Common Topic

Introduction to Common

Keywords: history, society, government, basics

Common (na Xafen Zisse, or more commonly just na Xafen in Common, pronounced [na 'ʃa.ven]) is the sole official and main working language of the New World Order (NWO), the global government that dominates most of the world. The New World Order considers itself the only legitimate authority over the human race and the planet Earth, and the Common language is overtly one of the tools it uses to promote global unity. Common is a constructed language, invented approximately 100 years ago. The NWO plans to celebrate the language's centennial in 2122.

The NWO's normal style to refer to Common in other languages is to translate its name, hence "Common" in English. Speakers of other languages refer to Common with a calque in their native language as well, so for example, 'le Commun' in French.

According to the 2115 Global Census, out of a global population of 7.2 billion, about 800 million, or 11% spoke Common as a first language in the home, scattered around the world and concentrated in the world's largest and most important cities. This seemingly small proportion of speakers belies the importance of Common, where those speakers comprise nearly all of the global elite and much of the professional class. The language is heavily favoured and promoted and continues to experience rapid growth in native speakers amongst all classes of society and around the world.

Common is also purported to have over 4.5 billion L2 speakers at varying levels of proficiency, as the sole language of public education in most NWO-controlled territories. 'Folk languages' (in Common, 'naz wekjas zisse', literally 'country languages') such as English, the former global lingua franca, are generally not introduced as topics or mediums of instruction until university level (although private schools that teach in such languages do exist). English remained important in NWO territory in technical fields for a long time, but a concerted effort by the NWO to build technical language for Common and promote the use of the language in technical settings has seriously eroded the status of English in this area.

While any statistic publicised by the NWO is somewhat suspect, these figures have a ring of truth, especially regarding L2 speakers, where limited public education in 'folk languages' hurts other languages, and where the social mobility that proficiency in Common can offer makes private Common lessons, both for children and adults, extremely popular around the globe. The community of L1 speakers is growing quickly as families switch to speaking Common in the home with the intention that their children grow up as native speakers, with all the advantages that entails. So far, the growth of Common has been much greater in cities than in the countryside.

The NWO, as part of its capitalist principles, does not restrict the rights of companies to serve people in their native languages. However, the massive transportation and mixing of populations that has taken place since the 2040s, partly in response to the devastation due to war and global warming and partly as a deliberate tactic on the part of the NWO to dilute native populations and weaken nativist dissent, has created a situation where there are few linguistically homogeneous zones left on earth. Hence, there are other practical drivers to the adoption of Common as a lingua franca, as linguistically mixed populations search for a medium of communication.

Thus we see a situation which has been compared to the position of the Indonesian language in Indonesia in the 20th and 21st centuries, where Indonesian was a native language of a minority, but dominated public signage and media throughout the archipelago. From Frankfurt to Moscow to Beijing to the NWO capital itself in Seattle, Cascadia, all public signage has Common first, much of it unilingual, and private signage such as advertising has a share of Common that far outstrips what would be expected based on the local population of native speakers.

The NWO promotes Common as a building block in its overall ideology of Globalism: One World, One People, One Authority (na ate Onpa, na ate Atuinysyn, na ate Jenysyn). As such, institutions such as schools that teach in Common are a common target of insurgents of a wide variety of ideological stripes, from nationalist/nativist, to religious, to anti-capitalist, or as the NWO simply refers to them all as undifferentiated 'trols' ('extremist terrorists').

Common has a colourful history which is not highly emphasised in the modern NWO. The NWO doesn't exactly hide the origin of the language, but likes to cast it as having been specially designed by an early 21st century genius with the intention of creating a language to give humanity a fresh start for the future. Of course, Esperanto enthusiasts who formed part of the early Globalist movement begged to differ and were quick to point out Common's many flaws as a global language, but unfortunately for them, they were most closely associated with the anti-capitalist wing of the early Globalist movement. Many prominent Esperantist Globalists who saw Globalism as a potential vehicle for Esperanto were eliminated in some of the early purges, helping to clear away the biggest practical potential constructed competitor for Common.

Common was invented as part of the late 20th century and especially early 21st century fad for creating constructed languages, or 'conlangs', for TV shows and movies (as screenshows were called at the time). A famous early example that English people will know due to the enduring popularity of the books and films is the Sindarin language created by English author J. R. R Tolkien for the elves in his fictional world in The Lord of the Rings. Examples more contemporary to Common are Dothraki and High Valyrian, languages created for the classic Game of Thrones screenshow series by famed and prolific language inventor David J. Peterson, who created many conlangs for early 21st century screenshows.

Common was created for a show on the then-popular Netflix streaming platform called Hillbillies. The premise was that the titular 'hillbillies', or ignorant country people, had somehow lived for generations in a commune up in the hills somewhere until a disaster rendered their home unlivable and they were forced to come out of hiding and rejoin the modern world. The Common language was created for the moderns to speak to make them seem more disorienting and alienating to the English-speaking country people, and to also make the show less obviously based in the old United States for translatability to foreign markets. Some scholars think the hillbillies weren't 'really' meant to be speaking English, but that the decision was made to use English for the hillbillies and Common for the advanced people to make the viewer identify with the benighted country folks.

The producers of Hillbillies tried to get David J. Peterson to invent the Common Language for the show, but he was much too busy with the Neo-Orcish project for the Lord of the Rings sequels and declined. Instead they got Peter K. Davidson, an amateur linguist and cousin of one of the producers, to create the language, translate lines and work with the actors, figuring he was bound to be just as good. Most objective parties would say he was not, even if loyal Globalists beg to differ, which explains much about the Common language that by curious twists of fate has become the single most dominant language on earth today.

The modern society of Hillbillies was peaceful and advanced and had solved many pressing problems. The series jumped off from its premise with a lot of drama, sex and character-based storylines and had decent critical reviews, as well as being significantly popular with teenagers and young adults at the time. Young people at the time had grown up in the early 21st century enjoying almost unprecedentedly lavish lifestyles, having much more material goods than previous generations, but came of age into a world where opportunities were scarce, wages were stagnant, and the success they had been raised to expect eluded many. Hillbillies it seemed, spoke to many of that generation, and it became a significant fad among fans to learn and speak Common. The show was translated into a lot of languages and picked up a global following, and where it went so too did Common.

The Globalist movement arose originally primarily among this cohort of young people, led by certain admired elder statesmen in politics and business, who called back to the glory days before the Presidencies of Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr. and the currency crisis ripped apart much of the international system. They believed that a new, much more powerful international system had to replace the current discredited order in order to bring back to glory days of their childhoods and to save the planet from threats such as global warming. They placed themselves in opposition to the Trumpist and other nationalist and utopian movements that they blamed for the loss of the good old days and aligned themselves with the at-the-time battered global elite.

The early Globalist movement contained an unusually large number of Common-language hobbyists. They found Common practical for communicating with their international compatriots, many of whom also watched the show and were interested in the language, and for obscuring their communications from the governments of the old international order during their early, activist days. Eventually they took over those governments, or created new ones, and remade the international system, and by that time, Common had begun to take root as a genuinely important global language. It has only gotten stronger since.

Common itself is eccentric for an invented language used as a lingua franca - there have been many contenders. It has almost none of the characteristics typically associated with a 'good' example of this class.

It has six vowels and 15 consonants, but a lot more consonants when the large amount of systematic allophony is brought into play. There are also two diphthongs. The consonants cover a lot of places of articulation. It has the unusual feature of having no series of opposed consonants, such as voiced versus unvoiced, or aspirated versus unaspirated. All consonants are unvoiced, but are voiced in certain environments, and there are other allophonies as well.

Common is a relatively isolating, analytical language with relatively free phrase order. It uses ergative-absolutive alignment and has a case system with four cases and three numbers, singular, plural and paucal. Verbs inflect for tense (past/non-past), aspect (perfect/imperfect) and mood (real/irreal). Other elements of aspect, tense and mood are taken care of by modifier adverbs and chained main verbs. A small number of articles and auxiliary verbs carry all grammatical information and are mandatory. Normal nouns and verbs do not inflect. Verbal auxiliaries agree with their main verb in valence, i.e., the form of the verb chosen reflects something of the arguments that the verb has, and valence changes are managed through this system.

The language once had a system of grammatical gender with concrete and abstract genders, but this was lost during the more fluid days of the language's history before it gained the status of the NWO's official language and became more officially static.

In this series, we will gather together articles on the history and grammar of Common as well as the cultural context in which is it used, relying on NWO sources to the extent necessary. The NWO may be authoritative in that it wholly controls the recognised central academy that regulates the language's official "good" usage, na Akkatemi na Xafen Zisse (AXZ, otherwise known as the Common Language Academy) but the Order is famously unreliable in many aspects, and our goal is to help people to understand Common without promoting any associated ideologies. We will build up a dictionary of the lexemes that make up the language's vocabulary. We will provide some excerpts of literature in the language to study.

Finally, we should talk about dialects and registers. The Common language, as a successful global lingua franca, has a bewildering array of local dialects of what is considered 'good' or 'High' Common, and then a variety of social registers and accents. The NWO is concerned with promoting the unity of the Common language and as such has tasked the Common Language Academy with determining the precise pronunciation and usage that constitute the 'best' Common. The Common we will represent is modern, NWO High Common, as this is the Common used in much of the legal media, the dialect that high society and the middle class try to emulate, and the most practically useful dialect to master. We will discuss other dialects and registers in passing as needed.

Standard written Common is closely aligned with spoken High Common in grammar, vocabulary, word choice and stylistic range. The writing system is based on the Latin alphabet, and aside from failing to capture any of the language's many allophony rules, is basically phonetic. There are exceptions when it comes to some loanwords and foreign terms. There is one written standard, and even speakers of nonstandard dialects write in standard High Common.

Next: a discussion of the phonology of Common.


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