- 1 General
- 2 Phonology
- 3 Grammar
- 3.1 Nouns
- 3.2 Gender
- 3.3 Number
- 3.4 Articles & Determiners
- 3.5 Verbs
- 4 Conversational Words
Oscanez, or Oscan (English: /ɒs.kə.ˈnez, ˈɒs,kən/ primarily called Oscan in English) [os.ka.ˈnez] is a Romance language on the dialect continuum between Spanish (Aragonese) and French (Occitan). It is spoken in the north of Spain, near southern France. It shares several features with Catalan and Aragonese, as well as French and Spanish. Oscanez is spoken by 10,000 to 20,000 people, primarily around the city of Osca in Spain.
Its name, Oscanez, comes from Late Latin -iscus (inflected for the feminine accusative -iscam) and the city Osca, in northern Spain. Historically, the inhabitants of Osca were ancient Iberians, and their language influenced the Oscanses (people of Osca). Some examples include the word cama, meaning bed from the Vescetani, and Oscanez's five vowel system.
Oscanez is a (C)(C)V(C)(C)(C) language, with basic phonological rules.
|Labial||Dental||Alveolar||Post-alveolar / Palatal||Velar|
|Plosive||p b||t d||tʃ||k g|
|Fricative||f v||s z||ʃ ʒ|
|Rhotic / Approximant||r||j|
There are several allophones, mostly of plosives, in Oscanez. Between vowels, the voiced stops lenite into fricatives [β ð x]. /n/ has an allophone /ŋ/ before /k/ and /g/. <r> is /r/ when at the beginning of a word or phrase. Otherwise, it is its flap or a uvular trill. /z/ is a very common phoneme in Oscanez. Word-finally, it is /s/ or /z/ depending on the vowel before it. If it is /o u/ then it is unvoiced, otherwise, it is voiced, and after all diphthongs it is unvoiced. Generally, /ɲ/ is merging with /nj/, but is still preserved word initially and other places. Nasals merge with their place of articulation, so a sequence like ìnca is not pronounced /inca/ but [iŋ.ka]. /r/ is generally pronounced as a flap.
[tʃ] is not a common sound in Oscanez, but is found in loanwords, especially deriving from Spanish or English. It is sometimes realized as /ʃ/.
Two of the above vowels have nasal counterparts, but all of the vowels have nasal allophones when before a nasal consonant. There is no length or voicing distinction. /a o/ have nasal allophones. When /i/ would be nasalized, it rounds into /y/, an allophone of /i/. With /i/ or /u/, the nasal consonant is still articulated, unlike /a/ or /o. The same thing happens with /e/, but /e/ retains its pronunciation simply nasalized. Depending on the dialect, a sequence of /kw/ can be analyzed as [kɥ]. In standard Oscanez, the sequence is a normal falling diphthong. The nasal vowels are written as <Vn> or <Vm>. Nasals are most common ending words, but can also occur ending syllables. In a word like caminan, the first m is pronounced, but the a is also nasalized. The final n is not pronounced, instead nasalizing the a. This leads to an articulation like [kã.ˑmi.nã]. Note that vowels followed by nasals are also affected, but within words the consonant is still articulated.
Diphthongs and Triphthongs
Oscanez has nine rising diphthongs, and three falling diphthongs /au/ /ai/ and /ei/. In fast speech, most of these diphthongs merge into the "stronger" vowel /a e o/. The falling diphthongs include all instances of /j/ followed by a vowel (except /i/, which is analyzed as a syllable), and /w/ followed by all vowels. Triphthongs are generally falling diphthongs merged with a rising one /wai/.
Oscanez is syllable-timed. All syllables take the same amount of time to produce.
Words generally have stress on the penultimate syllable. Some words have natural stress on the third syllable but this is not marked.
At the end of a question intonation rises at the first word, and also at the end of the phrase. Otherwise, it is exactly like English.
Oscanez has a (C)(C)V(C)(C) syllable structure.
- Onset (can be null)
- First consonant (C1): anything except for clusters including nasals or /s/.
- Second consonant (C2): rhotic or lateral (if C1 is a plosive or /s/ /ʃ/ /ʒ/). The clusters /tl/ and /dl/ are not allowed.
- Any vowel or diphthong can be positioned in the nucleus (/w/ is analyzed as the vowel /u/ as a rising diphthong in the nucleus).
- A maximum of two vowels/semivowels are allowed together in the nucleus.
- Coda (can be null)
- First consonant (C1): /r/ /n/ /s/ or null.
- Second consonant (C2): If there is a C1, then C2 is generally /z/ /t/ or /k/ (/k/ only if preceded by /s/, and this sequence must have an epithetic /e/ following it). Otherwise, C1 is null and the final coda is /p t d s r n l/. /f/ is found in loaned words from Latin, such as subjontif /sub.ʒõ.ˑtif/.
Allowed clusters across syllable boundaries include plosives followed by a rhotic, and nasals by their place of articulation plosive (/nk/, but not /mk/). /s/ is followed by unvoiced plosives, but when beginning a word must have a prosthetic /e/ (escola, not scola). /r/ can be followed by any sound, and /r/ can be followed by /s/ and vice versa. Plosives can also be followed by /ʃ/ or /ʒ/, with unvoiced taking the unvoiced fricative and vice versa. The dental fricatives cannot be followed by those two consonants. This rule also applies to /z/ and /s/ after dentals. /l/ /j/ and /ʎ/ cannot exist in clusters. In terms of other clusters, a maximum of three consonants can be grouped. If there is a plosive + liquid cluster, a fricative can precede them. Note that these words are generally Latin loanwords into Oscanez.
Oscanez has very regular spelling, with each letter almost having a 1 to 1 correspondence in pronunciation.
|Sound||a||b||k ~ s||d||e ~ Ø||f||g ~ ʒ||Ø||i||ʒ||l||m||n|
|Sound||o||p||r||s||t||u||v||ks||i||z ~ s|
As stated before, vowels except /i/ nasalize when followed by a nasal. At the end of syllables the nasal letter is purely orthographic, only showing that the vowel before is nasalized. An example of this is in the word formajón, formation /for.ma.ʒõ/.
<c> is /s/ when followed by an /i/ or /e/, due to palatalization in Vulgar Latin. The same shift occurs with <g>. To have a sequence like /ge/, it would be written with an <h>, such as Ghinea, an African country.
<e> is a vowel which generally represents /e/, but when ending a word and after a nasal consonant, it shows that the consonant is still pronounced. For example, ane which means year.
<h> is totally null, only occurring orthographically when etymology is needed. This is showcased in the word home which means man, but is pronounced [õm].
A doubled ll is usually /ʎ/, such as in the world moller, but if beginning a word, it is /ʃ/, such as in the word llobia.
/ɲ/ is represented by <ni> always.
<x> occurs in Latin based loanwords, such as example /eksample/.
Oscanez uses the acute accent over any vowel á é í ó ú, and the grave accent over i before a nasal vowel to show that the vowel is not /y/ but /i/. The accent determines stress and pronunciation in Oscanez. There are four types of words in Oscanezː acotas, graves, estrogelas, and subestrogelas. They go ascending from stress on the ultimate syllable, penult, antepenult, and before the antepenult. Estrogelas and subestrogelas only get an accent on their vowel if it is a compound word (a present progressive, imperative, or an infinitive).
- All acotas which do not end in t, z, r or l or a vowel must have an indicated acute accent. For example, cultivajón, cultivajonas.
- Graves which end in t, z, r, l, or n must have an indicated acute accent, but if it does end with s or a vowel it will not. For example, jóben.
The grammar follows the general structure of most Romance languages, differing from Latin in its syntax and loss of grammatical case. Many verb affixes are preserved, and new compound tenses are created.
Nouns in Oscanez have lost their Latin case endings, but preserved two of the three Latin genders.
Every noun is either masculine or feminine, with the old Latin neuter merging with the masculine. Regarding living things, most nouns correspond with the gender of the living thing described.
Not every noun can have its gender predicted, but there are several general rules. Generally, if a word ends in -o, -or, -n, -z (-z endings can be masculine adjectives) it is masculine. Nouns that refer to males such as pare (father) are also masculine. If the word ends in -a, -tat, ajón, then it is feminine. Words referring to females are also feminine.
There are two numbers: singular and plural. The singular is the lexical meaning of the noun, while the plural is counted as an inflection of the noun. The plural is formed by adding /s/ to the end of the noun if it ends in a vowel, and /os/ for masculine nouns ending in a consonant. To form feminine plurals, add /as/ to the end of the consonant(s).
Most uncountable nouns are treated as plural, such as “las arenas” meaning English “sand.”
Articles & Determiners
The masculine and feminine singular forms elide to <l’> before /a/ and null <h> and <a>. For example, the grammatically correct form is “l’aventora” instead of suspected la aventora. However, in words such as osa, the correct way to both say and write "the (female) bear" is la osa.
- lo cabalo = "[the] horse"
- los cabalos = "[the] horses"
- la lenga = "[the] language "
- las lengas = "[the] languages"
Like the definite article, the singular forms elide. The feminine changes to un before vowels. For example, the grammatically correct form of “an ear” is un urella.
The article is almost always carried by the noun, with the only exceptions being when other determiners modify the noun. In places where English drops the article, the article is kept. These include the subject for general nouns, objects, and almost any place where English could delete its article. For example, to write “Summer is good,” one writes “lo verán e bon.”
- The formal second person vostet takes its determiners from the 3rd person part of the chart.
These agree in gender and number, which means that even if a group of people are possessing a singular noun, the noun takes the singular third person form.
These determiners can be used after a linking verb with the definite article to convey possessive pronouns. This construction is generally obsolete but is still used in some literature, and is equivalent to English "The dress is mine."
There are two degrees of proximity expressed by the four sets of determiners. They developed from Latin iste and eccum (*accum) illum, respectively.
These roughly correspond to English “this” or “that,” with the remote determiners having a farther spatial distance than English “that.” For this reason, many speakers use este when referring to objects that in English would normally be determined with “that.”
The interrogative determiner che means what or which depending on the modified noun. It agrees only in number.
Che can be used in exclamations meaning something along the lines of “how!” or “what!” For example, saying “Che bela masion!” means “What a beautiful house!”
The Latin adjective multus evolved into Oscanez molt. This corresponds to “much, a lot, many” in English.
As before, it agrees in gender and number.
Its antonym meaning “very little, a small amount, little” is three different words strung together with an article.
|Singular||pauz de||pauga de|
|Plural||paugos de||paugas de|
There are other quantifiers which are vocabulary, such as tre de, meaning “three of.” One other major quantifier is the collective, shown by the adjective tot. It translates to english "all of, all, every." When used with the article (tot los cabalos) it means "all of the horses" or "every horse" in the singular. Tot is cognate with Spanish todo/a.
Verbs in Oscanez are categorized into four classes of infinitives, those that end in -ar, -re, -er, and -ir. There are three moods in Oscanez, indicative, imperative, and subjunctive. There are five simple tenses in the indicative: future, present, imperfect, perfect, and conditional. Of these tenses, there are only two in the subjunctive: present, imperfect. All of the tenses can be combined with forms of abre to form perfect compound tenses. Using the gerundive and forms of estar, all continuous tenses can be formed. There are two copulas, estar and esir.
The present indicative is used to describe actions that exist currently and is inherently imperfect. It describes the subject in a state of being or in action. For example:
Jo s'alt (I am tall).
Nos vivimos en la ciutat (We live in the city). For the first conjugation -ar verbs (not ending with a -t or -n / -m in the stem) there are the following endings:
-T stems are verbs which end in a /t/ after removing the infinitive ending -ar.
Note that -n stems such as llamar, to call, have no ending in the first person singular (llam, I call). They do have an ending in the other persons, however/
All -er verbs follow this paradigm.
The verb debre is an irregular -re verb, having the same present endings except for the third person singular, (def, he should), and the plural, (deben, they should).
-ir verbs only differ with -re verbs in the third person plural and the infinitive.
The present in Oscanez is used to describe ongoing actions occurring at one time, states of being in a present time frame.
The future tense in Oscanez is used in future actions, commands / prohibitions, and polite requests. The future is regular for nearly every conjugation, simply adding the following endings to the infinitive. -re verbs add different endings to the stem.
Present Progressive and Continuous
The present progressive in Oscanez is a frequently used feature. It combines the present tense with the progressive or continuous aspect. There are two different verbs that use the progressive and coninuousː estar and seghir respectively. They combine with the gerundive of each verb to create the tense meaning. Note that unlike in English, the present progressive cannot be used to convey future or general meaning.
- Sigo amando = "I keep loving"
- Estó amando = "I am loving"
|-ar -er -ir||-re|
|El / Ela / Vostet||-á||--|
|Elos / Elas / Vostetes||-án||-n|
Note that in -re verbs the final <e> becomes accented <é> because it is the last syllable, making the word an acot.
There are several verbs in Oscanez which undergo a stem change in the future and conditional. These are common verbs.
There are two different past tenses in Oscanez, which are differentiated by aspect. The perfective aspect creates the preterite tense (also called the past historic), and the imperfective creates the imperfect.
The imperfect in Oscanez is used to denote habitual or continuous action in the past. In English, it can be translated as "used to X, or was Xing." There are certain words which, in the imperfect, can be translated with the English simple past. These include: sabre, conocer, voller, sentir, potre, and deber.
The imperfect is the most regular tense system in Oscanez, with its only irregulars in the word esir and ir.
|El / Ela / Vostet||-aba||-eba||-ia|
|Elos / Elas / Vostetes||-aban||-eban||-ian|
Preterite / Past Historic
The preterite in Oscanez views an action or state of being as fully completed, and as its own. Because of this, the verbs sabre, conocer, voller, sentir, potre, and deber are translated differently from an English simple past. This is because a verb like "to know" in the simple past would be "he knew." In the preterite of Oscanez, since that verb is fully completed and is its own action, totally unrelated to any other at any time, the verb would be translated as "he found out." That is because an act of knowing that is fully completed and began completed would be synonymous with a verb "learned."
|Simple past meaning||knew||should have||was able to||felt||knew||wanted|
|Approximate preterite||met||did1||managed to||related to||found out||tried to|
|Negative preterite||did not meet||did not||failed to||disliked||was oblivious||refused to|
- Deber in the preterite can make a third type of past tense, when combined with an infinitive. It is analogous to the English emphatic past with do-support. For example, "I did run" (emphasizing the fact that I, in fact, did run) in Oscanez would be debé correr.
The preterite is the most irregular tense in Oscanez, with several sets of endings and stem changes. All are added to the stem of the verb (formed by removing the infinitive).
|El / Ela / Vostet||-ó||-ó||-ó||-ó|
|Elos / Elas / Vostetes||-aron||-eron||-eron||-iron|
In -ar verbs there is no distinction between present and preterite in the first person. The first person plural rule is the same for -er and -ir verbs.
Notable irregular forms are esir, estar, ir (which has the same forms as esir), dire, fare, and venir.
|El / Ela / Vostet||dicio||ficio||venio|
|Elos / Elas / Vostetes||diceron||ficeron||veneron|
Esir is the essential copula. It descends from Vulgar Latin *essere, with major irregularity.
|Indicative Tenses||1st person||2nd person||3rd person||1st plural||2nd plural||3rd plural|
|Preterite (Past Historic)||fe||fiste||fe||fimos||fiste||firon|
Esir is generally used as a personal linking verb describing occupation / profession, nationality / origin, personal (permanent) adjectives. When used as a simple linking verb, esir does not take articles. Generally, estar is used in emotional or physical condition, but esir can be used for permanent condition. For example, to say “She is a beautiful woman” with the specific connotation of this woman always being beautiful, one says “E bela fema.”
If the present indicative or subjunctive first person links with a word with a vowel, the form of esir contracts into s'.
Estar is the stative copula. It descends from Vulgar Latin *stare, with some irregularity.
|Indicative Tenses||1st person||2nd person||3rd person||1st plural||2nd plural||3rd plural|
|Preterite (Past Historic)||estede||estediste||estede||estedimos||estediste||estederon|
Estar is generally used whenever esir would not be used. It is used in all progressive tenses with the gerundive, and in time, emotional or physical conditions, location, and temporal descriptions. For example, to say, “She is beautiful today,” one says “Está bela hue.”
As Oscanez has a distinction similar to Spanish in formal vs. informal speech, the conversational table reflects that. Informal takes the tu conjugation while the formal takes the vostet.
|Of course!||E claroǃ|
|Cheers!||Sanitat! (formal) Saléǃ (informal)|
|How are you?||Como estás? (informal) Come está? (formal) Come estade? (plural)|
|Good morning!||Bon jorn!|
|Good evening!||Bona sera!|
|Good night!||Bona nue!|
|Have a nice day!||Tena un bon ja! (formal) Ten un bon jaǃ (informal)|
|Enjoy the meal!||Bon apetit!|
|Goodbye!||Adeoǃ (general) / Fin a vederǃ (formal)|
|Good luck!||Bona sort! (general)|
|I love you||Te amo / Te vollo (between lovers only) Me importas (in the sense of "I care about you", between lovers, friends, relatives etc.)|
|You are welcome||De nada|
|Excuse me||Perdóneme (formal) Perdón (informal)|
|When?||Cuant? / A que hora?|
|Why / Because||Porche?|
|How much? / How many?||Cuant? / Cuantos? / Cuantas?|
|What is your name?||Como te llamas? (informal) Como se llama? (formal) / Che e su nome? (formal)|
|My name is ...||Me clamo ...|
|Yes, I understand.||Sí, entendo.|
|I do not understand.||No entendo.|
|Do you speak English?||Fablas anglés? (informal) Fabla anglés? (formal) Parlade anglés? (plural)|
|I do not understand Oscanez.||No entendo l'oscanez.|
|Help me!||Ajótemeǃ (formal) Ajótameǃ (informal) Ajotaǃ (general)|
|You are right/wrong!||Tene rajón / No tene rajón (informal and formal)|
|Where is the bathroom?||Deon está lo banio?|
|How much is it?||Cuant costa?|
|The bill, please.||La cuenta, por favor.|
|The study of Oscanez sharpens the mind.||L'estudiar de l'oscanez acoja la men.|