Languages of Madoria
Human Language Families
The levels used to describe fluency are, from highest to lowest:
|16-20||native||Speaks with native accent|
|11-15||conversational||Can carry on normal conversations, though with a noticeable foreign accent|
|09-10||broken||Can engage in conversation with a thick foreign accent, but must pause often for clarification|
|06-08||basic||Knows enough to get by and can follow conversations when spoken slowly|
|04-05||simple||Knows a few words and phrases|
|01-03||recognizes||Can't speak the language, but can recognize it when it is spoken|
Languages marked with an asterisk (*) can have words generated by the online wordsynth program.
A Madoring language family brought to the Andalors via migrations across Targelon. Though Andalorians have retained the barrel-chested deep voices of the Madorings, their tongues produce less harsh sounds than one might find in Braghar or some Goerthan languages.
Belmerthur: Spoken by the sea-faring folk of westernmost Andalor. Can also speak broken Lancesian and basic Thennish.
Falthetian: The crude dialect of the desolate Falthet peninsula. Falthetians speak basic Lancesian and simple Vidarien.
Lancesian*: Spoken by the inhabitants of Lancesor, Belagor, and the Isles of Arunor and Lusor, it is a parent of Verentian. Speakers understand simple Belmurther and can recognize Verentian when it's spoken.
Thennish: The language of Arthennor and Fodeor, also spoken in Garän. Speakers know broken Grennish and simple Belmurther.
Vidarien: The dying language of Vidar, spoken in rural areas and still the official written language, most Vidariens speak Verentian, Lancesian, or both.
Hovar: The tongue of the sea raiders. Speakers know broken Lankar and Grennish, and basic Thennish.
Lankar: Spoken on the island of Lankarth and in Velbrask (on the mainland northeast of Targelon). Fluent speakers can handle basic Hovar and will have simple fluency in least one Targeling tribal language.
Jalin: Spoken by the nomads and hillmen of the Prulam, the Aldazhinhari and their surrounding highlands.
Jili: Spoken by the nomads of Beljilad, south of Makuria.
Lotrizan: Spoken by the golden-skinned inhabitants of the large isolated peninsula southeast of Makuria.
Makurian: Spoken throughout the Makurian Empire as far west as Samodania.
Dalish: Spoken by the major inhabitants of Gedringale. Speakers know basic Saerish and simple Fearthic.
Fearthic: Related to the Braghar family and spoken by men of Fearthlond as well as some tribes of Targelon. Speakers receive knowledge of broken Saerish and can recognize Lankar.
Saerish*: Spoken by the inhabitants of the Mir-Rue Basin and Somberflow Valley. Speakers know some Fearthic (broken) and can understand basic Dalish.
Krishari: The tongue spoken in most of the lands of the Kruthad Peninsula, including Tenket. Speakers can recognize Ristuli.
Ristuli: Spoken by the inhabitants of Rashan, the Akun-Shal, and the Ristul Hills, though most in Rashan also speak a limited amount of Malanese. Speakers can recognize Krishari but understand simple Malanese.
Dorjani: One of the two languages spoken in Mutem-Doja. Speakers handle conversational Mutemba and basic Malanese.
Malanese*: The language of the Malana Valley, which has a written form developed in ancient times by the men of Marazai. Speakers know basic Mutemba and Dorjani, and can recognize Ristuli.
Mutemba: The other of the two languages of Mutem-Doja. Speakers know conversational Dorjani and basic Malanese.
The language of the dominant race of Murom. Muroi is distantly descended from Nerenchiz, when it spread from its origin at Lake Tsenj.
Phirai: Spoken by the Anra (Phirean) natives of Phirai Swamp.
Ralubi*: Spoken by the city-dwellers of Anphirai.
Relori: Spoken by the desert nomads of Anphirai.
Porelian: An old tongue, now spoken only by the aquatic nomads known as the Solanfalk.
Sardian: An old tongue, not spoken much, but retained through names and written sources. Once the language of the Aurelian Peninsula, it has been replaced in public by Verentian, thought it is still employed by secret Sardian societies.
Verentian*: Spoken by the inhabitants of the Sevachelle Valley, it is a mixture of Andalorian and Sevalin language.
Chadrene: Spoken by the natives of the Chadrace Archipelago, south of Mouratta and the Kruthad Peninsula.
Kamereen: Spoken by the inhabitants of Kameree on the very southeastern tip of Auradea.
Ourmala: Spoken in Hoshuk and Mouratta.
Morish*: Spoken in Morianda, it has Ralubian influences.
Chen: A dead tongue, originally spoken by the ancient Light worshippers of Nerencham. It exists now only in written form.
Nereng: A dead tongue, spoken originally by the ancient Dark worshippers of Nerencham. It exists now only in written form.
Rinsiz: The language of the mystics, which assimilated Chen and Nereng. Once spoken widely throughout Nerencham (when the language was known as Nerenchiz), it is now spoken only by the nomads of the Rinsiz steppes and the Dijin-Tagh (Velarian Desert).
The language of the Aramur, an intelligent race that inhabit the eastern portion of the Prulam. Aramuric is very difficult for humans to speak or understand. Also, the Aramur find it difficult to speak human languages. As a consequence, a sign language is used between them.
The Brood were the three clutches of children had by Gorza.
Accursed Tongue: The First Brood was cast out, neglected like unwanted children. The true name of the language dare not be spoken nor even written.
Daimonic: The Second Brood were the Daimons. These were warriors who served as generals to Eimragh in the Gur-Docherlon.
Secret Tongue: The Third Brood was kept in secret, and their language is spoken in whispers.
The language of the creatures also called Edrini. Related to the Aramur, they share the difficulties of communicating with humans. There are very few left, and most Ralubians don't believe the Edrini can speak any language at all.
The four known living Elder Cromirs speak a mutually intelligible language, possibly derived from Daimonic. Their respective underlings, however, speak mutually unintelligible, corrupt dialects of the same.
Eastern: The Cromirlings of Hragerzom.
Northern: The Cromirlings of the Copper King.
Southern: The Cromirlings of the Basturan.
Western*: The Cromirlings of Cromirlon.
Beings from another Shard. They appeared when a gate was opened by the bungling Krishari wizard Ranshat.
The Murayhar are an intelligent race, once enslaved by the Cromirs, who still drift the grasslands of Velaria.
One of the more powerful of the Cromirlings, or Cromir subservient creatures. The grueslin tend to speak a corrupt version of their Cromir master's language, as well as a basic or even broken human language.
Black Grueslish: The language of the grueslin of Beljilad.
Wood Grueslish: The language of the grueslin of Somberwood and other parts of Goertha and Anphirai. The wood grueslin have been known to speak Saerish or Ralubi.
Spoken by the creatures that invaded the Shard of Eimragh before humans did. The Scith had only limited success, but still maintain a network of clandestine communities, using their carefully maintained language as a uniting element.
Madorings --+-- Aristings -+- Saerlinn ----- Dalings | | | +- Relorians --+- Nesserlubians | | +- Halribians | | +- Ralubians | | +- Makurians | | +- Jalin | | | +- Sarpetrians --- Sardians | +-- Danthings -+- Targelings ---- Mori | +- Araghar -----+- Braghar | +- Bleinkazar -+- Hovar | +- Grennar +- Winarians +- Ellicarians -+- Porellians | +- Ennelarians | +- Danfalk -----+- Verentians +- Vidarians Dolbazi --+- Zuli ----+- Tenhari | +- Krishari | +- Roshibi -+- Ristuli +- Moura -+- Cazzirians | +- Ourmala | +- Chadrei +- Oyegi -+- Marazi +- Mutemba +- Dorjani Nerenchese --- Muroi
Designer Notes: Madorian Languages
In the early days of creating the world of Madoria, I spent considerable time working on her languages. I had a tiny little notebook that was filled with all the legal combinations of sounds that I wanted in my proto-language, which was called at the time Tussin. This was a language spoken in what is now only Colbrivaine, and evolved into two languages: Verentian and Sardian. Verentian still bears a close relation to that original language, but Sardian was an attempt to break away from what had become too restrictive a set of sounds.
I favor the approach to language design used in the old classic Traveller rules. A similar approach to language design is described on the Model Languages page. An example shows the use of C, R, N, V, and K elements for syllables. The Traveller version simply uses C and V (and K, the final consonant, but this is implicit in the structure of the tables used) elements. I prefer the simpler approach for this reason: rather than using l's r's (rolling consonants) as separate elements, I combine them with other consonants to treat multi-consonant combination as distinct Cs. This prevents illegal combinations from occuring. For example, while TR is legal in English, TL is not, at least not for an initial consonant.
There is a program called wordgen. It directly implements the Traveller word generation system, parsing the same table used in the RPG. Jeff Zeitlin has done an enhanced version, downloadable from the Freelance Traveller site.
I've written a Perl script which uses simpler yet enhanced tables. Download wordsynth (tarred and gzipped perl script and documentation, 5k). See the WordSynth page for more information. Wordsynth uses a more complex approach than what I had done by hand, but the language rules file is very easy to tweak until the output comes out right. I currently have five language rules files online:
Some of these are better than others. Designing any language is an ongoing task. The wordsynth page also has a link to a web form that will produce output from any of five pregenerated Madorian languages.
For more suggestions on designing languages, see Mark Rosenfelder's Language Construction Kit.
An interesting tool is Boudewijn Rempt's drift, which can create an entire lexicon for a language, while incorporating sound changes.