Haloed Bane

A Primer on the Universal Tongue

There being only one natural language in the Incudea-ruled universe of Belklaun, no single, succinct and widely accepted way of calling it exists, as there is hardly ever any pressing need to distinguish it from anything else. One does indeed find various artificial languages, created out of the need for secrecy, and so there is a word for language in general, janoish, which can refer to both the universal language and the artificial ones. The former, however, is usually simply not specifically referred to.

One name heard with some frequency for the tongue is Joso, an abbreviation of janoish suvaia, or "universal language". Use of this term began in Incudean Army circles, but it has attained some sort of quasi-official status among civilian populations in various Exotic Systems, especially where vassal populations are strong. The Incudean overseers of correct language-use call themselves the Academy of Graceful Feeling (Belti nur Pelrenpezoma) and tend to use the term Pelren, as for them, the employer of correct speech not only speaks with grace but speaks grace (i.e. pelren) itself. A similar association existed among the Revons from time immemorial with the name of Treasurers of Speech Mastery (Limbaneth nu Jauneglar in Rendama), though there is no doubt that the Academy as it stands today was a consciously designated successor to the dread Academy of Dolentis (Belti). That organization of gryphon-scholars (bel means "gryphon", though Incudean historians debate the extent to which the term was ever more than metaphorical) was dismantled after the Third War, but its linguistic functions were taken over by the new Incudean Academy. In any case, although both Revons and Dolens had their own names for the universal tongue, none have survived the Incudean peace.

The name used in this primer is Horgothic (from Horgotorui or Horgotrui), which is by far the most common term in use by the older Incudean populations in the Near Systems. Horgoth of Angenaria is or was a mythical celestial being (delfina) credited as the first entity to employ her throat and mouth to sound out words, as before that time everyone used to communicate telepathically.

This primer consists of a few lessons around a short passage. The format is inspired by UT Austin's Early Indo-European Online lessons housed here. The grammar and phonology follow the standard prescribed by the Academy. The romanization scheme replicates the logic behind the Hepburn system for Japanese: pronounce vowels like in Spanish or Italian and consonants like in English.

Lesson One (grammar)
Lesson Two (grammar)
Lesson Three (grammar)
Lesson Four (grammar)
Lesson Five (script)
Lesson Six (script)
Lesson Seven (syntax)
Appendix: Paradigms