- 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.
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.
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.
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/.
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.
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.
- All vowels are short in unstressed syllables. (ɛ) is exceptional, being reduced even further and realised as a Schwa (ə).
- 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'.
- <ie> can represent both the /iːə/ diphthong as in luxembourgish or the long vowel sound /iː/ as in german. Both pronunciations are considered acceptable.
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.
|Plosive||p b1||t d1, 2||k g1||ʔ2|
|Fricative||f v||s z1||ʃ ʒ1||ç||x||h|
- 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.
- 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'.
Nouns, Case, and Gender
Francillian nouns are inflected into:
- one of four cases: nominative, accusative, dative and genitive.
- one of three genders: Masculine, feminine, and neuter.
- two numbers: singular and plural
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
- 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.