Giulianese is a fictional language spoken by approximately 1 million habitants of the fictional Giulian Republic in the upper-east region of the Italian peninsula. It is the official language of the country and contains regional status in neighbouring countries, namely, Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia.

Historical background[]

The Giulianese language was established by a treat signed by the three duchies of Friulia, Trieste ang Gorizia in early XVIII century for the sake of trade and desire for separation from the Venetian Republic after the Turkish-Venetian war during the period of Austrian domination in the region. After heavy economic development in the region with the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in the XVIII and XIX century, major cities in the coastal zone claim independence. That culminated in the same time of the unification of the Italian Kingdom. Friuli was the last of the territories to join Trieste and Gorizia after months of negotiation which had as outcome the Alpine-Friulian treat which would give autonomous power to each duchy in spite of the fact the territory was going to be under the same newly-formed royal protection. The Venetian coast was late annexed by the then called Friulian Kingdom, mostly because Friuli held more economic resources, due to their visible fragility as they had a very extended territory and little to no decent military defense. The Venetian Act unified the former Venetian Republic with the Friulian Kingdom. The Julian Alps together with the eastern portion of the Veneto were then governed by four unified forces. It was the Venetian Act that a common language was also proposed and that marked the establishment of the first Giulianese Grammar in 1876. Despite the indepence conflicts, the Austrian-Hungarians kept close relation with the Giulianese, which is reflected in current local culture to date. It is also worth noting that the French also occupied the region before the Austrian-Hungarian managed to take all the Julian territories over. During First World War, the region kept neutral for the longest time, though it suffered attack from neighbouring powers. It was only twenty years after the Second World War that the Giulianese Kingdom was finally recognized once again, as it had been claimed by the Italians, Austrian-Hungarians and Nazis during such wars. It was after the Treaty of Osimo that the greater area of the Giulianese Kingdom was divided into three: The westernmost (current Veneto) remained part of Italy, the northern and southernmost to the Giulianese and the easternmost with Yugoslavia (current Slovenia and Croatia).

Linguistic Situation[]

The linguistic situation of the kingdom was revised with the Giulianese Act in 1976, which officialized spelling and grammatical-related policies within the kingdom. Heavy conservative policies concerning manuscripts and press release as well as traditionalist tendencies within the population kept the language not so distant from its distant times. Germanic, Slavic, Western and Eastern Romance languages contact caused strong phonological variation in the dialects of the Giulianese Kingdom, rendering a sharply reduction of the vowel inventory opposite to what was seen with the consonant inventory that had allophones and new phonemes put into use by local speakers. The 1976 Act, therefore, tried to simplify spelling and grammatical conception generating what is known today as High Giulianese, based mostly on the dialects of Udin, Jemon da Friúle, and Trest, major cities of the current territory.


Strong influence from French and Italian is found in Giulianese, though influence from Slavic and German languages are found in other aspects of the language.


labial dental alveolar palatal velar uvular
nasal m n ɲ ŋ
plosive p, b t, d

k, g


fricative f, v s, z ʃ, ʒ (ɣ) ʁ
approximant (β),w (ð) l ʎ, j
  • Allophones are presented between parentheses.

In oral speech, plosives tend to become fricatives or approximants. That is attested mostly between vowels and word-finally. Some dialects of Giulianese do not present such phenomena, as devoicing and aspiration cases are found in northern varieties. Strong reduction during the language evolution has given room for the creation of phonotactic constraints more complex than those seen in most Romance languages, as CCCVCCC is a possible syllabic structure for a Giulianese word. Rhotics, alongside plosives, are Giulianese's strongest dialectal marker. Rhotics may be velar in eastern, a trill in western, or glottal in south-eastern varieties. [s] and [z] are mostly apico-alveolar phonemes throughout dialects, to the exception of coastal and eastern varieties, which tend to have it as overall alveolar fricatives.


front central back
close i u
close-mid e, ø ə o
open-mid ɛ, œ ɔ
open a ɑ

Monophthongs rarely present ambiguities across dialects, to the exception of open vowels and close back vowels. The a/ɑ is observed more strongly in northern, central and coastal Giulianese. In eastern varieties, [ɑ] tends to be realized as [aj] and in western varieties as [a:]. The o/u is not clear cut in central, norther and overall eastern varieties, as raising is strong in unstressed syllables for those. Central and Northern Giulianese present raising in [e]-->[i] as well. Eastern Giulianese tends to have all back vowel diphthongized in stressed position, rendering [u]--> uw, [o]--> [ow] and [ɔ] --> [oj] and [ɑ] --> [aj]. Nasality is observed more strongly towards coastal areas. Western and Northern dialects are known for overly "oral" vowels before nasal consonants. Central and Eastern present nasalized vowels and Coastal Giulianese present full nasal vowels before nasal consonants, thus, <infance> "childhood" may be realized [iɱ'fansə] [ĩɱ'fãnsə] [ĩ'fãsə], respectively in such dialects.


There are eighteen diphthongs in Central Giulianese, though they all result from glide formations, [w] and [j].

Falling diphthongs

iw uj
ew ej ow oj
aw aj

Rising diphthongs

wi ju
we je wo jo
wa ja


Giulianese orthgraphy encompasses the conventions established by the 1796 Act. Although Jemon da Friúle Giulianese was used as major model spelling-wise, other varieties were taken into consideration. The alphabet consists of 23 letters, all developed from the Roman alphabet with the addition of 3 diacritics. The letter "q" always appears followed by either "ü" or "u", rendering respectively [kw] and [k].

Aa Ää Bb Cc Dd Ee Ëë Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Ll Mm Nn Oo Öö Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Xx Zz

All words are stressed on the last syllable except for those whose last syllable contains an [ə]. Accent marking is used to differentiate vowels mostly in unstressed postition and diphthong groups: à, è, é, í, ï, ò, ú, ü. The following chart shows the disposition of vowels in unstressed and stressed position.

Letter Unstressed Position Example Gloss Stressed Position Example Gloss
a [ə] domjera housekeeper [a] amare to love
à [a] domjerà will house
ä [ɑ] mämote mamoth [ɑ] gräde grade
e [ə] espetacle spectacle [e] ded finger
é [e] éléfante elephant [e] jo dancé I danced
è [ɛ] ècrane screen [ɛ] pjède foot
ë [ɶ] plëretaze downpour [ɶ] plëre to rain
i [i] infance childhood [i] felice happy
í [i] tríatlone triathlon [i] * tía aunt
o [o] ota eight [o] obelisque obelisk
ò [ɔ] ròvechere to pour [ɔ] jo aquisterò I will acquire
ö [ø] tölerère to tolerate [ø] chöse a choice
u [u] réunione reunion [u] epure thus
ú [u] lúe moon
ü [w] qüeste this (neuter sing.)
  • rising diphthongs - otherwise it denotes a falling diphthong "réunione"


b: it becomes [β] between vowels and word finally. [b] otherwise.

c: before a, ä, ë, o, ö, u and consonants - [k], before e and i - [s]

d: it becomes [ð] between vowels and word finally. [d] otherwise.

f: it becomes [v] before voiced consonants.

g: before a, ä, ë, o, ö, u and consonants - [g], before e and i - [ʒ]. [g] becomes [ɣ] between vowels and word finally.

h: always silent. It's seldomly used in nouns. It's more frequent to differentiate verbs from other classes.

j: [j] in all positions.

l: [ɫ] syllable-ending and before consonants. [l] otherwise.

m: overall [m].

n: overall [n].

p: it becomes [b] before voiced consonants. [p] otherwise.

r: ʁ in all positions.

s: [z] between vowels and before consonants. [s] elsewhere.

t: [d] before voiced consonants. [t] otherwise.

v: it becomes [β] between vowels and word finally. [v] otherwise.

x: it is used to represent the sound combination [ks].

z: [z] in all positions.


ch: digraph used to represent the phoneme [ʃ] in all positions.

gu: digraph to represent the phoneme [g] before e and i. It becomes [ɣ] between vowels and word finally. Otherwise, [gw].

lj: digraph used to represent the phoneme [ʎ] in all positions.

nj: digraph used to represent the phoneme overall [ɲ].

qu: before e and i to represent the phoneme [k]. [kw] otherwise.

ss: digraph used to represent the phone [s] between vowels.