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Archaic High Elven
Extinction: evolved into Classical High Elven around 800 BEKE
Language family: Torgyrian
 Elven
  Archaic High Elven 
Writing system: Early High Elven alphabet

Template:Infobox Language/IPA notice

Archaic High Elven was the stage of the High Elven language between 1300 BEKE and 800 BEKE. Much of the High Elven written records from this time are a mixture of religious literature and chronicling of factual history, unlike Archaic Wood Elven, which has already had established written secular epic literature at the point, rather than just history and religious texts. The language was also spoken during the period of time in which the Kingdom of Froturn barely existed, and often changed between a unified monarchy to little more than a glorified tribal confederation during time periods as short as decades. Despite the overall lack of political unity - with the exception during the early times (such as the High Elven campaigns against Fathred the Great)) - the language remained unified to the end and there were no records indicating fracturing into dialects that differed from each other drastically.

Evolution from Proto-Elven Edit

Consonants Edit

  • Depalatalization: The palato-velar /kʰʲ kʲ gʲ/ series merged with the plain velar /kʰ k g/ and the postalveolar /ṉ t͡ʃʰ t͡ʃ d͡ʒ ʃ ʒ ḻ r̠/ merged with the alveolar /n t͡sʰ t͡s d͡z s z l r/ before all the other sound shifts mentioned below.
  • Fricatization: the aspirated plosives /pʰ tʰ kʰ kʷʰ/ became fricatives /ɸ θ x xʷ/ with voiced allophones [β ð ɣ ɣʷ] medially. The aspirated affricate /t͡sʰ/ merged with plain /t͡s/.
  • Loss of distinction between voiced and voiceless fricatives - voiced fricatives are only allophones of their voiceless counterparts medially.
  • The guttural rhotic /ʁ/ - at least in syllable onset, where it wasn't vocalized - merged with plain /r/, the velar nasals /ŋ ŋʷ/ merged with /n m/.

Vowels Edit

- ë /ə̯/ i /ɪ̯/ ü /ʏ̯/ u /ʊ̯/ ŕ /aʁ/ ` /ʕʷ/
a /a/ [ɑ] > a /a/ aë /aə̯/ [ɑə̯] > á /aː/ ai /aɪ̯/ [ɑɪ̯] > ai /ai̯/ aü /aʏ̯/ [ɒʏ̯] > au /au̯/ au /aʊ̯/ [ɒʊ̯] > au /au̯/ aŕ /aʁ/ [ɑɐ̯] > á /aː/ a` /aʕʷ/ [ɒɒ̯] > á /aː/
ä /æ/ [æ] > a /a äë /æə̯/ [æə̯] > á /aː/ äi /æɪ̯/ [æɪ̯] > ai /ai̯/ äü /æʏ̯/ [æʏ̯] > au /au̯/ äu /æʊ̯/ [æʊ̯] > au /au̯/ äŕ /æʁ/ [æɐ̯] > á /aː/ ä` /æʕʷ/ [æɒ̯] > á /aː/
ë /ə/ [ə] > ë /ə/ - ëi /əɪ̯/ [əɪ̯] > é /eː/ ëü /əʏ̯/ [əʏ̯] > ó /oː/ ëu /əʊ̯/ [əʊ̯] > ó /oː/ ëŕ /əʁ/ [əɐ̯] > ó /oː/ ë` /əʕʷ/ [əɒ̯] > á /aː/
e /e/ [e̞] > e /e/ eë /eə̯/ [e̞ə̯] > é /eː/ ei /eɪ̯/ [e̞ɪ̯] > é /eː/ eü /eʏ̯/ [e̞ʏ̯] > eu /eu̯/ eu /eʊ̯/ [e̞ʊ̯] > eu /eu̯/ eŕ /eʁ/ [e̞ɐ̯] > ě /ɛː/ e` /eʕʷ/ [e̞ɒ̯] > á /aː/
o /o/ [o] > o /o/ oë /oə̯/ [oə̯] > ó /oː/ oi /oɪ̯/ [oɪ̯] > oi /oi̯/ oü /oʏ̯/ [oʏ̯] > ó /oː/ ou /oʊ̯/ [oʊ̯] > ó /oː/ oŕ /oʁ/ [oɐ̯] > á /aː/ o` /oʕʷ/ [oɒ̯] > á /aː/
ö /ø/ [ø̞] > ë /ə/ öë /øə̯/ [ø̞ə̯] > é /eː/ öi /øɪ̯/ [ø̞ɪ̯] > é /eː/ öü /øʏ̯/ [ø̞ʏ̯] > ó /oː/ öu /øʊ̯/ [ø̞ʊ̯] > ó /oː/ öŕ /øʁ/ [ø̞ɐ̯] > á /aː/ ö` /øʕʷ/ [ø̞ɒ̯] > á /aː/
ï /ɨ/ [ɨ] > y /ɨ/ ïë /ɨə̯/ [ɨə̯] > ý /ɨː/ - ïü /ɨʏ̯/ [ɨʏ̯] > ý /ɨː/ ïu /ɨʊ̯/ [ɨʊ̯] > ý /ɨː/ ïŕ /ɨʁ/ [ɨɐ̯] > é /eː/ ï` /ɨʕʷ/ [ɨɒ̯] > é /eː/
i /i/ [i] > i /i/ ië /iə̯/ [iə̯] > í /iː/ - iü /iʏ̯/ [iʏ̯] > iu /iu̯/ iu /iʊ̯/ [iʊ̯] > iu /iu̯/ iŕ /iʁ/ [iɐ̯] > é /eː/ i` /iʕʷ/ [iɒ̯] > é /eː/
u /u/ [u] > u /u/ uë /uə̯/ [uə̯] > ú /uː/ ui /uɪ̯/ [uɪ̯] > ui /ui̯/ - - uŕ /uʁ/ [uɐ̯] > ó /oː/ u` /uʕʷ/ [uɒ̯] > ó /oː/
ü /y/ [y] > y /ɨ/ üë /yə̯/ [yə̯] > >ý /ɨː/ üi /yɪ̯/ [yɪ̯] > ý /ɨː/ - - üŕ /yʁ/ [yɐ̯] > ó /oː/ ü` /yʕʷ/ [yɒ̯] > ó /oː/
ŕ /ʁ/ [ɐ] > a /a/ - - - - - -

Consonants Edit

Labial Dental Apico-Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plain Labial
Nasal m n
Stop Voiceless p t̪͡s̪ t k ʔ
Voiced b d̪͡z̪ d g
Fricative Voiceless ɸ~β θ~ð s̺~z̺ x~ɣ xʷ~ɣʷ h*
Voiced
Approximant l j w
Trill r

The glottal fricative [h] was an allophone of the non-sibilant fricatives /ɸ θ x/ after plosive consonants. Therefore, it is likely that /pɸ pθ px/ were realized as [ph] or even [pʰ], /tɸ tθ tx/ as [th] or [tʰ], /kɸ kθ kx/ as [kh] or [kʰ]. However, it is also possible that the aforementioned consonant clusters were realized as affricates [p͡ɸ t͡θ k͡x] rather than aspirated stops [ph~pʰ th~tʰ kh~kʰ]. This is evidenced by the fact that during the Classical Period, the aspirated stops /pʰ tʰ kʰ/ - which by that time have became phonemic - most likely had a slight fricative release, as /pʰ/ merged with /f/ during the Post-Classical period.

Several of Archaic High Elven's consonant phonemes were rather unstable. For example, written records were often inconsistent in distinguishing /xʷ/ and /gʷ/, implying that the letter was likely pronounced as a fricative /ɣʷ/ rather than a plosive. This is reinforced by the fact that in Classical Wood Elven, both /gʷ/ and /ɣʷ/ merged with /w/, while /xʷ/, /ɸ/ and /θ/ all merged into the new /f/.

There is a possibility that the supposedly velar /x/ was already a glottal /h/ in late Archaic High Elven. That would imply that /x/, /ɣ/, /xʷ/ and /ɣʷ/ were actually [h], [ɦ], [hʷ~ʍ~ɸ] and [ɦʷ~w]. While this explains well why Classical High Elven had /h/ and /f/ instead of /x/ and /xʷ/, this was unlikely, as the voiced labio-velar /gʷ/ and /ɣʷ/ were still kept distinction from the approximant /w/.

Vowels Edit

Front Central Back
Close Long ɨː
Short i ɨ u
Mid Long
Short e ə o
Open Long
Short a

The language also had dipthongs - namely /iu̯/, /ui̯/, /oi̯/, /eu̯/, /ai̯/ and /au̯/.

The close central vowels /ɨ ɨː/ were most likely compressed [ɨᵝ ɨᵝː]. They may even have been fronted [y yː], as evidenced by the relatively early loss of distinction between the monophthong /ɨː/ and the diphthong /iu̯/.

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