Savoyard - Spoken in the Republic of Savoy

[Savoyard is a language I made up. It's loosely based on Piedmontese, a language spoken in Piedmont in Italy.]


a b c d e f g h i j (k) l m n o p q r s t u v (w) x y (z)

The letters k, w, x, and z are generally found only in foreign words.



/a/ Like the a in father[ə] It is like the a in about when unstressed.
/ɛ/ like the e in pet[ɪ] Like the i in pit, unless final when it tends to become /ə/
/ei/ For most speakers, it is like the ey in they. A very few speakers pronounce it like the ee in meet (/i/).It does not occur in unstressed positions.
/i/ Like the ee in meet Also [i], but it is usually silent when final except in careful, formal speech. See î below.
It only occurs finally.[i] It is pronounced like the ee in meet. It is used when -i is pronounced consistently /i/ and not dropped as in malagassî 'Malagasy', thus its use is not like in Italian. Some publishers never use î. Many have been inconsistent in their use of it.
/ɔ/ Like the o in roll /u/ Like the oo in cool
[u] Like the ou in you. In careful pronuncation it is pronounced like the oe in toe ([ou]). It does not occur in unstressed positions in native words.
[ø] It is pronounced like German ö or French eu. This sound is found only in the Western dialects and is not consistently marked.It does not occur in unstressed position.
[y] This is pronounced like the ü of German or the u of French (as in tu).

[-] It is silent in the letter combinations gue, gui, que, and qui.
It is found rarely in unstressed position, but when it is unstressed, it may be pronounced like the aforementioned ü or like the oo in cool (/u/) depending on the word. As /u/, it is generally only found in transliteration of foreign words, though ou is more common here.


As in English
Before a, o, and u is like k in English but unaspirated
Before e or i it is like s in English.
Like English s. It is not considered a separate letter.
More dental, as in Italian
As in English
Before a, o, and u is like g in English
Before e or i, like s in English measure
Like Italian gn or Spanish ñ
Always silent
Like s in English measure.
Like English k, but only found in foreign words
Like English l but becomes /w/ at the end of syllable if a consonant follows
Like English m
Like English n. Finally it is often nasalized.
Like English p but unaspirated
Like English k (but unaspirated) in the combinations que and qui, but /kw/ in the combination qua
Tapped like in Spanish or Italian. But in rapid informal speech it is silent at the end of syllables.
Like English s generally. Intervocalically, it is /z/. The combination ss is always like English s.
Like English t but more dental. A t at the end of a word when preceded by a consonant (usually l or r) is usually silent: part /par/ or even /pa/. If the next word begins with a vowel, the /t/ is restored.
Like English v
Like English sh. It is used only to transliterate foreign words with /ʃ/.
Like English y.
Like English z but only used in transliterating foreign words

The consonants are generally pronounced as in Italian. Double consonants are not pronounced doubly and exist to indicate historically open e ([ɛ]) or o ([ɔ]), thus terra, not tera.

Double consonants can occur finally if another form of the word has a double consonant: bell 'beautiful' (masc. sing.) and bella (fem. sing.). However, bel is also found.


Savoyard words have stress on the last syllable if they end in a consonant and on the next to last if the word ends in a vowel. It is on the third to the last syllable if the word ends in an i and a vowel: Albania, not Albània. If the word is not stressed according to these rules, the stressed vowel is indicated with a grave accent. The diphthongs ei and ou almost always carry the stress. If they are stressed in a syllable that breaks the above rule, the e or o may be marked with an acute accent. This almost inevitably happens in a transliterated word: Timboctóu or Timboctou.

The Definite Article

masculine singularfeminine singularmasculine pluralfeminine plural
before a consonantbefore a vowel or h-before a consonantbefore a vowel or h-before a consonantbefore a vowel or h-before a consonantbefore a vowel or h-
del del' or dl'd'ladel' or dl'deyidey'deledele
nelnel' or nl''nlanel' or nl'neyiney'nelenele
With a 'to, at': al, ala or a la, ai, ale or a le or al'; with l': al'
With en 'in': nel, nela, nei, nele; with l' it is nel'.

The Indefinite Article

masc. sing.: un
fem. sing.: una, before a vowel: un'
masc. plur.: uni, i.e. 'some'
fem. plur.: une

The Noun

Nouns have only masculine or feminine gender. Masculine nouns generally end in a consonant and feminines end in -a. Some nouns end in -e; the gender of these nouns must be learned.


Generally, to form the plural of a masculine noun, add -i.

There are some variations, though.

Nouns in -c:

Nouns in -g: These always form their plurals in -gui: dialog 'dialog' > dialogui.

For a feminine noun, change the -a to -e. If a noun ends in -e, change the -e to -i.
Some masculine (mostly) monosyllabic nouns change internal -a- to -e-: can 'dog' > queni.
Feminines in -cioun add -i to form the plural: accioun 'action' > acciouni

The Adjective

The Numbers

The numbers from one to ten are:
1 un (masc.), una (fem.)
2 dou
3 trei
4 quatre
5 cinc
6 sei (before a noun) or seiç (when counting)
7 set
8 hoit
9 nof
10 deiç (always—never "dei")

The Verb

The verb is quite like verbs in other Romance languages. There are four conjugations.
The infinitive ends in -ar (-er for some speakers), -er, -eir (rather irregular), or -ir. There are seven simple tenses and seven compound.
Here are examples of the the first, second, and fourth conjugations:

Infinitive: parlar 'to speak', vender 'to sell', finir 'to finish'

Present Participle: parlant, vendent, finissint

Past Participle: masc. sing. parlat, fem. sing. parlada, masc. plur. parladi, fem. plur. parlade;
vendet, vendeda, vendedi, vendede;
finit, finida, finidi, finide

Present Tense: parl(e), pàrlat or pàrlas, parla, parlouma or parlam, parlat, pàrlan
vend, vèndet
or vèndes, vend, vendouma or vendem, vendet, vènden
fin, fìnit
or fìnis, fin, finissouma or finissim, finissit, fìnin

Irregular Verbs

Only two will be presented here - ser (esser after a word ending in a consonant) 'to be' and aveir 'to have'. These verbs are used to form the compound tenses.
soun, et, è, soum, etet, soun
ho, hat, ha, avoum, avet, han

A Simple Conversation

Alò, cit. Com et tu?
Bonna seira, segnor. Soun ben.
Quanti ani hat?

Ho cinc ani, segnor.
Que cit intelligent!
Gracie, segnor.

Hello, boy. How are you?
Good evening, sir. I'm fine.
How old are you?
I'm five, sir.
What a smart boy!
Thank you, sir.

Nel nom del Par, e del Fiy, e del eSpirit Sant.

In the name of the Son, and the Father, and the Holy Spirit.

United Nations Charter of Human Rights (Article One):

(rough first version)

Todi y'èsseri humani nàsçan libri ed egayi en dignità ed en dreiti.
Soun dodadi de rason e de consciença e déiven comportar-s fraternament
l'un col'altre.