|Extinct||18th century; evolved into the modern Jelbic languages; reformed into Old High Jelbic in 23rd century|
|Official language in||Ahmadism, Barmenian Apostolic Church|
Classical Brmek (ﺑﺮمیك Barmîk or ﺑﺮمی قنسوعیوعد Barmî Kenesawgyûgad) is a Jelbic language used in literary texts from the time of the Ahmadi Caliphate, based on medieval dialects spoken by the Jelbic tribes in Barmenia. Old High Jelbic is the direct descendent of Classical Brmek, based on the spoken Jelbic in the 23rd century and with a simplified grammar. Today Classical Brmek is only used in religious contexts, as one of the two sacred languages of Ahmadism (the other being Majatran) and a liturgical language for Barmenian Hosians and Yeudis.
In spite of its name, Classical Brmek is not the direct predecessor of the modern Brmek language, which is a local variety of Old High Jelbic. The latter can be said to be a continuation of Classical Brmek, with an emphasis on native Jelbic words and written primarily in the Selucian script. Moreover, Old High Jelbic was designed as a neutral variety of the language with the purpose of bridging the increasingly divergent dialects and languages spoken by the Jelbics after Classical Brmek ceased to be widely spoken. As such it was based on the Jelbanian grammar and pronunciation, with some Pontesian influence, whereas Classical Brmek is based on a no longer spoken Jelbic language in Barmenia. Although knowledge of Classical Brmek has gradually been restricted to religious contexts, it had a significant influence on all spoken and written Jelbic languages.
- 1 Phonology
- 2 Grammar
- 3 Writing system
- 4 Vocabulary
- 5 Sample texts
Compared to Old High Jelbic, Classical Brmek has a simpler vowel system and a richer consonant system. The phonology of Classical Brmek is very similar to that of Qedarite (Semitic) languages, which facilitated its adoption of the Majatran abjad (Arabic script) as its main writing system. Classical Brmek has four vowels (/a/, /e/, /i/, /u/), which exist in both short and long forms (except for /e/, which exists only as a short vowel), and 23 consonants. Several of the consonants, like the glottal stop (/ʔ/), were lost in modern Jelbic languages, and several others were merged (such as /h/ and /ħ/ merging into /ɦ/, /k/ and /q/ merging into /k/, or /s/ and /t͡s/ merging into /s/), and others changed their value (such as /θ/ becoming /'f/, or /ɣ/ changing into /ɡʱ/). Short vowels in Classical Brmek were generally lost in modern Jelbic languages, especially when unstressed (e.g. kenes became kns, tâmener became támnr), with the notable exception of vowels preceded or followed by /ʔ/ in Classical Brmek, where the glottal stop was assimilated into the neighboring vowel. A peculiar development from Classical Brmek into modern Jelbic is the transformation of stressed interconsonantal short /a/ into vocalic /r/, e.g.: ṯay ("fire") became frj, gasqu ("school") became grsku, or utamû ("to speak") became utrmo.
|ʾ||the hyphen in uh-oh||/ʔ/||است ʾasti (life)|
|a||⟨u⟩ in cut||/a/||شمب şameb (sheep)|
|â||⟨a⟩ in father||/aː/||احمد âħmad (Ahmad)|
|b||⟨b⟩ in boy||/b/||برمستان barmestân (Barmenia)|
|d||⟨d⟩ in day||/d/||دومره dûmura (village)|
|e||⟨e⟩ in bed||/e~ɛ/||كنس kenes (country)|
|f||⟨f⟩ in fine||/f/||فن fan (green)|
|g||⟨ğ⟩ in Turkish ağa; ⟨g⟩ in Greek gála||/ɣ/||عسق gasqu (school)|
|h||⟨h⟩ in high||/h/||هند hened (hand)|
|ħ||⟨h⟩ in hat (in Received Pronunciation)||/ħ/||حيان ħayân (khan)|
|i||⟨i⟩ in Spanish amigo||/i/||دكیو idakyû (to kill)|
|î||⟨ee⟩ in free||/iː/||ﺑﺮمی barmî (Barmenian)|
|j||⟨j⟩ in jingle||/d͡ʒ/||جهد jahad (jihad)|
|k||⟨k⟩ in sky||/k/||كاحه kâħe (head)|
|l||⟨l⟩ in like||/l/||لوطكد lûṯakad (freedom)|
|m||⟨m⟩ in man||/m/||ملك melek (king)|
|n||⟨n⟩ in name||/n/||نكه neka (cat)|
|p||⟨p⟩ in speak||/p/||پنتستان puntestân (Pontesi)|
|q||⟨q⟩ in Arabic qiṭṭ||/q/||قی qai (man), قسيو qasiyû (to unite)|
|r||⟨r⟩ in Spanish perro||/r/||ریمسه rîmsa (justice)|
|s||⟨s⟩ in sound||/s/||سيق seiq (world)|
|ş||⟨sh⟩ in shy||/ʃ/||شمبن şameb (sheep), شلایو şelaʾyû (to fight)|
|t||⟨t⟩ in stop||/t/||تامنر tâmener (honor)|
|ts||⟨ts⟩ in nuts||/t͡s/||صمكو tsamekû (son)|
|ṯ||⟨th⟩ in thin||/θ/||طتو ṯatû (father), طلز ṯluz (river)|
|u||⟨u⟩ in Italian tutta||/u/||تمو utamû (to speak)|
|û||⟨oo⟩ in boot||/uː/||ونسبنط ûnesbanṯi (cousin)|
|w||⟨w⟩ in west||/w/||وقز wiqaz (wind)|
|y||⟨y⟩ in you||/j/||ییو yayû (to meet)|
|z||⟨z⟩ in zone||/z/||زمویادیقی zemûyaʾdîqai (worker), زلنت zelantu (hour)|
Classical Brmek is an agglutinative language with a subject–object–verb word order.
Nouns are inflected for case, but not number, gender and definiteness like in many other languages. There are six different cases: nominative, accusative, dative, locative, ablative, genitive, and instrumental. The case endings are no longer found in modern Jelbic languages, with the exception of the genitive suffix -ék/-aék (continuing the Classical Brmek -îk). Modern Jelbic compensated for the loss of case endings by reinterpreting a number of postpositions as grammatical particles, whereas Classical Brmek used postpositions sparingly and only when necessary to avoid ambiguity.
- Nominative case: شمب şameb ("the sheep", "a sheep")
- Accusative case: answers the question "whom?" and "what?", formed with the suffix ن -(e)n: شمبن دكیومقره şameben idakyûmeqre ("he/she killed a sheep")
- Genitive case: answers the question "whose?", formed with the suffix یك -îk: حيانيك طرس ħayânîk ṯers ("the khan's horse"), ننقیك بيق inanqaîk beyq ("Commander of the Faithful", i.e. Caliph)
- Locative case: answers the question where?", formed with the suffix د -(e)d: دومرد dûmurad ("in the village"), كنسد kenesed ("in the country")
- Ablative case: answers the questions "from where?" and "why?", formed with the suffix ع -(e)g: عسقع gasqug ("from school"), احمد برمستانع قمويقره âħmad barmestâneg qamûyeqre ("Ahmad came from Barmenia")
- Instrumental case: answers the question "with what?", formed with the suffix ت -(e)t: استطلزت قسيومرز ʾastiṯluzet qasiyûmiriz ("we are united by blood"), كيعنت سطقن تيولر kaîgnet saṯqen tuyûler ("they catch fish with a spear").
- Dative case: answers the question "to whom?", formed with the suffix ش -(e)ş: كتابن قزقیش معمویقرم kitâben qezqaiş megamûyeqrim ("I gave the book to Kezkai"), نبی اكیمش جنطیوره nabî ʾakîmeş janṯyûre ("the prophet prays to God")
If the noun ends in a vowel or semivowel, the -(e)- in the case ending is dropped, e.g. dûmura-d vs. kenes-ed. If the noun ends in -i, -î, or -e, the -î in the genitive case ending replaces the final vowel, e.g. inanqa-îk (from inanqai) vs. ħayân-îk (from ħayân), or şlîħ-îk (from şlîħe) vs. şeker-îk (from şeker). If the noun ends in -ie, the final -e is replaced with a -y- in the genitive case, e.g. mie becomes miy-îk.
Classical Brmek verbs exist in two classes: -yû verbs and -mû verbs. Exceptions are rare, being limited to verbs that refer to ongoing states (knowing something, existing) and thus take continuous forms rather than present. However, all verbs conjugate regularly, with the exceptions limited to usage restrictions. Unlike Old High Jelbic verbs, Classical Brmek also conjugated for number and person by including personal endings. The personal endings are added at the end of the word, after the addition of the particles indicating tense, mood, and aspect.
These tables show the forms of each class of verb, with an example of each: yayû ("to meet") and yalemû ("to think").
The existence of a form in the table does not mean it is necessarily used for all verbs.
|Infinitive||-yû||yayû||"to meet (someone)."|
|Present||-yû- + personal endings||yayûrim||"[I] meet (someone)."|
|Intransitive||-kaṯ(yû)-||yakaṯyûrim||"[I] meet." (unused in Luthori)|
|Passive||-mi(yû)-||yamiyûrim||"[I] am met."|
|Conjunctive||-(yû)ħlaq-||yayûħlaqrim||"[I] meet/will meet/have met (someone) then..."|
|Continuous||-(yû)zû-||yayûzûrim||"[I] am meeting (someone)."|
|Imperative||-(yû)geħ-||yayûgeħ||"Meet (someone)!" (an order)|
|Causative||-(yû)kun-||yayûkunrim||"[I] am allowed to/have to meet (someone)."|
|Volitional||-(yû)şu-||yayûşurim||"Let's meet (someone)/Shall [I] meet (someone)?"|
|Past||-(yû)meq-||yayûmeqrim||"[I] met (someone)."|
|Future||-(yû)ṯetaʾq-||yayûṯetaʾqrim||"[I] will meet (someone)."|
|Negative||-(yû)kazaʾ-||yayûkazaʾrim||"[I] did not met (someone)."|
|Conditional||-(yû)matra-||yayûmatrarim||"If [I] meet (someone) then..."|
|Desire||-(yû)tanat-||yayûtanatrim||"[I] want to meet (someone)."|
|Adjective/Participle||-zi||yazi||"Approachable/Sociable" (lit., "meeting-like")), "Met"|
|Adverb||-ze||yaze||"Approachably/Sociably" (lit., "meetingly")|
|Infinitive||-(mû)||yalemû||"to think (something)"|
|Present||-(mû)- + personal endings||yalemûrim||"[I] think (something)."|
|Intransitive||-yaṯ(mû)-||yaleyaṯmûrim||"[I] think (generally)."|
|Passive||-yeh(mû)-||yaleyehmûrim||"[I] am thought of."|
|Conjunctive||-(mû)ylaq-||yalemûylaqrim||"[I] think/will think/have thought (of something) then..."|
|Continuous||-(mû)yû-||yalemûyûrim||"[I] am thinking (something)."|
|Imperative||-(mû)yeħ||yalemûyeħ||"Think (something)!" (an order)|
|Causative||-(mû)yun-||yalemûyunrim||"[I] am allowed to/have to think (something)."|
|Volitional||-(mû)yu-||yalemûyurim||"Let's think (something)/Shall [I] think (of something)?"|
|Past||-(mû)yeq-||yalemûyeqrim||"[I] thought (of something)."|
|Future||-(mû)yetaʾq-||yalemûyetaʾqrim||"[I] will think (of something)."|
|Negative||-(mû)yazaʾ-||yalemûyazaʾrim||"[I] did not think (something)."|
|Conditional||-(mû)yatra-||yalemûyatrarim||"If [I] think (something) then..."|
|Desire||-(mû)yanat-||yalemûyanatrim||"[I] want to think (of something)."|
|Adjective/Participle||-yi||yaleyi||"Thoughtful." (lit., "Thought-like"), "Thought (of)"|
|Adverb||-ye||yaleye||"Thoughtfully." (lit., "Thinkingly")|
Adjectives and adverbs
Adjectives and adverbs describe nouns and verbs respectively. They always directly precede the noun or verb in question, although several may prefix the same object or action. Just like in modern Jelbic languages, adjectives in Classical Brmek fall into three categories: true adjectives, which may be used as-is; nounal adjectives; and verbal adjectives, both of which take suffixes. Adverbs are derived from adjectives with a suffix, and negation is achieved by similar means.
Some standalone true adjectives exist, such as نلق nalaq ("clear"). These are simply used directly as adjectives or take a suffix (ي -î, the origin of modern Jelbic -é) to form the adverb. Negatives are formed by adding the suffix نر -nir to both adverbs and adjectives. Nouns are primarily turned into adjectives with the "-î" suffix, identical to the one used to create adverbs. The distinction between adverbs and adjectives is thus determined by context.
A poetic form of forming adjectives from nouns is adding the صلي -tsalyi ("souled") suffix, an innovation that appeared in Classical Brmek poetry around the 15th century and later became standard in Old High Jelbic (as the -srlji suffix). This convention is however rarely used outside the context of court poetry. There is also a semantic difference between the -î and -tsalyi adjectives, with the former expressing the literal attributes of the head noun and the latter used in a metaphorical sense, e.g.: ملكی شهر melekî şehir ("royal city", i.e. a city belonging to or governed by a king) vs. ملكصلي شهر melektsalyi şehir ("majestic city", i.e. a city that has royal splendor); or احمدی قی âħmadî qai ("Ahmadi man", i.e. a follower of Ahmadism) vs. احمدصلي قی âħmadtsalyi qai ("Ahmad-souled man", i.e. a person faithfully embodying the teachings, virtues, or qualities of Prophet Ahmad).
The -yû and -mû classes of verbs have adjectival and adverbial forms as listed above in the conjugation table. In the -yû class adjectives are formed by adding the ز -zi suffix and adverbs with زه -ze; in the -mû class the suffixes are ي -yi for adjectives and يه -ye for adverbs. In both cases the -yû- and -mû- stems are removed before adding the adjectival or adverbial suffixes. Both forms are negated with -nir .
In Classical Brmek, pronouns are treated as regular nouns and therefore take case endings, e.g. كیك طرس kaîk ṯers ("my horse"), سیك كتابن زرش معمویقره sîk kitâben azreş megamûyeqre ("she gave them your book").
Classical Brmek was primarily written in the Majatran script, a cursive writing system first adopted to write the language sometime in the 13th century, and which later spread throughout Majatra and was subsequently adapted to write other languages, such as Majatran.
It is unclear where the Majatran script originated, with scholars divided into those who consider it an adaptation of the Kathuran (Syriac) script and those according to whom it is a cursive version of the Arakhim/Cildanian script (Aramaic/Hebrew). Either way, it was originally born from the Qedarite (Semitic) writing systems in use in North-West Majatra around the time, and it preserves a number of their features. Like the Arakhim and Kathuran scripts, the Majatran is an abjad or consonantal alphabet, meaning that it generally only marks consonants and long vowels. The Majatran script also has a number of letters called matres lectionis, i.e. consonant letters used to represent a vowel. In the Brmek Majatran script, matres lectionis are almost exclusively used for long vowels, leaving short vowels generally unwritten. The matres lectionis are waw (و) - used for both w and û, alef (ا) - used for both ʾ and â, and yûd (ي) - used for both y and î. Additionally, possibly under the influence of Yeudi, word-final he (ه) was frequently used to represent final a or e.
|ا||א||ܐ||ʾ, â||/ʔ/; /aː/|
|و||ו||ܘ||w, û||/w/, /uː/|
|ي||י||ܝ||y, î||/j/; /iː/|
The core vocabulary of Classical Brmek is of Jelbic origin, unmistakably classifying the language into the Jelbo-Tukaric family. However the majority of Classical Brmek words are of non-Jelbic origin, a legacy of the history of the Jelbic peoples and the location of medieval Barmenia at the crossroads of several major Majatran cultures. Most foreign words in Classical Brmek originate from Aldegarian, the result of the Seleyan origin of the Jelbic peoples, and from Qedarite (Semitic) languages, adopted after the settlement of the Jelbo-Tukaric populations into formerly Qedarite-speaking lands. Many more loanwords were added to the language following the territorial expansion of the Caliphate from the languages spoken by the conquered peoples. When the language was reformed in the 23rd century as Old High Jelbic, many (but not all) of the non-Jelbic words were replaced with native Jelbic vocabulary.
Sample of Jelbic words:
Sample of borrowed words (not all inherited in modern Jelbic):
|Meaning||Classical Brmek||Etymology||Modern Jelbic|
|Way||lule||ālūlā (Kathuran)||lul (Brmek)|
|Prayer||janṯe||ghānṯā (Kathuran)||cnfa (Brmek)|
|Pilgrimage||ħaj||ḥajj (Majatran)||hac (Brmek)|
|To win||gazmû||ġāzī (Majatran)||grzmo|
|Satrap||sâtrâp||xšaθrapāvan (old Aldegarian)||srtràp (Pntek)|
|Place/Country||-(e)stân||-estân (Aldegarian)||-stán (Brmek)|
|To Bridge||punteyû||pons (Selucian)||pntejo|
|Augustan Emperor||qayser||caesar (Selucian)||zezr (Brmek - via Augustan)|
Letter from Prophet Ahmad to Augustan Emperor Andronicus III, c. 1190:
«From Ahmad the Apostle of God to Andronicus the King of the Selucians, greetings. Peace be be upon him who follows the path of God, there is no God but him, the King, the Holy, the Guardian, and I witness that Elijah the son of Sarah is the Spirit of God. God made Elijah from his Spirit just as he made Amad from his hand. O King, submit to God and you will have peace, and God will double your reward, and if you reject, you bear the sins of persecuting the Unitarians.
Written by the hand of Musʾab the slave of God and the Companion of the Prophet»
Book of Mus'ab, Opening, Book of Bliss, 13th century: