History of the languages of Sylvan

Started by Cypress, March 18, 2013, 05:22:20 PM

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Let's begin with the history of the Elven language. The written form of the language has many symbols differing from common and over the years as Elves have mingled with the other races of the land some symbols have been adopted as common letters. While Elves have become more sociable over the years, they still seem to resist change. The world shifts and moves around them, but they for the most part continue just as they always have. Because of this the language has changed very little and still shows its proud old age in that it has fewer contractions than other languages. Some of the more used contractions for "not," "will," "will not," "am," "are," and "have" are not usually found in written Elven or commonly heard either for that matter. Because of this it may come across to some (such as Demons and Drow) as a stern and haughty language, but to most it is a very beautiful, ancient language meant to be treasured specifically for how little it has changed.

The languages of the Fey and Demon are the other older languages. It was said that the Fey and Demons once shared a common language as they once shared a common magic source. However, for the most part Demons dove into the darker use of magic while Fae used it for their own purposes some good and some more whimsical or mischievous. Because of this, the Demon language became deeper and sharper characterized by the frequent use of the "K" or "Q" sound with "Ky," "Kh," and "Qu." Their language also developed many contractions even more so than that of common language. Apart from the usual ones, they concatenate the uses of many linking and helping verbs as well as pronouns, conjunctions, and even some adverbs and prepositions. It is a sharp and hoarse language to speak and even fearful when spoken by a true Demon.

The Fey Language took a different route. As would fit their general character, their language is flowing and almost musical to most who hear it. While it still shares some similarities with the Demon language in its written appearance, the Fey language is characterized by a few more vowels adding a bit more flow to its pronunciation. An interesting point to be made of the Fey language is that it contains certain words and phrases which do not exactly fit in the usual language. This group of words and phrases stand alone in the written and spoken language of the Fey. When speaking one of these words or phrases, a Fey will generally not use "Fey common" but will say the word or phrase in its own Fey language. There are various theories as to how this phenomenon came to be. One theory suggests that the words and phrases were commonly used in some ancient and almost forgotten version of Fey. This language could have been the original language first used by both Fey and Demons. This theory fits well with Fey culture and society. They Fey can be somewhat of a shy and reclusive race, but they have an incurable curiosity and somewhat of a mischievous nature at times which has led them to blend more and more with the interesting cultures around them. As they have mixed and mingled their language has drastically changed, but there seems to be a faithful sense of tradition at the heart of Fey culture which causes them to hold onto the past while building the future. Their language therefore is a written composition and spoken symphony of their past, present, and future.

The Drow language is one of the younger languages being formed from a mixture of Elven and Demon. As the Drow broke from the tradition of the Elves to fellowship with Demons and learn their darker magics, their cultures and languages blended. The more the Drow learned and the further they removed from their Elven heritage, the more their language became like that of the Demons. Even the Drow alphabet has implemented a few letters from the Demon alphabet and a couple which are even found in the Fey alphabet as well. The two found in all three alphabets are "Kh" and "J" with a few others being similar but not exact. It is not entirely known why these letters transcend all three languages, but there are two basic theories. One is that the letters are part of the original language spoken by the Fey and Demons which has survived to be adopted by the Drow. The other theory is that letters were part of either the Demon or Fey deviation of their original language and was adopted by the other and later also by the Drow who mixed with the Demons. To most the first theory seems more plausible considering that Fey and Demon have so far separated from each other that such blending is not likely. Still, perhaps it could have been a deviation from before the split, but who knows. The history of those two letters is lost in time. Still, despite the Drow's deviations from the Elven alphabet, it is still mostly the same. However, the written and spoken language of the Drow bears a sharp contrast in many ways to its Elven counterpart. They adopted the more frequent use of the "Kh," "Ky," and "Qu" sounds and brought in many if not all the Demon contractions. It is a bit of a strange language to see and even stranger to hear spoken. It has been described as "flowing and sharp like the swift stab of a knife."

Wolves and Felines can only make so many sounds easily. As such their languages are understood almost like Morse Code at times with the meaning of a sound changing depending on just how long that sound is made. Wolven is a rough and strong language characterized by the use of the G, R, and O sounds while Feline is more M, R, and S sounds and usually spoken either very softly or very sharply depending on the situation and mood. Most cannot tell the difference between three R's or two or maybe four O's verses three, but the Wolves and Felines have very acute hearing and can tell the difference of even a half second. Because of this when those of other races attempt to speak either Wolven or Feline they tend to exaggerate the holding of the sounds. This can lead to some unintentionally strange sentences or even some unexpected confrontations, but for the most part the Wolfs and Felines are understanding toward the limited hearing of the other races.

The written forms of the languages are far easier to understand with the time to sound each letter being signified by various accent markers. Wolven language uses the tick marker "´" (or "r´"if the r is held at the end of the word) mostly for consonants (and in the case of "`õ" which is "oõ") and "õ," "ö," and "ä" for O and A vowels respectively. Feline is similar with the hold symbols being different for "M," "R," and "S" if the sound is at the end of a word or not. Most times if a sound is held at the end of a word, the "~" symbol precedes the letter otherwise it comes after. "S" is a little different. Most of the time if the sound is not held at the end, the "š" symbol is used. "I" and "U" are respectively "Î" and "Û" regardless of their position in the word.

Orcish is... well... Orcish. It looks like what is left of common after the Orcs tried to smash a dictionary. Maybe it is a mix of common and some older Orc language, but most doubt that theory. It is commonly believed that the Orcs adopted the common language (or tried to) because it was easier than pointing, grunting, and smashing each other with the nearest blunt object, although all of that is still very common among Orcs. Old habits die hard?