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The Flag of the Dual Republic

The Democratic Republic of Favonia-Hesperia


All titles and offices of the central government have both Latin and Greek names. Parliamentary debates are carried on in the vernacular, with translations from Favonian to Hesperian or vice versa being published in their proceedings; but all final, official acts of the central government are issued in Latin and Greek. Latin is the language of command in the army, and Greek is the language of command in the navy (there is no separate air force, but aerial wings of both the army and navy).

Some provinces are officially bilingual, but most are unilingual. Thus the acts of local government, street signs, etc. are usually in either Latin or Greek. The vernacular is the language of instruction, but both Latin and Greek are required subjects in the schools. Virtually all adults, then, have some passive understanding of either Latin or ancient Greek, though relatively few could speak or write fluently in either language.

Education is free and compulsory for all between the ages of 5 and 15. The first quinquennium is devoted primarily to Grammar and Arithmetic. The Grammar curriculum begins with basic literacy in either Favonian or demotic Greek, but also includes grammar proper, plus spelling, vocabulary, penmanship, reading comprehension and composition.

The backbone of secondary education is Rhetoric: a five-year course of instruction in Latin and classical Greek. The Latin curriculum begins with the Medieval and Vulgar forms of the language, then advances to the more difficult Classical form. Likewise, the Greek curriculum begins with a year of Koinh, followed by three years of Attic and Ionic, and finally a year of Homeric. Foreign languages are optional.

Proficiency in both Latin and Greek is a requirement for higher education in the liberal arts, which in turn is a requirement for a career in such professions as teaching, law and government. Alternatively, the third quinquennium is devoted to vocational training, either formally (in science, medicine, engineering, architecture, etc.) or direct apprenticeship in a trade.

The difference between ancient Greek and Hesperian is a matter of register: greater formality is represented by more archaic vocabulary and grammar. Latin and Favonian, however, are clearly different languages, even though Favonian is more conservative than any other Romance language. Thus there is a movement on the left side of the political spectrum, and in the Favonian nationalist party, to replace Latin with Favonian as the standard language.

The chief obstacle is that Favonian itself has not been standardized. There are three main dialects: Uxidian, Lacustrine, and Septentrional. These have significant differences in phonology (glossed over by Favonian's Latinizing orthography), morphology (especially in verb forms), syntax and vocabulary. There is also considerable divergence between written and spoken Favonian, the former being heavily and directly influenced by Latin. Lacustrine is the most important dialect, since it is the speech of the political and geographical center of Favonia, and is the form that will be described below (with some variations noted as appropriate).

Probably the most distinctive traits of Favonian, as compared to other Romance languages, are the reflexes of Latin c d g t. Before i or e, each of these (usually) became a distinct affricate [tS dz dZ ts]: hence DEUS > Diu [dzu], TERRA > [tserra]. Each of these affricates has three orthographic representations, varying regularly by environment:

c d g t: before e or i
ci di j ti: before a o u
š dz j ts: at the end of a word

Exceptions to the rule include JUSTITIA > [dZustitsa], because the cluster *-sts- is impossible in Favonian.

In sequences VcC or VgC, the velar stops shifted to [j]: hence FACTUM > fait; in such environments i- was lowered to e-, hence SIGNUM > sein. The sequence -VlC- resulted in -VwC-: e.g. PSALMUS > saum, BALNEUM 'bath' > baun.

The Latin contrast between long and short vowels has been lost. Lacustrine has the simplest system, with only five distinct vowels: i e a o u. Both Uxidian and Septentrional maintain a distinction between Ŕ and Ú, and between ˛ and ˇ, but with different distributions.

Favonian, like all Romance languages, has two genders: masculine and feminine. It also has two cases: nominative and oblique. The oblique case is used after prepositions and when the noun is the direct or indirect object.

There are two articles, un- 'a(n)' and s- 'the'. The article agrees with the noun in case and gender: un/se don 'a/the lord', una/sa fenna 'a/the woman'. The final vowels of articles are elided before initial vowels of nouns: s' om 'the man'. The definite article also agrees with the noun in number: si donni 'the lords', se fenne 'the women'.

The oblique forms of the articles are uno, una, so, sa in the singular, and sos, sas in the plural. There are three regular declensions of nouns. The regular feminine and masculine nouns follow the same pattern as the definite article: fenna (nominative singular), fenne (nominative plural), fenna (oblique singular), fennas (oblique plural); foc 'fire', foci, foco, focos. The third declension follows the paradigm can 'dog', cani, cane, canes.

Irregular declensions usually involve doubling and/or altering the final consonant(s) of the root: e.g. don 'lord' > donni, donno, donnos; par 'father' > parri, parre, parres; baun 'bathtub' > bauni, banio, banios; om 'man' > onni, onne, onnes.

The personal pronouns each have three forms: nominative, objective, and possessive. The possessives, like adjectives, agree with their nouns in case and number, and have the same endings as regular 1st and 2nd declension nouns.

jo 'I'  me 'me'  mi- 'my'
tu 'you (singular)'  te 'you' tu- 'your' 
il 'he' lo 'him' su- 'his'
la 'she' la 'her' su- 'her'
nos 'we' nos 'us' nos(s-) 'our' 
vos 'you (plural)' vos 'you'  vos(s-) 'your' 
li 'they (masculine)'  los 'them'  lor- 'their'
le 'they (feminine)' las 'them' lor- 'their'

In Septentrional, the third person plural possessives have only one form, lor.

There are two demonstratives, 'this/these' and 'that/those', which agree with their subjects in gender and case:

is don/sto donno 'this lord' sti donni/stos donnos 'these lords' il don/lo donno 'that lord' li donni/los donnos 'those lords'
sta donna 'this lady' ste donne/stas donnas 'these ladies' la donna 'that lady' le donne/las donnas 'those ladies'

There are three classes of adjectives: masculine, feminine, and common. Adjectives agree with their nouns in case, gender, and number.

bon don 'good lord'  bona donna 'good lady'  facil 'easy'
bono donno bona donna facile
boni donni bone donne facili/facile
bonos donnos bonas donnas faciles

In Septentrional, the nominative plural of common-gender adjectives is the same as the oblique plural.

There are two negatives: no 'no' and n(e) 'not': e.g. No, n'esse bon, 'No, [it] is not good'.

The verbs have three regular conjugations:

fablar 'to tell lies' deber 'to be obligated' dormir 'to sleep'
fablo 'I tell lies' debo 'I am obligated' dormo 'I sleep'
fablas 'you (singular) tell lies' debes 'you (singular) are obligated' dormis 'you (singular) sleep'
fabla 'he/she tells lies' debe 'he/she is obligated' dormi 'he/she sleeps'
fablamus 'we tell lies' debemus 'we are obligated' dormimus 'we sleep'
fablats 'you (plural) tell lies' debets 'you (plural) are obligated' dormits 'you (plural) sleep'
fablan 'they tell lies' deben 'they are obligated' dormin 'they sleep'

The Lacustrine forms of the most important irregular verbs are:

esser 'to be' aber 'to have'
esso 'I am' au 'I have'
es 'you (singular) are' ais 'you (singular) have'
esse 'he/she/it is' a 'he/she/it has'
sumus 'we are' ammus 'we have'
ets 'you (plural) are' abets 'you (plural) have'
sun 'they are' an 'they have'

The past tense is formed with aber + past participle: au fablat(a) 'I have lied'. The future tense is formed with infinitive + aber: deber au 'I will be obligated'.

Favonian is heavily overlaid with both Latin and Greek vocabulary, the former usually forming doublets with words that changed in sound and sense in the evolving language: compare, for example, camera 'legislative chamber' and cambra 'room'. Reborrowings from Latin are declined or conjugated according to the modern paradigms: compare par 'father' with pater 'Mithraic priest', declined patere, pateri, pateres. (A Christian priest is prestor < PRESBYTER.)

New words are formed freely by both composition and derivation. Nouns, for instance, take a variety of suffixes indicating size and quality: e.g. -on- indicates largeness (fennona 'big-breasted woman'), -/aci- badness (fennacia 'slut'). There are two diminutives, -in- and -ul-: the former has connotations of cuteness or delicacy (e.g. fennina 'pretty little woman'), while the latter has connotations of contempt or mockery, e.g. fennula 'silly little woman', donul 'lordling' (a petty man with an inflated sense of his own importance, especially one who likes bossing other people around). This suffix is very productive in the formation of epithets.

The only thing that will make a Mithraist angrier than being called torlator 'bull-worshiper' is to be called torlatorul. He would snap back with crušlator(ul) 'cross-worshipper' (or perhaps cibleon 'lion-fodder'). Likewise, the usual epithet for a Greek is grecul, and nirul derisively encompasses any nonwhite person. Also, -in has derogatory connotations when applied to a semantically masculine noun: e.g. omin 'fop' ~ 'sissy' ~ 'sodomite' respectively in Uxidian, Lacustrine, and Septentrional (cf. omul 'a man of weak and feckless character' in both Uxidian and Lacustrine, but 'a small and physically weak man' in Septentrional).

Interestingly, -aš/acia is only used to form epithets when the root is itself neutral in connotation. Thus, pervertul has no counterpart * pervertaš, and niraš 'savage' does not have a specifically racial denotation. Similarly, a grecaš is a pederast of any ethnicity.

Nouns of things as well as persons are formed with these suffixes, of course: e.g. cambrula 'WC'. When the suffix follows an identical sequence of sounds, the latter is dissimilated: hence machina 'machine' > machenina 'pocket-watch', cul 'buttocks' > colul 'butt'.

The Greek influence, though extensive, is thoroughly assimilated. Thus the normal words for 'lover' are erastor (in the sexual sense) and filator (in the general sense) -- from erasthV and filoV, with Latinized endings. The formal word for the sort of osculation known in English (for obscure reasons) as a 'French kiss' is known in Favonian (for equally obscure reasons) by the Greek word filema -- which, though neuter in Greek, is feminine in Favonian. The more colloquial term for it is the native compound lingualuitatio -- literally, 'tongue-wrestling'. 'Language' is glossa, as opposed to lingua 'tongue'; 'war(fare)' is polematio, from the verb polemew.

Because the Hesperians rather than Favonians dwell by the sea, and because Latin mater and mare converged into Favonian mar, the words for 'sea' are all Greek. From qalassa, Favonian derives both Sa Lassa, the name of Favonia's great central lake, and talassa, a learned word for any large body of water; Ocian is the Favonian name of the open sea on either side of the country.

ę 2001 by Karl Jahn

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