Estari

Estari or Estarian, is a language that was spoken by the ithonair in the ancient Estarian empire. It isn't known what the language was actually called among the people who spoke it, so "Estarian" will have to do. It is not related to any of the languages spoken in modern day Arjin, presumably because the Estarian empire was destroyed hundreds of years ago.

Oä! Ztriye prashi zevniye mosho z nevyush zshtoya.

— Recovered Estarian text.

Discovery

Estari scripts were discovered in the ruins on Celenia when Totlhej Chel'ej and his crew became stranded on the northeastern coast of the continent approximately 30 years ago. They landed near a ruined city, later discovered to have been called Meztratja. Among the wealth of ancient artifacts, Totlhej decided to found Khobon Pes'Maakh; "Khobon Beyond the Seas".

Soon, scholars, adventurers and those seeking fortune all flooded to the new continent, hungry for wealth, resources and knowledge. Translating and interpreting Estari script was difficult as there were no reference for it.

Translation

Without any reference, and seeing as the Estarian empire seems to have been one giant mono-culture, translating and even phonetically interpreting Estari script was incredibly difficult. It took two decades before a somewhat complete phonology was even structured, mainly because of the utter lack of related languages. The scholars had to work with different dialects of Estari, all unknown, and trying to piece together how the language would sound.

Fact is, no one still, to this day, know exactly how it's supposed to be pronounced. The knowledge is lost and without related languages to extrapolate from, there is no way to reconstruct the accurate pronounciation. What we have is the best guesswork available.

Translating Estari to any modern language is a challenge, but it isn't structurally that different from the majority languages of Arjin. it has something in common with most of them, so piecing together what it would mean is possible, and while there are few experts on the language, there's usually someone in a larger outpost that knows how to translate at least parts of Estari texts.

Technological gap

What is clear is that the ithonair were far more advanced than current Kykr society. They operated machines far more advanced than any windmill and seemed to power them not by water or air, but by some mysterious force brought from "another world". Because of this technological discrepancy, some parts of texts remain untranslated even to this day. When you lack the concept that someone is trying to explain, there is no way to explain it. It would be trying to discuss philosophy with an ant. Even if you could speak the same language, your entire mind-constructs are so different that finding common ground is nearly impossible.

Structure and phonology

Estari is strangely both beautifully flowing and harsh at the same time. It has a lot of strong stop sounds like "k", "t" and "p" that are almost ejective in nature, but also flowing diphthongs that make the language sound soft and pleasant. It's an interesting contrast having these strong, ejective consonants and soft vowels.

The structure of the language is fairly straightforward, with a s-v-o word order and being mostly fusional in nature. The fusional nature is mild and relatively easy to understand, and even if a suffix is not entirely grasped, the general meaning of the sentence can usually be understood. It also has a fair amount of redundancy, marking sentence components accordingly, like subject, verb and objects. This makes word order flexible, like Nahut, but Estari seems to also have an established word order that never changes.

Mood Music

Origin
Estarian Empire (Celenia)
Status
Extinct language
Root Languages
Unknown
Descendant Languages
None (known)

Related Reading

Ithonai
Species | Jan 30, 2022

Winged and majestic, the Ithonair once ruled all of Celenia. But their progress and greed lead to the destruction of their civilization.

Celenia
Geographic Location | Aug 21, 2021

The recently discovered continent across the Endless Ocean. Both a promised new land of riches and resources and the source of the Shadow Corruption.


Comments

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27 Aug, 2021 21:36

Really fascinating. Your knowledge of languages really comes through here. I'm just imagining what finding a Rosetta stone equivalent would do for the modern understanding of Estarian.

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