Yardistani is primarily based on Spanish vocabulary and grammar, but it's pronunciation and spelling are more based on Germanic languages. It also has several influences from English, Swedish, and Japanese. Before it was adopted for use in Micronations, Gryphon created the language to have a certain aesthetic value in his mind. Consequently, it looks rather peculiar.
According to his fictional history for the language, Gryphon says that the language is derived from a trade pidgin, combining elements of a now-lost native language with Spanish and, to a lesser extent, Swedish from far-off traders.
The only actual speaker of the language is Gryphon Avocatio. He is currently working on compiling a final version of the language.
This section of the article is translated into Yardistani below.
Iardîstato ne basaj primís nja Vokablulari ce Gramatikr Spanjâtix, ye ljona Habasˇavegr cOr<thorn>asˇi ne basaj maís nja Idiômrsa Jermanix. Habe Influênsrsa multix dÂngloto, du Svêriyeto, ce du Nihonto. Antís du ljo neja adoptaj par Usr nja Micronâtrsa, Grifon creaja ljo Idiomr par habejj Valihr aas<thorn>etix xpesifix nje Mêntrlo. Konsegesˇís, apara peculiarix.
Akordasˇi nja Hixtoraat fiktix du Idiomr, Grifon haba kju Idiomr ne derivajix du Pidjin du Komersr, kombinasˇi Elemêntrsa du Idiomrsa nativix hrís-perdix kjan Spanjâtix ce, njExtentr maís-menix, Svêriyeto af Komêrsamajsa du Landsa leyix.
Habamaj aktualix solix du Idiomr ne Grifon Avocatio. Le ne trabasˇi hrís nja kompilajj Vertr finalix du ljo Idiomr.
Basics in Yardistani Grammar
Yardistani is a natural language and thus it relies on sentence structure and word position to convey meaning. Yardistani has a fairly simple verb conjugation system and virtually no noun declensions.
Yardistani employs the basic subject-verb-object sentence structure most commonly found in English. Word order is much more akin to Spanish; for instance, adjectives usually precede the nouns they modify, and dative pronouns are allowed to precede the verbs which modify them.
Nouns, Pronouns and Declension
Yardistani nouns are easily identifiable in writing because they are always capitalised. This helps to differentiate between nouns and some negative present tense verbs (see verbs below); for instance, Talo, something which is changed, and talo, which means "do/does not change." In speech, the accents are different, with stress falling on the final syllable of negative verbs (as opposed to the penultimate), hence ['talo] for the noun and [ta'lo] for the verb.
Nouns themselves only decline based on number. Single nouns are made plural by attaching the ending -sa to the end. Thus Talr, change, becomes Tâlrsa, changes. (The diacritic over the a is to denote that the stress lies in that syllable as the suffix would change that).
As mentioned Earlier, Yardistani is almost case-free. Only pronouns trully decline. Yardistani does have a distinction between two forms of what are represented as the first person plural pronoun in English (we). The first Jesa represents a group of people that does not include the person or people being addressed by the sentence. The second, Jitesa, includes the person being addressed.
There are also possessive suffixes that attach to nouns. They take the forms -jo, -do, and -lo for first, second, and third person respectively.
Verbs and Conjugation
Verbs in Yardistani all end in either -ajj or -ejj in their infinitive forms.
The conjugation of verbs in Yardistani is fairly straightforward. Irregular verbs were purposely left out of the language, and thus both classes of verbs follow neat, synthetic patterns. The verbs are not conjugated for person, gender, or number. There is no distinction between the indicative and the subjunctive. However, verbs are conjugated based on tense and whether or not the sentence is affirmative or negative. Thus:
- Affirmative: Je veja nja Xkuel Hrdihr. I went to school today.
- Negative: Je vejo nja Xkuel Hrdihr. I did not go to school today.
Much as in English, Yardistani needs only one negation to make the entire sentence negative:
- Je habe ala Dinari. I have some money.
- Je habi ala Dinari. I don't have any money.
Endings for each form are shown in the table below (not quite completed yet):
|Present||Past||Imperfect||Future||Past Participle||Present Participle|
The perfect tenses are compound tenses. They are made by conjugating the verb habejj, to have, in the appropriate tense and then following it with the main verb of the verb phrase:
- Je habe vej nja Broksˇiro. I have gone to Brookshire.
- Je habeje vej nja Broksˇiro. I will have gone to Brookshire.
Imperatives (also called commands) are made by using the present tense form of the verb preceded by a command particle, such as kju or plaat, please.
- Kju vi nja Kâsrdo. Don't Go home.
- Plaat vene nja Sinemr kjan Jo. Please come to the cinema with me.
Basic Syntax and Phrase Structure
Yardistani generally follows the syntax of Romance languages. It is not incredibly different than English.
Take for example the following sentence:
- Je anda nja Xkuelr. (I walk to school).
This is a basic sentence, but it follows the general principles of even English syntax (the words in the sentence correlate exactly with its English counterpart). We have the subject Je followed by the predicate anda nja Xkuelr. The predicate can further be divided into farther subjections, the verb anda and the prepositional phrase nja Xkuelr, which is itself composed of the preposition nja and the noun Xkuelr.
Take this one:
Je gusta comio. (I like food).
This is even more basic, showing the basic subject-verb-object structure of Yardistani (again, the words correlate exactly).
Some Important Differences
There are some important differences that should be noted.
- Unlike in English and even Spanish, adjectives always come after the nouns they modify, with rare exception.
- Sentences never end in prepositions, again, unlike in English.
- When a subject is understood, it is okay to drop it in casual speech (i.e. Je kere kedajj, ye (Je) tene kju vejj "I want to stay, but (I) have to leave").
Alphabet, Pronunciation and Orthography
Yardistani has a basic system of pronunciation. It has a fairly small set of vowel sounds and a good number of consonants. Rules of pronunciation in Yardistani are not as complex as they are in English, but are definitely more complex than in Spanish. Vowels can change pronunciation based upon where they are in words much like in English but unlike in Spanish. However, these changes are predictable and follow a fairly regular phonolgical pattern.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S Sˇ T þ U V X Y Z
As written in Latin, the Yardistani alphabet has 26 letters, although not the exact same letters as in English. It is basically the same as the English alphabet, except that it lacks "Q," and "W," and has the additional letters "Sˇ" (which is not an "S" with a diacritic, but a separate letter), and "þ."
Traditional alphabetization follows the above pattern, although it has become more common to alphabetize "Sˇ" with "S" and to put "þ" after "Z."
Yardistani can also be written in it's own alphabet, although Latin is the most common mode.
Orthography and Phonology
The Pronunciations below are provided in the International Phonetic Alphabet for purposes of clarity.
b - [b]
c - [?] always, never [s] or [k]
d - [d]
f - [f]
g - [g] always, never [j] or [?]
h - [?], or unpronounced in fast speach
i - [j] before a vowel (otherwise, it is a vowel)
j - [?], but always [?] word-initially. [j] after consonants except for 'r'. Silent when after a vowel and before a consonant (V_C)
k - [k]
l - [l]
m - [m]
n - [n]
p - [p]
r - [?] word-initially or after a consonant and before a vowel. [??] between consonants (acts as a vowel). Simply [?] after a vowel. [r?] word-finally after consonant.
s - [s], never [z]
t - [t]
u - [w] before vowels (otherwise, a vowel itself)
v - [v]
x - [ks], [z] word initially
y - [?]
z - [z]
a - [?], [a] when stressed or before r
e - [?], [e] when stressed or word-final
i - [?], [i] when stressed or word-final
í - [i], carries stress
o - [o]
u - [?], [u] when stressed
aa - [æ]
Basic Phrases in Yardistani
Donsu - Hello
¿Kom ne? - How are you?
¿Kyu ne nâmrdo? - What is your name.
Je ne/ni bonís. - I am/am not well.
¿Nja Xo ve De? - Where are you going?
¿Kju ve? - What's up? (lit. "What goes?")
More Fun Things
¿Kuan departa trenr nja Nigrad Nehix? - When does the train to Novi Nigrad leave?
¡Kju revolta Jitesa kontra O Kaiser! - Let's revolt against the Kaiser!
Iardista nejja Duci maís bonix, ye hr existo. - Yardistan was the best Duchy, but now it doesn't exist.