|Total speakers:||c. 400000|
|Genealogical classification:||East Aryan, Puntic|
|Basic word order:||VSO|
Talarian (native name Tenxwwar Haryuça) is an Aryan language of the East Asian branch of that great language family. It is spoken in the kingdom called Teleran, north of Westmarche and a way to the northwest of Auntimoany. Its sister language, Yllurian, is spoken in the neighbouring country of Yllera. Some thousands of years ago, according to ancient histories, the sea around which the proto Aryans, the Punt, lived experienced some devastating cataclysm, generally accepted to be an earthquake and subsequent flood. The destruction of this land precipitated a mass exodus in all directions and gave rise to several great language families in both East and West: the Aryan and the Semitic. The ancestors of the Talarians wandered for a time in the east amongst the ancestors of the Persians and Indians. They were much influenced by these peoples and acquired not a few cultural, religious and linguistic borrowings. The ancestral Talarians continued into the East, at last arriving in the vicinity of several moribund Archaic Empires. They settled in the lands of the old Yllemese kingdom, and in later years moved across the Severn River into Teleran proper.
Texts in Talarian.
Some examples of religious / spiritual mantras:
ssreyfti-he teywas-cos aretel; Talomatan-tây fféwencati, coss-he tây camaporos.
On high rides God; to Earth he bends, her lover. (a mantra)
coss-he hâstan-sa-han yesam punerrohati-na; coss-pe hâstan-sa-ut-te yesam punerrohti.
What enters your mouth doesn't defile you; rather what leaves your mouth defiles you.
wárkasssweti sass-he wiros-tos:
ffrencato pûrahamtar-ta pûray-cây sactussa.
These things a man should do:
feed the hungry;
feed the cattle;
bring firewood to the holy fire.
A translation of an ancient tale, owis ekwoskwe:
Wellan-cohes, weweysi walmanussa-ne xowios-ca hahâms, içatla maxuça waconar-can rómati, iriloss-he wiram sserewana ffárati. Xowios-coss hahames feffâti: Cartay-ca-he mamass haxanatar, wirahaharomomtoss. Hahas-toy xowiay-ca feffâti: Harcato! Xowie, cartay-ca-he wososs haxanatar, wirawalmanffartaromtos, xowiay-he walnar-ssa-ne! Tlewehetasa, xowios-cas sexoman-sa-han xaxâtenti.
Upon the hill, a sheep with no wool saw some horses, one of which drew a large waggon, the other of which swiftly bore a man. The sheep said to the horses: "It pains my heart, to see the man leading horses." The horses replied: "It pains our heart, to see the man wearing wool; and the sheep has no wool!" Hearing this, the sheep fled into the plain.
There are several writing forms used in the modern language. There is, first and formost, the native syllabary. This comprises a number of cuneiform syllable-signs, largely derived from ancient Ehrranean models. Second, there is also the simple alphabet, which is a series of letters derived also from the ancient cuneiform syllabary, but using a spelling convention more in line with that of other languages using pure alphabets. A very important part of reading and writing any Talarian text is the pervasive use of certain ideograms -- derived typically from western cuneiform, or else Anian or Syansyan ideograms -- wherein a single word or idea is not spelled out with letters or syllabics but in stead is associated with a unique sign. Additionally, it is possible to write Talarian using a modified Rumish alphabet, common to many realms of the Eastlands. Lastly, there is the issue of religious writing: whenever one encounters a mantra or logion spoken by a saint or a god within a Talarian religious text, this will be written in the Yllurian language and using the appropriate writing system.
The writing system is based primarily on the ancient cuneiform in use in the Great Western Empire during the period of Talarian history known as the Migration. "...For lo! Your blessed ancestors, peace be upon them, took from the great Western Empire in ancient time six score and six symbols of writing, mighty in lore, great in virtue. Look! The ancients wrote upon stone and river clay -- if you doubt me, travel yourselves into the sunset with the caravans into the great Western Empire and see for yourselves with your own two eyes as I once did!..."
The first image shows the standard cuneiform syllabary in its "upright" or "square" form. There are also cursive forms. Talarian has two cardinal vowels, A and O a secondary vowel, I and two "colourings" of vowels, E and U. As you can see, E is a coloured form of I and U is a coloured form of A. The chart is set up according to the traditional sort order of Talarian sounds: I E A U O P T K Q H HH X M N FF F S SS L R W Y with TR as a late addition. The first line of each block shows the plain vowel sign; the second line shows the consonant-vowel signs and the third line shows the relatively rare vowel-consonant signs. Talarian scribes tend to agree with the ancient Puntish practice of spelling, e.g., "Talariyyas", a Teleranian person, is spelled (when written in syllabics, mind) TA-A-AL-AR-I-I-AS.
The second and third images show random pages from the dictionary of Talarian glyphs. These are unit signs, mostly of cuneiform origin, though some are derived from Anian pictograms or else Syansyan pictographs, and serve as either a root or a complete word. Sometimes scribes will leave the glyphs uninflected, other times they will add proper inflections. Notice in the sentence above the syllabics how the scribe has placed the inflectional marks above the root words.
The sentence itself reads: TSANAR-a-ti PURSAS-MACUIS-as hamalcmar-DUC-[post.means/manner], though a scribe would, quite naturally, "translate" all that Sumuriyya technical jargon into actual Talarian. It reads "puts to paper / writes the noble scribe treasure-of-clay with", literally, "the scribe writes on clay tablets"! Clearly, there has been just a wee bit of semantic shift in what "hamalcmar-DUC" means anymore, since in modern times, Talarian scribes all write with brushes on a paper-like substance!
The wording of the banknote is fairly standard and familiar to the collectors of paper money equivalents in any universe. Across the top it reads "GREAT TALARIAN GOVERNMENT TREE-CLOTH TREASURE"; down the left side: "TAKE & PAY OUT EQUALLY (.i. "at par") IN STANDARD RING-MONEY (.i. "coin") OF ALL WORLD-REALMS UNDER STARRY HEAVEN"; on the right: "CITY OF ILLENERE" (which is the capital). Across the middle it reads: "PROPER DECREE OF LAW". The central picture is of the World Tree, a mythological symbol whose seven fruits of Midworld, as well as the seven stars of Overheaven and the seven gems of Underworld form a symbolic retelling of some of the World's most ancient sawyery -- the myths surrounding the Seven Powers and the Creation of the World itself. And probably some other things more eschatological in nature. The Seven Squirrels of Regenreck, you know.
Talarian paper money always depicts the exact value of the note in, not only writing -- way over on the left margin is the word RINAR -- but also in pictures. In this case, the rinar is worth four gold tarxam (< dirhams < drachma) each worth three silver tarxam, making their dollar worth twelve silver dirhams. Lower value notes depict their value with images of stacks of copper falar (< falus < follis); but note that the coins are always tied together, a sign of complete value. Dollar notes are very large indeed, this rinar note being about nine inches wide by 12 inches tall. At the very top and bottom are the serial numbers: 1-3-11-1, which in base-10 is 2304.
An ancient symbol that appears on many Talarian currency notes, and indeed on many objects, temples, churches, books, houseware articles, clothing, etc, is the sewwastilar (compare with Sanskrit swastika). It is a generalised symbol of good luck and well being. In Telerani culture, it is particularly associated with all things auspicious and wonderful. It is also a Sun sign and has been seen as a variation of the various Sun wheel symbols common to all ancient Aryan mythologies in the Eastlands. Anciently the Telerani were Sun and fire worshippers, and the Sewwastilar was a common symbol even then. Fire is still central to the modern religion, but is not actually worshipped. Their cousins, the Yllurians, are still Sun worshippers and the sewwastilar figures prominantly in their culture. There are various beliefs concerning the different meanings of the symbol's orientation. Meanings vary considerably for sunwise v. whiddershins orientation and there are also differences between the "resting" (symbol sits on its flat sides) versus the "leaping" or "dancing" (symbol stands upon its corners). The notes show all dancing sewwastilar, and some ascribe a more Active and Auspicious character to the symbol in this aspect.
This is an image of a greeting card such as might be found in the bazaars of the Eastlands of the World. This card comes from the land of Telera and depicts a scene common to both of the major religions of the land: the Nativity. If you are a Kristian, then the image of the gospel of the infancy of the Lord Krist is well known, how the seven angels led Maryam to a hospitable cave outside of town where certain shepherds kept their flocks on a chilly night. It is here that Ye Shue the Lightbringer comes into the World and meets the various astrologers and wise men who come to pay their veneration to him, the lord of the New Kingdom. If you are a devotee of the Way, or even one of the minor native religions, then you will be familiar with the festival of the Twelve Nights. Feasting, lighting of candles or lanterns at the twelve points of the Ring of the Invincible Sun all herald the nativity of the Lord Metras, when seven angels appeared to bring news of the Lightbringer’s arrival from the stone of a cave.
The text is a rather generic seasonal greeting, appropriate for anyone regardless of their particular religious persuasion: petanarshafflatanhe takahan pancata pelewarkatasihan teyo sactâlemtilelhan. This means “inner-peace & blessing to your family fulfilled on this sacred night.” Across the top, the big glyphs are inimit, inner peace and shwe, blessing; along the sides are the glyphs imiras, family or clan, cuculear, sacred and elemtilas, the night sky. Grammatical apparatus and all the other words appear in a rather formal cuneiform syllabary. At the bottom of the image is the title of the icon, Haraxar, the sacred cave of the Nativity.
The card is produced by the Ymperiall Scrivners, a publishing firm located at Wharf 31, in the City, should anyone be interested in obtaining a catalog of their products. A card such as this would most likely be block-printed from a woodcut, though stone or bronze lithography would not be out of the question.
The Written Glyphs:
The other script forms are sometimes referred to as puntiyyapapos (Puntish syllabics) and Ruumiyyaxaraffiyyar (Rumelian letters) respectively, though in all honesty I don't rightly know why. Neither system has anything to do with either the Puntish empire of old (apart from being the ancestral nation of the modern Talarians) nor modern Rumnias. I blame it all on folk etymology. Well, actually, some of the runic letters are related to Rumelian letters. Obviously H (long "e" & "hh"), P (medio-final "p"), M (medio-final "m"), E (medio-final "s") and F (initial "w") are very similar to the Hellado-Ruman letters that came east during the Migration. Most of the other letters are, in fact, descended from the cuneiform syllabary.
The cursive syllabics are quite reduced in number from the full cuneiform system: all but maybe six or so letters are of the C+a variety (four are of the a+C and one each is o+C and e+C. Any other vowel is shown by a system of tiny vowel points, which you can see above several of the letters. Unlike the full cuneiform system, you don't find any of the ideograms and certainly none of the classifiers; but in common with the other system, you do find a lot of spelling compromises. Some of these are aesthetic in nature (like -qa for -ka, I suppose because the scribe finds the letter Q prettier than K), others might seek to avoid cramming too many minims together.
Alphabetic writing is perhaps more straightforward -- there is a letter for letter correspondence between the text below and the written sample. But a different set of complications arises: in this system, there are letters for certain long vowels and most consonant signs have at least a distinct initial form while a couple have distinct initial, medial and final forms. This example is pretty "pure", but there is one momentary lapse where the writer reverts to a scribal trick of using the letter FF as if it were a syllabic FFA. As you can see, A is the most common vowel, and it is customary to leave it out when writing alphabetically (which I guess kind of defeats the whole purpose of having an alphabet in the first place!), so the reader still has to know the language pretty well to know when an A should be inserted and when not.
The Basic Text, as read by an interpreter:
The basic English translation is:
The funny thing is, the English translation doesn't actually well translate what the Talarian text says, and what the Talarian hearer hears when the text is read aloud don't either! Everyone kind of loses out, apart from the writing scribe whose wordlore runs pretty deep.
What the scribe actually wrote is this:
O Respected God, Heavenly Papa!
The transcription convention for the glyphs is: all caps (e.g. "PURS") indicate an ideogram, whether used as a word root, grammatical apparatus or classifier; small letters (e.g. "we.wo.ya.ta") indicate syllabic signs. Following the paternoster is another old Kristian prayer:
XARATA.QOL.HE QOL.XARATA.HE TRAYA.SAMCTA.a.ya APAS.am.an TIQIRTUMUW.a.ya SAMCTA.SSETU.a.ya HINIMTUQ.ma.an.sa.ta.pu.ur.an.ka.na.ar e.ka.ssa.as.ta.ha.ta.sa.ka.ta.ka.ti.el.la.i.qu.u.xa.wi.wi.ssi.ta.qa.a.ssa.xa.a.ta.ta.sa.ka.ta.fa.o.ol.ya.an ho.ol.ta.an.i.te.ko ho.ol.ta.an.i.ha.al.to KI.SATIUM.al.ha.an KI.MARTUW.al.ha.an ALPHA.XOMIN.OMEGA ALPHA.XOMIN.OMEGA ALPHA.XOMIN.OMEGA
Glory and honour, honour and glory to the all-Holy Trinity: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Peace and edification unto the one, only, holy catholic and apostolic church of God that is from one end of the Earth to the other East and West. Amen.