Vâka Veskoyâno in written Vespian
|~2 billion (5995)|
Official language in
|Template:Country data Vespia|
Originating along the banks of the Zhona River, Vespian grew to become the dominate tongue of the various proto-Vespian languages, growing as the powerful city-states within the interior of the Tuvada extended their influence throughout the region. As Vespian civilization spread throughout the Vesperian continent, it grew into one of the largest spoken languages by number of speakers during the classical period. Vespian conquests and colonization schemes into other regions of the planet likewise helped to spread the language onto other continents, resulting in a large pool of non-Vespian speakers, both as slaves and merchants. Indeed, many new languages had grown out of the Vespians' expansionist policies, such as in northern Assai, where a creole language had developed from Kai and Vespian.
Currently, in spite of its long and storied existence, there are only two known dialects of Vespian – Imperial and Colonial – both of which pass full mutual intelligibility. Thanks to the rigid inflexibility of the language in terms of adopting foreign words and concepts into its grammar, and adoption of new speech and syntax, modern Vespians are entirely capable of reading the ancient texts of their civilization without difficulty. Vespian exhibits a relatively simplistic grammar and word order, with several roots used throughout the language, providing a level of order and understanding as opposed to the array of foreign languages in the rest of Sabel, many with archaic word orders and words sharing similar meanings and but different pronunciations or vise versa. As a whole, Vespian is widely viewed as the exotic language of an ancient culture and alien religion from the edge of the known world.
Phonology and orthography
Main articles: Vespian phonology and IPA for Vespian
|D||d||D||d||[d]||Voiced alveolar stop||-|
|H||h||H||h||[h]||Voiceless glottal fricative||-|
|J||j||J||j||[dʒ]||Voiced palato-alveolar affricate||-|
|K||k||K||k||[k]||Voiceless velar stop||-|
|S||s||S||s||[s]||Voiceless alveolar sibilant||-|
|Š||š||Š||š||[ʃ]||Voiceless palato-alveolar fricative||-|
|T||t||T||t||[t]||Voiceless alveolar plosive||-|
|V||v||V||v||[v]||Voiced labiodental fricative||-|
|X||x||X||x||[ʒ]||Voiced palato-alveolar sibilant||-|
|Z||z||Z||z||[z]||Voiced alveolar fricative||-|
|A||a||A||a||[a]||Open front unrounded vowel||[a] becomes [ɐ] when in the first syllable|
|Â||â||Â||â||[ɐ]||Near-open central vowel||-|
|E||e||E||e||[e]||Close-mid front unrounded vowel||[e] becomes [ɪ] at the end of a word|
|I||i||I||i||[i]||Close front unrounded vowel||-|
|Ī||ī||Ī||ī||[ɪ]||Near-close near-front unrounded vowel||-|
|O||o||O||o||[o]||Close-mid back rounded vowel||-|
|Ö||ö||Ö||ö||[ɵ]||Close-mid central rounded vowel||-|
|U||u||U||u||[u]||Close back rounded vowel||[u] becomes [ɵ] when the final phoneme in a word, except when the only vowel in the word|
Digraphs and trigraphs
With the exception of the common zh and sh within the language, digraphs are generally discouraged within the syntax of the language. Rare exceptions do exist for vowels, with pairings of ua, io, and ae, pairings of either vowels or consonants permitted within the existing structure of the language are expressly not permitted. Only within the colonial dialect of Vespian are digraphs freely used and found, with the dual-vowel system within Colonial Vespian a prominent feature of the mostly simplified dialect. As with digraphs, trigraphs are illegal under all circumstances, and will almost never be found within Vespian. The sole exception to the rule would be the pairing of the patronymic "ioku" or "ioka" to a male Vespian name ending with a vowel; though in recent years, more and more Vespian families are dropping the final vowel in the father's name to remove the appearance of trigraphs in the patronymic.
The Vespians have two written scripts, one which is a featural syllabic script, and the other which is an alphabetical script. The former script was utilized throughout much of Vespian history, though the latter alphabetical script has come to dominate most Vespian documentation out of bare simplicity. However, Vespians are still trained to use both scripts, with the alphabet learned during childhood, and the syllabic script learned during their teen years. Since both scripts use the same basic designs, cross-training is relatively quick and easy. The Vespian alphabet consists of 22 alphabets divided into seven vowels and fifteen consonants, with stressed letters appearing with diacritics.
The Vespian language has a simple phonological constraint system, in which either vowels or consonants may be placed at the start of a word. However, while any unstressed vowel may close the word, only four of the language's fifteen consonants may end a word if they are used.
Vespian is a highly stressed language, with emphasize on the first or second syllables of a short word, or first and middle syllables of a longer word, typically regarded as the norm. The stress on words with Vespian is often considered similar to the stressing of words in the English and Latin, though Vespian words will have diacritic marks to indicate when stress on a particular syllable is required, much as with the accents in Latin and Romance languages. With regards to rhythm, Vespian is a stress-timed language, with stressed and unstressed syllables carrying equal weight in a word though the stressed portion may be shorter than the unstressed portion in letter length, but longer when voiced.
- /z/ never comes before another stop consonant
- /j/ can never be placed next to another consonant
- /r/, /n/, /s/ and /k/ are the only consonants allowed next to one another
- /s/ may only come after /r/ and before /h/ at all times if placed next to one another
- In words with two or more /a/ vowels, stress is always placed on the second /a/, unless there is another vowel separating them
- /r/ is never permitted to sit next to another consonant due to the illegality liquids
- Stress is placed on the first /a/ if another vowel precedes it, or if /ʒ/ or /v/ directly precedes /a/
- /n/, /k/, /r/, and /d/ are the only consonants permitted to end a word
- /ī/ becomes /e/ except after another /ī/ or /e/, instead becoming /i/ when romanized
- Any word beginning with /ī/ becomes /i/ when romanized
- /ī/ becomes /e/ if /ö/ comes after it when romanized
- /ö/ becomes /u/ if /e/ comes before it, but becomes /o/ if /ʒ/ comes before it when romanized
Violation of these rules are only rarely permitted, but avoided if at all possible.
There are five cases in the Vespian language:
- Nominative – Subject of transitive verb
- Accusative – Direct object of transitive verb
- Genitive – Possession of another noun/object
- Ablative – Movement away from subject/object
- Dative – Recipient of item by subject/object
Vespian has no gender, with all nouns using a strictly neuter form with the sole exception of titles.
|-n||-n (s) / -nīn (p)||-n (s) / -nīn (p)||-no (s) / -nokīn (p)||-nu (s) / -nurīn (p)||-na (s) / -nânīn (p)|
|-r||-r (s) / -rīn (p)||-r (s) / -rīn (p)||-ro (s) / -rokīn (p)||-ru (s) / -runīn (p)||-ra (s) / -rânīn (p)|
|-k||-k (s) / -kīn (p)||-k (s) / -kīn (p)||-ko (s) / -konīn (p)||-ku (s) / -kurīn (p)||-ka (s) / -kânīn (p)|
|-s||-s (s) / -sīn (p)||-s (s) / -sīn (p)||-so (s) / -sonīn (p)||-su (s) / -surīn (p)||-sa (s) / -sânīn (p)|
Diminutives and augmentatives
Articles denoting definiteness and indefiniteness are both attached to their respective words as prefixes, separated from the word by a dash.
In Vespian, adjectives are placed before nouns at all times. Certain adjectives which are descriptions for verbs or nouns will be modified to agree with the word it is attached too. For instance, Vâka Veskoyâno literally means "signed" or "spoken Vespian", simply translated as "Vespian language". As "vâka" represents a verb or action, it does not decline based on the word it is attracted too. However, Tâzeno Veskoyâno, meaning "Imperial Vespia", does decline, as "Tâzeno" is a noun describing another noun, and therefore agrees with it. As such, the two words are modified so as to denote that the first noun is modifying the second noun it is attached to.
The Vespian language lacks gender outside of titles, and does not differentiate between male, female, neuter, animate or inanimate objects. All genders are represented as the same pronoun. The lack of gender in the Vespian language is popularly attributed to the unique gender ratio within the Vespian population, leading to the perception of the Vespians discarding the need for gender in their language. Instead, all objects are referred to equally, and without any regard to the gender of the individual unless their position or family name is brought up in the sentence. In these instances, only the title and the surname are given genders, with "u" for men and "a" for women, though the former only applies to surnames for men.
|Personal pronouns in Vespian|
Tenses and moods
There are three tenses in the Vespian language; past, present, and future. The Vespian language does not conjugate verbs based on tense, but instead has a system where prefixes are attached to the verb itself to give clarification on the time period for the act. Tense is also indicated at the beginning of interrogative sentences rather than attached to verbs. If no prefix is attached to the verb utilized within a sentence or phrase, it is automatically assumed to be in the present tense. Within certain phrases, the lack of a tense marker can also be understood to represent an infinitive statement, with no past, present, or future state, but remaining an indefinite statement. This is typically the case with religious edicts and laws, where the meaning of the text is to be understood as lasting in perpetuity.
- Present: Kī jī-vâkörī jâ-xâutâkonīn (I fight for the gods)
- Past: Kī īx-vâkörī jâ-xâutâkonīn (I fought for the gods)
- Future: Kī šo-vâkörī jâ-xâutâkonīn (I will fight for the gods)
The Vespians use a decimal, e.g. base-10 counting system within their language, basing it off of the countable appendages on their hands. Cardinal numbers, as with the other numbers, are unaffected by the Vespian case system.
- dī-mârok − dī-mârok (a nation)
- nok mârokīn − nok mârokīn (zero nations)
- âyn mârok − âyn mârok (one nation)
- kor mârokīn − kor mârokīn (nine nations)
- xi mârokīn − xi mârokīn (ten nations)
- xidin mârokīn − xidin mârokīn (a/one hundred nations)
Ordinal numbers expresses the relative position of an item in an ordered sequence. They are used adjectives and decline accordingly.
- Nominative singular: Jâ-1d xâkar (The first zhakar)
- Nominative plural: Jâ-1d xâkarīn (The first zhakars)
- Accusative singular: Jâ-1d xâkar
- Genitive singular: Jâ-1d xâkaro
- Ablative singular: Jâ-1d xâkaru
- Dative singular: Jâ-1d xâkâra
Months of the year
Days of the week
"What date is it?"
"What time is it?"
Vespian names are constructed very differently from that of inhabitants from the western hemisphere, in that rather than two or three generally simple names denoting the given name, middle name or patronymic, and family name, the Vespians have a total of six names divided into three sections. This aspect of the Vespian language and culture gives the Vespians as a people, some of the longest complete names in the world. The names are divided as follows: the caste name (tâzīyorun), the house name (hâkīyorun), and the family name (uvâdīyorun). The caste name consists of the caste, rank, and given name of the Vespian individual, denoting their role and title in Vespian society. The second part of the name, the hâkīyorun or house name, consists of the house the Vespian belongs to and the place of their birth, and is typically utilized as a method of validating that individual's pedigree. Finally, the family name consists of the name of the family and the zhazharun or father name, which is a Vespian patronymic.
- Caste name (Tâzīyorun): Okö'Vyâ'Xârazok (Caste/Rank/Given name)
- House name (Hâkīyorun): Xī'Vâyan'Šokīna (Article "from"/Household/Place of birth)
- Family name (Uvâdīyorun): Muxânīokö-Konaekân (Patronymic/Family name)
The complete Vespian name would thus come out to be "Okö'Vyâ'Xârazok Xī'Vâyan'Šokīna Muxânīokö-Konaekân". In the Vespian mind, the name would mean in its entirety "Commoner Zharazok of the Third Rank, from House Vayan in Shokina, Son of Muzhan of Family Konaekan", a complete descriptive name detailing the full background information of the individual in question. The Vespians place great importance on such names, and there are numerous legal, religious, and traditional laws and customs related to the regulation of naming in Vespian society. For Vespians living abroad, as well as for those in the Vespian homeland, for the sake of simplicity and management, only the given name and the family name are utilized in everyday speech and work beyond formal and religious events. Thus, the aforementioned individual would simply be known as "Zharazok Konaekan", or "Zharazok Muzhanioku Konaekan" should a middle name be required.