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Sicaron is the English-derived national language of the fictitious Socialist Republic of Sicaro, in Hank Delisle's novel in progress One America, which takes place in a future North America. Sicaro is a nation located in the northwestern former United States, with Krasnograd (formerly Olympia, Washington) as its national capital, and is named for its three major mountain ranges: the Sierra Nevadas, the Cascade Ranges and the Rocky Mountains. Sicarons are a peace-loving and self-reliant lot who work hard to maintain not only a sustainable lifestyle for themselves but also to keep other nations from getting in the way of those aims.
Sicaron is a II-PR-N language, meaning that it places the verb between the subject and object, uses prepositions instead of postpositions and places adjectives after the noun they modify instead of before it. Likewise, adverbs go after the words they modify instead of before them. Its preference for prepositions also affects its style of word derivation, which relies almost entirely on prefixes instead of suffixes, the only exceptions being ordinal numbers, adjectives of nationality and grammatical inflections.
Sicaron is written in the Latin script. The Sicaron alphabet lacks the letters q and x and adds three non-English letters š, ž and ø. There are 27 letters, named and pronounced as follows:
- A a — alva [a] as in taco
- B b – bekar [b] as in birch
- C c – icvar [ŋ] like ng in lung
- D d – dilta [d] as in dark
- E e – ekor [ɛ] as in smell, must be followed by i or a consonant other than w
- F f – fawst [f] as in finch
- G g – gølf [ɡ] as in green
- H h – hotal [h] like sh in short
- I i – indor [i] as in liter, never adjacent to j in a word, and any w that follows it must belong to the next syllable
- J j – jowd [j] like y in yellow, never adjacent to i in a word
- K k – kilor [k] as in kitsch, aspirated [kʰ] before j, l, r, w or a vowel except after s or š
- L l – limar [l] as in lemon, more like the British dialect sound
- M m – marit [m] as in mine
- N n – nojar [n] as in north
- O o – ostor [ɔ] like aw in British raw but short, must be followed by i, u or a consonant
- P p – papri [p] as in pinch, aspirated [pʰ] before j, l, r, w or a vowel except after s or š
- R r – rowi [ɻ] as in American English rose
- S s – siger [s] as in south
- Š š – šarli [ʃ] like sh in short
- T t – tanor [t] as in torch, aspirated [tʰ] before r, w or a vowel except after s or š
- U u – unvar [u] as in truth, never adjacent to w in a word
- V v – vikor [v] as in vile
- W w – weski [w] as in weed, never adjacent to u in a word
- Y y – ypsil [y] like u in French tu, and any j or w that follows it must belong to the next syllable
- Z z – zejd [z] as in zone
- Ž ž – žuld [ʒ] like si in lesion
- Ø ø – øskel [œ] like ö in German löffel, must be followed by a consonant other than j or w
In addition to the letters are five vowel diphthongs, which are treated as vowel-glide pairs rather than as phonemes in their own right:
- aj – [aj] like i in kind
- aw – [aw] like ou in loud
- ej – [ɛj] like ay in Slayer
- oj – [ɔj] like oi in void
- ow – [ɔw] as in blow
Every vowel in Sicaron (a e i o u y ø) forms the core of its own syllable, and stress is always on the first syllable of a word. Vowel length is, like in American English, phonemically insignificant in Sicaron, meaning that the duration for which a vowel is spoken doesn’t change the meaning. The following consonant clusters are permitted at the beginning of a syllable before the vowel:
b bj bl br bw d dr dw f fj fl fr fw g gj gl gr gw h k kj kl kr kw l m mj n p pj pl pr pw r s sk skj skl skr skw sl sm smj sn sp spj spl spr sr st str sw š šl šm šn šr šw t tr ts tš tw v vj vl w z ž
The following consonant clusters are permitted at the end of a syllable after the vowel:
b c ck cs cst ct d f fs fsk fst ft g j jb jc jck jcs jct jd jf jfs jft jg jk jks jkt jm jn jnd jns jnt jnz jp jps jpt js jsk jst jš jšt jt jts jtst jtš jtšt jv jz jž k ks kst kt l lb ld lf lfs lft lg lk lks lkt lm ln lp lps lpt ls lsk lst lš lšt lt lts ltsk ltst ltš ltšt lv lz lž m mp ms msk mst mt n nd ns nsk nst nš nšt nt nz nž p ps psk pst pt r rb rd rf rfs rft rg rk rks rkt rm rn rnd rns rnt rnz rp rps rpt rs rsk rst rš ršt rt rts rtsk rtst rtš rtšt rv rz rž s sk sp st š št t ts tsk tst tš tšt v w wb wd wf wfs wft wg wk wks wkt wm wn wnd wnz wns wnt wp wps wpt ws wsk wst wš wšt wt wts wtst wtš wtšt wv wz wž z ž
When a consonant may exist at the end of one syllable and at the beginning of the following syllable, it’s considered part of both syllables but written only once. Thus, the syllables of water, meaning water, are considered to be wat and ter, but only one t is written. In addition, when a vowel diphthong ending in j is followed by i, or one ending in w is followed by u, the consonant must be elided in accordance with the i-j and u-w adjacency rules.
Sicaron has four tones, used to mark sentences as yes/no questions, demarcate the ends of sentences and emphasize words. An emphasized word starts with a high tone, while any other word starts with a high-mid tone. A word at the end of a yes/no question ends with a high tone, while a word at the end of any other sentence ends with a low tone. Any other word ends in a low-mid tone. Within each word, the tone makes a smooth transition from its starting level to its ending level.
Nouns are declined by number and definiteness by the addition of inflecting suffixes, inflection being one exception to the prefixes-only rule. The uninflected form is the indefinite singular, indefinite meaning that it would be preceded by a or an for a count noun and no article for a noncount noun in English. The indefinite plural, which has no article in English, adds -n to the end of a noun whose final stem, not counting prefixes, consists of more than one syllable and ends in a, l or r and -en to the end of any other noun. Definiteness means that a noun would be preceded by the in English. The definite singular adds -t to the end of a noun whose final stem, not counting prefixes, consists of more than one syllable and ends in a, l, n or r and -et to the end of any other noun. The definite plural adds -s to the end of a noun whose final stem, not counting prefixes, consists of more than one syllable and ends in a, l, n or r and -es to the end of any other noun.
- ryr a river, ryren rivers, ryret the river, ryres the rivers
Sicaron has regulated (a.k.a. “natural”) gender like English, not arbitrary (a.k.a. “grammatical”) gender like most Indo-European languages. There are two genders: epicene for all people and any other animals viewed in a personal manner, completely disregarding sex, and neuter for everything else. Adjectives follow the nouns they modify instead of preceding them as in English, and they must agree with the noun in gender, number and definiteness. For all practical purposes, they are nouns, which is why they’re included in this section. The uninflected form is the neuter indefinite singular. The epicene gender is marked by adding -ra to an adjective ending in a and -a to any other adjective. Adjectives are inflected in the same way as nouns for number and definiteness, with these inflections added after the gender marker in the epicene.
Determiners, a sort like adjectives, are inflected the same way as adjectives and go at the very end of the noun phrase. Numbers, both cardinal and ordinal, are considered determiners in Sicaron. The determiners zis this and zet that, the possessive pronominal determiners and ordinal numbers are inherently always definite and so the -et inflection in the neuter singular is suppressed, while the epicene singular and both plural forms are inflected normally. Although cardinal numbers are inherently plural except 0 and 1, they must always be inflected appropriately. The numbers are named as follows:
|1||ejn||først||11||tin ejn||tin først||21||twitin ejn||twitin først||101||ejndert ejn||ejndert først||10^6||mion||mionsk|
|2||twi||twisk||12||tin twi||tin twisk||22||twitin twi||twitin twisk||200||twidert||twidersk||10^9||bion||bionsk|
|3||zør||zørsk||13||tin zør||tin zørsk||30||zørtin||zørtinsk||300||zørdert||zørdersk||10^12||trion||trionsk|
|4||vor||vorsk||14||tin vor||tin vorsk||40||vortin||vortinsk||400||vordert||vordersk||10^15||kadrion||kadrionsk|
|5||fem||femsk||15||tin fem||tin femsk||50||femtin||femtinsk||500||femdert||femdersk||10^18||kintion||kintionsk|
|6||sys||sytsk||16||tin sys||tin sytsk||60||systin||systinsk||600||sysdert||sysdersk||/||ut|
|7||sem||semsk||17||tin sem||tin semsk||70||semtin||semtinsk||700||semdert||semdersk||×10^||šinot|
|8||ekt||etsk||18||tin ekt||tin etsk||80||ektin||ektinsk||800||ekdert||ekdersk||-||minus|
|9||nyn||nynsk||19||tin nyn||tin nynsk||90||nyntin||nyntinsk||900||nyndert||nyndersk||,||koma|
··· UNDER CONSTRUCTION ···