Notes for the Mogrethian Language of Hemkalss

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Notes for the Mogrethian Language of Hemkalss

Post by Seer of Yhog » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:07 pm

Hi all,

Thought I'd share my scratch pad as I work through and expand the existing Carnifex Dictionary, which has spawned thoughts on how the language changed by Mogreth's time. This also gives interested readers an idea of my thought processes as I speculate on linguistic development.

This is also a way of ensuring that place names created for Mogreth make sense.

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Notes for Hemkalss

Generally speaking, Hemkalss is a simplified version of its Carnifex parent language, which first developed as a private patois spoken by the lizard men of the First Empire whenever their masters were absent. Although many of the original lizard man words are long gone, the grammatical rules remained, and have been imposed on a largely Carnifex vocabulary.

Adjectival suffixes

Classic Carnifex places adjectives after the noun they modify, bridged by a hyphen (e.g., “hot place” would be translated as “kesh-ith”). As Hemkalss branched off of Carnifex this grammatical rule changed, such that adjectives came to precede the modified noun, and were no longer separated. In the example above, “kesh-ith” became “ithkesh”. Places that existed in Carnifex times, however, seldom lost their original place names – largely out of the reverence of many of the “true peoples” for their legendary lost leaders, as well as general social conservatism.

Possessives

In Classic Carnifex , possession is indicated by the prefix “rh”. It is separated, in English, by an apostrophe to indicate that it should not be considered a separate word (it has no meaning in and of itself), and to help the reader identify the noun being possessed. This pronunciation changed in Mogreth to “ru”, which was easier for the lizard men to pronounce. Usage of the possessive prefix remained unchanged.

General Orthography and Pronunciation Changes

When spoken, Hemkalss is pronounced more quickly than Carnifex, with the result being that compound words are pronounced as one word, with no pauses at all. In writing, this is shown as an absence of hyphens.

Words beginning with “h” dropped the first letter whenever they became the second part of a compound word. For example, “mog-hreth” became “mogreth”.

“rh” generally changed to “r” or, less frequently, “rr”.

“kh”, when it appeared in the middle or end of a word, became “k”. For example, “rakhor” (ocean) and “rakh” (water) became “rakor” and “rak”, respectively.

“k’h” changed to a hard “g” sound. For example, the verb “ithk'hesh” (to give) became “ithgesh”.

Words ending in “-ch” acquired “-ssh” instead. For example, “uuvach” (here) became “uuvassh”. In terms of pronunciation, “-ssh” sounds like “sh” with emphasis, as though telling someone to be quiet.

In spoken language, nouns and verbs ending with “-at” (e.g., “hemat”, “azhat”) lost the last syllable when the word in question was combined with another. A good example is the name of the common tongue of Mogreth itself – Hemkalss – which was originally “hemat-kalesh” (the people’s language). The last syllable remained in official documents; it was considered a mark of poor breeding to write exactly as one spoke.

Taking Hemkalss as an example again, spoken words ending with “-esh” were often pronounced as “-ess”, or more commonly “-ss”. As with “-at”, the original “-esh” remained in formal documents.
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Re: Notes for the Mogrethian Language of Hemkalss

Post by Chimpman » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:42 pm

This is a great document! I'm going to have to go back and look at some of the names I suggested in the Mapping thread and see if any of these rules should apply there.
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Re: Notes for the Mogrethian Language of Hemkalss

Post by Seer of Yhog » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:01 pm

Thanks!

Some of your work influenced what I wrote here (since you already started work on it) - but going forward if we need to make changes, we can.
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