Wystrian language

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Wystrian is the national language of the kingdom of Wyster and the native language of almost all Wystrians. Wystrian dialects are still spoken in the north of Glaster. Originally not limited to the island and kingdom of Wyster, linguists suspect that (variants of) the language were once spoken in a broad region along the south-eastern Ulethan coast from Darcodia to Neberly and possibly even further. Not many written sources have been found however to confirm this theory.

Phonology

In the relation between spoken sounds and written symbols the following applies in general. There are however exceptions.

Vowels and diphthongs

Wystrian has the following vowels:

  • a /ä/
  • aa /æ/
  • e /ɛ/
  • ee /i/
  • i (unstressed) /ʌ/
  • o /ɔ/
  • oo /u/
  • u /ɪ/
  • y /ə/

The following diphthongs occur:

  • ae /äi̯/
  • ea /ɪə/
  • eu /ei̯/
  • i (stressed) /ʌi̯/
  • ie /əi̯/
  • ii /wi/

Tonality

Some vowels can experience a falling tone (à, è, ò, ù), which occurs especially in the dual case of some words as well as certain verbal forms. This tonality is therefore linked to certain grammatical features and hardly ever occurs in isolated situations. It is thought that earlier forms of Wystrian had a broader range of tonality that may have been productive, but evidence lacks to confirm this theory (tonal change was only seldomly marked in texts).

Consonants

Below are listed the 19 Wystrian consonants. If the spelling differs from the IPA, the spelling is added between brackets. Regarding v a spelling rule applies that a v cannot be written at the end of a word, where bh is used instead. The voiced sibilant fricative /z/ occurs only before another voiced sound and is then written as s.

labio-dental alveolar palatal velar
nasal m n
voiceless stop p t k (c)
voiced stop b d g
sibilant fricative s
voiceless non-sib. fricative f θ̱ (th) x (h)
voiced non-sib. fricative v (v/bh) ð̠ (dh) ɣ (gh)
approximant ʋ (w) j
trill r
lateral approximant l

Morphology

Nouns

Wystrian nouns have two cases (nominative/oblique, and genitive), two numbers (singular, dual, and plural) and do not make grammatical gender distinction. There is a difference in declension between monosyllabic and polysyllabic words: in the former vowel change plays an important role, whereas this is usually absent in the latter (an important exception are compound nouns of which the last part is identical to its original monosyllabic form), that uses an article to express some cases.

1 syllable m/n/l/r/s c/p/t g/b/d h/f/th gh/bh/dh vowel
nom. sing. saar (country) bric (street) rod (tower) href (sheep) adh (book) thlo (tree)
gen. sing. sear brieh reudh hreaf edh thleun
nom. dual sàra brega rùda hràva àdha thlùna
gen. dual sàro brego rùdo hràvo àdho thlùno
nom. plur. searre briehe reudhe hreave edhe thleunne
gen. plur. sur brec rut href uth thlud


more syllables m/n/l/r/s c/p/t g/b/d h/f/th gh/bh/dh vowel
nom. sing. heavyn (year) arstat (justice) vorenreg (love) irhith (government) lihibh (marriage) iela (thought)
gen. sing. sie heavyn sie arstat sie vorenreg sie irhith sie lihibh sie ielan
nom. dual heavyna arstada vorenrega irhidha lihiva ielana
gen. dual heavyno arstado vorenrego irhidho lihivo ielano
nom. plur. heavynne arstathe vorenreghe irhidhe lihive ielanne
gen. plur. se heavyn se arstat se vorenreg se irhith se lihibh se ielad

Adjectives

Adjectives can be placed before or after the noun to which they refer. If the former is the case, they appear unchanged between the article and the declined noun; if the latter, they are declined like nouns (but polysyllabic adjectives don't use the articles sie/se in the genitive singular and plural).

Article

The Wystrian article has six forms: si (nom. sg.), sie (gen. sg.), (nom. dual), (gen. dual), sie(nne) (nom. pl.), and se (gen. pl.). In the nominative plural sienne is used when the noun phrase is the subject of the sentence; in all other situations (e.g. after prepositions), sie is used.

The use of the article is different than both the and a(n) in Ingerish and only used to express case if needed. Si stun ard (with the adjective before the noun) can therefore both mean 'the new house' and 'a new house', whereas ard stun (with the adjective after the noun) means exactly the same.

Declension

noun first noun last noun first noun last
nom. sing. ard stun (the/a new house) si stun ard (the/a new house) threben gynner (the/an old kingdom) si gynner threben (the/an old kingdom)
gen. sing. erdh styn sie stun erdh sie threben gynner sie gynner threben
nom. dual àrda stèna sà stun àrda threbena gynnera sà gynner threbena
gen. dual àrdo stèno sò stun àrdo threbeno gynnero sò gynner threbeno
nom. plur. erdhe stynne sie(nne) stun erdhe threbenne gynnerre sie(nne) gynner threbenne
gen. plur. urt styn se stun urt se threben gynner se gynner threben

Comparison and adverbs

Comparison is done with ceal ‘more’ and cyb ‘most’, which are undeclinable.

Adverbs have the same appearance as the nominative singular.

Pronouns

Personal pronouns

I (low) I (mid) I (high) you (low) you (mid) you (high) we 2 you 2 we you
nom. ult ug u bae baeg bet èna bàna y(nne) bea(nne)
gen. ylth ygh yn been beegh beath èno bàno yd bed

Wystrian recognises status differences for the first and second persons singular. 'Low' indicates a lower social status, 'high' a higher one, and 'mid' equal status. This means that 'I (low)' should be used in combination with 'you (high)', 'I (high)' with 'you (low)', and 'I (mid)' with 'you (mid)' or in neutral situations.

As with the 'article' described above, ynne (we) and beanne (you, plural) are only used in that form when they are the subject of a sentence; in other situations, y and bea are used.

he she it (concr) it (abstr) they 2 (pers) they 2 (concr) they 2 (abstr) they (pers) they (concr) they (abstr)
nom. vam ven yc er eaga àra vae iehe earre
gen. vem vean ieh ear eago àro vee eac er

The personal pronouns of the third person differentiate between living beings (John, director, child, cat, tree), objects (book, house, stone) and abstracts (love, year, boredom). In Wystrian, it is common to refer to formerly living beings as objects, so the use of pronoun changes when referring to e.g. a person who just died.

Other pronouns

Other pronouns are declined as regular nouns and adjectives.

Numerals

Wystrian uses a decimal counting system. Difference between cardinal and ordinal numbers is morphologically expressed only between 'one' and 'first', and 'two' and 'second'; for the other numerals the difference is expressed syntactical:

  • all ordinals, including cath (1st) and eurth (2nd) are adjectives (for their use, see rules above)
  • 1 fiir is an adjective as well
  • 2 òra (gen. òro) is followed by a noun in its genitive dual (òra hràvo = 'two sheep')
  • The other cardinal numbers are followed by a noun in its genitive plural (heanne href = 'three sheep')
  • After 2 and higher numbers, the nouns that appear in their appropriate genitive forms, remain in that form, whereas the numeral will assume the grammatical function in the sentence: Ug òro ceet 'A Tale of Two Cities'; Pivyrre hen threud 'The gifts of the three kings'.
  • 3 heanne (gen. hen) and 4 jydhe (gen. jyth) are declined; for the other numerals the article se is used to indicate the genitive, sie(nne) extremely rarely to indicate the nominative.

How can you see that a number is a cardinal or an ordinal number?

    • stath sur = five dogs (the numeral followed by a noun in the genitive plural)
    • si stath sor = the fifth dog (the numeral used as an adjective before the noun, so the article is mandatory)
    • sor stath = the fifth dog (the numeral used as an adjective after the noun)
    • seur steth = of the fifth dog
    • eawy se virhec = nine gates (the numeral followed by a noun in the genitive plural)
    • si eawy virhec = the ninth gate
    • virhec eawy = the ninth gate
    • sie virhec eawyn = of the ninth gate
  • 1 fiir, 2 òra (òro), 3 heanne (hen), 4 jydhe (jyth), 5 stath, 6 eus, 7 rooth, 8 thon, 9 eawy, 10 gaen
  • 11-19: firghen, erghen, henghen, judhghen, stathen, eussen, ruthen, theughen, aeghen
  • 20, 30 etc. - 90: eurn, hyn, ywyth, stathagaen, eusagaen, roothagaen, thonagaen, gaenceast
  • 21-29: fiirymeurn, eurymeurn, henymeurn, judhymeurn, stathymeurn, eusymeurn, roothymeurn, thonymeurn, eawymeurn
  • 31-39: fiirymhyn, eurymhyn, etc.
  • 41-49: fiirymywyth, eurymywyth, etc.
  • 100, 200 etc. - 900: hast, òrahasdo, heannust, jydhust, stathust, eusust, roothust, thonust, eawyst
  • 101, 102, etc. hastpofiir, hastpo-òra, etc.
  • 221, 567, etc. òrasdopofiirymeurn, stathustporoothymeusagaen
  • 1000, 2000 etc. - 9000: cirryc, òracirrygo, henhyrric, juthhirryc, stathhirryc, euscirryc, ruthhirryc, theuhirryc, aehirryc
  • 10,000: gaen-obh-cirryc
  • 100,000: hast-obh-cirryc
  • 1,000,000: mullum
  • 1,000,000,000: mullyrd

Verbs

Verbs don't inflect in person, but do in time and mood. Monosyllabic verbs experience sound change; others don't. To express person, when a clear subject in the sentence is absence, the personal pronouns are used.

1 syllable m/n/l/r/s c/p/t g/b/d h/f/th gh/bh/dh vowel
inf./part. pr. hom (sleep) est (do) peub (build) ryf (be) didh (watch) laa (sing)
negative m ist pieb reuf daedh lee
present homa esth peuf ryf dith laatha
past mu àst p reaf deth wu
future heum east pub rief diedh lea
conditional hummes esthes pives ryfes dedhes lus
pos. cond. huma estha piva ryfa dedha luwa
neg. cond. mme isthe pieve reufe daedhe leerre
pass. adj. myn àstyn byn reavyn dedhyn wyn

Polysyllabic verbs don't change sounds, but use prefixes or additional suffixes if there are no endings:

  • negative: g(e)-
  • future: ar-
  • positive conditional: uses the normal endings, which end however in -aa instead of -a.

Syntax

Examples

Moocstat (The Change)

Moocstat ("The Change") is a bestselling novel written in 2005 by the Wystrian writer Vallys Leagin (*1977). It opens thus:
"Moocstat gèf ere ganeasyn. Er reaf moocstat, negh reaf ceatùgyn, earre reaf sienne weas genheavynne, fa sie weas sculceesse, ceuden bùgynne vee reaf roberynne fa castat dhoot sculceus, irhith, ym banccasse ym cehceesse menne. Moocstat tamòc blocstat sisin, gapo ryf iddedhyn, ym co er leth wersen’er, gacac est givyrt reaf gu mysmeuc er. Ceuos ym hinnervarhhith yscuf, ym emercas daecenu meuc po sla ym ryf hodhe ear. Gacac bist ryfes inid."

The change arrived quite unexpectedly. It was the change that had been predicted by some scolars a couple of decades before, but whose findings were dismissed by the great majority of experts, the government and leading bankers and business men. The change entered society silently, without being noticed, and when it started to manifest itself, there was nothing that could be done anymore to prevent it. Chaos and revolution followed, and everyone was forced to go with the flow and be a part of it. Nothing would remain the same.