Præta language

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Præta, formally known as ia Sziroþs Præta /jə ˈʃi.roθs ˈpræ.tə/ ("the Shirerithian Speech"), is the official language of Shireroth. Standard Præta, also known as Kaïsars Præta, the Kaiser's Præta, or Uiksts Præta, Script Præta, is the chancery standard used by the Golden Mango Throne and its ministries.

Despite being called "the Shirerithian Speech", Præta is the first language only in Brookshire, parts of Goldshire, and territories historically associated with these regions. In other parts of Shireroth, it is acquired to varying degrees of fluency through schooling.

History

Præta derives from the Brookshirese or Prætaic Language Family, specifically the prestige dialect spoken at Raynor I's court. This form of Præta, or Old Præta, bears extensive lexical influence from Khaz Modanian, the now lost language of the Empire of Khaz Modan. Old Præta was introduced to the Shirekeep region and portions of the Red Elwynn during the First Era as a result of concerted efforts to resettle the greater Shirekeep region and western Goldshire with more reliable subjects.

The usage of Old Præta drifted into diverging dialects by the end of the First Era, prompting the reassertion of a centralized standard with the onset of the Second Era, this time derived mostly from the dialect prevalent in Monty Crisco. Middle Præta succeeded in penetrating to the mouth of the Elwynn River and further into Goldshire. New Præta, or the contemporary form, was established in an archaic mode under Kaiser John II and refined under Kaiseress Viviantia I.

Orthography and Phonology

Consonants

Labial Coronal Palatal Velar
Nasal ⟨ M m ⟩
/m/
⟨ N n ⟩
/n/
Plosive ⟨ P p ⟩
/p/
⟨ B b ⟩
/b/
⟨ T t ⟩
/t/
⟨ D d ⟩
/d/
⟨ K k ⟩
/k/
⟨ G g ⟩
/g/
Affricate ⟨ Tz tz ⟩
/tʃ/
⟨ Z z ⟩
/dʒ/
Fricative sibilant ⟨ S s ß ⟩
/s/
⟨ Sz sz ⟩
/ʃ/
non-sibilant ⟨ F f ⟩
/f/
⟨ V v ⟩
/ʋ/
⟨ Þ þ ⟩
/θ/
⟨ Ï ï ⟩
/j/
⟨ H h ⟩
/h/
Approximant
Trill ⟨ R r ⟩
/r/
Lateral Fricative ⟨ Ł ł ⟩
/ɬ/
⟨ L l ⟩
/l/
  • ⟨ ß ⟩ is used for /s:/, derived from the archaic ⟨ ſs ⟩. It is only used when the /s:/ falls entirely within a single morpheme
    e.g. ⟨ Aß ⟩ "As, ~7 1⁄4 bushels", versus ⟨ rass ⟩ "domestic", from ⟨ Ras ⟩ "House"
  • ⟨ dz ⟩ common in Early New Praeta for /dʒ/, now deprecated.
  • ⟨ ï ⟩ is sometimes written ⟨ i ⟩ or ⟨ ı ⟩ by nonstandard texts.
  • ⟨ n ⟩ before a velar consonant is rendered as a velar nasal

Vowels

Front Central Back
High ⟨ I i ⟩
/i/
⟨ Î î ⟩
/ɪ̈/
⟨ U u ⟩
/u/
Mid ⟨ E e ⟩
/e/
⟨ Â â ⟩
/ə/
⟨ O o ⟩
/o/
Low ⟨ Æ æ ⟩
/æ/
⟨ A a ⟩
/ɑ/
⟨ A a ⟩ in unstressed vowels reduces to /ə/.
Archaic or nonstandard documents may use ⟨ Â â ⟩ and/or ⟨ Î î ⟩ to represent /ə/. Each represented distinct vowels in Early New Præta but have since merged into unstressed ⟨ A a ⟩.

Writing Rules

Nouns are capitalized in all instances. Words of other classes are capitalized at the beginning of a sentence.

Nominal Morphology

Præta nominals (pronouns, nouns, and adjectives) are declined, or modified in order to reflect their grammatical case, according to five cases: Vocative, Nominative, Accusative, Genitive, Dative. They are also declined according to number (Singular and Plural). Gender also has some influence on which declension pattern is used.

Pronouns

Personal Pronouns

First Person Second Person Reflexive
Singular Plural Impolite Neutral Polite/Plural Reverent
Nom i uis ïat þu iks isus -
Acc mi si
Gen min ussar ïis þin ikkar isar sin
Dat mis ussis ïam þus ikkis isus sis

Because Præta verbs conjugate according to person and number, subject pronouns are not necessary, but may be added for emphasis. The Dative Opinion may be used to emphasize that the sentence expresses an opinion.

Præta offers a range of 2nd person pronouns that differ according to levels of politeness.

  • Impolite is used for speech with those of a lower social class (though it may also be used between peers of a lower class)
  • Neutral is used for speech between peers, especially those who are on familiar terms
  • Polite is used for speech with those of a moderately higher social class, those who are unfamiliar, or in formal settings. Use of Polite pronouns coincides with using a person's title (or abbreviated style of address) and/or family name than a personal name.
  • Reverent is used for speech with those of significantly higher social class and to deities. Use of reverent pronouns coincides with using full style of address, epithets, and avoidance of names; it also coincides with using a Reflexive pronoun to refer to oneself rather than a First Person pronoun.

Correlatives

The below chart indicates which word or phrase to use when indicating either an emphatic or oblique 3rd person. There is no default 3rd person pronoun per se, though the Medial Demonstrative Determiner is the closest.

Determiners can be used as a pronoun in the same way that an adjective can be used substantively and decline in the same manner, using strong forms only.

The Assertive Existential column doubles as a distal demonstrative (as well as the number 1), especially in archaic or overly-formal speech, though no longer in colloquial use.

Inter. Demonstrative Rel. Quantitative
Proximal Medial Existential Universal Negational Alternative
Assertive Dubitative
Determiner i þa æn al
Time nu bi þam bi ænam bi alam
Manner inka ænka alka
Reason
Location þæ
Source hæran ænan alan
Destination hæris ænis alis

Nouns

Nouns in Præta are organized into three declensions, identified according to their Genitive Singular ending.

1st Declension
Gen Sg ‑is
2nd Declension
Gen Sg ‑os
3rd Declension
Gen Sg ‑in
Common Neuter Common Common Neuter
"Sovereign"
Kaïsar‑
"Herdsman"
Hirz‑
"Might"
Alf‑
"Cliff"
Nasz‑
"Child"
Mog‑
"Worm"
Maþ‑
"Language"
Prætâ‑
"Plain"
Łat-
"Egg"
Oï‑
Voc ‑e Kaïsare Hirze Alf Nasz Mog Maþ Prætâ Łat
Nom Kaïsar Hirz
Acc ‑an Maþan Prætan
Gen ‑is Kaïsaris Hirdis ‑is Alfis Nasis ‑os Mogos ‑in Maþin Prætin ‑in Łatin Oïin
Dat ‑i Kaïsari Hirdi ‑i Alfi Nasi ‑u Mogu
Voc ‑as Kaïsaras Hirdis ‑a Alfa Nasza ‑as Mogas ‑an Maþan Prætan ‑an Łatan Oïin
Nom
Acc
Gen ‑eï Kaïsareï Hirzeï ‑eï Alfeï Naszeï ‑ou Mogou ‑eï Maþeï Præteï ‑eï Łateï Oïeï
Dat ‑am Kaïsaram Hirdim ‑âm Alfam Nasim ‑am Mogam ‑am Maþam Prætam ‑am Łatam Oïim
Note: If a noun's stem ends in a palatalized consonant (e.g. Hirz "herdsman", Adtz "office", Nasz "cliff", "egg", etc), the stem and the endings are modified according to the following pattern:
If the case ending features an ⟨ a ⟩, that is realized and written as ⟨ i ⟩
Nom Pl Hirdiz Adtis Nasis Oïis
Dat Pl Hirdim Adtim Nasim Oïim
If the case ending features an ⟨ i ⟩, the stem ending becomes unpalatalized if an unpalatalized equivalent is available.
Gen Sg Hirdis Adtis Nasis Oïis
Dat Sg Hirdi Adti Nasi Oïi
Note: If a noun stem ends in a vowel, it is dropped for non-zero case endings
Stem Præta‑ Łæïra-
Nom Sg Præta Łæïra
Gen Sg Prætin Łæïros

Articles

There is only one article, to indicate definiteness. The absence of the article is taken to mean that the corresponding noun is indefinite. The definite article declines as follows:

Common Neuter
Voc ïe ïa
Nom ïa
Acc
Gen ïes ïis
Dat ïæ ïæ
Voc ïes ïe
Nom
Acc
Gen ïeï ïeï
Dat ïam ïam

Adjectives

Adjectives in Attributive Position (i.e. within the Noun Phrase and placed in front of the noun) are declined weakly when the noun is definite, using the case markers of the 3rd Declension. When the noun is indefinite or when the adjective is used predicatively, the adjective is declined strongly, using the case markers of the 1st Declension.

Adjectives used substantively (i.e. as a noun) are declined strongly even in the presence of a definite article.

bi hosi Vaïni "at a light-blue car" vs. bi ïæ hosin Vaïni "at the light-blue car"

Case Function

Vocative Case

The Vocative is used when addressing someone directly.

Ïaume, v' æïs ïa Mel? — "James, have the time?"
Nominative Case

Subject

Golletas varþt us Baïmam — "Mangos come from trees."

Predicate Nominative

Aïreon boþ Kaïsar. — "Ayreon is Kaiser."
Accusative Case

Direct Object

— " "

Object of certain prepositions.

— " "
Genitive Case

Possession or Relation

— " "
— " "

Object of certain Prepositions.

— " "
Dative Case

The Dative has many functions.

Indirect Object

— " "

Direct Object of certain verbs

— " "

Dative Absolute

— " "

Emphatic Subject of Opinion

— " "

Colloquial Possessive Construction in replacement of the Genitive

— " "

Verbal Morphology

Regular Conjugation

The Old Praeta distinction of seven conjugations of strong verbs and four conjugations of weak verbs as well as the Middle Praeta distinction of two conjugations of strong verbs and one conjugation of weak verbs has been rendered down to a single conjugation for all regular verbs.

All tense endings are applied to the regular, or unmutated, stem except for the Preterite. To conjugate in the Preterite Realis, the primary vowel of the stem receives what is called a U-Mutation. Front vowels are replaced with their back equivalent, back vowels raise by one degree. For unmutated stems with a primary vowel of ⟨ u ⟩, the mutated and unmutated stems are identical. The Preterite Irrealis is formed through a periphrastic construction that uses a verb's infinitive form.

Unmutated ⟨ i ⟩
/i/
⟨ u ⟩
/u/
⟨ e ⟩
/e/
⟨ o ⟩
/o/
⟨ æ ⟩
/æ/
⟨ a ⟩
/ɑ/
Mutated ⟨ u ⟩
/u/
⟨ o ⟩
/o/
⟨ u ⟩
/u/
⟨ a ⟩
/ɑ/
⟨ o ⟩
/o/
ratzur
"to suggest"
Realis Mood Irrealis Mood
Present Imperfect Present
Unmutated Stem 1s ratz -ïa ratzïa ‑o ratzo
2s ‑s ratzs -as ratzas ‑es ratzes
3s ‑t ratzt -a ratza ‑e ratze
1p -im ratzim ‑um ratzum ‑em ratzem
2p ‑iþ ratziþ ‑uþ ratzuþ ‑eþ ratzeþ
3p ‑in ratzin ‑un ratzun ‑en ratzen
rotz- Preterite Preterite
Mutated Stem 1s rotz tu + Sup tu ratzur
2s ‑æs rotzæs tuis + Sup tuis ratzur
3s ‑æ rotzæ tui + Sup tui ratzur
1p -am rotzam tuim + Sup tuim ratzur
2p ‑æþ rotzæþ tuiþ + Sup tuiþ ratzur
3p ‑an rotzan tuin + Sup tuin ratzur
Supine ‑ur ratzur -in (n)
Active Participle -us ratzus
Passive Participle -oþ ratzoþ

Irregular Verbs

biur
"to be"
Real. Irr.
Pres Imperf Pres
1s bom as bïu
2s bos ast bïos
3s boþ as bïo
1p bom osim bïum
2p bod osiþ bïuþ
3p boþ osin bïun
Pret Pret
1s si os
2s sis osz
3s sit oszi
1p sim oszim
2p siþ oszt
3p sin oszin
Supine biur -in (n)
Active Participle bius
Passive Participle szoþ
gaur
"to go"
Real. Irr.
Pres Imperf Pres
1s gah gagg gaggo
2s gahs gaggs gagges
3s gaht gaggt gagge
1p gaïm gaggim gaggem
2p gaïþ gaggiþ gaggeþ
3p gaïn gaggin gaggen
Pret Pret
1s iza izo
2s izæs izes
3s izæ ize
1p izam
2p izæþ izeþ
3p izan izen
Supine gaur -in (n)
Active Participle gaus
Passive Participle gaggoþ


Tense/Mode Function

Realis Mood

The Realis can be used to form statements of fact.

  • Present Tense
  • Imperfect Tense
  • Preterite Tense

Irrealis Mood

The Irrealis can be used to form statements of desire, emotion, opinion, doubt, and request/command.

  • Present Tense
  • Preterite

Syntax

Word Order

Præta is predominantly Subject-Object-Verb (SOV), with the following instances in which that shifts to VSO order:

  • Imperatives
Hrænes ïis Usl.
cleanIMP.S youGEN roomACC
"Clean your room."
  • Negations
ni þult ïa Mog Advæta.
not suffer3S theNOM childNOM scourgeACC.PL
"The son will not suffer scourges."
  • Questions
Hræ boþ szæ stur Dom ho ïa ussar;
whoNOM be3S as… greatNOM godNOM …as theNOM weGEN
"Who is as great a god as ours?"

Apposition

A noun in apposition agrees in case and number with its reference, in gender if there is a particular form for it. An abstract noun does not change for number. Apposition can be used in the following instances:

  • Nouns marking a title
Nur Kaïsarin hær livt.
NoorNOM KaiseressNOM here lie3S
"Kaiseress Noor lies here."
  • Proper nouns meaning countries, territories, towns, localities, etc
ïu ïæ Szonstoïu Utnvahtam iza.
to theDAT MinistryDAT Outer.AffairsDAT.PL goPRET.1S
"I've gone to the Ministry of the Exterior."
  • Bynames
Aïreone ïe Fiursz, ïe Orhuse Svale, bimude uis!
AyreonVOC theVOC fourthVOC theVOC shiningVOC SunVOC protectIMP.S weACC
"Oh Ayreon IV, The Radiant Sun, protect us!"
  • A collective noun before a concrete noun
Opratzt Holïuraki hær boþ.
ManipleNOM artillerymanNOM.PL here be3S
"A maniple of Bombardiers are here."
  • A noun of measure (or Kun "sort") before another noun
Fif Rikas Sæþ
five RicsNOM.PL GrainNOM
"Five Rics of Grain"
  • Nouns preceded by ho ("as")
ïe Vadz ho Aþal si aszat
theNOM DegenerateNOM as NobleNOM selfACC dressIMP.3S
The degenerate dressed himself as a noble.

Lexicon

Main Article: Præta language/Lexicon

The core and bulk of the Præta lexicon derives from Common Brookshirian and have been with the language since Old Præta. A large portion, notably concerning matters of prestige, government, and magic, are borrowed from the language of Khaz Modan, due to their hegemonic influence over Brookshire before the founding of Shireroth. Others yet have entered the language from Goldshire and Elwynn and from cultures beyond the borders if the Imperial Republic.

Derivational Affixes

New words have been regularly coined through affixation, i.e. the adding of prefixes and suffixes, which develops the meaning and/or shifts the part of speech for the word stem receiving that affix.

Directional Prefixes

Verb → Verb

Verb → Noun

  • -an
  • -il

Verb → Adjective

  • -mos

Noun → Noun

  • -ak
  • -hæd
  • -in
  • -tuï

Noun → Adjective

  • -s
  • -elk

Noun → Verb

Adjective → Adjective

  • -

Adjective → Verb

Adjective → Adverb

  • -(a)v
lutih "spendid" → lutihv "splendidly"
sart "dark, black" → sartav "darkly"

Adjective → Noun

  • -naß

Dialects