Ways of Darkness
Ways of Darkness
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Archaic Lizardman language

From Ways of Darkness
Language: English
Archaic Lizardman
Khas Ut Dzrai
Pronunciation[kʰas ut̚ d͡zrai̯]
RegionAncient Lizardman Empire
EthnicityLizardmen
Extinctevolved into Early Classical Lizardman around 15 000 BEKE
Lizardman
  • Archaic Lizardman
Lizardman cuneiforms
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Archaic Lizardman was the language of the Lizardmen and their ancient empire in the first five millenia of the Ancestral Era. It is also the very first language to be ever attested and have written records, other than the ritual Massenpreost Despotanfras language, which was attested during the same period as Archaic Lizardman. Even though the language was eventually eclipsed by Classical Lizardman and its descendants, it still served an important purpose by fossilizing the various native toponyms in Artograch.

A lot of words from now-extinct languages spoken by now-extinct species or peoples were transcribed into Archaic Lizardman, being the only source of knowledge of those languages.

Phonotactics

Archaic Lizardman had a relatively simplistic syllable structure:

  • An optional initial
  • An optional medial /r j w/
  • A mandatory vowel, as part of the final
  • An optional coda, which may be either
    • a glottal stop /ʔ/
    • a glide /j/ or /w/
    • the rhotic /r/
    • the sibilant /s/
    • one of the three unreleased stops /p̚ t̚ k̚/

Initials

Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal /m/ /n/ /ŋ/
Stop Aspirated /pʰ/ /tʰ/ /t͡sʰ/ /kʰ/
Plain /p/ /t/ /t͡s/ /k/ [ʔ]*
Voiced /b/ /d/ /d͡z/ /g/
Fricative Voiceless [ɸ]* /s/
Voiced /z/ [ɣ]*
Sonorant /l/ /r/ /j/ /w/ /h/
  • The dental series /tʰ t d l/ were denti-alveolar [t̪ʰ t̪ d̪ l̪]
  • The alveolar series /n t͡sʰ t͡s d͡z s z r/ were apico-alveolar [n̺ t̺͡s̺ʰ t̺͡s̺ d̺͡z̺ s̺ z̺ r̺]
  • /r j w/ also appear as medials
  • Some analyze the null-initial as a glottal-stop /ʔ/ initial.
  • /ɸ ɣ/ were rare and mostly appeared only in loanwords from Massenpreost Despotanfras. They were probably mispronounced as [pʰ g].

Medials

Old Lizardman medials were /r j w/. With a few exceptions, they could appear before all initials:

  • Syllables with /j w/ initials may never have medials of any sorts. Some analyze such syllables as having null-initials, and the "initial" /j w/ as medials instead.
  • /r/ medial can never appear after /l/ initial

Finals

/j/ /w/ /m/ /n/ /ŋ/ /p̚/ /t̚/ /k̚/ /ʔ/ /s/ /r/ [ɾ~ɹ]
[a] [ai̯] [au̯] [am] [an] [aŋ] [ap̚] [at̚] [ak̚] [aʔ] [as] [aɾ~aɹ]
[e] [ei̯] [eu̯] [em] [en] [eŋ] [ep̚] [et̚] [ek̚] [eʔ] [es] [eɾ~eɹ]
[ə] [əi̯] [əu̯] [əm] [ən] [əŋ] [əp̚] [ət̚] [ək̚] [əʔ] [əs] [əɾ~əɹ]
[o] [oi̯] [ou̯] [om] [on] [oŋ] [op̚] [ot̚] [ok̚] [oʔ] [os] [oɾ~oɹ]
[i] - [iu̯] [im] [in] [iŋ] [ip̚] [it̚] [ik̚] [iʔ] [is] [iɾ~iɹ]
[u] [ui̯] - [um] [un] [uŋ] [up̚] [ut̚] [uk̚] [uʔ] [us] [uɾ~uɹ]
  • The schwa [ə] never appeared in open syllables.