Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Spellwords

Made by Spellworks, this language is constructed by Spellworks as a global language for the creation of spells. It is engineered to contain only sounds which exist in every culture, to give magical schools a common curriculum, and to prevent accidents due to spells being too close to everyday wording or mispronunciations. The full language can be seen in the Spellwords Dictionary.  

About Verbal Spells

Verbal spells come in 2 types. Spontaneous spells and enchanted words. In the case of spontaneous spells, the user uses words related to what they are trying to achieve. The spell works not directly because of the chosen words, but because of the will attached to them. Enchanted words are specific words or combinations of words that are enchanted beforehand for a specific effect. As such, words themselves can be enchanted but are also affected by the will and emotion of the user and thereby the flow of their Magibility system.  

Using Spellwords

Spellwords contains a full language of words enchanted with the specific meaning of the word. To use Spellwords a combination of words is used and combined with the will and Magibility of the Magible to obtain chosen effects.  

History

The background for the development of Spellwords is the accidents and misunderstandings due to cases where enchanted words were used accidentally or were pronounced wrongly. Both leads to magic of unintentional and possibly dangerous nature.  
A large explosion has occurred near the Magible settlement of Tunguska in Siberia. The cause has been determined to be an accidental use of the Massovoye Szhiganiye spell during an argument between the perpetrator and another Magible. The explosion killed the other Magible, one Mundie within a nearby forest and injured another 2.   Luckily the nearby Magible settlement was protected by a barrier, otherwise the consequences would have been catastrophic. The perpetrator has been incarcerated and awaits trial next week. Experts are still discussing whether punishment should be applied due to the accidental nature of the incident.London Magic News, 1908
  Due to these incidents, especially the Tunguska incident of 1908, the United Magibles' Association (UMA) issued a work order for the spell making company of Spellworks to construct a language with a few chosen properties. It should be globally pronouncable within all cultures and contain enchanted words that were not used in any current language. The language should then be distributed and taught on magical schools all over the world. In the future it should be the most common language for spells. The use of enchanted words should the fade into history, and the enchantments should wear off, so that normal conversation could not accidentally activate unwanted spells.   Of course, complete eradication of old spells was not possible, but the amount of accidents due to accidental spellcasting and mispronunciations should be significantly reduced.  

Societal Effects

The language of Spellwords spread rapidly due to the governmental support. Though created in southern Europe, the first dictionary was delivered to every school teacher on the planet, and within 3 years they began teaching it to their students. A phasing period allowed older students to complete their education in the normal manner using the well known spells, but future students almost exclusively learned to use Spellwords for their spellcasting needs.   Not all people agreed on the ease of the usage of spellwords, and the change had many opponents who did not want to abandon the old ways and spells. However, the governmental support for spellwords and the stopping of governmental support for the maintenance of enchanted words meant that the enchantments on many of those words slowly faded. A few were kept for a long time though, due to the problems in trying to find a feasible spellword replacement. Those spells were typically not used in normal conversation though, and as such did not lead to accidents.

Alphabet

Spellwords uses classical roman letters, but only those used for globally available sounds. As such rolling R's, soft D's, and unpronounced letters are not included in the language. "th" sounds could also not be included. The final chosen alphabet included the following letters: a, b, d, e, ɡ, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, s, t , u, w.

Geographical Distribution

Language was developed in southern Europe for United Magibles' Association (UMA), but quickly spread as spells were converted to the language.

Phonology

This language is focused around sounds. It is engineered to ensure that every culture on earth can pronounce every word.   Sounds included Spellwords are:

  • Vowels: a, e, i, o, u
  • Consonants: b, d, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, s, t, w
  Listen to the sounds of the language at this Interactive IPA Chart

Morphology

Written Morphology

Spellwords do not have prefixes and suffixes. In spells, the root version of every word is used. Adjectives and adverbs are separated by the words they are placed around. This makes the language easier to teach around the world, as they do not need to learn multiple forms and tenses for the same word.  

Parts of Speech

The most used parts of speech are verbs (words describing and action or event) followed by nouns (the subject of the verb). The language also includes a variety of adjects (describers describing the subject, verb or another part of the sentence).   A few pronouns and prepositions are included, but rarely used. The language also includes some numerals, which can be combined to any number using the roman systems.   The part of speech a word is intended for determines the amount of syllables.  

Spoken Morphology

Intonation is completely flat. This was due to a decision made by Spellworks, that teaching various intonation levels might prove problematic in teaching the language. Flat and monotonous pronunciation might not be as interesting, but is practical and easy to learn.   Stress on specific parts of words or sentences is completely avoided as well, since the choice of words marks the meaning, and the order of the sentence is already determined.

Syntax

This language is rarely used as full sentences, but more as a combination of words of which the user wants to combine the meanings. When creating a spell, it will typically begin with the subject the spell is meant for. That is, unless the spell is general and not meant for someone or something specific. An adject might be included to improve aim.   The subject is then followed by the verb which decribes what should happen to the subject. Adjects concerning how this should happen should then be included. Lastly information describing triggers or other additional affects wanted in connection with the spell. This last part of the spell can be very long for very specific spells, but most spells don't include it.

Vocabulary

The language has a limited vocabulary as it is constructed and hasn't developed over time. Only the most needed words were recorded by the time the language was released to the public, but the language is continually expanded on.

Spoken by
Common Phrases
Animal Mekili Banana Sudano Bird Tesamo Create Umawo Destroy Emuwa Extinguish Idame Fire Miwuna Fly Opeti Fura Pawako Green Kihesano Health Sulame Hunger Gipoda Large Wobageno Light Nimano Mute Abale Plant Tasose Quick Puhemako Slow Latisame Small Johewaso Five Ejodameno Water Lubeme
Common Female Names
Lady Wamiko Woman Samiko Witch Pomika
Common Male Names
Gent Wasuta Man Sasuta Scumbag Posuko
Common Unisex Names
Person Netalo Human Melato Someone Nelato

Examples of use

The choice of spellwords is rather important. Do you want to mute or extinguish your hunger? "Gipoda Abale" will block your feeling of hunger, whereas "Gipoda Idame" will make you full. The choice could mean the difference between life and silent starvation.
A good way to make small a light for lighting your path when you don't want to wake or attract sleeping creatures around you is Ninamo Johewaso Umawo, which means "Create a small light".
When your man just can't shut his mouth, "Sasuta Abale" might help you get a word in
When far apart "Miwuna Wobageno Kihesano Umawo" can be used to signal fellow magibles when far apart. But always cast it far from vegetation, preferably on top of a mountain.
 

Related Reading:

Those who use the language:
Magible
Ethnicity | Dec 14, 2018

Humans with magibilty (and thereby, the ability to perform magic).

Where the Language is taught:
Stormerki International
Organization | Dec 31, 2018

International school of magic located in the Scandinavian sea of Kattegat.

Those who ordered the language:
United Magibles' Association (UMA)
Organization | Dec 6, 2018

Political Union of magibles with representatives from all around the world.


Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
20 Dec, 2018 19:46

Oooh I like it! You might not be a language expert, but you did a great job here! First of all, some small details:  

  • There's a "specificmeaning" that should be two words.
  • In the quote, maybe you could add the meaning of Massovoye szhiganiye in a tooltip? Like this. Code is [tooltip:TOOLTIP TEXT GOES HERE]Actual text words[/tooltip]
  • You could place the examples in the sidebar, so that the article is not as long and the sideber is not as empty (and it fits the "list of words" theme of the sidebar).
  I like how you made the language specifically for the magic, and how it shows in its grammar and phonetics. Simple grammar, mostly verbs and nouns. You say there's no stress, but what happens if you stress a word? Does magic go wrong then?   Something that many conlangers struggle with is having consistent phonotactics, that is, making the words sound as if they were from the same language, and you nailed it, all syllables having the consonant-vowel structure. It probably helps that the phonemic inventory is small and the consonants are distinct, too.   Great job, see you around! :)

20 Dec, 2018 20:35

Thank you so much for your feedback and i'm really happy you liked it. Great idea to put the examples in the sidebar, i'm still learning how to use that thing proper. I figured i needed a system for making them so i wouldn't run out of name ideas, though i worry some of them might be already used words, which would be a problem. In the beginning i was looking each up to see if it was, but in the end i decided to handle it if it happened.   I think i'm adding a chapter about what happens when you make errors during speech, but i think the if it's "just" wrong stress the result would be a loss of effeciency, since you aren't using exactly the enchanted word, but you're not turning it into a differently enchanted word either. I think it's probably easy was this type of language to accidentally switch out a syllable though, which could give a completely different word and make a drastic change to the spell. Therefore "positive" words shouldn't sound anything like "negative" to avoid the worst accidents.