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loegare

introduction  | pronunciation  | grammar  | vocabulary  | rosetta text  | notes

A brief and inaccurate guide to the pronunciation of the language of Loegare

consonants

Most nouns are pronounced as in English, but with the following restrictions and exceptions:

You will occasionally come across k as well. If you pronounce this as in standard English you won't go far wrong. In fact, most 'modern' speakers of Loegare will pronounce it in exactly that way. It only appears in loan words from the language of Skae, and was originally a glottal-stop (some natives of Skae, especially older ones, still pronounce it that way).

vowels

Short vowels are pronounced as follows:

Long vowels are pronounced as follows:

Note that is rather variable, ranging between /u/ (bOOm) and /U/ (cOUld).

determining vowel length

Long vowels are usually be indicated by an accent, but this is omitted under some circumstances. Whether or not a vowel is long can usually be determined by the following rules:

Vowels are long when they

Normally, all long vowels are marked, except where they appear at the end of a word.

dipthongs

Loegare has the following dipthongs:

All other occurences of two vowels together are pronounced separately, though very closely. They are treated as one syllable for the purpose of determining stress (see below).

stress

Most words are stressed on the penultimate syllable. Where a double vowel (such as ia) appears at the end of the word, or immediately before a final consonant, they are treated as a single syllable - in other words, the stress will appear on the preceding syllable.

plurals

If a word ends in e, the plural is indicated by replacing this with ae. In other cases the plural is indicated by adding -is. There are occasional exceptions.

In Skae, plurals are indicated by a terminating o (pronounced as in off, SAMPA o, not as in lone>). There is also an extended plural -or, SAMPA O:, meaning many. Occasionally these plurals are found in Loegare, though usually only in place names that have come from Skae. For example, the Brag of Tregor, which comes from the Skae name, Brag a Dregkor - moor of many peaks.

oddities and exceptions

Loegare has been influenced by other languages, particularly the language of Skae, a neighbouring province. This has resulted in a few irregularities of pronunciation and spelling.

k is almost, but not quite, the same as q. It is actually a rather unusual sound, at least in relationship to the other sounds of Loegare, probably because it represents a sound which is normally foreign to Loegare (it comes from the original, now extinct, language of Skae). It is in fact a glottal stop, but is only pronounced as such by natives of Skae. Speakers from Ardgn generally pronounce it indistinguishably from q.

The name Skae itself is not pronounced quite as you might expect. Probably as a lingering influence of the original glottal stop, it is not pronounced 'sky'. Instead, there is slight gap, almost a schwa, between the s and the k, making it a two syllable word: S-kae.

orthography

Naturally, Loegare does not actually use Roman characters -- the inhabitants of Medsca use their own script for it. However, representing it using the correct script would be very awkward, especially in a browser. Fortunately the language uses sounds that are largely akin to those of English, and I have been able to construct virtually a one-to-one correspondence between the elements of the Loegare script and the letters of English (with a certain 'forcing' here and there).

When, therefore, I make reference to changes or differences in spelling, the English letters that I use are straightforward replacements for their Loegare equivalents, and represent the matching changes and differences in the Loegare script.

I have also attempted (though not consistently) to reproduce some of the oddities of the original script. The most blatant example is in words with final vowels. In Loegare, a final vowel is almost invariably 'long' (, not u, for example), but is sometimes written using the 'long vowel' sign, and sometimes the 'short vowel' sign. This actually contradicts the implication (see below) that these vowels were regarded as completely separate, and possibly indicates some kind of historical linguistic change in these vowels.

The original script, which I might reproduce here at some point, sheds some interesting light on the linguistic understanding (or otherwise!) of its now unknown creators. It distinguishes between long and short vowels mainly by a small difference in the script, but in the case of the signs for and u, and for and i, they are completely different, suggesting that the originators regarded these as separate vowels, rather than variants of the same vowel.