On Skavoon Language

Certainly before I go any further with mapping Shtakamashkan I need to work up something about the language. At this point, I don’t really need an ultra-complex grammar and such. What I need is a naming language for labeling geographical entities that is likely to be at least phonologically consistent with the language as it might develop later. This also needs to be consistent with existing names from the language.

The current corpus consists of Shtakamashkan, Skavoon, Chumusush, and, if I keep what I generated in WordBuilder, Sreskamak. I decided Waqu was an irregular or borrowed word from an earlier language(or maybe I’ll trash it).

I made some efforts, as mentioned above, to generate “Sreskamak” in WordBuilder. For a variety of reasons I’m not satisfied with the results. I really had no idea in mind about the language other than that my existing words might fit into it.

Having read a thread on triconsonantal roots in the ZBB and generally being fascinated by Arabic and Islam lately, I decided to try applying triliterals to the Skavoon language. I’ve also decided that the specific spellings  I’ve used thus far are not necessarily accurate to the language. Skavoon, for example, was cute, but I’m tired working around that silly “oo”. It’s closer to the actual skavun than “Germany” is to “Deutschland” though, so… hey!

Based on what I already have and a few additions, my root consonants would be sk, sht, shk, sr, sl, k, p and v. Additional consonants involved in word-formation would be at least m and n, although I will likely add w, l and r, if they don’t make this thing look too much like Arabic or Hebrew.

I have a few word-formations in mind already based on words I have in hand, although I’m not clear on what they mean, yet. The format I am using is words are in italic, word-formation schema are in bold capital Cs mark consonants or consonant clusters taken from the root and lower-case letters represent literals.

From skavun, I have CCaCun.

From shtakamashkan I have CaCamaCan.

From chumusush I have CumuCuC.

From sreskamak I have CeCamaC.

In writing, rather than leaving vowels unmarked, marked with diacritics or, as appears to be the case in Arabic, occasionally marking vowels explicitly, I intend to have grammatical symbols initial to each word marking the type of the word. These symbols would certainly mark nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs or whatever sort of general parts of speech might ultimately exist in Sreskamak. They will also likely mark more specific elements such as a very complex set of declensions and conjugations.

Based, again on what I already have, I can presume some very general meanings for a few of my triliteral bases.

s.k.v very likely means something like, “people/person.”

sht.k.shk might mean, “place.”

sr.sk.k might mean, “talk/speech.”

chumusush means, “swamp,” but I’m not sure what kind of root to use for that.

As we see from the CCaCun formation, it seems like a may have to work out alternate clusters for some CC pairs. For instance, applying CCaCun directly to the sht.k.shk triliteral results in shtkashkun, which might be barely tolerable, maybe. Applying the same pattern to sr.sk.k would result in srskakun, which is getting pretty exotic. If we were to use shk.shk.sht, we would get shkshkashtun, which seems to be begging for an alternate form. Certainly, repeated consonant literals should be altered.

Anyway, this is the beginning of a naming language with some potential for growing into something genuinely interesting I think.

This entry was posted in Mapping, Planetary Stuff, Projects, Science Fiction, Skavoon Project, World Building and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to On Skavoon Language

  1. Arne Sostack says:

    That does look pretty interesting.

    I guess you could have skavun match CCaCun with ?-SK-V or SK-?-V like in the examples in one of the first posts on ZBB:

    ?-CH-L “eat” > ‘ochel “I/You/He eat(s)”
    R-?-H “see” > ro’eh “I/You/He see(s)”

    Of course, I don’t know nearly enough about this to say whether or not a solution like that would be acceptable.

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