Cissian

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ixals
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Cissian

Post by ixals » Tue 01 Aug 2017, 20:07

Цiски Ёзик
(cjíski jozík)


Most likely this will be the only post but I am really proud of how it turned out so I wanted to share it with you. Cissian is a Slavic conlang which can't really be assigned to any of the three major Slavic subgroups (but I don't want to call it a Central Slavic language because that sounds so amateur). Apart from that, I tried my best at not making it as "special" as possible and tried giving it a very normal Slavic feel. It is spoken in the region of the river Tisa/Tisza which includes parts of modern Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. The river is also the origin of the language's name (*tisьskъjь > /tʲiskɨ/ > /t͡sʲiski/).

Phonology

The phonology of Cissian is a typical Slavic phoneme inventory in my opinion:

/p b t d k (g)/ <п б т д к (ґ)>
/(f) v s z ʃ ʒ x ɦ/ <(ф) в с з ш ж х г>
/t͡s d͡z t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/ <ц s ч џ>
/m n r l j w/ <м н р л и в~у>

/a e i o u/ <а э и о у>
/ʲa ʲe ʲi ʲo ʲu/ <я е i ё ю>

Cissian is only written with the Cyrillic script. Some scholars wanted the language to switch to a Latin script but the proposed transcriptions were never adopted due to aesthetical issues and the resulting unpopularity. I will explain some of the choices I made for this script. The transcription that is normally used is partially based on Czech as most of the other transcriptions of Cyrillic and can be seen in the spoiler beneath the explanations.
  • <ґ> /g/ is only used in loanwords and is therefore a modification of <г> /ɦ/ just as in other East Slavic languages which turned Proto-Slavic *g into a fricative.
  • Single characters were favoured instead of digraphs to have a uniform script of one character per sound. This explains the existence of <s> and <џ> instead of the digraphs used in Russian etc.
  • <ё> and <э> are used because of Russian influence. Before the latest orthography reform, the characters <ѧ> and <ѫ>
    were still in use. The change was also heavily favoured because both adopted letters are easier to write and because of the aforementioned Russian influence.
  • <и> and <i> are based off of Ukrainian's alphabet. At an older stage of Cissian, <и> represented both sounds because they were considered allophones but due to more modern changes, <i> was introduced as the difference between the two sounds in Ukrainian is similar to the difference in Cissian.
Spoiler:
/p b t d k (g)/ <p b t d k (g)>
/(f) v s z ʃ ʒ x ɦ/ <(f) v s z š ž х h>
/t͡s d͡z t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/ <c dz č dž>
/m n r l j w/ <m n r l j v~u>

/a e i o u/ <a e i o u>
/ʲa ʲe ʲi ʲo ʲu/ <ja je ji jo ju>
I am not really good phonotactics and the like, but as far as I noticed the permitted syllables so far are something like this:

(C1)(C2)(C3)V(j/w)(C4)(C5)(C6)

One thing I know for sure is that three consonants follow each other, the middle one can't be a liquid, nasal or in some cases a fricative (as this medial consonant would turn into the nucleus as a syllabic consonant). Two stops can follow each other at most and more than that is not permitted, so one of the three allowed consonants has to be something else than a stop. However in coda position, a liquid or a nasal is not allowed to be the very last consonant (as it will turn syllabic again). So *spl is allowed as an onset but not as a coda. The inverted case *lps is allowed in coda, but not as an onset.

Sound Changes

Although I think it is clear most of the time, for those who are not familiar with Proto-Slavic's consonant inventory, here is the reconstructed phonology:

/m n nʲ/ <m n ň>
/p b t d c ɟ k g/ <p b t d ť ď k g>
/t͡s d͡z t͡ʃ (d͡ʒ)/ <c dz č (dž)>
/s z ʃ ʒ x/ <s z š ž x>
/r rʲ l lʲ j ʋ~w/ <r ř l ľ j v>

/i ɨ u i̯æ a/ <i y u ě a>
/ĭ ŭ e o/ <ь ъ e o>

Proto-Slavic to Proto-Cissian:
  • High vowels (*i, *ь, *e, *ę and *ě) palatalise preceding consonants (*ne > /nʲe/). If a high vowel as well as *a was at the beginning of a word, a *j was added (*ablъko > *jablъko).
  • Yers lengthened when they were in front of a *j to *i/*y (*malъjь > *malyjь).
  • Havlik's law deletes weak years whereas strong yers changed into a sound speculated to have been a /ə/. Schwas stemming from front yers still retain the palatalisation (*pьsъ > /pʲəs/). Lost front yers leave behind palatalisation on the preceding consonant.
  • The consonant clusters *dl/*tl were retained in the dialect spoken by the Tisa just as in the West Slavic area. Words like *modlitva and *mydlo therefore remain unchanged.
  • Like the West dialects, Proto-Slavic *ś from palatalised *x didn't change to *s like in South and East Slavic, but it didn't merge with *š either and it might have been /ɕ/ at this stage.
  • The consonants *ť/*ď didn't change at well and were kept as palatal stops.
  • The yat (*ě) remained unchanged in this stage but it is most likely to have been retained as /ʲæ/.
  • Contrary to West Slavic languages, the Cissian Slavic dialect palatalises the sequences *kv/*gv before front vowels (*květъ > *cvět). The dialect that serves for the modern spoken standard even takes it a step further and palatalises other sequences such as *kn/*gn and *kl/*gl (*gnězdo > *dznězdo). Other dialects don't feature this change though.
  • Concerning the liquid metathesis, the Cissian dialect behaved like the West and South Slavic dialects and changed *oR into *Ra and *eR into *Re (*ordlo > *radlo). It is to note that *eR changed into *Re and not *Rě because of the yat's different realisation which lead to *Rě /Rʲie/ changing to /rʲe/ rather than /Rʲæ/. This change preceded Havlik's law in this dialect, so *ъR/*ьR don't result in syllabic liquids in a lot of instances (*sъlnьce > /salnʲt͡sʲe/, compare Slovak "slnce").
  • The nasal vowels *ę/*ǫ were kept, but they started shifting in a "circular" motion like in modern French and were pronounced /æ̃/, written *ją, and /ɪ̃/, written *y̨ (*tęžьkъjь > *tjąžkyj).
  • Final ojo-type vowel sequences were shortened into one syllable like in West Slavic. It is not known if these contractions resulted in long vowels like in Czech although it is likely they were and were shortened at a later stage. In some cases, this led to velars appearing in front of front vowels again (*dьlgajego/*dьlgǫjǫ > dlgego/dlgy̨).
Proto-Cissian to Old Cissian:
  • At the early stages of Old Cissian, the dialect began to distance itself from West and South Slavic dialects and shared many sound changes with Ukrainian, one of them being a prothetic *v in front of an *o (*ona > *vona). The former nasal vowel *ǫ is excluded from this change as it is not pronounced as /õ/ anymore.
  • Old Cissian took part in the lenition of *g just like the bordering dialects of Ukrainian and Slovak. From now on this is "transcribed" as *h, although the Cissian pronunciation still seemed to be /ɣ/ at the time and only went further down the throat in later stages of the language (*bogyni > *bohyni).
  • Affricates and certain fricatives (*c, *dz, *č, *š, *dž and *ž) lose their palatalisation.
  • The yat splits into to different sounds depending on if the following consonant is palatalised or not. Before palatalised consonants, the result is a Ukrainian-like outcome of /ʲi/, otherwise it changes to /ʲa/ (*měsęcь > *misjąc). Simple /æ/ due to the aforementioned depalatalisation merges with *a (*cělovati > *calovati).
  • Although not as fast as Ukrainian, Cissian starts to velarise non-palatalised *l (*vьlkъ > /vʲaɫk/)
  • A very major change is the change of the Proto-Slavic accent to a East Slavic system. Vowel length (if the ojo-type contraction led to long vowels, they would have been shortened by now as well) and tone is lost, while the pitch accent is transformed into a stressed syllable (*kolě̀ně̄xъ > *kolі́njax).
  • Although it was not changed in writing, nasal vowels *ją/*y̨, by now pronounced /ʲã/ and /ĩ/, lost their nasalisation at the end of a word, but they remained nasalised in every other environment.
Old Cissian to Middle Cissian:
  • The palatal consonants (*ť, *ď and *ś) turn into palatalised palata-alveolars. The change of the former two into /͡tʃʲ/ and /d͡ʒʲ/ is assumed to be due to Serbo-Croatian influence. As *ś also behaved similarly, it's possible that these three phonemes were either /c~c͡ç ɟ~ɟ͡ʝ ç/ or /t͡ɕ d͡ʑ ɕ/ prior to the change (*xъťešь > /xt͡ʃʲeʃ/).
  • Due to the strong palatalisation before *i, dental stops preceding that vowel transform into the affricates *c/*dz. However, these new affricates are still palatalised (*mati > /mat͡sʲi). An exception to this sound change are *sti/*zdi which remain as they are.
  • Sometime during this stage the central high vowel *y merges with *i, creating a distinction between palatalised and non-palatalised *i. It is disputed whether *y was just an allophone of *i before this point of the language (*byvolъ > *bivol).
  • Changes in palatalisation have begun with the loss of palatalisation in coda-final consonants (*blędь > *bljąd' > *bljąd).
  • Both nasal vowels continue to move in their circular motions and end this process at the complete opposite of their original pronunciation. This means that former *ę/*ǫ are now *jǫ/*ę. By now they also lost their nasalisation completely and together with the former changes, this creates a vowel system in which every vowel (/a e i o u/) can exist either with or without palatalisation on the preceding vowel (*bǫděte > /bed͡zʲitʲe/).
  • The vowel combination *ijV turns into *ʲV (*smějetь > *smjije > *smje).
Middle Cissian to Modern Cissian:
  • Earlier non-palatalised *l, which turned velar in coda position in Old Cissian, fully vocalised by now and is realised as /u̯/. This makes it merge with coda *v which was also realised as /u̯/ in this position (*dolъ > *dov). However, this change is very rare and is partially reverted in many words through analogy. A special case of this change is a velarised *l preceded by *u which turns the combination into a simple *u (*bulъ > *bu).
  • *h /ɣ/ backed further in place of articulation and is now pronounced as /ɦ/ as in neighbouring Slavic languages like Ukrainian and Slovak. An important difference in Cissian is, that this sound was pronounced as /ʕ/ for a time (and it still is in more remote villages). Due to this transitional pronunciation, *h vocalised to *a in interconsonantal positions (*mьgla > *mala). Some dialects however have *o in this position.
  • Cissian tries as much as possible to avoid coda consonant, therefore coda consonants are generally moved to the onset of the next syllable as much as possible. This is not always possible as some consonant clusters are too difficult to pronounce so this problem is solved by simplyfing consonant clusters or turning fricatives, nasals and liquids into syllabic consonants.
  • Consonant cluster simplifications that are important to note on their own are those that create new phonemes. The clusters *šč/*ždž/*sc/*zdz undergo a shift that is similar to Russian and thus turn into *šj/*žj/*sj/*zj (*aščerъ > *jašjer).
  • If a onset consonant is palatalised, every consonant that precedes them is palatalised as well until a vowel or a syllabic consonant breaks the row of consonants.

To end this post, here is a small collection of sentences I've written which I really like:

Знам само́ пёт слов ці́ских. / Znam samó pjot slov cjískix.
- I know only five Cissian words.
Филм не бил-е по моі́м зрі́нем интэрэ́сни. / Film nje bil-je po mojím zrjínjem interésni. - The film wasn't interesting in my opinion.
Ми́слiм да е́сям кра́сна мо́куш. / Mísljim da jésjam krásna mókuš. - I think I am a beautiful squirrel.

And if anyone thinks they know, they can say where this is from:

Твое́ лiцэ́ и дра́гост под лі́пом прiпомiна́i мё на твоя́ во́ца. / Tvojé ljicé i dráhost pod ljípom prjipomjináji mjo na tvojá vóca. - Your face and the love under the linden tree remind me of your eyes. (that's how most Slavic languages translated these lyrics so I did it the same way)
Last edited by ixals on Wed 02 Aug 2017, 08:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cissian

Post by shimobaatar » Wed 02 Aug 2017, 02:19

ixals wrote:Most likely this will be the only post but I am really proud of how it turned out so I wanted to share it with you.
Thank you for doing so! It is a bit of a shame, though, that this will probably be the only post, since this looks so well-made.
ixals wrote:Cissian is a Slavic conlang which can't really be assigned to any of the three major Slavic subgroups (but I don't want to call it a Central Slavic language because that sounds so amateur).
Heh, "Central Slavic" is exactly what I would have called it had I made a language like this…
ixals wrote:
Spoiler:
/p b t d k (g)/ <p b t d k (g)>
/(f) v s z ʃ ʒ x ɦ/ <(f) v s z š ž х h>
/t͡s d͡z t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/ <c dz č dž>
/m n r l j w/ <m n r l j v~u>

/a e i o u/ <а э и о у>
/ʲa ʲe ʲi ʲo ʲu/ <ja je ji jo ju>
It's just a nitpick, but I assume the non-palatalizing vowels are meant to be <a e i o u>?
ixals wrote:Havlik's law deletes weak years whereas strong yers changed into a sound speculated to have been a /ə/.
I tried Googling this, but I wasn't able to find a good answer. What differentiates strong and weak yers?
  • The yat (*ě) remained unchanged in this change but it is most likely to have been retained as /ʲæ/.
"unchanged in this stage" perhaps?
ixals wrote:
  • Contrary to West Slavic languages, the Cissian Slavic dialect palatalises the sequences *kv/*gv before front consonants (*květъ > *cvět).
Another nitpick, but is this supposed to say "before front vowels"?
ixals wrote:
  • It is to note that *eR changed into *Re and not *Rě because of the yat's different realisation which lead to *Rě /Rʲie/ changing to /rʲe/ rather than /Rʲæ/. This change preceded Havlik's law in this dialect, so *ъR/*ьR don't result in syllabic liquids in a lot of instances (*sъlnьce > /salnʲt͡sʲe/, compare Slovak "slnce").
Wait, I'm a little confused. Could you perhaps elaborate a little on what's written here about *Re and *Rě? Also, have the schwas become /a/?
ixals wrote:
  • Due to the strong palatalisation after *i, dental stops preceding that vowel transform into the affricates *c/*dz.
"after *i"?
ixals wrote: Знам само́ пёт слов ці́ских. / Znam samó pjot slov cjíski. - I know only five Cissian words.
Is stress usually marked orthographically? Also, you've written "ціских" but "cjiski_".
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Re: Cissian

Post by Zythros Jubi » Wed 02 Aug 2017, 05:59

This would be nice within a Magyar-less alternative timeline.
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Re: Cissian

Post by ixals » Wed 02 Aug 2017, 12:53

Zythros Jubi wrote:This would be nice within a Magyar-less alternative timeline.
Thank you! I haven't thought about the alternate history in much detail but I think I'll keep the Hungarians in Europe as well as their kingdom so the Cissians have been "repressed" for many centuries but eventually were able to found their own country in modern times.

Shimo's "nitpicks":
Spoiler:
shimobaatar wrote:It's just a nitpick, but I assume the non-palatalizing vowels are meant to be <a e i o u>?
Yes!
shimobaatar wrote:"unchanged in this stage" perhaps?
Yes!
shimobaatar wrote:Another nitpick, but is this supposed to say "before front vowels"?
Yes again!
shimobaatar wrote:"after *i"?
In front of *i, sorry!
shimobaatar wrote:Also, you've written "ціских" but "cjiski_".
It's supposed to be ціских/cjiskix here.
shimobaatar wrote:Also, have the schwas become /a/?
Yes, they have. Only at a later stage though, I must have forgotten to add that sound change as well.
Well thank you for those "nitpicks", shimo! It's amazing how many mistakes one can miss in their own written text. [O.O] I think I edited all of them!
shimobaatar wrote:Heh, "Central Slavic" is exactly what I would have called it had I made a language like this…
Well, in the end it basically is a Central Slavic language, but to me a term like this (just like North Romance, South Germanic etc.) doesn't fit what I have in mind for Cissian, maybe amateur was a poor chosen word. The connection I have with them is that most often these languages are supposed to be something special and outstanding with sound changes that greatly seperate them from the other subfamilies which I don't really want in this language. But that's just my impression!
shimobaatar wrote:I tried Googling this, but I wasn't able to find a good answer. What differentiates strong and weak yers?
I try to explain it as good as possible. Weak yers are yers that are lost and strong yers are those that are kept. The last yer in a row is a weak yer and the yers alternate between strong and weak. So the second-to-last is strong, third-to-last is weak, fourth-to-last is strong etc.

1. *pьsъ > *pьsъ > /pʲəs/
The vowel at the end is the very last yer, therefore it is weak. The first syllable contains the second-to-last yer so it is strong and is kept.

2. *pьsa > *pьsa > /psa/
There is no strong yer in this example as the only yer here is also the last yer. This makes it weak and it's lost.

3. *sьrdьčьnъjь > *sьrdьčьnъjь > /srdʲət͡ʃnɨj/
This is the first word I found that has a lot of yers that follow each other so the alternating pattern can be shown better. But the sound change /ъj/ > /ɨj/ also happens so it might not be the best example.

4. *usъnǫtъ > *usъnǫtъ > /usnõt/
Both yers count as weak yers in cases like this because both are the last yers in their rows.
shimobaatar wrote:Wait, I'm a little confused. Could you perhaps elaborate a little on what's written here about *Re and *Rě?
The yat was originally pronounced /iæ/ according to reconstructions but changed to /ie/ in all or most of the Slavic languages. The liquid diphthong *eR (*elC/*erC) changed into /Rie/ (except Polish and East Slavic languages as far as I know) which would be *Rě. Cissian also changed it into /Rie/ but as Cissian retained *ě as /iæ/, Cissian now had both /iæ/ and /ie/ for a short time. The /ie/ that arose from this change quickly merged with normal *e /ʲe/. So without looking at the intermediate step, the changes in Cissian was basically *eR > *Re, while the others had *eR > *Rě. I hope I was able to clarify that!
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Re: Cissian

Post by Zythros Jubi » Wed 02 Aug 2017, 15:11

Well, how come they use the Cyrillic alphabet? Located in the Carpathian Basin, they are supposed to be Roman Catholic or Calvinist. Is it spoken in Great Hungarian Plain?

Edit: it is also possible to be located in Carpathian Ruthenia.
Last edited by Zythros Jubi on Thu 03 Aug 2017, 14:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cissian

Post by Clio » Wed 02 Aug 2017, 18:34

Regarding strong and weak yers, the University of Texas at Austin's Language Research Center has a very good explanation of reduced vowels in Old Church Slavonic here (§7), which may be instructive.

Also just wanted to say this looks interesting. I don't really have any specific comments on the phonology other than that I liked the little historical tidbits, and I can't wait to see more!
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Re: Cissian

Post by ixals » Mon 07 Aug 2017, 17:55

Zythros Jubi wrote:Well, how come they use the Cyrillic alphabet? Located in the Carpathian Basin, they are supposed to be Roman Catholic or Calvinist. Is it spoken in Great Hungarian Plain?

Edit: it is also possible to be located in Carpathian Ruthenia.
I wrote a bit about it in the upcoming post on why they chose the Cyrillic alphabet. Basically after being controlled by Hungary and partly Romania they wanted to be more independent and more "Slavic" so they took Russia as a role model and adopted Cyrillic to write Cissian which also made them be more different from Hungarians and Romanians who used the Latin alphabets.

Yes, it's spoken in the Carpathian Basin but in the very eastern part but as they are Slavs, Cissians are also traditionally Eastern Orthodox. Some are of course Roman Catholic or Calvinist but only in the western parts which border Hungary. The whole central, eastern, southern and northern regions are mostly Orthodox. They "hatred" against Hungarians resulted in a decline of the Roman Catholic and Calvinist population in Cissia.
Clio wrote:Regarding strong and weak yers, the University of Texas at Austin's Language Research Center has a very good explanation of reduced vowels in Old Church Slavonic here (§7), which may be instructive.

Also just wanted to say this looks interesting. I don't really have any specific comments on the phonology other than that I liked the little historical tidbits, and I can't wait to see more!
I hope shimo saw what you've posted! The explanation there is very good.

And I'm happy to hear that you liked it. [:D]

In other news, I think I'll have a new update ready to post by tomorrow, we'll see!
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Re: Cissian

Post by Zythros Jubi » Tue 08 Aug 2017, 13:13

So where is Cissia located? Here's Zakarpattia Oblast, maybe plus Romania's Maramures County? Is it possible for them to be Greek Catholic like in west Ukraine?
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Re: Cissian

Post by ixals » Tue 08 Aug 2017, 18:50

Reply:
Spoiler:
Zythros Jubi wrote:So where is Cissia located? Here's Zakarpattia Oblast, maybe plus Romania's Maramures County? Is it possible for them to be Greek Catholic like in west Ukraine?
Hereis a quick map of it. I don't have a lot of knowledge about religions and especially not about Greek Catholicism so I'd have to read more about it first before I decide that. But I guess there could be a few? Cissians are mostly Orthodox and the minority religions are only practised by ethnic minorities in the country with the biggest being Hungarians in the Eastern half. I think I'll be able to give a better response later on when I thought more about the country. [:D]

Looks like I managed to make a second post about this! This time it's about personal pronouns, the copula and their dropping. But first I'd like to say that I changed the orthography a bit. I added the letters й and ў for /i̯/ and /u̯/. Now /u̯/ can be written using ў and в. The former is used for words that vocalised coda-l and the latter is from в (/v/) that changed into /u̯/ in that position as well. I prefer it that way, it feels more realistic to me.

Personal Pronouns

Cissian is a language with two numbers, three persons, three genders and six cases. And accordingly, the personal pronouns inflect for all of those, or most of it as gender is only distinguished partly in the third person. From now on, I'll start using tables for the basics and only elaborate further on the more noteworthy details because that's the most efficient way in my opinion (I also don't need to type as much!).

Image
  • As seen, the accusative and genitive are the same for every pronoun. This has been the case for very long time in the language's history except for the female singular pronouns. The old female singular genitive е́я/jéja was shortened to just e/je and then merged with the accusative because they are quite similar sounding but also due to the influence of all the other pronouns that had these two cases merged already.
  • The first and second singular have to pronouns each for the accusative/genitive and the dative with the shorter forms being called mute forms. The mute forms are used in unstressed positions which makes them very common in colloquial use as putting emphasis on the pronoun (and therefore using the long pronouns) is rare.
  • In the third person, there are forms with an asterisk behind them. These pronouns have a prefixed н-/n- when they are used in combination with a preposition. This is a relict of Proto-Slavic prepositions ending with an /n/ that was elided. The initial /n/ in the locative and instrumental is also a remnant of this but the /n/ was generalised there.
Here is a sentence for this that has a the special emphasis and the two different forms of the third person:

Тебе́ любі́м але́ и і любі́м. Вшекоди́ ми́слiм на ні.
Tjebjé ljubjím aljé i ji ljubjím. Všjekodí mísljim na n-ji.
/tʲeˈbʲe lʲuˈbʲim aˈlʲe i ji lʲuˈbʲim ǀ vʲʃʲe.koˈdi ˈmi.sʲlʲim na nʲi/
2sg.acc like-1sg but also 3sg.f.acc like-1sg ǀ always think-1sg on prep-3sg.f.acc

I like you but I like her as well. I always think of her.

The Copula: Present & Future

The copula distinguishes three persons and two numbers, but no gender. On the other hand, it is the only verb that has a future tense on its own. Additionally, it is quite irregular as it's origin is Proto-Slavic *byti. A notable feature of Cissian is that the present tense has two versions, a long one and a reduced one. The long version is used when the copula is the main verb of the sentence as in "The sky is blue" or "He is a doctor". The reduced version is used - for example - in combination with the past participle to build the past tense, thus it is working kind of like a clitic. Colloquially, the reduced copula starts to replace the unshortened version slowly mainly because of its shortness and the influence of neighbouring Slavic languages whose copula resembles Cissian shortened one.

Image

The standard language differentiates two long third person singular forms in the present tense which can be seen in the first table. The standard form is ест/est but it is replaced by e/je (which is also the same as the shortened/colloquial form) when two many consonants would follow each other). This distinction generally doesn't exist in colloquial use of course since only e/je is used there most of the time.

Here are two example sentences that I was able to construct with the few words I currently have:

Твой младе́няц бэ́де вотя́ц.
Tvoj mladjénjac bédje votjác.
/tvo-j mlaˈdʲe.nʲat͡s ˈbe.dʲe voˈtʲat͡s/
your(sg)-nom.sg.m infant be.3sg.fut father

Your baby will be a father.

Ми́cлiл-сям да е́сям зла мо́куш.
Mísljil-sam da jésam zla mókuš.
/ˈmi.sʲlʲil.sʲam da ˈje.sʲam zla ˈmo.kuʃ/
think-pst.m=be.1sg.prs that be.1sg.prs evil-nom.sg.f squirrel

I thought that I am an evil squirrel.

Copula/Pronoun-Dropping

When using a verb other than the copula, Cissian is a pro-drop language so the pronoun is just left out because the verb is already marked for person and number. But when "using" the copula, either the pronoun can be dropped or the copula itself.

I'll give a short historical explanation for this (the history of the Cissians and their nation will be discussed in a later post, I hope!) so you know the reason behind this. The surrounding languages and Cissian itself are pro-drop and Cissian has been doing this for every verb, even the copula. At an earlier stage (I would guess), the pronoun and the copula were used all the time but slowly, the pronouns were dropped more regularly until it was standard practice to not use them at all. However, the northern dialect spoken in the region in and bordering the Ukraine started dropping the copula instead just like Ukrainian and Russian are doing it. The copula-dropping therefore had a very "northern" dialect to it but it was well known in the Cissian speaking region. Before the independence of Cissia around 1918, Cissian nationalism started to grow stronger which resulted in the Cissian language becoming standardised and written down but also in a strong desire to be an independent and - first and foremost - strong and Slavic country. Russia was a role model for Cissians so their language adopted the Russian Cyrillic alphabet with slight modifications. One writing convention that was adopted amongst others, was the Russian way of leaving out the copula with an em dash (—). Of course, the copula was not written down but it was said when spoken out loud. It was just a handy way to shorten the sentence. This copula-dropping became standard in the literary language and was used in newspapers etc later on. But the population began reading it out loud without using the copula. It felt weird, because it felt "northern" but it already felt familiar and elevated due to its common use in media.

Nowadays, there are many different sentences that can mean "I am a squirrel", for example. Here is a list of all of them:

Я — мокуш. / Ja — mókuš. - Very formal, found rarely because Cissian keyboards don't feature the em dash. Still the preferred form by prescriptivists, but it's barely used anymore
Я - мокуш. / Ja - mókuš. - Formal, very common in media and books
† Я е. мокуш. / Ja je. mókuš. - Out of use, the shortening of the copula to just "e." was used as an alternative by some but by World War II it was completely gone and can only be seen in books from that time nowadays
Я мокуш. / Ja mókuš. - Very common in informal writing (e.g. when texing), but generally by people aged 30+ or by speakers of the northern dialect
(Я есям мокуш. / Ja jésjam mókuš.) - Not used when spoken but it is sometimes found in Cissian learning material to demonstrate that those two belong together. Furthermore, Cissian say or write to sound more like a non-native for humorous purposes
Есям мокуш. / Jésjam mókuš. - Very common, the standard for the spoken language
Сям мокуш. / Sjam mókuš. - Also very common in colloquial speech and it starts to replace the form above. In informal writing this is the preferred form by people younger than 30, especially by teens who only use this form

I have to add that I just love the word мо́куш (squirrel), that's why I am using it all the time. [;)]
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Re: Cissian

Post by Zythros Jubi » Thu 10 Aug 2017, 15:03

Well, the location of Cissia is precisely where Calvinism prevails *here*, in Hungary and in Romania among Hungarians.
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Re: Cissian

Post by shimobaatar » Fri 11 Aug 2017, 22:05

ixals wrote:It's amazing how many mistakes one can miss in their own written text. [O.O]
Yeah, I know what you mean.
ixals wrote:Well, in the end it basically is a Central Slavic language, but to me a term like this (just like North Romance, South Germanic etc.) doesn't fit what I have in mind for Cissian, maybe amateur was a poor chosen word. The connection I have with them is that most often these languages are supposed to be something special and outstanding with sound changes that greatly seperate them from the other subfamilies which I don't really want in this language. But that's just my impression!
Hmm, that makes sense.
ixals wrote:I try to explain it as good as possible. Weak yers are yers that are lost and strong yers are those that are kept. The last yer in a row is a weak yer and the yers alternate between strong and weak. So the second-to-last is strong, third-to-last is weak, fourth-to-last is strong etc.
ixals wrote:The yat was originally pronounced /iæ/ according to reconstructions but changed to /ie/ in all or most of the Slavic languages. The liquid diphthong *eR (*elC/*erC) changed into /Rie/ (except Polish and East Slavic languages as far as I know) which would be *Rě. Cissian also changed it into /Rie/ but as Cissian retained *ě as /iæ/, Cissian now had both /iæ/ and /ie/ for a short time. The /ie/ that arose from this change quickly merged with normal *e /ʲe/. So without looking at the intermediate step, the changes in Cissian was basically *eR > *Re, while the others had *eR > *Rě. I hope I was able to clarify that!
Ahh, ok. I understand now. Thank you!
ixals wrote:The copula distinguishes three persons and two numbers, but no gender. On the other hand, it is the only verb that has a future tense on its own. Additionally, it is quite irregular as it's origin is Proto-Slavic *byti. A notable feature of Cissian is that the present tense has two versions, a long one and a reduced one. The long version is used when the copula is the main verb of the sentence as in "The sky is blue" or "He is a doctor". The reduced version is used - for example - in combination with the past participle to build the past tense, thus it is working kind of like a clitic. Colloquially, the reduced copula starts to replace the unshortened version slowly mainly because of its shortness and the influence of neighbouring Slavic languages whose copula resembles Cissian shortened one.
So, looking at the tables, the past tense copula is invariable? How is the supine used?
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Re: Cissian

Post by ixals » Sat 19 Aug 2017, 18:34

Replies:
Spoiler:
Zythros Jubi wrote:Well, the location of Cissia is precisely where Calvinism prevails *here*, in Hungary and in Romania among Hungarians.
Yeah, it still prevails amogn Hungarians but Cissian are still mostly Orthodox.
shimobaatar wrote:So, looking at the tables, the past tense copula is invariable? How is the supine used?
I want to discuss both in more detail later but so far I can say that the past tense copula is variable and the supine is used in combination with verbs of motion ("I want to buy" uses the infinitive while "I go to sleep" would use the supine). I listed both of them already, because they and the infinitive use the infinitive stem of a verb and not the present stem.

Verbs 1: Classes & Present

Standard Cissian (so far) distinguishes four tenses, namely Present, Past, Future I and Future II. As a Slavic language, Cissian also features the aspect distinction between imperfective and perfectives verbs, except in the present tense. Imperfective verbs describe habitual, repeated and progressive actions, while the perfective describes one-time and sudden actions.

Five verb classes exist in Cissian and they are generally named after the infix that's added between the verb stem and the ending. Concerning the verb stems, there are two different stems for each stem, the present stem and the infinitive stem. Most often these two stems are the same but sometimes they differ (e.g. to carry: bjerje-/bra-). The present stem is used for the present tense of the verb while the infinitive stem is used for the infinitive - obviously -, but it's also used otherwise.

Cissian verbs generally use -цi as an infinitive suffix inherited from Proto-Slavic *-ti. There are some exceptions to this, but those can be seen below in the first class. The infinitive also serves as the citation form in dictionaries. While many Slavic languages stopped differentiating the supine *-tъ, Cissian still uses it actively as -т. How it is used will be discussed later on.

In the present tense, Cissian distinguishes three persons and two numbers, singular and plural. These suffixes follow the present stem and its infix. This leads to six different suffixes which are the following:

1st: -м / -мо
2nd: -ш / -те
3rd: -∅ / -*

The third person plural marked with -* takes two different endings depending on the verb class, -i~и and -я~a. Which suffix is used for the third person plural is listed at the end of each text about the class.

The example verbs use the following list of forms: infinitive (supine, past), 1sg, 2sg, 3sg, 1pl, 2pl, 3pl. The past will also be discussed later on. For those who can read Cyrillic (and have no problems identifying the Cissian version) and those who just want to take a quick look, I uploaded a pic with tables of all the verbs but the image is a bit bigger I think so I put it in a spoiler!
Spoiler:
Image
Class 1a/1b: e-stem

Verbs of the first class formed their present stem with Proto-Slavic *e, which is now Cissian -(j)e- depending on the preceding consonant (due to the depalatalisation of some consonants). A specialty of 1a verbs is the missing infix in the infinitive stem, which led to different outcomes. Class 1b verbs regularly use -a- for that stem. In some cases just like in the following example or the one I listed before, the stems differ a bit more. The third person plural is formed with -i in this class.

Concerning 1a verbs, if the verb root's last consonant is labial, the infinitiv is -cji, for dentals it's -sti and for velars -čji is used. In case of the velars, -э- is the present infix instead of -e- because of the depalatalisation processes.

1a: нестi (-т, -л), несем, несеш, несе, -емо, -ете, -i
(njestji (-t, -l), njesjem, njesješ, njesje, -jemo, -jetje, -i)

1b: брацi (-ат, -ал), берем, береш, бере, -емо, -ете, -i)
(bracji (-at, -al), bjerjem, bjerješ, bjerje, -jemo, -jetje, -i)

Class 2: n-stem

Class 2 is a rather small class of verbs stemming from Slavic verbs ending in *-nǫti. In Cissian, this class therefore uses -necji as their infinitiv ending, while the present stem is formed with -je- as Class 1 does but just with the added nasal in front of it. This makes it identical with the first class in the present but it's a unique class everywhere else. The third person plural is formed with -i in this class.

2: уснэцi (-эт, -эл), уснем, уснеш, усне, -емо, -ете, -i
(usnecji (-et, -el), usnjem, usnješ, usnje, -jemo, -jetje, -i)

Class 3a/3b: a-stem

Both subcategories have infinitive stems ending with *a, but their present stems differ a lot. Class 3a uses *a for both its stem with no irregularities at all. Nothing more has to be talked about here, but 3b deserves some explanation. Those are the verbs ending in -Vvacji and they are now very common to form new verbs from nouns etc., but generally -ovacji is the most common and forms with other vowels like -jijacji are quite rare. While their infinitive stem is -Vva-, their present infix is -uje. The third person plural is formed with -aji in the 3a subclass, and -uji in the 3b subclass.

3a: дялацi (-ат, -ал), дялам, дялаш, дяла, -амо, -ате, -аi
(djalacji (-at, -al), djalam, djalaš, djala, -amo, -atje, -aji)

3b: цаловацi (-оват, -овал), цалуем, цалуеш, цалуе, -уемо, -уете, -уi
(calovacji (-ovat, -oval), calujem, caluješ, caluje, -ujemo, -ujetje, -uji)

Class 4a/4b: i-stem

The verbs categorised as 4a are considered to be part of one of the easiest conjugations in the language because both stems use *i as their infix. However, a lot of verbs in Class 4a contained palatalised consonants before the verbal endings which have been depalatalised since Old Cissian. This leads to a lot of verbs that use -и- instead. The 4b verbs are a bit more complicated as they have two different stems. They are considered a part of Class 4 as the present stem infix is *i as well, but their infinitive stem has either *ě or *ja as their infix vowel. For the latter, this makes the infinitive end -(j)acji- and for the former, this makes the infinitive end in -icji but the infix is -ja- for other forms such as the supine (while for the latter it is -(j)a- everywhere and for 4a it is -(j)i- everywhere). The third person plural is formed with -(j)a in this class.

4a: любіцi (-іт, -іл), любім, любіш, любі, -імо, -іте, -я
(ljubjicji (-jit, -jil), ljubjim, ljubjiš, ljubji, -jimo, -jitje, -ja)

4b: сisіцi (-ят, -ял), сisім, сisіш, сisі, -імо, -іте, -я
(sjidzjicji (-jat, -jal), sjidzjim, sjidzjiš, sjidzji, -jimo, -jitje, -ja)

Class 5: mixed stem

In Proto-Slavic terminology, these verbs were part of the third class but I put them in their seperate class for Cissian, mostly because it is different from the other Class 3 verbs by now so I think it deserves a different class as well. Class 5 verbs use -je- for their present stem but the infinitive stem behaves exactly like part of the 4b verbs. Depending on the following consonant, the infinitive stem ends in -i-/-я- since its origin is *ě as well. The third person plural is formed with -ji in this class.

5: умiцi (-ят, -ял), умем, умеш, уме, -емо, -ете, -i
(umjicji (-jat, -jal), umjem, umješ, umje, -jemo, -jetje, -ji)

Verbs 2: Present & Future I

As I said before, each tense except the present differentiates two aspects, the imperfective and the perfective. Imperfective verbs are reserved for imperfective tenses plus the present only, while perfective verbs are reserved for perfective tenses only. So each English verb translates to two Cissian verbs. The verb pairs are normally very similar with the perfective being an imperfective with an additional prefix most of the time, but pairs can be completely different as well.

The present tense conjugations above however are not only used for the present tense, but also for Future I. The imperfective "говорім" means "I say" but if we turn this verb into a perfective verb this perfective form describes a future action: "поговорім" therefore means "I will say". Earlier, this perfective verb could be used for both the present and the future but in Cissian the present perfective died out with the present imperfective being the only present form nowadays.

Now that we have the present and the perfective Future I, the imperfective Future I is the first periphrastic tense. It is formed by using the infinitive in combination with the copula's future afterwards. Here is an overview of the three tenses we have so far:

Говорі́м. / Hovorjím.
- I say.
Поговорі́м. / Pohovorjím. - I will say.
Говорі́ці бэ́дем. / Hovorjícji bédjem. - I will be saying.
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Re: Cissian

Post by ixals » Thu 31 Aug 2017, 15:17

Nouns 1: Regular Declensions

This post is about regular nouns only, exception will be dealt with later. The declensions of Proto-Slavic were reduced and a lot of regularisations took place, however Cissian still retains multiple declensions for each of the three genders. Every noun also inflects for six cases and two numbers. Which case is used in which instance will also be spoken about in following posts.

Animacy

An important feature of Cissian to note before jumping into nouns is the distinction between animate and inanimate nouns. As many other Slavic languages, Cissian distinguishes these two kind of nouns in the masculine gender. That said, Cissian expanded this distinction to female nouns due to historical sound changes that favoured such a change. Old Cissian didn't have that feature yet, I would say this change happened in the 18th century. The difference in animacy is small though. Inanimate nouns merged the nominative and accusative singular and have a distinct genitive singular, while animate nouns have a merged accusative and genitive singular with a distinct nominative singular: the accusative is either the same as the nominative or the same as the genitive depending an animacy. If a non-native speaker uses the wrong accusative form, they would of course still be able to be understood, but in some cases it could cause some misunderstandings. Here's my only example of that which I actually find quite funny:

Има́м ра́ка. (animate)
Imám ráka.
/iˈmam ˈra.ka/

I own a crab.

Има́м рак. (inanimate)
Imám rak.
/iˈmam rak/

I have cancer.

Masculine Nouns

Masculine nouns have the fewest declensions. They are basically only two of them, o-stems and e-stems, but the je-stem is quite common so I listed it seperately. The je-stem is practically the e-stem with an added /j/ after the noun stem that doesn't show up in the nominative (and the accusative for inanimates). The two major declensions are very similar as well, the only difference is the vowel used in the instrumental singular, genitive plural and dative plural. A difficulty might be finding out which noun belongs to which declensions from just the dictionnary form but most of the time looking at the final is the solution. Here is a list of final consonants that belong to each stem:

o-stem: d t h k x s* z*
(j)e-stem: j š ž c dz č dž
both: v b p m n r l

Loanwords might violate this rule. /s/ and /z/ are generally o-stems but it is possible that there are je-stems ending in these consonants, but there isn't a word yet that has a je-stem ending in /s/ or /z/ so I listed them as o-stem only.

Image

Feminine Nouns

Most female nouns belong to a variant of the a-stem. The three a-stem variants distinguish the instrumental singular just like the masculine nouns. So a-stems use -ом, while ja-stems use -эм (these also depend on the final consonant exactly like masculine o-stems and e-stems). The j²a-stem is just the ja-stem with an added /j/ after the stem except for the nominative (and the accusative for inanimates). The feminine gender also has an i-stem which is different from the other three declensions in some cases, but all of these can be seen in the table below!

Image

Neuter Nouns

Neuters resemble the masculine declensions a lot and except for the t-stem they are also called the same. The only difference between neuter and masculine o-, e- and je-stems is that the genitive plural takes no suffix just like the female nouns and the nominative and accusative cases end in a vowel while the masculine nouns don't. The t-stem is a little bit more different, but not too much. It has a unique nominative-accusative suffix which is the same as the one of female j²a-stems, apart from that t-stems are declined like neuter o-stems but with an infixed
-ёт- between the word root and the suffix. T-stems are quite rare but they are always nouns referring to young animals.

Image
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Re: Cissian

Post by Henryk Pruthenia » Mon 04 Sep 2017, 01:00

I'm polish native speaker and amateur Slavicist, so I'd like to comment your slavlang :P
ixals wrote: Cissian is a Slavic conlang which can't really be assigned to any of the three major Slavic subgroups
In my honest opinion this language sound like a west slavic language.
ixals wrote: <ё> and <э> are used because of Russian influence. Before the latest orthography reform, the characters <ѧ> and <ѫ> were still in use. The change was also heavily favoured because both adopted letters are easier to write and because of the aforementioned Russian influence.
<и> and <i> are based off of Ukrainian's alphabet. At an older stage of Cissian, <и> represented both sounds because they were considered allophones but due to more modern changes, <i> was introduced as the difference between the two sounds in Ukrainian is similar to the difference in Cissian.
It's strange for me: why they've adopted russian characters? What with Old Church Slavic? Was there any influence?
At the early stages of Old Cissian, the dialect began to distance itself from West and South Slavic dialects and shared many sound changes with Ukrainian, one of them being a prothetic *v in front of an *o (*ona > *vona). The former nasal vowel *ǫ is excluded from this change as it is not pronounced as /õ/ anymore.
It's very popular in many west slavic dialects too: for example Polish dialectal "uoko", Czech dialectal "voko" (in Polabian it was regular). :P
The yat splits into to different sounds depending on if the following consonant is palatalised or not. Before palatalised consonants, the result is a Ukrainian-like outcome of /ʲi/, otherwise it changes to /ʲa/ (*měsęcь > *misjąc). Simple /æ/ due to the aforementioned depalatalisation merges with *a (*cělovati > *calovati).
It's a Lechitic sound change. How do you explain this, that both Lechitic and Cissian share that sound change?
Although it was not changed in writing, nasal vowels *ją/*y̨, by now pronounced /ʲã/ and /ĩ/, lost their nasalisation at the end of a word, but they remained nasalised in every other environment.
Are you sure? Ogonek isn't so old :P
Due to the strong palatalisation before *i, dental stops preceding that vowel transform into the affricates *c/*dz. However, these new affricates are still palatalised (*mati > /mat͡sʲi). An exception to this sound change are *sti/*zdi which remain as they are.
Why?
Sometime during this stage the central high vowel *y merges with *i, creating a distinction between palatalised and non-palatalised *i. It is disputed whether *y was just an allophone of *i before this point of the language (*byvolъ > *bivol).
*byvolъ?
Earlier non-palatalised *l, which turned velar in coda position in Old Cissian, fully vocalised by now and is realised as /u̯/. This makes it merge with coda *v which was also realised as /u̯/ in this position (*dolъ > *dov). However, this change is very rare and is partially reverted in many words through analogy. A special case of this change is a velarised *l preceded by *u which turns the combination into a simple *u (*bulъ > *bu).
*bulъ? :P
Знам само́ пёт слов ці́ских.
Филм не бил-е по моі́м зрі́нем интэрэ́сни.
Ми́слiм да е́сям кра́сна мо́куш.
Твое́ лiцэ́ и дра́гост под лі́пом прiпомiна́i мё на твоя́ во́ца
"лiцэ́" - it's not like a russian alphabet works (and any slavic alphabet too :<). I'm sorry :<
"мё" - why a accusative? Are your language ergative?:]
For my slavic ear and eye, i would do something like it:
Филм нє бил є по моiм зрiнєм интересни.
Мислiм да єсям красна мокуш.
Твоє лiцє и дрaгост под лiпом прiпомiнаi мi o твоiх вочах

And what is an etymology of мокуш?
I tried Googling this, but I wasn't able to find a good answer. What differentiates strong and weak yers?
The stron yer is a yer which is stressed or if it's dropped, it'd be unpronouncable :P
Well, how come they use the Cyrillic alphabet? Located in the Carpathian Basin, they are supposed to be Roman Catholic or Calvinist. Is it spoken in Great Hungarian Plain?
It's not true. Old Church Slavonic was used in Carpathian Basin :P

And I can't understand, why all English-speakers use this order of cases? :P
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Re: Cissian

Post by shimobaatar » Mon 04 Sep 2017, 03:47

Henryk Pruthenia wrote:In my honest opinion this language sound like a west slavic language.
Why?
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:It's strange for me: why they've adopted russian characters? What with Old Church Slavic? Was there any influence?
From the creator:
ixals wrote:I wrote a bit about it in the upcoming post on why they chose the Cyrillic alphabet. Basically after being controlled by Hungary and partly Romania they wanted to be more independent and more "Slavic" so they took Russia as a role model and adopted Cyrillic to write Cissian which also made them be more different from Hungarians and Romanians who used the Latin alphabets.
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:It's a Lechitic sound change. How do you explain this, that both Lechitic and Cissian share that sound change?
How do you explain this? Simple. It's not strange at all for languages with similar phonologies, no matter how distantly related, to undergo similar sound changes. Just because the same change happened from Proto-Slavic to the Lechitic languages and from Proto-Slavic to ixals' Cissian doesn't necessarily mean Cissian is, should be, or even could be classified as Lechitic.
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:Are you sure? Ogonek isn't so old
What are you trying to say?
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:Why?
Sound changes aren't always 100% predictable, if that makes sense. Hopefully that's the right way to put it.
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:*byvolъ?
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:*bulъ?
What? *byvolъ and *bulъ.
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:"лiцэ́" - it's not like a russian alphabet works (and any slavic alphabet too
What are you trying to say?
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:The stron yer is a yer which is stressed or if it's dropped, it'd be unpronouncable
This was answered a little more than a month ago.
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:It's not true. Old Church Slavonic was used in Carpathian Basin
It sounds like they were talking about the majority of the modern groups living there.
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:And I can't understand, why all English-speakers use this order of cases?
a) What are you talking about?

b) I think ixals is German.

Sorry, ixals, I don't think I have any specific comments about your two latest posts. Look over what Henryk Pruthenia has to say and keep up the good work!
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Henryk Pruthenia
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Re: Cissian

Post by Henryk Pruthenia » Mon 04 Sep 2017, 09:40

In my honest opinion this language sound like a west slavic language.
Why?
Cissian shares many changes with West Slavic languages, and it sounds West Slavic :P
It's strange for me: why they've adopted russian characters? What with Old Church Slavic? Was there any influence?
From the creator:
I wrote a bit about it in the upcoming post on why they chose the Cyrillic alphabet. Basically after being controlled by Hungary and partly Romania they wanted to be more independent and more "Slavic" so they took Russia as a role model and adopted Cyrillic to write Cissian which also made them be more different from Hungarians and Romanians who used the Latin alphabets.
I've seen it, but it look like ixlas has forgotten (or even has not known), that in Carpathian region OCS was used for many years. :P
In my opinion, ixlas doesn't know how the Cyrillic script works. If Cissian has borrowed from Russian, it's very strange, that:
*Cissian uses и and i, it's tipical for modern Ukrainian.
*The distribution of "е" and "э" doesn't look like in Russian, or any other Slavic language. "э" is just a Russian innovation.
*ё for remains *ę - "ё" is too "newer" letter, for example: песъ or пеосъ for modern пес/пёс.
It's a Lechitic sound change. How do you explain this, that both Lechitic and Cissian share that sound change?
How do you explain this? Simple. It's not strange at all for languages with similar phonologies, no matter how distantly related, to undergo similar sound changes. Just because the same change happened from Proto-Slavic to the Lechitic languages and from Proto-Slavic to ixals' Cissian doesn't necessarily mean Cissian is, should be, or even could be classified as Lechitic.
For me it looks still strange. :P
Are you sure? Ogonek isn't so old
What are you trying to say?
Although it was not changed in writing, nasal vowels *ją/*y̨, by now pronounced /ʲã/ and /ĩ/, lost their nasalisation at the end of a word, but they remained nasalised in every other environment.
Ogonek was used in Old Cissian, before ogonek has been created :P
Sound changes aren't always 100% predictable, if that makes sense. Hopefully that's the right way to put it.
I'm just corious, why "sʲtʲ" have become unchanged, when "tʲ" not. :P
What? *byvolъ and *bulъ.
He has selected not popular words in Slavic languages :P
"лiцэ́" - it's not like a russian alphabet works (and any slavic alphabet too
What are you trying to say?
I'm trying to say, that if it was Russian influence, it's very strange, that Cissian don't know how Russian alphabet works. For Russians (and all other Slavs) "э" is a sign used only in borrowings. In Russian "э" is used in just one Russian world: "это".
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Re: Cissian

Post by Frislander » Mon 04 Sep 2017, 12:36

Henryk Pruthenia wrote:In my opinion, ixlas doesn't know how the Cyrillic script works.
What do you mean? They clearly have some degree of compentence, and
If Cissian has borrowed from Russian, it's very strange, that:
*Cissian uses и and i, it's tipical for modern Ukrainian.
And also Rusyn, Belarussian and several other languages, and furthermore it was present in Russian usage up until the reforms of the 20th century.
*The distribution of "е" and "э" doesn't look like in Russian, or any other Slavic language. "э" is just a Russian innovation.
And why should it? Practically every language which uses the Cyrillic alphabet uses it differently, and so the creator of this language is allowed to modify it to fit their own language's needs. Also having <э> represent [e] actuallyy fits fairly well with Russian usage, and it certainly isn't the most "out there" use of it considering the Circassian languages use if for [a].
*ё for remains *ę - "ё" is too "newer" letter, for example: песъ or пеосъ for modern пес/пёс.
This is incoherent and incomprehensible, but if you're trying to say what I think you're trying to say then see my previous point.
For me it looks still strange. :P
And? It may look strange but it's still a perfectly reasonable sound change.
Although it was not changed in writing, nasal vowels *ją/*y̨, by now pronounced /ʲã/ and /ĩ/, lost their nasalisation at the end of a word, but they remained nasalised in every other environment.
Ogonek was used in Old Cissian, before ogonek has been created :P
You appear to be confusing the written notation used by historical linguists for the writing system of the language itself, which, since it uses Cyrillic, can't have ogneks in its written form almots by definition.
What? *byvolъ and *bulъ.
He has selected not popular words in Slavic languages :P
1. define "popular" and 2. how is this even relevant? A conlanger/historical linguist can choose whatever words they like to illustrate their sound changes, they are not beholden to what's "popular", only what words there are in the proto-language.
"лiцэ́" - it's not like a russian alphabet works (and any slavic alphabet too
What are you trying to say?
I'm trying to say, that if it was Russian influence, it's very strange, that Cissian don't know how Russian alphabet works. For Russians (and all other Slavs) "э" is a sign used only in borrowings. In Russian "э" is used in just one Russian world: "это".
The Cissians don't need to know how the Russian alphabet works because they're not Russians! They're borrowing the Cyrillic alphabet, adapting it to their own usage but with a leaning towards Russian usage in some but not all cases. "Russian Influence" doesn't mean that the form of Cyrillic used by the Cissians has to be a carbon-copy of Russian down to the last little detail; it's their alphabet and they can use the characters they want in the way they want.
Last edited by Frislander on Mon 04 Sep 2017, 17:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cissian

Post by Iyionaku » Mon 04 Sep 2017, 13:21

Henryk Pruthenia wrote:Ogonek was used in Old Cissian, before ogonek has been created :P
The Ogonek has already been invented around the 10th century to write Medieval Latin. Keep in mind that Cissian used to have a Latin alphabet in earlier times.
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Re: Cissian

Post by Henryk Pruthenia » Mon 04 Sep 2017, 13:33

In my opinion, ixlas doesn't know how the Cyrillic script works.
What do you mean? They clearly have some degree of compentence, and
If Cissian has borrowed from Russian, it's very strange, that:
*Cissian uses и and i, it's tipical for modern Ukrainian.
And also Rusyn, Belarussian and several other languages, and furthermore it was present in Russian usage up until the reforms of the 20th century.
Yes!
But Ixlas wrote also:
<ё> and <э> are used because of Russian influence. Before the latest orthography reform, the characters <ѧ> and <ѫ> were still in use. The change was also heavily favoured because both adopted letters are easier to write and because of the aforementioned Russian influence.
Periodization is here a problem. When Cissian lost <ѧ> and <ѫ>? And what with a sign for "ja"? Was it "я" on this stage od Cissian development? Or "ꙗ"? We don't know it :)
In my opinion, we have here mixed many sings, which didn't exist in this same time, and orthography rules from a differnts periods.

And why should it? Practically every language which uses the Cyrillic alphabet uses it differently, and so the creator of this language is allowed to modify it to fit their own language's needs. Also having <э> represent [e] actuallyy fits fairly well with Russian usage, and it certainly isn't the most "out there" use of it considering the Circassian languages use if for [a].
In my opionion it isn't still realistic.
And, BTW, this, how Cyrillic script have been adopted for smaller languages of Russia is very, very bad argument. :D
This is incoherent and incomprehensible, but if you're trying to say what I think you're trying to say then see my previous point.
Айм соу сори фор май инглиш. Ит из вери бад :<
Ajm soł sori for maj inglisz. It iz wery bad. :<
The Ogonek has already been invented around the 10th century to write Medieval Latin. Keep in mind that Cissian used to have a Latin alphabet in earlier times.
But not for nasal vowels. Ogonek in Slavic language looks like polish borrowing. Maybe ixlas will explain :)
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Re: Cissian

Post by ixals » Mon 04 Sep 2017, 15:07

Wow! [O.O] I didn't expect that many comments to pop up overnight. I'm happy to see that all of you read my posts about Cissian and I will try to answer everything as best as possible. I mean it's a lot of quotes so I hope I don't miss anything! [:D]
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:
In my honest opinion this language sound like a west slavic language.
Why?
Cissian shares many changes with West Slavic languages, and it sounds West Slavic :P
Yeah, it does but it also shares a lot of changes with the other Slavic subbranches. I actually tried to split the shared sound changes evenly so it shares about a third with every branch. But it's interesting to see that it still sounds very West Slavic, I guess that's because the sound changes in common with West Slavic happened very early so they might have had a bigger impact on the feel of Cissian! [:D]
shimobaatar wrote:
It's strange for me: why they've adopted russian characters? What with Old Church Slavic? Was there any influence?
From the creator:
I wrote a bit about it in the upcoming post on why they chose the Cyrillic alphabet. Basically after being controlled by Hungary and partly Romania they wanted to be more independent and more "Slavic" so they took Russia as a role model and adopted Cyrillic to write Cissian which also made them be more different from Hungarians and Romanians who used the Latin alphabets.
Thank you for quoting this, shimo!
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:I've seen it, but it look like ixlas has forgotten (or even has not known), that in Carpathian region OCS was used for many years. :P
In my opinion, ixlas doesn't know how the Cyrillic script works. If Cissian has borrowed from Russian, it's very strange, that:
*Cissian uses и and i, it's tipical for modern Ukrainian.

*The distribution of "е" and "э" doesn't look like in Russian, or any other Slavic language. "э" is just a Russian innovation.
*ё for remains *ę - "ё" is too "newer" letter, for example: песъ or пеосъ for modern пес/пёс.
I didn't know OCS was spoken there, I thought it was only a liturgical language. But what I know is how the Cyrillic script works. It's just the history I don't know as much about but I think I've read enough about the script to know how it works. The Cissian language didn't have a written form for a very long time and the few things that were written down had no official orthography and the Latin alphabet was used more often because of Austria-Hungary while a few Cyrillic texts were written down because of OCS influence with little Serbo-Croatian influences and later also Romanian Cyrillic influences.
The final choice for the distinction of и/i is because this Ukrainian distinction fit Cissian perfectly and the aforementioned Serbo-Croation and Romanian Cyrillic influenced that decision as well (Serbo-Croation had no ы and Romanian Cyrillic used ы for /ɨ/ which doesn't exist in Cissian). Also Russian still did use i by that time just like Frislander said.
My choice for e/э is more influenced by my personal taste. I wanted to go for a є/e distinction as in Ukrainian, but /ʲe/ is a very common consonant and I found the Cissian script to be very ugly looking with that many instances of є. If I had to argue why the Cissians actually took that from Russian, I'd say that not standardised variants of Cissian only used e for both /e/ and /ʲe/ and the introduction of э was a perfect match for the distinction because it was phonologically the same and it was Russian (which was looked up to at that time).
In Russian, ё was already used then although not obligatory but it existed and it was the best solution to represent a fairly common sound in Cissian. A standardised orthography became to be used only after founding the country of Cissian in about 1919.
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:It's very popular in many west slavic dialects too: for example Polish dialectal "uoko", Czech dialectal "voko" (in Polabian it was regular). :P
My inspiration for that sound change was Ukrainian though! [:D] I didn't know Polish dialects featured this as well, I only knew about dialectal Czech.
shimobaatar wrote:
It's a Lechitic sound change. How do you explain this, that both Lechitic and Cissian share that sound change?
How do you explain this? Simple. It's not strange at all for languages with similar phonologies, no matter how distantly related, to undergo similar sound changes. Just because the same change happened from Proto-Slavic to the Lechitic languages and from Proto-Slavic to ixals' Cissian doesn't necessarily mean Cissian is, should be, or even could be classified as Lechitic.
Just look at the example you brought up right before this, the initial /v ~ w/ before /o/. This change just happened in Cissian, same with the "Lechitic"-like change of ě. Why I really chose this sound changed though was because I wanted to have a symmetrical vowel inventory with each vowel having the distinction of unpalatalised vs palatalised. /ʲa/ was still missing but I also liked what Ukrainian did with ě so I steered a middle course.
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:
Although it was not changed in writing, nasal vowels *ją/*y̨, by now pronounced /ʲã/ and /ĩ/, lost their nasalisation at the end of a word, but they remained nasalised in every other environment.
Are you sure? Ogonek isn't so old :P
Maybe the wording wasn't that good. The very few and very early Cissian Cyrillic texts used ѧ/ѫ for nasal vowels and the very early Latin texts used letters I have not decided upon. The *ją/*y̨ is used for reconstructions. So for example *bǫděte is reconstructed Proto-Slavic and *by̨dite would be a Proto-Cissian reconstruction. Frislander said it already very well again! [:P]
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:
Sound changes aren't always 100% predictable, if that makes sense. Hopefully that's the right way to put it.
I'm just corious, why "sʲtʲ" have become unchanged, when "tʲ" not. :P
Well shimo explained it well again. /stʲ/ doesn't change because I wanted to have some more native words that didn't change /tʲ/ into /t͡sʲ/. I think I once read about a language that did it similarly.
Frislander wrote:
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:
shimobaatar wrote:
*byvolъ?
*bulъ?
What? *byvolъ and *bulъ.
He has selected not popular words in Slavic languages :P
1. define "popular" and 2. how is this even relevant? A conlanger/historical linguist can choose whatever words they like to illustrate their sound changes, they are not beholden to what's "popular", only what words there are in the proto-language.
Thank you, Frislander. I just chose the first Proto-Slavic words that fit the criteria for the sound changes I was just describing.
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:"лiцэ́" - it's not like a russian alphabet works (and any slavic alphabet too :<). I'm sorry :<
But it's how the Cissian alphabet works. [:P]
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:"мё" - why a accusative? Are your language ergative?:]
Is the verb not used with the accusative? Probably the dative then I guess? I used the accusative because "to remind" uses the accusative in German.
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:And what is an etymology of мокуш?
It's a loanword from Hungarian mókus. [<3]
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:And I can't understand, why all English-speakers use this order of cases? :P
I know the order of cases is different for most Slavic languages but the English-speakers' order is more pleasing to my eye. I'm also more used to this order and my native language German does it like this as well. The accusative not coming right after the nominative is very weird to me because it is a very common case. Also the way I did the tables I was able to merge two cases into one since many nominative and accusative forms are the same. I am used to nom.-acc.-dat.-gen. but I switched genitive and dative since the animany distinction uses both the nominative and the genitive so it is very easy to jump from the accusative to these two because they are right next to the accusative.
shimobaatar wrote:b) I think ixals is German.
[tick] [:P]
shimobaatar wrote:Sorry, ixals, I don't think I have any specific comments about your two latest posts. Look over what Henryk Pruthenia has to say and keep up the good work!
Haha, it's okay! Telling me to keep up the good work already made me smile enough! [:$]
Frislander wrote:
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:I'm trying to say, that if it was Russian influence, it's very strange, that Cissian don't know how Russian alphabet works. For Russians (and all other Slavs) "э" is a sign used only in borrowings. In Russian "э" is used in just one Russian world: "это".
The Cissians don't need to know how the Russian alphabet works because they're not Russians! They're borrowing the Cyrillic alphabet, adapting it to their own usage but with a leaning towards Russian usage in some but not all cases. "Russian Influence" doesn't mean that the form of Cyrillic used by the Cissians has to be a carbon-copy of Russian down to the last little detail; it's their alphabet and they can use the characters they want in the way they want.
I would also say that the ones that created the standardised orthography knew about Russian and what letter was used for what sound but they didn't know about every little aspect. Also what Frislander said about the Circassian language: A letter can get a new sound value when the script is adapted by another language, but in this case I didn't do that so what Cissian does isn't even that "weird".
Iyionaku wrote:The Ogonek has already been invented around the 10th century to write Medieval Latin. Keep in mind that Cissian used to have a Latin alphabet in earlier times.
Yeah it did use Latin but not even in a standardised form so a lot of different things could have been used back then. Thank you for this little addition! [:D]
Henryk Pruthenia wrote:Periodization is here a problem. When Cissian lost <ѧ> and <ѫ>? And what with a sign for "ja"? Was it "я" on this stage od Cissian development? Or "ꙗ"? We don't know it :)
The letters ѧ/ѫ were finally lost for all during the creation of the modern standard language during the creation of Cissia, so 1919. I don't know about я though.
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