Fealty to the King
The epic novel by Milo Swanton now for sale.
Historical Fantasy
Blog Postings
More on Languages
September 21, 2014
I used historical parallels regarding languages. A mother language, Iriack,
Creating a Language
September 9, 2014
The Snarshyimt, a sensible people, would have a phonetic language, so I
Creating Characters
September 6, 2014
Twice while writing Fealty to the King I found myself at my keyboard thinking,
What is Fealty?
July 2, 2014
I'm surprised more people don't know what fealty means. To say it in two
World Building
June 17, 2014
I never decided one day to create a world. It merely happened over many
Creating a Language
September 9, 2014 - The Snarshyimt, a sensible people, would have a phonetic language, so I thought about the unique sounds in English, the only language I know well.
I immediately determined that c, q, and x are redundant consonants, and then I recognized that ch, sh, and th are consonant sounds without their own letter in our alphabet. Later I realized how z in azure represents a second sound for that letter, and so I identified 22 unique consonant sounds, each needing its own letter in the Snarshyim language.
The biggest reason English has so many spelling irregularities is a severe shortage of vowels. A languages expert once told me we have 15 vowel sounds, but only 5 vowels for spelling them! Of course the sensible Snarshyimt have 15 letters for vowels, which makes spelling easy. They have no need for spelling tests in their schools, and a spelling bee is as unchallenging a contest for them as a game of tic tac toe.
Having identified 37 unique sounds for the Snarshyim language, I defined a Snarshyim alphabet. I wanted the characters to accommodate an LCD or LED display for a reason to be revealed in my future (but not next) book Moonstar Quest, so I wrote down the different combinations of using the seven bars on the dual-square format of such a display. I only used the combinations that required the full dimensions of the squares, so each letter uses the same amount of space on a written page.
I had the idea to combine the letters for blends, which didn't work well for LCD/LED-based characters until I had the brainstorm to turn them sideway. Then two dual-square characters could be combined into a single triad of squares. Since the first character lost its first half, I was left with only 10 unique possibilies for a first blended consonant, so I studied which ones were most common and assigned them accordingly.
Concerning blends, I was surprised when I figured how the sound that's spelled tr in English is actually chr when spelled phoetically.
I chose t to make words plural in the Snarshyim language, so it's different than English, and t is actually better because it blends with more other consonants than s does.
The Snarshyim language has no curse words. The Snarshyimt think being offended by a sequence of sounds is silly, so when they curse, they simply say, "Curses!"
Milo Swanton