the norlensk language, like hótel (hotel) or prestur (priest).

There is a special committee which tries to find norlensk words for new terms. 'Norlenskized' words which originate from the work of this committee are, for example, words that deal with the ingerish 'sh' as a fist letter:

  • sjampó (shampoo)
  • sjoppa ('kiosk', 'small shop')
  • sjokk ('shock'), sjokkerandi ('shocking')
  • sjortari ("quickie")
  • sjeik ('(milk)shake', also 'sheikh')

Alphabet

The norlensk alphabet comprises 32 letters. All vowels (including the 'y') are coming in a second form with an accent which either marks a diphthong or a long vowel. Four letters are missing in the norlensk alphabet: C, W, Q and Z. The Z vanished due to an orthography reform in 1967 where all remaininig occurances of the letter were replaced by an S. Additionally, the letters Ð/ð (sonant, a smooth ingerish 'th', like in 'this'), Þ/þ (voiceless, a hard ingerish 'th', like in 'thing'), Æ/æ (like the kalmish 'ei') und Ö/ö (like the kalmish 'ö'). Unlike in the kalmish alphabet, the letters with diacritics, such as á and ö, are for the most part treated as separate letters and not variants of their derivative vowels.

Norlensk alphabet
A / a Á / á B / b D / d Ð / ð E / e É / é F / f
G / g H / h I / i Í / í J / j K / k L / l M / m
N / n O / o Ó / ó P / p R / r S / s T / t U / u
Ú / ú V / v X / x Y / y Ý / ý Þ / þ Æ / æ Ö / ö