Common Language in Getninia | World Anvil


Pidgin language

Worldbuilder's note:
Common, as described in most standard fantasy RPGs, is accepted to be equivalent to common English dialects. Getninia follows a more inclusive version of the conceit, where Common should be the language spoken most comfortably by the players at your table. With this in mind, this describes simple English rules of syntax, grammar, and more.
  Common, also known as "trade common" or "trade pidgin" is a unique language, scraped together from hundreds of dialects and tongues. Originating with early modern Aeillan traders, who started to incorporate Feloran, Hadar, and Gallegan words into their vocabulary to better communicate with their business partners across the Tealastrian Sea. The language evolved in the last 4 centuries, and is now spoken predominantly along the Tealastrian trade circuit, and by many diplomats as a shared secondary language. In certain societies, due to it's origins as a working language and the cosmopolitanism it represents, common's use is restricted or even punishable.

Writing System

Common has no writing system, being primarily a spoken dialect. When it has been necessary to put words down in written form, the Aeillan, Hadar, or Feloran alphabets are generally used. Most speakers will simply use the writing system of their upbringing, transliterating to the best of their ability any new terms in the process.


Common, being a widely spoken language, possesses a diverse phonological system. Its vowels include short and long sounds like /iː/ and /ɪ/. Diphthongs like /aɪ/ (time) and /ɔɪ/ (coin) add to its versatility. Consonants range from /p/ to /ʒ/, including /t/, /d/, /k/, and /v/. There's variation across dialects, influencing vowel quality, consonant realization, and intonation. This diversity enriches Common's dialectal differences.


Common possesses an analytic morphology, relying on word order and auxiliary verbs for meaning. Inflectional affixes are limited, primarily seen in verb tense formation. Derivational affixes like "-er" and "-ness" enrich the lexicon, and compounding allows for the creation of compound words. Syntax, with its Subject-Verb-Object pattern, structures meaning. Dialectal variations add depth to Common's morphology.


In theory, common is a subject-verb-object language, however many speakers default to the syntax of their native tongue. Not being a formal language or even an ethnic language that hasn't been codified, there are no established rules about compound sentences, and there are two general forms of phrases: statements and questions.


The bulk of Common's vernacular comes from Aeillan or Feloran sources, with Hadar and Fuírénese contributions being notable as well. Loanwords and terms from Nimearan, Gallegan, and even as far as Tcharsstai or Jorgmark have also made their way into the tongue. However, due to the pidgin nature of the language, specific terms will vary from port to port and speaker to speaker.



Consonant inventory: /b d f g h j k l m n p s t v w z ð ŋ ɹ ʃ ʍ ʤ ʧ θ/
↓Manner/Place→ Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Palato-alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Stop p,b t,d k,g
Affricate ʧ,ʤ
Fricative f,v θ,ð s,z ʃ h
Approximant ɹ j
Lateral approximant l
Co-articulated phonemes:
↓Manner/Place→ Labial-velar
Approximant ʍ,w


Vowel inventory: aɪ̯ aʊ̯ eɪ̯ iː oʊ̯ uː æ ɑ ɑː ɔɪ̯ ɔː ɛ ɛə̯ ɜː ɪ ɪə̯ ʊ ʊə̯ ʌ   Diphthongs: aɪ̯ aʊ̯ eɪ̯ oʊ̯ ɔɪ̯ ɛə̯ ɪə̯ ʊə̯ ?  
Low-midɛɜːʌ ɔː
Lowɑ ɑː


Common borrows the basic tenses of past, present, and future from Aeillan grammar, but with the additional "archaic" tense, to denote events that occured beyond the memory of any living generation. Common has three main moods, indicative, imperative, and interrogative; some regional variants also have optative and subjunctive moods. Verb conjugation is straightforward, generally regular, and focuses on suffixes to indicate past, present, or future. Conditional tenses also exist, with the addition of the appropriate words before a verb.

This language has multiple parents, only the first is displayed below.
All parents: