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Shongese
Shongchuagyo
Spoken in North America
Date created 3rd - 5th Century
Ethnicity Shongese
Native speakers 13 Million  (date missing)
Language family
Altaic? (contraversial)
  • East Asian
    • Shongese
Official status
Official language in FlagofEirai Shongan
Regulated by Shongese Institute
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Shongese (Shongese: Shongchuagyo) is an East Asian language spoken by over 20 million speakers, primarily in Shongan where it is the national language. Shongese is the only East Asian national language outside of East Asia.  It is largely a language isolate, however has close grammatical links with Chinese and Korean, while a large amount of its phonology is linked with Japanese. 

Little is known of the language's history, its first documented words were believed to be written in the 5th century. The language has changed marginally since the 8th century and shares many linguistic traits with Altaic Languages such as Korean and debatably, Japanese. Despite its distance, Shongese has been influenced by Chinese during the 12th and 13th centuries. 

Shongese has minor agglutinative tendencies, has a monopthong (pure) vowel system, and has phonemic vowel and consonant length. Shongese is written using a syllabic writing system, known as Shichou, which consists of characters dervied and borrowed from Chinese Characters and Katakana.

Orthography

Character Name IPA Typical Sound Value
Shong [ʃ] 'sh' as in 'Shirt'                                                                   
Icho [] 'i' as in 'Spice'
Cha [tʃ] 'ch' as in 'Church'
Ocho []
Uso []
Ango
Gyo
Ng 'ng' as in 'Sing'
Ka 'k' as in 'c'at
Zach 'z' as in 'zebra'
Sash 's' as in '''s'chool
Engo 'e' as in 'pet'
Wacho 'w' as in 'wet'
Hash 'h' as in 'Hat'
Thocho 'th' as in 'Thong'
Go 'g' as in 'Good'
Tocho 't' as in 'tree'
Mechi 'm' as in 'M'other
亿 Yash 'y' as in 'Yet'
Rocho Rolled 'r' as in Spanish
Nachi N as in 'Nook'
Pocho P as in 'pet'
Jocho 'j' as in 'joke'
Dichi 'd' as in 'd'amn
Jyo 'Dzyo'
Quecho 'qu' as in 'Queen'
Lagyo 'l' as in 'Letter'
Becho 'b' as in 'Book'
Fengyo 'f' as in 'Fetch'
Nechu Nasalised 'n'
Xacha 'x' as in 'Xylophone'

Diacritics

There are three types of diacritics used in Shongese, they are;

  • □"□ - Indicates long vowel (e.g 土" = long 'o')
  • □ˆ□ - Indicates 1st Tone (rising and falling) (e.g 土ˆ = 1st tone 'o')
  • □ˇ□ - Indicates 2nd Tone (falling and rising) (e.g 土ˇ = falling and rising 'o')

Phonology

Consonants

Consonant phonemes
Bilabial Alveolar Post-

alveolar

Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n ɴ
Stop p b t d k ɡ
Affricate [t͡s]
Fricative β] s z h
Approximant j w
Flap r

Digraphs

  • /th/
  • /dz/
  • /sh/
  • /ch/
  • /gj/ (/gy/)
  • /mj/ (/my/)
  • /ng/ 

Vowels

Vowels are pure in Shongese, meaning there are no dipthongs, and each vowel letter is voiced independantly. 

Vowel phonemes
IPA Notes
/a/ 'a' as in ca
/i/ 'i' as in 'Spice'
/u/ Close back compressed vowel, [ɯᵝ]. Lips compressed toward each other but neither rounded like [u] nor spread to the sides like [ɯ]. 'oo' as in 'Boot'
/e/ 'e' as in 'Pet'
/o/ 'o' as in 'Cot'

Tones

Shongese is a tonal language, formerly there were four tones, but now it has been decreased to two, the 1st and Second Tones. Whilst in modern Shongese, tones do not necessarily differentiate words, as they do in Chinese and Vietnamese, they stand as separate vowels, as do the long vowels. 

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