Flavourisation

Regional variations

Interslavic is explicitly meant to be as much at the centre of the Slavic languages as possible. Therefore, predominance of West, South or East Slavic elements must be avoided. This poses us for certain problems: each of these groups has its own characteristics, both in terms of lexicon and phonology. In general we do our best to offer those solutions that are best for all Slavs together, but these solutions are not always optimal for communication between a subset of the Slavic speakers. In other words, what is good for Polish-Croatian communication is not necessarily good for Russian-Bulgarian communication. A good Interslavic language should be able to offer the best solutions for all these different types of communication. This can be achieved on two different levels:

Interslavic, as presented on these pages, has a number of characters that do not really have a pronunciation of their own. Instead, they represent phonemes that in the Slavic languages have merged with other phonemes in different ways. For example, ě merges with e into je (in Russian and Polish) or into e (in Slovene, Serbian and Macedonian), but in the remaining languages it can variously become i, ie, ije, je or ja (whereas e always remains e). As a result, the character ě has excellent compromise qualities: a Serb can read rěč as his own reč, a Croat as his own riječ, a Ukrainian as his own rič.

Flavourisation

As shown in the example above, characters like ě serve as a means for unifying the Slavic languages. But on the other hand, they can also be used in the opposite direction: by replacing ě with ie (i, ja...) you can add some specific local or regional flavour, which can help in making the result more familiar to speakers of particular languages. This process is called „flavourisation”, and it can work in two directions:

Now, the possibilities for adding this kind of local flavour are sheer endless. For every Slavic language or dialect, it is possible to create a "national" or "regional" version. If this is done consistently, the result will for a native speaker in all likeliness look like a funny variation of his own language – however, he will understand it perfectly. Applying this solution may appear difficult, but it is merely a matter of undoing the changes one should make to his own language to make himself better understandable for other Slavs, applying some particular characteristics of it instead, and substituing a some of the most basic words and morphemes with those of the target language. This whole process can be executed automatically, so all that is needed is a source text in Naučny Medžuslovjanski.

Flavourisation can also be realised by attributing more weight to understandability by some Slavs than by others. A company with Polish, Czech, Slovak, Slovenian and Croatian personnel has not much use for solutions that were meant to accommodate Russians or Bulgarians. Because Medžuslovjanski uses a voting system as a tool in the compilation of words, grammatical endings and sounds, the outcome of a vote can change if certain languages are given less weight or eliminated altogether. Thus, instead of using the solutions that work best for all Slavs as a whole, we use characteristics that are typical for a subset of the Slavic languages.

Again, the number of possible combinations between languages is almost endless, but we do not have to take into account every single one of them. There is not much point in working out the details for a Polish-Slovene-Bulgarian interlanguage, for example. Let us assume that for a language to be really Interslavic, it should be based on at least three or four of the following, neighbouring groups:

Analysis of many different options makes it clear that the most obvious differences between these groups can be covered with two different flavourisation models (in addition to „standard” Interslavic): a more Northern-oriented one (focused on Russian, Belarusian, Polish and Sorbian, with secondary focus on Czech, Slovak and Ukrainian), and a more Southern-oriented one (centered around South Slavic, also with secondary focus on Czech, Slovak and Ukrainian):

ń ť ď ŕ ś źl ľ ć đ i y e ě ę å ò syll. r ŕ syll. l
Northern ń ť ď ŕ ś ź ł l č dž i y e ia o o or er
Southern nj t d r s z l lj ć đ i e ě e a ă r ol

In addition, in the Northern flavourisation infinitives end in instead of -ti, the nominative/accusative singular of adjectives should be -e instead of -o (dobre detia instead of Southern dobro děte). The Northern flavourisation favours the relative pronoun ktory whereas the Southern flavourisation favours koj. Likewise, in the case of the prefix vy-/iz-, the former is North-oriented, the latter South-oriented. In the Southern flavourisation the preposition dlja should be substituted with za

Example

Northern variant

Medžusłovianski jest orudie dla komunikaciji s Słovianami. Učenie sia ne jest tiažke i ne trovaje dołgo. Znajuč taki jazyk, čłovek imaje možnosť vyražania sia v vsiakoj słovianskoj deržave i može rozumeť skoro vse, čto ludi k niemu govoriat ili pišut. S pomočiu flavorizaciji možno približať svoje teksty ješče viače k regionalnym ili mestnym variantam, že by oni imeli bole vzchodny, zapadny, južny ili takože narodny vyglad.

Southern variant

Međuslovjanski je orudje za komunikaciju s Slovjanami. Učenje se ne je težko i ne trăva dolgo. Znajuć taki jezik, člověk ima možnost izražanja se v vsakoj slovjanskoj državě i može razuměti skoro vse, što ljudi k njemu govoret ili pišut. S pomoću flavorizacije možno približati svoje teksti ješte veće k regionalnim ili městnim variantam, že bi oni iměli bolje vzhodni, zapadni, južni ili takože narodni izgled.