Néoƿȧþenċȧn hƿyłċ Yꝼȧłᵹiuꝼꞇcga cumȧn uppon ƿée bí þæꞇe ƿoꞃułꝺṫe hƿonne ƿéꞅyłꝼ ne ƿanȧn ṫu léoꞃnȧn ne þá oþꞃḣe beḣe cnaƿbꞃiṅgȧn!
Geðenc hwelc witu us ða becomon for ðisse worulde, ða ða we hit nohwæðer ne selfe ne lufodon ne eac oðrum monnum ne lefdon! (Old English)
Remember what punishments befell us in this world when we ourselves did not cherish learning nor transmit it to other men! (New English)
Alfred the Great
State of progress: circa 60% of grammar created
Vocabulary: obtained from Old English
The purpose of this language is to be quite comprehensible for English, High German, Dutch speakers, as well as those of North Germanic modern languages.
Its aims are:
- To work with a phonological system inspired by that one of modern English, but with Old English spellings;
- To use Old English influenced vocabulary, avoiding words and roots from other branches outside the Germanic languages;
- To have got a minimalistic vocabulary and grammar, reducing the rules as much as possible,
- To preserve some characteristic features as a simple case declension and diferentiation among many types of beings in an easily recognizable manner;
Theodish uses a writing system of 43 letters, each one of them representing a single phoneme, no matter the position they appear in a word. It is based upon the Latin alphabet plus Germanic letters and Latin letters with diacritics, in order to change their phonetic values. Notice that when two consonants (digraph) are grouped together to make a single sound they are counted as a separated letter:
ȧ, a, á, æ, e, é, ë, i, í, o, ó, ö, u, ú, y, ý, œ, c, ċ, cg, b, ꝺ/d, ꝼ/f, g, ġ/ᵹ, h, ḣ, ƕ, l, ł, m, n, ṅ, p, q, r/ꞃ, s/ꞅ, ṡ, sc, ꞇ/t, ṫ, þ, w/ƿ
Ȧ, A, Á, Æ, E, É, Ë, I, Í, O, Ó, Ö, U, Ú, Y, Ý, Œ, C, Ċ, CG, B, Ꝺ/D, Ꝼ/F, G, Ġ/Ᵹ, H, Ḣ, Ƕ, L, Ł, M, N, Ṅ, P, Q, R/Ꞃ, S/Ꞅ, Ṡ, SC, Ꞇ/T, Ṫ, Þ, W/Ƿ
The insular shapes (ƿ, ᵹ, ꞃ, ꞅ, ꞇ, ꝺ, ꝼ) are more common; however, for didatic purposes, the usual shape will be used here through most of the text, to ease up the understanding. It is important to note that the letter Ꞅꞅ stands for Ss only at the beginning or middle of the words, or in the digraph Ꞅc/ꞅc.
The Gothic letter ƕ is often used for the digraph hw as it is quite common and the two consonants are pronounced together.
In word compounds, either when a radical ends in c and the next radical begins in g, or when a radical ends in s and the next radical begins in c, a hyphen-minus (-) is used to indicate that they have to be pronounced separately.
As we will see a bit futher, an apostroph (') before the consonants c, t and p indicates an aspiration (air blow) when pronouncing the vowels, as seen in modern English, specially in Britain.
All nouns, no matter the place they appear in a sentence, begin with a capital letter, as in Modern High German.
The Tironian shorthand (⁊) is often used in actual script in the place of the conjunction ond (and).
|ȧ||/ə/||as the first "a" in amazing|
|œ||/œ/||as eu in French “bleu”|
|c||/k/||voiceless velar plosive as in English “cat|
|ċ||/tʃ/||as in English “church”|
|cg||/dʒ/||as in English “edge”|
|b||/b/||voiced bilabial plosive as in English “bat”|
|d||/d/||voiced alveolar plosive as in English “dental”|
|g||/g/||voiced velar plosive as in English “gang”|
|/j/||voiced palatal approximant as in English “yard”|
|/x/||as in German “macht”|
voiceless fricative glottal as in English “have”
|l||/l/||voiced alveolar lateral approximant as in English “load”|
|/ɫ/||velarized alveolar lateral approximant as in English "subtle"|
|m||/m/||voiced nasal bilabial as in English “much”|
|n||/n/||voiced nasal alveolar as in English “next”|
voiced velar nasal as in English “going”
|p||/p/||unvoiced plosive bilabial as in English “peace”|
|/r/||voiceless alveolar flap as in Portuguese “cara”|
|s||/s/||unvoiced alveolar fricative as in English “sad”|
|sc||/ʃ/||voiceless postalveolar fricative as in German “Schatten”|
|t||/t/||voiceless alveolar stop as in English "turtle"|
|glottal stop as in British English (Cockney) "better"|
|þ||/θ/||unvoiced dental fricative as in English “think”|
|w||/w/||voiced labial-velar approximant as in English “was”|
|ṡ||/ç/||voiceless palatal fricative as in German “Licht”|
|f||/f/||voiceless lábio-dental fricative as in English “force”|
|ṫ||/ts/||as in German “zu”|
- ȧ is never stressed
- p, t and c receive an apostrophe (') before them when they are found at the beginning words (and when they are at the end of them, in some case), indicating that they are aspirated
- ł, ṡ, q, ṅ, ḣ and cg are never found at the beginning of a word
Radical is an original idea which many different kinds of words derive from. They are the root words for nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs. Attaching prefixes, suffixes or modifying their sounds through umlaut can change their grammatical classes. The radicals are not words used without any compliments.
One or more roots can be combined in order to get a new word. As the aim of this is language is to have the shorter vocabulary necessary, then even if a word is not a compound in Old English, it can become a composition here because in doing so we can use less words, even if the roots become a bit more complicated. See for example:
High: heah (Old English) but uppgréȧtiṡ (“greater upwards”)
Large: miċel, stór (Old English) but sídegréȧtiṡ (“greater sidewards”)
Short, small: uppscortiṡ (“short upwards”)
Thin: sídescortiṡ (“short sidewards”)
The Þéodiṡ language decline its nouns and pronouns in five declensions: nominative, accusative, dative, genitive and instrumental.
Nominative is the grammatical case used for the subject of a sentence. The accusative is used when any verb describes an action did upon something, material or not. The dative is the direct object of a sentence, the one towards the action was made to. The genitive indicates possession or a characteristic. The instrumental is used for any kind of compliments of place, time, medium, etc. through which something is explained.
The usual order of the sentence in the language is as follows:
(Genitive*) nominative + verb(s) + (genitive*) accusative + (genitive*) dative + (genitive*) instrumental
* When required by the context.
Articles, relative pronouns and Gender
There are four articles, which have as primary function to mark the gender of the nouns. They have a masculine, feminine, neuter and a plural form. They are indeclinable.
Þe beḣa – the man
Þéo beḣa – the woman
Þæt beḣa – human with no gender identified
Þá beḣa – the humans
Þæt éaġḣȧ – the eye
Þe beḣa éaġȧfélȧn þéo beḣum – the man sees (feels with the eyes) the woman
The articles also can work as relative pronouns, connecting two sentences.
Þe beḣa þe ġéaġȧfélȧnd þéo beḣu – the man that saw the woman
The nouns are formed with radicals. To the radicals we first attach an ending which indicates its type, in the nominative form. The basic suffixes are:
be – radical of being
beḣ- – humanish being
beṫ- – wightish being
bep- – otherworldish being
beþ- – outer-yardish being
becg- – abstract noun
How to use basic suffix
The humanish suffix indicates that the noun is a human being, known, pacific or friendly or part of it.
The wightish refers to most of cases that the pronoun it is used: animals, plants, trees, or worldly wights like stones, rivers, or invisible inhabitants of the world. It may also refer to their parts.
It refers to high beings like deities and superior wights, not seen or not part of this world. It may also refers to Ancestors, and revered beings. It is like the wightish type of basic suffix, however, it denotes reverence and respect. It may also refer to their parts.
The outer-yardish types may refer to human and other wights which are unfriendly or unknown. So, depending on the context, two different persons may refer to a human either as a human or as an outer-yardish creature. It may be used to denote a part of this type of creature.
Used to refer to ideas, feelings, plans, skills, habilities, abstract things. It may refer to something related (like parts) of this kind of thing.
There are some specific nouns that don't require type marker, as they are already part of one of the types: Ex. Maṅnamëṅsca: man; Wífmëṅsca: woman; Déoȧqa: animal.
Grammatical case endings
To the end of the nouns, after indicating the type, one must attach the case endings, according to the function of the noun in the sentence:
|Grammatical case||Final suffix|
For example, with be transformed in a noun:
|Grammatical case||Final suffix (singular)|
|Nominative||beḣa, beṫa, bepa, beþa, becga|
|Accusative||beḣu, beṫu, bepu, beþu, becgu|
|Dative||beḣe, beṫe, bepe, beþe, becge|
|Genitive||beḣȧs, beṫȧs, bepȧs, beþȧs, becgȧs|
|Instrumental||beḣwi't, beṫwi't, bepwi't, beþwi't, becgwi't|
The plural form is made through the umlaut of the main vowel of the radical. The umlaut follow this rule:
|Root Vowel||Root Vowel after Umlaut|
Note that ȧ cannot suffer umlaut as it is never found in a main syllable.
Using, once again, be as an example:
|Grammatical Case||Umlaut (plural)|
|Nominative||bœḣa, bœṫa, bœpa, bœþa, bœcga|
|Accusative||bœḣu, bœṫu, bœpu, bœþu, bœcgu|
|Dative||bœḣe, bœṫe, bœpe, bœþe, bœcge|
|Genitive||bœḣȧs, bœṫȧs, bœpȧs, bœþȧs, bœcgȧs|
|Instrumental||bœḣwi't, bœṫwi't, bœpwi't, bœþwi't, bœcgwi't|
When a radical ends in a vowel, specially the weak vowel ȧ after ġ or any other in which the pronunciation is made easier by dropping this vowel, the type suffix can do it:
éaġȧ- (radical related to vision)
éaġḣȧ eye (noun)
ṫȧ éaġȧfélȧn to see (verb)
To form adjectives one must take a radical and then attach to its end the suffix -iṡ. They are indeclinable, like the articles.
Wódenpa béȧn ósiṡ – Wóden is divine.
When directly modifying a noun, it always comes before it.
Ósiṡ Wodenpa – The divine Wóden.
The comparative form is made through the addition of -ra to the end of the radical + iṡ:
Iċȧs Husṫa béȧn sidegréatiṡra þonne þæt þúwi't - My (literally “of me”) house is larger (literally “greater sidewards”) than yours (literally “of you”).
The superlative is indicated through the addition of -est to the radical + iṡ:
Þæt uppgréatiṡest Tréowṫa þæt stándȧn in Tréowalandṫwi't. – The highest (literally “greater upwards”) tree that stands in the forest (literally “land of the trees”).
Demonstrative and personal and possessive pronouns
Demonstrative pronouns are þæt-, translated as “this” and þærþæt-, “that” (literally “this there”). They follow the same declension of the nouns:
|Grammatical case||Final Suffix (singular)||Final Umlaut + Suffix (Plural)|
|Nominative||þæt, þǽȧþæt||þët, þǽȧþët|
|Accusative||þætu, þǽȧþætu||þëtu, þǽȧþëtu|
|Dative||þæte, þǽȧþæte||þëte, þǽȧþëte|
|Genitive||þætȧs, þǽȧþætȧs||þëtȧs, þǽȧþëtȧs|
|Instrumental||þætwi't, þǽȧþætwi't||þëtwi't, þǽȧþëtwi't|
Ælfrǽdḣa þé Gréatḣa earȧvélȧn þæȧþætu þroqehlydḣu – Alfred the Great hears/is hearing (literally “feels with the ears”) that voice (literally “throat sound”).
Personal pronouns are used to avoid the repetition of a noun. iċ (I), wit (we two – dual), wé (we), þú (you – singular), ġit (you two – dual), ġé (you – plural), hé (he), héo (she), hit (it). They also follow the same declension of the nouns (excepting in the nominative case):
The genitive form of the personal pronouns are used as possessive pronouns. For example:
Héo habbiȧn iċȧs Lufucgu – She has my love (“I love her”).
Verb formation and tenses
The tenses follow simple rules:
Radical + -ȧn ending. Also note that the vowel sound in the first syllable becomes long.
It is used both for present and presen continuous tenses.
ṫȧ + presente tense
Ġ(e)- + Present tense + -d
If the root begins with an e, then only ġ is attached to the beginning of the verb.
Wéoȧþȧn + infinitive
be-: being, thing
ṫȧ béȧn: to be
Iċ béȧn Beḣa. (I am a human)
Iċ ġebéȧnd Beḣa. (I was/have been a human)
Iċ wéoȧþȧn ṫȧ béȧn Beḣa. (I will/am going to be a human)
The adverbs are formed through the addition of the suffix -iċe to the end of the radical:
Yfȧl – root of “evil, bad”
Yfȧliċȧ – badly, in a evil, ill manner
It always precedes the verb it is modifying.
Hé yfȧliċȧ ġedóȧnt Bœṫu – He did things in an evil manner.
Those are meaning modifiers or complementers which are attached to the beginning (prefixes) or the ending (suffixes) of the radicals. It may be attached to nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives.
un-: negation prefix
Ex. gódiṡ (good), ungódiṡ (bad, evil, yfȧliṡ)
úp-: up, upward, heavenly, from above, upper
út-: external to, on the outside of; toward the outside of, away from; surpassing, exceeding; greater than, beyond; completely
in-: in, into; on, upon; internal, positioned on the inside, inside; (intensifying) very
wíf-: passes the gender to feminine
maṅn-: passes the gender to masculine
Generally speaking, this kind of suffixes are attached between the type marker and the case ending.
-léas: suffix denoting "false, devoid of, free from, without".
Ex. gódléasiṡ (deprived of good, goodless)
-wéȧrd: forming adverbs denoting course or direction to, or motion or tendency toward, as in "backward", "toward", "forward", etc; forming adjectives, as in "a backward look", "the northward road", etc; used even by speakers who usually use -wards for adverbs
-ċiṅ: suffix forming diminutives. Notice that it is attached to the end of the word, after the case ending:
'Ex. þe æþȧłḣa (the noble man); þe æþȧłḣaċiṅ (a little noble man)
Connectors are conjunctions and prepositions.
|you (plural)||ġit (dual), ġé (3 or more)|
|woman||þéo Beḣa, Wífmëṅsca|
|man (adult male)||þé Beḣa, Maṅnamëṅsca|
|Man (human being)||Þæt Beḣa, Mëṅsc*|
- (*) Declines both with type and case.
Þþ Ææ Œœ ǽǼ ȧȦ Ċċ Ġġ Ḣḣ Ṫṫ Łł Ṅṅ Ƿƿ Ᵹᵹ Ꞃꞃ Ꞅꞅ Ꞇꞇ Ꝺꝺ Ꝼꝼ ⁊