Un historu d'Eulingu

Just a little history of Eulingu: Eulingu derives from an artificial language called Duirún [du:'ri:n] (=the language of Duirú) which was invented many years ago. In order to bring it to the real world we decided in 2005 to change its name to "Eurin", later "Iorpún" (the language of Iorpú=Europe) and combine the experience of Duirún with the languages of Europe. Of course, this turned out to be a "minor disaster" as we made too many compromises.

"Europún" followed soon after with a more realistic goal but still included elements of Duirún which were scrapped in 2008 when we announced "Eulingu" (getting rid of the "ún" in favour of "u" [u:])...which now is solely based on European languages combined with our previous experiences. 

So what did we learn and what does Duirún bring to Eulingu:

1) Vowels: They represent either "gender", "quantity" i/o "action" in Eulingu. "A" reflects the female, "o" the male, "u" the genderless singular, "i" the genderless plural and "e" activity in the form of verbs. Furthermore, "ai" and "oi" allow us to form either female or male plural if "i" is not sufficient enough. 

For "a" and "o" we only need to look at Portugal for inspiration, for "i" at Italy, "for "e" we have plenty of options (France, Germany etc) and for "ai/oi" at Greek or Esperanto. Which leaves us with "u" which in a way derives from "neutral". 

It was introduced to replace endings such as "-ie", "-y" or "-ia" in natural languages, e.g. "Demokratie", "démocratie", "democracia" i/o "democracy" all become "demokrazu" or "demokrazi" if plural. As a result we decided to give every non-gender singular term a "u" ending, especially after realising that various European languages use different gender for the same term. Esperanto has a similar approach by applying "o", e.g. "la lando". In Eulingu, "la lando" would not work as it would represent a conflict of gender ("a" vs "o"), so we basically settle with "lu landu". 

But now the question arises if we actually need to apply this final "u" to "land" as it creates a new two syllable word [lan'du:] out of the original one syllable [land]. While it makes sense to add "u" in "demokrazu" we could simply do without the "u" in "landu". 

So, while being strict when "teaching" Eulingu and including "u" in "landu", we are and should also be able to express flexibility in our day-2-day communication and simply throw a "d'kel land estut?" ("which country are you from?") into our conversation.

2) Consonants: 

I only want to higlight one consonant here, the "z". It was introduced to reflect both sound and spelling in natural languages and to serve - in a way - as a "joker". Let's go back to our previous example of "Demokratie", "démocratie", "democracia", "democrazia" i/o "democracy" and our adaption "demokrazu" y/o "demokrazi".

"There is a problem with the 'c'", says Harry, "and we need to fix it".

The letter "c" basically represents two (even more) sounds: [s], [ts] i/o [k]. Furthermore, especially in Romanic languages the [k] sound changes to some kind of [tsh] before "e" or "i". Also, if you look at "celtic"...is it pronounced [seltik] or [keltik]? So, as a result in Eulingu we either have "z" or "k" to reflect "c": "zentru" y/o "kult".

And how do we pronounce "zentru"? Well, I would go for [tsen'tru] but I guess if you have an English background you might prefer [zen'tru] or [sen'tru] if you are from a Nordic country, I can even hear speakers mumbling [shen'tru]. At the end of the day it does not matter which [s] sound we use or prefer...we will still understand each other. So, why not replace "z" with "s" altogether, as the Nordics do e.g. in "Polis"? Maybe we do some time in the future (after our 1st or 2nd "Eulingu Language Conference" in 2021) but at the moment it is basically to preserve "etymologu".

Have a great day! :-)

© 2012 Amiki d'Eulingu
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