The basic core of Iermansc is the Vulgar Latin as spoken in Germania in the first five centuries AD. Along with this core is a fairly large amount of terms from Germanic, borrowed before the full assimilation of the Germanians. Later in the language, learned influence introduced a large amount of words derived from literary Latin. Words from the first two categories undergo a set of characteristic sound changes.
In this version, the sound changes presented would actually make the name of the language Iermónsc!
Iermansc continued the trend from Vulgar Latin of stressing accented syllables and dropping unstressed syllables. Bisyllabic words in Latin often tend to become monosyllabic by the loss of final O,U,E. Trisyllabic words like CALIDU and POSITU in Latin become caldo and posto in Romance halþ and post in Iermansc. Some trisyllables become bisyllables as in POPULU > poplo > povel or AMICA > amiga > amia.
The 10 vowels 3 diphthongs of Classical Latin gave way to a Romance system of seven vowels, namely /i e ɛ a o ɔ u/: Ī > /i/, Ē,I,OE > /e/, E,AE > /ɛ/, A,Ā > /a/, O,AU > /ɔ/, Ō,U > /o/, Ū > /u/. The following changes then occurred:
- /a/ remained generally unchanged. under influence from /j/ in the following syllable /a/ > /e/. the ending ARIU displays this change regularly, as in PRĪMARIU > primér. before a nasal /a/ > /o/, as in CANE > hon.
- /ɛ/ closed to /e/. before /a o u/, /ɛ/ > /i/. CENTU > cent, CAELU > cel
- /e/ diphthongized into /ei/ in open syllables, while before /a o/, /e/ > /i/. CRĒDIT > creiðe, FIDE > feiþ
- /i/ remained as such except prior to nasals, when it lowered to /e/.
- /ɔ/ becomes /o/, fronting to /ø/ and unrounding to /e/ when followed by /i j/.
- /o/ becomes /u/, fronting to /y/ and unrounding to /i/ when followed by /i j/.
- /u/ regularly becomes /y/ > /i/.
In unstressed syllables, /i a u/ remain while /e ɛ/ > /e/ and /o ɔ/ > /o/. In unstressed final syllables, /u o e/ were lost. Final /a/ and /i/ were retained, but later coalesced into /ǝ/ (they remain a and e in the orthography).