Monday, May 11, 2009

Dialectical Dialects

Epistle XV: The Crown Prince Speaketh

Dearest Mamà and Grandmas and Sisters and Bride Éfhelìnye,
Fhermáta the child of Tesélien the Warrior and Khmalàqlil among the Khatelèstan writes this.
I have arrived safely at the fleet that is approaching the void and given Puey our beloved heir the letter unto which almost all of us contributed. He has read it with great interest and has kindly asked me to write to you with mine own hand a message for you, since he thinks that his own calligraphy is unequal to the task.
But first I wish to inform you of the condition of the Fleet. Everything here is dark and cold and bleak. We who are left in the remnant of the Dreamtime dwell in the only Summer light left unto us. Our Fathers and Husbands and Brothers are toiling in the growing shadow of the void. Nothing here is comfortable. I rather look froward to leaving. However, and I direct this to Éfhelìnye now, I urge you to continue writing letters to Puey. These epistles are just about the only light and life in this place. Not only does Puey save them all, he actually sniffs the letters and is able to guess far more about what we’ve been doing than we actually write, but Abbá Íngìkhmar reads them, and the acolytes and pirates and Grandfather Pátifhar and many others. The language that you are creating, Éfhelìnye, is the greatest joy that Puey now has, and it gives him hope that someday the War of Heaven shall come to an end.

Here is the message which Puey has asked me to write for you.

My Dearest Family
so mews Puey
My Fhermáta has convinced me to stay here with the troops in battle and not to return to guarentee Princess Éfhelìnye’s welfare. Fhermáta thinks that I can protect far more maidens and matrons here upon the battlefields than in returning unto Jaràqtu. However, I must ensure that Éfhelìnye is safe.
If one learns that Éfhelìnye suffers one more accident, one shall rush home as fleet as possible. If one learns that Éfhelìnye has broken a fingernail, one shall return. If one learns that Éfhelìnye has banged her toe, or sneezed too hard, or is in a bad mood, or is in anyway unhappy or bored, one must return to Jaràqtu to protect her.
My love unto you all.

Puey wishes to apologuise for how short his message is. A skirmish is breaking out right now even as I write it. I don’t think I should give you all the details since this letter will be read by even those of tender age. I’ll just mention that I’ve never seen so many heads exploding, and raw flesh that used to me men splattered throughout ship and void. I’ll be glad to leave.

Great-Uncle Táto has taken me unto the hold of one of the warships where it should be safer for me. As soon as the battle is concluded the messengers are going to smuggle me back unto Jaràqtu, for it is extremely unsafe here. Before I go, though, Great-Uncle Táto wants the Starflower Princess to know that he is enjoying the grammar book she is writing so far, although he says he’s more enjoying the interruptions and digressions, for some reason the Traîkhiim and Acolytes are saying the same thing, they like it when we get into fights and off topic. Great-Uncle Táto has written a brief note on the terminology for dialects and writing systems for the Princess to use in her work.
When I return I think we may want to do a better job on editing the letters we send Puey. He may not fully be cognizant about how many little accidents befall the Princess, how many times she knocks o'er the wall of a room, how many times she almost falls out of a window and drowns … Puey here is quite adamant that she come to no harm, and now that I see the horror of war here, I have no desire for him to quit the field lest we lose this war.
I shall begin the journey back on the morrow, I hope but this letter should precede me by a day or so. Until then, kisses and hugs to all.

[This note affixed to the letter]

A Brief Note to Empress Éfhelìnye concerning the Terms for Dialects and Writing Systems

Babel, the language of the Dreamtime, has no single term for to describe itself. In some ways it is a continous liminal thing, barely even differentiated from Gibberish, which is remembered by few adults and may not even be a language at all but more a cant. The different words that we have for the Babel language are: Tlhót Qthèmlipu Pyapèlyorn Pyápepel Pyápepèlapar Pyápepèlixhe Lwípe Jhejáxoi Khwèqhumi Khlèxha Khlìjha Khlíkh Khlìkha Khlísi Ìpur Èlijha Entúlel

Some of these words can be analysed. Ejaxíju, means words, language.. Èlijha is language. Entúlel is speech, language.. Jhajáxoi means ordinary words. Khléja and Khlèxha mean language. Khlìjha is the term you have chosen, Holy Empress, to denote the Name of Language, and I concur with your reasoning. When you come of age you may wish to decree that the Wise use that title. Khlíkh means language. Khlìkhe, whose marked singular form is khlìkha means language or dialect. Khlís and Lwípe mean language. Qthèmlipu may mean language or thought. And Tlhót may mean language or story. For the participles Pyapèlyorn Pyápepel Pyápepèlapar Pyápepèlixhe I shall discuss them below.

Babal is a little bit more vigorous or at least systematic in giving names to its dialects and writing systems. I should point out, though, that dialect and writing system may represent a single spectrum of our Language. We have only one language, and the variations in speech are very slight, such at by the time a child reaches the age of the Uxèmatiit he has mastered the sounds of his patrilect and can at least recognize differences in others. Perhaps the writing systems help to reinforce the phonological differences:

( + ìpur ør púr}
{+ tàkhta)
( + ís}
{Name of dialect ør writing system}
{Things written in that writing systm}
{Where that writing system is written, used}
{Those who write and speak in that writing system}
Lraîthos, Khlúthoxha
Khlónikh, Lwúnike
Únyar, Tyàxhriim

Note, oh holy Empress of tomorrow, that the forms of the khlùli dialects take truncated forms in this paradigm. Járqen becomes járqn-, Khìxhing becomes khixhi-, Lraîthos and Khlúthoxha become khlúthi- or khlútha-, Khmútlhel becomes khmútlhi-, Khlónikh and Lwúnike become lwúni-, Twàrithe becomes twàrithi- and Tyénipe becomes Tyényi- while Pènyi and Pwénejhi and Únyar retain their full forms. The terms in the chart above can also be considered compounds, oh holy Empress, for they are made up of common participles. Ìpur I mentioned above, language, dialect, things written down in a particular dialect, Púr are words, sayings, and Tàkhta are language districts, where a writing system is used, and Ís are those who write or speak a dialect.

The terms of writing systems are very often applied unto who speaks or writes them and where such a writing system is used, hence they are quite often used for terms for different species. The chart above can easily be rewritten as the following, holy Princess, and in fact, I believe the following is more how the rest of us really think of these terms:

( + ìpur ør púr}
{+ tàkhta)
( + ís}
{Name of dialect ør writing system}
{Things written in that writing systm}
{Where that writing system is written, used}
{Those who write and speak in that writing system}
Járqen; the writing system of the Kháfha, Xhyaîqtekh, Kajúju, Xhùqhenoin, Xhnatàsti and Tlhiqimíkhe
Járqnipur; things written in Járqen perhaps by the Kháfha, Xhyaîqtekh, Kajúju, Xhùqhenoin, Xhnatàsti and Tlhiqimíkhe
Járqnatàkhta; where dwell the the Kháfha, Xhyaîqtekh, Kajúju, Xhùqhenoin, Xhnatàsti and Tlhiqimíkhe
Járqnis; the peoples of the the Kháfha, Xhyaîqtekh, Kajúju, Xhùqhenoin, Xhnatàsti and Tlhiqimíkhe
Khìxhing; the writing system of the Traîkhiim
Khìxhipur; things written in Khìxhing perhaps by the Traîkhiim
Khixhatàkhta; the dreamlands of the Traîkhiim, that is, Trimèqya and Fhriîsan and Qtènga and Triîm
Khìxhis; the Traîkhiim people
Lraîthos, Khlúthoxha; the writing system of the Khlitsaîyart
Khlúthipur; things written in Lraîthos perhaps by the Khlitaîyart
Khlúthatàkhta; the dreamlands of the Khlitsaîyart
Khlúthis; the Khlitsaîyart people
Khmútlhel; the writing system of Spirits
Khmútlhipur; things written in Khmútlhel, perhaps by Spirits
Khmútlhitàkhta; the Spirit Realms
Khmútlhis; the Spirits
Khlónikh, Lwúnike; the writing system of the Qlùfhem, Thùlwu and Ptètqiikh
Lwúnipur; things written in Khlónikh, perhaps by the Qlùfhem, Thùlwu and Ptètqiikh
Lwúnitàkhta; the dreamlands of the Aûm and Ptètqiikh
Lwúnis; the peoples of the Qlùfhem, Thùlwu and Ptètqiikh
Pènyi; the writing system of Dragons and Tánin Automata
Pènyipur; things written in Pènyi, perhaps by Dragons and Tánin Automata
Penyitàkhta; where dwell the Dragons and Tánin Automata
Pènyis; the Dragons and Tánin Automata

Pwénejhi; the writing system of the Archaic Xakhpàlqe
Pwénejhípur; things written in Pwénejhi, perhaps by the Archaic Xakhpàlqe
Pwénejhítàkhta; where dwell the Archaic Xakhpàlqe
Pwénejhis; the Emlalàqta and Pèrithe and Xeriîqe and Xhàkhmat of the Archaic Xakhpàlqe
Twàrithe; the writing system of the Jongèrya, Xhrùmpum, and Squîsar
Twarìthipur; things written in Twàrithe, perhaps by the Jongèrya, Xhrùmpum, and Squîsar
Twarithitàkhta; where dwell the Jongèrya, Xhrùmpum, and Squîsar
Twàrithis; the peoples of the Jongèrya, Xhrùmpum, and Squîsar
Tyényipe; the writing system of the Jhèngqekh, Xhlaûxher, and Syìplet
Tyényipur; things written in Tyényipe perhaps by the Jhèngqekh, Xhlaûxher, and Syìplet
Tyényitàkhta; where dwell the Jhèngqekh, Xhlaûxher, and Syìplet
Tyénis; the peoples of the Jhèngqekh, Xhlaûxher, and Syìplet
Únyar, Tyàxhriim; the writing system of the Qhíng
Únyàripur; things written in Tyàxhriim perhaps by the Qhíng
Únyartàkhta; the triple viceroy kingdoms of the Qhíng
Únyaris; the peoples of the Qhíng

This paradigm above also serves for words meaning Babel and Gibberish:

Pyapèlyorn / Pyápepèlixhe

Language, Babel / Khlìjha
Things written in general, things written in Babel
Where Language is written, where Babel is written, the Dreamtime, all the Dreamscapes, Reality wherever Babel is spoken

Magical words, confusion, Qíperakh; Þe Gibberish language
Things written in Qíperakh; Gibberish; perhaps something written by a child or Traîkhiim
Whhhere Qíperakh, Gibberish yzzz written; the uxemèpyo place of segregation for children, where the Traîkhiim dwell
Tho who write in Qíperakh, Gibberish; children or Traîkhiim
Khniîixhwa, Þe Divine Dialect of Babel;
Khniijemonótso is our mother tounge, our tounge, Khnîxhwa as spoken by an Khniîkhan
Things written in Khniîxhwa
Wherever Khniîxha is written, which may be in the Immortal Realms, Spirit Realms, Khniîkha, or any of the civilizations of the Dreamtime

Tho who write, speak Khniîxhwa

Divine Empress, I think that sùpyaong, linguistics is a field very much in its infancy and there is still far more for us to discover both in the verbal system of Khlìjha as well as the writing systems of the various dialects. Also at a later date you’ll begin discussing how to put these participles into clauses. For instance pyápepèlapar can easily be used in a causative construction to mean writing to, as in the sentence:

Pyápepelaparèfhto’ ur Puiyeyaswaoròntet tsenaStélaring qìr poâ poâ poa jaitú.
Honored one, you can write to Puey and the Princess in Þis very place.

I’m afraid that I have no more time to write unto you. The battle is growing worse here. We shall be sending Fhermáta back to you in the morning if we can. Know that we all love and miss you very much and hope to read more about language and long just to be with you again.

Your Great Uncle, Táto

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