A Brief Study of the Dwarven Language

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Book11.png A Brief Study of the Dwarven Language is a book by Professor Torber Laun of Acadh Cinn. It can be found in the Royal Library in Empo Sar.


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A Brief Study of the Dwarven Language
by Professor Torber Laun of Acadh Cinn

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Dwarves themselves seldom teach their language to others, but after observing dwarves and their language during my stay in Tâgilime, and conversations with less conservative dwarves I met, I've managed to get translations to a number of words, and the entire set of numbers. I've also learnt that the language the dwarves use today was developed sometime during the Age of Myths to be used were non—dwarves could hear it. This new language however, slowly took the place of ancient dwarvish in most areas, and by the end of the previous age, ancient dwarvish was barely spoken anymore. After the Shadow War, almost all knowledge about the ancient dwarvish language was lost, a great grief to all dwarves. 

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VOLUME I: Introduction 

Dwarves often talk about three dwarven "tongues"; ancient tongue, dwarrow tongue and common tongue. 

Ancient Tongue 

A mostly extinct language, only known by a selected few. It is considered a holy language and is only used on a very few occasions. The ancient tongue was gradually replaced by the dwarrow tongue sometime during the previous age for reasons unknown.

Dwarrow Tongue 

The dwarves' own language. The origins of this language is unknown as it has very little to do with the ancient tongue of the dwarves (although a few similarities may be found). Dwarrow tongue is seldom used in communication with other races, both because very few others know the language, but also because dwarves are reluctant to teach it away. 

Common Tongue 

The common tongue is the language spoken by almost everyone on Erasan. The dwarves' common tongue is a bit different from normal common tongue, but is fully understandable. One can say that they have a very distinct accent or dialect. 

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VOLUME II: Ancient Tongue

The ancient tongue is considered a holy tongue to most dwarves, and it is only used on specific occasions. There’s also strict rules on who may utter the words of the ancient tongue, and it is strictly forbidden to speak it so a non-dwarf can hear it.

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VOLUME III: Dwarrow Tongue 

Chapter I: Words 

Dwarven words seem to mainly consist of two or three consonants supplemented with vowels to constitute words. These consonants are called radicals, and seem to be common to all words with similar meanings. The word "Gold" in dwarrow tongue consists of three radicals G—L—Z, and would normally be written "Gilaz", and would mean gold in general. Here's a few examples: 

Gold coin: Gûlz
Gold ore: Gil
(metal) Shiny gold: Golz
(metal) Reddish gold: Galaz
(colour) bright and shiny: Ogolz
(colour) soft and yellow: õgôlz 

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Chapter II: Numbers 

The cardinal numbers from 1 to 9 have three genders; masculine, feminine and neutral. From ten forward, however, there's only masculine.
0 — Nûl,
1 As — Atz - Ach,
2 Mi — Mitz — Mich,
3 Es — Etz — Ech,
4 Limmu — Limmutz — Limmuch,
5 La — Latz — Lach,
6 Va — Vatz — Vach,
7 Na — Natz — Nach,
8 He — Hetz — Hech,
9 Nuk — Nuktz — Nukch,
10 Don,
11 — Doneas,
12 — Donemi,
13— Dones,
14— Donelimmu,
15 — Donela,
16 — Doneva,
17 — Donena,
18 — Donehe,
19 — Donenuk,
20 Midon,
21— As—e—midon or Asemidon (One and twenty),
30 Esdon,
40 Limdon,
50 Ladon,

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60 Vadon,
70 Nadon,
80 Hedon,
90 Nukdon,
100 Kof,
234 – Mikof-e-limmu-esdon (Two hundred and four and thirty),
1000 – Tav,
2345 – Mitav-e-eskof-e-la-limdon (Two thousand and three hundred and five and forty),
1.000.000 – Mal

Note: You may choose between having “-” between the words in the number or just write it as one big word. However, numbers above 10 is usually written using numbers.

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Most dwarves, if not all, are taught the common tongue at an early stage as they are reluctant to speak their own language with foreigners. Their way of speaking, however, is usually quite distinct. Here's a few noticeable differences compared to standard common tongue spoken in Emposia: 

— Trilling Rs
— Joining syllables: Two short words are usually pronounced as one. Come on=>"c’moan", do you=>"d'ye" etc.
— the G in "—ing" is left out: Evening=>Evenin
— Different vowel combinations: e.g. "ou" becomes "oo"
— The use of words such as "lad", "lass" and "wee" etc.