Pelkish language

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Pelkish
pèski mèʂàzik
Spoken inNerotysia
RegionOriginally northern Orda, now worldwide
Native speakers50-60 million (2016)
L2 speakers: 150-160 million;
as a foreign language: 500-600 million
Language family
Writing systemLatin (Pelkish alphabet)
Pelkish Braille
Official status
Official language inTemplate:Country data Nerotysia
 Orcom
21+ other territories
Regulated byNerotysian People's Academy for the Arts
Language codes
ISO 639-1pk
ISO 639-2plk
ISO 639-3plk

Pelkish (pèski mèʂàzik) is an East Slavic language spoken by over 500 million people worldwide. It is the foremost official language of Nerotysia, which contains almost all of its 50 to 60 million native speakers. It is also an official language of the League of Ordic Communists, and is recognized as an official language by more than 21 other countries and territories, most of them members of the League or otherwise affiliated with the communist bloc. Pelkish belongs to the Ordo-Questani language family, and is the most widespread of the numerous East Slavic languages. Pelkish is the third-most spoken language in Ordis by total speakers, and is the third-largest native language in Orda. It is also one of the six official languages of the Ordic League.

Pelkish is primarily distinguished by its unusual gender system. Traditionally, there are eight grammatical genders, divided into two broad groups - "animate" and "inanimate" - of which the "animate" group also contains two sub-groups: "rational" and "irrational." The language also contains the dual grammatical number in addition to singular and plural - like many Slavic languages, Pelkish makes use of numerous grammatical categories and abundant inflection.

Classification

Standard Pelkish

Geographic distribution

Alphabet

The Pelkish alphabet is made up of 28 phonemes - 11 vowels and 17 consonants. The language primarily uses the basic Latin script, however it also makes extensive use of diacritics to distinguish characters, and a few letters are either unique to Pelkish or borrowed from other languages.

letter phoneme English equivalent example word notes
À à /ɔ/ father nèrʝàn (mountain, crag)
Á á /ɔ/ awe ápà (hole, crater)
Ӕ ӕ /ae̯/ sigh ӕsi (to throw, to hurl)
È è /ɛ/ bed rèl (wood, trunk)
I i /i/ need nàsli (eye)
Ì ì /ɪ/ pick bìbliátèkà (library)
Ó ó /o/ ore zàmór (knife, blade) Only ever used in conjunction with ʋ, l, or r
U u /ʌ/ strut nupkà (button) Only ever used in conjunction with p, t, or d
Ú ú /Y/ nurse púʂkà (pillow, cushion)
Ǔ ǔ /u/ root kǔlèn (village, community)
Ũ ũ /juː/ cure pũnsà (cannon) Only ever used in conjunction with m or n
P p /p/ peck pirjà (faith, belief)
F f /f/ feather tǔflà (slipper)
M m /m/ rumble mèʂkà (city)
Ʋ ʋ /ʋ/ van tàʋà (hair, fur)
T t /t/ took likát (dirty, soiled)
D d /d/ deed dǔk (ghost, spirit)
S s /s/ snake glàsnór (blacksmith)
Z z /z/ zap ćàzká (guard, sentry)
C c /t͡s/ pits cǔkà (king, sovereign)
L l /l/ loop lir (sun)
R r /ɹ/ dark kànirè (dress, gown)
N n /n/ plain nèlj (cloud)
Ȿ ʂ /ʃ/ shoot ʂàlʝà (club, bat)
Ć ć /t͡ʃ/ couch ćàlà (water)
J j /j/ yes ʝànjè (dance)
K k /k/ back mèlèká (milk)
Ɉ ʝ /g/ green ʝórlè (throat, gullet)

Grammar

Noun Classes

Pelkish nouns are sorted into eight grammatical genders, each distinguished by semantics and a shared morphology. Specifically, the noun classes divide all things into two broad categories - “animates” and “inanimates.” Beyond those, the animate category itself contains two more groups.

Semantically, animates are all things which have an independent will - this group primarily includes divine figures, humans, animals, and plants. Nouns relating to divine beings are called “ethereal animates,” while humans, animals and plants are further divided into “rationals” and “irrationals.” Rational nouns relate almost entirely to humans, and they are divided into masculine and feminine forms. Irrational nouns relate primarily to animals and plants, and are also divided into masculine and feminine forms. The inanimate category, meanwhile, refers entirely to objects lacking an independent will, and is divided into masculine, feminine, and neuter forms.

So, the eight genders are grouped based on shared semantic characteristics (bolded words indicate genders):

  • Animate
    • Ethereal animates
    • Rational
      • Rational masculine animates
      • Rational feminine animates
    • Irrational
      • Irrational masculine animates
      • Irrational feminine animates
  • Inanimate
    • Masculine inanimates
    • Feminine inanimates
    • Neuter inanimates

However, for a variety of reasons, objects are often miscategorized semantically. For example, fire is considered to be an animate noun, despite the fact that fire has no independent will. Therefore, the best way to identify gender in a noun is to simply examine the morphology. Specifically, nouns of each gender share common endings:

Gender Ending
Ethereal animates ӕ
Rational masculine animates ǔ
Rational feminine animates i
Irrational masculine animates s or c
Irrational feminine animates k or á
Masculine inanimates è
Feminine inanimates à or j
Neuter inanimates r, n, or l

It’s also important to note that a single noun may have several different forms, which are treated as separate words by the grammar of Pelkish. For example, the word “guard,” when referring to non-human entities, is translated to “ćàzká,” an irrational feminine animate. However, the same word “guard,” when referring to human entities, is translated to “ćàzki,” a rational feminine animate, and when referring to divine beings, “ćàzkӕ,” an ethereal animate.

Vocabulary