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(formerly known as "B-Noric")

Knoschke [ˈknɔʂkɛ] is a Noric language spoken in the Carpathians, perhaps attested in Roman times, and then possibly remaining extant long enough to be again recorded in the ninth or tenth century.

When I first made a sketch of the phonology for a descendant of Proto-Noric it had as yet no name. In the meantime I called it "B-Noric", short for "Benct's Noric language".


(To be filled in)


Sound system and transcription

Knoschke is transcribed into Latin letters as follows. Unless otherwise indicated letters have their IPA values.

  • An h following p, t or k indicates aspiration [ʰ].
  • A j following another consonant indicates palatalization [ʲ].
  • The vowel y is (still) [ɨ]. In Knoschke it may also occur long.
  • Grave accent is used to indicate low mid vowels, so that è is [ɛ] and ò is [ɔ].
  • Vowels with acute accent are long: á [aː], é [eː], í [iː], ó [oː], ú [uː], ý [ɨː]. Note especially ê for [ɛː] and ô for [ɔː]!
  • The letters š and ž indicate retroflex fricatives [ʂ] and [ʐ], with and for the corresponding affricates [ʈʂ] and [ɖʐ].
  • The letter q is used for the voiced velar fricative [ɣ].
  • The letter ñ is used to indicate nasalization of the preceding vowel.
Should this be replaced with µ?

NB: If the B-noric sound-change applier is run with the "show the steps of the derivation" option checked a number of forms with partly deviant letter-values are shown. These transcriptions are a pure expedient of easy programming. The values are as follows (with some letters changing their significance during the process):

  • áéíóú are internal notation for long vowels
Note that at a later stage èò are used for low-mid vowels
  • àèìòùý are internal notation for stressed short vowels
Note that at a later stage áéíóúý are used for long vowels
  • âêîôû are internal notation for stressed long vowels
Note that at a later stage êô are used for long low-mid vowels.
  • þ is internal notation for [ʔ]
  • ð is internal notation for [ɾ]
Note that at no stage are there any dental non-sibilant affricates in Knoschke!
  • c is internal notation for [ɣ]
  • ç is internal notation for [ɦ]
  • x is [x]!
  • æ is long [æ:], ä is short [æ], Æ is stressed long ['æ:], ã is stressed short ['æ]

12:25, 21 Jun 2005 (PDT)

Historical sound changes

A Proto-Noric to B-Noric sound change applier program (not yet bug-free) is found here. Unfortunately it doesn't work in Internet Exporer; try Firefox instead!

NB that the description of the phonology below is not yet brought up-to-date. Wherever the output of the program differs from what the text makes you expect the program is more reliable!

Transcriptions preceded by * are the agreed-upon transcription. Other transcriptions (not always in slashes/brackets) are IPA.

Before loss of unstressed vowels

Liquid metathesis

*CVLC tends to be realized as CLVC when the first C is a stop.

Obstruent weakening

Obstruents are weakened between vowels or between a vowel and a liquid, except where the except where the preceding vowel is stressed:

*b > [β] *p > [b] *ph > [f] *dz > [z] *ts > [s] *tsh > [s] *s/*c > [h]
*d > [ɾ] *t > [d] *th > [h] *dx > [ʒ] *tc > [ʃ] *tch > [ʃ] *x > [j]
*g > [ɣ] *k > [g] *kh > [x] *h > [ɦ]
*q > [ʔ] *qh > [h]

Obviously this leads to some mergers in this position: *tc/*tch, *ts/*tsh, *dz/*z, *th/*qh/*s/*c and *x/*j. OTOH the phonemes *b/*p, *d/*t, *g/*k and *th/*h do not actually merge, although there was possibly some realignment.

Merger of q(h) with k(h)

Remaining *q and *qh merge with *k and *kh respectively. The relative dating of this merger is impossible to determine.

Prothesis of j and secondary palatalization

Front vowels (*i, *î, *e, *ê) develop a prothetic [j] and consonants are palatalized before the same vowels (though not before *y). Consonants before inherited *j of course palatalize as well.

Palatalized dentals and velars merge with each other. They however remain distinct from the old "palatals" *tc, *tch, *dx, *c, *x, the latter perhaps becoming retroflex, except for [ɣʲ] which merges with *j. These two sets will be called primary palatals and secondary palatals respectively. It should be noted that after primary palatals both primary and secondary j is lost, the preceding sibilant retaining its "hard" quality.

Note that there also arises a series of palatalized or palatal sonants /ɲ ʎ rʲ/ contrasing with non-palatal(ized) /n l r ɾ/. The non-palatal(ized) /l/ was probably realized with velarization ([ɫ] or [lˠ]) and perhaps non-palatal(ized) /r/ and /ɾ/ were also realized as velarized ([rˠ] and [ɾˠ]).

Vowel palatalization

Vowels before /j/ front/palatalize. For a while there were probably front rounded vowels, but these eventually merged with the unrounded front vowels.

*a(:)j > æ(:)j
*o(:)j > e(:)j
*u(:)j > i(:)j
*yj > ij

Vowel labialization

Unrounded vowels round/retract before *w. The front vowels probably become rounded central vowels at first, but eventually they become back rounded. There arises no new phonemes, since *aw/*âw merge with *ow/*ôw as [o:].

*a(:)w > o(:)w
*e(:)w > o(:)w
*i(:)w > u(:)w
*yw > uw


All *VjC and *VwC sequences become V:C, but there arises only one new phoneme /æ:/ from *ajC.

As a result of these changes the secondary palatals become distinct phonemes.

Assimilation of [ɣ]

The [ɣ] allophone of /g/ merges with /j/ after /æ(:)/, /e(:)/ and /i(:)/ but with /w/ after other vowels.

Labiodentalization of palatalized labials

Palatalized labial stops become labiodental fricatives. The [β] allophone of /b/ merges with the new /v/; /mʲ/ merges with /w/.

Stopping of [w] (and sometimes [j])

Word initially and before vowels /w/ merges with /g/, probably by way of [gw]. Sporadically /j/ becomes /dʲ/ under the same circumstances, suggesting that there existed a dialect where the parallell change of j > gj > dʲ was general.

Loss of unstressed short vowels

Unstressed short vowels are weakened and eventually lost.

This change is easy to describe, but has far-reaching consequences for the structure of the language.

Shortening of unstressed long vowels

Unstressed long vowels shorten. Perhaps distinctive stress is lost at the same time.

After loss of unstressed vowels

The consonant clusters that arose through the loss of unstressed short vowels are partly simplified through assimilation, dissimilation or loss.

Loss of cluster-medial consonants

In any cluster of three or more consonants the middle consonant(s) drop.

Main exceptions:

All /VjC/ become /ViC/ and all /VwC/ become /VuC/ -- there is no phonetic change, but the /w/ phoneme disappears.
Dentals before *j merge with the secondary palatals. Also /xʲ/ and /hʲ/ ([ç]?) merge with /sʲ/, and [ɦj] merges with /j/.
After palatals /j/ drops. The transcription of Knoschke however masks this fact.
Non-sibilant consonants before a sibilant drop; thus C(C)SC becomes SC. This affects affricates as well, so that they lose their closure part.
A [d] next to an obstruent becomes [ɾ], except if that obstruent is [d], [z] or [ʒ].


Progressive voicing assimilation between obstruents; /ʔ/ counts as a voiceless obstruent.

Complete assimilation of /ʔ/ to any neighboring consonants, except for /ʔ/ + sibilant which becomes an affricate.

Fricative and stop cluster reorganization

All clusters of obstruent + obstruent become fricative + stop. Exceptions:

pp, tt, kk, bb, dd, gg, ff, xx remain.
bv/vb > bb, gɣ/ɣg > gg, pf/fp > ff, kx/xk > xx.

Assimilation of /h/ to fricatives

/h/ is wholly assimilated to an adjacent fricative. After an affricate this means loss of /h/. Non-affricate sibilants become geminate.

Sibilants become affricates after sonants

Sonant + sibilant becomes sonant + affricate.

Palatalization assimilation/dissimilation

Secondary palatals before non-palatalized sounds are de-palatalized, while dentals and velars before secondary palatals become palatals.

Labial > /v/ after velars

Velar + labial becomes velar + /v/.

Rise of new voiceless stops and voiceless sonants

Any stop + /h/ or /h/ + stop becomes a voiceless aspirated stop, and sonant + /h/ or /h/ + sonant becomes a voiceless sonant.

Initial voiceless or voiced stops not standing in a cluster or followed by r/l/ɾ become voiceless aspirated stops.

Loss of initial nasals before consonants

An initial nasal + voiceless stop becomes aspirated voiceless stop.

An initial nasal before a voiced stop is lost.

An initial nasal before a liquid becomes a voiced stop.

Assimilation of nasals to preceding stops

/t/ + nasal becomes /tt/. Also /pm/ becomes /pp/ but /pn/ remains.

Labial, dental or palatal voiced stop + nasal becomes geminate nasal with the point of articulation of the stop, while /g/ + nasal becomes/remains /gn/.

Loss of initial sonants before stops

An initial sonant before a stop is lost.

Simplification of initial geminates

Initial geminates are simplified.

Metathesis of initial consonant + sibilant

Where an initial consonant is followed by a sibilant the two sounds metathesize, so that the sibilant comes to stand before the other consonant.

Rise of geminate sonants

Clusters of l and another sonant become geminated ll: nl/ln/rl/lr/ɾl/lɾ > ll.

In clusters of two nasals the first is assimilated to the second: mn > nn, nm > mm.

A nasal preceding a rhotic ([r] or [ɾ]) is assimilated to the following sound: nr/nɾ/mr/mɾ > rr.

The trill [r] is reanalysed as a geminate sound /rr/ when following a vowel Vr > Vrr. At the same time the tap [ɾ] when following a vowel is reanalysed as a non-geminate /r/ Vɾ > Vr. In other contexts the two sounds [r] and [ɾ] merge, probably realized either as a trill or tap depending on context.

Rise of vowel tenseness distinction and loss of vowel length

The distinction of length in stressed vowels is replaced by a tenseness distinction, while all short vowels are laxed. There are some mergers:

  • ɪ/e > e
  • ɛ/æ/æː > ɛ
  • a/a: > a
  • ʊ/o > o
  • ɔ > /ɔ/

Merger and reallocation of /i/ and /ɨ/

The two phonemes /i/ and /ɨ/ merge, so that the new phoneme is realized as [i] after secondary palatals and /j/ and as [ɨ] elsewhere.

Later initial /ji/ becomes [i], so that a new marginal surface distinction between the two sounds arises.

Loss of /ʔ/ and /ɦ/ and rise of new diphthongs and long vowels

/ʔ/ and /ɦ/ disappear, giving rise to a great variety of new diphthongs. High mid vowels become high before and after other vowels (eV > jV, Ve > Vi,oV > wV/vV, Vo > Vu, except ee > e: and oo > o: giving Vi and Vi diphthongs. By contrast low-mid and low vowels merge completely with a preceding vowel Va/Vɛ/Vɔ > V: give new long vowels.

Another source of long vowels is /h/ following vowels, since Vh becomes V:. This also gives rise to new non-diphthongal vowel sequences, e.g. jéa 'one' < *jiha < *î`qha.

Initial /h/ remains. It is also likely that a non-phonemic [ʔ] remains before initial vowels when the preceding word ends in a vowel.

Final vowel + simple nasal becomes nasalized vowel

Final geminates are simplified

Rise of epenthetic vowels

When a sonant follos another consonant at the end of a word an epenthetic vowel arises as follows:

before /r l n v/ the epenthetic vowel is /ɔ/ (ò);
before /rʲ ʎ ɲ/ the epenthetic vowel is /ɛ/ (è);
before /m/ the epenthetic vowel is /u/.

De-fricativization of final v

Final Vv becomes Vw, with uv becoming û.

Noric words 26.6.2005

*`abî Num twelve > ave
*`abîdxa Num twelfth > avež
*a`cu Num ten > ho
*a`cudxa Num tenth > hodž
*a`mâ N mother > ma > mama
*`anta Num five > ant
*`antadxa Num fifth > andž
*a`tê pron I (1st pers.sing.) > tje
*a`tega N house, dwelling > tjèg
*ba`bâ N father > ba > baba
*`badi Adj yellow > phadj
*`banki N hill > phantj
*bne`gâ adj big, large > ma
*`cerka N ox > šèrk
*`côli V heal > šolj
*`côphê N human being > šofè
*cu`ju Num four > šo
*cu`judxa Num fourth > šodž
*`daqû Num nine > thako
*`daqûdxa Num ninth > thakož
*`dawno N river > thoñ
*-dxa suffix derives ordinal numbers from cardinals > -dž
*dxê`lê N red deer > džèlje
*`gwîno N wine > gyñ
*`gyrdy N enclosure, courtyard > khyrd
*`hatû Num seven > hato
*`hatûdxa Num seventh > hatož
*-ima suffix denotes inhabitant of X > -m > -um
*`ipe N partridge > jef
*î`qha Num one > jéa
*î`qhadxa Num first > jéadž
*iw`ka pron (2nd pers.sing.) thou > joka
*`îwsi N garden, field > jusj
*`jûlthê N cow > julhjè
*`kantu V hold > khant
*`khorja N star; a constellation? > khòrj
*khrê`tha N roe deer > khrjêa
*`kôri N tree bark > khorj
*`korpi N forest > khòrf
*`kûrdo Adj deaf > khurd
*`kyrsa N bread > khyrts
*`laki N fish > latj
*`lintu N bird > ljent
*lî`tcu N fox > lješo
*`methu N mead > khèth
*`mîtho N badger > khyth
*`muto V cut > mot
*`nola N wood > nòl
*no`ltcî N tree > tšy
*ô`jtsi Num one thousand > etsje
*ô`jtsidxa Num one thousandth > etsjedž
*`pali N mountain > phalj
*`pâre V show > pharj
*`pasa N anger > phas
*`pasima N barbarian > phasum
*`phloka N cloth > phlòk
*`qimâ N sky > thjema
*`qûnâ N mountain > khuna
*`qy- prefix place for X, place with X > khy-
*`qylaki N pond > khyldj
*`qynoltcî N coppice, grove, forest > khyntše
*`qytshima N valley dweller > khysum
*`qytsho N valley > khys
*`rêsi N grain, cereal > rjesj
*ri`wgu N marmot > rjogo
*`riwma N squirrel > rjuñ
*`runthu `N child > ronh
*`selta N bridge > sjèlt
*ta`ndu N ibex > to
*`tchâqho N chamois > šakh
*`tcholtsî N marten > šòltsje
*tcî`by N Alpine cough > tševy
*`têrzo N tree > thjerdz
*`tôci N rope > thoš
*`tsâhu Num two > tsá
*`tsâhudxa Num second > tsaš
*`tsho adposition down > sò
*twa`tâ Num eight > thra
*twa`tâdxa Num eighth > thradž
*`tylpa Adj mute > thylp
*`ûba Num three > ub
*`ûbadxa Num third > ubž
*u`do Num twenty > rò
*u`dodxa Num twentieth > ròdž
*`ukhi Num one hundred > othj
*`ukhidxa Num one hundredth > otš
*`urnô N man > ornò
*`warda N clan-house > khard
*`wewga ADJ wide > khog
*xu`lê N pheasant > žlje
*`ytce Num eleven > ytš
*`ytcedxa Num eleventh > yš
*`yto Num six > yt
*`ytodxa Num sixth > ytš
*`ziwy N hare > zjog
*zu`lkâ N aurochs > zga


(Not yet debugged)

*kûdxî`lî > khoželi
*khitî`do > tjrjedò
*uro`phâ > fa
*tcunhû`nzâ > šondza
*duxi`jû > thyju
*`âtcâza > atšaz
*`axurhe > ažèrj
*`dzîltshize > dzisj
*`diwdemo > thjunj
*thu`negî > tjèdje
*`jarilda > jarjd
*wî`kajdxâ > khegedža
*aqhi`zî > si
*uba`tsû > sfu
*`inwâtshô > jengasò
*`zûjara > zuir
*î`quthê > juthjè
*râ`rûsu > rarrus
*tci`dxâqî > šatje
*dîwû`zê > thjogozje
*â`rnery > arnjèr
*`othohi > òthj
*tsîse`jnu > tsjesjèno
*sâdi`ba > sarjba
*tsi`dâlnô > lanò
*`îbadu > ibòr
*putcû`rgâ > šporqa
*`bidxîbu > vedžeu
*tchu`lnarha > šnarh
*tcîlî`je > tšeljejè
*`isâzâ > jesaza
*bu`môqî > motje
*î`dûkhû > jerukho
*`ôwîmâ > ojema
*`thedxûda > thjèdžor
*uzi`xû > tsju
*dxu`qhyla > žyl
*thûco`nxa > thošša
*âlku`qi > alije
*upu`gû > ku
*`tchopajthi > šòpèthj
*tshî`nôtcho > sjenoš
*îmbja`zê > jeñvzje
*blo`khînu > zjbyñ
*ûtsô`co > osô
*`ûrkharî > urje
*etlî`tu > ljedo
*`dxusûqhi > džososj
*`utelu > otjòl
*âtshu`tû > asru
*râ`ltshatû > rassato
*u`nilse > njeltsj
*tû`myru > thomyr
*obla`tche > šfè
*hinzu`kha > zqa
*`olmadzî > òldzje
*u`thapha > haph
*a`zômba > tsomb
*`rarcadô > rašrò
*`akumu > akòu

Spelling differences

This is a list of Knòškè words as spelled in the standard transcription, in the Latin alphabet of Roman times and in Hungarian runes (transcribed into standard Hungarian orthography).

There is now a revised, Hungarian-based Latin-letter Knoschke orthography which replaces the old "standard transcription", which thus con-historically nver existed! The ancient Latinizations may however be con-historically the same anyway.

"Knòškè" Latin Hungarian runes
šakh SACH sak
šèrk SERC serk
šo SO so
šodž SOZ/SODZ sodzs
šofè SOFE sofe
šolj SOL soly
šòltsje SOLTIE salcje
žlje ZLIE zslye
andž ANZ andzs
ant ANT ant
ave AVE ave
avež AVEZ avezs
ba BA ba
baba BABA baba
-dž -Z/DZ -dzs
džèlje ZELIE dzselye
etsje ETIE ece/etye
etsjedž ETIEZ ecjedz
gyñ GIN/GYN gi
hato HATO hato
hatož HATOZ hatozs
ho HO ho
hodž HOZ hodz
jéa IEA jéa
jéadž IEAZ jéadzs
jef IEF jef
joka IOCA joka
julhjè IVLHIAE juhlje
jusj IVS jus/jusj
khant CHANT kant
khard CHARD kard
khèth CHAETH ket
khog CHOG kog
khòrf CHORF karf
khorj CHOR korj
khòrj CHOR karj
khrjêa CHRIAEA krjéa
khuna CHVNA kuna
khurd CHVRD kurd
khyldj CHILZ kilgy
khyntše CHINTIE kincse
khyrd CHIRD kird
khyrts CHIRS kirc
khys CHIS kis
khysum CHISVM kisum
khyth CHITH kit
latj LAC laty
lješo LIESO lyeso
ljent LIENT lyent
ma MA ma
mama MAMMA mama
mot MOT mot
nòl NOL nal
ornò ORNO orna
otš OZ ocs
othj OTH oty
phadj PHAD/PHAZ pagy
phalj PHAL paly
phantj PHANT panty
pharj PHAR parj/pajr
phas PHAS pasz
phasum PHASVM
phlòk PHLOC plak
rjesj RIES rjes/rjesj/rjejs
rjogo RIOGO rjogo
rjuñ RIVM rju
RO ra
ròdž ROZ/RODZ radz
ronh RONCH rohn
sjèlt SIELT selt/sjelt
SO sza
tševy ZEBI/CEBI csevi
tšy ZI/CI csi
thako THACO tako
thakož THACOZ takozs
thjema THIEMA tyema
thjerdz THIERZ tyerdz
thoš THOS tos
thoñ THON to
thra THRA tra/tara
thradž THRAZ tradzs/taradzs
thylp THILP tilp
tje TIE tye
tjèg TIAEG tyeg
to TO to
tsá ZA/TIA
tsaš ZAS/TIAS cás
ub UB ub
ubž UBZ ubzs
-um VM um
IS is
yt IT/YT it
ytš IZ/ITS ics
zga SGA zga
zjog ZOG zsjog



one: *î`qha > jéa first: *î`qhadxa > jéadž
two: *`tsâhu > tsá second: *`tsâhudxa > tsaš
three: *`ûba > ub third: *`ûbadxa > ubž
four: *cu`ju > šo fourth: *cu`judxa > šodž
five: *`anta > ant fifth: *`antadxa > andž
six: *`yto > yt sixth: *`ytodxa > ytš
seven: *`hatû > hato seventh: *`hatûdxa > hatož
eight: *twa`tâ > thra eighth: *twa`tâdxa > thradž
nine: *`daqû > thako ninth: *`daqûdxa > thakož
ten: *a`cu > ho tenth: *a`cudxa > hodž
eleven: *`ytce > ytš eleventh: *`ytcedxa > yš
twelve: *`abî > ave twelfth: *`abîdxa > avež
twenty: *u`do > rò twentieth: *u`dodxa > ròdž
hundred: *`ukhi > othj hundredth: *`ukhidxa > otš
thousand: *ô`jtsi > etsje thousandth: *ô`jtsidxa > etsjedž

02:48, 23 Jun 2005 (PDT)

--BPJ 03:28, 27 Jun 2005 (PDT)