Monday, August 25, 2008

A Systematic Examination of Cheyr'emeth

This is a thorough and scientific examination of Cheyr'emeth, the ancestral language of the Es'mensis. I will examine in particular the Cheyr'emeth spoken and preserved in the child-cities of Peresine. The city of Llelain will serve as my primary reference and in cases of contradiction Llelaic Cheyr'emeth will prevail. For ease of comprehension Cheyr'emeth's proper script will be rendered into the Cairainean mode of writing.

First, a study of Cheyr'emeth's pronunciation:

Double Consonants - When one sees a transliteration with two consonants side by side it represents an actual, brief stop between sounds. For example, the Cheyr'emethic word rendered as muetteret is pronounced "muet" (stop) "teret." Thus, the "t" sound is articulated twice.

i - The Cheyr'emethic sound rendered as "i" as always a short sound, similar to the "i" of "bit." The front of the tongue, however, is generally higher and curved slightly backwards.

ch - /x/, The sound rendered into the Cairainean script as "ch" represents a voiceless palatal fricative. To approximate it, make the "h" sound of "horse" and then raise the tongue so that air flow through the mouth generates an audible friction.

e - /ɛ/, The Cheyr'emethic "e" is similar to that of our native tongue. However, the tongue is slightly higher and more tense.

y - /jʉ/, "Y" is a diphthong pronounced almost like "yu" in our tongue. It begins with a sound very similar to our "y" but the tongue quickly curls upward and the lips become slightly rounded.

r - /ɾ/, "R" is pronounced quickly, with the tongue tapping the roof of the mouth only briefly. It sounds like a trilled "r" but is only trilled once. Before an "i" sound it usually transforms to a sound closer to "d." Instead of tapping the roof of the mouth, coming back down, and then forming the "i" it simply blocks the air flow and then continues on to form the "i" sound.

m - /m/, This sound is pronounced as in our speech.

th - /θ/, "Th" is not as hard as it is in the language of Cairaine. The teeth are not quite as close to the tongue. Otherwise, they are similar.

s - /s/, "S" at the end of words becomes much more like a "t" sound, otherwise it is the same. No air accompanies the creation of this sound.

The Cheyr'emethic writing system:

Cheyr'emethic writing symbols actually only represent vowels. Consonants are represented by articulations and alterations to the basic vowel symbols.

Cheyr'emethic consonants each belong to a certain class. The written markings refer only to a specific class of consonants and not to specific consonants themselves. In addition, the same word can be read differently in different contexts, despite having the exact same spelling. In these cases, the consonant(s) typically vary within the same class.

The Cheyr'emethic Lexicon

Muetteret Escalon at Nisseres Rue - "The Sea's Judgment at Escalon"
Oretsec Ca - "Erosion by Time"
Uries Mor at Rohem Seiru - "I have found God's grace."

At - A conjunction that combines two related phrases. Also serves to indicate grammatical relationships between two phrases.
Ca - A temporality marker. Indicates some relation to time. The particulars of this relationship are inferred by context.
Oretsec - Erosion/wearing away/withering.
Uries - A pronoun for old things. Occasionally euphemistically used to refer to the Cairainean concept of "god," though its definition would be more precisely rendered as "it which is old."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Uries Mor at Rohem Seiru

"Uries mor at rohem seiru."

This is the keystone, the foundation of temerity and the fruit of prayer. Whether known or unknown, these five words are the object of our every hunt, spiritual or otherwise, and to utter them truthfully is the completion of a life's work.

Seek them with diligence.

And yet what we have here is not religion, neither ritual, neither superstition. Give me hierarchy, that I might crush it under heel and chain it to the promontory at Eschalon. Ask me the source of this grace. I will show you that, in the asking, there is no certain truth. Answers in this place are useless, and questions are of dubious power unless you will ask them of yourself. Only things discovered first hand have the touch of veracity.

Bound to this realization is the certainty that you must act. Truth comes only to those who find it. Certainty is an absolute, and if you do not seek then you cannot help but hide. There is truth to be found in all corners, whether it be in the granite calculi of the ordani or the a'esse poetry of the wrestrim.

Know this, and seek.
Seek this, and find.

(Translator's note: A'esse is a Cheyr'emeth word used for things that are not ancient now, but will be in the future. As such, it implies permanence or long-lastingness.)