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Information sourced from various research tomes, including "The Habad: The Eastern Galaban?", "The Hobbit Shire" and "A Concise History of the Great Purge"

Written by David_Ulph

Good day syres and sirras of the Holy Court, I come to you to ask only one question: How does a language die? I would answer with silence.   You're advisors may warn of a situation like in the distant Galaban Country, but as a Halfling myself I can emplore you our culture of peace and diplomacy rather than the rather brutish approach of the Western Dwarves. Well, even if we were Dwarves you're own royal policies over recent years have left my kinsmen too weak and starving to till the soil let alone wield the same tools against your enforcers.   Yes, I can predict your upcoming jeers from the smirks on your faces. Why would you listen to someone who doesn't even come from a native speaking family? What would I know, and surely I am prolonging the problem by not even speaking it myself? And I would simply retort with the fact there is no point. Habadian's death is as inevitable as the eventual fall of the Great Dance. I am simply asking. Nay, begging, the court of your holiness to at least preserve the knowledge kept secret by this language alone and will be lost forever.
Transcript of Professor Dannad Stonebridge's appeal to the court of King Faust of Analand and Jabaji


Halflings are a race native to the Shamutanti Hills region between the Kingdom of Analand and the Yoshan City-State. In their own tongue, however, halflings refer to themselves as the Habad and their language is therefore known as Habadian (or Halfling Common).


Halflings as a race are relatively new compared to others that inhabit the Mortal Realm, with their origins heavily obscured and mythicised. The first instances of the race appeared in the Shamutanti Hills during the final year of Emperor Sarrus I von Apollyon's reign (r. 3E 86-124) over the Midlandian Empire, and quickly developed a language similar to the local Analander language.
As the Kingdom of Analand's language changed over the centuries as they started seeing more and more linguistical influences from Imperial Common and turned into the dialect of Analander Common it is now, Habadian did not feel the same level of influence. Instead, Habadian shared most similarity with the now ancient Analander with small amounts of influence from both Imperial Common and Modern Yoshan. This longing for a unique and separate culture from the Habad heightened during the Warlord Period, where the Kingdom of Analand and Yoshan Trade Empire fought tooth-and-nail over the Coronet of Jabaji and the rights it provided over the arable lands the Habad inhabited.

Decline (Late 3E - Early 4E)

With the Treaty of Birritanti, the conflict between Analand and Yosha had ended and Analand declared its claim over the Shamutanti Hills and all those who inhabited them. This event is largely agreed as the catalyst for Habadian's decline in native speakers and when the gradual language death started.
Between the reigns of King Jules the Great during the Warlord Period and King Louen of 4E 211, around ten generations of halflings had born and died under the fealty of the King of Analand. During this time, Analander Common became the prestige language of the Shamutanti Hills and forced the local population of the Habad to become bilingual.
As time passed on, halflings in general were viewed more and more as a lesser class of subject in Analand with the Habad being even lesser due to them remaining in their ancestral lands rather than fully integrating into Analander culture. Though despite the Habad remaining in Shamutanti and continuing their traditional ways of life as best they could, to remain economically stable and to rise above being no better than serfs the prestige language became ever dominant. After so many generations, Habadian was spoken only in the privacy of homesteads with all official texts and public appearances being conducted in their liege's Analander Common.

Death (4E 293 - 297)

In recent decades, the Kingdom of Analand have abandoned the Shamutanti Hills. A Great Purge forced undesirables outside the Analander heartlands and the Great Wall of Analand was built on the Analand-Shamutanti border cutting the two regions indefinitely. The Habad settlements suffered the most from this, falling into destitution without any trade or support after their crops were raided by those fleeing the continuing Great Purge. However, in this time, the Habadian language felt a resurgance of sorts.
However, when Faust Arkle rose to the throne in 4E 293, the title over Jabaji was reclaimed by Analand. For the next years until the modern day of 4E 297, the Shamutanti Hills have been systematically purged of their land and culture as the land has been exploited with no care for those who work it. In this time, Habadian has since suffered a radical language death over the fear of backlash from the Habad leading to a fear from Analanders of halflings themselves especially those who did not integrate.
In 4E 297, no Habad teach their young their traditional language anymore, and do not speak it even in their own homes for fear of further persecution as more Analander Lawmen patrol the rural dirt tracks. Only the very oldest generation of the Habad who remember a time before the Great Purge still speak Habadian amongst themselves, exiled into the newly established town of Taddapani to keep those who failed to integrate together in one place. When they die, no native speakers will exist or anyone keeping it alive for any reasons.
Parent Language
Ancient Sub-Common (Analander)
Spoken By
Stout Halflings
Language Status
Language Death Date
4E ~295
Language Death Type
Gradual Language Death

Geographic Distribution

Habadian is spoken almost exclusively in the Shamutanti Hills due to the Habad culture never finding ground outside the region. The Habad, known in Common normally as "Stout Halflings", are natives of Shamutanti while halflings that migrated to other regions of the Mortal Realm have had their names corrupted by other languages into the Hobbit.
These "Lightfoot Halflings" as they are known in Common rarely ever keep their native tongues for long and quickly assimilate fully into their surrounding cultures.

Preservation Efforts

Lightfoot Halfling Dannad Stonebridge, after unsuccessfully appealing to Holy King Faust Arkle of Analand & Jabaji, went behind all official recommendations and found access into the Citadel of Scholars.
Ignoring the denied request of the Overlord of the Halflings, Stonebridge managed to easily convince a Wickseeker of Hamaskus to go off the record and sneak past the Great Wall of Analand. In the Shamutanti Hills, this unnamed Wickseeker has been travelling disguised between every village and homestead interviewing as many of the halfling elders in order to preserve the information that would be lost with the language's extinction.

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Cover image: by Vertixico


Author's Notes

Is fheàrr Gàidhlig bhriste na Gàidhlig sa chiste. ~ It is better to have broken Gaelic than dead Gaelic.

1,100 words? Woah that's a fairly short one for me!
(By no means am I a conlanger.. man I wouldn't even know where to start! For the "Common" language that is usually spoken, I speak mainly in English and exclusively write in English so I would just recommend you assume it's English. For this language? Hmm.. imagine it like Doric. A language that is two steps away from English so is similar and yet so exotic at the same time.)   Welp.. this challenge got real for me! A dead language was definitely something I had to think about, with my own personal experience and word populated with dying languages. My mother tongue, Scottish Gaelic, was a language which almost died in the 1900's after literal centuries of the language being discriminated against, native speakers being forced out of their land and even being outlawed for some time (which that really helpful video resource informed me was a form of Radical Language Death if only for the stubbornness of Hebrideans and other Gaels). Luckily, since 2007, the language has been treated with the same support and care Irish had been decades prior and since 2011 numbers of people who can speak the language or been taught it at school has risen at a heartwarming rate.   While this is leading to the death of my own sub-tongue, that being Island Uist Gaelic not Standard Mainland Gaelic, I am happy and proud to say Gaelic isn't dead and wont be for some time yet.

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23 Feb, 2021 21:59

I think you nailed it in terms of the problem set, i.e., "describing the death of a language". Sure, I would be thrilled to see/hear some words, find a new alphabet, etc. but the narrative gives a very clear view over what happened and why the Habadian is dying.   That said, as the Stout Halflings adapt so well, maybe they will form a distinct version of Analander, as it happened some centuries ago.

Introducing my challenge entry, with my cat as the main character and visitor to the tavern.
Journeyman David_Ulph
David Alexander
23 Feb, 2021 23:00

Thank you! If inspiration ever hits I shall sate your desires to the best of my abilities good sir! But.. no promises just yet ;-)

Latha math leat! Sending praise from the Hebrides! Check my Summer Camp ramblings out here
23 Feb, 2021 22:08

I think this article was well written and very carefully thought-out! You can really get a sense of the world lived in by it's inhabitants. Especially the part about the Great Purge, which talks about the "undesirables" being chased out of the land! I find this world fascinating already, and this is only the second article I've read about it.

~TimeBender~Check out the first chapter of my newest book on World Anvil (Spoiler I'm posting the entire book for free): 1/The First Rule of Monsterborn Adoptions
Journeyman David_Ulph
David Alexander
23 Feb, 2021 23:00

I'm glad you enjoyed :D

Latha math leat! Sending praise from the Hebrides! Check my Summer Camp ramblings out here
23 Feb, 2021 22:26

This is a well done historic overview of how the language became dead. It's really nice that you could link it to your own personal experiences! The impact on the halfling society and the reasons of it's decline are well thought out.

Feel free to check out my latest challenge article the Avaronian Empire if you want to see what I am up to!
Journeyman David_Ulph
David Alexander
23 Feb, 2021 23:02

Thank you for the kind words, I'm glad you enjoyed! Honestly, in my notes I had a history of Analand but hadn't really thought about the halfling side at all until I invented a language for this flash challenge. I'm glad it seemed to work out XD

Latha math leat! Sending praise from the Hebrides! Check my Summer Camp ramblings out here
Andrew Booth
25 Feb, 2021 01:59

I love that first opening brief. Big fan. And the article itself is very logical and understandable. Another good one, do you ever write anything bad??

Journeyman David_Ulph
David Alexander
25 Feb, 2021 12:30

Wow thank you so much :-0 ! And mate, in my eyes nothing I write about is good enough for comments like that XD

Latha math leat! Sending praise from the Hebrides! Check my Summer Camp ramblings out here
12 Mar, 2021 11:38

The death of a language is so sad to me. Being English, I know we contributed to the decline/death of a lot of languages around the British Isles, and that sucks.   I love the history you've given the language, and the description of its decline. Very believable. I always love reading your stuff. <3

Journeyman David_Ulph
David Alexander
28 Mar, 2021 17:24

Thanks Emy I'm glad you enjoyed! Trying to balance my fictional writing with my real emotion is something I never know if I pull off or not.   And ach, don't worry about it ;-) The decline was caused by one man, and technically now I too am assisting it's death by speaking English as a main language according to the helping video!

Latha math leat! Sending praise from the Hebrides! Check my Summer Camp ramblings out here