Languages that survived the Cataclysm are descendants of five Earthly languages. In order of prevalence, these are English, Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, and Russian. A few small pockets of languages descended from Cantonese, German, Romance dialects, Persian, and Urdu, can also be found. All of these languages are significantly different than their Earthly predecessors.
The language of Saint Vengeance and the Hellic expansion. Hellish is part of the English family, and uses the roman alphabet. (Ed. note: because Lezarouth wrote in Hellish, a glossary of some untranslatable words has been added to this site.)
|au foul||ou bought||œ|
|ou bought||ō||oa, ô|
|þ as in thorn||s||s|
|θ as in then||z||z|
|ĕ, ĭ, ă (unstressed)||ə||e, eh|
|l as in girl||au as in foul||au|
Hellish underwent a vowel shift, in much the same way that the vowels of English shifted from Anglo-Saxon to Earthling English, and in the same direction. The chart at right shows the major changes:
Hellish is more "throaty" than English. A few differences are worthy of note. The letter "a" is always pronounced "ah" unless inflected. Double vowels are pronounced long, although "uu" sounds more like the "oo" of "pool" than the "you" of "cuke." Although proper Hellish spelling uses "oo" for the long "o" of "pope," I have taken the liberty of changing it on this page to "oa," since Englis speakers tend to pronounce "oo" as in "pool."
Hellish "l" and "r" both have a more aspirated quality than in English. "W" is usually "hw," even more so than English, such as the past tense of the verb "to be": "hwuz." Most other consonants are unchanged.
The following table shows how to pronounce Hellish spelling.
Edenic is the other principle language descended from Earthling English.
|Edenic Vowel Shift|
|l as in girl||ǝ||e|
Edenic vowels tended to move toward shortened versions. Dipthongs sometimes become two syllables, as do some consonant pairs. For instance, the Earthling English "great" shows both these features, with a schwa interposing between the consonants and the diphthong split into EH-yǝ it becomes gereyet /gǝ-REH-yǝt/.
The syllables "tǝ" and "kǝn" are at times inserted into words, hence, "bull," which probably had an interim pronunciation of simply /bǝ/, became bute /BUH-tǝ/.
Another peculiarity is the tendency for stress to fall on the second syllable "Argument" becomes argeiment /ar-GEE-yǝ-ment/. The exceptions, words like bute, demonstrate another rule: inserted syllables like "tǝ" and "kǝn" put the stress on the preceding syllable.
Edenic contains more latinate words than Hellish, and it also has some loan words from Yeirøpi, which is itself an latinate language. For instance, the suffix "-ito" to designate "little" or "dear," has Yeirøpi origins, although in Edenic, which is non-gendered, "-ito" is used for both male and female.
Single vowels are usually pronounced short. Long vowels are often indicated with a vowel pair, typically a silent "e," the one notable exception being the "ei" spelling, which indicates a long "e" and a diphthong, hence /ee-yi/.
|þ as in thorn||th|
|θ as in then||zh|
Edenic is non-gendered, but it has a functionally similar grammar element called sølling, or "ensoulment." Nouns are either søld or sølless. They take different articles, and are referred to by different third-person pronouns. There are no first or second person sølless forms, because an object that is sølless cannot speak or understand. While all people and animals are søld, not all inanimate objects are sølless. Most plants are søld. Many mechanical devices are søld, as are books, musical instruments, works of art, swords, and guns. Some less momentous objects are søld, such as windows. Abstact concepts vary. Addiction is søld, wealth is søld, but the mind and the marketplace are sølless. When in doubt, consult a reliable Edenic dictionary.
|Third Person Subjective||lee||et|
|Third Person Possessive||leez||iss|
|Third Person Objective||lem||at|
Yeirøpi is a minority language on Istedden. The Yeirøpi people have traditionally gravitated to mercantile professions, and so the language is viewed by other Edenings as hinting at wealth and moral laxity. Largely latinate, it has ancestry in both French and Spanish.