Ancient Feldean is the hypothetical language of the long-lost Feldean
peoples, a Lost Tribe
from Ventral E
which became extinct sometime between 800 and 1000 AE. Evidence of what Ancient Feldean sounded like is very difficult to come by, as there are no extant written accounts of the language or any known desendents of the species among the Freelanders
Occasionally, individuals or families of Freelander ethnicities will come forward with oral histories which include the exisence of 'cat people' whose descriptions broadly match those of the remains found at Feldean sites. While such assertions would normally be dismissed, researchers in the New Cobalt Protectorate
especially have noted that the stories are remarkably consistent in certain details. In fact, when these stories are paired with the knowledge (via certain loanwords) that the Feldeans and Lepidosians
were related and early Lepidosians may have had contact with early Rostrans
(most likely in The Curved Time
), it becomes possible to speculate on certain aspects of Ancient Feldean based on its potential influences on ancient proto-Iuxat
Ancient Feldean is not known to have any orthography of its own, though whether this is the result of the lack of such a script or the simple loss of artifacts over the millenia is similarly unknown. No oral accounts of written Ancient Feldean script have been forthcoming, either, though it should be noted that (aside from a few difficult to interpret fragments of Piplekre na Tae) written history as it is known to modern researchers didn't begin in the Manifold until some point after 3900 AE.
From what scattered oral accounts exists, researchers have surmised that Ancient Feldean was mostly analytic in nature.
Archaeological evidence indicates that Feldean society was matriarchal and stratified, perhaps even having social caste structures reminiscent of commensal insects like bees. Ancient oral accounts gathered across Freelander sources suggest that this stratification may have extended to their language, with several tiers of honorifics and even 'taboo' words which could not be spoken in the presence of different social classes.
The exact number of sounds that Feldean had is unknown, though it can be surmised that it had more verbs and consonants than Tae na Lepidesn
or Guild Pidgin
but less than modern Vozendi
. Feldean was also noted as being foremost among languages beneath the Manifold Sky in its inventory of glides and fricatives; ancestral tales often describe the language of the 'cat people' as sounding akin to 'stones sliding upon stones.'