Proto-Duinis 'Éch Language in Samthô | World Anvil
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Proto-Duinis 'Éch

History and related languages

Proto-Duinis 'Ech was the language used by the Duiniken during the beginning of the Era of the Earth when they still settled in the area that is now the east of the Confederation of Tarrabaenia, the land of the Mdûlûn south of the Moiyeli Swamplands and even parts around the edges of the Moiyeli Swamplands. The first tangible proof of the language's existence are the carvings on the eastern rock face of the Mols Mountain in the southern part of the Sévo Mountain Range. They have been carved some time around the year 10 of the Era of the Earth, shortly after the Duiniken first settled down in the area. Proto-Duinis 'Éch was in use in written form up until the eleventh century when the last of the Duiniken were driven east. It is not known if the language actually underwent changes during the second to eleventh century, but slight changes in grammar and word use in the stone carvings indicate such a development. After the Duiniken were driven east written records cease to exist. The Duiniken split up into three groups dispersed across the eastern coast of the continent of Erana. It is clear that they speak languages that are derived from Proto-Duinis 'Éch. More remnants of the language can be found in some languages of the Andaperna, where some of the Duiniken settled down introducing some of their vocabulary of grammatical features. There are also small Duiniken societies living along the slopes of the mountains south of the Moiyeli Swamplands about which not much is known.


The phonology of Proto-Duinis 'Éch is not too complex.
There are 16 consonants: b, d, f, g, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, c(h), hh, fh, ' (glottal stop)
There are 5 vowels: a, e, i, o, u (and their long versions, indicated by an acute)
These can form four diphthongs: ai, ei, ou and ui
The vowels can be long or short. Lengths are indicated by the acute on the vowel (in transliteration only).
The phonotactics allow only consonants at the beginning of a word. These can form the following clusters in word-initial position: sl, sm, sn, hhl, hhm, hhr. Within words all consonants can be put together, so long as a pairing is preceded and followed by a vowel. Consonant clusters are not allowed at the end of a word.


The morphology of Proto-Duinis 'Éch is quite complex. In short it has a four case system with a nominative, genitive, dative-locative and accusative. The nouns have three genders: masculine, feminine and neutral. The two numeri are singular and plural and agreement is shown in noun-, adjective- and preposition-inflection. Verbs have a system of inflection showing rather aspect and mode than tense. The latter is shown by adverbials.

Writing and Script

Proto-Duinis 'Éch is preserved in stone carvings which date from the second to the eleventh century of the Era of the Earth. These have been commissioned by the rulers or religious elites of the old Duiniken people. The earlier carvings are exclusively religious and are carved into rock faces of mountains with cultic significance and grave stones.
The content of these carvings is always a combination of text and picture. There are two clear tendencies to be seen. Whereas religious carvings tend to develop from a very realistic and artistic style in earlier times to a more abstract and geometrical style in younger pieces. This is true for the carvings marked religious sites of importance, be it in nature or in temples. Grave stones or memorial stones went the other direction, starting with very simple depictions of singular actions or even symbols ans developping to a style where the text is mainly a commentary to very ornate reliefs showing scenes or narratives. Sometimes this goes es far as only having cartouches giving something similar to the title of a chapter accompanying the scenes depicted or a very detailled relief showing all kinds of deeds the person commemorated accomplished and a small cartouche on the side saying: 'These are the accomplishments of [Name].'
The script of Proto-Duinis 'Éch is surprisingly smooth and rounded. This is because of the technique used to produce the carvings. Whereas in most cases stone carvings are chiseled into the hard surface, the Old Duiniken employed a technique using an alchemical mixture to soften the stone and mostly brushing the dissoluted parts of. Yet when washed off with water the rock got as hard as it was before again. This makes the pictures almost look like they were made of stucco and the texts as if they were written with brushes or sponges, which they most likely were, as we have visual evidence of this on two gravestones and one Res Gestae of one of the rulers of one area.
This writing technique enabled the old Duiniken to write quite long texts. As the language is quite well understood by scholars from the Confederation of Tarrabaenia, two things have become clear: the inscriptions leave no space between words but separate clauses by inserting a dot. Also they for the most part don't include diacritics used to indicate vowel length. We only know vowel length existed because of a few stones having diacritics.


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