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The Cravanian language (Selik Kravak, IPA: [se'lik kra'vak]) is the official language of the Central European country of Cravania and the native language of the Cravanian people. The language is spoken natively by approximately 9 million people, mostly in Cravania, but also in Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Serbia, Italy, and emigrant communities abroad.
Cravanian is the most widely-spoken language isolate in Europe. It is heavily agglutinating and employs ergative-absolutive morphosyntactic alignment. It has been spoken in Europe for about three thousand years, but has only been standardized since the end of the First World War. Before that, it was spoken by ethnic Cravanian minorities in Austria-Hungary and earlier in the Austrian Empire, where there was no official regulation or standardization in dialect, grammar, or writing.
The name of the language in Cravanian is Kravak [kra'vak], known colloquially as Kólzár and also as Tzistek in less formal situations.
| Name: Cravanian
Head Direction: First
Number of genders: 2 (animate and inanimate)
Cravanian is spoken by the Cravanian people in Central Europe, mostly in Cravania, where it is the only official language. Before the Second World War, Cravanian-speakers were a minority in Austria-Hungary and before that the Austrian Empire, and thus were somewhat dispersed. Most speakers were concentrated in the southwestern Carpathian Basin (the location of modern-day Cravania), but many more were spread out across Austria-Hungary. After its fall, most Cravanians became part of the modern nation of Cravania, while many more (at least 3 million) were left scattered across Central Europe. These dispersed people formed Cravanian-speaking communities over time, which are present across most nations of the former Austria-Hungary.
The most heavily-concentrated area of Cravanian-speakers is the capital city of Cravania, Danubas (Dánubája), located near the Hungarian town of Bája on the Danube River.
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Cravanian permits most lexically-available consonant clusters, especially mid-word. However, the language tends to lean towards separating most consonants by other vowels. Diphthongs do not exist in Cravanian: if two vowels appear in a row, they are pronounced individually. Vowel and semi-vowel combinations (i.e. [aj] and [ow]) are permitted, but the semivowels are purely consonants, and do not take vowel-like properties any more than they would if they were syllable-initial.
Stress is highly unpredictable in Cravanian, and stress often differs significantly by dialect. All vowels can be either short or long, regardless of stress; stress does not affect vowel length. Long vowels are marked with an acute accent, while two identical vowels written in a row are pronounced twice: compare hóz [hoːʃ] (location) and hooz [hooʃ] (motorcycle).
Cravanian is an ergative-absolutive language. This means that in a phrase with an intransitive verb (as in "Tom sees"), the agent of the verb (in this case, Tom) is in the absolutive case, while in a phrase with a transitive verb (as in "Tom sees the car"), it is the object of the verb (car) that is in the absolutive case, while the agent (Tom) is in the ergative case.
The absolutive case is unmarked, i.e. it is the standard (dictionary) form of nouns. The ergative case is marked at the end of nouns, so agents of transitive verbs appear differently than agents of intransitive verbs. This is demonstrated below:
A ottfa terték-a zasz-e.
[a 'ʊtːfa ter'teːka ʃa'ʒe]
DEF boy-(ABS) young-AN know-3SG;ABS.
"The young boy knows."
A ottfa-sy terték-a-sy zasz-e-d a perffa.
[a 'ʊtːfasi ter'teːkasi ʃa'ʒed a per'fːa]
DEF boy-ERG young-AN-ERG know-3SG;ABS-3SG;ERG DEF girl-(ABS).
"The young boy knows the girl."
In the first example above, the verb "know" is intransitive (because the boy doesn't know anyone or anything specific), so the verb's agent (the young boy) is in the absolutive case; "a ottfa tertéka". In the second example, the verb "know" is transitive, because the boy knows something/someone specific (in this case, the girl), so the object of the verb (the girl) is in the absolutive case this time while the agent of the verb (the young boy) is marked in the ergative case; "a ottfasy tertékasy". Note that the -(s)y ending denotes ergative case (it is only 'y' after consonant-final words).
Cases and declensionEdit
A total of 15 cases exist in the Cravanian language, and all nouns are marked in the different cases by the same endings, with only some exceptions. Vowel-final words receive an additional 's' plus the regular case endings. The absolutive case is unmarked. Below is a list of each case and its respective ending on the words kerek (chair) and bat (house).
|Case||Example "chair"||Example "house"|
Cravanian does not use prepositions to indicate location or relevance, and thus arises the need for several cases. To indicate location, for example, prepositions (in, on, at, by) are not used; instead, the locative case is used. For greater specificity, one of the other locative cases (proximate, intrative, illative, etc.) can be used, or one of the locative cases in combination with a noun in the possessive. This is demonstrated below:
A perffa-sy a oto-ses.
DEF girl-(ERG) DEF car-LOC.
[a per'fːasi 'ʊtoses]
The girl is in/at/on the car.
In the above example, "car" (oto) is in the locative case (otoses), thus showing that the girl's location is the car. This form is relatively unspecific, as it is not known whether the girl is actually inside the car, under the car, on top of the car, or simply at the car. Such specification is not always needed. However, if the speaker wanted to specify his exact location relative to the car, he would use the locative case in combination with a possessive:
A perffa-sy flud-es a oto-g-es.
DEF girl-(ERG) surface-LOC DEF car-POSS-LOC.
[a per'fːasi 'fludes 'ʊtoges]
The girl is (located) at the car's surface.
A perffa-sy érga-ses a oto-g-es.
DEF girl-(ERG) inside-LOC car-POSS-LOC.
[a per'fːasi eːr'gases 'ʊtoges]
The girl is (located) at he car's inside.
In the first example above, the noun "surface" (flud) was used in the locative case and as possessed by the car to show that the location of the girl was the car's surface, equivalent to "The girl is on the car" in English. In the second example, the same method was used, but with the noun "inside" (érga), showing that the girl's location was the car's inside, equivalent to "The girl is in the car" in English.
Cravanian uses a zero-copula, which means that if two nouns or noun phrases are placed next to each other, the copula is implied (i.e. "he a man" = "he is a man"). However, unlike other zero-copula languages (like Russian), one side of the copula must be in the ergative case while another is in the absolutive case. This stems from the fact that Cravanian is a head-first language (i.e. adjectives follow the nouns they modify). See these examples:
Az bóla segek
DEF father-(ABS) tall-(ABS)
[aʃ boː'la se'gek]
"The tall father"
Az bólas-y segek
DEF father-(ERG) tall-(ABS)
[aʃ boː'lasi se'gek]
"The father is tall"
In the first example above, we see that both the word "father" and "tall" are in the absolutive case, which means that "tall" modifies "father" and that there is no copula in between. In the second example, "father" has been changed to the ergative case while "tall" remains in the absolutive case, which implies that a copula exists between the two. This may seem redundant, but it is a necessary decision - notably when it comes to relative clauses:
Ós az szebat-es
God-(ABS) DEF heaven-LOC
[oːs aʃ ʒe'bates]
"God who is in heaven" (lit. "God in heaven")
Ós-y az szebat-es
God-ERG DEF heaven-LOC
[oːsi aʃ ʒe'bates]
"God is in heaven
In the first example above, "God" is in the absolutive case, and the word "heaven" is in the locative case, showing "heaven" as God's location. Because "God" is in the neutral absolutive case, no copula is implied between it and other modifiers, so it forms a de-facto relative clause. In the second example, "God" is in the ergative case, implying a copula, so the phrase means "God is in heaven".
Universal Declaration of Human RightsEdit
Wáwoda-hózzertek bánérteka ángásszérekemom bagonysësz osz doltegësz hogzodessíg osz torbonzadetzíg. Kostranérekossom hoszbaztegësz osz dobodsszolekësz osz hodderérékozt sszolekánnés azzveriséng rasroznikegéng.
With separated morphemes:
W<á>woda-h<ó>zzertek b<á>nértek-a ángássz-ér-ek-em-om bagony-sësz osz dolteg-ësz hogzodess-íg osz torbonzadetz-íg. Kostran-ér-ek-oss-om hoszbazteg-ësz osz dobodsszolek-ësz osz hodder-ér-ék-ozt sszolek-ánn-és azzveri-séng rasroznik-eg-éng.
<PL>Human.<PL>beings-(ABS) <pl>all-AN give.birth-3PL-PUNC-HAB-PAS freedom-COOP and equality-COOP honor-OBL and rights-OBL. Give-3PL-PUNC-DYN-PAS reasoning-COOP and conscious-COOP and act-3PL-PROG-NEC self-3POSS-ITRT soul-INS brotherhood-POSS-INS.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
The Lord's PrayerEdit
Bólák a szebates, sellútak a talumangy.
A rogpolangy ózzádoztésig,
A gusserang kësszeroztom, sóriz a szebaték.
Gólgiszodák a maség kostranégékemés wógóm,
Osz as ádókák spaségekertés,
Wógy dás spasésemázk as admodák.
Éss bánék roózzágengésig,
Baz ózzágengossésig a maltiz.
With separated morphemes:
B<ó>l-ák a szebat-es, sellútak a talum-ang-y.
A rogpol-ang-y ózz-á-d-ozt-és-ig,
A gusser-ang këssz-er-ozt-om, sór-iz a szebat-ék.
G<ó>lgiszod-ák a mas-ég kostran-é-g-ék-em-és w<ó>g-óm,
Osz as <á>dók-ák spas-é-g-ek-ert-és,
W<ó>g-y dás spas-é-s-em-ázk as admod-ák.
Éss bán-ék ro-ózz-á-g-eng-és-ig,
Baz ózz-á-g-eng-oss-és-ig a malt-iz.
<PL>Father-1PL;POSS-(ABS) DEF heaven-LOC, holy-(ABS) DEF name-2SG;POSS-ERG.
DEF kingdom-2SG;POSS-ERG come-2PL;ABS-3;ERG-NEC-1CLASS;ERG-3CLASS;ABS,
DEF plan-2SG;POSS-(ABS) make-3SG;ABS-NEC-PAS, earth-ABL heaven-DAT.
<PL>Bread-1PL;POSS-(ABS) DEF day-POSS give-3PL;ABS-2-ERG-PROG-HAB-1CLASS;ERG <PL>1-PER,
And DEF <PL>debt-1PL;POSS forgive-3PL;ABS-2;ERG-PROG-HYP-1CLASS;ERG,
<PL>1-ERG in.the.same.way forgive-3PL;ABS-1;ERG-HAB-REC DEF debtor-POSS;1PL.
No sin-DAT NEG-bring-1PL;ABS-2;ERG-IMM-1CLASS;ERG-3CLASS-ABS,
Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this our daily bread,
And forgive us of our debts,
Just as we have forgiven our debtors.
Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.