|Spoken in||Kiravian Federacy, others|
|Native speakers||14 billion (21205)|
|Official language in|| Kiravia|
|Recognised minority language in||Diamavya|
Kiravic Coscivian (Kiravic: Kiravirona, Kiravikoskirona) is a Cosco-Adratic language spoken primarily in the Kiravian Federacy, where it serves as the official and national language. It is the largest Cosco-Adratic language by number of speakers, both native and acquired. Originally spoken in the Mid-Oceanic area of Eastern Kirav corresponding to the United Provinces during the Viceregal Period, the Kiravic Sprachraum expanded with the spread of Coscivian settlement to include most of Upper, Central, and Northwestern Great Kirav, as well as the Western Highlands, positioning it to become the dominant language of the emerging multilingual federation.
Kiravic is a highly synthetic language that encodes a great deal of grammatical and semantic information in single words through use of relational morphemes (as is evident in the formation ápniverþē, "in any other book"), and frequently derives new words through processes of compounding. It is noted for its complex array of determiners and adpositional noun cases, as well as for its deontic mood. Kiravic is an ergative-absolutive language in terms of morphosyntactic alignment. As in other Cosco-Adratic languages, a great deal of grammatical information that most languages communicate through verb conjugation, such as tense, aspect, and mood is instead expressed through a large number of specific absolutive cases. Also like other Cosco-Adratic languages, Kiravic has a very high relative abundance of nouns and adjectives over verbs: By most counts, there are some 50-70 Kiravic verbs, depending on the dialect and the degree to which certain foreign loans such as gib are considered. Though unusual among world languages, this is not as extreme as in some related Cosco-Adratic languages, which have as few as 3 true verbs, and as Hizolami, which may have no verbs at all.
Genealogically speaking, Kiravic Coscivian is derived from the late variety of Iatic Coscivian (now called High Coscivian) that was used as an administrative language and lingua franca in the Coscivian colonies of the eastern seaboard. It has, especially in its various regional dialects, absorbed vocabulary from other Coscivian languages, Celtic languages, and Kirhavite Aboriginal languages, to the extent that some linguists consider it to be a formalised creole. There are three distinct literary registers of the language, Nohærikiravirona, Oskandikiravirona, and Ixtikiravirona, with recognisably different conventions as to vocabulary, syntax, orthography, and style.
- 1 History
- 2 Grammar
- 3 Syntax
- 4 Lexicon
- 5 Varieties
- 6 Usage
As in all other Cosco-Adratic languages, the most important word class in Kiravic is the noun. Nouns are the primary bearers of meaning, and most information in a typical Kiravic sentence is contained in its noun phrases. Because Kiravic has few verbs compared to most languages, it relies heavily on case governance and verb-noun constructions to approximate what most languages would express with a single, unitary verb. As such, noun morphology in Kiravic is rather complex, and the various noun cases can be used to convey a number of different meanings. The dative case, for example, can be used to form comparative statements (Kēþram tergíx síþramd - "This house is bigger than that house"), express perspective (Sívódin é inox kúd - "That idea is new to me"), indicate relationships, benefaction, and duty (Thá vúd kú krótath akmad - "I will give him money for rent").
Kiravic nouns inflect for two numbers (singular/nonplural and plural) and X main cases: The absolutive, ergative, genitive, dative, locative, lative, essive, benefactive, and instrumental. There exist a number of highly regular adpositional forms that may be treated either as noun cases or noun-adposition compounds. Kiravic nouns lack not only grammatical gender but also the gender-neutral noun classes of most other Cosco-Adratic languages, vestiges of which remain in a few noun suffixes.
While no Cosco-Adratic languages feature grammatical gender distinctions comparable to Indo-European or Afro-Asiatic, Kiravic is an outlier among them in that it lacks any gender-neutral noun classes of grammatical consequence, though vestiges of the High Coscivian noun class system (solar, lunar, terrestrial, celestial, aquatic) survive in Kiravic noun suffixes and declension patterns.
There are six general declension patterns in Kiravic, characterised by the suffixes taken in the absolutive and genitive cases:
I. Absolutive -v ⇒ genitive -l
II. Absolutive -a ⇒ genitive -á
III. Absolutive -n, -r, -m ⇒ genitive -sk
IV. Absolutive -um ⇒ genitive -idk (typically mass nouns)
V. Absolutive -k ⇒ genitive -idek
V. Absolutive-u ⇒ genitive -uo(numerals)
Proper nouns are subject to the same declension rules as common nouns. By convention, one declines a Coscivian personal name by changing the surname only (e.g. "The office of Irasur Mérovin" would be ædikuv Irasur Mérovinsk rather than ædikuv Irasursk Mérovin), with the forename treated as a noun adjunct. Similarly, when declining a compound geographic name such as Mount Verastia (Nár Verastia) or the River Kiygrava (Rurin Kiygrava), only the general noun is declined while the specific appellation remains unchanged (Nárē Verastia, Rurinst Kiygrava). Foreign names and brand names that cannot be readily Coscivised can be fit into the structure of a Kiravic sentence using auxiliary prepositions like áu ("of") and ōs ("as"), but most style guides for formal writing encourage using the indeclinable name as an appositive to an appropriate Kiravic common noun. For example, "There was a fire in Gulnaz" (the capital of Kayistan) would be translated as Lé spór sarē Gulnaz ("There was a fire in the city of Gulnaz").
Kiravic does not employ articles. Definacy is inferred from context, though in the absence of contextual clues to the contrary, nouns are generally interpreted as being definite by default. In situations where contextual clues might be ambiguous and there is a need to clarify definacy, the determiner lē- can be used to specify that a noun is indefinite, e.g. Ard kuidh lē-asdrárdas, tos vuidh dhé asdrár klesk skúl ("I spoke with a salesman, but he was not the salesman from your company").
Adjectives and Adverbs
Kiravic adjectives inflect for five degrees (indicative, comparative, superlative, excessive, abessive, and sufficient). All adjectives precede the nouns they modify, and do not agree with them in case or number.
There are four adjectivial declensions in Kiravic:
I. -ix II. -ax III. -óx IV. auxilliary
All adverbs are notionally derived from adjectives by switching the final -x to an -s (kávix ("good") → kávis ("well"), lādéx kèokrúd ("stronger than steel") → lādés kèokrúd ("more strongly than steel")).
There are only 50-70 verbs in Kiravic, a great many of which are semantic primes, such as é ("be"), ōv ("do"), sind ("to turn, render"), kar ("make"), kur ("put"), and send ("take"). Verbs are not conjugated. Instead, tense, aspect, and mood are marked on nouns in the absolutive case.
In Kiravic, adpositions are typically affixed to their objects as suffixes rather than written as separate words, but can be written as such to improve clarity in particularly complex sentences. For example, while "I came here with a cake" would ordinarily be written "Kú kēdés vediƌ lúktūdas, the form "Kú kēdés vediƌ das lúktuv" is also grammatically valid.
While professional linguists, especially outside Kiravia, treat these appended adpositions as independent postpositions, in Kiravia they are thought of and taught as noun cases. The reason for this discrepancy lies in historical linguistics: When Kiravic was developing as an Iatic-based creole, the practice of appending adpositions to their objects developed as a replacement for most of Iatic's more morphologically-complex cases in order to better communicate with non-native speakers while the original Iatic syntax was kept.
As in all other Cosco-Adratic languages, numerals exist separately as nouns (the names of numerical values) and as adjectives (used to quantify nouns). As such, all numerals have three forms: nominal, cardinal, and ordinal. Kiravic numerals follow a split vigesimal system with a base of 20 and a superbase of 100. As such, Kiravic only has distinct names for every other power of ten.
The most common order in Kiravic is verb-subject-object, though word order can be rather free and subject-object-verb order is also common, particularly in Central and Upper Kiravic dialects. Adpositional phrases modifying verbs most often precede the verb in VSO sentences and follow it in SOV sentences. Adjectives and adverbs precede the words that they modify.
An important way in which Kiravic produces a full and rich range expression with a very limited number of verbs is through case-governed constructions.
Questions and Answers
Interrogative sentences can be formed in three ways:
- Use of the interrogative determiner xi- or its derivatives xin ("what?"), xis ("how?"), xú ("who?"), xikios ("when"), xides ("where"), and xind ("why?"), with the interrogative word placed at the beginning of the sentence and the subject-object order reversed.
Sú várim síst. - "You want that."
Xist várim-sú? - "What do you want?"
- Inversion of word order from SOV to VSO
Sú ēlst várim. - "You want a potato."
Várim-sú ēlst? - "Do you want a potato?"
In some dialects, especially those spoken on the West Coast of Great Kirav, it is also possible to form questions by using an the interrogative determiner xi- or one of its derivatives while retaining the normal declarative word order.
Sú várim síst. - "You want that."
Sú várim xist? - "You want what?"
Kiravic does not have any words equivalent to the English "yes" or "no". Instead, a binary question can be answered by simply repeating the operative verb in the question if affirmative, or with the negated form of the operative verb is negative.
Q: Várim-sú ēlst? - "Do you want potato?"
A: Várim - "Want."
A: Nivárim - "Do not want."
In polite conversation, questions formed around the copula ét ("to be") are typically answered with sé - a contraction of sa-é, with sa- as the emphatic particle - or ædis é ("it is indeed"), instead of simply é.
Q: É-sú Umkarax? - "Are you Umcaran?"
A: Sé - "Am."
A: Ædis é - "Am indeed."
See also: Glossary of Coscivian Terms
Lexicographers divide Kiravic words into six principal categories according to their etymological journey:
- Sovisíndix ("same as that") words: Words of a High Coscivian provenance that have retained their original spellings and (often) pronounciations. They include words that have been inherited from spoken Iatic Coscivian through several stages of spoken descendant languages which have survived without modification (e.g. Kiravic róva / Iatic róva, "spring"; Kiravic verþa / Iatic verþa, "book"), as well as forms borrowed directly from literary High Coscivian in more recent times (avórua, "environment"; vūroska, "rhetoric"). Words in this category can be further divided among numerous subcategories based on their internal composition, date of borrowing from High Coscivian, and previous etymological heritage.
- Onśapurnix ("vocally ground-down") words: Words of a High Coscivian provenance that have undergone sound and spelling changes. This includes words that have changed over the course of linguistic evolution from spoken Iatic Coscivian to modern Kiravic through several intermediary stages, as well as early direct borrowings from High Coscivian that have becomed thoroughly "nativised". Onśapurnix words form a large and important share of the Kiravic lexicon, including most of the most frequently used words in the language, such as function words, almost all verbs, and basic concrete nouns. They are even more common in spoken and dialectal Kiravic than in the formal literary registers.
- Dheśtravundix ("internally/natively composed") words: Compounds and morphological derivations newly composed in Kiravic from High Coscivian and other classical roots according to Kiravic morphological rules. A related class are the duîsovisíndix ("pseudo-Sovisíndix") words that were newly composed in Kiravic using High Coscivian (or other classical) morphological rules, in order to resemble an authentic sovisíndix direct borrowing. Duîsovisíndix words are very common in the Ixtikiravirona or "High Kiravic" literary register (see below), uncommon in Nohæric Kiravic, and traditionally proscribed in Standard Kiravic.
- Dheśtraguamix or Vūlidheśtrax ("native-born/truly native") words: Words that were neither inherited from an ancestral language or borrowed from another language, to include native coinages, onomatopœia, nonce words, derivations from proper names, and elevated slang and colloquial terms. Some lexicographers also assign natively-formed compounds constructed by nonstandard morphological rules - such as portmanteaux, blends, truncations, and syllabic abbreviations - to this category, even if they include classical or foreign roots. The minor "Open Kiravic" register and the experimental "Recorded Kiravic" style of writing, which both seek to emulate contemporary spoken Kiravic more than the major literary registers do, make much more extensive use of native-born words than their competitors.
- Manitovix ("accreted") words: Words of non-classical and non-native provenance that are not considered "foreign" in origin. The membership and subdivision of this category is a matter of some contention among Kiravic linguists, but by its broadest definition includes loanwords of non-classical origin borrowed into post-classical spoken ancestors of Kiravic from other languages in the Coscivian cultural sphere and words morphologically derived therefrom, and direct borrowings into Kiravic from other modern Coscivian languages and languages in the Coscivian cultural sphere.
- Velśix ("foreign") words: All words borrowed from outside the Coscivian cultural sphere, including "near-foreign" loans from Aboriginal Kiravite, Finno-Kiravite, and Celtic languages, and "far-foreign" loans from all other languages.
Kiravic has a rich and copious lexicon so replete with synonyms and terms with very subtle yet profound distinctions from one another in meaning, register, tone, and connotation that there exists an entire class of reference works, termed îhadsomethingforthis-shite-uv, that serve to help writers navigate the nuances of the language to maximal rhetorical or artistic effect by providing detailed explanations of relationships between various words with extensive cross-references that go far beyond the offerings of a typical English thesaurus. The overlarge vocabulary of literary Kiravic is attributable in large part to the semi-independent development of different literary registers in the pre-modern and early modern periods, and to the diffusion of words across dialectal boundaries.
The bulk of Kiravic Coscivian vocabulary is either inherited from High Coscivian or newly synthesised from High Coscivian roots. Much of this High Coscivian patrimony is ultimately derived from other languages that provided loanwords to High Coscivian as far back as pre-Imperial times, including Iathei Coscivian, Stairovix Coscivian, Thygiastran Coscivian and [that non-Coscivian one]. A great deal of words have entered Kiravic from the various vernacular languages of ethnic communities living in Kiravia, particularly major ones such as Taństan Coscivian and Great Antaric Coscivian. The lexicon continues to grow with a steady stream of new coinages and borrowings.
In the modern era, Kiravic has avoided directly borrowing scientific and technical terms from Latin, Ænglish, and other Western languages. The writing guides most commonly followed by Kiravian scientific journals all discourage direct borrowings, and prescribe formulas for translating Western terms into Kiravic, most often by calquing. Professional institutions such as the Kiravian Astronomical Academy (Kiravix Iselrakeniax Lárutovarum) and the Kiravian Chemical Society (Kiravix Ɣislokeniax Askola) play an important role in formally defining Kiravic scientific nomenclature and creating paradigms to derive new words as needed.
A significant number of Kiravian scientific terms, however, are original coinages, some of which predate Western discoveries. For example, the phenomenon of synæsthesia, known as télar in Kiravic and High Coscivian, has been known to Coscivian civilisation for millennia. The Kiravic word for diuresis, śgrulva, is attested in writing as early as 20542 (1362), and occurs frequently in common parlance.
- Kōstrúlôstum - "Blood plasma", from kōstrum (blood) + lôstum (broth)
- Dharnagrám - Translation of both "parenchyma" and "Mittelstand", from dharna (brick) + grám (supporting structure)
- Ɣámpraxuruv - Nebula, from ɣámpra (womb) + xuruv (cloud)
- Sirrúréstor - Cloud-seeding, from sirrum (rain) + réstor (conduction, fomentation)
For historical and cultural reasons, Kiravic lexicographers often distinguish between culturally "foreign" loanwords and loanwords from other Cosco-Adratic languages or languages within the Coscivian cultural sphere. Different literary registers and stylistic forms of Kiravic vary in their commitment to linguistic purism, with some being more welcoming of foreign loans than others. Nonetheless, as Kiravian society has never been isolated from other cultures, words with ultimately non-Coscivian etymologies can be found in most strata of the Kiravic lexicon.
Gaelic is without a doubt the language that has contributed the largest number of loandwords to Kiravic. Most basic ecclesiastical terminology has come to Kiravic through Gaelic, such as Æglasta ("church", from Gaelic eaglais) Avrenn ("Mass", from aifreann), and Þíarna ("God", "the Lord", from Thíarna). In many Kiravic dialects, Gaelic loans have displaced many common words of Coscivian origin, such as práta ("potato", versus Coscivian ēln), portán ("crab"), and fovar ("autumn", from fomhar). Práta and fovar in particular have gained currency nationwide and are acceptable in most literary forms of Kiravic.
Other important loandwords to Kiavic from Ixnayan languages include mestiśuv ("person of mixed Coscivian and non-Coscivian descent", from Tryhstian mestiço), gipklé ("cede territory under the threat of force", from Lebhan gib clay), and bola ("bomb", from Hekuvian Latin pyrobola).
There are three main literary registers of Kiravic. While all are mutually intelligible, they differ substantially in vocabulary, syntax, lexico-morphological rules, orthography, and style.
- Nohæric is the register of Kiravic that developed from the conventions established by the earliest schools of rhetoric to begin teaching rhetoric in Kiravic in addition to Iatic during the Confederate Republics period. Today, Nohæric remains the register of prestiege, and is used in most literature, periodicals with a republican-class, upper-class, or professional audience, and polished correspondence. In states in core Kiravic-speaking areas of Great Kirav, Nohæric is usually the register taught in schools, while in peripheral Kiravic-speaking and non-Kiravic speaking areas Standard Kiravic is generally preferred in pedagogy.
- Standard Kiravic (Kiravic: Oskandikiravirona), also known as tèlúverþarona ("schoolbook language") is the register of Kiravic that developed during the mid-20900s when mass immigration from Old Coscivia led to Kiravic being used primarily as a vehicle for interethnic communication. The name of the register comes from the Verþa Danneoskandiskya ("Book of Lesson Standards"), a set of guidelines for primary-school Kiravic instruction produced by a consortium of educators and grammarians at the request of the Kiravian government in 20962. Standard Kiravic makes more use of...than Nohæric...It is the register taught in most schools and (broadly speaking) used in most high-circulation periodicals. Written materials produced by the Federal government for public consumption tend to adhere to Standard Kiravic conventions, as do the vast majority of business and trade documents. In states in peripheral Kiravic-speaking and non-Kiravic speaking areas of Great Kirav, Standard Kiravic is usually the register taught in schools, while in core Kiravic-speaking areas Nohæric is generally preferred in pedagogy.
- High Kiravic (Kiravic: Iĥtikiravirona) is a conservative form of Kiravic that deviates as little as possible from the Kiravian dialect of Common Iatic used during the colonial period and is replete with lexical and stylistic borrowings from older and higher forms of Iatic. While it is the least commonly used of the three main registers, High Kiravic is encountered in many of Kiravia's greatest literary works, a growing number of higher-brow periodicals, and in some recent works of popular nonfiction (especially on historical or political topics). The language of legal documents and proceedings most closely resembles High Kiravic, earning it the informal appellation áldarona ("legalese").
There are several minor literary registers used among smaller communities, most of which adhere to style guides published by a particular literary society, university, or other institution. Today, it is often difficult to definitively say that a particular document is written in one register or another, though it is usually easy to identify which register's conventions it leans more toward.
- Kandan Kiravic is native to the parts of upstate Kiygrava surrounding the city of Evira, as well as communities of ethnic Kandan populations in other parts of Northern Kirav and the Colonies.
- Læran Kiravic
- Xúsran Kiravic is spoken mainly in the state of Hiterna.
- Far Northeastern Kiravic is spoken in the states of Fariva, Axonléga, and Serikordia. It has a strong Taństan Coscivian influence on its vocabulary, and includes a progressive aspect for verbs borrowed from Taństan.
- Upper Kiravic is spoken in north-central and northwestern Great Kirav, and borrows extensively from Central and North Coscivian languages. It has a rather singsong cadence and always distinguishes for animacy in third-person pronouns.
- Aterandic Kiravic is spoken in the general region of the southern Aterandic mountains and other highland areas in Southern Great Kirav, as well as overseas colonies settled by emigrants from this region. It borrows heavily from Celtic and Aboriginal languages and is notable for its nasal vowels and distinct cadence.
- Bayland Kiravic is spoken in rural and coastal areas of Hanoram, Ventarya, and Trinatria, especially by ethnic Tínorem. It is known for its archæic vocabulary, extensive use of the passive voice and potential mood, and distinctive raising of the vowels e and a.
- Xirayic is spoken in the Kiravian overseas colony of Xirya, where it is formalised and used for official purposes. One of its more salient features is the pronounciation of the adjectivial -x suffix as -s, which erases any phonological distinction between adjectives and adverbs.
In the Kiravian Federacy, Kiravic is the sole official and working language of the Federal government. It is the language in which all laws are written, as well as all original copies of official documents. Most federal subjects, with a few exceptions, use Kiravic as their language of governance either officially or unofficially. While all territories, intendancies, and governments-general use Kiravic as their official language by default, the more self-governing mainland states and chartered colonies are free to designate their own official languages, and several retain Kiravic only in a secondary or auxilliary capacity.
In Kiravia, Kiravic is the language of interethnic communication, business, and mass media. From the Kirosocialist period until the late 21190s all public secondary (and most public primary) education was conducted in Kiravic, and while some states (such as Sydona) have since made local languages the standard medium of instruction, most secondary education nationwide is still in Kiravic, while higher education is conducted mainly in High Coscivian. Kiravic is spoken competently by 75% of the Kiravian population, by 56% as a native language, and by 27% as their sole native language. Most Kiravic speakers are fluent, either natively or non-natively, in one or more ethnic vernacular languages.
Due to Kiravian political and economic influence overseas, especially in Ixnay, Kiravic is often studied as a foreign language abroad, especially in Umcara, Kuhlfros, and Urcea. It is also widely taught and understood in the nations of the former Kiravian Commonwealth development group, the Far Echo Islands, and Nova Pictavia.
- Masica, p. 65