Ahbee’s Notebook, excerpt

13 Nov

Language notes [Imperials]:

The language has clicks, trills, and harmony. Speakers speak/whistle in different keys for different types of situations (different key for battle than for home use than for study than for royal court).

The language is tonal with rising & falling inflections.

Due to the species’ mouth parts (no mobile lips), the language has no labials or nasals.

It has high, mid, and low whistles. It has the sounds /s/, /t/, /k/, /q/, /?/; plus alveolar clicks /x/, a dental click /tch/, a lateral click /tk/, a palatal click /tq/.

For electro-sensing-related words, speakers use a sound between /l-r/ in which the tongue is rolled back to expose the electro-receptor glands.

The command form of verbs also incorporates a uvular trill /R/ made with the throat walls. Humans describe it as a “command purr”.

Emphasis and emotion are also conveyed by clashing wing casings and snapping body parts in various ways.

Language is sort of “sung” in keys that indicate formality and emotion.

This language can be complicated for humans to learn because hearing takes up a bigger percentage of these aliens’ brains than hearing does in humans.

Their written language is more simplified than ours, though. It’s sort of written like a music score. The “key” it’s in is denoted by a geometric shape at the beginning of passages.

In transliteration to the English alphabet, three vowels in a row (iii) indicate a rising tone, two vowels in a row (ii) a steady tone, and one vowel (i) a falling tone.


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