Valyrian Historical Linguistics

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Varieties

The term "Low Valyrian" is used to refer to all extant languages descended from High Valyrian. It can be divided into three groups: Northern, Southern and Ghiscari[1]. The Northern group is made up of Braavosi, Lorathi, Pentoshi, Norvosi and Qohorik. The Southern group is made up of Myrish, Tyroshi, Lyseni and Volantene.

Ghiscari group

The Ghiscari group comprises Astapori, Yunkish and Meereenese. Astapori and Yunkish are nearly identical to each other, while Meereenese has a fundamentally similar grammar but a very different pronunciation[2]. Astapori and Meereenese are the only varieties of Low Valyrian spoken on the show so far. The Ghiscari group has many words of Ghiscari origin, such as mhysa "mother".

The main grammatical changes in Ghiscari Valyrian are the reduction in the number of cases and genders, and the development of articles, of which High Valyrian had none. Ghiscari Valyrian has merged the solar and lunar genders into the celestial gender, and the aquatic and terrestrial into the terrestrial gender.

Astapori Valyrian

Abbreviations

_ indicates the phoneme's place in a phonological environment
# word boundary
null, elision
V vowel
C consonant
P plosive, stop
L liquid

Consonant sound changes

  • Unconditioned sound changes
    • /ɲ/ > /n/ (dȳñes > dyni)
    • /j/ > /ʒ/
    • /z/ > /ʒ/ (māzigon > majigho, brozi > broji, ziry > ji)
  • Voiced stop > voiced fricative vowel-medially
    • /b/ > /v/ (jēlēbagon > jelevagho, kostōba > kotova)
    • /d/ > /ð/ (dovaogēdy > dovoghedhy)
    • /g/ > /ɣ/ (zūgagon > zughagho)
  • Voiceless stop > voiced stop vowel-medially
    • /p/ > /b/ (epagon > ebagho, kepa > kiba, rapa > raba)
    • /t/ > /d/ (otāpagon > odabagon, teta > tida, botemagon > bodmagho)
    • /k/ > /g/ (pēko > pegu, pikībagon > pigivagho)
    • /q/ > /g/ (beqitsos > begistos)
  • Voiceless fricative > voiced fricative vowel-medially
    • /s/ > /z/ (kesa > kiza, syt > zy)
  • Metathesis of /s/ followed by a stop (/Ps/ > /sP/)
    • /ks/ > /sk/ (āeksio > aeske)
    • /ts/ > /st/ (rytsas > rysta, tōmītsos > tomistos)
    • perh. also /ps/ > /sp/ (e.g. *apsos > aspo)
  • Deletion of /s/ before stop word-medially (/s/ > ∅ \ _P)
    • /sk/ > /k/ (hoskagon > hokagho)
    • /st/ > /t/ (ivestragon > ivetragho, kostōba > kotova, kostilus > kotlu)
    • perh. also /sp/ > /p/ (e.g. nuspes > *nupe)
  • Debuccalization of voiceless stops before /t/ (P > /h/ \ _t)
    • /kt/ > /ht/ (unektogon > unehtogho)
    • /pt/ > /ht/ (teptan > tehtan)
  • Syncope of unstressed /i/ between a stop and a liquid before a vowel (/i/ > ∅ \ P_LV)
    • /kiri/ > /kri/ (kirimvos > krimvo)
    • /qilo/ > /qlo/ (qilōny > qlony)
    • /tilu/ > /tlu/ (kostilus > kotlu)
  • Various other changes
    • /qr/ > /q/ (qrimbrōsta > qimbrota)
    • /s/ > ∅ \ V_# at least in the sg.nom. (daorys > dory, hontes > hunte, hobres > hubre)

Vowel sound changes

  • Shortening of all long vowels
    • /Vː/ > /V/ (gēlenka > gelinka)
  • Flattening of diphthongs
    • Rising
      • /ao/ > /o/ (gaomagon > gomagho, dovaogēdy > dovoghedhy, daorys > dory)
      • /ae/ > /e/ (hae > he, laes > les)
      • /aːe/ > /aj/ > (āeksio > aeske, brāedion > braedhe)
      • perhaps by analogy, /aːo/ > /aw/
    • Falling
      • /io, ioː/ > /e/ when not word-initial (āeksio > aeske, liorilaksa > lerraska)
      • /ia, iaː/ > /e/ when not word-initial
      • /ie, ieː/ > /i/ when not word-initial (giēñilaros > ginilaro)
  • Fricatization of word-initial /u, i/ before a vowel
    • /u(ː)/ > /v/ \ #_V (ūī > vi)
    • /i/ > /ʒ/ \ #_V (iōragon > joragho)
  • Raising of stressed short mid vowels /e, o/
    • /e/ > /i/ when stressed (gēlenka > gelinka, hen > hin, kepa > kiba)
    • /o/ > /u/ when stressed (kona > kuna, hobres > hubre, lo > lu)

Notes

  1. http://dothraki.com/dl/sdcomicfest.pdf
  2. http://www.dothraki.com/2014/05/the-state-of-valyrian/
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