|Total speakers||70,252,000 est.|
|Writing system||Modified Latin alphabet|
|Regulated by||Sénas Cenédládh na Gúalihaíg|
Anguistian is an Indo-European language spoken primarily within the present-day northern Principality of Anguist within the United Kingdom of Isselmere-Nieland (UKIN). Ancient Anguistian is distantly related to ancient Pictish, an extinct language of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic family that was once spoken in Scotland. Consequently, the Anguistian language does bear some similarities to Welsh, although the relation is much the same as Hungarian is to Finnish within the Finno-Ugric family group.
Middle Anguistian, however, was strongly influenced by the Goidelic languages, in particular Irish and Scots Gaelic. Unlike Manx, Anguistian has few loanwords from the resident Scandinavian language, Nielandic.
The present-day Anguistian language bears the marks of many historical interactions between peoples, including words from such diverse languages as that of the Tuniit of the North Atlantic, Basque, ancient Greek, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, as well as those of the Anglo-Frisian languages and Old West Norse. Archaeological records have indicated that Greek merchants occasionally travelled to Lethe to trade for tin, struggled with the Basque over fish, and endured raids by the Irish and Scots before being invaded by Anglo-Frisian and Old West Norse speakers.
The Anglo-Frisian speakers forced the native Anguistian speakers back to present-day Anguist and Nieland. Genetic studies of modern Isselmere-Nielanders reveal that the newcomers not only took the land, but murdered most of the inhabitants as well. The process was not a systematic genocide as much as the product of warfare in that day and age. The various kingdoms of the Anguistians and the Anglo-Frisians battled vigorously over the centuries, with each side claiming suzerainty over the entirety of their own people as well as their neighbours at several points in history. The Vikings, however, changed the nature of those battles.
At first, the Vikings raided the coastline of Lethe. These small invasions grew in size and strength, forcing the various kings of the two peoples to assemble themselves under the banner of their own high king. Yet even these first efforts towards political unification were thwarted both by fighting within and between the two fractious high-kingdoms. Eventually, the Vikings came to settle, securing large tracts of land in Hoblingland, Wingeria, and Gudrof, and wresting present-day Nieland away from the Anguistians. The decision to the Anguistian nobility to seek the assistance of their eastern neighbours, the Isselmerians, to reverse the seizure of Nieland by the Vikings led to the decapitation the Anguistian high-kingdom and its subsequent incorporation into the slowly forming Isselmerian kingdom.
Despite the destruction of the Anguistian nobility perpetrated by Forthar I, who subsequently declared himself as King of the Isselmerians and Anguistians, the Anguistians continued to chart their own course and conduct themselves accordingly. As late as 1586, royal appointees and edicts were disregarded within much of Anguist.
The Reformation was key to the continuation of the Anguistian language. The Isselmerian monarchy enacted draconian measures over the centuries to extinguish Anguistian culture, but chastening expeditions returned duly chastened themselves, giving Anguist de facto quasi-independence from the Crown. Even so, the Anguistian language faltered as Anguistian-speaking magnates travelled southward to seek greater fortunes. The translation of the Bible into Anguistian and the decision by the then Archbishop of Anguist and later the Synod of Mithesburgh to avoid any further battles within the fracturing Church of Isselmere began the gradual formalisation of the tongue and promoted its continuation to the present-day.
Modern Anguistian uses an eighteen letter alphabet, or thirty-three with accented characters (all vowels) and digraphs. In English alphabetical order, these are:
- A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, U
As in Welsh, Irish, and Scottish Gaelic, these letters were originally named after trees or other flora starting with the respective letter. Since many of those plants did not grow in Anguist, the mnemonic device lost its resonance and the names of letters lost much of their meaning.
Acute accents typically indicate long vowels, which should not be confused with stress.
- b = /b/, except at the start of words, in which case /p/
- c = /k/
- d = /d/
- f = /f/
- g = /g/, as in golf
- h = only appears with lenition or as part of a digraph
- s = /s/, except before e, é, i, í, r or t, in which case /ʃ/.
- t = /t/
- bh = /v/
- bp = /b/
- ch = /χ/ (/x/) as in loch
- dh = /ð/, as in there
- fh = unvoiced
- gh = /ɣ/ (/γ/) or /ʃt/ (/sht/)
- ll = /ɬ/ as in Welsh, a voiceless alveolar lateral fricative such as llwyd (Eng. grey)
- mh = /v/ or /w/
- nh = unvoiced or /v/
- ph = /f/, except at the end of words, in which case /v/
- sh = /h/
- th = /θ/, as in thing
- -cht and -ght = may appear as /tʃ/ at ends of words
There are three genders in Anguistian: masculine, feminine, and neuter.
Anguistian numerals formerly followed a vigesimal format, which in recent years has shifted to a decimal style similar to that expressed in German or English. Since both styles often appear concurrently, both forms are described below. Zero or naught is níll.
- 2000 = dá mhílle or uigean pheoght
- 10,000 = dech mhílle
- 1,000,000 = (ón) milíon
- 2,000,000 = dá mhilíon
- 1,000,000,000 = (ón) míllart or mílle mhilíon
- 2,000,000,000 = dá mhíllart
- 1,000,000,000,000 = áin bilíon
- 2,000,000,000,000 = dá bhilíon
Large numbers typically follow the decimal system. For instance, the population of Isselmere-Nieland in August 2006 was 6,395,862,417 or sígh mhíllart, trí pheoght a naúgean póig mhilíon, óght bpeoght a síagean dhá mhílle, dech sheáb ar pédir pheoght.
The use of numbers in Anguistian is fraught with difficulty for the newcomer as it follows the complex format present in Irish and Scottish Gaelic. These are the numbers themselves for counting (noted by the indefinite article a before the number), counting things, and counting people.
- For one (a h-ón), one might use the noun by itself, the noun followed by the adjective amháidh ("alone"), or ón preceding the noun followed by amháidh.
- E.g., llóng, llóng amháidh, or ón llóng amháidh, wherein llóng is Anguistian for ship.
- For two (a dá), one might encounter the dual form of the noun (if one exists). One must remember to lenite the noun where possible.
- E.g., 2 ships = dhá llóing
- If between three and ten objects are being counted, the noun is in the plural form.
- E.g., 3 ships = trí llónga
- For numbers between "three" and six, the noun is lenited as well.
- For numbers between seven and ten, the noun is eclipsed as well.
- For eleven and beyond, the noun is typically in its singular form. However, for numbers from "eleven" to ninety-nine, should be wary of the following:
- 19 ships = naú llóng dech
- One might also experience naú pecht déogh for nineteen hundred, especially when relating years. For instance, the Constitution Act was signed in 1986 or óght pecht dech pédir uigean a shígh or óght pecht dech óghtean a shígh.
Úiar is man in Anguistian.
Like Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Welsh, Anguistian words may experience lenition or eclipsis depending upon the context in which the word is spoken. Typically, this occurs when a word refers to a masculine third person singular possessive preceeded by an article.
Save for a few speakers within the northern Principality of Anguist, the Anguistian language has almost passed into history. Both Union and Regional governments, however, are striving to reverse that downward trend. The Constitution Act, 1986 established Anguistian as one of two — now three — official languages of the UKIN, and educational programmes have been established to introduce the language to new generations of Isselmere-Nielanders throughout the United Kingdom.
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