Pastanan Language

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OOG note Pastanan is based on Classical Latin [1], with changes to pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and lexicon.
Pastanan
Lingua Pastana

Funerary inscription from Santorenna

Pronunciation /pasˈtaːna/
Region North-western Anaria

 Anisora

Status Revived
Speakers c. 16 million (Modern Pastanan)
Language family Kachal-Anarian
Anario-Adhenic
Pastanic
Old Pastanan
Modern Pastanan
Parent languages Old Pastanic
Early forms Proto-Pastanic
Writing system Anarian alphabet (Pastanan variant)
Official status
Official in  Anisoran Empire
Regulated by Peradottan Pastanan Standard (PPN)

Pastanan (Pastanan: Lingua Pastana [pasˈtaːna]) is an ancient and revived language of the Dragar family of languages of Northern Anaria and is the official language of Anisora. The language is primarily spoken by the learned elite but is not the de facto language of Anisora as only approximately 30% of the population speak it. It was primarily an ancient language, which was spoken throughout the ancient Medio Sea but originated on the Cadrai Peninsula and Pasticello Islands. The language's height came under the Pastanan Empire between the 48th and 54th centuries when it was spoken in lands across the Medio and wider Anaria.

The Pastanan that is spoken in Anisora and other nations today is, in fact, drawn from this ancient language. Modern Pastanan, or New Pastanan as it is often called is essentially the same language as ancient Pastanan, but with key and extensive updates to vocabulary and pronunciation. The language was revived and became popular under Emperor Marius I in the 74th century among the Anisoran elite and has since then become popular to the point where it was made the official language of the Empire under Emperor Marius II in 7415.

It is a language famed for its literary history and can boast some of the most famous Anarian poets and authors in history, including Aullus, Jerronius and the most celebrated Pello, held to be the finest wordsmith of the Pastanan language.

Contents

Geographic Distribution

Ancient

The geographic distribution of Pastanan in the ancient world was extensive both in terms of demographics as well as chronology. Pastanan in its oldest form (Old Pastanan) was centred around the central Cadrai Peninsula, or Urbs Civitas in modern Anisora, with the city of Valance as the centre for the development of the language. Over the centuries the language evolved but remained concentrated in central Cadrai until around the late fourth millennium when Pastanan speakers began expanding their sphere of influence.

Over the next few centuries the Pastanan's forged an extensive empire, taking their language with them. By this time, Old Pastanan had been replaced with High Pastanan (considered the most pure form of the language) and was spread across the Medio and beyond. During the height of the Pastanan Empire, Pastanan was spoken, both as a first language and bilingually, in the Pasticello and Pequinella Islands, across Anaria Minor (especially the Merigno-Tsova Coast) and around the Western Strait, the Wessian Peninsula and wider Southern Thultannia, the Alsa Peninsula (modern day Ardennes) and as far east as the Hattaro Straits.

Modern

Due to the fact that Pastanan is an ancient language which was later revived by Anisorans in the 74th century, the geographic distribution of Modern, or New, Pastanan is very fluid. The added complication of it primarily being spoken by the elite and educated classes makes specific demographic and geographic classification even more difficult. While originating on the Cadrai Peninsula (modern day Pastana Province), the language as spoken today (New Pastanan) is spread throughout Anisora, with specific concentrations of speakers in the nation's urban centres. Pastanan is almost unknown in rural areas, considering it became popular in the 74th century among the urban elite. The Imperial Capital Pena as well as other major urban centres of scholarship and government, including Valance and the university towns of Peradotto and Valamaggiore, retain significant speakers of Pastanan.

History

Ancient Usage

The ancient language originated in central Cadrai Province in the Quellan Valley around 4600's.1 The earliest known form of Pastanan is Old Pastanan and was spoken from the Orderan Kingdoms to the early imperial period and is attested both in inscriptions and in some of the earliest extant Pastanan literary works, such as the tragedians Vellautus and Ficcinan. During this period the Pastanan alphabet was devised from the Silupiscan alphabet and changed from the early boustrophedon2 to a left-to-right script.

During the middle imperial period, around 5150-5400, a new High Pastanan arose, influenced and consciously moulded by the literary elite of the time. This era of the language has been considered the purest form of the language, mainly due to the large volume of high quality literature to have come from this period. Authors including Aullus and Pello wrote in High Pastanan and remains the largest influence on Modern Pastanan.

During the late imperial period the language continued to evolve into Late Pastanan. As Late Pastanan was free to develop on its own without the literary standard prevalent and enforced during the middle empire there is no reason to suppose that the speech was uniform either diachronically or geographically. On the contrary, Pastananised Anarian populations developed their own dialects of the language. The decline of the Pastanan Empire meant a deterioration in educational standards that brought about Late Pastanan, a post-high stage of the language seen in Orkanan writings of the time. This language was more in line with the everyday speech not only because of a decline in education, but also because of a desire to spread the new faith to the masses.

Middle Ages

After the decline and fall of the Pastanan Empire the Pastanan language dwindled into insignificance, with Late Pastanan slowly evolving into the Old variations of the modern languages spoken across the Medio today, including Old Anisoran. However, Pastanan remained important for a select few institutions over the Middle Ages which largely ensured its survival into the modern period. The Peratolian Congregation of Pastana and other Orkanan institutions as well as various Guilds preserved the language in the texts that survived in High and Late Pastanan primarily. During this period, however, the spoken language largely disappeared apart from a small number of congregational groups, devoted to preserving the language of the first Anisoran Orkanan exemplars and congregational leaders.

Marian Revival

In the last century of Tortagno-Nespola rule it became increasingly fashionable for linguists to speak the ancient language, modelled on High Pastanan, and became a well respected status symbol amongst academics. The University of Peradotto saw some of the first groups conversing in ancient Pastanan in the 73rd century. The university population quickly adopted this linguistic craze with many, both students and teaching staff, learning and then conversing in the language. In 7298 the first lecture was given in Pastanan by professor of linguistics R. Mario Muggia. The language continued to spread in popularity, primarily among the academic community. However, considering the highly literate culture of Anisoran aristocratic life it did not take the language long to become fashionable among the nobility, especially in Pastana Province in the East. By the 7330's it was a prestigious status symbol for the aristocracy and emphasised the learned privilege of the ruling classes.

By the 7360's and the ascension of Marius I following his victory in the Anisoran Civil War the language had become the preferred aristocratic language and was spoken at the imperial court in Pena. The Pastanan language became an important part of Marius Decus' so called 'Decan Programme'. The programme was emperor Marius' attempt, considered extremely successful, at reviving the ancient customs of Pastana - where the language took pride of place. Imperial and aristocratic patronage of writers favoured and encouraged Pastanan poetry and saw some of the most celebrated works in the modern form of the language.

Marius II continued the programme implemented by his father Marius I. During his reign, the Anisoran language largely disappeared from the imperial court as well as all official government meetings and business. This eventually led to the emperor establishing Pastanan as the official language of Anisora in 7415 and has remained so for over 150 years.

Modern Standardisation

By 7410 Modern Pastanan was spoken by a considerable proportion of the ruling classes as well as the academic community and the language was already beginning to change. Various linguistic groups, including the linguist G. Enrico La Scolla, sought to bring in a universal standard of the language to ensure the pure form of Modern Pastanan, based on the ancient High Pastanan, be maintained. In 7405 the University of Peradotto, by now teaching mostly in Pastanan, began compiling the first official and comprehensive Pastanan lexica, under imperial approval. In 7410, the Peradottan Pastanan Standard (Pastanan: Peradottana Pastanana Norma) was introduced as the official imperially sanctioned standard of Modern Pastanan. When the official language of Anisora was changed to Modern Pastanan in 7415, the PPN became the standard textbook for study and remains so today, in its fourteenth edition.

Phonology

Dialects and Accents

Ancient

The study of dialects and accents of any ancient language is fraught with difficulty - primarily because the evidence that survives from the period is often fragmentary and almost exclusively from a small section of elite literary society. Pastanan is no exception, with almost all knowledge about the ancient language coming down in the literature of the elite. There are however a number of ancient grammars that survive into the modern day, chief among them Plantarian's Treatise on the Pastanan Language (Pastanan: Libellus de Pastana Lingua), written in the late 54th century. Plantarian remains the most important source for Pastanan philologists and linguists as his thorough (if my modern standards slighty naive) treatment of not only the written elements of the language but also the spoken remain one of the few examples that shed light on the subject.

Book III of Plantarian's Treatise is devoted to the study of the differences between the literary standard enforced during his lifetime and the spoken word, which had already begun to change by the early 54th century.a This remains the most important source for understanding how ancient Pastanan was spoken, as considerable ignorance remains on how the language was pronounced. Plantarian tells us that there were significant differences between how the literary elite of Valance spoke and the common men and women of the city (Pastanan: Plebs). There were also differences between the towns, regions and islands of the Cadrai Peninsula and Pasticello Islands. For example, the people of the island of Tupaxia were famous during Plantarian's day for their use of a definite article,b very rare in Pastanan.3 Other surviving sources corroborate this, with the orator Gaius Rufus mocking his political opponent Q. Marius Caemillius for his provincial island use of the archaic definite article.c Unfortunately Plenatarian's study does not go beyond the heartland of the Empire, so little evidence survives of accent and dialectal variation elsewhere in the Pastanan speaking Medio.

Modern

Mutapastana

There is an area of modern day Pastana Province in Anisora, in Southern Terretillo Civitas, where a form of Pastanan is spoken as the first language of the local population. With the revival of the ancient language, many Anisoran linguists and other scholars sought to re-establish Pastanan as the de facto spoken language of the people, as well as the elite. Consequently, in 7420, the linguist G. Enrico La Scolla under the patronage of T. Dante Fulcheri, Baron of Deplorrian, underwent a social and linguistic experiment whereby he attempted to re-establish Pastanan as the spoken language of a small group of farmsteads in the Pastanan central hills. The so called Depolorrian Experiment. The area was chosen for its remoteness and the tendency for the local families to interact with very few outside the local area.

The local people underwent extensive language tuition to gain fluency, being paid handsomely by the Baron of Deplorrian, their lord. Many conservative scholars and aristocrats thought this impossible, given the low level of education of the rural population, but by 7430 11 families could speak the language fluently and were instructed to avoid using Anisoran as much as possible. Under the supervision of La Scolla extensive studies of the habits and employment of the language were conducted for decades. The first generation of children amongst these families were brought up bilingually, speaking both Anisoran and Modern Pastanan.

Over the next fifty years, despite public interest in the experiment disappearing, La Scolla and his daughter R. Bella La Scolla continued the study and found that by the second generation of children the languages of Anisoran and Pastanan began to mix and a new composite dialect was being created. This discovery reawakened academic interest and in 7498 La Scolla's experiment was celebrated by the Anisoran Institute of Linguistics. Bella La Scolla found that without the literary standard prevalent in elite educations (as well as the Peradottan Standard introduced in 7410), the Pastanan language was allowed to evolve, if with Anisoran influences. The composite dialect was dubbed Mutapastana (lit. changed Pastanan) by Bella La Scolla and is spoken by the local population of Deplorrian today.

Grammar

Vocabulary

Differences between Ancient and Modern Pastanan

Pastanan Literature

Pastanan Scholarship

Notes

1 Debate remains in the academic community as to the century the origins of Pastanan can be attributed. Some scholars argue the language can be traced as far back as the 4400's, although considerable variation in the interpretation of the limited epigraphic evidence that survives prevents consensus.

2 Boustrophedon is a bi-directional writing system mostly seen in ancient manuscripts and inscriptions. Every other line is flipped or reversed, in the case of Pastanan reversed, with reversed letters. Rather than going left-to-right as in modern Anisoran, or right-to-left, alternate lines in boustrophedon must be read in opposite directions.

3 The definite article, linguists believe, was an early casualty of the evolution of the language around the early 49th century where it dropped out of use across Pastanan speaking lands. The close proximity of the island of Tupaxia to the northern Wessian Peninsula and the Southern Thultannian languages spoken there is believed to have preserved the article in the island's dialect.

References

a Plentarian Libellus de Pastana Lingua, Book III, section 1e-37d.

b Plentarian Libellus de Pastana Lingua, Book III, section 59b-61a.

c Gaius Rufus In Caemillium 38.2.

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