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The Binese (pronounced like "Chinese" with a B) language (natively Pin [bɪn]~[bi:n]) is a language spoken by the inhabitants of a few small islands in the North Sea. Although the language is an isolate and not related to the Germanic languages of Central/Northern Europe, the Binese have adopted a very "Germanic" alphabet to make communication easier.
Vowel length is not phonemic in Binese - only the quality of a vowel changes the meaning of words. However, speakers of Binese tend to pronounce stressed vowels as long vowels and unstressed vowels as short vowels.
The following pairs of vowels are allophones:
- /ɪ/ and /i/
- /ɔ/ and /o/
- /œ/ and /ø/
- /ʊ/ and /u/
- /ʏ/ and /y/
The first of the two sounds is considered the "real" sound and the second sound is just a variation of it that only appears in stressed vowels (as a long vowel).
Binese possess a vowel harmony - this means that one word can only contain vowels from the same "group". Binese has the following 2 groups of vowels:
- The "front group" contains all front and near-front vowels (/ɛ/,/ɪ/, /i/, /œ/, /ø/, /ʏ/ and /y/)
- The "back group" contains all back, near-back and central vowels (/a/, /ɔ/, /o/, /ʊ/ and /u/)
Binese also possess a consonant harmony that is linked to the vowel harmony - this means that one word can only have consonants of one group in the same word depending on which vowels are in word. Binese has the following 3 groups of consonants:
- The "soft group" contains all voiced consonants that appear in a consonant pair (/b/, /d/, /g/, /v/, /ð/, /z/ and /ʒ/) and can only appear with the vowels of the "front group"
- The "hard group" contains all voiceless consonants that appear in a consonant pair (/p/, /t/, /k/, /f/, /θ/, /s/ and /ʃ/) and can only appear with the vowels of the "back group"
- The "neutral group" contains all other consonants (/m/, /n/, /ŋ/, /ʔ/, /ç/, /h/, /j/, /r/ and /l/) and can appear with all vowels and all consonants.
Binese stress lies on the penultimate in words ending in a vowel or on the ultimate in words ending in consonants.
The Binese alphabet is a variation of the Latin alphabet that was brought to the islands by Germanic merchants.
|N n||Na||[na]~[na:]||/n/~/ŋ/ *|
- N is pronounced /ŋ/ before K.
The sound /ʔ/ doesn't have its own letter - it occurs in the beginning of words starting with a vowel.
Binese nouns are conjugated for the following criteria:
- Their number
- Abessive - used for 0
- Singular - used for 1
- Plural - used for anything bigger than 2
- Their case
- Nominative - used for the agent of a clause (~subject)
- Accusative - used for the patient of a clause (~direct object)
- Dative - used for the recipient of a clause (~indirect object)
- Locative - used for place
- Temporal - used for time
- Prepositional - used with all prepositions
The Binese language only has one declension that is used for all words - no matter which vowels/consonants are used in this word.
The only difference is the fill-in vowel: Front vowel words fill in Ü and back vowel words fill in U whenever 2 consonants would (otherwise) collide. Both types of words fill in a J whenever 2 vowels would (otherwise) collide.
The Binese only possesses adpositions in the form of prepositions. They are always used with the prepositional case and preposition and noun are always hyphenated (preposition-noun).
Adjectives are words describing noun. They are always put after the noun they are describing. Additionally, they are not declined to match with their noun. Therefore, one only encounters very few adjective forms in Binese, namely...
- The positive
- The comparative
- The superlative
- The adverb