The Old Script II

Lani goes to Val for lessons in Nader-Canoch.

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The Old Script II

Postby Lani Stranger on November 25th, 2018, 10:17 pm

58th of Fall, 518AV

When Lani turned the corner to knock on Val’s door she found it open. She was able to come earlier in the days on her days off, so Val was not yet tired enough to close off his door to visitors.

”Good morning, Val.”Lani called in Nari before she entered. She had been coming to Val for various language lessons for the better part of the season now. Any and all of her spare time was spent practicing, and the mixed blood still took every chance she could to visit Val for a lesson. If he would let her, she would have liked to come every day, practicing with him when she could not learn anything new, but Val had obligations and interests outside of teaching her, so she was only allowed to come once or twice every tendays. All other practice had to be done by herself. For the Nari language, this was easy, because she got to used the new phrases on those she interacted with and learned new vocabulary from them as a result.

Nader-Canoch was a different story. The mixed blood had more confidence in that language, since she was not surrounded by those who spoke it better than her, and because she was beginning to learn it from a studious perspective, a way that she had not previously learned languages from the start. It was exciting and new, and for someone like Lani, it was addictive.

”Now, I’m sure you might have come today to learn Nari, but I was putting together a list of things you need to know in Nader-Canoch, so if you don’t mind, we should start with the Ancient Tongue today.”

”I don’t mind at all.” Lani said, surprised and pleased that Val wanted to get right to business. She glanced around the apartment to see that he had been cleaning, or at least reorganizing. His favorite bird companions were not perched on their usual snoozing perches, but the crow was hopping around the apartment following her instructor, chirping comments to him, that he seemed to be answering. ”I brought my Nader-Canoch notes as well as my Nari notes, because I wasn’t sure.”

”Excellent.” He chirped in Nari, and Lani wasn’t sure if it was for her or the crow. Far used to the routine of lessons with Val, she set the small pint of honey down on his table along with her notes and a fresh inkwell. She went through so many with him, she didn’t feel right just using his ink only, so she tried to replenish it when she could. Of course Val insisted on only having honey as payment, and she didn’t mind feeding that habit as well.

”Oh, you didn’t have to bring your own ink, I had gotten more.” Val explained in rushed Nari, and she blanked at him, trying to remember his words and slow them down in her brain so she could understand it. She followed his motions towards his desk and saw the fresh well of ink sitting beside the nearly empty one they had been using. It looked to be the same type that she had gotten, and realized they must have visited the same stall on market day, he had gotten ink as well.

”I want to.” She replied in Nari, thinking the answer would suffice, and turned to his desk to pick up his favorite quill. She supposed it was the communal way of living that these Inarta were used to, or perhaps he thought she was too poor to afford a proper lesson. Or maybe he even considered her an apprentice. The last option was least likely, because knowledge of languages was not an Avora job, even Val was not considered master of languages, he was the gatekeeper, not a scholar.

”Well don’t make a habit out of it.” He sighed in common.

”I won’t.” I will.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on December 12th, 2018, 4:44 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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The Old Script II

Postby Lani Stranger on November 25th, 2018, 10:18 pm

”Well, if you are ready to get started, I supposed we should start.” Val put two fingers to his shoulder to lift the crow off of it, sweeping beside the bird’s usual perch and depositing him on it. The white-haired Inarta then stepped over to the table, taking a seat beside Lani. He produced a parchment folded in his pocket, and handed it to her. On it was a long list of words written in the new language.

”Today you’re going to need to learn vocabulary.”

”Oof, something I am used to.” Lani commented, almost all of her lessons in Nari started with a hefty vocabulary review, and she was always collecting words in the Inartan language to bring back to Val to question the meaning of. Today, at least, she would be starting from scratch. It seemed the old man had taken on a different form of teaching, giving her the words outright and having her learn them that way rather than making her collect them. It would have been nearly impossibly difficult to find written Nader-Canoch, and she hadn’t seen the scroll she had found since she gave it to Kavisan, so it was good that he was taking this route.

”Not quite. Nader-Canoch is a weird Tongue. Each word has multiple meanings and depends highly on the context with which it is used.” Val said, flattening the parchment on the paper. He pointed to the first word. ”See, Abase, has at least four meanings, that I’ve written down. It can be interpreted to mean something slightly outside these meanings too, depending on what words it is paired with and how it is used.”

"Gah, that is confusing, why does each word have so many meanings?" Lani took the parchment from him when he handed it to her, smoothing out the folds on the table and reading down the list. Her eyes skimmed the words and as she sounded them out in her mind, she knew she was speaking them with the understanding of a Common Tongue, and that actually speaking them would make them sound different than she was thinking of them as.

"Because Nader-Canoch was mostly spoken before it was written, so a lot of meaning was understood by how the person was saying it, because of that it doesn’t translate well into writing and can be pretty ambiguous." As Val spoke, Lani let her eyes graze the vocabulary list he had assembled for her one more time. She tended to remember words better when she could write them out herself, so she began to uncork the inkwell and prepare the quill for dipping.

”I don’t see a context for ‘you’ on this list.” Lani said, placing two fingers on the paper for the words that she recognized, and looking up at the Inarta. ”I see ‘I’ and ‘us’?” The mixed blood’s words turned up into a question although it was not so much a question as an observation.

”Hence the ambiguity of the language.” Was Val’s simple answer. She looked up from the list and frowned at him.

”Your explanations are ambiguous.” She teased and the older Inarta chuckled a little bit.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on December 11th, 2018, 7:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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The Old Script II

Postby Lani Stranger on November 25th, 2018, 10:20 pm

”It is actually the first example of interpreting Nader-Canoch. Because the language has no form of ‘you’ one has to listen to the entire sentence to grasp what the speaker wants ‘you’ to do or be. But we are not quite to the grammar of the language yet. This season I just want you making sure your pronunciations and grasp on the vocabulary roots is good.” Lani nodded absently, not quite sure if she had understood what the man meant, although he spoke in clear common. She had usually learned languages by hearing them be spoken enough to grow curious about understanding them. With Nader-Canoch she had almost no prior experience with it, merely a dying curiosity to know it.

”Well, since you made the list for me, should I just read them out to you?”

”I think it is worth attempting, and it will show off your pronunciation skills.” Val nodded, leaning back in his chair and motioning for her to go ahead. Lani plucked the paper from the table, and set to reading them aloud, making sure she paused between words so that Val had time to correct her if she got it wrong. The half-Eypharian took her time pronouncing each letter of the word, making sure that she pronounced each one right. Val interjected periodically to remind her to emphasize certain consonants or make sure she was timing her diphthongs correctly, but for the most part Lani was able to pronounce each word with relative clarity, only having stumbled on a few words, or so she thought.

”Once more, I want to make sure they cement in your mind with the correct pronunciations.” Val instructed, and Lani’s cheeks warmed as she dragged her finger back to the top of the list, feeling the smooth worn parchment sliding beneath it. She was starting to realize that it was much harder to pronounce the Nader-Canoch alphabet now that the letters were strung together in a way that her mind wanted to pronounce like she would in Common, but could not. She continued on the list, paying attention to her diphthongs now as well, reading slower and paying more attention to the sounds. This time Val only corrected her twice.

When Lani had finished, her finger stopping on the soft worn parchment where the last word that started with ‘DJ’ began. ”Now I see, there is no ‘J’ in the alphabet, but it is connected to the ‘D’ to create the ‘Z’ sound, and so it is not a stand-alone letter. I hadn’t noticed that before.” She murmured to herself, before moving her finger to reveal the next word and then continuing on with her observations. Isakai. There is that one that was transcribed later on, because it has a ‘K’ instead of a ‘Q’.”

”Correct, the language is very old, and the first to be written, so while those who know it have done their best to preserve it as it was, it has of course evolved and changed at least a little in the past thousands of years since it’s conception.” Lani nodded, fascinated by the Nader-Canoch lore, and then procured her next question for the wise Inarta. Lani’s finger brushed slightly down the page until she reached the next word with a ‘K’.

”Can I use a ‘Q’ instead of a ‘K’ when spelling these?”

”I would say not, only because you are new. You will have to learn the language how it is taught to you, because as you become good enough to be able to interpret spelling, you will understand. In the meantime, just trust the ‘K’ and continue on.” Val instructed, and Lani almost frowned, but accepted it. It was a little confusing, as she had spent the past days focusing on pronouncing the ‘Q’ as a hard ‘K’ and having no ‘K’ in the language. Val had mentioned that it came in later transliterations, but she didn’t expect it to be such a crucial part of the vocabulary this early on. But she listened to the language master, not questioning it out loud. It was possible she did not understand now, like he said, and would understand later.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on December 11th, 2018, 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Old Script II

Postby Lani Stranger on November 25th, 2018, 10:21 pm

Pechi. She brushed past the word that was too close to a common vulgar word, although now that she knew how to pronounce the Nader-Canoch alphabet, she realized it did not sound the same as the Common curse out loud. Still, it looked too similar on paper, and glancing at the definition cemented it in her brain that this was the origin of the common swear. While trying to brush past that word, she nearly missed Ranuri. ”I recognize that word from somewhere.”

”I’m sure you do, I’m impressed you pronounced in the Nader-Canoch way instead of the common way. It is always a fun wake-up call when people realize their common words, and swears, have a root in the ancient tongue. In many languages, this is true.” Val chuckled his response, having caught her rushed pronunciation of the word that embarrassed her.

”No, not Pechi,” She said the word again, since it sounded different than the curse, it was slightly easier. ”Ranuri.” She formed her mouth around the word, memorizing its odd foreign sounds, and cementing the definition in her mind. She knew she would be reviewing this list frequently, trying to cement the definitions in her mind, but the few words that had stood out to her, for their roots in the common language that she knew so well, would be branded in her brain easy enough.

”Is that so? Read the definition; see if you understand where it comes from.” Desire, need, addiction. She recognized the definition as associating it with the word, but she still couldn’t place where she had heard the word before.

”I… don’t know for sure. Hmm, I guess I imagined it.” She shrugged, watching the Inarta. He seemed to not recognize the word, and so she let it pass, figuring she had heard it in passing in some way and found it was not important enough to her daily life to remember it.

”It is possible, but like I said, a lot of words in modern languages have roots in Nader-Canoch.” Val said, and she heard the distinct tone of a transition in his voice, he was ready to move on.

”One more question.” Lani’s finger rushed down the page to the last word that she found issue with, her curiously analytical mind wanting answers to all the little things she did not understand. Val had prepared material for her, but she was not satisified with just learning the shallow knowledge that was necessary for beginners, she wanted to know the nuances of the language and keep it close to her as she continued to discover the Ancient tongue. Ruwe.I thought there was no ‘W’ in Nader-Canoch?” She asked, recognizing the letter as not one she had been practicing.

”It is like the ‘K’, as the language passes through time it shifts and changes slightly, at the moment you are too new for me to explain the evolution of the letters, just use them as they are shown, and when you get better at it, you may question and seek answers. For now, you simply must learn.”Val slowed her down again, having an easy answer for the question she thought would be difficult. The language seemed to require a lot of fluidity and ability to go with the ambiguity that it presented, but the mixed blood was having trouble with rules being flimsy or up for interpretation. She knew that every language had exceptions and idioms, but it never failed to throw Lani off her game when encountering them. She took a deep breathe, staring down the unwelcome letter.

”Okay.” She sighed out in Nari, letting her interview on the vocabulary list come to an end. She relaxed into her seat, and Val chuckled at her, apparently finding her excitement and defeat amusing. She felt like a small child again and couldn’t help a corner of her mouth from turning up at his amusement. She knew it was not malicious, and so she didn’t mind too much. Val used the lapse of silence to continue on with his lesson.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on December 11th, 2018, 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Old Script II

Postby Lani Stranger on November 25th, 2018, 10:22 pm

”Excellent. So you can pronounce them. Because we got distracted while you were doing that, I haven’t had a chance to introduce you to what they actually mean. Words are used a little differently in the Ancient Tongue, so you have to pay attention to this. It’s going to frustrate you.” Sky blue eyes peered at her with an air of mischief and Lani grinned.

”It seems I chose a very hard language to want to learn.” She said, her own amusement with the situation putting him at ease that his only pupil would not be too difficult. She was beginning to accept the ambiguity of the language and was still eager to learn. ”Are these all the words in the Nader-Canoch language?”

”Not quite, they are all I could remember off the top of my head. Still, the language has a remarkably small vocabulary, so you will likely not come across too many more that you don’t recognize, once you are fluent. In the meantime there will be a lot that you don’t recognize, and it is simply because you don’t know the language well enough to recognize the roots. All of these words I gave you can be transformed and edited to mean slightly different things, depending on the context and use. We will likely not be able to learn about all of that today, so just focus on the basic words and definitions.”

”Oof, okay.” Lani ceded to his words, smoothing her fingers over the creases to flatten them as Val scooted closer to be able to read the words as well.

”You’re going to learn it eventually, worry not. Now!” Val chirped the last word in Nari, and placed his own gnarled elderly finger on the first word. ”The first word is Abase. I’ve written down a few translations for it, and if you notice, they are not all the same. They represent similar things, but we have noun definitions and verb definitions. The more familiar you get with the language you will also be able to turn this word into adjectives and adverbs, but that is too complicated for you right now.” Val explained, pointing to each word as he spoke. Lani followed his fingers, recognizing that each Nader-Canoch word had four to six definitions following it. There were no direct or similar translations like with Nari and Common, and the prospect began to intimidate her as she read down the list with him.

”So which one does Abase literally mean?” She asked, circling back to the first word of the list. The definition had three nouns listed and a verb, and at the moment Lani could not grasp how that was possible. She knew that some nouns could be turned into verbs and verbs into nouns in other languages. But a base word having multiple definitions? It was confusing.

Abase itself is a noun, but it is also a root for a verb and an adjective, so they are listed as meaning for it as well. There are no single definitions for these words, they all come with many interpretations that are somewhat similar, because that is simply how the language works. It relies heavily on context, and the very same sentence can had two very different meanings depending on how it is said. It is not a very solid written language, but it is beautiful to speak.”

”So Abase means ‘life’, ‘beginning’, ‘spring’, and ‘that which moves’? Those are all wildly different things.”

”Precisely. “ Val grinned and nodded, well aware that Lani was not grasping the concept, but not explaining it to her in a different fashion.

”Oh boy, okay, I don’t get it.”
Last edited by Lani Stranger on December 11th, 2018, 7:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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The Old Script II

Postby Lani Stranger on November 25th, 2018, 10:22 pm

”You have to ignore what you know about learning vocabulary for this, it is not the same. Our example, Abase means many different things, depending on the context, but will only mean one of them at the same time. Forget verbs and everything else, just focus on the nouns. Depending on the sentence, Abase could mean spring or life, and you would have to read the rest of the sentence in order to grasp which one it is.”

”But if all the words are a guessing game, how will we know?” Lani leaned back in her chair, crossing her arms. She was trying to keep an open mind with the strange language, but she was having trouble pushing past the barriers of the languages she already knew, and how they formed their vocabulary.

”That is where inflection, emphasis, and emotion is important. When speaking Nader-Canoch you speak with you emotions and emphasis on what you want to say. I understand it is hard to grasp with just pieces, but here, if you begin to learn some of the grammar rules it will make more sense. For example, words can be hyphenated to create compound words that describe something else. Nader-Canoch, the name of the language, is an example of that.”

”Nader-Canoch.” Lani formed the word in her mouth, tasting it anew as if she hadn’t been saying it fluently this whole time. It was perhaps the only word in the language she was super confident on, but that was to be expected since she didn’t know it. Immediately the half-Eypharian turned to the vocabulary list, identifying the base words for it, and realizing it had a more precise translation than some of the other words. ”We, us, our… word, speech. Our Language.” She spoke out loud, and when she looked up at Val, he was nodding and grinning with a knowing set to his lips. It then began to dawn on her.

”Well that makes it so much easier. If all the words have very ambiguous definitions but you can compound them together to explain what you are talking about…” Lani trailed off. She had just realized the concept and understood what he was trying to point out to her, but had trouble defining it clearly.

”The Ancient Tongue has building blocks on which words and meanings can be created. One could make up a word by compounding other words and even if it is the first time that word is spoken, others who speak the language will understand so long as they understand the roots of it.” He explained, forming a better explanation of her thoughts, and it made a lot of sense to the mixed blood as she listened. Immediately she began looking down at the sheet, pulling together words to try and form what she wanted to say.

”So like if one said Zapatl-Vino it would be like saying ‘heir’?” She turned to the Inarta and asked. He furrowed his brow at her word choice, and nodded slowly.

”Yes, I understand it as meaning a child that has heritage, or passing on to an offspring, but what is a ‘heir’?” He repeated her common word and realization settled on her as she realized the communal nature, and the nature of the Yasi caste in itself, prevented the Inarta from having to understand passing on through generations or heirs, like the Craven family in Alvadas or the Towers in Lhavit. Lani gulped and shook her head, deciding to pick another example to use to see if she was understanding it correctly.

”Nevermind, how about Daraq-Djunn? That would be like copying, yeah?” She questioned, trying for a concept that he would have a better chance of understanding.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on December 11th, 2018, 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Old Script II

Postby Lani Stranger on November 25th, 2018, 10:23 pm

”Yes, in a way, if you used it in a sentence I would better understand that was what you were trying to get at. It might be important to teach you what makes a word a verb. So if you wanted to use Pond to mean a thought, and would like to use it to mean ‘thinking’ you would edit the ending slightly.” Realizing a bunch of information was about to fall on her, she dipped her quill and pulled her scrap sheet closer to begin scribbling down his words. ”For a present tense verb you would simply replace the last vowel or consonant with a ‘t’. So Pond, meaning ‘a thought’, would become Pont, meaning ‘thinking’. To make it past tense you would replace it with ‘tl’ instead of ‘t’. So if you ‘thought’ something you would say Pontl. And if you were ‘to think’ something, in the future tense, it would be ‘tlas’. So Pond would turn into Pontlas.”

Lani was scribbling furiously. Realizing he might have gotten ahead of himself with dense language, Val paused, waiting for her to finish. Once she was done writing, she paused, digesting the information he had just given her. ”Okay, soo…” Lani turned back to the list, trying to find a word to attempt herself. Immediately her eyes fell on the word for copulation, knowing the verb well to use it to practice, but while it might be amusing to her, she didn’t think it would be funny, so her eyes scanned further down the list. ”So like, Vasat, meaning ‘a fight’ would be… wait. It would just be Vasat to mean fighting?” She scrunched her brow, realizing she might not have picked the right word.

”Yes, you picked an exception, but you can still turn it into past tense and future tense, go ahead and try.” He encouraged her, and she wrote down the word on her paper to visualize it better, adding the last few letters on as needed.

Vasatl to mean ‘fought’. And Vasatlas, meaning ‘to fight’?” She questioned, looking up at the man. It seemed simple enough. He nodded, and she dove for another word. Sutla Would be Sutlt?” She stumbled on the consonants and Val grinned and nodded. ”Which would then become Sutltl…” Lani faded out, knowing she did not pronounce it correctly at all, and cringing at the butchered word.

”In that case you would only say it once, making it Sutl.” He helped her out, and she sighed. It seemed no matter what word she chose she was finding exceptions, it made her think the language had no real rules, which was frustrating. ”And future tense?” He encouraged.

Sutlas?” She questioned and he nodded.

”I think that is enough for you to try and digest today. We will go over other grammatical rules later, but for now you know how to create nouns and verbs, and that is a good start.” Lani nodded, her brain feeling a bit numb. She was an Alvad so she liked to pride herself on her adaptability and willingness to follow a lack of defined rules, but she was educated in Zeltiva, and so she wanted structure and clear definitions when learning things, which was frustrating. Nader-Canoch, while endlessly curious to her, seemed far from an easy language to learn. Val spoke of a next time, but the Chiet was realizing she probably bit off more than she could chew. Learning one language at a time would be hard enough; she didn’t think Nader-Canoch was going to come up again. Still she valued the knowledge that she had learned, and would still take the notes home and recopy and organize them, practicing when she could, but she knew her progression on the Ancient Tongue would be slow, if she ever got around to it again, or found resources to help her. The prospect seemed slim.

Note :
-1.1 pinions for the honey and inkwell
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