- See also: Oceana (disambiguation) for more meanings of 'Oceana'.
|Total speakers:|| 750-4,500 FL|
|Origin:||Slovak, Polish, English|
|Language family:||Slavic languages|
|Writing system:||Latin script|
|Official language in:||Lovia (regional minority language)|
|Regulated by:||Narasha 'Oshenna Rát (Oceana Language Council)|
The language of Oceana (local name: Narasha 'Oshenna) is a language spoken in some parts of Lovia, most notably Hurbanova and East Hills, and is legally recognized as a regional minority language. Oceana is a mixture of English, Polish and Slovak. For years, it was generally referred to as a dialect, until it gained recognition as a language, having a fully and independently developed vocabulary, syntax and grammar. Native speakers of Oceana refer to it as Narasha 'Oceana, which means "language of Oceana".
- See also: The Remarkable Evolution of Narasha 'Oshenna for a detailed description of the language's evolution.
The Oceana language is one of the youngest naturally developed languages spoken at this moment and it is particularly notable because of its fast developments.
The roots of Oceana Edit
It all started back in the 1870's and 1880's, when groups of Slovak and Polish people were brought to Hurbanova to work in the mines. They had to learn some basic English vocabulary, so they could function well in the already existing Lovian society. It was a list of 100 words about everyday life. In order to make things clear that weren't on the list, they had to use words of their own languages. This was the beginning of two new languages, Nárečie, which was based on Slovak and English, and Jazýk, which was based on Polish and English. The 100 words of the list can still be found in the core vocabulary of English origin of Narasha 'Oshenna, while other core vocabulary is obviously coming from Slovak. Because the list didn't contain the verb to be, that verb was of Slovak or Polish origin, for example in the Nárečie language byť was used, which later on developed into the Narasha 'Oshenna bite. Remarkably, the forms sum (I am), see (you are), yea (he is) were later on replaced by English words: am, thur, hese, though the infinitive still remains Slovak.
Another development was that the minority group of American people living in Oceana, mainly owners of coal mines, also started to use Slovak words. Their language contained a higher number of English words and was mostly used as a Lingua Franca, to make communication between them and the Slovak and Polish people possible. They didn't use it to communicate with other members of their ethnic group. Their language was soon called Mineworkers' English or Šachtaman Anglický, which is Sheckman Anglitsha in modern Oceana, even though it was spoken by mine owners instead of mineworkers.
Old Oceana Edit
Around 1900, the Old Oceana language was born. The Polish-based Jazýk language was overrun by the Nárečie and it died out. Nárečie slowly started a process of simplification and at the end of the 1880's the first sound and grammar shifts started to occur. At the basics, Nárečie was still very Slovak, a good example of this would be To yea mauya mothra (English: This is my mother, Slovak: To je moja matka), while the new shifts created Nownarasha, meaning the new language, which was significantly more like English. An example of written Old Oceana is the George Ský Translation.
The first shift to occur was around 1900 and concerned the grammar; some cases were lost. Only four cases could hold out, namely nominative, genitive, dative and locative. The instrumental, vocative and accusative case were lost. Also the verbs underwent major changes. The number of irregular verbs grew gigantically, the gerund was remodeled after the English one and a unification of the conjugation in the present and the past. Slovak used to have three verb roots: -iť, -ať, -ieť. In Nownarasha only one conjugation, which was modeled after the English one, was left. Another major change was the introduction of the modal verb will, which could be used instead of bude, though both remained in use. Lastly, the introduction of the past particle on e-en, postvit - epostvitten.
For the nouns a loss of the number of genders had begun. The changes in the genders resulted in a split in the Nownarasha language. There were now two main dialects; one lost the feminine gender, the other one the neutral gender. The one that lost the feminine gender was the root of Narasha 'Oshenna. The dialect that lost the neutral gender formed the later Hurbanovan English. At this time, the two dialects were still the same in all other linguistic features. Further on demonstrative, possessive, personal and reflexive pronouns, adjectives and prepositions were simplified or changed gigantically.
Middle Oceana Edit
Because some new words were introduced from English, the English pronunciation started to interfere with the Slovak phonology of Nownarasha. The people had to make sentences more pronounceable. It was too difficult to switch from words like dať (to give) to words like eachother. Because of this, some major sound changes began. The Slovak "rolling r" ([r]) and the North American "retroflex r" shifted to a "uvular r" ([ʁ]), as in French, possibly under influence of Dutch immigrants. Slovak [ʋ] and English [w] merged to [w]. Many plosive consonants became aspirated, palatalized or velarized. [θ] and [ð] disappeared and became [tʰ].
In the early 1910's and 1920's the vocabulary was drastically changing. For twenty-five years, there had been three options for the word you: the Slovak tý and the English thou and you, though you was hardly used. By merging the sounds of tý and thou, the word thu was produced. Over 400 other words were also born using this technique, which makes it difficult to trace words back to their origins.
Normally, a language has three different types of vocabulary:
- Active vocabulary: daily speech; words like I, water, house, to do, good, funny, to eat etc.
- Less active vocabulary: words which drop in from time to time, like finger, pain, car, to realize, hay etc.
- Passive vocabulary: words which are only used very occasionally, when you have a specific job. Some of those words you might even not know, like putative, putrefaction, fulcrum, tarpaulin, lichenous, biennial, thenceforth, tibia etc.
When a language is influenced by another language, mostly category three and slightly category two are affected, something you can also see with English which is very much influenced by French and Latin. Almost all words of category one are from Germanic roots, those in category two are mixed from Germanic and Roman roots and almost all words, except thenceforth, are of Romanic roots in category three.
In Narasha 'Oshenna, category one contains about 25% words of English origin, 50% of mixed words and 25% of Slovak origin. The English and mixed words are of course the words of the list and words borrowed from local American people. Category two contains almost exclusively Slovak words. Category three can be divided into an A and a B category; the A category contains English words, rarely used words which are sometimes used, so English is used instead; the original (Slovak) word is not known or there is doubt whether the other speaker will be able to understand it, so it's safer to use the English word. Category B contains synonyms and unused (poetic) words. These words are not influenced by English, because the English word wasn't known. Category three B therefore contains words with Slavic roots.
Some minor influences from a nearby hamlet inhabited by Dutch people, which doesn't exist anymore, and a hamlet called Scotland, introduced some Scots and Fade Dutch words and expression to the Oceana language.
Modern Oceana Edit
So far, linguistics haven't been able to point out when exactly Modern Oceana was born. It is clear however that since the 1950's the dialect without the neutral gender, Besnutralni, and the dialect lacking the feminine gender, Ueshenna, diverged rapidly, especially Besnutralni.
Besnutralni lost all genders and lost the dative and locative case. Again the verbs were highly simplified and many of the irregular verbs became regular. An enormous amount of English vocabulary replaced the old Slovak vocabulary and only a few words of Slovak origin remained. The pronunciation still remained rather conservative and this resulted in some of the typical Hurbanovan English charactaristics. After almost 60 years of constant shifts, Narasha Besnutralni became modern Hurbanovan English and in the 1980's it totally lost its mutually understandability with Narasha 'Oshenna.
Ueshenna, nowadays known as Narasha 'Oshenna, lost all genders too and it lost the dative case, though many rudimentary expressions still left. Also the locative and genitive became rare in everyday speech. From the 1950's until the 1980's the languages anglicized a lot, but when High Oceana was introduced in 1984, it became a very conservative language again.
The Oceana languages, which were once one language, now differed more from each other than Narasha 'Oshenna from Slovak and Hurbanovan English from American English.
Recent developments Edit
Since late nineties and early 21st century, new sentiments with regard to the Oceana language came and especially the vocabulary was reslavified. Some examples are: revolooshen -> revolutsia (revolution) and communisti -> komunistiski (communist adj). Other words were directly reborrowed from Slovak, like glaysher -> ladovets (glacier) and wish -> prianie (wish). Some neologisms are also to be found: dialnitsa (highway) + ryhlost = dialnitsryhlost (speeding limit on the highway) or less obviously potshitatsh (computer) + hovor (talking) = potshivor (chatting on the internet). Many of these words are only used by the revival community and not by other native speakers.
- Main article: Dialects of Oceana.
Once the Oceana dialect was a very lively language. Especially at the beginning of the twentieth century and during the Hurbanova uproar of 2008. Around 1900 the number of speakers was estimated to be around 4,000, which was more than 75% of the inhabitants of Oceana. In 1956 this number had already declined to 2,500, some 30% of all Oceana people. The census of 1998 confirmed 700 speakers. During the Hurbanova uproar of 2008 there were at least 4,000 speakers according to rebel leaders, but when Hurbanova again chose for the Lovian side the number of daily speakers drastically declined. Currently there are no good figures available but rough estimates vary from 700 to 1,250 native speakers and at least 3,100 second language speakers. The younger generations in Oceana are now taught the language on school, ensuring the future of the language.
Recent surveys indicate the number of proficient speakers in Oceana is rising.
The Oceana language was traditonally spoken in the Oceana Emeralds region, as well as small areas across the border in Sylvania, the western banks of the Beaver River, as well as the entire Beaver River Mouth area, including areas in Sylvania, and the area surrounding Hurbanova.
Areas in Oceana with a traditionally low percentage of speakers include the rural areas Southern Oceana, in the past predominantly Dutch, North Coast, predominantly Polish, and the regions historically inhabited by Slovaks, Dien Village, Southern Wine Region, and Northern Wine Region. As a result, these areas do not have their own dialects, but instead use either the Hurbanova, or the East Hills dialect. In recent times, especially the Wine Region and Dien Village have Oceanified due to political sentiments and education; the depopulation of the Dutch hamlets in Southern Oceana has caused the area to become mostly Oceana-populated as well. Nowadays, the rural areas are considered strongholds of the Oceana language.
Famous speakers Edit
As the number of speakers steadily declines more and more, many people are trying to preserve as much of the language as possible. In 2008 Oos Wes Ilava published an academic word list including 500 words. He's currently working on a dictionary. He says the number of speakers will probably no longer increase because Oceana nowadays is more Noble City-orientated, though it wouldn't harm anyone if the language would be well-documentated.
Even though the language could probably go extinct within the next fifty years, there are bilingual road signs, for example at the Vlackstreet, where the road sign also includes the Oceana name "Vlacest". This has mainly been done for the tourists, but even inhabitants of Oceana that don't speak the dialect still use Oceana propre names for streets, human names, neighborhoods and of course the village anthem of Hurbanova: Kem that lew is espavat.
The "Quaire o'Hurbanoft" (Choir of Hurbanova) only sings songs in Oceana and became popular throughout entire Lovia with it. In 1907, when the started, all members still spoke the dialect, but now hardly anyone does.
It is taught at all schools in Oceana, mostly it's about Oceana literature then. There is no official regulation, but the Narasha 'Oshenna Rát is often regarded to as being the official regulation. Maybe in the near future it will become an official organization, but that depends on the developments in the First and Second Chamber.
- Main article: Pronunciation of Oceana.
- Main article: Vocabulary of Oceana.
The grammar of Oceana is a little bit more complicated than the English one, but it is less complicated than the Slovak grammar. In this article we will only give an outline of the grammar. For a more complete view there is a grammar guide created by the Oceana Dictionary Project.
Adjectives and adverbs Edit
Adjectives are placed before nouns and do not agree with quantity, just like English adjectives. Adverbs are usually formed by adding the suffix -(a)ne. Examples:
- "the big, old car": "that beag, ow bieca".
- "heavy - heavily": "tashki - tashkine". (ending on a vowel: -ne)
- "current - currently": "denshen - denshenne". (ending on -en: -ne)
- "deep - deeply": "deep - deepane/deepne". (ending on a consonant: -(a)ne)
In the past, adjectives did agree with gender and quantity. Some examples:
- masculine singular: "un prachy slapemortel". (a beautiful discussion)
- masculine plural: "prachi slapemortels". (beautiful discussions)
- neutrum singular: "u prach daylek". (a beautiful dialect)
- neutrum plural: "prache dayleks". (beautiful dialects)
There are three articles in Oceana. The following examples will make clear how they're used:
- singular indicative: "the car", in Oceana: "that bieca".
- plural indicative: "the cars", in Oceana: "thie biecas".
- singular not indicative: "a car", in Oceana: "un bieca".
- plural not indicative: "some cars", in Oceana: "(nikolk) biecas".
From older writings we know that Oceana used to have two different genders: masculine and neutrum. This resulted into different articles:
- masculine: "thy sham" - "thie shams" - "un sham" - "(nikolk) shams" (castle).
- neutrum: "that quaire" - "thie quaires" - "u quaire" - "(nikult) quaires" (choir).
As one can see, the indicative forms that remained were neutrum and the not indicative forms that remained were masculine.
There are two types of nouns: regular ones and irregular ones. They usually have singular and plural, but no longer hold a specific gender. There are three cases: nominative, genitive and locative.
Regular plural is constructed using -s, like sweerk (animal) - sweerks (animals). Sometimes it's -ses, like pes (dog) - pesses (dogs) and sometimes it's -es, like hous (house) - houses (houses).
The genitive is constructed by adding ' or o' before a word or by adding the suffix -a(s). The locative is constructed using the suffix -owey(s). Example: "The dog of the man goes towards the houses." - "That pes that mana got thie shealoweys." Nowadays the locative is getting out of use, one is more likely to find: "That pes o'(that )man got de thie sheals."
Some examples of nouns with an irregular plural:
- answer: esse - ash (merging English and Slovak)
- child: tshide - tsheeden (umlaut and -n)
- gate: brana - branan (adding -n)
- man: man - lide (merging two roots)
- nose: nos - nus (umlaut).
- ship: loce - lodsh (rudimentary Slovak inflection).
- tree: strom - strum(s) (umlaut and -s).
- worm: tsher - cherref (adding -f).
Verbs usually only have three forms: present, perfect and past particle. An example of a regular verb is "statch" (to happen): it statch - it statcheth - iaf estatchen. There are two types of strong verbs: those from English and those from Slovak. Two examples from English: "come": it come - it cay - iaf cum; "give": it give - it gave - iaf given. An Example from Slovak: "chest" (to eat): it chest - it chist - iaf chesten.
Then there are the irregular verbs. These verbs have the personal pronoun include as a prefix. An example is the verb bite (to be): "thur" means "you are" and is constructed from thu + ar.
|person||personal pronouns||possesive pronouns||reflexive pronouns|
|third person||those||them||those hine/thoshine||themself|
The Lord's Prayer (taken from The Gospel of Matthew 6:9-13):
- Oshine Otetsh, Kto is i thie Nebá.
- Thine Name bude eswatvatten.
- Thine Kingland buet come.
- Thine gilsh buet statch hine,
- owso po that earth, like i that Nebo.
- Yie os new os dienni gutch.
- An ewgiet os oshine skylts,
- tak owso we ewgiet oshine skyltors.
- An na viest os i that prosis,
- ale levrovat os o'that zlo.
- (Labe o'Thine Bwa is that Kingland)
- (an that motsh an that gloria,)
- (til i that vetshnien.)
- ↑ Between 750 and 1,250 according to census of 2009.
- ↑ Approximative 4,500 speakers according to unofficial estimates 2010 and census 2008.
- ↑ 3,656 (first-language) in 2012 according to the Oceana Demographic Center.
- ↑ According to the Narasha 'Oshenna Rát, there are 20,000 to 25,000 second-language speakers throughout the world.
- ↑ It's commonly accepted as a Slavic language, as it originates from Slovak, however many Polish and especially English words can be found. This one is controversial though, as more than the half of the vocabulary comes from English nowadays.