Hel·lesà

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Hel·lesà or hel·leu, pronounced [əɫɫə'za] or [əɫ'ɫɛw] in Hellesan, and Hellesan ['hæɫəzæn] or Hellean ['hæɫiæn] in English, is a Megadelanean language of the Hellesic branch, the national tongue of the Aisens Hel·leus "Hellean Countries", a nation placed in the Hellean Archipelago, on the east basin of the Megadelanean sea, in the world of Taura.


History

Hellesan is a direct descendant of Peran, an old language spoken by the Peran people, although it has strong ties with the Satic tongues and Sarden, with which it formed a linguistic koiné in the Days of Antiquity. The history and evolution of Hellesan is dividided into five main stages:

  • 1. The precedents. The latter prehistoric times in the Hellesid Islands, with the Sates, the natives of the islands. This is the stage of the Satic tongues.
  • 2. The origins. From protohistory, with the Minean migrations and the settlement of the Protoperans in the Hellesid Islands. This is the stage of Archaic Peran.
  • 3. The Megadelanean koiné. The last stage of the White Palaces civilization, culturally Peran, and the following period of Sarden influence. It includes Ancient and Classic Peran, and Classic Sarden too.
  • 4. The Dark years. The short period that saw the fusion of Late Peran with Hellesic Low Sarden, which gave birth to the Hellesan diasystem, influenced by some Euredean languages and Rozandese. This is the stage of Late Peran (also known as Archaic Hellesan) and Ancient Hellesan.
  • 5. From Resurgence onwards. It corresponds with the second period of the Old Age. Ancient Hellesan became a language widely used in literature and science. For the first time the language was studied, classified and standardized. This is the stage of Classic Hellesan, Modern Hellesan being its current form, the national tongue of the Hellean Countries.


Classification

Hellesan is a language of the Hellesic Branch of the Megadelanic Family, which forms the Megadelanean Macrofamily together with the Satic Family.

The Modern Megadelanean languages

  • MEGADELANEAN MACROFAMILY
    • Megadelanic Family
      • Hellesic Branch
        • Tassalean
        • Hellesan
      • Enolic Branch
        • Ruscan
        • Rosc
        • Rose
      • Music Branch
        • Azaret
      • Cernupian Branch
        • Syardan
    • Satic Family (Exhausted family. All its languages are extincted)


Linguistic area

Nowadays Hellesan is spoken by about 55 million persons in:

  • The Hellesan Confederacy.
  • Seven city-states around the Eastern Megadelanian sea: Rodígamis, s'Alveç, Aranja, Sabatem, Mascanoula, Cassòldiga and Micazha.
  • The autonomous region of Tassalada, a group of several valleys in the southern Enolian peninsula.


Hellesan is official in all these territories, with the exception of Tassalada, where is co-official with Tassalot, the native tongue.


Dialects

Hellesan is divided into two major dialectal blocks: Western Hellesan and Eastern Hellesan. This division is based on the vocalic system: where the Eastern dialects have atonic a /a/ and e /e/ the Western ones only have /ə/ for a and e, and where the Eastern dialects have atonic o /o/ and u /u/ the Western ones only have /u/ for o and u.

The Hellean Dialectal System

  • WESTERN BLOCK
    • Armassac
    • Garmancean
    • Mind·heledean
    • Caledian
    • Gabalese
  • EASTERN BLOCK
    • Maidandese
    • Malvanese
    • Sardegon
    • Tavissence
    • Zarese
    • Morençan


Inventory of phonemes and orthography

A summary of Hellesan phonemes, their graphemes and allophones.


Oclusives

  • /p/ p.
  • /t/ t.
  • /k/ c before a, o, u; ch before e, i. Labialized is qu /kʷ/.
  • /b/ b. Between vowels is /β/. At the end of words is /p/.
  • /d/ d. Between vowels is /ð/. At the end of word is /t/.
  • /g/ g before a, o, u; gh before e, i. Between vowels is /ɣ/. Labialized is gu /gʷ/.


Nasals

  • /m/ m.
  • /ɱ/ v, though not in all dialects. Also as an allophone of /m/ or /n/ before /f/ or /v/.
  • /n/ n. In Armassac, for nh.
  • /ɲ/ nh and ny.
  • /ŋ/ as an allophone of n before velars, represented nc(h) and ng(h).


Laterals

  • /ɫ/ l, and lh in Armassac too. There's also l·l, which is pronounced doubled, /ɫɫ/.
  • /l/ l. As a lenited version of /ɫ/ in intervocalic position. In some dialects, particularly in Morençan, is the sound of l.
  • /ʎ/ lh and ll.


Rhotics

  • /r/ rr between vowels; r at the beggining of word.
  • /ɾ/ r between vowels. r at the end of word (if not muted).


Fricatives

  • /β/ b between vowels. Also v, but not in all dialects.
  • /f/ f.
  • /v/ v, although not in all dialects.
  • /ð/ d between vowels.
  • /s/ s at the beggining or at the end of word; ss between vowels.
  • /z/ z in all positions; s between vowels.
  • /ʃ/ sy at the beggining of word or between vowels. At the end of word is ys.
  • /ʒ/ g before e, i; j before all vowels; zh in all dialects.
  • /ɣ/ g(h) between vowels.
  • /h/ h, although this grapheme is also mute in many words.


Affricates

  • /ts/ ts.
  • /dz/ tz, ds.
  • /tʃ/ tsy at the beggining of word or between vowels, yts at the end of word; ig at the end of word; th and dh in all dialects except Armassac (but not at the end of word).
  • /dʒ/ dj and tj; tg before e or i. Also g (before e or i) and j in the Morençan dialect.


Palatalized

  • /tʲ/ th, only in Armassac (but not at the end of word).
  • /dʲ/ dh, only in Armassac (but not at the end of word).
  • /zʲ/ zh, only in Armassac (but not at the end of word).


Approximants

  • /j/ i at the beggining of word (followed by a vowel), between vowels, at the end of word (preceded by a vowel).
  • /w/ u at the beggining of word (followed by a vowel), between vowels, at the end of word (preceded by a vowel).


Vowels

Every dialect has its own vocalic system. This is a resume of all the Hellesan vowels.


  • Front: /i/, /y/, /e/, /ɛ/, /æ/.
  • Near-front: /ɪ/.
  • Central: /ə/, /ɐ/, /a/.
  • Near-back: /ʊ/.
  • Back: /u/, /o/, /ɔ/.


The dialectal variants

The Hellesan dialects have their greatest differences in the pronounciation of vowels. Vocalic sounds aren't distributed in the same way in every dialect. Bearing in mind this we note that:

  • 1) The way of opposing the opening degrees isn't the same in all dialects.
  • 2) Not all dialects oppose the same opening degrees in the tonic vocalic system.
  • 3) Not all dialects do the aftermentioned neutralizations in the atonic vocalic system.


Now, we can see an outline of the different dialectal realizations of the tonic and atonic vocalic systems:


Armassac

  • Tonic: /a/ /ɛ/ /e/ /i/ /ɔ/ /o/ /y/
  • Atonic: /ə/ /i/ /u/


Gabalean

  • Tonic: /a/ /ɛ/ /e/ /i/ /ɔ/ /o/ /u/
  • Atonic: /ə/ /i/ /u/


Mind·heledean

  • Tonic: /a/ /ɛ/ /e/ /i/ /ɔ/ /o/ /u/
  • Atonic: /ə/ /i/ /u/


Caledian

  • Tonic: /a/ /ɛ/ /e/ /i/ /ɔ/ /o/ /u/ /ʊ/
  • Atonic: /ə/ /i/ /u/ /ʊ/


Garmancean

  • Tonic: /a/ /æ/ /e/ /i/ /ɔ/ /o/ /u/
  • Atonic: /ə/ /i/ /o/ /u/


Maidandese

  • Tonic: /a/ /ɛ/ /e/ /i/ /ɔ/ /u/ /y/
  • Atonic: /a/ /æ/ /e/ /i/ /ɪ/ /o/ /u/


Malvanese

  • Tonic: /a/ /ɛ/ /e/ /i/ /ɔ/ /o/ /u/
  • Atonic: /a/ /e/ /i/ /ɔ/ /o/ /u/


Sardegon

  • Tonic: /a/ /ɛ/ /e/ /i/ /ɔ/ /o/ /u/
  • Atonic: /a/ /e/ /i/ /ɔ/ /o/ /u/


Morençan

  • Tonic: /a/ /æ/ /e/ /i/ /ɔ/ /o/ /u/
  • Atonic: /a/ /e/ /i/ /o/ /u/


Tavissance

  • Tonic: /a/ /ɛ/ /e/ /i/ /ɔ/ /o/ /u/
  • Atonic: /a/ /e/ /i/ /o/ /u/


Zarese

  • Tonic: /a/ /ɛ/ /e/ /i/ /ɔ/ /o/ /u/
  • Atonic: /a/ /e/ /i/ /o/ /u/


Other features mark the differences among dialects, but these are treated in the dialectology chapter.


Final notes about some phonemes

  • 1. All vowels are short. The only exception is Caledian, which has longs /a/, /ɛ/, /ɔ/ and //ʊ// in the tonic system, for etimologic reasons.
  • 2. Letter a only admits grave accent. Letters e and o admit grave and acute accents, depending on the more opened or closed phoneme they represent. Letters i, y and u only admit the acute accent. In order to mark the long vowels of Caledian double accents are used when is necessary.
  • 3. Many consonantal sound are modified by the presence of what Hellesans name saules felles "weak vowels" (e and i). The other vowels: a, o, u and y are named saules cardes "strong vowels" and, as a general rule, don't modify consonantal sounds.
  • 4. Letter y can work as a vowel and is pronounced /y/ or /i/, depending on dialects. But is also used as a "consonant" in order to form some palatal clusters: ny /ɲ/; sy or ys /ʃ/, and tsy or yts /tʃ/.


The syllable

In Hellesan a syllable has a core, which can be represented by a sole vocalic sound and some optional sounds around the core, named syllabic edges.


Vowels i and u in contact with other vowels The syllable is formed by the core and, optionally, the syllabic edges. If these edges are consonantal phonemes the syllable doesn't show any special conduct. But if the syllabic edges are an i or a u the syllable is structurated in a different way: i and u doesn't work as vocalic phonemes but as semivocalic:


  • [j] if i precedes or follows the syllabic core.
  • [w] if u precedes or follows the syllabic core.


Diphtongs A diphtong is constituted by a vowel, which is a syllabic core, and another vowel (i or u) which sounds as a semivowel. Depending on the position of these semivocalic phonemes we talk about increasing and decreasing diphtongs. In Hellesan we have the following:

  • Decreasing diphtongs: ai, ei, oi, ui, au, eu, iu, ou, uu.
  • Increasing diphtongs: ia, ie, io, iu, ua, ue, ui, uo.


Note that ou can also be pronounced /ʊ/; it depends on dialects. On the other hand, ôu is pronounced /w/ and only used at the beggining of a word.


The stress and its rules

In Hellesan there are two types of graphic stress: the grave one, used above a, e and o, and the acute one, used above e, o, i, u and y.


These are the stress rules of Hellesan:

  • 1. Every single word must have only one stressed vowel. If the word is a compound it will have one stress only if the compound words are fusioned, but it will show all the graphic stresses if the compound words are tied together with hyphens.
  • 2. Monosyllabic words aren't stressed, with the exception of those that have more than one meaning, in order to differentiate them.
  • 3. All the words with the stress in the last syllable are stressed if they end in à, è, é, í, ò, ó, ú, ý, às, ès, és, ís, òs, ós, ús, ýs.
  • 4. All the words with the stress in a middle syllable aren't stressed, with the exception of all the words that doesn't end in any of the terminations cited in the preceding rule.
  • 5. All the words with the stress in the first syllable are stressed.