Rréraliázi (RREH-ra-lee-AH-zee)

Known throughout regions under Melopian rule as "The Common Language".

Overview

Rréraliázi, literally translating to "the common language", was developed year 64 of the First Age to improve literacy in the country of Kweil - the birthplace of the ever expanding Melopian Commonwealth. 500 years on, the language is thriving as it has become an ideal language of trade and negotiations (particularly among sailors).   In the Commonwealth's struggle for conquest against The Jolundrian Empire, they have since changed their strategies away from military conflict - their troops are desperately needed in defending home countries and repairing the wreckage that The Rupture brought upon the world only 50 years ago. During this catastrophic event, rifts to unknown planes opened up across the world, connecting Melior to folks from unexplored realms.
Rréraliázi alphabet by TJ Trewin
  With limited resources, the Melopian Commonwealth has decided to gain new allies by promoting huge efforts into education by teaching all folk their ways of life and how advantageous it is. Translators, teachers, and guides are welcoming foreign folk with open arms and gifts as they spread the easy-to-learn language of Rréraliázi to everyone they meet.
   

Phonetic Inventory

Reflecting on the use of a hexadecimal (base-16) number system, Rréraliázi has 32 unique sounds in its phonetic inventory, each represented with its own character in the alphabet. These are balanced equally between 16 consonants and 16 vowel sounds.   (Hover over each letter in the tables below for a pronunciation example.)  

Consonant Sounds

There are 16 consonant sounds which are pronounceable by every kind of folk - there are no lip based labial sounds or teeth based dental sounds, so it's inclusive for people with beaks or other anatomy.   Each consonant always begins with a downward stroke and can be written in one fluid motion.   The starting position of the downward stroke reflects the position of the sound in the mouth. Front consonants like /s/ and /z/ start with the downward stroke at the front (on the left), middle consonants have their downward stroke in the middle of the character, and back of the mouth consonants like /h/ and /g/ have the downward stroke at the back (to the right) of the letterform.    
Rréraliázi consonants by TJ Trewin
Alveolar Retroflex Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal
ɳ
Plosive
ʈ ɖ
k g
Affricate
ʈ͡ʂ ɖ͡ʐ
Fricative
s z
ʂ ʐ
h
Approximant
ɹ
Trill
r
ʀ
Lateral approximant
l
 

Vowel Sounds

Vowel shapes are based on a circle, which represents the neutral vowel of /ə/ (as in "run"). A line extends from the neutral shape towards a position in the mouth, with frontal vowels like /i/, /e/, and /a/ pointing to the start of the character (the left), and back of the mouth vowels pointing to the end of the character (the right).   Closed vowels have a line extending upward (like /i/ and /u/) and open vowels like /a/ and /ɒ/ have a line extending downward.   Diphthongs (sounds made up of two joined vowels) begin with the same letterform as the starting sound of the diphthong, with a dot in the position of the secondary one that it blends into.
Rréraliázi vowels by TJ Trewin
Front Central Back
Close
i
u
Close-Mid
e
o
Mid
ə
Open
a
ɒ
 
Diphthongs
ai
au
ia
iu
ui
ua
ei
ou
ɒi
 
Syllabic Structure
The syllabic structure of the language is comprised of a (C)(C)V(C)(C) format, meaning that every syllable must contain a vowel at its nucleus, and can potentially have:
  • an onset cluster starting with either one or two consonants
  • a coda cluster ending with either one or two consonants
  • Syllables are constructed in this forumula with the following combinations of phonemes (sounds), which are also deeply connected to the hexadecimal sytem:   Onset Clusters: (32)
    ɳ ʈ ɖ k g ʈ͡ʂ ɖ͡ʐ s z ʂ ʐ h ɹ r ʀ l sl zl sɹ zɹ sɳ zɳ sʈ sk zɖ zg kl gl ʈɹ ɖɹ kɹ gɹ   Nucleus: (16)
    i u ə a ɒ e o ai au ia iu ui ua ei ou ɒi   Coda Clusters: (64)
    ɳ ʈ ɖ k g ʈ͡ʂ ɖ͡ʐ s z ʂ ʐ ɹ r ʀ l ʀl ɹɖ ɹl lɳ ɹɳ ls ɹs ɳs ʈs ks lz ɹz ɳz ɖz gz lʂ ʈʂ kʂ lʐ ɖʐ gʐ lʈ ɹʈ ɳʈ sʈ ʂʈ kʈ lɖ ɹɖ ɳɖ zɖ ʐɖ gɖ lk ʀk rk ɹk ɳk sk ʂk lg ʀg rg ɹg ɳg zg ʐg ɹʈ͡ʂ ɹɖ͡ʐ   Other sound combinations do not feature in the language of Rréraliázi, as it was designed to be speakable by all folk, regardless of their anatomy. This makes it easier to learn and more accessible for its intended global audience as a language of trade and negotiation.
    Written Direction
    Left to right   Word Order
    Subject, Verb, Object (SVO) - "I eat cheese."   Stress
    Stress is marked by an accented vowel (such as latin transcriptions: á, í, ú, ó, é) and some words can have secondary places of stressed emphasis.   In the Rréraliázi alphabet, stress is indicated with a dot inside of the counter of the vowel letter (which sometimes is noted instead with a line, or complete fill when hand written).   Number System
    Hexadecimal (base-16)   Alphabet
    Whilst Rréraliázi translates literally to "common language", it has a secondary definition of "alphabet" as it is the order of the first 8 letters in the alphabet. The letters are ordered (mostly) from front sounds, to middle sounds, and ending with back sounds (which are also reflected in the line stroke of each character).   There are two trills in the alphabet, /r/ and /ʀ/. The alphabet begins with the frontal /r/ (a rolled "R") and ends with the letter /ʀ/ (a rolled sound in the back of the throat).

    Number System

    Rréraliázi uses a hexadecimal (base-16) number system because of the prevalence of this number throughout history.   There are 32 hours in the day, but only 16 are displayed on a clock face as this came from the historical method of time-telling by using a sun dial split into 16 segments, marking from sunrise to sunset (it was, unsurprisingly, not functional after sunset).   Koinz are counted in 16 per denomination, with 16 kounts to the shull, 16 shulls to the grot, and 16 grots to the jul.   Methods of measuring also come in groups of 16, such as barrel sizes.  
    Unique Digits
    Each digit begins with a downward stroke and branches off.
    The four directions signify the numbers 1, 2, 4, and 8, with the branches equalling a sum of numbers.   Carved and printed numbers are depicted with straight lines and hard edges, whereas some folks use flowing cursive writing when jotting things down by hand which causes the numbers to look more like letterforms.  
    Hexadecimal (base-16) numbers in the Rréraliázi language.
    Hexadecimal (base-16) numbers in the Rréraliázi language. by TJ Trewin
    Counting to 255
    All folks have at least four digits on their hands, enabling them to count from 0-15 on one hand and up to a maximum of 255 using two hands.   The system is designed so that the largest majority of folks can count using their digits. Folks who have five digits (like humans and fauns), can ignore their smallest digit by keeping it closed, crossed or next to the second-last digit. The smallest digit (such as the pinky finger) is the one that’s ignored, not the thumb. This is so that when you hold up your hands to show a number, it will mean the same to a folk who has only four digits.  
    A human counting in Rréraliázi
    A human counting in Rréraliázi by TJ Trewin
    Counting begins on the left hand, and when all digits are splayed it totals the number 15 (which is the sum of 1+2+4+8). To count beyond that, the left hand returns to just extending the first digit to represent 1, and the right hand displays a circle shape meaning 0 (óro). This reflects the notation used in writing numbers in base 16.   Counting then continues on the right hand until all digits are extended, and then the left hand number is increased by one.


    Cover image: Rréraliázi by TJ Trewin

    Comments

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    Forgemaster Dimitris
    Dimitris Havlidis
    15 Dec, 2021 15:10

    This is some seriously intricate work, great craft TJ.

    Join me, become a Sky Pirate in the world of Lyra!

    15 Dec, 2021 17:01

    Thanks so much! You saw it a little early, I've now expanded on the overview section and added in details about the significance of the consonant and vowel letterforms :D


    Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
    I also make worldbuilding resources!
    Eternal Sage AmélieIS
    Amélie I. S. Debruyne
    15 Dec, 2021 20:37

    The writing system is really fascinating, I really love all the explanation of how this works and why it was chosen like that :D Also great gif! I's really a fun way of counting on your hands as well as writing numbers :D

    To see what I am up to, my latest article is a choose-your-own-adventure story featuring a job interview to become one of the Dark Lord's evil minions :D
    18 Dec, 2021 19:36

    Thanks!!


    Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
    I also make worldbuilding resources!
    15 Dec, 2021 21:51

    Did you just come up with a whole new language system with beautiful script AND numericals/method for counting!? WOW... The article is beautifully paced and organised too, top-notch work!

    I'd truly appreciate your constructive criticism on any pages of VISCERIUM. A dark, mixed genre world of infernal incursions across multiple eras.
    18 Dec, 2021 19:37

    Thank you so much! :D


    Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
    I also make worldbuilding resources!
    18 Jan, 2022 21:35

    I couldn't not include this article in my Reading Challgenge article. It's so well displayed and considerately thought through that it really deserves a spotlight!  

    Reading Challenge '22
    Generic article | Mar 13, 2022

    My top-10 articles from the WorldEmber '22 challenge that have inspired me to create more and better content.

    I'd truly appreciate your constructive criticism on any pages of VISCERIUM. A dark, mixed genre world of infernal incursions across multiple eras.
    17 Dec, 2021 11:58

    Cool language. I like how you chose the phoneme inventory to be accessible to creatures without lips. A neat touch.

    18 Dec, 2021 19:37

    Thank you! :D


    Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
    I also make worldbuilding resources!
    20 Dec, 2021 01:52

    I don't know how to comment on this because I am quite literally in awe. I think my favourite part is the counting system. O_O <3

    20 Dec, 2021 12:27

    Aaaaaaa thank youuuuu! <3


    Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
    I also make worldbuilding resources!
    4 Jan, 2022 16:19

    I just really love 02 for that sign's meaning offline, but this is a beautifully built article with a lot of fascinating details. The vowels are delightful and I love how they share the same shape and rotate with the dot placement as a further indicator.

    Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
    17 Jan, 2022 11:03

    Thanks so much!


    Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
    I also make worldbuilding resources!
    Sage eccbooks
    E. Christopher Clark
    16 Jan, 2022 21:36

    I really love how this language is crafted to allow folks of all different kinds of anatomies to speak it.

    Check out Bü‘ükopo Oabü, my entry for the Rivers & Waterways Challenge
    17 Jan, 2022 11:04

    Thank you!


    Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
    I also make worldbuilding resources!
    Grandmaster zpires
    jyliet +& maddy zpires
    16 Jan, 2022 22:44

    there is nothing but stunning detail in here. i love the way that the vowels work with the central vowel theme. just stunning.

    love, jyliet & maddy
    17 Jan, 2022 11:04

    Thanks so much! :D


    Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
    I also make worldbuilding resources!
    17 Jan, 2022 19:48

    This is fantastic. The flow of the language works for any species in the set world. The world-building for that is amazing. I'm really loving the numbering system and its uses.

    18 Jan, 2022 13:44

    Thank you! :D


    Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
    I also make worldbuilding resources!
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