A Brief Description of the Saerish Language
Throughout the development of Madoria I have fiddled with the languages of her inhabitants. I wanted mostly to have names with sounds unique to each culture, even if the meanings are similar. The approach I use in naming many places is to re-use the same names, but create a wide variety of languages to translate them. The approach to language design I use is an extension of the random syllable generation method from GDW's Traveller.
I'm no linguist, so Saerish is close to English in structure, with some elements from French (which I studied in high school). The grammatical stuff is just for fun and flavor, since it rarely plays a part in any of my games.
Most consonants are as in English, except for the following:
|ch||as in German ach|
|li||as in million|
|r||a trilled /r/|
|ri||an untrilled /r/|
|si||the /sh/ in shift|
|th||unvoiced as in earth|
|a||short /a/ as in past|
|ae||a long /i/ like in pine, but spoken as two syllables|
|ai||a long /a/ as in pain|
|e||a short /e/ as in pest|
|i||a short /i/ as in list|
|o||a short /o/ as in long|
|oe||like /oi/ in coin, or to rhyme with Owen|
|u||short /u/ like in dumb|
|ue||long /u/ like in cartoon, but can be pronouced as two syllables|
Declension of Pronouns
Saerish recognizes three genders, especially in formal speech. However, gender plays almost no part beyond the use of pronouns, since articles are neutral. Most nouns have a sense of gender, but in informal speech any non-living thing can be referenced by a neutral pronoun.
Subj Obj Poss ich moe main 1st Person Singular hiu hue hain 2nd Person Singular-formal (masculine) liu lue lain 2nd Person Singular-formal (feminine) thiu thoe thain 2nd Person Singular-informal (neutral) hoe hoe hoen 3rd Person Singular (masculine) loe loe loen 3rd Person Singular (feminine) thoe thoe thoen 3rd Person Singular (neutral) woe os woen 1st Person Plural hiu hiu hiun 2nd Person Plural-formal (masculine) liu liu liun 2nd Person Plural-formal (feminine) goe goe gain 2nd Person Plural-informal (neutral) soe soe soen 3rd Person Plural
Formation of Noun Plurals
- Many nouns undergo changes in the last internal vowel: a to ai, e to oe, i to ae, etc. These are nouns with stop endings (ch, g, d, etc.)
- Other nouns change consonant endings: f to v
- Some nouns combine the above two modifications: n to nt, r to rd, with vowel changes
- Other nouns are not altered.
BAENAN - TO BE ich banis I am hiu benis you are thiu baenis thou art hoe baenis he is woe banaes we are hiu benaes you (all) are goe baenaes ye are soe baenaes they are GIRMAN - TO HAVE ich gimis I have (ich gimist - I had; ich giminn - I am having) hiu gaemis you have thiu girmis thou hast hoe girmis he has woe gimaes we have hiu gaemaes you (all) have goe girmaes ye have soe girmaes they have RIUWAN - TO GO ich rewis I go (ich rewist - I went; ich rewinn - I am going) hiu ruewis you go thiu riuwis thou goest hoe riuwis he goes woe rewaes we go hiu ruewaes you (all) go goe riuwaes ye goeth soe riuwaes they go a,an is the a,an this od that odaf who wom what wonn where rai when wellnos why was here trenn there wetren everywhere haesrai everyone haestro anyone histro from uf for ur by ta,tan in la,lan out ba,ban on all off ast near sethran far tartron side seth and gon but elch
As an example, here is a short excerpt of a (silly) verse in Saerish:
Loe riuwist rai ich rewist She had gone where I had gone Elch na'hae woe rewaest lanis But never we went together Loe fenist wonn ich fanist She had found what I had found Elch na'hae is fant woe gimaest But never a find we shared
Saerish commoners have only one name, but often attach an eponym if further distinction is required. Saerish upper class use two names, a personal name and a clan name.
|Athrun, Hastrun, Tathrun||Brannath|
|Lodrian, Lodrigan, Lorrigan||Lodroth|