Current thoughts on how humans ended up on Galhaf. Humanity originated on Earth. Modern Galhafans know they did not evolve on their planet, but they don’t know where the original homeworld of humanity is located. Over 10,000 years have passed from the time humanity arrived on Galahf to “today” (so, technically, “today” is actually the distant future - although they’ve only just reached our current level of technology)
Having some Thoughts about my conworld. Envisioning a massive anti-colonialism revolution on the continent of Kraya, which was exploited by Odiran cultures
The Declarations (wafPazgalai in Classical Kasshian, singular waPazgala) were part of the rite of passage in classical Kasshian society, associated closely with Kasshi Paganism. The Declarations marked ones transition from childhood to adulthood or, less commonly, from one role in adulthood to another role.
Typically beginning at around the age of 17 years [Note: A year on Galhaf is equal to about .71 Earth years], a child would be taken under the guidance of the local priestess to be taught the ways of adulthood, and would be encouraged to ask older adults about their roles in society. The priestess would guide them in rituals involving meditation and entheogens to discover their True Self, and find their tonçimili, a sort of guardian spirit or patron deity. Upon reaching the age of 20, they would be encouraged to formally declare the role they intended to take in society, the gender they would take, and to choose a new name. It was expected that the Declaration would be made some time before the 21st birthday, though it was permitted to wait longer. Though, if one waited more than two or three years, there would tend to be a great deal of pressure to choose something. Once a role was accepted, it was difficult, though not impossible, to change that role. It was considered especially understandable if the role initially chosen was the same as one’s parents and the new role was significantly different, as it was understood that it could be hard to break away from one’s childhood experiences. The term Declaration was used for any such declaration of a new role. In the case of a later change in adulthood, they were distinguished simply as “First Declaration” and “Later Declaration”
Once one had made their Declaration, the new role was formally marked through a number of symbols. Clothing changed from childhood styles to styles associated with the new adult role, or from styles associated with the old role to styles associated with the new role in the case of a later-life change, and the old name was no longer used
In the case of a First Declaration, it would also be followed by tattooing. There were certain tattoo patterns associated with every societal role, with two exceptions: slaves and priestesses were not tattooed. Slaves did not undergo the Declaration ritual. In the event of a slave gaining or being granted their freedom, they would then make a Declaration within a few years of being freed. Immediately after being freed, their new status would be marked with a specific tattoo, and their clothing would change. In a Later Declaration, there would be further tattooing to indicate the change of status. Certain other life events were marked by tattoos. A basic summary of one’s life history could be seen by tattoos.
Empress chiNikan was the last empress of what later historians would refer to as the Second Kasshi Empire. She began her reign as a champion of the traditional Nrastaist faith. Early in her reign, she greatly increased imperial funding of Nrastaist temples and set out to stamp out heterodoxy, calling several conferences for the purpose of establishing an orthodox interpretation of various religious debates. She also gradually repealed the long-held tolerance of other faiths, culminating in the destruction of their worship sites. Her reign descended further and further into dictatorship, as she built up a fanatically loyal corps of defenders dubbed the Sacred Guard. She had her rivals murdered, including nearly the entirety of the Imperial Family. A few fled the Empire and lived in exile in other nations, or in disguise. Eventually her paranoia and her delusions of grandeur reached such a point that she declared herself a new prophet, and established a new religion, turning on the traditional faith itself. For several years, her power remained near-absolute, but eventually her enemies banded together to overthrow her. There were also rebellions in various parts of the empire and secessionist movements. Civil war broke out. Eventually her supporters were defeated. Her enemies finally reached the imperial palace. After a fierce fight with fanatical members of the Sacred Guard, all of whom sacrificed their lives for her, the imperial palace was taken. ChiNikan herself was not found, however. Rumors circulated that she was still alive and plotting to return to power. Legends still exist that some day she will return to rule the Kasshi, a sort of anti-King Arthur, and many believed she was not human, but a demon in human form. In the chaos following the end of her reign, the rebellions on the fringe, revivals of suppressed faiths and sects, and rival claimants to the throne, the Empire shattered. The heart of the former empire descended into decades of fighting between rival claimants to the throne, and local warlords who seized power over small territories, eventually settling into several sovereign states, the rulers of all of which kept the old title (which is why in the modern descendants, the cognate of the old word for Empress now refers to lesser offices, such as a noble title or governor). It would be centuries before a reunified Empire would appear. Meanwhile, each of the new states had its own religious hierarchy, and the Nrastaist faith would never be as united as it was before.
Hey guys~ I’m challenging myself to work on Tereseket more in-depth, by translating one sentence from this wonderful list a day, until I’ve completed all 218! They get more complicated as the list goes on (sort of). This is an excellent way to test your syntax etc. and I suggest it to any conlanger having issues, or any veteran wanting to re-explore the basics of their lang.
To start off, I’ll actually be doing the first 4 because of their similarity and because I have these structures worked out already.
I’ll start with the first 10.
1. The sun shines
1a. Zhikalabelva tonKazhan
1b. Zhika-labi-la-va ton-Kazhan
1c. Light-give-it-hab G10-Sun
Lit. “The Sun gives light”, incorporating the object “light” into the verb “give”. Also grammatical, but slightly formal-sounding, would be Labelva tonKahanal wazhika putting tonKazhan “the [main] Sun” into the ergative case and wazhika “light” in the absolutive. Ton- is the gender 10 prefix (gender 10 is used for celestial bodies and deities). -la is contracted to -l after vowel-final verbs
2. The sun is shinging
2a. Zhikalabelçi tonKazhan
2b. Zhika-labi-la-çi ton-Kazhan
2c. Light-give-it-nonpunctual G10-Sun
Using the nonpunctual aspect instead of the habitual aspect changes the meaning from something that happens regularly to something happening at the present time.
3. The sun shone
3a. Fazhikalabelçi tonKazhan
3b. Fa-zhika-labi-la-çi ton-Kazhan
3c. Past-light-give-it-nonpunctual G10-Sun
-çi can be dropped with a slightly different connotation. Using -çi emphasizes the period of time in which the Sun was shining, using the punctual aspect (no suffix) portrays the shining as an event. It would tend to be used to refer to a long-ago day or to emphasize a very brief moment of the Sun shining, for example, if you were describing an overcast day, and you mentioned that there was a brief break in the clouds.
4. The sun will shine
4a. Naizhikalabelçi tonKazhan
4b. Nai-zhika-labi-la-çi ton-Kazhan
4c. Future-light-give-it-nonpunctual G10-Sun
Same comments as with sentence 3 apply in regards to -çi
5. The sun has been shining
5a. Zhikalabelçi tonKazhan
5b. Zhika-labi-la-çi ton-Kazhan
5c. Light-give-it-nonpunctual G10-Sun
No difference from sentence 2, only context would differentiate.
6. The sun is shining again
6a. Pūzhikalabelçi tonKazhan
6b. Pū-zhika-labi-la-çi ton-Kazhan
6c. again-light-give-it-nonpunctual G10-Sun
7. The sun will shine tomorrow
7a. Naizhikalabelçi laspel tonKazhan
7b. Nai-zhika-labi-la-çi laspel ton-Kazhan
7c. Future-light-give-it-nonpunctual tomorrow G10-Sun
8. The sun shines brightly
8a. Zhikalabelçi wabitakkan tonKazhan
8b. Zhika-labi-la-çi wa-bitakka-n ton-Kazhan
8c. light-give-it-NP G6-brightness-commitative G10-Sun
Lit. “The Sun shines [gives light] with brightness” nouns in the commitative or instrumental are the most common way of forming adverbs.
9. The bright sun shines
9a. Zhikalabelçi tonKazhan tombitaka
9b. Zhika-labi-la-çi ton-Kazhan ton-bitaka
9c. light-give-it-NP G10-Sun G10-bright
10. The sun is rising now
10a. Naisaklaç kavi tonKazhan
10b. Naisā-la-çi kavi ton-Kazhan
10c. Rise-it-NP now G10-Sun
The -ā becomes -ak before vowel-initial or l-initial suffixes and -çi is contracted to -ç after vowels
I’ve been working on this with Kasshian Paganism. The deities themselves are generally thought of (at least by philosophers and theologians) as genderless, though they are often portrayed in art as gendered. There are lesser beings that are seen as gendered, though. And some are genderfluid or have other nonbinary identities. I’ve been working on an individual who is both mortal and divine, and both male and female. A bridge between the mortal and the divine world and between the male and the female, and is a patron of a third-gender priestly class. I’ve only worked out, so far, xir origin myth. Xe does not know xir own history, appearing in a forest one day, and commanded by a deity to approach a particular village where xe encountered a poor starving farmer, whom xe tested by commanding her to sacrifice her daughter to the gods. Xe was moved by her love when the farmer instead offered herself as a sacrifice, and made her fields fertile. In that story, I refer to hir as the Stranger, and xe appears as both a man and a woman in different portions of the story. Xe tells the farmer Klafoç ku pita ku nrakos, zhi fa switauç fel fa srakusoç fel which can be roughly translated as “I am [a member of the sets] man and woman, but I am [in truth] neither a man nor a woman”. It’s hard to translate into English, because both clauses use different verbs for “to be”. The first uses the verb klaf which means “to be” in the sense of being a member of a group or set. The second uses the prefix s(a)- which turns adjectives or nouns in to verbs meaning “be X”, with nouns, tending to indicate identity, and is the normal way of saying be for things like gender, nationality, ethnicity, etc.
A similar phrasing is used in the Declaration when a person announces they are a different gender than they had previously been considered. Actually, the practice of Declaration is done by everyone as part of adulthood ceremonies. One proclaims certain aspects of identity, including gender. One states “Faklafoç [chisheshta/natabi]. [Switauç/srakusoç/switalakusoç]” which can be translated as “I was [perceived as] a girl/boy. I am a woman/man/androgyne”
“When you say ‘he has seen the light’ you sound as if you mean ‘corrupted’” [Vimes] said
“Something like that, yes. Different worlds, Commander. Down here, it would be unwise to trust your metaphors. To see the light is to be blinded. Do you not know that in the darkness, the eyes open wider?”
From Thud! by Terry Pratchett
I love the Dwarfs in Discworld. Pratchett does, I think, a good job at portraying a society that lives their lives underground, in darkness, viewing the above-ground world with suspicion. The way he turns metaphors around is really good. And very logical given their society, too!
Metaphor is a very important thing to think about when worldbuilding, IMO.
Actually, 7-11 are etymologically derived as well.
7 (blanta) and 9 (blamfli) are compounds of the word blan (the original word for “6” - which also shows up in blammandu “78”) plus ta and fli, so six-one and six-three
8 (bichi - originally bīchi) and 10 (besshi) contain bi, abbreviated from kabi plus -chi and -sshi meaning “4” and “5”, thus “two-four” and “two-five”
11 (duta) was originally tanduta from ta naduta “one from twelve”
And it happens to be more ridiculous than French. I’m really good at making that happen, it seems.
So I was translating Rapunzel, and the version I’m using says that the tower’s window was 20 yards from the ground. Up until this point, I only really had the names of the digits in Síntári. And…
Classical Kasshian’s number system is a bit unusual, too. The ancestral language was base-6. The Classical language was primarily base-12, but elements of base-6 survived. The basic numerals 1-12 are as follows (for 1-5, the numbers in parentheses are used in compounding, see below):
- Tā (-ta)
- Kabi (-bi)
- Flī (-fli)
- Vandu (-chi)
- Daç (-sshi)
Vandu and mandu are formed with the prefixes va- (1/3) and ma- (1/2) with the contracted form -ndu from nadu.
The special compound forms listed in the table above for 1-5 are used to make higher numbers. -Ta, -bi, and -chi also make the preceding vowel long. So, 13-17 are as follows:
17. Nadosshi [u and o are allophones, as are i and e]
Above 17 things get interesting. The words for 6-11 are never used as suffixes. Regular multiples of 12 are formed by suffixing -ndu (contracted from nadu) to the basic numerals (there are several irregular forms). Numbers 6 greater than multiples of twelve are formed by combining the basic numeral, then ma- (1/2) and -ndu, then 1-5. That is, a number like 32 is kabimandūbi, literally “two and a half twelves two”. Multiples of six, with irregular forms bolded (and slightly irregular forms italicized):
36. Mitala (note: this is a vestige of the old base-6 system)
All remaining multiples of six are regular (/i/ and /u/ are pronounced [e] and [o] in closed syllables, thus, for example, 96 is bichendu).
144 is saçā. Multiples of 144 are formed with the basic numerals 2-11 plus -sshā (contracted from saçā). Note that 48 and 72 are derived from va- (1/3) and ma- (1/2) plus -sshā.
1,728 is zanta, and multiples of 1,728 are formed by suffixing -zanchi to the basic numerals. 576 and 864 (400 and 600 in dozenal notation) are sometimes vazanta and mazanta and sometimes regular vandosshā and mandosshā
20,736 (12^4) is kapalta, -palchi plus lengthening with multipliers (e.g., kabīpalchi for 2*12^4). Rarely, 6,912 (4*12^3) and 10,368 (6*12^3) are rendered as vāpalta and māpalta. Usually, they are regular vanduzanchi and manduzanchi.
After 12^4, the next power with its own word is 12^8 (429,981,696) which is tasanna, -ssanni with multipliers. Ma- and va- are never used with tasanna.
Nadu, saçā, and zanta can be used as multipliers themselves with 12^4 and higher.
Working a bit more on my conlang. Accidentally created a highly irregular noun. -_- The word for “lazy person”, somman in the singular, would be (based on sound changes from the ancestral language) sonnankani in the plural … those don’t even look similar. -_- So many weird inflections in Classical Kasshian.
EDIT: Okay, decided I’ll invoke analogy to semi-regularize this to sonnamani, a common pattern. soC- in the singular normally becomes so*Ca- in the plural (CK marks plural twice - in plural forms of the gender-prefixes and in the plural suffix -i) where C means “any consonant” and * means gemination. This noun involves the prefix n(a)- meaning “one who” which is why the regularized plural would be sonnamani and not *sommamani - the sequence -nm- assimilates to -mm- so it’s not uncommon to see singular/plural pairs with som-/sonna-