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The Broian Stage Language

Boudewijn Rempt


The dialect spoken in the northernmost settlements of the Charyan people on the southern hemisphere had evolved in the years preceding the great exodus to the north into a language that was unintelligible to speakers of other dialects. At least one century before that exodus the first small groups of speakers of these northern dialect settled themselves in a small colony on the northern continent. They named their colony Broi. In the next century their language, under the influence of the native Bruslan population diverged even more from the southern standards, as spoken in the imperial capital of Nyra.

After the great exodus Broi was inundated by speakers of the Nyria-dialect. The Broian colloquial language gradually passed out of daily use and only survived in the stage language. Originally only the Broian ethnicity attended those plays, plays that were performed at their own religious festivals, together with performances of Broian songs and stories. As time passed the Broian language was used almost exclusive on the stage, and became completely formalized, just like the plays.

When the allochthonous population started visiting the dramatic performances, the stage language became known in wider circles and it spread throughout the entire empire, and was even used for writing plays in the southern Charyan tradition. Of course, in the course of time the language became exceedingly artificial, as can be seen from, for instance, the tense system.

The language belongs to the SOV-type, and adheres rigidly to that schema. There is a greatly enlarged system of honorific pronouns. All verbs can be inflected for affectional qualities. The lexicon has been greatly influence by Southern Colloquial, Denden and Classical Charyan, and some according to some estimates the original Broian lexicon forms a mere tenth of the total lexicon. Phonologically, Broian as spoken on the stage has been completely converged with the phonology of Southern colloquial Charyan, but for earlier stages a very small vowel-system has been posited.


Original inventory


p p' b m w
f v
t t' d s z n l 
x j c q y
k k' g ch ng


i u o a

Word order

Simple declarative sentence

S12 O12 P1 P2 V (Q)SF

(first subject, second subject, first object, second object, location, time, verb, (question) sentence final partice.

Passive sentence

TAR S1(rec) O12 P1P2 V S(agent) (Q)SF

Genitive, first subject (recipient), first object, second object, location, time, verb, second subject (agent), (question) sentence final particle.


Nouns are formallly identical to verbs and adjectives. The Broian stage language does not have the category of number. There exists an augmentative suffix <-zi> AUG and a diminutive suffix <-iy>.

Nominal constituents are emphesized with the prefix <téda>.


The Broian stage language distinguishes three persons, six honorific degrees and stage presence. There is no distinction according to number. The honorific degrees are determined by the stage employs: emperor, noble, merchant, military, farmer, townsmen, civil servant, alien (or extra), fool, man and woman. The stage presence suffix <-s> indicates whether the other players on stage can hear the actor or not.

The employs correspond to traditional roles in the Broian dramatic tradition.

I Imperial:         1    parllobeatima (-s)
                    2    pirllobeatimo (-s)
pal                 3    porllabeotimu (-s)

II Noble:           1    da (-s)
                    2    do (-s)
foadur              3    du (-s)

III Merchant        1    za (-s)
                    2    zo (-s)
nudan               3    zu (-s)
IV Military:        1    va (-s)
                    2    vo (-s)
charka              3    vu (-s)
V Farmer            1    ta (-s)
                    2    to (-s)
rachtan             3    tu (-s)

VI Townsmen         1    a (-s)
                    2    o (-s)
judan               3    u (-s)

VII Civil servant   1    laka (-s)
                    2    lako (-s)
pandan              3    loku (-s)

VIII Alien, extra   1    hakar (-s)
                    2    hakir (-s)
nirdir              3    hakur (-s)

IX Fool             1    ata (-s)
                    2    atu (-s)
p'up'u              3    atur (-s)

X Man & woman       1    ya (-s)
                    2    yo (-s)
udan & yudir        3    yu (-s)

Possessive pronouns

Possessive pronouns can be formed with one of the following affixes. Which affix is uses depends on the person. Monosyllabic pronouns receive a prefix, disyllabic pronouns an infix. In the case of the imperial pronouns the infix is placed after the first syllable.

1    ca
2    co
3    cu


The Broian stage language distinguishes between visible and invisible (usually on and off stage) and between five degrees of distance.

            here  near far   farther very far
on stage    q     qur  aq    aqar    aqarda
off stage   t'a   t'ar at'a  at'ar   at'arda

Other particles

caqur ~ t'aqur
qufohun/ t'afohun

The verbal system

As with almost all Charyan languages, verbal stems are indistinguishable from nominal stems. The verbal simplex is inflected according to tense, aspect and attitude. Broian distinguishes nine tenses and an as yet undetermined number of attitudinal affixes.


  1. Distant past: -laha
  2. Within living memory: -lohir
  3. Within the speaking generation: -loch
  4. simple preterite: -lo
  5. present: -Ø
  6. within a short time: -li
  7. within the lifetime of this generation: -lich
  8. Beyond the lifetime of this generation: -lahir
  9. Far future: -luha


  1. -(u)s
  2. -(a)r
  3. -(u)sar
  4. -ur

If the action indicated by the verb continues from the past into the suffix -us is used. If the action starts in the present and will continue into the future, the suffix -ar is used. If the action spans past, present and future, the suffix -usar is used. Immediacy is indicated by the suffix -ur.

Attitudinal prefixes


  1. mear- honorific
  2. tuyar- honorific negative
  3. pah- imperious
  4. mama- respectful
  5. xucho- morally obligatory
  6. quda- condescending
  7. Ø- neutral
  8. mior- positive
  9. nini- insulting
  10. tu- negative
  11. turma- unfriendly
  12. yu- certainty
  13. t'o- surprise
  14. timpo- narrative
  15. diar- flattering
  16. yarma- friendly
  17. yor- gay
  18. qada- mocking

In the most generally used transcription the attitudinal prefixes are seperated from the verb with a tilde.



A verb can have up to four agents and patients.


Ya sungty
1s sleep
I sleep


S  O  V
A  P
Ya ryaguith eratet 
1s polenta  eat
I eat polenta


S  O  O  V
A  P1 P2
Ya lyanetan yo yerdat
1s jewel    2s give
I give her a jewel


S  S  O  O  V
A1 A2 P1 P2 
Ya yo lyanetan yo yerdat.
1s 3s jewel    2s give
I and you, we give her a jewel



The potential suffix <-bu> indicates potentiality. The impossible suffix <-tu> indicates the impossibility of the action.


Passive constructions are formed with the particle tan after the passive subject which is placed sentence initial.

Agentive derivation

Male agentive suffix
Female agentive suffix


Adjectives are nominals placed after the noun they modify. In the most common transcription nouns and adjectives are linked with a hyphen.

Sentence-final particles

All sentences are ended with one of the sentence-final particles. Without a sentence-final particle the phrase is subordinated to the next sentence.


Questions are formed with a sentence-final particle.

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