Slettala, Sl: Slettále, is a North Germanic language belonging to the Scandinavian branch of languages, along with Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Faroese and Danish. Of the five Scandinavian languages, Slettala has the closest relations to Icelandic, though unlike Icelandic, Slettala did not go under linguistic purism, therefore Slettala shares words with most North Germanic languages (and some western ones such as English and German). Would Slettala have lost its inflectional system (for it inflects nouns, pronouns and adjectives for grammatical case, number and gender), Slettala might have been mutually intelligible with Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and perhaps even English, to an extent.
Features of Slettala
- Slettala is an inflecting language.
- Slettala inflects its nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and numbers up to four according to number, gender, and case.
- Slettala has four grammatical cases: the Nominative, the Accusative, the Genitive and the Dative.
- While Slettala inflects to two numbers, there is atleast one instance where the numbers collapse, leaving many nouns to inflect to only 1 number.
- Slettala inflects to two grammatical genders: Common and Neuter, Common consisting on what used to be Masculine and Feminine, while the Neuter contains Neuter nouns.
- Slettala is the only Germanic language with a voiceless bilabial fricative (ɸ).
- Slettalian nouns, while going through relatively simple declensions, go through a number of umlauts (there's atleast one umlaut in every declension paradigm).
- All Slettalian verbs are strong, though their ablauts are much more consistent than Icelandic verbs, or even English verbs.
- Slettala pre-aspirated geminated stops (pp, tt, kk), much like Icelandic does.
- Slettala devoices final consonants except for g (ɣ), or when the preceding consonant is voiced.
- The word "Slettala" comes from the two Icelandic words "slet", meaning "smooth", and "tala", meaning "to speak".
- Slettala, like other Germanic languages, experiences a high frequency of word compounding.
- Slettala generally follows an SVO word order, though, like most Germanic languages, it follows a strict V2 rule.
|Nasal||m̥ m||n̥ n||ŋ|
|Plosive||pʰ p b||tʰ t d||kʰ k||ʔ|
|Fricative||ɸ||f v||θ ð||s||ʂ||ç||x ɣ||h|
|Flap / Tap||ɾ̥ ɾ|
Like in Icelandic, geminated stops (P, T, K) are preaspirated, therefore, ‹pp›, ‹tt›, and ‹kk› is pronounced ‹hp›, ‹ht›, and ‹hk›, respectively. After unvoiced consonants, m, n, r, and l devoice. However, the difference between voiced and voiceless consonants in m, n, r, and l is not phonemic and thus won't change a word.
|Close||i · y||u|
|Near Close||ɪ · ʏ|
|Close Mid||e · ø||o|
|Open Mid||ɛ · œ||ɔ|
The Slettalian Alphabet is based on the Icelandic alphabet, noted for its use of the thorn (þ), and the eth (ð), along with the addition of the character œ. It is also typical to replace ú+vowel with a wynn in general handwriting, i.e Fúa (ipa: fuɑ) would be written Fƿa. This, however, is limited only to handwriting, as many fonts do not support the wynn (ƿ).
medial and final: [au]
|ð||before voiced consonants and vowels: [ð]|
final: [θ] (note, if penultimate letter is a voiced consonant, it is then voiced)
after geminated consonants, before r and n: [ɪ]
final and after t, k, j, and g: [eɪ]
|f||before and after long vowels: [f]|
before and after short vowels: [v]
|g||before a, á, e, í, o, ó, u, ú, æ: [k]|
before short i, final á, final é, and œ: [j]
before é: [Ø] (silent)
before k, p, t: [x]
after vowels and final: [ɣ]
|h||before consonants: [x]|
before vowels: [h]
before a, i, o, u, n: [k]
|l||after voiced consonants: [l]|
after voiceless consonants: [l̥]
|m||after voiced consonants: [m]|
after voiceless consonants: [m̥]
|n||after voiced consonants: [n]|
after voiceless consonants: [n̥]
after voiced consonants: [ɾ]
final: [r̥] or [ɾ̥]
everywhere else: [tʰ]
final: [Ø] (transforms to «g» during declensions)
short and final: [aɪ]
short and final: [øɪ]
One of Slettala's main features is the abundant usage of umlauts, or vowel changes due to certain triggers. It must be noted that umlauts in Slettala do not work like vowel harmony in other languages, where vowels are restricted to being back vowels or front vowels in one word.
Umlauts are quite simple to trigger. The affected vowel is always the vowel before the new vowel of the word; for example, in the word máðúr, the affix -um is added in the dative plural. The vowel u triggers an umlaut in certain vowels, ú being one of them, therefore, ú changes when put next to u. The umlaut then occurs, leaving máðúr to be máðirum in the dative plural, not máðúrum. Note, this only happens during inflections. Words with u and ú adjacent do exist, if only rarely.
Every vowel in Slettala has a vowel trigger, some more than others.
Note: the symbol Ø represents the vowel becomes null; in other words, the affected vowel disappears (ex: hœndur in the dative adds -u and -um, which trigger an umlaut, therefore hœndur in the dative is hœndru and hœndrum because u + u = Ø).
|Affected Vowel||Trigger Vowel||Resulted Vowel|
|after m, p,b, h, and ð: jú|
Vowels go through shifts when conjugating for tense. However, vowels that have gone through shifts are still subjected to umlauts. It must be noted that not all vowels are equally distributed in vowel shifts.
|Original Vowel||Shifted Vowel|
- Vowels with * marks are made short (æ goes from /æ/ to /ai/, etc).
Nouns in Slettala decline to four cases: the nominative, accusative, genitive, and dative. They have two main classes, common and neuter gender, along with several subclasses under them, the most notable being the common gender and its system of classing by number of syllables in the nominative. Masculine and Feminine genders, along with Neuter genders, are barely seen in traces anymore, even with pronouns (hett, the common third person pronoun, can mean he or she, though the distinction is ususally made with special gender declensions, traces of gender, which are unique to personal pronouns). Among declension by gender and number (which, noticably, merges to create one number in many declensions), nouns are also declined for definiteness. Rather than using articles separately, Slettala suffixes them on, like many Scandivian languages (Icelandic, Norwegian, Sweden, Danish, etc.).
Technically, articles don't exist in Slettala, for their function is provided by suffixes to a noun. There are three kinds of articles that are affixed to a noun: Definite (the), Partitive (some), and Negative (no, none, not any). A declension for the Indefinite article does not exist in Slettala. Articles decline for gender only in Slettala.
|Ending in Consonant||Ending in Vowel|
Nouns in Slettala decline according to case, gender, number, and when having the table above taken into consideration, definiteness. Noun declensions are not as extensive as they could be in Slettala, as their classifications have collapsed along with gender, thus leaving nouns to reassign themselves to different genders, most of these new classes rather arbitrary.
There are three classes of common declensions. Since the common declension is a merging of both masculine and feminine genders, nouns that were generally gendered in Norse, and are in Icelandic and Faroese, typically fall under one of these three declensions.
Class one consists of nouns with no endings. Most of these nouns are base Norse words and are typically short, never exceeding more than two to three syllables. Also with that, nouns in the first class are typically inanimate.
Class two consists of nouns with originally masculine endings (-ur, -ir, etc)
Verbs in Slettala inflect for a number of criteria, such as tense, mood, voice, and person. Slettala also only inflects for the indicative and imperative mood, while the other two moods, the conditional and the subjunctive, are created out of analytical costructions by use of helping and auxiliary verbs.
As in most inflecting languages, verbs in Slettala govern case, just like prepositions do. Slettala has a variety of irregular verbs, though even irregular verbs follow a consisten conjugation. All verbs are technically strong verbs. Verbs in Slettala conjugate by the use of vowel shifting and the occasional affixing.
All Slettalian verbs have -e as the infinitive, save for a few irregular verbs such as sersí, to customize, etc. However, verbs with irregular infinitives still follow the regular conjugation.
Slettala conjugates its verbs for person: first person, second person, and third person. However, there are only two genders for the third person pronoun; hett/gitt for the common gender, and þí/þé for the neuter gender. References to masculine or feminine genders are not required and are usually assumed by context, though distinction can be made by specifying the subject; i.e. He learns Slettala would be Hett lírret um Slettálo can be seen as a boy learning Slettala or a girl learning Slettala. However, a distinction can be made, ususally for emphasis, so to say that the learner of Slettala was explicitly a boy, one would say Hett strákur lærret um Slettálo, which says "Him/her the boy learns Slettala."
|I||you||he-she/it||we||you (you all, etc)||they|
Slettala is not a pro-drop language. Conjugations for the second and third person singular are the same, as they are for the plural of the third person and the singular of the first person. It must also be noted that verbs, too, go through umlaut, which explains why "æ" becomes "í" for the second and third person singular conjugation.
However, irregular verbs follow different sets of rules.
|I||you||he-she/it||we||you (you all, etc)||they|
As one can see, the verb "to be" is highly irregular. Note, a contraction is common in the third person singular neuter gender, merging þí + írs into a single þírs.
There are only two simple tenses in Slettala: the simple past, and the simple present. However, that is not to say there are much more tenses that are helped by the use of aspectual verbs and other auxilliary verbs (compare ég er, I am, ég úr, I was, and ég gór vóren, I will be). Verbs make heavy use of vowel shifting and participles when dealling with compound tenses.
The past tense is formed in most verbs by the use of a vowel shift. In this sense, verbs tend to look a lot like their participles. However, after the vowel shift is applied to the conjugated verb, past tense ending, -ír, are applied, which may cause umlaut to happen (such as in the second person plural; for example: horfe, to watch, in the second person plural is þá horfúm, then with the vowel change becomes þá hærfam, which then causes umlaut with the affix, as a + í = Ø, therfore, you (all) watched would be þá hærfmír.)
- The dog drank water from the lake.
Hœndiren drœnngit fattírell fræ síngeren.
- She closes the window before eating dinner.
Hett logket vindoginn œntúg áð ítáre míðdæwmíl.
- A bird flew by my store's display window.
Fjung flókkit nálæ sínavindogann stórim mænn.
- The old man that enjoys reading walked up to me.
Gamílinn mjað sém énnet að lese góngit á mé.
- She doesn't want any meat.
Hett vílet ekke jœrstoll.
- No human being is born without freedom.
Hjúmænpúrrínekk ert fæðúrett ján frjúgno.