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Phonetic Inventory and Translitteration

Evolution from Early Old Norse to Eittlandic

Eittlandic evolved early on from Early Old Norse, and as such some vowels it evolved from are different from the Old Norse vowels and consonants some other Nordic languages evolved from. In this chapter, we will see the main list of attested phonetic evolution Eittlandic lived through.

The history of Eittlandic goes from the late 8th century until modern-day Eittlandic. Its history is divided as shown on table below. It is not an exact science though as changes happened progressively through the country. Changes were also progressive, meaning the dates chosen to go from one language to the other are relatively arbitrary. In evolution examples, it will be indicated whether the Eittlandic pronunciation is specific to a certain time area (with Early Middle Eittlandic, Late Old Eittlandic, etc…) but if it only specifies Eittlandic it means no significant changes in pronunciation occurred since the phonetic rule shown. Meaning is also shown between parenthesis. In case of semantic shift, its new meaning in Eittlandic is shown — the same goes for the word’s spelling.

8th century - 12th centuryOld Eittlandic
13th century - 16th centuryMiddle Eittlandic
17th century - todayModern Eittlandic

It is generally considered the gj-shift of the 13th century is the evolution that marks the change from Old Eittlandic to Middle Eittlandic while the great vowel shift marks the change from Middle Eittlandic to Modern Eittlandic between the 16th and the 17th century.

hʷ » ʍ

One of the first evolution of the Eittlandic was the evolution of the /hʷ/ into a /ʍ/ (written «hv»). It differs from other nordic languages which evolved their /hʷ/ into a /v/, like in Icelandic or in Norwegian. However, this evolution is cause to debate, mainly due to the original phoneme /hʷ/ which could be inherited from Proto-Norse instead.

  • Example: Early Old Norse or Late Proto-Norse hvat (what) /hʷɑt/ » Eittlandic hvat (what) /ʍɑt/

C / #h_ » C[-voice]

When preceded by a /h/, word-initial consonants such as «l», «r», «n» would lose their voicing and become voiceless consonants. Note «hj» went to /ç/.

  • Example: - Early Old Norse hlóð (hearth) /hloːð/ » Old Eittlandic hlóð /l̥oːð/
    • Early Old-Norse hneisa (shame, disgrace) /hneisɑ/ » Early Old Eittlandic /n̥eisɑ/
    • Early Old Norse hrifs (robbery) /hrifs/ » Old Norse /r̥ifs/
    • Early Old Norse hjól (wheel) /hjoːl/ » Old Eittlandic /çoːl/

g / {#,V}_⁣{V,#} » ɣ

In word-initial position and followed by a vowel or when between vowels, Early Old Norse /g/ gets palatalized into a /ɣ/.

  • Example: Early Old Norse gegn (against, right opposite) /gegn̩/ » Old Eittlandic /ɣegn̩/

V / _⁣# » ∅ ! j _

When finishing a word, short unaccented vowels disappeared. Historically, they first went through a weakening transforming them into a /ə/, but they eventually disappeared before long vowels got affected by the first part of the rule. However, it did not apply to final vowels following a «j».

  • Example: Old Norse heilsa (health) /heilsɑ/ » Late Old Eittlandic heils /heils/.

Reflecting this change, the last vowel got lost in the Eittlandic orthography. However, this rule did not get applied consistently with a good deal of people that kept them well until the Great Vowel Shift.

V / j_# » ə

While the final short vowel of words did not disappear when preceded by a «j», they still weakened to a schwa.

  • Example: Old Norse sitja (to sit) /sitjɑ/ » Old Eittlandic /sitjə/

Vː / _# » ə

When at the end of a word, long unaccented vowels get weakened into a schwa.

  • Example: Old Norse erþó (as though) /erθoː/ » Late Old Eittlandic /erθə/.

Notice how in the modern orthography the «ó» didn’t get lost, unlike with the previous rule. Unlike the schwa from the previous rule, the current schwa still bears the long vowel feature, although it is not pronounced any more by that point, influencing the rule described in rule 15.

ɣ / {#,V}_ » j

During the 13th century, continued palatalization of the letter «g» when beginning or preceding a vowel transformed it from /g/ in Proto-Norse to /ɣ/ in Old Eittlandic to /j/ in Early Modern Eittlandic.

  • Example: Old Norse gauð (a barking) /gɑuð/ » Early Middle Eittlandic gauð (a barking, a quarrel) /jɑuð/.

This is the first rule of the g/j-shift along with the three next rules, marking the passage from Old Eittlandic to Middle Eittlandic.

gl » gʲ

The exception to the above rule is the «g» remains a hard /g/ when followed by an «l» in which case /gl/ becomes /gʲ/.

  • Example: Old Norse óglaðr (sad, moody) /oːɡlɑðr̩/ » Early Middle Eittlandic óglaðr (very sad, miserable) /oːɡʲɑðr̩/

d g n s t / _j » C[+palat]

Another exception to the rule in rule 21 is the «g» remains a hard /g/ when followed by a /j/, in which case /gj/ becomes /j/. Other phonemes /d/, /h/, /n/, /s/, and /t/ also get palatalized, merging with the following /j/. In the end, we have the conversion table given by the table below.

Early Old NorseEittlandic

Note this is also applicable to devoiced consonants from the rule described in rule 2.

  • Example: - Early Old Norse djúp (deep) /djuːp/ » Middle Eittlandic djúp (deep, profound) /dʒuːp/
    • Early Old Norse gjøf (gift) /gjøf/ » Early Middle Eittlandic /jøf/
    • Early Old Norse snjór (snow) /snjoːr/ » Middle Eittlandic /sɲoːr/
    • Early Old Norse hnjósa (to sneeze) /hnjoːsɑ/ » Middle Eittlandic /ɲ̥oːs/
    • Early Old Norse sjá (to see) /sjɑː/ » Middle Eittlandic /ʃɑː/
    • Early Old Norse skilja (to understand, to distinguish) /skiljɑ/ » Early Middle Eittlandic /ʃkiljə/
    • Old Eittlandic sitja (to sit) /sitjə/ » Middle Eittlandic /sitʃə/

j » jə / _#

With the appearance of word-final /j/, and epenthtetic /ə/ appeared due to the phonological rule forbidding word-final consonant clusters to end with a /j/.

  • Example: - Early Old Norse berg (rock, boulder) /berɡ/ » Middle Eittlandic berg /berjə/

u / V_ » ʊ

When following another vowel, /u/ becomes an /ʊ/.

  • Example: Old Norse kaup (bargain) /kɑup/ » Early Middle Eittlandic /kɑʊp/

{s,z} / _C[+plos] » ʃ

If /s/ or /z/ precede a plosive consonant, they become palatalized into a /ʃ/ — the distinction between «s» and «z» is lost.

  • Example: - Old Norse fiskr (fish) /fiskr̩/ » Middle Eittlandic /fiʃkr̩/
    • Early Old Norse vizka (wisdom) /βizkɑ/ » Middle Eittlandic viska /βiʃk/

Note that in the Modern Eittlandic orthography, the «z» is replaced with an «s».

f / {V,C[+voice]}_ {V,C[+voice],#} » v

When a «f» is either surrounded by voice phonemes or is preceded by a voiced phoneme and ends a word, it gets voiced into a /v/.

  • Example: Old Norse úlf (wolf) /uːlf/ » Middle Eittlandic úlv /uːlv/.

l / _j » ʎ

When followed by a «j», any «l» becomes a /ʎ/, merging with the following «j».

  • Example: Early Middle Eittlandic skilja (to understand, to distinguish) /ʃkiljə/ » Middle Eittlandic /ʃkiʎə/

ə[-long] / C_# » ∅

As described in the rule 6, the schwa resulting from it kept its long vowel feature, although it wasn’t pronounced anymore. This resulted in the current rule making all schwas resulting from short vowels at the end of words to disappear when following a voiced consonant. This basically boils down to any former short vowel following a «j» in word-final position.

  • Example: Middle Eittlandic (to understand, to distinguish) /ʃkiʎə/ » Late Middle Eittlandic /ʃkiʎ/

ɑʊ » oː

Sometime in the 15th century, any occurence of «au», pronounced by then /ɑʊ/, began shifting to /oː/.

  • Example: Early Middle Eittlandic kaup (bargain) //kɑʊp// » Late Middle Eittlandic kaup (commerce) /koːp/

C[+long +plos -voice] » C[+fric] ! / _C » C[+long +plos] » C[-long]

Unless followed by another consonant, any unvoiced long plosive consonant becomes a short affricate while other long plosives simply become shorter.

  • Example: - Old Norse edda (great grandmother) /edːɑ/ » Late Middle Eittlandic edda (great grandmother, femalle ancestor) /edɑ/
    • Old Norse Eittland /eitːlɑnd/ » Late Middle Eittlandic /eitlɑnd/
    • Old Norse uppá (upon) /upːɑː/ » Late Middle Eittlandic /upɸə/

r » ʁ (Eastern Eittlandic)

From the beginning of the 16th century, the Eastern Eittlandic /r/ began morphing into an /ʁ/ in all contexts except in word-final «-r», remanants of Old Norse’s nominative «-R». This is typical in the Eastern region of Eittland, and it can be even heard in some dialects of Southern Eittlandic.

  • Example: - Old Norse dratta (to trail or walk like a cow) /drɑtʃ/ » Eastern Modern Eittlandic dratt (act mindlessly) /dʁɑtʃ/
    • Early Old Norse fjárdráttr ((unfairly) making money) /fjɑːdrɑːtːr̩/ » Eastern Modern Eittlandic fjárdráttr (to scam) /fjɛʁdʁɛtr̩/

Great Vowel Shift

The great vowel shift happened during the 16th and 17th century during which long vowels underwent a length loss, transforming them into different short vowels. Only three rules governed this shift:

  • V[+high +long] » V[-high -long]
  • V[+tense +long] » V[-tense -long]
  • V[-tense +long] » V[-long -low]

Hence, the vowels evolved as shown in the table below.

OrthographyOld Eittlandic vowelModern Eittlandic Vowel
œ (ǿ)/øː//œ/

As you can see, some overlap is possible from Old Norse vowels and Modern Eittlandic vowels. For instance, Eittlanders will read «e» and «í» both as an /e/.

  • Examples: - Middle Eittlandic sjá (to see) /ʃɑː/ » Modern Eittlandic /ʃɛ/
    • Old Norse (cattle) /feː/ » Modern Eittlandic (wealth) /fɛ/
    • Late Proto-Norse hví (why) /hʷiː/ » Modern Eittlandic /ʍe/
    • Old Norse bók (beech, book) /boːk/ » Modern Eittlandic (book) /bɔk/
    • Early Old Norse œgir (frightener, terrifier) /øːɡir/ » Modern Eittlandic Œgir (a kind of mythical beast) /œjir/
    • Middle Eittlandic úlv (wolf) /uːlv/ » Modern Eittlandic /olv/

Diphthongs also evolved following these rules:

  • /ei/ » /ɑɪ/
  • /ou/ » /ɔʊ/
  • /øy/ » /œʏ/

It is probably up to this time period when Eittlandic stopped nasalizing its vowels aside from Southern Eittland (see below), although the timeframe regarding this evolution is very much unclear and it might have happened as early as during the 13th century.

VN / _ » Ṽ[-tense] ! V[+high] (Southern Eittlandic)

When preceding a nasal, any vowel that is not high as determined by the vowel tree in Vowel Inventory gets nasalized when preceding a nasal consonant and loses its tenseness if it has any. Hence, the pronunciation of the «a» in Eittland is /ã/. However, Old Norse runa (rune) /runɑ/ becomes run (letter, character, rune) /run/ without any nasalization.

Note this evolution is mostly proeminent in the southern regions of Eittland and the city of Hundraðskip. It is less often documented in Eastern Eittland and almost undocumented in Western Eittland. It is more often documented in casual conversation buch rarer in formal conversation, especially when the majority of the speakers in a group are not southerners.

t / _C » ʔ ! _ʃ

When a /t/ precedes another consonant, it becomes a glottal stop.

  • Example: Early Modern Eittlandic Eittland /ɑɪtlɑnd/ » Modern Eittlandic /ɑɪʔlɑnd/

VU » ə ! diphthongs (Western Eittlandic)

A recent evolution in Western Eittland is weakening any unstressed vowel that is not a diphthong to a schwa. It is only documented in casual speech but almost never in formal speech.

  • Example: - Standard Eittlandic ádreif (spray) /ɛdrɑɪv/ » Western Casual Eittlandic /ɛdrɑɪv/
    • Standard Eittlandic einlægr (sincere) /ɑɪnlæɡr/ » Western Casual Eittlandic /ɑɪnləɡr/

Vowel Inventory

Modern Eittlandic has a total of ten simple vowels and three diphthongs, regardless of the dialect. Unlike its ancestor language, Old Norse, it does not bear any distinction in vowel length anymore since the great vowel shift (see the Great Vowel Shift). The first table below lists the Eittlandic simple vowels while the second table lists the Eittlandic diphthongs.

closei yu
close-mide øo
open-midɛ œɔ
Eittlandic Vowel Featural Tree
Eittlandic Vowels Featural Tree
  • a /ɑ/:

  • á /ɛ/:

  • æ /ɛ/:

  • e /e/:

  • é /ɛ/:

  • i /i/:

  • í /e/:

  • o /o/:

  • ó /ɔ/:

  • u /u/:

  • ú /o/:

  • y /y/:

  • ý /ø/:

Consonant Inventory

Under construction

Pitch and Stress

Under construction

Regional accents

Eittlandic is a language in which three distinct main dialects exist with their own accent. These three main dialects are Eastern Eittlandic spoken in the majority Kingdom of Hylfjaltr, Western Eittlandic spoken in the majority of the Kingdom of Ðeberget, and Southern Eittlandic spoken on the southern parts of the island, regardess of the legal kingdom (see the map shown in Culture). Three main elements of their respective accent were presented above in [rule 18](file:///*r » ʁ (Eastern Eittlandic)), [rule 20](file:///*VN / _ » Ṽ[-tense] ! V[+high] (Southern Eittlandic)) and [rule 22](file:///»-ə-diphthongs-western-eittlandic).

Some regional variation can be also found in these dialects, although less significant and less consistantly than the changes mentioned above. As such, we can find in some rural parts of the Eastern Eittlandic dialect area high vowels slightly more open than their equivalent in Standard Eittlandic, as shown in table below.

Rural Eastern EittlandicStandard Eittlandic

On the other hand, Southern Eittlandic tends to front its /ɑ/ into /a/ after nasal consonants and glides and into /ɐ/ otherwise.