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SHAZRAD: City of Veils
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LANGUAGES

Drakash is the language spoken in Shazrad. It is closely related to the desert tongue in grammar, but its lexicon includes a great many loan words from neighboring lands and foreign traders. The desert folk and Shazrash (what people of Shazrad call themselves) can understand each other, with the occasional misunderstanding and difficulty. Many Shazrash are, however, multilingual, at least to the extent of speaking the desert variant somewhat fluently.

Due to the higher prestige of Drakash, the desert people are somewhat defensive about their own variant, and will use it over Drakash even when they are fluent, as much as possible.

Duxaur speaks a dialect that is closer to the original desert tongue, but is somewhat intelligible to Shazrash; think of them as Deutsch and Afrikaans. Vocabulary is the greatest barrier. The x is a phoneme that doesn't exist in Drakash, roughly ts as in "cats" (or Japanese ts as in "tsubasa").

Kivred speaks the tongue of Merador, Merad. Merad and Drakash are in the same language family, but are sufficiently different that speakers of one do have to learn the other separately.


Drakash

For those characters who were born in Shazrad, Duxaur, or Kivred, names should follow this system. Those born in Sokaru should the Sokarese system.


Vowels

a (ah as in "father")
e (eh as in "bed")
i (ih as in "pin")
o (oh as "more")
y (uh as in "run")
u (oo as in "good")


Dipthongs

aa (a as in "cat")
ai (ai as in "hi")
ei (ay as in "day")
ee (ee as in "meal")


Consonants

dj (j as in "joke")
j (y as in "you")
sh (sh as in "shy")
z (z as in "zone")
h (h as in "hi")
f (f as in "feel")
kh (ch as in "Bach" [German])
k (k as in "kind")
p (p as in "pail")
b (b as in "bed")
m (m as in "moon")
n (n as in "near")
r (r as in "row"--actually rolled as per Spanish or French)
l (l as in low)
t (t as in tale)
s (s as in sword)
d (d as in dagger
g (g as in goat

Also, the following are treated as consonants alphabetically but are actually combinations of consonants (treat as just C, below):

dr
tr
zr


Syllable structure

Syllables take the following forms where C = consonant, V = vowel or diphthong. Parentheses indicates "optional".

(C)V(V)

Ending syllables may be constructed as follows:

(C)V(V)(r, l, d, t, m, n, z, sh)

i.e., a word or name may either end with a vowel, or end with one of the consonants in the last parentheses.

e.g.:

A-mi-na
Da-khar
Ja-meel
Jo-run
Kha-lad E-la-myr
Sa-dreid (or Sa-dre-id) A-zel
Fa-ri-ma Sha-ba-lat
Za-ha-ra Ta-ryn
Ma-rud

Names tend to be two to four syllables long. Try for a Middle Eastern (Persian, Arabic, Turkish, what-have-you) "feel."


Sokarese

The language of Sokaru comes from a different family which is centered in the islands. It is also a tone language with four tones (high, low, falling, rising). This makes it a nightmare for most native Drakash speakers. However, a non-tonal pidgin has sprung up so people of Sokaru and Shazrad can communicate with a minimum of fuss.


Vowels

a (a as in "father")
e (e as in "bed")
i (ee as in "breeze")
o (o as in "more")
u (oo as in "boolean")


Diphthongs

ao (ow as in "ouch")
ou (oh as in "go")


Consonants

p (p as in "pay" or b as in "bowl"--allophones)
t (t as in "tea" or d as in "doe"--allophones)
q (q as in "cash")
r (r as in "rope"--actually trilled r as in Italian "Ricotti")
s (s as in "soap")
z (z as in "zoo")
sh (sh as in "shoe")
ch (ch as in "choose")
m (m as in "moat")
n (n as in "note")
ng (ng as in "sing")
w (w as in "woe")
y (y as in "yolk"
h (h as in house)


Syllable structure

Syllables take the following forms where C = consonant, V = vowel or diphthong. Parentheses indicates "optional".

(C)(i,u)V(w,y,n,ng)

This is patterned somewhat after Chinese.



Copyright © 2000-2001 by Alioqui & Yoon Ha Lee
<shazrad@cityofveils.com>


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