I’ve been wasting a lot of time lately thinking about language. The result has been a great deal of work going into my Hadysh conlang. The big thing I’ve worked on lately was dialect. The reason is that two of the main characters of Sun-King speak Hadysh natively: Einar and Rozenn, but they speak different dialects. In the book this is represented with Rozenn speaking in an accent.
I chose a light, lowland Scots accent for her because there is some baggage that goes along with it. Semi-foreign but not in an exotic way, working-class, poor, tough, ready to rumble. I wanted that baggage to come along. However, Einar speaks a more “proper” dialect. His dialect is closely related to the “proper” dialect with only a few differences in the position of certain vowels.
All told there are nine dialects not including the “perfect” form I’ve been presenting here. No one speaks that dialect, just like no one speaks dialectless English. There is a dialect considered “proper” and a dialect considered “free” of regional variation, but that is a dialect – just the dialect we expect to hear on the radio.
There is a dialect that is closest to “perfect” and it actually considered by the characters of this world as a mark of low status – it is the language of those who live on the frozen edge of civilization. But that is true in most languages. The “correct” or “proper” forms are rarely chosen for their actual closeness to any proto-language. “Received Pronunciation” (Queen’s English) is no closer or further from Shakespearean English than any other – and that assumes we take Shakespearean as “proper” itself.
Languages are not proper – they are arbitrary. We assign everything through baggage. I would assert that “whom” is not correct English. If you use “whom” you are being a dick. You are trying to speak above people. Normal people speaking normal English do not use “whom.” Ergo, “whom” exists in a smart-ass dialect.
Apologies to any speakers of dialects that still natively contain “whom.” Also, we’re coming for you.
Like French, Hadysh uses the dialect of the capital as “correct”. I call this “Waldish” after the capital – Waldenhof. Just like “Hadysh” this is an English word to represent a foreign tongue.
So, in my interest, I’ve written up some phrases and how the two characters would say them. Most of this was to facilitate the creation of new grammar and vocabulary.
All of these are written in IPA, if you are interested in conlanging I strongly, strongly suggest you write in IPA for purposes of communicating your work and leave your self-created alphabet at home. A) IPA works on computers B) People will get it. Hadysh has some sounds that are weird, lets go over some of them:
/ç/ – This is like the “ch” in the German “ich”. It is similar to the “ch” in the Scottish “Loch” like Loch Ness, but it is devoiced so don’t let your vocal chords vibrate.
/x/ – This is the “ch” in Loch Ness. It is NOT a /k/ sound. It isn’t Lok Ness.
/ɹ/ – This is “r” as nearly every English speaker will say it.
/ɹ̝̠̊/ – Start with /ç/, now move your tongue closer to the roof of your mouth and begin to constrict airflow. Close enough.
/ʍ/ – Remember the “cool hwip” gag from Family Guy? That “hw” sound is /ʍ/ and used to be very common in English. It’s why “why” is spelled with an “h” in the middle.
/ɸ/ – Start by making /f/, now part and round your lips. Close enough. This should be like a controlled way of blowing out a candle.
/ð/ – It’s the “th” from “breathe”.
/θ/ – It’s the “th” from “thin”.
/j/ – The “y” in “yes”.
Learn the vowels on your own. They are going to get a bit complex and can be very, very dialect dependent. I generally refer to the German examples because High School and Uni forced “perfect” German on me, but my English is native, so I speak with a “strong” dialect.
I am [NAME]
[ɸat a (NAME)] – You
/ɸɛt ɛ çɪɹiə/ – Rozenn
/fat a nafjelən/ – Einar
What is your name? – Single, Informal “you”
[θjelg æs, de]? (Literally: How will I call you?)
/θjɪlk ɛs’d/? – Rozenn
/θjelg as, de/? – Einar
How are you? – Single, Informal “you”
[ɸat æs, de]?
/ɸɛt ɛs’d/? – Rozenn
/fat as, de/? – Einar
I am fine, thank you. – Single, Informal “you”
[ɸat a lʌx, jʊga ɪ æs]
/ɸɛt ɛ lʌx, jʊkɛ ɪ ‘s/ – Rozenn
/fat a ləç, jəga e as/ – Einar
/ʍɛmli lʌx/ – Rozenn
/hamle ləç/ – Einar
/lɛlxwɛndʊ lʌx/ – Rozenn
/lalçandə ləç/ – Einar
/lɛlɔðɹɪn lʌx/ – Rozenn
/lalɔðɹ̝̠̊en ləç/ – Einar
/ɔðɹɪn lʌx/ – Rozenn
/ɔðɹ̝̠̊en ləç/ – Einar
/çɛç/ – Rozenn
/kak/ – Einar
I am Rozenn, daughter of Leofric and the Great Sword of Macenburgh.
[ɸat a çeɹiə, tatiə jan pænðmʌhiɹd pe ɪlpæzɑxt jan zeʍədɹədʌɹɔɸə]
/ɸɛt ɛ çɪɹiə, tɛtɪə jɛn pɛnðmʌhɪɹd pɪ ɪlpɛzɔxt jɛn zɪʍədɹʌɹɔɸə/ – Rozenn
Nothing wrong with a bit of fun on that last one, aye?
Some interesting grammar bits to note:
First, even I screw up. I did on a previous post. I labeled “hunter” as [bʊfəd] but it is actually [bʊvəd].
Second, the copula does not conjugate. It is always [ɸat] regardless of the subject. This means it is always followed by a subject.
Third, questions follow the sentence they modify. So it would be a statement + , + question word. For example, in English, it would look like “You are, how?”
Fourth, Hadysh, from my first post, has shifted from SVO to VSO. Correct sentences from older posts as needed. As stated this is a growing and changing project that I do for fun instead of eating or writing. Both things far beyond fixing at this point. So I’m going to make some quick food and call it a night.
ɔðɹ̝̠̊en lʌx or oíche mhaith, motherfuckers.