Francillian language

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Francillian
Francisville
Spoken in Larger flag.png Francisville
Total speakers Unknown
Family Indo-European
Type Constructed Language
Not to be confused with its descendant, Francillish.

Francillian (Frankséilsch; Francillish: Franciliensch; French: Francillien) is a constructed language spoken in Francisville. It is classified as a Central Franconian dialect. Francillian is historically related to Old Francillian and its descendant, Francillish.

Classification

Francillian is based on the Central Franconian languages. It is loosely classified as a Moselle Franconian dialect with significant similarities to Luxembourgish. It is also related to Francillish through the common historical influence of Old Francillian.

Geographic distribution

Currently, Francillian is mainly spoken in Wasserbrueck, the only canton of Francisville where it has official recognition. However, considering its development as a quintessentially Francillian language (as opposed to a language of Wasserbrueck), many citizens of Francisville outwith Wasserbrueck are making efforts to learn the language, and as such, it has spread into other cantons as well.

Varieties

There are different varieties of Francillian spoken in different cantons, differing mainly in phonology, with occasional differences in vocabulary (due in part or mainly due to code-switching) and grammar. Two varieties of Francillian have so far been observed.

  • Standard Francillian – The original variety of the language, as has been (and is being) developed by the authorities developing the language (currently the Government of Wasserbrueck). This variety is used in formal contexts, and is generally the variety taught to new learners of the language. It also serves as a basis from which other dialects have developed.
  • Rudnan Francillian – The variety of Francillian used in Rudno, it exhibits some features recognisable from Ripuarian and German, while being free of some features of Standard Francillian stemming from Scots and English. For example, the /t/ and /d/ phonemes are never realised as glottal stops or alveolar taps, while the /o/ phoneme is almost always realised as the diphthong /oʊ/. Furthermore, diphthongs ending in schwa (apart from /oːə/), are mostly monophthongised, such that /aːə/ → /a/, /ɛːə/ → /ɛ/, and /iːə/ → /i/.

History

The history of the language can be traced back to the development of Old Francillian in 2009. Old Francillian took influence from the High German languages but did not fit into any particular dialect group. The use of the language sharply declined and it became virtually extinct by spring 2010 before a newer Francillian dialect was revived. Modern Francillian was shaped by the increasing influence of Luxembourgish and Moselle Franconian during this period. The roots of Old Francillian evolved irregularly and most have subsequently become lost. Despite lacking official language status in the Democratic Duchy of Francisville, Francillian became accepted as the national language and was frequently used by governmental institutions.

The revival of Francillian was coincident with the early development of Francillish, which exhibits a stronger influence of Old Francillian. Since 2011, Francillian has gone through a process of standardisation as interest in its use has increased. It continues to be heavily influenced by other languages, primarily French, Scots and Luxembourgish. Attempts are also being made to study its relationship with Francillish and both languages mutually influence each others evolution. A Francillian Language Research Group has been proposed at the University of Francisville.

Phonology

Vowels

Francillian has a vowel system consisting of approximately 12 standard vowels and an extensive number of diphthongs. Vowel length is distinctive in Francillian and usually signals a difference in meaning.

Monophthongs

Spelling IPA Example
a ʌ Kapp, aféi1
lafen
aa waarm
ä æ schwätzen
e ə 2 helpen
e eng
é dénken
ee deem
i ɪ sitzen
siwen
ii Kiirch
o ɔ Sonn
jo
oo Fooss
u ʊ gudd
mulen
uu Duuscht

Diphthongs

Spelling IPA Example
ae aːə Fraen
ai ai mai
au au Haus
äe ɛːə äessen
äi ɛːi Schäin
éi ei béi
ie iːə3 Lied
oe oːə doen
oi ɔi Moien
ou ou Kou
  1. All vowels are short in unstressed syllables. (ɛ) is exceptional, being reduced even further and realised as a Schwa (ə).
  2. As in German the Schwa (ə) is considered a complementary allophone with (ɛ) which occurs in unstressed sylabbles. If it is followed by a sonorant in the syllabic coda, the schwa vanishes and the consonant becomes syllabic e.g. Stoppen [ʃtɔpn̩] 'to stop'.
  3. <ie> can represent both the /iːə/ diphthong as in luxembourgish or the long vowel sound /iː/ as in german. Both pronunciations are considered acceptable.

Consonants

The consonant system of Francillian is similar to those of Standard German and Luxembourgish. Francillian consonants are outlined in the table below. Where symbols appear in pairs, the left represents a voiceless consonant and the right represents a voiced consonant.

Bilabial Labiodental Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p  b1 t  d1, 2 k  g1 ʔ2
Affricate t͡s t͡ʃ  d͡ʒ
Fricative f  v s  z1 ʃ  ʒ1 ç x h
Nasal m n ŋ
Approximant ɹ j w
Lateral approximant l
  1. Francillian exhibits terminal devoicing so these pairs do not form minimal pairs in word final position e.g. klég 'soul (of a shoe)' and kléck 'click' have identical pronunciation. Description of fortis-lenis pairs in Francillian is, however, controversial.
  2. The /t/ phoneme is often realised as a glottal stop before a syllabic consonant e.g. bitten [bɪʔn̩] 'to ask'. Similarly, /d/ is sometimes realised as an alveolar tap e.g. räiden [ɹɛːiɾn̩] 'to ride'.

Grammar

Nouns, Case, and Gender

Francillian nouns are inflected into:

Number, case, and gender must be taken into account in the declension of nouns and adjectives. As in German, there is no gender distinction in plural declension. Nouns are capitalised in Francillian orthography.

Nominative/Accusative Dative
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Masculine Femenine Neuter Masculine Femenine Neuter
Definite den de d' de dem der dem den
Def.emphatic deem déi dat déi deenem deener deenem deenen
Demonstrative dest dies dest dies diesem dieser diesem diesen
Indefinite en eng een - engem enger engem -
Negative Keen Keng Keen Keng kengem kenger kengem kengen

Like other German dialects, Francillian makes a distinction between attributive and predicative adjectives. Predicative adjectives, which are separated from the noun by verbs such as sien 'to be', are not declined:

  • Den Mann ischt grouss
  • De Fra ischt grouss
  • D'Auto ischt grouss
  • De Mäis sidd grouss

Attributive adjectives are declined by a single set of adjectival endings as such:

Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Nominative schäin(e)s schäin schäin(e)t schäine
Accusative schäin(e)s schäin schäin(e)t schäine
Dative schäinem schäiner schäinem schäinen
Genitive schäin(e)s schäine schäin(e)s schäinen

The Comparitive is formed synthetically as in German by adding the suffix -er. Comparitive sentences are formed using the conjunctions as or wéi:

  • Den Mann ist klénger as/wéi säi Papp.
  • D'kléngert Auto

The superlative is formed by adding the suffix -ste. Unlike German, the superlative has no predicative-attributive distinction. The superlative always takes the emphatic article, and no further adjectival endings are added:

  • Den Mann ist deem kléngste
  • Déi kléngste Fra

The following tables give the forms of personal pronouns and possessive adjectives:

Nominative Accusative Dative Reflexive
1sg ech met mir mech
2sg du det dir dech
3sg(m) hen het him sech
3sg(f) sen set hir sech
3sg(n) et et him sech
3(Gen.) ons ais iech iech
1pl wir uns wiech wiech
3pl sie sie hinne sech
Nominative/Accusative Dative
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Masculine Femenine Neuter Masculine Femenine Neuter
1sg mäi meng mäi meng mengem menger mengem mengen
2sg däi deng däi deng dengem denger dengem dengen
3sg(m) säi seng säi seng sengem senger sengem sengen
3sg(f) hire hir hirt hire hirem hirer hirem hiren
3sg(n) säi seng säi seng sengem senger sengem sengen
3(Gen.) onst onst onst onst onstem onster onstem onsten
1pl äise äis äist äiste äisem äiser äisem äisen
3pl hire hir hirt hire hirem hirer hirem hiren

Possessive pronouns can be formed by combining the emphatic article with the appropriate possessive adjective. An -n suffix is also added to adjectives such as mäi and däi:

  • D'Auto ist dat mäin ma de Kat ist déi deng.

Verb inflection

Like verbs in other Germanic languages, Francillian verbs may be classified as either strong, exhibiting vowel gradation (ablaut), or weak. The inflection of verbs is conditioned by class, number, person, mood, and voice. Francillian has two non-compound tenses (present, preterite) and four compound tenses (perfect, pluperfect, future, future perfect). Verb inflection follows the following endings:

1sg 2sg 3sg 3(Gen.) 1pl 3pl
Present -e -s -t -t -en -en
Preterite -t -st -ten -ten
Conjunctive -t -t -t -ts -ten -ten

The preterite is archaic and now only survives in a small number of strong verbs such as sien 'to be' (ech war), hann 'to have' (ech hut), and kommen 'to come' (ech kam). The conditional mood is formed either through the use of the subjunctive or through the do-form using the subjunctive form of doen (to do) as an auxiliary:

  • Wiert ech moed, schléfft ech.
  • Wiert ech moed, déit ech schloffen.

As in German, separable prefixes appear in final position. In infinitive phrases using a, the a is placed between the word and its prefix to form a single word, likewise with ge- in the past participle:

  • Den Mann kamt am Haus an
  • De Fra ischt am Haus angekommt
  • Ech musse d'Wecker regelen em opastoen.

Word order

The word order of Francillian is less rigid than English but slightly more so that German. Francillian exhibits verb second word order and word order is distinct for main and subordinate clauses.

  • The finite (main or auxiliary) verb appears in second position in declarative clauses and wh-questions.
Ech wolle een näit Buuch
Wat wolls du?
  • The case structure of Francillian allows for some flexibility in declarative clauses for emphasis or style. The verb always appears in second position:
Den Mann goft mir am Haus d'Buuch.
also: d'Buuch goft mir am Haus den Mann.
also: d'Buuch goft den Mann mir am Haus.
  • The finite verb appears in first position in interrogative and imperative clauses:
Wolls du en Kofféi?
Géi du am Haus!
  • When auxiliary or modal verbs are present, the finite verb appears in standard second position and the infinitive or participle appears at the end of the sentence:
Ech han en Kofféi gekaaft.
Du solls necht vill Alkohol drinken.
  • The finite verb appears in final positive in subordinate clauses:
Ech dénke dat du moed biss.
Hen kénnt dat du d'Buuch gekaaft has.

Vocabulary

References

External links