Monday, December 31, 2012

Reviving Amerysk - The Plan

Recently I discovered some old comments about my old Amerysk website that were from 2005. That shows I've been working a while to preserve our Amerysk language.

In that time I have not been able to find anyone with further Amerysk material. Since what I have is fragmentary, the only way to let Amerysk live again is to made additions to the language, especially in the area of vocabulary.

In 1978, Amerysk spread only through a tiny network of members of the Asatru (Norse Pagan) religion in the United States. Today, with the Internet, it can spread further. It can even serve as a means of communication between speakers of different languages, once I get the wordhord (dictionary) translated.

Amerysk as originally envisioned retained some of the excess complications of Germanic languages, such as a complicated case system, at least one irregular verb--- the verb 'to be', for which there is no conjugation given in the sources I have. These complications were suited for the time, in which the average person had no access to materials for learning Anglo-Saxon or Old Norse--- Amerysk could serve as a substitute.

But now with the availability of the Internet, one can learn those old languages rather than using Amerysk as a substitute. The role Amerysk can best play now is one of a Germanic-based auxiliary language. To fulfill that role, Amerysk needs to emphasize its simple side.

For that purpose, I am proposing some simplifications in the matter of grammar. Instead of having a wide variety of words for the modern English 'the', we will only have one. The pronouns will also be simplified, and the verb conjugations, and the plurals.... Affixes (prefixes and suffixes) in our linguistic source material (mostly Anglo-Saxon) will be dusted off and put to wider use.

The result will be a language which can express any idea we want to express, but which can be learned in a fraction of the time it takes to learn a natural language such as French.

Some of the forms will seem a bit odd, such is using the word 'ik', or 'I', to mean 'me' as well. But that will help people of other-than-Anglo-Saxon language background learn it more quickly.

The guiding principle I go by is that the words of Amerysk must be of Germanic origin. Loan-words from other languages should be replaced by Germanic words. Since modern English is the most widespread Germanic language, words which are similar to the English word should be preferred.

Once I finish posting the original Amerysk material on this blog, I will start with creating new materials and new words. The first step is to regularize the orthography, or writing system. The letter

ø is currently used. But special letters are not so good, though they are cool. I suggest replacing it with œ, which can very naturally be replaced with oe.

Another change to the orthography is the reorganizing of the vowels into long and short vowels, and giving the IPA and X-SAMPA symbols for each sound to show pronunciation. These are international symbols understood around the globe and will be helpful for people from other linguistic backgrounds.

I hope to have the revised orthography up soon. The next task after that is to revise the dictionary to reflect the changes.

If you are interested in Amerysk, please follow us on this blog and/or on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amerysk-A-Lost-Language/139638296193255   Your suggestions and comments are welcome.

Amerysk Words I from 'Snaekk and Skryf Amerysk'

From 'Snaekk and Skryf Amerysk' by Paal Filssunu

DAELIGE KWETHE/DAILY PHRASESYes JaNo NeyPlease Wes swa gødThank you ThankeThank you very much Fylan thankeThat's all right Ull is regtYou're welcome Wes swa gødGood morning GødmorgenGood afternoon GødmiddaegGood day GøddaegGood evening Gødaefen/GødkwuldGood night GødnygtHello! Haelsa!How are you? Hu aert thu?How goes it? Hu gaath hit/ Hu gaa hit/ Hu gaa't?May I introduce.... Maeg ik thy skuwan...myself myselfMr. myn Frey _____________Mrs. myn Freyja _____________Miss myn Freyja ______________I'm pleased to meet you Ik behulde thyg glaedlykExcuse me/ I beg your pardon unskøldFarewell/ Cheerio faerwellUntil we meet again oth withersynwhere? hwaer?where is....? hwaer is...?where are...? hwaer aer...?how? hu?how is...? hu is...?how are....? hu aer...?how much...? hu mykel...?how many....? hu maenig...?when? hwaen?what? hwaet?why? hwaetfør/ hwy?who? hwa?which? hwelk?it is hit isis it? is hit? is't?it isn't hit is nyt/ 'tis nythere it is hjaer hit ishere they are hjaer hje aerthere it is thaer hit isthere they are thaer hje aerthere is/ are thaer is/ aeris there? is thaer?are there? aer thaer?What do you call this in Amerykan? Hwaet haette this up Amerysk?Can I have....? Kunn ik haebban...?Can we have...? Kunn wy haebban...?Can you show me...? Kunn thu my skuwan...?I cannot Ik kunne nytCan I help you? Kunn ik thyg haelpan?Can you direct me to...? Kunn thu myg thaem wege skuwan...?Can you tell me...? Kunn thu my saegan...?Do you speak... Sprekest thu...Amerykan AmeryskGerman ThyskEnglish AngelskDutch NetherlaenskSwedish SwenskNorwegian NorskDanish DaenskIcelandic YslaenskFaroese FaerskFrench FraenskSpanish SpaenskItalian ItaljaenskRussian RusskDo you understand? Forstandest thu?I do not understand. Ik forstande nytWait just a moment! ØganblikI would like... Ik will gaern haebban...We would like... Wy will gaern haebban...What would you like? Hwaet will thu gaern haebban?Give me... Gyf my..Give it to me Gyf hit my/ Gyf't myBring me... Bring myBring it to me Bring hit my/ Bring't myShow me... Skuw myShow it to me Skuw hit my/ Skuw't my

TAELSTAEFAS/ NUMBERS1 aen2 twae3 thry4 fjør5 fyf6 syx7 sjøfen8 aegta9 nygen10 tyn11 aenlefen12 twaelf13 thrytyn14 fjørtyn15 fyftyn16 syxtyn17 sjøfentyn18 aegtatyn19 nygentyn20 twaentig21 aenandtwaentig22 twaeandtwaentig23 thryandtwaentig24 fjørandtwaentig25 fyfandtwaentig26 syxandtwaentig27 sjøfenandtwaentig28 aegtaandtwaentig29 nygenandtwaentig30 thrytig40 fjørtig50 fyftig60 syxtig70 sjøfentig80 aegtatig90 nygentig100 aen hundreth101 aen hundreth aen102 aen hundreth twae110 aen hundreth tyn119 aen hundreth nygentyn120 aen hundreth twaentig121 aen hundreth aenandtwaentig130 aen hundreth thrytig140 aen hundreth fjørtig200 twae hundreth300 thry hundreth400 fjør hundreth1000 aen thusenth1001 aen thusenth aen1010 aen thusenth tyn1019 aen thusenth nygentyn1020 aen thusenth twaentig1021 aen thusenth aenandtwaentig1100 aen thusenth aen hundreth1121 aen thusenth aen hundreth aenandtwaentig1985 aen thusenth nygen hundreth fyfandaegtatig10,000 tyn thusenth100,000 aen hundreth thusenth1,000,000 (1 million) aen maenigu

ORDINAL NUMBERS1st aerst2nd øther3rd thridda4th fjørtha5th fyfta6th syxta7th sjøfentha8th aegtha9th nygentha10th tyntha11th aenlefta12th twaelfta13th thrytyntha14th fjørtyntha15th fyftyntha16th syxtyntha17th sjøfentyntha18th aegtatyntha19th nygentyntha20th twaentigtha21st aenandtwaentigtha22nd twaeandtwaentigtha23rd thryandtwaentigtha24th fjørandtwaentigtha25th fyfandtwaentigtha26th syxandtwaentigtha27th sjøfenandtwaentigtha28th aegtaandtwaentigtha29th nygenandtwaentigtha30th thrytigtha40th fjørtigtha50th fyftigtha60th syxtigtha70th sjøfentigtha80th aegtatigtha90th nygentigtha100th aen hundretha101th aen hundreth aerst102nd aen hundreth øther110th aen hundreth tyntha119th aen hundreth nygentyntha120th aen hundreth twaentigtha121th aen hundreth aenandtwaentigtha130th aen hundreth thrytigtha140th aen hundreth fjørtigtha200th twae hundretha300th thry hundretha400th fjør hundretha1000th aen thusentha1001st aen thusenth aerst1010th aen thusenth tyntha1019th aen thusenth nygentyntha1020th aen thusenth twaentigtha1021st aen thusenth aenandtwaentigtha1100th aenlefenhundretha1121st aen thusenth aenandtwaentigtha1985th aen thusenth nygen hundreth fyfandaegtatigtha10,000th tyn thusentha100,000th hundreth thusentha1,000,000 (1 million) aen maeniguth

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Amerysk Faanas - Amerysk Flags

Amerysk now has a flag! Well, actually, there are two. This one is the Amerysk Tungafaan--- Amerysk language flag. Flags are used a lot these days as icons for languages--- on many, you click an English or American flag to go to the English version of a page, and there are other pages for other languages.


Conlangs (constructed languages) can have flags, took. This is the flag for Esperanto. It's often used on web sites, blogs and Facebook pages in Esperanto. Our Amerysk flag can be used the same way. (I give my permission for anyone to use it for any Amerysk-related purpose.)

The flag above is an 1985 flag called the Ryksfaan. It's a tribal flag for the 'Amerykan' people--- Germanic-heritage people of North America (or the Americas), who speak the folk-language Amerysk and worship the traditional tribal Gods. The graphic is not as well done--- I'm not so good at creating graphics. But it gives an idea of what the Ryksfaan looks like.

Since the Ryksfaan has religious and folk/tribal meanings attached to it, as well as the linguistic connection to the Amerysk language, I thought that a language flag that is JUST about the language would be in order. My Amerysk tungafaan was inspired in its design by the Ryksfaan, just a little plainer. Which is appropriate because it has a plainer, pared-down meaning.





Amerysk Grammar from Spraek and Skryf Amerysk

From 'Spraek and Skryf Amerysk' by Paal Filssunu.

Amerysk is similar to its European brethren languages in that it uses a case system to denote the place of the nouns within a sentence or phrase. The articles, as in German, are similarly declined as are the adjectives which describe the nouns.

The verbs are very simple, as most are regularly conjugated with a few irregular exceptions. Two voices are used to denote the current and immediate actions of the person(s) using the verb.

The language is not difficult to master as its relation to English is seen quite clearly. Many words will not be all all foreign to the speaker. The grammar will seem familiar to those who have studied northern languages previously, and are themselves at home with German, Dutch, or any Scandinavian tongue.

This grammar, while by no means exhaustive, is presented as a key to the Amerykan speech so that it can be appreciated for what it is, as opposed to what a lesser tract could do in disservice to the interested individual who seeks to know the language.


INDEFINITE ARTICLE: A, AN

AEN
(a, an, one) is the Amerykan indefinite article, and it is declined according to case modifying the noun which it proceeds:

nominative: aen aen høll a hillaccusative: aen ik sy aen høll I see a hillgenitive: aens syde aens høll side of a hilldative: aenum faerung aenum høll journey to the hillDEFINITE ARTICLE: THE

THE
(the) is the Amerykan definite article singular form.
THE (the) is the Amerykan definite article plural form

As with the indefinite article, the definite article is declined in the manner below:

singular plural
nominative the thaaccusative thaen thagenitive thaes tharadative thaem thaem

EXAMPLES:
the mann
the man tha menn the men
syst thu thaen mann? do you see the man? syst thu tha menn? do you see the men?
the nama thaes mann is... the name of the man is... the naman thara menn the names of the men
ik gaa (til) thaem hus I'm going (to) to the house. wy gaan (til) thaem huse We're going (to) to the houses.


PRONOUNS AND DEMONSTRATIVE ADJECTIVES

PERSONAL PRONOUNS
I you he she it we you they
nominative ik thu hy hje hit wy jy hjeaccusative myg thyg hine haar hit us ju hjengenitive myn thyn his haar his wur jur hjeradative my thy him haar him us ju hjemDUAL FORMS

We Two You Two
nominative wyt jytaccusative wyt jytgenitive unser inserdative uns insCASE FUNCTION WITH PRONOUNS
ik gaa I am going
syst thu myg? do you see me?
myn hus my house
gyf't* my! give it to me!

* gyf't is a contraction of gyf hit (give it)

RELATIVE PRONOUN: SIK (self)
ik waske sik I wash myself
hje syth sik she sees herself
wy yrren sik we're angering ourselves

DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUN: THE (that, which, who)
ik haebbe aen hund
the bjarkath I have a dog that barks/ which barks/ who barks
wy finden thaen fynd
the haeth this gedøn we're finding the fiend who did this

INTERROGATIVE PRONOUNS HWA (who) HWELK (which)
nominative hwa hwelk hwa aert thu? who are you? hwelk is this? which is this?accusative hwaen hwelk ik sy hwaen is hjaer I see who is heregenitive hwaes hwelkes hwaes hus is this? whose house is this?dative hwaem hwelke hwelke staed skul ik gaan? to which city should I go?

DEMONSTRATIVE ADJECTIVES
this that these those
nominative this thaet thaas thaaaccusative this thaet thaas thaagenitive thisse thaes thaasa thaaradative thisse thaem thaase thaem

VERBSAll verbs have an infinitive form which normally ends in -n, -an, or (i)jan
GAAN
to go FINDAN to find MAAKJAN to make OFFRIJAN to offer
In order to get the stem for conjugation, merely drop the infinitive ending:Stems: GAA FIND MAAK OFFRPERSONAL ENDINGS: different personal endings are attached to the verb stem according to what person is using the verb, and there are two essential verb forms.

PRESENT TENSE VERB ENDINGS

ik gaa (no ending necessary) I go, am going ik gaa I am going
thu gaast (+st) you go thu gaa you are going
hy gaath (+th) he goes hy gaa he is going
wy gaath (+th) we go wy gaan we are going (+n)

ik finde (+e) I find, am finding ik finde I am finding (+e)
thu findest (+est) you find thu finde you are finding (+e)
hy finde (+e) he finds hy finde he is finding (+e)
wy findath (+ath) we find wy finden we are finding (+en)

maak is conjugated in the same manner above: maake, maakest, maakath/maake, maaken

ik offre
(+e) I offer, am offering ik offre I am offering (+e)
thu offrest (+est) you offer thu offre you are offering (+e)
hy offrath (+ath) he offers hy offre he is offering (+e)
wy offrath (+ath) we offer wy offren we are offering (+en)

THE PAST TENSE
Using the helper verb HAE, combined with the prefix GE+ on the infinitive form of the verb, the past can be constructed:
ik hae ge/gaan I went, have gone
ik hae ge/findan I found, have found
ik hae ge/maakjan I made, have made HAEST is used with thu
ik hae ge/offrijan
I offered, have offered HAETH is used with hy, hje, hit, wy, jy, hje

thu haest gegaan
you went wy haeth gegaan we went
thu haest gemaakjan you made wy haeth gemaakjan we made
thu haest geoffrijan you offered we haeth geoffrijan we offered

Do not use prefix GE+ in front of verbs which already have BE+ or GE+!e.g. ik hae beginnan (I began, have begun) ik hae gelyfan (I believed, have believed)

THE FUTURE TENSE The present tense form -e/-en serves as basic future tense, although the future form for be, SJE can be used with the infinitive form as HAE is with the past tense: ik sje gaan (I shall go) thu sje gaan (you shall go) and so forth.

NEGATIVES: Use nyt (not) after the verb: ik gaa nyt! I'm not going
ik sje gaan nyt I shall not go
ik hae gegaan nyt I haven't gone

QUESTIONS: invert the pronoun/verb order: gaath hy? does he go/is he going?
hwaet maakest thu? what do you make?


NOUNSNouns come with a variety of forms, and their plural forms are just as varied. Unlike English, which uses -s on is plural in the most general sense, Amerykan nouns use three basic endings, -as, -an, and -e. There are of course other forms as well, but these three are the major forms:

baat boat baatas boats
bøm tree bømas trees
daeg day daegas days -AS plural
fugl bird fuglas birds
skøg shoe skøgas shoes

knapa boy knapan boys
nama name naman names
tunge tongue tungan tongues -AN plural
wyke warrior wykan warriors
tyma time tyman times

As * deity Ase deities (*Aesir--- Sky Gods)
Waen ** deity Waene deities (**Vanir---- Earth Gods)
Asen*** Goddess Asynje Goddesses -E plural (***Aesir Sky Goddesses)
fjørth fjord fjørthe fjords
skild shield skilde shields
haelf half haelfe halves

mann man menn men
baern child baern child
ey island eyjar islands irregular plurals
faar sheep faar sheep
village bør villages
GENERAL: Most nouns have the same genitive plural form, +A:
bømafjeld
"field of trees"
wyjaholm "warriors' isle"
Asagaerd Asgard/"Gods' Home"
Mennahaam "Men-Home"
Faaraeyjar "Sheep's Isles: Faeroe Islands"
(Note the single word constructions above in the formation of words and names!)

ADJECTIVESAdjectives modify nouns and are declined just like nouns in order to agree in case and number (singular or plural):
GRØT large LØTT little

nominative grøt løtt grøte løtteaccusative grøt løtt singular grøte løtte plural
genitive grøte løtte grøta løttadative grøte løtte grøta løttaEXAMPLES: the grøt hus the large house tha grøte huse the large houses
ik sy aen grøt hus I see a large house ik sy grøte huse I see large houses
the toft thaes grøte hus the roof of the large house
tha tofte thara grøta huse the rooves of the large houses
ik gaa til thaem løtte hus I'm going to the little house

COMPARISON OF ADJECTIVES: high high/er high/estAdjectives generally take on suffixes -ra and -ast

høg
high høgra higher høgast highest
laaw low laawra lower laawast lowest
gød good betra better betst best --- irregular form

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Amerysk Orthography from Snaekk and Skryf Amerysk

From 'Snaekk and Skryf Amerysk' by Paal Filssunu, describing a conlang, Amerysk, constructed by Paal Filssunu in 1978.

Letters in the Amerysk language are not put in alphabetical order as in most European tongues, but are arranged in the pattern of the older Northern Futhark.
There are officially 26 letters in this futhark, also known as 'staves' (staefas). There are some forms in the 'runic' form of stave writing which combine similar sounds and do not stand out as the Roman alphabet's series of clustered phonetics.

VOWELSAmerysk uses eight main vowels: A, E, I, O, U, Y, AE, ØThese vowels possess single phonetic pronunciations. In the course of speaking some natural vowel lengthenings occur. These are either shown in the ( )'s for proper pronunciation, or they use lengthened written vowel forms: A becomes AA, E becomes EI, EY or Y and so forth.

PRONUNCIATION:
A is pronounced as in Tall (ah) O is pronounced as in Off, Hot (aw)
E
is pronounced as in Set (eh) U is pronounced as OO in Book (uh)
I
is pronounced as in It, Stick (ih) Y is pronounced as EE in Green (ee)
AE
is pronouced as A in Sack, Laugh Ø is pronounced as EW--- similar to German ö and Danish ø

EXAMPLES:Stagga
(stahgg-ah) stag Thurk (thuhrk) through
Swefan (swehf-ahn) to sleep Ys (eess) ice
Swift (swihft) fast, swift Wraeth (rath) wrath
Worm (wawrm) reptile, serpent (bew) village, town

The basic sounds of the vowels don't change, unlike some languages which assign up to four different sounds to a letter, or stave.LENGTHENED VOWELS

AA (aw)
as used in Waald (forest) AW (ahw) as used in Blaw! (Blow!)
AAW (aw) as used in Laaw (low) UW (ooh) as used in Bluw (blue)
EI, EY (ay) as used in Ey (island) AEW (ae+oo) as used in Maew (seagull)
and personal name Sweyn
IW (yew)
as used in Tiw (Tyr) ØW (ew) as used in Fløwan (to flow)


CONSONANTS:Amerysk uses sixteen consonants--- also, there are several consonants sounds produced by clustering. All consonants will be shown in the examples below:

MAIN CONSONANTS: As used in the English alphabet order---
B, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, R, S, T, W, and X

Note: C, Q, V, and Z are not used as standard letters unless they are needed in the spelling of names, or words fron languages using these letters (Caledon, Quinn, Viking, Zeus and so forth.)
Of these above mentioned consonants, the following are pronounced very much as in English, and require no special learning:
B, D, F, H, K, L, M, N, P, R, S, T, W, and X

G
is given two pronunciations according to its place in a word:
as G in the word gød (gewd) 'good', used initially, it is pronounced hard--- but when used in the middle or at the end of a word--- such as fugl (foo-khil) 'bird' or graeg (grakh) 'gray'. The G is spoken as a German 'CH' sound (KH).
GG is always pronounced hard as in Egg.
J is always pronounced as Y: Ja (yah) 'yes'.
NG is always pronounced as 'ING' in wing--- never pronounce it like the English NG in 'FING-GER' (finger).
TH is pronounced two ways--- as the hard [voiced] TH in THIS and as the soft [unvoiced] TH in THIN. TH requires memorization, and throughout this series for pronunciation purposes,
TH= hard sound TH=soft sound
KJ/TJ are normally pronounced as CH in CHEERS
SJ/SKJ
are pronouced as SH
This information, from the book 'Snaekk and Skryf Amerysk' by Paal Filssunu, is provided with all  respect to the acheivements and rights of Amerysk creator Paal-Eirik Filsunu. I have also published this info on a web site The Ameryske Tunga. (I am putting it up here to prevent the information from being lost if the web site goes down.)

I feel some of the orthography is a bit intimidating for the learner. I'm thinking of proposing an alternate orthography that is a bit simpler to learn--- perhaps changing the sj or skj combinations, pronounced as sh, into sh, which is much more widely comprehended. I admit, it does lose a bit of the Viking-y feel that way, but I think maybe if Amerysk orthography had been a bit simpler, the language would have initially spread more widely.

I also think perhaps there should be official alternates for hard sounds like th (hard for Germans, anyway) and the 'g' that is pronounced like a German 'ch'. As in, if you can't say 'th' substitute 'd', if you can't do the German 'ch' sound, use 'k'. 

Anyway, if there are any potential Ameryskers out there, what do you think?