Standard Sillenic

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Standard Sillenic, or Metropolitan Sillenic, is the standardized variety of Sillenic. It is the official language of Sillas. Historically, Metropolitan Sillenic was spoken in the Central Basin - particularly in the city of Sillas itself and its exburbs (hence the term "Metropolitan Sillenic"). Metropolitan Sillenic was strongly influenced by Lakhunian and Court Sillenic.

External history[edit | edit source]

Internal history[edit | edit source]

Classical Sillenic[edit | edit source]

Main article: Classical Sillenic

To Old and Medieval Sillenic[edit | edit source]

Old Sillenic, was also known as Common Sillenic (as it is the last common ancestor of the Sillenic languages), differed from Classical Sillenic in three ways. Firstly, Old Sillenic adopted an SOV (verb-final) word order; secondly, constructions became more analytic - with reduced reliance on cases; and thirdly, the three aspirated stops were fused with their corresponding fricatives. Thus, the three-way contrast between stops (aspirated, unvoiced, voiced) had turned into a two-way contrast (unvoiced, and voiced). Old Sillenic was first attested circa 900, and Old Sillenic pronunciation and grammar were believed to have replaced Classical Sillenic by the 15th century.

From the 15th century onwards, Common Sillenic had diverged into different languages, with the languages spoken before the imposition of Sillenic influencing their development as substrates. For example, the Makuku language lenited their consonants further: voiced plosives were unvoiced, unvoiced plosives were spirantized, and fricatives were either devoiced or debuccalized depending on whether or not they were voiced or unvoiced. The substrates also affected vowel development: in the North Sillenic languages there contrast between short and long vowels was dropped, while in South Sillenic languages, the long vowels became diphthongs. In Kaloman, the number of vowel phonemes was further reduced as /o, e/ were fused with /u, i/ by the 19th century. Due to these phonological divergences, the Sillenic languages were no longer intelligible (when spoken) with one another by the mid-17th century - necessitating church services to be rendered in the vernacular in some areas (in some areas, Classical Sillenic was still intelligible). Nevertheless, the grammar between the languages remained similar (particularly syntax and verb morphology), and as a result, the vernaculars continued to be mutually-intelligible when written.

Until the Iudilene dynasty, Classical Sillenic continued to be Sillas' main administrative and legal language, the language of Anytessean liturgy, and the regional lingua franca. Classical Sillenic was highly-regulated, and as a result, it remained more or less identical to the Classical Sillenic spoken centuries ago except aspirated stops were pronounced without their aspiration (hence, /pʰ, tʰ, kʰ/ were pronounced /p, t, k/). Despite Classical Sillenic being widely spoken, Classical Sillenic was replaced by its daughter languages (the vernaculars) in literature. Initially, works written in the same vernacular differed in spelling and even some grammatical conventions; in the 21st century, the government commissioned the standardization of each region's vernacular as part of an effort to create an interlingual dictionary. The most widely-spoken of these vernaculars was Central Sillenic, which was also the precursor of Court Sillenic (or Modern Sillenic). Central Sillenic underwent some moderate sound changes from Old Sillenic, the main two being the sonorization of intervocalic stops and the diphthongization of long vowels except when final.

Treatment of Classic Sillenic obstruents in some of its daughter languages
Phoneme Common Sillenic North-Central Sillenic Middle Sillenic Kaloman Makuku Common Olmac
pʰ, f f (<ɸ) f f f h h
p p p p ~ b f p
b b b b ~ v b p
v v v v f w
θ s s θ h h
t t t t ~ d t s t
d d d d (<ð) d t
x h h χ h h
k k k k ~ g q k
g g g g (<ɣ) k k
Treatment of Classic Sillenic long vowels in some of its daughter languages
Phoneme North-Central

and Middle Sillenic

Kaloman Makuku Common Olmac
Non-final syllable Final syllable
ɛ a a a
e i ɛ
i i
o u ɔ
u u

To Modern Sillenic[edit | edit source]

From the mid-24th century onwards, the Sillenic languages - specifically the Southern Sillenic languages - once again underwent a period of change. This was most pronounced in southern Olmac and Chrystalia, which were the regions that had most frequent contact with the Lakhunians, and during the Iudilene dynasty (itself founded by a Lakhunian), the region most settled by Lakhunian bannermen. The shift is known as the Central-South Consonant Shift and the Southern Vowel Shift. The languages affected were some dialects of Central Sillenic, and Common Olmac, which had split into four languages: Cypretzijan, Northern Olmac, Southern Olmac, and Chrystalian (listed in descending degree of Lakhunian influence). Lakhunian influence was evident not only in these language's vocabularies but also in their phonology. The Cypretzijan language also was influenced by Qeran and Sayaleni, as people from those regions, mainly Orthodox converts, migrated into Cypretzija during the 27th to 29th centuries. An example of consonant and vowel changes can be seen in the table below:

Court Sillenic Northern Olmac Southern Olmac Chrystalian
Stage 1 Unstressed

final /a/

becomes schwa

yes yes yes yes
Other unstressed

final vowels are

elided

yes yes yes yes
Stressed, open /a/ > /e/ no yes yes yes
Stressed, open /e/ > /iː/ no yes yes yes
Stressed, open /i/ > /aj/ no yes yes yes
Stressed, open /o/ > /u/ no yes yes yes
Stressed, open /u/ > /aw/ no yes yes yes
/ar/ > /aː/ no yes yes yes
Nasal vowels yes yes no no
Stage 2 Voiced fricatives

revert to plosives

no some some yes
Devoicing of finals no yes yes yes
/e/ and /i/ fuse no no no yes
/o/ and /u/ fuse no no no yes
Stage 3 initial p > p͡f no no yes no (>f)
intervocalic and final p

> f

no no yes yes
initial t > t͡s no no yes no (>θ)
intervocalic t > sː no no yes no (>θ)
final t > s no no yes yes
initial k > x no no no yes
intervocalic and final k

> x

no no yes yes
Voiced plosives are

devoiced

no no no yes

Differences between Metropolitan Sillenic and Standard Sillenic[edit | edit source]

Standard Sillenic is a koiné of different Sillenic languages. Standard Sillenic is based off but distinct from Metropolitan Sillenic, or the variety of Sillenic spoken in Sillas City and the surrounding metropolitan area. Standard Sillenic and Metropolitan Sillenic remain largely mutually intelligible. There are minor phonological differences. Unlike Metropolitan Sillenic (MS), Standard Sillenic (SS) preserves the distinction between tś and ś and has diphthongs /we, ɥi/ for monopthongs /ø, y/. Other differences include the allophonic incidence of nasal vowels, the lack of liaison, the fusion of ź and dź into dź (rather than ź), and the lack of a phonemic distinction between the short e and long e.

Phonology[edit | edit source]

Consonant phonemes in Sillenic
Labial Dental/

Alveolar

Post-alveolar Palatal Velar/

Uvular

Nasal m n ɲ (ŋ)1
Plosive unvoiced p t k
voiced b d g
Affricate unvoiced
voiced
Fricative sibilant unvoiced s ʃ
voiced z
non-sibilant unvoiced f ʁ
voiced v
Approximant lateral l ʎ
non-lateral (ɹ ~ ɹ̠)2 j w
  1. Only found as an allophone of /n/ before /g/, and in foreign loanwords
  2. Only realized in coda


Vowel phonemes in Sillenic
Oral
Front Central Back
Close i u
Open-mid ɛ (ə) ɔ
Open a
Nasal
Front Back
Open-mid ɛ̃ ɔ̃
Open ɑ̃

Phonotactics[edit | edit source]

Grammar[edit | edit source]

Sillenic is a synthetic (agglutinative) language. It is a null-subject language that mostly employs verb-final (SOV) word order. Sillenic makes a distinction between the subject and the object, as do other accusative languages.

Nouns[edit | edit source]

Sillenic is a topic-prominent language, as opposed to being a subject-prominent language. The topic marker (espre) precedes the topic. The topic marker has no exact equivalent in English, but it approximately means, "as for [this topic]". The topic marker override other case markers.

Sillenic nouns are marked for grammatical case. There are four cases: nominative a (which marks the subject), accusative nan (which markets the object), genitive na (which marks possession), and oblique sa (which is a "catch-all" case with a variety of syntactic roles).

Sillenic nouns can also be marked for plurality (using megna). Plurality is usually unmarked when the plurality of the noun is clear from context. Sillenic nouns lack grammatical gender, though there are some gendered suffixes such as -adora / -adéur ("-ator"), and -ida / -ido (which makes the noun a diminutive).

Verbs[edit | edit source]

Verbs are perhaps the most morphologically complex feature of the Sillenic language. Basic verb conjugation includes inflections for aspect (which is conflated with tense), transitivity, and person. There are also a variety of periphrastic constructions utilizing auxiliary verbs to mark combinations of tense and aspect (separate from each other), in addition to marking transitivity and person. In addition to these, particles are used to add more information (such as mood) and clarify meaning.

Periphrastic constructions are favored when the action of the verb is also the topic.

Pronouns[edit | edit source]

Personal[edit | edit source]

Demonstrative[edit | edit source]

Sillenic has three types of demonstrative pronouns: proximal (this/here), medial (that/there), and distal (that/there - but further). Distal pronouns are similar to personal pronouns, in that they are also marked for case.

Adjectives and adverbs[edit | edit source]

There are two types of Sillenic adjectives: verbal adjectives, and adjectives that are made from a noun using the prefix ma-. An example of the first type would be the adjective "running" tuimataphó (from the root taphó meaning "to run"); an example of the second type would be the adjective "fast" mabelyés (from belyés meaning "speed").

Adverbs are formed by getting an adjective and combining it with the genitive marker (which indicates possession). "Do it speedily" would thus translate as mabelyés na izhavámo (speedily-GEN IMP-do-2nd pers.).

Determiners[edit | edit source]

Comparatives[edit | edit source]

Prepositions[edit | edit source]

Negation[edit | edit source]

Vocabulary[edit | edit source]

Example[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]