Barryaran Sprachbund 2

(Barrayar is the setting of several of the books in Louis McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga, for which she has won a deservedly enormous number of Hugos, Nebulas, and other awards. Go read those books.)

Go read last week’s post (https://buff.ly/37YTeai), which introduced the Barrayaran dialects of French, Russian, English, and Greek, as well as the alphabet used to write them all.

All four of Barrayar’s indigenous dialects have diverged significantly from their Earth standard parent languages (and even more from their Galactic standard cousins), but have converged with each other, forming a “sprachbund” or linguistic area.

Sound changes have brought the languages’ phonologies closer to each other, often obscuring grammatical prefixes and suffixes. For example, the French and English words “comptable” /kɔ̃’tabl/ and “accountant” /əˈkaʊn.tənt/ have on Barrayar shifted to кωнт /kɔnt/ and каунт /kaуnt/ respectively.

Grammatical particles (some innovated) and remaining morphology have tended to parallel each other. For example, 21st century French Tous les êtres humains naissent libres (lit. all the-pl being-pl human-pl they-are-born free-pl) and Russian Все люди рождаются свободными (all human-pl they-are-born free-instrumental-pl) have become Barrayaran French Ту л з люд нэс з лiбр and Barrayaran Russian Фсе д люди рождит свобни, both literally translated as “all the human-pl are-born-pl free-pl.”

Below are example texts from the pre-Galactic-era standards of the parent languages, compared to their Barrayaran daughters.

French (21st-century Paris standard):
Tous les êtres humains naissent libres et égaux en dignité et en droits. Ils sont doués de raison et de conscience et doivent agir les uns envers les autres dans un esprit de fraternité.

/tu lɛ’z‿ɛtʁ y’mɛ̃ nɛs liбʁ e e’ɡo ɑ̃ di.ɲi’te e ɑ̃ dʁwa il’z‿ɔ̃ dwe də ʁɛ’zɔ̃ e də kɔ̃’sjɑ̃s e dwa’vɛ̃ a’ʒiʁ lɛ.z‿œ̃z‿ɑ̃’vɛʁ lɛ’z‿otʁ dɑ̃.z‿œ̃.n‿ɛs’pʁi də fʁa.tɛʁ.ni’te/

(Barrayaran standard)

Ту л з люд нэс з лiбр и з игал н лр дiньити и ж дрwа. Зωн ж дωни резм и севrити и дwав а маrш н пωrтрити а здрзотр н ун спрi т фрэrити.

/ty ɫəʒ‿’ɫjʉd nɛs ʒ‿’ɫji.bəʁ ɪ z‿ɪ’gal ən ɫəʁ ‘dji.njɪ.tɪ ɪ ʒ‿dʁwa z‿ɔn ʒ‿’dɔn.ɪ ‘ʁje.zəm ɪ ‘sjev.rɪ.tɪ ɪ dwav ə marʃ ən ‘pɔrt.ʁɪ.tɪ ə zdəʁ‿’z‿o.təʁ ən yn spʁi t‿’fʁɛ.rɪ.tɪ/

There is some debate about the phonological nature of the schwa sound /ə/ in Barrayaran dialects. It is conventionally not written, and some linguists have argued that it is not pronounced, either. A closer phonetic transcription might use syllabic sonorants instead, where such sounds as /ʒ/ and /ʁ/ form the syllable nucleus.

Russian (21st-century Moscow standard):

Все люди рождаются свободными и равными в своем достоинстве и правах. Они наделены разумом и совестью и должны поступать в отношении друг друга в духе братства.

/fsʲe ˈlʲʉ.dʲɪ rɐʐˈdaj.ʊt͡sə svɐˈbod.nɨ.mi i ˈrav.nɨ.mi f‿svɐˈjɵm dɐˈstoɪn.stvʲe i prɐˈvax ɐˈnʲi nədʲɪˈlʲɵnːɨj ˈraz.ʊm.əm i ˈsovʲ.ɪsʲ.tʲjʊ i dɐɫʐˈnɨ pəs.tʊˈpatʲ v‿ɐt.nɐˈʂɛnʲ.ɪɪ druk ˈdruɡə v‿ˈdu.xʲe ˈbrat͡s.tvə/

(Barrayarn Standard)

Фсе д люди рождит свобни и равни ф свойн цэннсть и т прави. Нi даrинни разум и знайньисть и долж п стюп в носньисть п дрюкдруг в дьин спрi м братисть.

/fsje d‿’ɫjʉ.dɪ ‘ʁоʒ.dɪt ‘svob.nɪ ɪ ˈʁav.nɪ f‿’svojn ˈt͡sɛn.nəstj ɪ t‿p’ʁavɪ nji ‘da.rɪn.nɪ ˈʁaz.ym ɪ ˈznaj.njɪstj ɪ ‘dolʒ pə stjʉp v‿’nos,njɪstj pə ‘dʁjuk‿dʁyɡ v‿dɪn spʁi m‿ˈbʁat.ɪstj/

As with other Barrayarn dialects, Barrayaran Russian marks stress primarily with pronunciation of the vowel. U can be realized as stressed /jʉ/ and unstressed /y/ for example.

English (21st-century London standard):

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

/ɔːl ˈçju̟ː.mən ˈbiː.ɪŋz ɑː bɔːn fɹiː ɛn ˈiː.kwəl ɪn ˈdɪɡ.nɪ.ti ɛn ɹɑɪts ðeɪ ɑː ɪnˈdaʊd wɪð ˈɹiː’zən ɛn ˈkɒn.ʃəns ɛn ʃəd ækt təˈwɔːdz wʌn əˈnʌð.ə‿ɹ.ɪn ə ˈspɪ.ɹɪt ɒv ˈbɹʌðə.hʊd/

(Barrayaran)

Ωл δ людз рбωrн фрiз н iquлз ин δир wωrδинис н райц. Δей гiвинз рiзн н ноwингнис н шюд цтеп ин кеrингнис т iчδр ин wн спрi в браδринис.

/ɔɫ ð‿ˈɫjʉdz zbɔrn fʁjiz ən ˈjik.wəɫz ɪn ðɪʁ ˈwɔr.ðɪ.nɪs ən ʁajt͡s ðjej ‘giv.ɪnz ˈʁji.zən ən ˈnо.wɪŋ.nɪs ən ʃjʉd t‿stjep ɪn ‘kje.rɪŋ.nɪs t‿’jitʃ.ðəʁ ɪn wən spʁji v‿ˈbʁa.ðʁɪ.nɪs/

Barrayaran English shows how much vocabulary was lost and re-developed by means of derivational morphology or borrowing from other dialects. “Human” (whose meaning has shifted to “not mutant”) has been replaced by Russian “lyud” and words such as “dignity” “conscience” and “brotherhood” have been replaced by “worthy-ness,” “knowing-ness” and “brother-y-ness”

Greek (21st-century Athens standard):

Όλοι οι άνθρωποι γεννιούνται ελεύθεροι και ίσοι στην αξιοπρέπεια και τα δικαιώματα. Είναι προικισμένοι με λογική και συνείδηση, και οφείλουν να συμπεριφέρονται μεταξύ τους με πνεύμα αδελφοσύνης.

/ˈo.li ˈan.θro.pi ʝeˈna.un.te eˈlef.θe.ɾi ke ˈi.si stin ak.si.o.preˈpia ke ta ðiˈce.o.ma ˈi.ne pri.cisˈme.ni me lo.ʝiˈci ke siˈni.ði.sis ke oˈfi.lun na  sim.be.ɾiˈfe.ɾon.te me.takˈsi tus me ˈpnev.ma a.ðel.fosin.is

Ол т æндрпи енут еλифθри ки iзи ис ту ξпрэпит ки т δiци. Iн δiнини лойц ки ξеrнит ки т фiλ н вæд ис феrнит н каθиλ ис ин пнгевм н т δеλфит.

/ˈoɫ tə ˈjæn.dʁəp.ɪ ‘je.nyt ‘je.lɪf.θəʁ.ɪ kɪ ˈjiz.ɪ ɪs‿ty ksə’pʁɛ.pɪt kɪ tə ‘ðji.t͡sɪ ˈji.n ‘ðji.nɪ.nɪ ‘ɫojt͡s kɪ ksjer.nɪt kɪ tə ˈfjil nə ‘vjæd ɪs ‘fjer.nɪt nə ‘ka.θɪl ɪs ɪn ˈpngjev.əm nə ðjel.fɪt/

Greek has changed a great deal under the influence of the other three dialects, but is now influencing them. Many current fashions of speech in Vorbar Sultana (e.g. using “t” instead of “the” in English) are Greek in origin.

For those who wish to know more, there follows a key to the above language samples:

Ту/Фсе/ωл/ол = all

л/т/δ/т = the (Russian д before л)

люд/люд/люд/æндрп = a person (юм = human (not mutant))

з-/-и/-з/-и = plural marker (French ж- before д)(English -ц after t)

нэ/рожд/бωрн/ену = to be born (нэс/рождюц/рбωрн/енут = they are born)

-с/-ит/р-/-т = plural present imperfective verb (are doing/do)

лiбр/свобн/фрi/еλифθр = free

и/и/н/ки = and

игал/равн/iquл/iз = equal

н/в/ин/ис = in (Russian ф- before  c)

лр/свойн/δир/ту = their

дiнь/цэн/wωrδ/ξпрэп = worth, value (дiньити/цэннсть/wωrδинис/ξпрэпит = worthiness, dignity)

-и/-н/-и/-и = adjective from noun (noun-y)

-ти/-сть/-нис/-т = abstract noun from adjective (nouny-ness)

дрwа/прав/райт/δiц = a right

Зωн/Нi/Δей/Iн = they

0 = am/is/are (not used)

дωн/даr/гiв/δiн = to give (ж дωни/даrинни/гiвинз/δiнини = they are given)

-и/-инн/-ин/-н = passive participle (-ed)

резм/разум/рiзн/лойц = reason

сe/знай/ноw/ξеr = to know (севrити/знайньисть/ноwингнис/ξеrнит = knowing-ness, consciousness, conscience)

-р/-(и)нь/-инг/-н = noun from verb (French -(в)р for this verb)

дwав/долж/шюд/фiλ = should/must

а/п/т/н = to (English ц before с)

маrш/стюп/степ/вæд = to step

пωrт/нос/кеr/феr = to carry (пωrтрити/носньисть/кеrингнис/феrнит = reference, attitude, position)

здрзотр/дрюкдrур/iчδр/каθиλ = each other

ун/дин/wн/ин = indefinite article (a)(юн/дiн/wан/ен = one)

спрi/спрi/спрi/пнгевм = spirit (дюх = ghost/soul, спirит = hard alcohol)

т/н/в/н = of (Russian м before б)

фрэr/брат/браδр/δеλф = brother (фрэrити/братист/браδринис/δеλфит = brotherhood)

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