Mudeweian Stenza Language in Mudewei | World Anvil
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Mudeweian Stenza

Mudeweian Stenza is a language isolate originating on the planet Mudewei, out of the host of dialects spoken among the Stenza. It is unique in that its evolution as a language (rather than a host of different languages spoken by members of the same species) is thought to have been heavily influenced by the evolution of the Collective Knowledge in its modern form, as well as everyone's close proximity to one another. While there are dialects, accents, and unique phrases across the Ice Flats region, their mutual intelligibility is argued to be a result of the Collective.   A "standard" dialect is the dialect of Strares, one of the northernmost settlements and where it was agreed by tradition to place the capital of a unified Stenza polity. This dialect has become the lingua franca of the Stenza and later, The Nine Systems, as well as the default setting for Universal Translators (such that anyone without a translator will be hearing a host of people from a host of species all using the same language). However, it is still common practice to use the dialect of one's clan when conducting prayers and reciting Khe'drakha, with the notable exception of the Clan of the Lost (where using the dialect of one's clan of origin is the norm).

Geographical Distribution

Spread across the entirety of the Nine Systems, Mudeweian Stenza serves as its official language and the "default" setting of the translator chips the empire implants in all residents.


Lexemes as Applied to Names

  Most Stenza names are derived from common or uncommon terminology (and older names will have meaning that has been buried in the Collective for quite a while, and is harder to access than other information). As such, this distinguishes the lexeme related to a name from the lexeme related to the term itself, much the same as with English lexemes "EAT" and "EATER".  


  Use of adjectives in Mudeweian Stenza is incredibly rare. Instead, affixes are used to convey information about a noun or verb.  
  These alter the form of the word in order to add an ending such as "-ka/-ika/-oka" and similar ("-kha/-khei" is a rare variant of this used by several clans, but is not seen in the standardized form of the language for state business). For example, a Stenza might, on learning of the Earth religion Catholicism, describe a practitioner of that religion as "Katoika", but the religion itself as "Katlite".  
  Plural suffixes are softer-sounding, such as "-ei/-en/-ive/etc." They are much more varied and case-specific, being highly dependent on the original spelling and sound of the root word in order to work. For an example, a Stenza might describe one pedophile as a "paška", but a group of such filth as "pašei".  


  In the Stenza language, formal speech is set apart from informal speech by the sounds used, which are generally "softer" and contribute to slightly longer words (a good example being the dol'ge/dulan'the distinction). Children learn that this is a sign that the speaker has a good control of his or her temper (especially in the case of informing superiors of potential military disaster) and a good head on his or her shoulders. Formal language is used to address ranked officers in military affairs and conflicts, clan elders or Droghi in matters of grave importance, and the Leader in all circumstances. It is also commonly used around the clan of someone with whom the speaker would like to be more serious relationship-wise. In all other circumstances, informal speech will suffice (and sometimes formal language will sound incredibly pretentious). (Speeches and addresses are an interesting case where a blend of formal and informal speech is the preferred style.)  

The Adjectival Form ḍevúḍevú

"ḍevúḍevú" is a Stenza word which literally means "something which is itself", and describes a particular word form used to express the ineffable qualities of a given object. Typically this is applied to religious concepts ("úlêúlê", which translates to either "space has spaceyness" or simply "spaceyness" depending on context; "ùrpǒùrpǒ" is frequently used to describe those qualities of a star as a physical object that make it especially suited to house a divine entity, as well as the mere religious fact that this is what stars do in the universe as the Stenza understand it). It is especially common (to the point it's a stereotype) for religious experts to use this form a lot while attempting to convey key concepts to students.  

The kela

The kela is a mark (often ' in non-Stenza writing systems) that serves as a separator, denoting two parts of a word which must be said with equal emphasis (i.e. Ta'zhen, Saeh'han, Lan'tha, Y'eṣto (and the derivative phrase "Ȟây’eṣtîkoyæ’!")). While ' may be used in transliteration for other purposes (such as for T'zim-Sha or T'zu-Crae), this is distinct from a kela in function and is never used in the Stenza writing system.


Gender as Applied to Names

  Most of the Stenza dialects recognize four grammatical genders: male, female, they, and it. "Male" and "female" are reserved exclusively for deities, intelligent life, and animals (as well as their corpses and "it" is reserved for inanimate objects and plants in certain cases. "They" is a funny case in that it can apply to deities, intelligent individuals who take the pronoun up for themselves, plants in certain instances, and spacecraft. This property informs the morphological "shape" of nouns, including proper nouns. (For an example of the type of shift this can induce, a phrase such as "reṣaka ṣai", meaning something like "tiny has privileges", can be warped into the feminine "Ta'zhen", or the masculine "Šer'ka".) The four genders are used primarily to convey general information about the object or person under discussion (such as whether it is an object or a person under discussion), which is otherwise excluded, particularly in written work where determinatives are involved.   Most often, the names of individuals are aligned with the gender the individual wishes to express, although individuals outside of Stenza culture have been known to inadvertently cause confusion. (Angstrom, a female Albarian, has sometimes been mischaracterized in Stenza coverage of the final Rally of the Twelve Galaxies as male or a plant of some type. Her name does not translate neatly, and standards in reporting have gotten much more lax by this point.)


Labials Dentals Retroflex Palatals Velars Uvular Glottal
Plosives p t d ʈ ɖ c k q ʔ
Fricatives f v ɸ s z ʒ š ž ʂ ʐ x ȟ χ ħ ʕ ɦ
Affricates ʦ ʣ č ǰ
Nasals m n ɳ
Liquids l r ɾ ɬ ʎ ʟ
Semivowels ɥ ɹ ɰ
Front Central Back
High i ü ɨ ʉ ɯ u
Close e ɪ ʏ ö ɘ ɵ ɤ o o̞
Open ɛ œ æ ɜ ɞ ə ʌ ɔ
Low ä ɐ ɑ ɒ

Selected Audio

  Consonants   ʈ; ɖ; ʔ; ɸ; ʒ/ž; š/ʂ; ʐ; x; ȟ; χ; ħ; ʕ; ɦ; č; ǰ; ɳ; ; ɾ; ɬ; ʎ; ʟ; ɥ; ɹ; ɰ   Vowels   IPA Vowel Chart

Sentence Structure

Stenza languages favor the word order verb-object-subject. To borrow one of their examples: "Lohei k'pasha rai", which literally means, "Disgusted by the filth I am." It is an idiomatic phrase related to the English meme "Observing this filth unsettles me" (and also a rare use of an afformative prefix in the language, refer to above), but dates back to much older times in a form of linguistic convergent evolution. (An English example of this kind of word order would be "Loves him she", "Killed Goliath David", or "Picked the flower I".) However, most commonly the subject is omitted altogether, especially in spoken conversation, where context is generally assumed.


1661 Words.
Successor Languages
Common Phrases
child rapist
honorific denoting the leader, translates roughly to 'commander'
Lo'hei k'pashi rai.
"Observing this filth unsettles me."
reṣaka ṣai
something like "tiny has privileges"
a long-form biographical or autobiographical poem that is typically recited by a professional orator to the beat of a drum
yes (inf.)
yes (form.)

Articles under Mudeweian Stenza


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