Shirerothian language

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Præta Sxiröþes
Pronunciation: [ˈprætɑ ʃiˈrøθes]
Spoken in: Shireroth
Region: National
Total speakers: 0
Langauge family:
  • Central Shirerothian
    • Brookshirian
      • Shirerothian
Writing system: Latin (Shirerothian variant)
Offical status
Offical language in: Shireroth
Regulated by: Department of Constructed Languages
Langauge codes
MIC 639-1: shr

The Shirerothian or Shirerithian language (Præta Sxiröþes in Shirerothian) is a constructed language from Shireroth.


Shirerothian has been spoken in Shireroth for thousands of years.


Proto-Shirerothian, the ancestral language of Shirerothian, was spoken approximately from 4000 BSC to 262 ASC.

Old Shirerothian

Old Shirerothian was spoken from the beginning of Kaiser Erik II's reign in 262 ASC until 1239 ASC.

Old Shirerothian was heavily inflected, with eight noun cases (nominative, accusative, vocative, genitive, dative, ablative, instrumental, and locative) and seven noun declensions. Verbs were divided into six conjugations.

However, Old Shirerothian was characterized by only two genders; the neuter gender did not develop until early Middle Shirerothian.

Middle Shirerothian

Middle Shirerothian is traditionally dated to have begun with Kaiser Nikkolo I's reign in 1239 ASC, and lasted until 3004 ASC.

Middle Shirerothian greatly simplified the Old Shirerothian noun system. The dative, ablative, instrumental, and locative cases all merged into a prepositional case, and the original seven noun declensions were reduced to four. Adjectives were no longer inflected for gender. Additionally, the middle voice merged into the passive, and the dual number merged into the plural.

Middle Shirerothian also saw the development of the human gender of the third-person singular pronoun.

Modern Shirerothian

Modern Shirerothian has traditionally been dated to begin with the reign of Kaiser Mors V in 3004 ASC. Distinguishing features of Modern Shirerothian include the following:

  • The loss of the vocative case.
  • The loss of breathy voiced plosives: /bʱ/ > /b/, /dʱ/ > /d/, and /gʱ/ > /g/.
  • The rhotacization of intervocalic /z/.
  • The fricativization of voiceless plosives: /pt/ > /ft/, /tt/ > /θt/, and /kt/ > /xt/.

The last development may have developed under the influence of Eldurian.

Language contact with Eldurian

As attested by the large number of loanwords and borrowings into its grammar, Shirerothian has been in contact with Eldurian for a large part of its history. The amount and type of words borrowed suggests that such contact has been quite intimate. For example, Old Shirerothian borrowed basic words such as portale "gate" (Eldurian portale), porko "pig" (Eldurian porce), pikxtyre "picture" (Eldurian pichture), and li "here" (Eldurian ile, meaning "this").

The pronunciation of Eldurian loanwords in Shirerothian has been used to help date certain sound changes in Eldurian. For example, Eldurian traditionally did not mark that a word-final l had become vocalized. Linguists thus had to turn to Eldurian loanwords in other languages in order to date l-vocalization.

In Shirerothian, both portale "gate" (portale) and ræw "regal" (regale) were borrowed from Eldurian. While portale first appeared in mid-to-late Old Shirerothian, ræw did not appear until Middle Shirerothian. The fact that ræw does not contain an l establishes that l-vocalization in Eldurian must have occurred during the transition from Old Shirerothian to Middle Shirerothian. Comparisons to Eldurian loanwords into other languages during this time period, as well as the discovery of the Varjaga Cave Journals, bears out this theory: portale, pronounced [pɔrˈtaːle] in Old Eldurian, became [pɔrˈtaːw] in Middle Eldurian. Similarly, regale was pronounced [reˈgaːle] in Old Eldurian and [reˈgaːw] in Middle Eldurian.

A few grammatical features also have their roots in Eldurian. For example, Eldurian uses the neuter third-person pronoun to indicate a person or group of people of unspecified or mixed gender. Shirerothian independently developed a "human" gender third-person pronoun for the same purpose in the singular, but like Eldurian, uses the neuter gender in the plural. This borrowing appears to have first occurred during late Middle Shirerothian.

Furthermore, some linguists have posited that the development of the neuter gender was influenced by the existence of the neuter gender in Eldurian, which in Eldurian has become the dominant gender.

Curiously, while Shirerothian has borrowed liberally from Eldurian, there has been nearly no borrowing at all from Shirerothian into Eldurian.


The Shirerothian alphabet contains 30 individual letters and 6 digraphs. Each digraph is considered a separate letter in the alphabet, and thus, Shirerothian has a total of 36 letters. The letter x does not have a pronunciation of its own, and is used only in combinations with other letters.

The table below shows the correspondence between the Shirerothian alphabet and IPA. The English pronunciations are based on General American English.

Shirerothian IPA English pronunciation
a [ɑ] father
æ [æ] fat
b [b] bat
c [tʃ] church
ç [dʒ] bridge
d [d] dog
ð [ð] the
e [e] Approx. like hail
f [f] fat
g [g] gift
h [h] home
i [i] deed
j [j] yes
k [k] king
kx [x] (Scottish) loch
l [l] leave
lx [ɬ] (Welsh) llwyd
m [m] man
n [n] no
ng [ŋ] sang
o [o] Approx. like coal
ö [ø] (German) schön
p [p] pie
r [r] (Spanish) burro
s [s] sock
sx [ʃ] shock
t [t] tame
þ [θ] thin
u [u] food
v [v] vein
w [w] want
wx [ʍ] (Old-fashioned) whale
x - Used in digraphs only
y [y] (French) tu
z [z] zoo
zx [ʒ] mirage

The letters æ, ç, ð, ö, and þ can be written as ae, cx, dx, oe, and tx, respectively, when technical limitations prevent the input of these characters.


The Shirerothian language contains a rich inventory of 27 consonant and 6 vowel phonemes.



The table below shows the Shirerothian consonant phonemes.

Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive p   b t   d k   g
Fricative f   v θ   ð s   z ʃ   ʒ x h
Approximant l j ʍ   w
Trill r
Lateral Fricative ɬ

/l/ is a "clear" l (alveolar lateral approximant), and is thus pronounced like "leave" [liːv], not "tell" [tɛɫ] (which has a "dark" l, or velarized alveolar lateral approximant).

/ɬ/ is a rare sound in European languages. For help pronouncing [ɬ], see Wikipedia.

/ŋ/ can occur at the syllable onset, unlike in English where it can never occur at the syllable onset.

/p/, /t/, and /k/ are not aspirated.


The table below shows the Shirerothian vowel phonemes.

Front Back
High i   (y) u
Mid e   (ø) o
Low æ ɑ

[y] and [ø] are allophones of /u/ and /o/, respectively, occurring in complementary distribution with [u] and [o].

There are five diphthongs: [æj], [æw], [iw], [oj], and [øj]. They are best analyzed phonemically as /Vj/ rather than /Vɪ̯/.


The vest majority of Shirerothian words have paroxytonic stress, i.e., they are almost always stressed on the second-to-last syllable. Exceptions are marked in the orthography with an acute accent:

  • zxádurum [ˈʒɑdurum] "desk"


Shirerothian exhibits regressive metaphony (or less precisely, umlaut or vowel harmony), a long-distance assimilatory phonological process involving vowels across boundaries.

[-back] [-rounded] [-back] [+rounded] [+back] [+rounded]
[+high] [-low] i y u
[-high] [-low] e ø o

The rule for Shirerothian is fairly straightforward: [-low, +back] vowels (i.e., o and u) become [-back] when the next vowel in the word is [-low, -back] (i.e., i and e). This is represented in the orthography by the changes from o → ö and u → y. For instance,

  • læjo [ˈlæjo] "road" → læjöne [læˈjøne] "roads"

When possible, metaphony proceeds across the entire word:

  • /urkoli/ → yrköli [yrˈkøli] "island"

/æ/ and /ɑ/ are considered neutral vowels. Neutral vowels in Shirerothian are opaque, and thus, the presence of a neutral vowel will block any further metaphony:

  • /muritɑ/ → myrita [myˈritɑ] "tomorrow", but
  • /portɑle/ → portale [porˈtɑle], not *pörtale "door"


Shirerothian has the following syllable structure: (C)(C)V(C)(C)



All vowels, and only vowels, can appear in the nucleus.



Shirerothian is a highly inflected language.


Shirerothian has three noun declensions.

-C declension

This declension class is used with noun stems ending in a consonant, except for those ending in -t. All nouns in this class are masculine or neuter, with a few limited exceptions.

Singular Plural
Nominative -e
Accusative -a -e
Genitive -es -ese
Prepositional -i -im

-V declension

This declension class is used with noun stems ending in a vowel. The vast majority of nouns in this class are feminine.

Singular Plural
Nominative -ne
Accusative -n -ne
Genitive -nes -nese
Prepositional -ni -nim

-t declension

This declension class is used with noun stems ending in -t. All nouns in this class are masculine.

Singular Plural
Nominative -ene
Accusative -ana -ene
Genitive -es -ese
Prepositional -i -im


Pronouns in Shirerothian, not unexpectedly, are often irregular. Unusually, Shirerothian declines all pronouns by gender, although in the plural, many forms have been merged.

The neuter gender is listed after the masculine because it originally developed from the masculine in Old Shirerothian. Even today, the neuter shares many of the same endings as the masculine.

Personal pronouns

First person
æj, æjon, æjo
Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative æj æje æjon æje æjo æjöne
Accusative æja æje æjon æje æjon æjöne
Genitive æjes æjese æjes æjese æjönes æjönese
Prepositional æji æjim æji æjim æji æjim
Second person
þu, þun, þuno
Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative þu þyne þun þyne þuno þyne
Accusative þuna þyne þun þyne þuna þyne
Genitive þynes þynese þynes þynese þynes þynese
Prepositional þyni þynim þyni þynim þyni þynim
Third person
el, e, elo, se
he, she, it, they
Masculine Neuter Feminine Human
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative el sene e sene elo sene se -
Accusative ela sene en sene elon sene se -
Genitive eles senese enes senese elönes senese senese -
Prepositional eli senim eni senim elöni senim senim -

The "human" form is used to describe a person without indicating his or her gender. This is very similar to the use of "they" as a singular third-person pronoun in English. The human form originally developed from the old third-person plural, which was reanalyzed as a singular. To distinguish between the former plural, which had become a singular, and the true plural, a plural marker was added to the pronoun. The human form does not have a plural; the neuter plural is used when describing a group of people without specifying their gender, or when describing a mixed-gender group of people. While the use of a human form for the singular in Shirerothian appears to be an independent innovation, the use of the neuter plural is likely a borrowing from Eldurian. (It is known that the neuter plural is used because Middle Shirerothian distinguished between masculine, neuter, and feminine genders in the third-person plural, and the neuter plural was used for unspecified- or mixed-gender groups.)

Demonstrative pronouns

Shirerothian has only one demonstrative pronoun. When greater specificity is required, hi "here", li "there", or ili "yonder" can be used:

  • rund ðena "this/that hat" (i.e., "the particular hat being mentioned")
  • ræd ðe hi "this house"
  • zxádurum ðena li "that desk"
  • jatu ðo ili "that sheep yonder"
ðe, ðena, ðo
this, that
Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative ðe ðe ðena ðena ðo ðene
Accusative ðena ðe ðena ðena ðon ðene
Genitive ðenes ðenese ðenes ðenese ðönes ðenese
Prepositional ðeni ðenim ðeni ðenim ðöni ðenim

Interrogative and relative pronouns, and interrogative adjectives

Unlike English, Shirerothian does not make a distinction between human ("who") and non-human ("what") forms.

who, what, which
Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative vo vöne vo vöde vo vöne
Accusative voda vöden vo vöde von vöne
Genitive ves vese ves vese ves vese
Prepositional vi vim vi vim vi vim


While most determiners follow the noun, certain determiners, such as articles and numbers, precede the noun.


Shireroth has a definite article, but no indefinite article. The definite article declines for gender and number, but not case.

seo, seo, sa
Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular seo seo sa
Plural sene sene sane


Numbers are formed rather similarly to English numbers. With the exception of uk "one", which declines according to case and gender, numbers are indeclinable.

uk, uk, uko
Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative uk uk uko
Accusative uka uk ukon
Genitive ykes ykes ykönes
Prepositional yki yki yki
Shirerothian Numeral
uk 1
za 2
joj 3
naþ 4
sxu 5
ylhi 6
gnas 7
tantif 8
stifta 9
graks 10
graksuk 11
zæf 12
jöjne 13
naðak 14
misko 15
graksylhi 16
graksangas 17
grakstantif 18
grakstifta 19
zagraks 20
zagraksuk 21
jojgraks 30
ortu 100
za ortu 200
gozma 1000
graks gozma 10,000
ortu gozma 100,000
tagozma 1,000,000


Shirerothian has two adjective declensions, which are identical to their respective noun declensions. Adjectives are inflected for case, but not for gender. Adjectives generally follow the noun they modify.

-C declension

This declension class is used with adjective stems ending in a consonant.

Singular Plural
Nominative -e
Accusative -a -e
Genitive -es -ese
Prepositional -i -im

-V declension

This declension class is used with adjective stems ending in a vowel.

Singular Plural
Nominative -ne
Accusative -n -ne
Genitive -nes -nese
Prepositional -ni -nim


Verbs in Shirerothian have the following properties:

  • Three persons: First, second, third
  • Two numbers: Singular, plural
  • Two aspects: Perfective (finished), imperfective (unfinished)
  • Six tenses: Present, past, future, present perfect, past perfect, future perfect
  • Three finite moods: Indicative, subjunctive, imperative
  • Two voices: Active, passive
  • Three non-finite forms: Infinitive, gerund, participle

Shirerothian has two verb conjugations. The first conjugation is characterized by the infinitive ending -nar, while the second conjugation is characterized by the infinitive ending -nur.

Shirerothian is a pro-drop language. In other words, the pronoun is optional but can be used for emphasis. When the pronoun is included with the verb, it follows the verb:

  • takun æj sa jatun "I am eating the sheep"


Passive voice

The passive voice is formed by adding the prefix f(e)- to the verb:

  • fetakyler sa jatu vi wxifi "the sheep was eaten by a wolf"

Table of verb affixes

Type Affix
Past tense -le-
Future tense -þura-
Subjunctive mood -ti-
Passive voice f(e)-

To be

Not unexpectedly, the verb "to be" is highly irregular.

Indicative Active Present
verunur "to be"
Singular Plural
First Person vem jerne
Second Person jert jertu
Third Person ver sirust

Present tense

Indicative mood
Indicative Active Present
First Conjugation
takunar "to eat"
Second Conjugation
vozxanur, "to run"
Singular Plural Singular Plural
First Person takun -n takyne -ne vozxam -m vozxane -ne
Second Person takuz -z takyre -re vozxaz -z vozxare -re
Third Person takur -r takut -t vozxa - vozxast -st
Indicative Passive Present
First Conjugation
takunar "to eat"
Second Conjugation
vozxanur, "to run"
Singular Plural Singular Plural
First Person fetakun -n fetakyne -ne fevozxam -m fevozxane -ne
Second Person fetakuz -z fetakyre -re fevozxaz -z fevozxare -re
Third Person fetakur -r fetakut -t fevozxa - fevozxast -st
Subjunctive mood
Subjunctive Active Present
First Conjugation
takunar "to eat"
Second Conjugation
vozxanur, "to run"
Singular Plural Singular Plural
First Person takytin -n takytine -ne vozxatim -m vozxatine -ne
Second Person takytiz -z takytire -re vozxatiz -z vozxatire -re
Third Person takytir -r takytit -t vozxati - vozxatist -st
Subjunctive Active Present
First Conjugation
takunar "to eat"
Second Conjugation
vozxanur, "to run"
Singular Plural Singular Plural
First Person fetakytin -n fetakytine -ne fevozxatim -m fevozxatine -ne
Second Person fetakytiz -z fetakytire -re fevozxatiz -z fevozxatire -re
Third Person fetakytir -r fetakytit -t fevozxati - fevozxatist -st

Past tense



With exactly two exceptions, prepositions in Shirerothian take the prepositional case. The prepositions ("of" or "from") and zxa ("in") take the genitive case.


Shirerothian typically exhibits a VSO word order, although SVO or OVS can be used to emphasize the subject or object, respectively. Shirerothian also exhibits strong right-branching characteristics: Adjectives follow nouns, genitives and relative clauses follow nouns, pronouns follow verbs, and adpositions appear as prepositions. However, certain determiners such as articles and numbers precede nouns.

Semantics and Pragmatics

Sociolinguistic topics


The following is a short list of certain words in Shirerothian:

Shirerothian English Class
of, from prep.
æwdæk sword n. (m.)
dæjta today adv.
en, ente and conj.
gönleta mango n. (f.)
hæks arm, weapon n. (m.)
hödet hand n. (n.)
hus person n. (n.)
ispæjzxa after prep.
jatu sheep n. (f.)
jor yesterday adv.
kunur to see v.
læjo road, path n. (f.)
lesunar to read v.
ma but conj.
mec fire n. (m.)
myrita tomorrow adv.
præta speech, language n. (f.)
ræd house n. (m.)
rund hat n. (m.)
sikx city n. (n.)
sult ocean n. (n.)
Sxiroþ Shireroth n. (m.)
sxun spike, nail n. (m.)
takunar to eat v.
tast to, towards prep.
træjzxa before prep.
trojm journey n. (n.)
utan outside of prep.
verunur to be v.
vozxanur to run v.
wxen male n. (m.)
wxeno female n. (f.)
wxif wolf n. (m.)
yre out of prep.
yrköli island n. (f.)
zxa in prep.
zxádurum desk n. (n.)
zxuk leg n. (n.)

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