Gerenian language

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Gerenian
KNSEZ logo.png
Gerenian Language National Commission logo
Pronunciation [xɛrɛns'lɛnɛs]
Spoken natively in Gerenia Gerenia
Language family Constructed languages
Writing system Latin
Source English, Spanish
Early forms Archaic Gerenian (or Proto-Gerenian)
Dialects Northern, Middle, Southern
Official language in Gerenia Gerenia
Regulated by Gerenian Language National Commission
ISO 639 codes gr

Gerenian (self-designation: gherenslenes, engre gherenslenes ['ɛngrɛ xɛrɛns'lɛnɛs]) is a conlang spoken in the Republic of Gerenia, where it has official status.

Most Gerenian vocabulary has been created with random letter sequences, while some words are derived from other languages, mainly English and Spanish.

Gerenian is written using the Latin alphabet.

History

See also: Gerenian alphabet#History

Origin

The origin of the Gerenian language can be found in mid-2004, when it was created an alphabet that would be adopted as the Gerenian one. This alphabet (which name seems to be lost to history, so now it is called Proto-Gerenian alphabet) was composed of 28 letters, all but one of them being equivalent to the letters of the Spanish alphabet. At the same time, it began the invention of the Archaic Gerenian (also called Proto-Gerenian [language]), a first Gerenian vocabulary, constituted with common words, of daily use. Nevertheless, the development of the language came to a standstill during early 2005, and until the foundation of the then United Gerenian Republic, the Proto-Gerenian alphabet was used to encode documents only.

Between 2005 and 2008, Archaic Gerenian developed as a written language irregularly, without regulations.

Development

With the foundation of the Republic of Gerenia as a micronation (which was called at the time United Gerenian Republic) in December, 2011, it was revived the interest in a national language, which would become a major aspect of a forming culture. As a beginning, most of Archaic Gerenian vocabulary was discarded, and new words were created. In June, 2012, after decreeing a set of ortography and grammar rules, the government of the Republic established the Gerenian Language National Commission.

The Commission established definitive rules for Gerenian in every level. With regards to the writing system, the Commission rejected the adoption of the Proto-Gerenian alphabet (either as the only one or co-official alongside Latin). The alphabet was modified several times before the modern version was finally approved.

Since its creation, the Commission has invented up to 400 words, and continues to do so, as the vocabulary is added to a database. A dictionary is planned to be launched in 2013.

Grammar

Gerenian is an inflected language with four grammatical genders.

Nouns

Gerenian nouns inflect into:

  • two cases: nominative and genitive.
  • four genders: masculine, feminine, neuter, or indefinite.
  • two numbers: singular and plural.

Verbs

Inflection of standard Gerenian includes:

Conjugation of Gerenian verbs consist on isolating the stem of the verb and adding one or two endings, depending on the sentence.

Mood Tense Prefix Suffix
Indicative Present
Present continuous -ras
Preterite -(e)l
Future -(e)r
Past perfect a- -(e)l
Present perfect a-
Imperative -(e)m
Subjunctive -(e)f

If the stem of the verb ends in a consonant, a letter e is added to the suffix in order to make pronunciation easier.

When the subject is a personal pronoun, such pronoun must be placed after the stem of the verb (and before the tense suffix, if any).

Articles and determiners

Gerenian has two articles: a definite article, corresponding to English the, and an indefinite article, corresponding to English a/an.

The possessive determiners are used to indicate the possessor of the noun they determine, and they are formed in adding to the noun the corresponding pronoun as a prefix.

The demonstrative determiners can mean either this or that, these or those. In Gerenian, the word der is the only demonstrative determiner, and is added to the noun as a prefix.

Pronouns

The personal pronouns are the following:

Number Person Pronoun
Singular 1st io
2nd ni
3rd je
ja
de
ji
Plural 1st ios
2nd nis
3rd jei
jai
des
ji

Adjectives

An adjective agrees in gender and number (except the neutral ones) with the noun it modifies, and it always appear after it.

The feminine adjectives are formed by adding the suffix -ka (singular) or -kai (plural). Analogously, the masculine adjectives are formed by adding either the suffix -ke (singular) or -kei (plural). Regarding the neutral and the indefinite form, the suffixes -es and -ki, respectively, must be added, regardless of the number of the modified noun.

Adverbs

They are used to modify adjectives, other adverbs and verbs or clauses. All Gerenian adverbs are formed by adding the suffix -bi to the neutral form of the adjective they are derived from.

Negation

Negation in both the indicative and the subjunctive mood are formed in adding the prefix dis- to the verb. On the other hand, in order to express negation in the imperative mood, the word na is used.

Examples:

  • "Diseztjel'at sodki." — "He did not see anybody."
  • "Na ilbnim." — "Do not come."

Word order

There are two common word orders: one (VSO) for sentences where the subject is a pronoun, and another (SVO) for sentences where the subject is not a pronoun, and for questions.

Vocabulary

Most Gerenian vocabulary is not derived from any language, but it has been created randomly.

It is estimated that 20% of common Gerenian words are of foreign origin. About 26% of these foreign words come from English, followed by Spanish (17%). However, roughly a half of Gerenian words of foreign origin come from both English and Spanish at the same time, as the influence is the result of resemblance between an English word and its Spanish equivalent, or viceversa.

The size of the Gerenian vocabulary is in constant growth. According to the KNSEŽ (Kamițianetoles'ar er Engre Žerénies, Gerenian Language National Commission), Gerenian had 420 words as of mid-November 2012.

Ortography

Gerenian is written in the Latin alphabet. In addition to 24 of the 26 standard letters (neither q nor x are used), Gerenian has three vowels with diaeresis: ä, ö and ü, and the letters ž, î, ĵ, ŷ, ț, and č. The vowels a, e, i, y and o can be marked with an acute accent to mark stress, but they are not distinct letters in the alphabet.

Gerenian alphabet

Main article: Gerenian alphabet

Gerenian has 33 letters: 11 vowels and 22 consonants.

Capital letters
A Ä E B V F C Č S Z Ž D G H I Î J Ĵ Y Ŷ K L M N O Ö P R T Ț U Ü W
Lower case
a ä e b v f c č s z ž d g h i î j ĵ y ŷ k l m n o ö p r t ț u ü w

The following alternate spellings are allowed:

  • ae instead of ä
  • ch instead of č
  • zh instead of ž
  • jh instead of ĵ
  • yh instead of ŷ
  • oe instead of ö
  • ts instead of ț
  • ue instead of ü

Phonology

Vowels

letter A Ä E I Î J Y O Ö U Ü
phoneme a ɛ ɛ ɪ ə ɨ ɪ o œ ʊ ʏ

Gerenian vowels can form digraphs (in writing) and diphthongs (in pronunciation). The following imply a change in the expected pronunciation:

spelling äe, ee ou
pronunciation /ɛɪ/ /aʊ/

Consonants

letter B V F C Č S Z Ž D G H Ĵ Ŷ K L M N P R T Ț W
phoneme b v f ɕ s θ ʐ d g h x ʃ k l m n p r t t͡s w

Notes:

  • The letter t is palatalized when at the end of a word: the centre of the tongue is raised during and after the articulation of such consonant.
  • The group gh is pronounced /x/.
  • The group sh, borrowed from English since the June Reform, represents the sound /ʃ/, like the letter ŷ. However, while sh can be placed only at the beginning of a word, ŷ can be placed anywhere.

Dialects

There are three dialects in Gerenian: the Southern dialect, the Middle dialect, and the Northern dialect.

Southern dialect

The southern dialect (also called Upper Gerenian) is spoken in Adarma, Sängeran, and -to a lesser extent- in West. There are two varieties: the birsenes variety (spoken in some zones of Tawlkar, and in the south of Adarma, but not in Victoria Island), and the lanmes variety.

In southern dialect, the last vowel of words are usually long. Speakers also tend to drop the last letter of words if it is a consonant. The letters b, v, d, and t have a different pronunciation compared to the other dialects. This feature is more noticeable in the lanmes variety, while birsenes speakers have changed the pronunciation of the letter g (/g/) for /h/.

Middle dialect

The middle dialect is spoken in Clements, Erstveda, and Ramez. Standard Gerenian is based on the middle dialect.

Northern dialect

The Northern dialect is mainly spoken in the provinces of Maremedres and Barzat. Its intonation makes it different from the other dialects. In the Maremedrian variety, the letter e is usually pronounced /ɪɛ/, and the n is often palatalized.