The Dialects of Tech
|From:||Danny Wier <dawier@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, May 19, 1999, 13:06|
I did some more research this morning, and made some decisions: I will have
at five major dialects of Tech, all with their distinctive associated
culture, religion, and script. These are the five in descending order
according to number of speakers:
1) Qotilian (Qotli): The dialect of the current dynasty and of the mostly
Christian tribes, particularly the Techian Orthodox. Seems to be the most
conservative form of Tech, having the least foreign loans (but still having
quite a few, especially from Egyptian and Old Nubian). Though written in
several scripts (Coptic, Ge`ez, Arabic, Latin), the official form is in a
highly-modified (and very elaborate) Coptic alphabet.
2) Ma`ou (Maoese): The dialect of the Muslim Ma`ou tribe (the <`> is the
sound of Arabic _`ayn_). More Arabic loans, and also quite a few borrowings
from French and English. Considered by some linguists to be a seperate
language. Written in Arabic script, with a huge number of modifications.
Along with Judeo-Tech, highest literacy of all Tech-speaking groups.
3) Toq: A language spoken by the agriculturalists (citrus, coffee, tobacco,
bananas) of the Lowlands in the back country (within the ring formed by Tech
City). Most distinctive feature is the simplification of the massive
inventory of stops and affricates, and the appearance of tones (five in all:
three level plus one rising and one falling), which replaced
plain-aspirate-ejective distinction. However, tones are not indicated; the
language is written exactly as in Qotilian. Toq is intermediate of Qotilian
and Ma`ou. Written in a number of scripts, but there is a movement toward
the standard Coptic alphabet used by Qotilian.
4) Highland: A number of pastoralist clans live in the upper elevations (the
island is dominated by Mount Tech, a dormant volcano). Close to Qotilian,
but with one interesting feature: Highland Tech has developed a number of
clicks. There are four types of clicks, transliterated as <|> or </>
(dental), <#> (alveolar>, <!> (retroflex/palatal), and <||> or <//>
(lateral). Literacy is quite lower than the rest of Techia, and the
language is generally not written, but Latin script has been used,
especially in the small Roman Catholic, Baptist and Pentecostal
5) Judeo-Tech (Yehudi): Spoken by Techian Jews in the urban areas.
Practically Qotilian Tech with Hebrew, Aramaic, and Ge`ez influences.
Written in Ge`ez (Ethiopic) script. Endangered.
This work is pretty vague as of now, so I'll see what else I can come up
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