The Wood Elven language is the first Elven language have recorded evidence about dialects, dating back to the Archaic Wood Elven period. Do keep in mind that this article only covers the dialects in the Dragoc variant of Wood Elven. The Artaburro variant does not have dialects with notable phonological differences and is relatively uniform.
Northern Dragoc Edit
- During the Archaic Wood Elven the original labio-velar /kʷ gʷ/ merged with the bilabial /p b/, as opposed to Standard Wood Elven which delabialized them to /k g/ during the Classical High Elven period. This explains why a lot of names and words in this dialect have /h b/ instead of the standard /k g/.
- The shift from /p/ to /ɸ/ started in this dialect earlier than in the rest of Dragoc, already in the late Archaic Wood Elven period, while the process was only completed in the rest of Dragoc during the early Classical High Elven period.
- For historical reasons (see above), words that historically had /kʷ gʷ/ in Archaic Wood Elven have /h b/ in this dialect instead of the standard /k g/.
- Instead of the long vowels /eː oː/, diphthongs [ei̯ ou̯] are used. Some speakers may even use [ɛɪ̯ ɔʊ̯]
- The long /aː/ is backed and R-coloured to [ɑ˞ː] word-finally. Speakers of other dialects mock the Northern dialect by calling it "Aru-dialect".
- Between a back/central vowel and a front vowel, /r/ is usually dropped and replaced by either /j/ or by a lengthening of vowel following it. For example, /hɔrɛ/ and /hɔri/ become /hojɛ/ and /hɔiː/.
- /rj/ is pronounced as a voiced retroflex fricative [ʐ], a sound unique to this dialect occurring in no other variant of Wood Elven.
- /h/ does not have palatal allophones before /i j/ - /hi/ is pronunced as [hi] and /hj/ is stretched into /hi/ - but instead, /h/ is realized as velar [x] before /a/, /ɔ/ and /oː/.
Western Dragoc Edit
The dialect of Western Dragoc has always served as the basis for Standard Wood Elven ever since the Archaic Wood Elven era, it in no way deviated from Standard usage historically.
- Authentic Western Dragoc speech - as opposed to the Standard pronounciation based off it - is a lot more liberal with monophthongization of diphthongs: the diphthongs /ai̯/ and /oi̯/ are monophthongized to /eː/, in addition to the historical mergers of /ei̯/ and /jai̯/ to /eː/, /ou̯/ and /au̯/ to /oː/ and /eu̯/ to /joː/.
- /hi/ is shifted to /ɕi/
- The long /iː/ is a laxed [ɪː].
Eastern Dragoc Edit
- During the Archaic Wood Elven period, the labio-velar /kʷ gʷ/ and palato-velar /kʲ gʲ/ were realized as fricatives [xʷ ɣʷ ç ʝ]. During the Classical High Elven period, they became [x ɣ ç ʝ]. When Classical High Elven gave way to Current High Elven, /x ɣ/ merged with /h g/, while /ç ʝ/ became /hj j/.
- Other than the triphthong /jai̯/ and diphthong /eu̯/ - which became /jɛː/ and /joː/ - the Eastern Dragoc dialect preserved the diphthongs /ei̯ ou̯ au̯/ in their original forms rather than turning them into long monophthongs.
- Due to historical reasons (see above), dialectal vocabulary has /h hj j/ in place of standard /k kʲ gʲ/ in words that had /kʷ kʲ gʲ/ in Archaic Wood Elven.
- Due to historical reasons (see above), dialectal vocabulary has diphthongs /ei̯ ou̯ au̯/ in place of standard /eː oː/.
- Intervocalic /d/ is pronounced as [z] instead of [ð].
- Word-initial /s/ is usually pronounced as [h].
- /h/ is pronounced as a palatal [ç] before all front vowels and a velar [x] before back and central vowels other than /u/ (/hu/ is pronounced [ɸʉ])
Southern Dragoc Edit
- During the Classical High Elven period, /ai̯/ consistently became /ɛː/, not just before /j/
- During the Classical High Elven period, the diphthong /oi̯/ monophthongized to /œː/, which got unrounded and merged with /ɛː/ in at the end of the Classical period.
- For historical reasons (see above), words that have the diphthongs /ai̯/ and /ɔi̯/ in Standard High Elven have the long vowel /ɛː/ instead.
- Unlike Standard Wood Elven which merged /ɛː ɔː/ and /eː oː/, the four long vowels remained completely distinct in the Southern dialect. /ɛː/ and /ɔː/ are written 「ai」 and 「au」.
- The shibilant fricative /ɕ/ is realized as a retroflex [ʂ]. /tɕ/ and /dʑ~ʑ/ remain alveolo-palatal.