The Bardish language is a Germanic language spoken by approximately 50,000 people in the north of modern Germany. The speakers of Bardish consider themselves to be the descendents of the Germanic tribe of the Bards (hence the name of the language) but modern research has shown that this belief is wrong - most Bardish speakers have even less "Bardish" genes in them than most surrounding Germans; therefore, their origin remains unknown.
For reasons of simplicity, height and backness are not exact - vowels are approximately pronounced like their respective cardinal vowel. Vowels in this table are vowel phonemes and written without /slashes/ - vowels that are only allophones of other phonemes are written in (brackets). Long vowels are indicated by a normal colon: because it is easier to type (and their is almost no difference between : and ː).
|Height ↓||Backness →||Front||Central||Back|
|Close||ɪ i:||(ʏ) (y:)||ʊ u:|
|Mid||ɛ (ɛ) (ɛ:) e:||(œ) (ø:)||(ə)||ɔ o:|
Bardish differenciates 5 short vowels and 5 long vowels for a total of 10 monophthongs. All vowel phonemes appear in pairs of a short and a long vowel (2 vowels in one cell in the table above form one pair).
As a classical Germanic language, Bardish back vowels change to front vowels (called umlauts) when followed by /i/ or /j/. Note that in some cases the /i/ or /j/ that causes an umlaut might have been dropped and therefore umlaut can sometimes appear in unexpected places. The phonemes /a/, /o/ and /u/ can change to their umlauts ...
- [ɛ] or [ɛ:] (for /a/)
- [œ] or [ø:] (for /o/)
- [ʏ] or [y:] (for /u/)
The second major vowel sound change in Bardish is vowel rounding - the vowels /e/ and /i/ change to their rounded counterparts when followed by labial consonants.