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The Juralic Languages

The Juralic languages represent a self-contained family of closely linked languages spoken by the various peoples referred to as Juralic, or "Iural" in the Atlantean language, and consisting of four main groups : the Atlanteans, Helvrans, Chalcrans and Yallands. We know as little of the original Primitive Juralic language, spoken, it is believed, up to -900, as we do of the history of the Juralic people in that era. We can reconstruct the language, however, by working backwards etymologically, in a similar way to our reconstructions of Primitive Germanic from modern English, German, etc. Thus from the words shown below in more modern texts (after 400), we can reconstruct the parent Juralic words :


The section about "Early Atlantis" describes the future path of the Juralic peoples and their tongues until their migrations were finished about -300. Thereafter, Atlantean consisted of two main dialects, North and South. North Atlantean, which was more conservative, and more similar to the Atlantid dialect, spoken east of the river Rollepp, was originally spoken in the capital, Atlantis city. However, according to our sources, the military victory of the "southern" Atlanteans after 166 led to the establishment of South Atlantean speaking Emperors and Courts in the city. For a century afterwards, a number of the relatively few original documents which survive from this period show many North Atlantean forms of grammar and vocabulary still being used in the capital itself. Gradually North Atlantean dwindled to a mere dialect after the middle of the third century. This left South Atlantean to become the future Imperial Atlantean, which would eventually be spoken all over the Atlantean Empire, at any rate in the echelons of government, law and most literature

Chalcran came in three dialects after -200, North, Central and South, but once the Chalcrans were conquered by the Atlanteans after 330, all three died out over the following 200 years. Helvran survived longer, despite the defeat of the Helvran Empire after 267, because it became the universal "lingua franca" of trade and diplomacy for the whole "Helven" and southern areas, and continued to be spoken by the lower classes of these areas. Atlantean, however, took over as the language of government and as the spoken language for the upper classes quite early on, and Helvran finally withered away as a live tongue after 700. It was given the "coup de grace" by the Tyrants after 805. Yalland can be divided into East, Central and West Yalland after -250, and it survived for quite a while in the south as the language of the peasants and lower-class Yallands. It too finally vanished after 800, when the whole Southern area was conquered by Rabarrieh.

For details of the development of vowels  from Juralic onwards, click on Juralic phonetic history - vowels

For the development of diphthongs from Juralic onwards, click on Juralic phonetic history - diphthongs

For the developments of consonants from Juralic onwards in detail, click on Juralic phonetic history - consonants

For an outline of the historical development of grammar from the original Juralic to the successor languages after the year 0, click on Historical grammar of Juralic languages,1, verbs and Historical grammar of Juralic languages,2, nouns, pronouns and adjectives


Atlantean of course changed considerably over the long centuries from -200 to the end of the Empire in 989. What we think of as Standard Atlantean - Imperial Atlantean - represents the literary language of the Second Empire period, or more precisely, from 300 to 600. But the spoken language moved on even at this period, and the classical literary tongue grew ever more remote from the speech of ordinary people. After the Republic was founded in 589, a "Modern Atlantean" written language was proposed, and spelling reforms and new dictionaries and grammars reflected quite faithfully the changes that had taken place in the spoken language - the so-called "600 Spelling Reforms". These consisted of a great simplification of all grammatical endings to nouns and verbs, etc. Where there were once 11 noun cases, for example, now there were only 3.

Atlantean from 600 to 989 is officially called "Late Imperial Atlantean", but of course within this period of four centuries, many more changes took place, in grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary. Again these were usually not reflected in the written language. When the Imperialists under Ruthopheax I overthrew the Republic in 629, all the Republican linguistic changes were abolished. Spelling reverted to the old Imperial norm until 750, although many new grammatical forms and words crept in. After 750, with the inauguration of the Fifth Empire, the 600 Spelling Reforms were readopted and updated in the "New Speech Practices" of 760-770, reflecting recent usage. These were subsequently updated till the end of the Empire. More details of these developments are given later in this history, in the sections on the Third Empire.

Imperial Atlantean was pronounced as follows : the vowels sound as in modern Italian or German. "Y" is silent, but between vowels it sounds as English "Y". Diphthongs sound as they appear. In final syllables, "U" and "E" are pronounced like the final "ER" in English "WORKER".
Consonants are as in English, except "C" before "E" or "I" is like "CH"; "H" sounds as "SH" after a vowel, otherwise silent. "S" sounds "Z" between vowels, "T" as "TS" before "I" and "E". "TU"="CH"; "DU"="J"; "SU"="SH"; "ZU"="S"as in "PLEASURE"; "PU"="F"; and "HU" as "SHW".

Stress was usually on the penultimate syllable of a word. However, if it is a noun or verb with a suffix of two syllables (due to declension, conjugation, etc), the stress is on the last syllable of the root (ie the antepenultimate syllable). If there is a suffix of more them two syllables, the stress always remains two syllables from the end of the whole word.
Examples: SUNATHE, TAILDAPHETHEN. The stress on "SUNATHE" (past tense, third person masculine singular of "SUN", "to rest") is on the last syllable of the root, ie SUN. In the case of "TAILDAPHETHEN", (past tense, third person masculine plural of the passive mood of "TAILD", "to call"), stress is on the third syllable from the end, because there is a suffix of over two syllables, ie TAILDAPHETHEN.

There are a few exceptions to these rules, usually relating to personal names with endings such as "-IPHON", "-EREX", "-ENEL", where the stress stays on the third syllable from the end in the basic form, though it moves forward when additional suffixes are added on. This is because these endings are treated as though they were declensional suffixes.


Below are examples of Atlantean and the other Juralic languages, to give a flavour of the tongues. As a general comment on the grammar, it should be noted that in Imperial Atlantean, there were three declensions of nouns, with 11 cases, singular and plural (cf. RUN (hill) (nom), RUNAN (acc), RUNAYU (gen), RUNAR (allative), RUNAOS (elative), etc.). Verbs had two conjugations, and different endings for the three persons, singular and plural, and of course the many different tenses.

English : We spoke to the king about the farmers in the valley.

Atlantean : Huattans til cerexan meist´ensayun blouasil. (lit : Huattans = past tense of speak; cerexan = accusative of "cerex", emperor, after "til"; meist´ensayun = genitive plural of "meist´ens", farmer; blouasil = locative (in) case of "bloua", valley).

Chalcran : Chattanni ciartizzi mistiennalli blourizzi.

Helvran : Dor gvapton die girteksin ber die mistyinin zedie blor.

Yalland : Doiri quapteni gertis mestyinel bloivos.

A longer piece of Atlantean prose (English in italics) :

Buenoulun iasusil thraincuyan cerexayu Atlaniphonan II, aithen bourbethaxa meu thisaggix yeltix e thehaxa cennix.

In the twentieth year of the glorious Emperor Atlaniphon II, many old cities were

increased in size and new ones built.

Cerex can dayathe ainai deiheyix

The Emperor himself used to sometimes travel with

exonaime fent failettasil.

his officials round the countryside.

Deucies exathe iurg ai thisix, peltusaxeth unduniyix buatix e thouncix bouix.

In order to reach one or two towns, he had to cross wide chasms and great marshes.

For more details about the historical grammar of the Juralic languages, see Historical grammar of Juralic languages,1, verbs and Historical grammar of Juralic languages


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