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English is one of the great international languages of IB, and one of the chief lingua francas of the Commonwealth of Nations, the NAL-SLC and the Federated Kingdoms. It is a language of the Germanic language family (see chart at end of article), and in particular is a West Germanic language related to Frisian and Emish.

There is a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible dialects stretching from Scots in the north down to Wessish in the south and Emish on the Continent.

NB: There have been a couple proposals regarding the English language in IB that have not been fully integrated and resolved. Since most of the differences have been grammatical in nature and have now been discussed, the present article serves to preserve the QSS nature of the originally discovered texts, combine the proposed elements into a sensible whole, and also explain why it is the English language is the way it is in Ill Bethisad.



1a. The basis of *here*'s standard English is the London and East Midlands dialects of Middle English. *There*, there exists a three-point axis: London, Yorich and Edinbro being the centres respectively of English, Northumbrian and Scots. It should be understood that while Scots is not a "dialect of English" (either *here* or *there*), and while Northumbrian is not a dialect of either English or Scots, the three "dialects" are points along a continuum of relatively mutually comprehensible forms of speech. Apart from these three principle dialects, there are many more local dialects, flavours and accents within Britain and overseas as well. Some of these may be more evident *there*, and are not just back-country accents that they are *here*.

1b. The idea of registers or stratified levels of language is more prevalent in IB English. To the extent that the grammar of one register, for example the high literature register might be strikingly different from a lower spoken register. Perhaps a little akin to stratification of accents in *here*'s UK, the register used in whatever dialect one is speaking or writing in determines how "posh" or "coarse" one's discourse is taken to be.

1c. This article describes the Southron Literary register. "Southron" means that, geographically speaking, southern England is the region where the dialect is spoken (in this case, apart from the Isle of Wight; while "literary" indicates a more rigid and conservative form of language that, while it might be admissive of neologisms, is not so accomodating of grammatical change. Some have noted that this register hasn't changed a lot since Shakespeare's time -- and in that they are probably not far from the truth! And that is, at least in part, the intended result. This register is what "good books and poetry" are written in: serious fiction, historical fiction, official documents, dissertations, the Bible, etc. Other registers will include varying and probably fewer of these elements.

Spelling Conventions

2a. Final [k] is regularly spelled ck, aside from more recent French loans in -ique. E.g. musick, apologetique.

2b. Final [[email protected]] from Latin/Romance tion/cion have merged into cion (the opposite direction to *here*). E.g. emocion, nocion, evolucion, nacion.
Words in xion (flexion or fleccion) have partially merged and may be spelled with either -xion or -cion (though the word “connexion” is always spelled as such) and words in sion (succession) remain unmerged.

2c. Final -ize remains so, not -ise (racionalize).

2d. Under influence from medieval Brithenig scribes, OE -h- (that *here* became spelled -gh- by ME scribes) came to be spelled -ch- in such words that end in -t. Words that end in the old -h fricative have come to be spelled -gh. In the modern language these words still retain this spelling, and in many places, the associated sound: nicht, knicht. On the other hand, we have nigh, sigh (not nich, sich) which have universally lost the fricative.

2e. [EI], spelled ai is changed to ey, e.g. eytch "aitch". Medial [EI] is spelled ei. Thus, "þe meiden mey sey what she will..." etc. The word “neigbour” *here* is spelled “neyghbour”.

2f. [sk] is spelled as either sk or sc, not sch, which is used for some words beginning in [S]. The word "schedule" is pronounced [ʃɛ.dʒul].

2g. Latinization of spellings was not as popular, thus: "iland", "doute", "scoole", "autour". Thus the pronunciation of some words is affected: "teatre", "anteme", not the pretentious "theatre" or "anthem".

2h. On the other hand, words borrowed directly from Latin or Greek tended to retain their diphthongs: "encyclopaedia", "oestrogen", "praefect", “oeconomicks”. In other words, what has long been the case in Britain! However, the word “fetus” is usually spelled as such; “foetus” is considered a pretentious hypercorrection.

2i. Words with the historic Latin “-er” ending are spelled with “-re”. This is similar to the spelling in Britain *here*, but more extensive, e.g. “lettre”, “entre”, “ministre”. Exceptions include “chapter”, “offer”, and words with the Latin/Greek “-meter” ending, e.g. “thermometer”, “barometer”.

2j. Thorn and edh are realised differently among the different standards. Word intially, they are spelled Th/th in Edinbro; TH/th in Yorich; TH/þ/th in London. Medially, they are spelled with a "th" digraph. Only initially and finally do we find the letter "þ", and then only in (English) Southron. Like *here*, there is no spelling distinction between [T] and [D].

2k. [hw] is realised as Quh/quh in Edinbro and WH/wh in Yorich and London.

2l. Common nouns are (frequently) capitalised, especially in higher registers a la German. There is precendence in English, but the practice died out in the 18th century, in the US at least.

2m. The ending “-or/-our” is spelled as “-our” in most cases, regardless of variety. Exceptions include “rumeur” and “terreur”, and certain words borrowed directly from Latin during and after the Renaissance, e.g. “inferior”, “perturbator”, “embassador”, “moderator”. Before Latinate suffixes, the “u” is dropped in many cases, e.g. “honorific”, “humorous”.

2n. The noun-verb doublets “licence/license” and “practice/practise” are split as such in all cases; the word “pretence” is spelled as in Britain *here*.

2o. Final “-l” is doubled in front of many unstressed endings, following British practice *here*.


3a. The neuter "it, it, its" remains "hit, him, his" with a silent h-.

3b. The general non-past ending on all persons in all numbers is -(e)s. There is a zero ending for preterit-presents (owe, dowe, can, man, may, etc) and most irregulars (will, nill, do, go). Be resists the levelling trend. Thus: I sings, thou sings, she sings, we sings, ye sings, they sings; I will, tha will, she will, we will, ye will, they will; I am, thou are, he is, we are, ye are, they are. In the South, the process of ending collapse was further influenced by the rise of Scots under James V: "After the accession of James V, the focal point of English writing and literature was Doric (Scots). This dialect was used for all literature and laws, effectively killing off Southron as a language of culture. The language of the pulpit and formal dealings became a highly Scotticised English, while the common people spoke a less Scots influenced English, though naturally even the lower levels of the language were not unaffected."

3c. -s is the general possessive ending (invariable for number). That is, no -'s or -s'. Some words show possession through a zero/-en form, particularly in Southron. The alternate possessive form in "of" plus the oblique is also available.

  • Explanation: This was originally chosen to make IB English distinctive from *here*'s English but not totally unrecognisable in shape. It reflects the state of Middle English -es/-es orthography and modern pronunciation where there is no distinction ([[email protected] grlz frEndz] vs. [[email protected] grlz frEndz]). The old possessive plurals in -e and -ene have continued in the form of a zero ending possessive, not at all unlike what we find *here*. So we have "He filled þe catte box with sand þe morning" -- rather like *here*, where we juxtapose two uninflected words where the one possesses the other. "A Winter day was neuer so lovely" etc. "Þe Welshen press have done their utmost to discredit þe new Prime Minister." Such would mark a levelling of sorts; perhaps an ending like -en could be regularised into certain sets of words but not the majority, which would have -s. There is also the (rare) "X his Y" / "X her Y" formula that shows up here and there in IB English. Of course, there are also various zero termination forms *there*: zero plurals (deer, fish); zero possessive (for Pete sake); etc. This was one of the first things discovered about IB English.

3d. Several irregular plurals were retained in the Standard, e.g. shoon "shoes", eyer "eggs", "childer".

3e. Reflexive "me" is still more common than "myself", e.g. "I have gotten me a new etymologickal dictionary". NB: This is really the middle voice, rather than a reflexive pronoun. Note also that the verb heit (vij) retains its zero ending middle termination: I heit, tha heit, she heit / I hight, tha hight, she hight. When active, it has the usual endings: "he heits þem and þey comes to him".

3f. "Gotten" remains the past participle of "get" in England (as it is in America *here*).

3g. Interrogation is accomplished through fronting of the verb: "knows tha my name?". Use of an auxiliary verb, "does tha know my name?" is a much more colloquial form.

3h. Likewise, negation is similarly accomplished through fronting, and the use of an auxiliary verb is markedly colloquial: "I know not" is more common than "I don't know".

3i. "My/mine" and "thy/thine" are found in complementary distribution before consonants and vowels: "my shoon" but "mine oxen". “Thy/thine” is only found in writing, and even then primarily in high-class registers.

3j. There is an orthographic differentiation between -ng (gerund) and -nd (participle). Both are realised as [n] in all dialects, including among typically high register speakers; spelling pronunciation of the words is considered overly pretentious.

3k. The second person singular pronoun is tha (< thou)/ thee; the plural is ye / you (youse is found regularly in Edinbro for all numbers and cases). Other dialects may show some variation as well. The typical possessive form is thy/thine in writing and tha in speech.

3l. There was until very recently (19th century) distinction of I (unaccented) / Ich (accented). It is still found in literary writing but has largely disappeared from speech in the standard dialect. It can still be found in peripheral areas.

3m. A reduced form of them, "hem" exists.

3n. Plurals of weak nouns end in -es or -s and is generally pronounced [Es], i.e., not [Ez] like *here*.

3o. The originally Dutch usage of using accent marks to show emphasis in writing was borrowed in the late 19th century and accepted officially in the early 20th. Typically we find accent acute, á, on all orthographic A [a] & [e]; accent acute, é, on E [i], accent grave, è, on E [E] and [@]; accent acute, í, on I [aj] and [i], accent grave, ì, on I [I]; accent acute, ó, on O [o], acent grave, ò, on O [a] and [C]; accent acute, ú, on U [ju] and [u], accent grave,ù, on U [V]; accent acute on all vocalic Y is optional. Accent marks appear only on first member of a diphthong.

3p. Double adjectives + noun are split as in French, and the postposed adjective is inflected for number: "þe ancient Tongues Romaniques" = the ancient Romance tongues. This is evident in writing, not generally in high speech.

3q. Past tenses of words such as “learn” and “spell” are spelt with “-t” rather than the standard “-ed”, as per Commonwealth usage *here*.


4a. In general, words of Celtic origin receive different treatment than *here*, since the English language has only tangential contact with any of them. Naturally, words of Welsh origin are replaced by words of Brithenig origin. Words of Irish origin not explicitly related to Irish culture are generally retired in favour of Scots Gaelic or else Cambro-Irish words. But Geoff notes that there is no real difference between Irish and Scottish Gaelics -- there is a similar continuum of dialects that connects the two countries.

Thus, the Welsh words to be replaced: menhir, corgi, coracle, metheglin, galore, trews, brogue, pillion, bog, cairn, gull, glen, bard, crag, craggy, dolmen.

Kerno has maynsers, drewqy, korracks, methyckllens, co lewoer, treves / breics, calleys, pileyàn, mareiss / bucks, caràn, goueyledns, glans (bank, shore), bards, crags, craggow, tauwalmagans. I'm sure Brithenig can easily match the list, though they might have more of a Latin slant (fewer surviving Old Celtic forms). Kerno and English have long been in contact, so replacing Welsh words with Kerno based words is not unreasonable. IB English already has "tawell" for *here*'s "henge". (See Rationalism)

4b. English *there*, particularly the higher registers,has nòt relegated its more venerable words to the rubbish heap. The English mathomhouse is powerful wondrous in its richness, opulence and its plutonian wealth. It is verily and truly said that English is the allermightiest in its potency and strength of lexis; it is lithe, nimble and graceful at every turn of phrase. Scalds have to scrape the scuppers of their native Scandinavian to scoop up their scant measures, for they provide our bards barely a brawl or a battle to best their poetic broth.

4c. In all varieties except Australasian English, there exists a distinction between “enquiry” and “inquiry”; the former is an act of questioning, whereas the latter is a formal inquest. Likewise, all varieties (including Australasian English) distinguish between “ensure” and “insure”, with the former carrying the meaning of “to make certain” and the latter carrying the meaning of “to guarantee or protect against”.

Example Texts

5a. Southron English (in the vicinity of London):

THe epistelles of Jesu Cryste and Abgare, Edesses Kinge.

chap. I Abgare, Edesses King, greetes Jesu Cryst, þe good saviour þat be at Jerusalem. THey telles me about how þa heales fowk withouten either leechdom or ony herbes. THey telles me how blind men becomes hale; how lame men arises and wawkes; how þa clenses lepres; how þa castes out deofles; how þa gifes health to þem long sine sick; and how þa raises up þe dead; all þese thinges dumbstriken me so that i leves either þa bes God out fra heoven, þat does these thinges, or either þa bes Goddes son. THus, ich writes thee, axend that þa come hithres to cure mine illness, for i am long sine sick. THey telles me that some Jews hates þee and that þey lauches at thee. My citee be sma, but clean, and big enough for us two.

chap II. King Abgare! it is good for þee that þa leves on me, who þa has never saghe. It is written that þey þat seghes me ne leves not on me; and that þey þat ne saghe me neuer leues on me, and þey lives. As to that dele of þy letter axend me to gang thidres til Edesse, i maun tell þee: i swore a great oath that i fulfill all my charges in this country, and then be num up to Him þat sent me hithre. Then, when i rises, i shall send þee oon of my apostles þat will heal þee and give þee life, to þee and all those with þee.

chap III. This epistel was sent to Jesu Criste at Jerusalem by Abgar, Edesses Kinge, through his footman Ananias, axend our Lord to gang til Edesse.

Spencer þe Rover

THese word were composed by Spencer þe Rover
who travelled thro England and most parts of Wales
He had been so reduced, which caused great confusion
And þat was þe reason he went on þe roam

In Yorkshire, near Rotherham, he had been on his rambles
Being weary of traveling, he sat down to rest
At the foot of yon mountain þere flowes a clear fountain
With bread and cold water he himself did refresh

It tasted more sweeter þan the gold he had wasted
More sweeter þan honey and gave more content
But þe þouchts of his childer, lamentand and cryand
Broucht teares to his eyen which made him lament

THe nicht fast approachand, to þe wood he resorted
With woodbine and ivy his bed for to make
THere he dreamt about sighing, lamenting and crying
Gang home to thy fambly and wandering forsake

Twas the fifth day of November, ich have a reason to remember
WHen first he arrived home to his fambly and wife
THey did stand quite astounded, surprised, dumbfounded
To see such a stranger once more in their sicht

His childer came around him with their prittle prattling stories
With their prittle prattling stories to drive care away
Now þey are united like birdes of one feather
Like bees in one hive contented they'll stay

And now he 's alivand in his cottage contented
With woodbine and roses growand all around the door
He 's as happy as þose þat have þousands of riches
Contented he'll stay and gang rambland no more.

(Traditional English Folksong)

5b. Dumnonian English - "Y Borders":

“Aas þa ben ta Mounta, boay? If þaasna ben ta Mounta, þaasna livet!”

English as a World Language

6a. *There* as *here*, English is a world language. While its influence has not been so penetrating èverywhere, it has exerted considerable influence in every place the FK has planted its collective flags. By in large, the several forms that have evolved in the NAL, South Africa and Australasia are not terribly different from that of the motherland. Within England-Scotland, as has been noted, there exists a continuum of dialects with a three point axis marking the chief dialects: Southron based in London, Northern based in Yorich and Scots / Doric based in Edinbro. Each of these dialects has its own literature and is used for all local activities. Scots is used in Scottish government affairs, while Southron is used in English government affairs. The nature of the FK's government requires all government officials to be conversant in the two principle dialects, plus Brithenig. It has been proposed several times since the FK was founded in 1805 that a single standard language be devised, not to replace any native dialect but rather to serve as a governmental lingua franca. As Prime Minister Pitt (the Younger) quipped: "Well, we can't have the Scottish clarcks scribblind þeir forms in Scots whilst ours keep þeir records in Southron." Perhaps a sensible argument for standardisation, though it has been countered that no such standardisation exists in France where northern and southern French ministers are able to form a functional government using two languages far more unintelligible than Southron and Scots! Pitt's proposal would have led to the creation of a "compromise" standard taking parts from each national language and creating a new bureaucratic language for government and business use. The idea has never faded away, and gets airing every generation or so, but neither has has it ever been seriously considered by the Parliaments of either country.

6b. In the NAL, the same social stratifications and conventions exist that also existed in the FK proper, and so American English is probably the least divergent from British English in IB.

6c. English Australasia on the other hand was established largely by "lower class" speakers who brought with them a language much more akin to that spoken in Australia *here*. They share several features of the above description (verb endings, noun endings, second person pronouns to name a few), since these features are not strictly literary; while the highly literary elements of the standard language are quite missing even in Australian produced literature. Also, English speakers approached Australasia from the west rather than the east, thus any Aboriginal words that have been adopted by Australasian English (and thence perhaps world English in general) would be entirely different, as the Aborigines of the west speak entirely different languages.

6d. The English of South Africa was influenced by the language of the Batavian settlers, the Boers, and so many words and features of that country's language result from this contact.

6e. Other local dialects of English have evolved in Wallace Cay, where a distinctive influence of the Native Mayan language can be seen. In Mosquito Coast, the majority of the English colonists came from the North, and Northumberland English formed the basis for the dialect heard there.

6f. Oregonian English is curious not because it differs strongly from that spoken in the NAL, though it has borrowed many words from Salish, Alta Californian Castilian and Russian. Rather, it is curious because it has borrowed the Cyrillic alphabet in its entirety for its writing system. This is because Russian missionaries had already introduced their alphabet to the Natives of the region, and so the Newcommers simply adopted the practice, adapting it to the vagaries of English orthography.

Here's an example of Oregonian:

Θэ Говэрнмэнт ов Оригон сэпт а ларжъ контйнжэнтъ ов йтс Хюманйтариан Врйгадъ анд мйлйтаре то провйдъ айд то өэ цунаме стрйкэн ареас, дрйнкйнг ыатэр, шэлтэр анд форэнсйкс тоталйнг овэр а крорь далэрс. “Ые арь эѯпэктйнд а цунаме ыйөйн өэ нэхт 300 йэарс анд ыйшэс то гайн дата анд ундэрстандйнг ов өисъ фэномэпоп,„ сайд Докт. Прохаска ов өэ Ошйан Студес Йнстйтютъ. “Йт ыйлл бе а бйг ун!„

[The Times of New Castreleon transliteration] THe Government of Oregon sent a large contingente of its Humanitarian Brigade and military to provide aid to þe tsunami stricken areas, drinking water, shelter, forensics, totaling over a crore dalers (£6.5M). “We are expectind a tsunami within þe next 300 years and wishes to gain data and understanding of þis phenomenon,” said Dr. Prohaska of þe Ocean Studies Institute. “It will be a big un!”

EnglishCyrillicSound Value
AА, аa
BБ, бb
CК, кk
CС, сs
CHЧ, чtS
DД, дd
EЭ, эe, @
EE, EA, EIИ, иi
FФ, фf
GГ, гg
GHГХ, гхh
HХ, хh
IЙ, йaj, I
JЏ, џdj
KК, кk
CHКХ, кхch
LЛ, лl
MМ, мm
NН, нn
NGНГ, нгng
NGEНЖ, нжnge
OО, оo
OѠ, ѡo
PП, пp
QUҀОУ, ҁоу; ҀЎ, ҁўkw
RР, рr
SС, сs
SHШ, шsh
TТ, тt
Þ, THΘ, өth
TSЦ, цts
UУ, уu, U
VB, вv
WЎ, ўw
HWХЎ, хўhw
ХѮ, ѯks
Y (initial)Ю, юj
Y (medial/final)Й, й; Е, e; Ѥ, ѥaj, I, i, ej
ZЗ, зz
PSѰ, ѱps

6g. In Xliponia, English is the second official language (after Xliponian). This is not due to FK colonisation, but rather to the takeover by the House of Mersdon (see Rulers of Xliponia).

Indo-European Languages
Germanic Languages
North Germanic West Germanic East Germanic
Eastern subgroup Western subgroup Low Germanic
Continental-Germanic Gothic Burgundian †
Lombardic †
Vandalic †
Anglic Frisian Franconian Saxon High German Feytish
Gutnish (Gutemål)
Swedish (Sveamål)
Norwegian (Landsmål)
Wessish †
East Frisian
North Frisian
West Frisian
Batavian (Dutch)
Low Saxon Alemannic
Føtisk Crimean Gothic
Gepid †
Low Vissian

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