|Timeline and Universe:||Ilethes|
|Spoken:||Dethria; lingua franca across the West|
|Writing system:||Lazeian alphabet|
|Basic word order:||SOV|
|Created:||23 Feb 2006|
- 1 Name and genealogy
- 2 History
- 3 Phonology
- 4 Writing and orthography
- 5 Grammar
- 6 Sample text and translation
Name and genealogy
Due to nationalist and other parametric concerns, there are disputes in the scholarly circles regarding the proper naming of the language known in English as Dethric. Although Dethric is a Hesperidian language, it branched off from the original family considerably early and had developed sufficiently on its own to have become mutually unintelligible with other dalects originally spoken on Dethria by the time of the expansion into Canthres, of which pioneers the "dialect" was the dominant tongue. It is, however, traditionally considered to be the successor to the earliest attested (written) language on the continent of Dethria, largely for historical reasons (see below).
Dethric is properly a member of the South Hesperidian language sub-family, but bears closer resemblance at first sight to members of the Arophanic family due to considerable borrowing of both lexical and grammatical items and structures from the Classical Arithide of the Lazeian Empire.
Early Dethric and Dethrian Dark Ages
- See also #Early syllabary for more information
Influence of Lazeian Empire and subsequent Middle Dethric
The Dethric of the Dark Ages was to become Middle Dethric through the rejuvenating influence of the Lazeian Empire, the world's richest and most powerful state at the time. With its rich philosophical heritage and diverse expressive possibilities, Classical Arithide greatly enriched the Dethric tongue, much as French did for English in the centuries after the Norman conquest. Previously obscure concepts were now introduced, and the language gained a significant degree of subtlety, nuance and variation. In addition to that, writing was also reintroduced to the Dethrians, with the Lazeian alphabet modified and adapted for the sounds of Dethric.
- See also #Lazeian alphabet for more information
Dethric in modern times
- See also #Spelling reform for more information
All historic plosives have been fricativised, and are so reflected in the orthography (historic [g] has been lost except before front vowels). Where the velar plosives ([k], [g]) appear they have been reduced from labialised velars ([kʷ], [gʷ]); a [g] before an [n] generally assimilates in nasality.
The voiceless alveolar fricative phoneme ([s]) also varies sporadically to its voiced counterpart intervocalically, and when occurring as the last sound in a word, plosivises (de-fricativises) the following fricative if there is one, e.g. "anas thumen" is pronounced [ɐˈnastʊmɞn]; the palatal fricative ([ʃ]) is uncommon but occurrent. The above consonants may geminate (although gemination of [v], [g] and [ð] are rare); the voiceless glottal fricative phoneme ([h]), which occurs only word-initially and has been lost intervocalically, may not.
The lateral approximant ([l]) is what is known as a "clear l", The nasal stops ([m], [n]) may assimilate regressively to each other or the following consonant (the velar nasal is an allophone of the alveolar nasal). The trill approximant ([r]) is akin to the Italian.
(vowel variation + evolution from basic vowels) (note see also reductionism)
Dethric vowels have been affected by reductionism, and this change is most apparent in the orthography (and especially in romanisation), where modern monophthongs are represented by digraphs depicting historical diphthongs, and reduced vowels are represented by glyphs historically denoting full-quality sounds. Stressed vowels may lengthen slightly. The unrounded low vowel varies between central and back position; the close-mid front vowel may vary to open-mid position; all non-high vowels potentially reduce even further to a schwa. Vowels may exert harmonising influence on one another, although this process has generally become significantly less productive in recent years.
Writing and orthography
Before, Dethric was spelt much as it was pronounced in the Dethrian Middle Ages, despite the major changes that spoken Dethric had undergone (q.v. above), leading to a situation where Dethric fricatives were spelt with letters that represented plosives, while extant letters for fricatives in the alphabet lay unused. This disjuncture with the rest of the Lazeian world created the impetus for a major spelling overhaul, conveniently helped by a disruptive war with its neighbours (see War of the Red Letters).