The Drēīn were the descendants of the Salanjans, and were inhabiting the entire Rhęghîl basin at the time of the Drydic invasion, and are still present there in large numbers, although these are speakers of Valley Zēīn. The Coastal dialect is the most widely spoken, and is the basis for the Salanjan-Zēīn dictionaries of the aristocracy. The name, although written as Zein to provide consistancy with the other dialects, is actually pronounced as [ze:ĩ].
Bilabial dental pal-alv palatal velar Glottal
Stop p b t d dz č tj dj k g ʔ
Nasal m n nj ŋ
Fricative f v θ đ š ž sj zj x h
Lateral l lj
Approximant w rj
The approximant /w/ is written as <u> pre/postvocalically, and changes to a full vowel [u] adjacent to consonants.
The nasalised /ĺ/ fell in with /ă/, as /ĺ/ is slowly doing with /a/.
Further Phonetic information:
The voiceless palatal stop and the voiceless palatal fricative have long consonatal varients that are phonemic:
[c] vs. [cc]:
ottj 'heavy rain'
oissj 'storm cloud'
Intervocalic t > /ʔ/ if not after a nasal. These glottal stops are quite often effaced in speech.
The clusters /gl/, /kl/, /lg/, /lk/ >*/L/ >/w/. */L/ could have been either a velarised lateral
or a velar lateral [l].
The clusters /gr/, /kr/, /rg/, /rk/, /qr/, /rq/ > /r/.
The clusters /tr/, /dr/, /rt/, /rd/ > /z/.
All other Cr, rC clusters resolve to a doubling of the consonant.
-SN- clusters (S:s:z:ś, N:m:n:ŋ) changed to Proto-Drēīn *-zən, to Coastal Zēīn -zũ.
CC clusters resolve differently, depending on the consonant; there is a hierarchy, t assimilationg all other consonants, k and p assimilating others as well, but yielding to t.
Vn clusters reduce to nasal vowels. /ŋ/, /nj/ and /m/ were not affected by this.
Salaњan ai and au are monophthongised to /ε, Ť/ <ę, ô>; Salaњan ain, aun become eĩ, oũ, nasalisation being the feature that Zein speakers substitute for length.
Unstressed (=final) syllables tend towards raising, unless the vowel is /a/.
A more rounded-out phonology was also created by the addition of the palatals ssj [çç],
dj [ď], sj [ç], ttj [cc], tj [c], rj [˝], lj [´], čj [tţ], džj [dü], šj [ţ], and žj [ü], to the palatal nj [ř].
The opposition: ţ:s, đ:z have been lost in all dialects except Western, with the reflex [θ] on the islands, and [s] on the mainland. It is written here as s.
This is the 'standard' dialect, as it is the lingua franca of the Salanjan Kingdom for those who do not know Classical Salanjan. It is one of the few dialects that show p~f, b~v, t~s, d~z, k~x, and g~0 contrasts. The phonemes /k/ and /q/ contrast here, in opposition to almost all of the other dialects. It is spoken on Somkē and Benibal Islands, and the coastline opposite Somkē Island. K is pronounced as a labialised velar [kw] or even a labio-velar [kp], which is why the m before k in Somkee does not assimilate.
The Zein languages have, by and large, lost the massive inflective capacity of Salaњan. They have retained some features, though. The main contrast in the language is between agent and patient, marked by –ba and –ra, respectively:
korba sir uotal vera.
I spoke to you.
The pronoun kor 'I' has the agentive marker –ba appended to it, this indicates that it is the subject of a transitive verb, here, uotal. Sir follows, modifying the verb uotal to a past time. The object is next, namely ve, translated as you(pl). It has the patient marker –ra, indicating it is being acted upon. This is the extent of nominal inflection in the language. Older texts have a plural formation that consisted of nasalising the final vowel, or, with final consonants, adding a nasal /ũ/. This disappeared about 2750 kh-ōd.
Verbal morphology is equally scanty. Verbs are, as a general rule, invariable, tense and person being indicated by particles, sir for past time, and rę for future. There is one Salaњan inflection left in the language: the particle ęl indicates perfective aspect, and is descended from the Salaњan -ail-. It is perhaps best, however, to view it as a separate particle in line with sir and rę, given its preposed position. The Salaњan derivational ending –ŋka has survived, as –ŋŋa, and is used with the same meaning that Salaњan used it with, examples include dzeĩ go and dzęŋŋa come from Salaњan džain- go and džaiŋka- come. A knowledge of the Salaњan endings is useful, however, given the aristocracy’s propensity to derive verbs using the Salaњan –stu, -sun, and the various moods. The causative is also frequently imported into the language, coming into contact with verbs which historically had the causative, but that fact being obscured by the cluster simplifications in Zein’s history; examples include ora fly (Sal. horat-), orat throw (Sal. horat-č-).
The distinction between dzeĩ (go) and főtal (go, go into) is mostly a regional distinction, with the continental Coastal speakers using dzeĩ most of the time, and the islanders using főtal exclusively:
Kora e Somkeba dzeĩ, nut korba pai.
I’m going to Somkē, where I’ll be.
Kor e Somkeb főtau, nut kobb pai.
The distinction between dzęŋŋa (come) and főtaŋŋa (come) is a class-related one, with the peasantry, merchants, and lower nobility using dzęŋŋa, and the upper classes using főtaŋŋa.
Examples: (Coastal dialect)
kor-ba sir uotal vera.
I spoke to you.
[TEŇ hoŇb TiůŇ hŤŇ/EŇ TEmEl TEŇ wŤ/Ňů]
Ser hora'a ba sir hora'er semel ser wottalra
<the falcon in the past fly out of the mouth>
The falcon flew out of the mouth.
[dZlkpa)t TiůŇ fo)taNNa]
¤alakantun sir Fontalaillasal
<horde(pl.) in the past come
[TEmEl rkkŇů TiůŇ]
semel raskalRa ser
out of East in the past
[wŤ/ŤŇŤEŇ Tamu TEr uzT]
wottawarauer samun ser Udraţ.
name/call Themselves the Udraţ.>
The hordes who came out of the East called themselves Udraţ.
korba sô ne pai
I-agen prox emph be(loc)
1 daz 6 xon 11 datozi
2 fer 7 sôpel 12 ferozi
3 vak 8 naŋe 13 vattozi
4 čaš 9 lari 14 čozi
5 kit 10 tozi 15 kitozi
20 tozzer 30 tovak 40 točaš
50 tokit 60 toxon 70 tozôpel
80 tőaŋe 90 tolari 100 sapa
ačo-holy dagger (every temple has one, blessed by the high priest of Naγal)
araxi-The glory days; used to refer to a time when every thing was especially good, or, at least, a hell of a lot better than things are now.
asad-night sky (Sal. haθa-dī, constellation)
axupi to travel far and wide, to travel the world (only retention of a derivative of Sal. axel great)
azũsačo-lightning; Čakul’s weapon (Sal. Aśmanaščo)
čo-giant (found mostly in the Čantai mountains)
čula-Sarasui, the red sun (a red giant *98 light years from Šaol’s system, visible in early dusk)
Čulakur-Štolaqor, lord of Asalunei
dalečj-the Darale≠ and their religion
doru-sun (from Salaњan dosy, influenced by doraunu/doroũ)
dzeĩ-go (see text)
dzęŋŋa-come (see text)
e-preposition 'to', translates the Salaњan –ma case.
fetti-starlike (adj) (Sal. festir)
főtal-go, go into (see text)
főtaŋŋa-come (see text)
gudli-royal heaven, where the upper nobility and heroes go in death
gulem-satrap, provincial govenor (their old Salaњan title was emw, and this was added to gul mostly because the satraps were of royal blood)
igaru-wage war; e ____ igaru, wage war upon ___. (some dialects take the incorporated form iga, especially on Benibal)
kiraqa-a boar-like creature which has a speckled body
kor, (pl.)-a, -Pron., I, we
kul- genitive marker
maz-air-nymph; increasingly as a basic ‘fairy’, subsuming the traditional nez ‘gnome/dwarf’, kez ‘elf’, and guz ‘evil fairy’ under one name.
oissj 'storm cloud'
ottj 'heavy rain'
pai- ‘be at’
regil-the Rhęghîl river, once home to the core of the Salaњan civilisation, now occupied (in the Zein eyes) by the Dryds and Udraţ (referred to by the Zein both as uzas ‘outlander’. It does have a significant Zein population, who speak Valley Źijn.
samu-reflexive 3rd pers pron.
semel-prep. ‘from, out of’
sir- preterit marker
guslodu-princess (gul + Sal. sodum)
šalimi-Šalimar (reanalysed as šali and mi, moon)
tel, (pl.) ve-Pron., thou, you (also reflexive)
uzas-outlander (attitude mostly same as that of Germans towards auslander)
zeĩ-their name for themselves