Xsoura Language in Etharai | World Anvil

Xsoura (/'ʃʊ.ɹa/)

It appears this article is a stub! Alert the author if you'd like to see it expanded.
This article is a work in progress! Expect more content to be added.
This article was created for my Species-A-Day project for 2024! Read more here!
Xsoura is a language spoken by the xsenda in the abyssal depths. It is entirely spoken telepathically, and as such, the words that it does have are short to minimise brain space. One-syllable words are very common, and two-syllable words are typically reserved for important concepts and proper nouns.


To allow for the majority of its words to be single-syllable, Xsoura has one of the highest number of phonemes across all of Etharai's languages. It is much easier for them to convey these sounds, even in a manner that may not sound natural when speaking, due to the fact that they do not have to actually speak the words - only know how they sound. These sounds are passed down from parent to child mentally, using telepathic speech. To the xsenda children, this telepathic speech from their parents is vital to their language development. The majority of Xsoura's consonants are voiceless, as voiced consonants are a bit more difficult to mentally pronounce.

Xsoura: Origins

The telepathic speech of the xsenda closely resembles spoken language, despite being entirely telepathic. This leads some to believe that the language was originally a spoken language, before the xsenda switched to speaking entirely telepathically. This explains how the xsenda originally knew how these phonemes sounded.


Plosive/p/ (p)/p̪/ (ph) /t/ (t) /ʈ/ (d)/c/ (c)/k/ (k)/q/ q/ʔ/ (')
Nasal/m/ (m) /n/ (n) /ŋ/ (nh)
Trill/ʙ/ (pp) /r/ (rh) /ʀ/ (rr)
Fricative/ɸ/ (fh)/f/ (f)/θ/ (th)/s/ (s)/ʃ/ (xs)/ʂ/ (ss)/ç/ (ch)/x/ (x)/χ/ (xh)/h/ (hh)
L. Fricative /ɬ/ (sh)
Approximant /ɹ/ (r) /j/ (j)
L. Approximant /l/ (l) /w/ (w)




Close/i/ (i) /u/ (u)
Near-Close /ɪ/ (y) /ʊ/ (ou)
Close-Mid/e/ (e) /o/ (o)
Open-Mid /ɜ/ (oa) /ɔ/ (ao)
Open /a/ (a) /ɑ/ (au)





The permitted syllable structures in Xsoura are V, CV, VC, CVC, CVCC, and CCVC. This allows for consonant clusters of up to 4 in two-syllable words, but this is very rare.
Different syllable structures in single-syllable words also have meaning. In single syllable words:
  • Words with a syllable structure of V are pronouns.
  • Words with a syllable structure of CV are prepositions.
  • Words with a syllable structure of VC are conjunctions.
  • Words with a syllable structure of CVC are verbs.
  • Words with a syllable structure of CVCC are nouns.
  • Words with a syllable structure of CCVC are adjectives and adverbs.
Xsoura does not have determiners, nor does it distinguish between adjectives and adverbs.
Two-syllable words are incredibly rare in Xsoura, preserved for proper nouns and things of incredible cultural importance. Two-syllable words are not restricted by the syllable structure rules of single-syllable words. Names are some of the most common two-syllable words, and are typically formed by taking two existing words and combining them together. Some other two-syllable words include xselta, toukojr, xsenda, and xsoura.

Irregular Words

While most of Xsoura's irregularity comes in the form of two-syllable words, there are some irregular single-syllable words as well. Thry, the language's copula, is one such irregular word, formed by a unique CCV syllable construction. Other irregular words include pshol, slpar, and rlur. Though the xsenda would never admit this, and doing so would be considered heresy, the likely origins of these words is through loaning from Gedalp, the language of the abyssal kuuyikar.

Non-Phoenetic Morphemes

The xsenda are able to communicate not just sounds, but also emotions. To the xsenda, conveying emotion is much easier than communicating speech. While this can be used to communicate the emotions of the speaker, it is not often used this way. Interestingly, the xsenda have begun to use emotions as morphemes in their language. The most common uses of emotion in communication are:
  • Sadness (sad.), used to represent negation
  • Anger (ang.), used to represent questions
  • Happiness (hap.), used as a diminutive
  • Contempt (ctp.), used on pronouns to refer to kuuyikar
  • Frustration (frs.), used to represent plurality
  • Boredom (brd.), used to represent possessive pronouns
  • Confidence (conf.), used in place of a pronoun when referring to oneself
  • Jealousy (jl.), used in place of a second person pronoun
  • Surprise (sup.), used as the language's narrative tense
  • Fear (fr.), used as the language's conditional mood
These emotions are represented in writing with the following syntax: word(emotion, abbreviated). They do not in any way represent the actual emotion of the speaker regarding the things they are talking about, with the exception generally being contempt for the kuuyikar.


Word Order

Xsoura uses VSO word order when speaking in the present tense. This word order changes when speaking in different tenses. The past tense is denoted with OVS word order, and the future tense is denoted with SVO word order. OSV can be used for the passive tense, and VO can be used for the imperative mood.

Adjectives and Adverbs

Adjectives and adverbs precede the noun or verb that they are modifying. There is an implicit order for adjectives in xsoura, that being: opinion, colour, age, condition, shape, material, purpose, origin, size. Originally, xsenda would place more important adjectives closer to the noun, but this has since evolved into the current adjective order.


Prepositions occur at the beginning of prepositional phrases.



1S, 2Si
1PL, 2PLy





Loan Words

Xsoura does not have very many loan words, mostly due to the fact that the people speaking it are fairly isolated from the rest of the world, and the one other community that lives in their vicinity is not on good terms with them. As such, xsenda reject the concept of loan words on principle.
Note: In the present tense, the singular first person or second person pronoun is often dropped, replaced entirely by the emotion representing it.
Expand for full Vocabulary


thryto be
shixsto do
mojto swim
jomto twist
xhedto tread (water)
bboassto blow (bubbles)


loxsp(water) current





krhoud thadxsGood morning.
shixs(jl.)(ang.)How are you?
shixs(jl.)?What are you doing?
hhest thry au(ctp.)They(PL., referring to kuuyikar) were here.
shixs(jl.) tyksDon't do that!


moj loxsp roa(jl.)Currents swim with you.Well wishes; common goodbye
xhed xselta ou(They(S.)'re) treading water.Going nowhere with life
bboass(jl.) tha kasc(You're) blowing bubbles at nothing.Making a big deal out of a non-issue
moj(jl.) fha(sad.) loxsp(frs.)(You're) swimming against the currents.Complicating an issue; doing something not worth doing
fuch dassqEat brine!A strong profanity
jom(jl.) tisk(conf.)(brd.)(You're) twisting (my) tail.Lying; tricking
thry lsouxh chdat ou(They(S.)'re) as smart as tarrock.Not intelligent
rot ou thylfh(They) are from the surfaceIncredibly different or unusual


Please Login in order to comment!
Dec 12, 2023 11:28 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I love the inclusion of emotions in the language to mean different things. That's a nice twist. :)   Eat brine is a great profanity.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Dec 12, 2023 14:47 by spleen

ty! i loved writing about it :)

Have a wonderful day!
Jan 7, 2024 07:10

Nice article. It helped me realize that you can use () in tables (I was using <> for orthography). i think the use of emotions as morphemes is cool. If I had to offer one piece of criticism it would be that you don't have to write the orthography of a phoneme if it's the same as the ipa letter.

Jan 7, 2024 11:05 by spleen

I'm glad you enjoyed my article! as for the orthography - i just did that for consistency's sake.

Have a wonderful day!
Feb 17, 2024 22:35 by Aster Blackwell

I love the historical implications that they may have once spoken vocally, and that their language may have bits of Gedalp in it despite their hatred of the kuuyikar.

Feb 18, 2024 03:41 by spleen

yessss... theres much more to their history than theyd like to admit >:)

Have a wonderful day!