Virtual Verduria


Barakhinei is a sister language of Verdurian, spoken in the mountain lands of Barakhún, Mútkün, and Hroth. Verdurians think it sounds harsh and primitive... of course, the Barakhinei consider the Verdurians to be spineless degenerates. Barakhinei has its own alphabet, and perhaps its most notable feature is the important sex differences: in effect, there are separate male and female dialects.

© 1999 by Mark Rosenfelder

Introduction * History Dialects Gender differences
Phonology * Dialectal variations Stress accent Orthography
Sound changes from Caďinor
Morphology * Nominal declension Adjectives Pronouns Numbers Conjugation
Derivational morphology * Nominalizers Adjectivizers Verbalizers
Syntax * Constituent order Noun phrases Articles Case usage 2p pronouns The subjunctive Prepositions Phatic particles Negation Questions Clauses
References * Conventional expressions Calendar Names

Map of Barakhun

Introduction [To Index]

Barakhinei, like Verdurian, Ismaîn and Sarroc a descendant of Caďinor, is spoken in the kingdoms of Rhânor, Barakhún, Hroth, and Mútkün, west of Verduria. Barakhinei scholars like to consider Benécian and Bešbalicue as dialects of their language, while Verdurians consider them dialects of Verdurian.

The map is labelled entirely in Barakhinei. Ferediri is Barakhinei for "Verduria". For Verdurian names see the Eretald map.

History [To Index]

Although the state of Barakhún was organized c. 2830, by the Caďinorian princes of the Eärdur made independent by the Curiyan occupation of Ctésifon forty years before, the official business of both state and temple was conducted in Caďinor. (That of the Arashei Church, strong in this area, was still conducted in ancient Cuêzi.) We have only snatches of 'Old Barakhinei' from this period; e.g. from the Glosses of Kâmbrek, which explained difficult words in the Aďivro.

A feudal state that had no truck with modernity, Barakhún, unlike Verduria, perceived no need to write its few documents in the vernacular; it produced no literature except official annals and religious exhortations; and trade beyond the shop level was carried out by foreigners, mostly Verdurians. Ironically-- for the Barakhinei are a warlike, male-dominant culture-- it was women who first developed Barakhinei as a written language. Noblewomen were taught to read Caďinor, but were rarely given enough instruction to write fluently in it; at the same time, armies of servants made them the only leisured class in the country. Our first texts (of more than a line or two) are letters from one noblewoman to another.

By the reign of Lombekh (d. 3110), father of Ambekh the Great, women such as Ilitira, Kondên and Tizati were writing romances, poems, and essays in Barakhinei. Within a century they were joined by men; and when the Union of Eleďi and Arašei was accepted in Barakhún (in 3225, more than two centuries after its promulgation in Avéla), Eleďe clerics began preaching in the vernacular, and we begin to find sermons, lives of saints, and devotional manuals in Barakhinei.

It was not till the 3300s that official documents were written in Barakhinei in Barakhún, Hroth, and Mútkün. (Rhânor is a special case; it is too primitive to have official documents; but women and clerics are likely to know how to read.)

The usual spellings of all three of these countries in Almean studies differ from the transliteration used in this chapter, under which they would be Barakhun, Rhoth, and Mutkhun. The accents simply indicate the placement of the stress, which is not indicated in the Barakhinei alphabet; the other variations reflect local dialect pronunciations.

Given this history, it should not be surprising that earlier forms of the language are available only accidently, or via internal reconstruction; and that very few serious scholarly resources exist. The best Barakhinei grammar is that of the University of Verduria (Aluatas Šriftanáei Barahineë); the best native work is the Fisnava Rhuo Barakhinei by Ekuntâl of Sûlekeros.

Dialects [To Index]

The Barakhinei like to say that each of the princes who came together to form Barakhún had his own dialect, which has been perpetuated in his hereditary domain. It is true that each princedom (ekunor) tends to have its own fairly homogenous speech variety. A more useful grouping, however, is into three dialects: This chapter describes the Western dialect; in particular, that of Barakhina, the capital of Barakhún. Some significant phonological and other differences from the other dialects are noted.

Gender differences [To Index]

One of the more striking features of Barakhinei is the divergence between masculine (kê rhu) and feminine speech (honê rhu), extending to every level of the grammar: phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon. This grammatical sketch follows the neutral register and orthography used in formal contexts, and taught to foreigners. Interesting gender deviations are noted.

Phonology [To Index]

The sounds of Barakhinei, in Barakhinei orthography, IPA equivalent, and transliteration.

Barakhinei phonology

[f] and [v] are allophones, [v] appearing only intervocalically; but they are spelled with two different symbols, and Verdurian loan-words retain an initial V, which some attempt to pronounce correctly.

Rather than a random collection of ten vowels, consider the vowel system as consisting of two series of five vowels each, the tense vowels i e a o u and a lax series î ê â ô û. Alternations between tense and lax vowels are common in Barakhinei morphology.

Final î, and post-stress û, are pronounced [e]. Other vocalic reductions of unstressed syllables are characteristic of Southern dialect and of male speech.

Dialectal variations [To Index]

In the Central dialect, rounded front vowels ü, ö exist, perhaps due to interaction with Verdurian: compare Central sülê, Western silê 'young'. Some Central dialect speakers are known for dropping intervocalic voiced occlusives after the stress accent (rhe --> rhe'ê, miabor --> mia'or) and for voicing sh before a stop (mashtan --> mazhtan).

In addition, ô tends to lower to [a] (pushing a to [a]); thus Verdurian borrowings like iladil, ďarim from ilôdil, dhorind.

Southern dialect is known for pronouncing rh as an unvoiced aspirated r-- thus the spelling Hroth, spelled Rhoth in the transliteration used here. (This spelling also hints at the southern spelling rc for northern rh.)

It's also known for the deaffrication of ch to palatal c, the fricativization of intervocalic velar stops (k --> kh, g to gh),

Stress accent [To Index]

The stress accent normally falls on the last closed syllable: thus ovori, kalen, chamor, anu. Any word that does not follow this rule is marked in the lexicon. However, there are some sub-patterns that can help:

Stress is not indicated orthographically.

Orthography [To Index]

The Barakhinei lands have their own alphabet, derived from that of Caďinor. (Benécia, Bešbalic, and Ešan use the Verdurian alphabet.)

The alphabet inherited from Caďinor was:

For a period after the fall of the empire, writing was not used in the mountain lands, except inscribed on stone, or carved into wood. The characters were adapted to be easily produced using these methods:

When paper and ink were once again available, the letters were adapted once more to the medium, and a distinctive decorated mountain hand emerged.

(The characters shown are based on contemporary Barakhinan scribal handwriting. The letterforms are the same in the other Barakhinei lands, though the details differ. ) The names for the letters are

u a ô ê i êk
pe kê bê gê dakh
sa thê zash tê dhakh
ra khôth le
mê fa nhê fek hê

The letters marked <k c> have the values /q k/ and are used as such when writing Caďinor or Verdurian. Only the second character, <c>, is used for the /k/ of Barakhinei.

Digraphs are used for the new sounds that have developed since Caďinor times. The second character in ch nh lh (ik) derives from a small i; the second character in sh and the middle stroke in rh derive from h and indicate aspiration; both are called hêkek. (rh is considered a digraph, and indeed in Hroth it is written rc.)

The new vowels û â ô ê î are indicated with a diacritic (a bazêl 'lowering'), equivalent to the Verdurian mole, and likewise derived from a miniature u.

The usual Roman transliteration of Barakhinei preserves one of the chief features of the alphabet, the use of digraphs. Admittedly, however, the transcription is not entirely accurate-- we should write dh th kh as single characers, as in the preferred transliteration of Verdurian; and perhaps we should write kj nj lj rather than ch nh lh. On the other hand, the transliteration emphasizes the difference from Verdurian, reminding us that (say) čun and chund, hum and khum, zon and zôn look quite different to Almeans: .

The ö ü of Central dialect are written o u (i.e. without a diacritic), or sometimes oe ui.

The numbers have been adapted from those of Verdurian (except for 7, formed from 6 by analogy).

There are no capital letters, and only two punctuation marks, one used for a pause and one to mark the end of a sentence. There is no exclamation mark or question mark. Words are separated by spaces, but pronouns and particles are not always separated from adjoining words.

Sound changes from Caďinor [To Index]

o → u /_[r,m,n]# anor → anur → anu
a → o /_rV aracnis → orakni
s → z /V_V esistes → ezishtê
f → v /V_V oforis → ovori
th → dh /V_V pethuera → pedher
n → ñ /#_e nebri → nhêbor
n → ñ /_iV nies → nhê
ng → ñ /_F vange → fanh
lg → l fulgo → fulh
[+nasal] → 0 /r_ cernan → kera, dormir → dôri
s → 0 /o_# calenos → kalen
i → ch /V_V Alameia → Alamech
[+vel] → ch /V_F, #_i lereges → lerchê, cista → chisht
t → ch /_u tuca → chuk
ti → ch /#_V tiamora → chamor
a → ô /_l[+stop] khaltes → khôtê
e → û /_l[+stop] cthelt → kthût
i → 0 /e_ leilen → lelê
ae, ai → â raedhos → râdh, raikh → râkh
eu, eo → û seo → sû, leus → lû
e → ê /_C#, _CC macres → makrê, mergen → mêrgê
o → ô /_C#, _CC estol → êshtôl, bursoncos → bursônk
u → i /_CF lupekh → lipêkh, faucir → faichi
n,m,s → 0 /_# dotis → doti, esan → eza
r,c,t → 0 /CV_# failir → fâli; but aure → air
V → 0 /_# onella → onêl, nare → nor, miscu → mishk
C1 → 0 /_C, C = C1 pinna → pin
li → l /_V Iliages → Ilhachê
r → or /C_# kapro → kapr → kapor
i → e /_l# ladrilo → ladril → ladrel
s → z /n_ nagensa → nachênz
au → ao Endauron → Êndaoru
u → 0 /o_ bounos → bon
ps → shp opser → ôshpê
p → 0 /_t saeptos → sât
s → sh /_S suest → sêsht, scamea → shkame
c → sh /_S mactana → mashtan, ctanen → shtanê
k[+liquid] → rh kredec → rhedê
khr → rh khruis → rhî
i → h /#_V iagen → hachê
u → f /#_V ueronos → feron
ui → î khruis → rhî
iu → î siuro → sîr
l → 0 /_[+stop] khaltes → khôtê
l → 0 /XCu_# kethul → kedhu
l → r /_r gulres → gurrê
k, c → k /_ cassis → kasi, kattis → kati
u → 0 /_V latuan → lacha
v → f /#_, _# volir → foli, kerovos → kerof
h → 0 /V_V mihires → miirê
g → k /_# minga → ming → mink
b → p /_# gribos → grip
gn → ñ /_# cugna → kunh
s → 0 /_ch plestura → plêschura → plêchur
s → sû /_C# ereslos → erêsl → erêsûl
s → sh /C_# dorsos → dôrs → dôrsh
k → 0 /_ch# noctu → nôkch → nôch
s → h /_m tekresmes → têrhêhmê

Morphology [To Index]

Nominal declension [To Index]

Barakhinei has retained the three genders of Caďinor. It has retained four of the cases (nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive; only the ablative has been lost), but the accusative and dative merge in the plural.
Masculine hints
s.nom eli lônd âshta
s.acc eli lônd âsht always = root
s.dat elia lônda âshta always -a
s.gen elio lôndo âshto always -o
pl.nom eliri lôndi âshtâ eli differs from lônd only in pl. root
pl.acc/dat eli lôndî âshtî always -î
pl.gen elirich lôndich âshtach = pl.nom laxed + ch
s.nom kal shkor nôshti manu shpâ in s., shkor follows kal
s.acc kalu shkoru nôshti man shpâ acc = dat exc. for manu
s.dat kalu shkoru nôshti manu shpâ
s.gen kalo shkoro nôshtio mano shpach all end in -o, like masc.
pl.nom kalo shkoru nôkchu mani shpao in pl., shkor follows nôshti
pl.acc/dat kaloi shkorî nôkchî manî shpaoi in oblique forms,
pl.gen kaloch shkorich nôkchich manich shpaoch kal is odd man out
s.nom chir nor medhi elorê kabrâ
s.acc chira nore medhi elore kabra
s.dat chirê norê medhiê elorê kabrê always -ê
s.gen chirach norech medhich elorech kabrach = acc. + ch
pl.nom chirâ norê medhiê elor kabrachâ
pl.acc/dat chirêi norêi medhia eloria kabracha
pl.gen chirech norech medhiech eloriech kabrachech always -ech

The most important factor in the historical development of the declensions in Barakhinei was the loss of the final consonant or vowel in almost every case form. Subsequent analogical change has reversed some mergers and brought some of the declensions closer together.

To decline a noun with confidence, you need to know its gender and its plural. The former is always indicated in the lexicon, and the latter when necessary.

(Knowing the Caďinor etymon almost always does the trick as well. However, beware of a few words (e.g. piabor 'grandfather') which have shifted to a more 'logical' gender. The Verdurian cognate will identify feminine nouns, but won't distinguish masculine and neuter.)

Adjectives [To Index]

I Declension
'south' 'north'
m. n. f. m. n. f.
s.nom âr âr âr na na na
s.acc âr âru âra na nanu nana
s.dat âra âru ârê nana nanu nanê
s.gen âro âro ârach nano nano nanach
pl.nom âri âro ârâ nani nano nanâ
pl.acc/dat ârî ârî ârêi nanî nanî nanêi
pl.gen ârich ârich ârech nanich nanich nanech
II Declension III Declension
'calm' 'round'
m. n. f. m. n. f.
s.nom gelê gele gelê ori ori ori
s.acc gelê gelê gele or ori ori
s.dat gela gelê gelê ori ori oriê
s.gen gelo gelo gelech orio orio orich
pl.nom gelê gele gelê ori oru oriê
pl.acc/dat gelî gelê gelêi orî orî oria
pl.gen gelêch gelech gelech orich orich oriech
The citation form for adjectives is the masculine s.nom.

There are two adjectives in -â (mudrâ, shkrâ). These follow the patterns for nouns in -â; the masculine forms are identical to the neuters.

Adverbs are expressed by conjoining the feminine s. nom. form of the adjective to meli 'way': iziêth meli 'importantly'; lebêlebe meli 'newly'; rochi meli 'crazily'.

Pronouns [To Index]

Personal pronouns [To Index]

nom. gen. acc. dat.
I (eri) sêth
thou (leri) êk
this one ât âti âtô âta
that one tot toti tota
we ta (tandê) tao
you mukh (mundê)
they (kandê)
refl. zei zêth zeu
refl. pl. zai zaa zau
who/what kêt kêti kêtô kêta
The third person singular pronouns are the same as the demonstrative pronouns, and do not vary by sex: ât can be 'this one, he, she, it (over here)'; tot can be 'that one, he, she, it (over there)'. The two pronouns can be used as proximative and obviative pronouns, referring unambiguously to two separate referents:
Ât tota fetâ chî tot shkrif chî ât laodâ oloka mônê.
He1 said to him2 that he2 knew he1 would get sick
In isolated regions in Barakhún and Mútkün, the third person singular pronoun, chu, derives from Caďinor tu 'he/she' rather than aettos/totos 'this/that one'.

Eri, leri, tandê, mundê, and kandê are regular adjectives, and must be declined as such: eriê nagâ 'my feet', tando firakho 'of our enemy'.

Reflexive pronouns are used (much as in Verdurian) both for true reflexive uses (zêth shkrivê 'to know oneself') and to make transitive verbs intransitive (zêth eterê 'to run by itself').

Other pronouns [To Index]

which this âl that il
who, what kêt this one ât that one tot
where kedi here âsht there kêsht
when ked now âl khor then il dêna
every, all shkei some nhê none
everyone shpiê someone thizi no one nikt
everywhere shkei nor somewhere nhê nor nowhere sî nor
always shkei dêna sometimes nhê dêna never sî dêna
how kênz
how much shkol
why poche

âl, il, shkei, thizi are declined as regular adjectives; nhê, and are invariable.

No animate/inanimate distinction is made with these pronouns: kêt means both 'who' and 'what'; thizi means both 'someone' and 'something'.

The locative pronouns have dative forms kediê, âshta, kêshta, used only by men.

Numbers [To Index]

digit x10 ordinal fraction
1 a dêsht perê perê
2 dhu tedêsht torê mechî
3 di medêsht merê dinga
4 pao chedêsht chêtnê barga
5 panth pandêsht pantê pantê thur
6 sêsht sêdêsht sêshtê ...
7 khâp hedêsht khâpê
8 hoch hodêsht hôkri
9 nhêbor nhêdêsht nhêbri
10 dêsht sekath dêshti

Numbers up to four are declined as regular adjectives (dhunâ nagâ 'two feet', paorich boboch 'of four fools'); higher numbers, including combinations, are invariable (sêsht genî 'to six clans'). The ordinal numbers are also regular adjectives.

Numbers from 11 to 19 are formed by conjoining dêsht plus the digit name, which receives the accent: dêshta, dêshtdhu, etc. The only spelling changes are 16 dêsêsht and 18 dêshtoch. Other two-digit combinations, however, are formed as conjoined phrases: 21 tedêsht êr a; 54 pandêsht e pao; 78 hedêsht e hoch.

Higher numbers are fairly straightforward: 3487 = di mel pao sekath hodêsht e khâp.

Conjugation [To Index]

Barakhinei has retained the past, present, and past anterior tenses, the indicative, subjunctive, and imperative moods, and conjugates by person and number. However, it has lost the dynamic aspect.

(There are enough mergers that the verb form alone does not determine person/number. In Rhânor and in southern Hroth, pronouns are generally included for all persons; elsewhere, only for second person.)


look at
Hints elira rikhâ lelâ bêch hap elirû rikhê lelê bêshtû habû either -û or -ê elirê rikhê lelê bêshti habê almost always -ê eliru rikha lela bêkchu habu either -u or -a eliru rikhu lelu bêkchu habu always -u elirôn rikhôn lelên bêshtîn habun always -Vn
beat groga fokâ nogâ faok klak grochû fochê nochê faochû klachû grochê fochê nochê faichi klachê grogu foka nocha faoku klagu grogu foku nochu faoku klagu grogôn fokôn nochên faichîn klagun

Sound change has affected Caďinor verbal roots ending in c or g quirkily enough that it's worth giving a full set of examples, with phonetic changes highlighted.

Bêshti shows a more restricted sound change: -sht- changes to -kch- before -u (not -û).

A Caďinor -u- is fronted before a front vowel; this accounts for the alternation faich/faok. This always affects the; in the rikha conjugation it affects the IIsg as well (chura → chirê); in lelê conjugation, it affects all but the (In Central dialect it remains rounded: 'leave' is faüchi.)

In the bêshti and habê conjugations only, a final -d, -t, or -p in the verbal root generally changes to -dh, -th, or -v/f in the and plural forms: sidê 'offer' → sidh, sidû, sidê, sidhu, sidhu, sidhun.

Finally, note the devoicing in hap, klak.


elirê rikha lelê bêshti habê eliri rikhi leli bêshti habi always -i elirî rikhi leli bêshtê habê elir rikhâ lelâ bêshtâ hap -â or nothing elirê rikhu lelu bêshtê habê elirê rikhê lelê bêshtê habê always -ê elirîn rikhîn lelîn bêshtên habên always -(ê,î)n
grochê foka nochê faichi klachê grochi fochi nochi faichi klachi grochî fochi nochi faichê klachê grok fokâ nogâ faokâ klach grogê foku nogu faichê klachê grogê fokê nogê faichê klachê grochîn fochîn nochîn faichên klachên

In Proto-Eastern the past tense was formed by a change in stem vowel; this can still be seen in Barakhinei, in the substitution of front vowels for the back vowels in the present tense.

Again, alternations of Caďinor roots in -c, -g are given; and note the devoicing in hap and grok.

The -u- fronting (faich/faok) affects almost all forms in the past tense, sparing only the endings -â, -u and the for elirê verbs.

The -sht--kch change we met with bêshti in the present tense here affects only forms ending in -u, while -sht → -ch in the for the first -ê verbs: têshtê → IIIsg têch.

In the elirê conjugation only, a root ending in -d, -t, -p has a ending in -dh, -th, or -f: rhedê 'believe' → rhedh 'he believed'. Note that this affects a different conjugation than the corresponding change in the present.


elirê rikha lelê bêshti habê elirri rikhri lelri bêshtri habri elirrî rikhri lelri bêshtrê habrê elirêr rikhrâ lelrâ bêshtrâ habêr elirrê rikhru lelru bêshtrê habrê elirrê rikhrê lelrê bêshtrê habrê elirrîn rikhrîn lelrîn bêshtrên habrên

The past anterior tense (used for actions taking place before the time referred to by the past tense) is formed by adding -r- to the verb root, followed by the past tense endings. The exception is the endings for elirê and klachê verbs: null in the past tense, -êr in the past anterior.

The past anterior endings are always stressed.

No root alternations are found in this tense.


elirê rikha lelê bêshti habê elirta rikhmâ lelmâ bêshtech habech elirtê rikhmê lelmê bêshtech habech elirtê rikhmê lelmê bêshti habti elirtu rikhma lelma bêshchu habchu elirtu rikhmu lelmu bêshchu habchu elirtôn rikhmôn lelmên bêshtîn habtîn

The subjunctive, derived from the Caďinor remote static present, is formed by adding -t- or -m- to the verb root, then the subjunctive tense endings. For all but the highlighted forms, these are the same as the present tense endings. Also note that -tu changes to -chu in the and for the bêshti and habê conjugations only.

In speech, the endings devoice the ending of the verbal root (habchu → hapchu), but this is not reflected in writing.

Some verbs have a distinct subjunctive root, noted in the lexicon. E.g. laoda 'go' → subj. lodâ, not *laodmâ.


elirê rikha lelê bêshti habê elirka rikhnâ lelnâ bêshtir habir elirchê rikhnê lelnê bêshtir habir elirchê rikhnê lelnê bêshtri habri elirku rikhna lelna bêshtru habru elirku rikhnu lelnu bêshtru habru elirkôn rikhnôn lelnên bêshtrîn habrîn

The past subjunctive is formed like the present subjunctive, but using a different infix: -k/ch- for the elirê conjugation, -n- for the rikha and lelê conjugations, -r- for the others. In the latter, note the special ending in the and


elirê rikha lelê bêshti habê elir rikh lel bêch hap elirêl rikhel lelel bêkchu habu elira rikha lela bêkcha haba eliran rikhan lelan bêkchan haban

The imperative is usually just the verb root, with some irregularities. The bêshti and habê forms are the same as the present tense The rikha forms show the c,g → ch softening: foka → foch; they and the lelê forms also turn a -u- into an -i-: chura → chir. Final -b, -g are devoiced in all conjugations.

The imperative in the bêshti and habê forms are the same as the present tense forms. For elirê verbs, it's the same as the present plus -l; for rikha and lelê verbs it's the same as the past plus -l.

The forms all show the root alteration u →i (chura → chira). Final -d, -t, -p in the root become -dh, -th, -v. The forms simply add an -n onto this.

Pronouns are never used with the imperative.


elirê rikha lelê bêshti habê
past elirêl rikhu lelu bêkchu klachêl
present eliril rikhê lelê bêshti klachê

Participles are regular adjectives; those ending in -u have an oblique root -ul-.

Root alternations can be deduced from the first vowel of the ending: e.g. foka → past foku, present fochê.

Participles can be used (appropriately declined) wherever an adjective can be used: dôriê honiê 'sleeping women'; kekulo pono 'of the killed warrior'; raolu kâbol 'cooked onion'.

Analytic tenses [To Index]

The participles are used to form analytic tenses, in conjunction with eza 'to be'.

The present participle gives a progressive or continual meaning; the past participle gives a perfective (but not a passive) meaning (equivalent to the Verdurian ya).

Rikhâ ila dezi. I see the bridge.

Sâ rikhê ila dezi.
I am looking at the bridge; I often look at the bridge.

Sâ rikhu ila dezi.
I have looked at the bridge; I just looked at the bridge.

Lê klachê il rhez. You beat the dog.

Lê sê klachêl il rhez.
You were beating the dog; you always beat your dog.

Lê sê klachê il rhez.
You have beaten your dog; you've finished beating your dog.

The future tense is formed with laoda 'go' + the infinitive: laodâ proza 'I am going to walk, I will walk'.

Irregular verbs [To Index]

Irregular forms are in bold.
eza 'to be'
pres. past. past ant. subj pres subj past fuch firi êshta êshka fuch firi êshtê êshkê ê furâ êshtê êshkê eza fu furu êshta êshka ezu fuê furê êshtu êshku sôn fûn firiôn êshtôn êshkôn
present past present present present past ûzâ ûzi ful lhua kedhâ kedhi ûzê ûzi ful lhû kedhê kedhi epê epâ fut lhu kedhu kiâ epeza ûzu folu lhubu kedha kedhu epezu ûzê folu lhubu kedhu kedhê ûzôn ûzîn folîn lôn kên kedhîn
'be born'
present present present present present present nhe shkriva shtâ fâl huz oh ni shkri shtê fêl hu fi ni shkri shtê fêl hut fit nheza shkrivu shtana fâlu hizu ou nhezu shkrivu shtanu fâlu hizu ou nhên shkrivôn shtôn fâlîn hizîn oîn

In addition, twenty or so verbs (and their derivatives) have an irregular subjunctive stem, indicated in the dictionary. For instance, laoda 'go' has the subjunctive stem lod-. So instead of forming the present subjunctive *laodmâ, *laodmê... it's lodâ, lodê, lodê, loda, lodu, lodôn; and the past subjunctive is not *laodnâ... but lodi, lodi, lodâ, lodu, lodê, lodîn.

Derivational morphology [To Index]

Some of the more common affixes:


-ech Nominalization of action verbs and some adjectives (Caď. -eio, -eia):
krechê 'eat' → krechech 'eating'
gelê 'calm' → gelech 'calm'

-ek Another nominalizer (Caď. -eca):
froê 'cold' → froek 'coldness'
klachê 'bright' → klachek 'brightness'
laoda 'go' → laodek 'departure'

-ant Quality, state, operation, or art (Caď. -antos):
zobant 'sorcery'
pidant 'fatherhood'
chirolant 'complexity'

-orî Person in charge (Caď. -orion):
klâtand 'seminary' → klâtandorî 'dean'

-u Associated person (Caď. past participle -ul):
klâtandu 'seminarian'
kôn 'money' → kônu 'rich man'
redêl 'womanhood ceremony' → redêlu 'maiden'.
These decline like the 1st declension adjective na, adding -l- where it adds -n-.

-êl Materials, result (Caď. -el):
habê 'wear' → habêl 'clothes'
redi → redêl 'womanhood ceremony'
kireza 'question' → kirezêl 'question'

-el Associated object or action (Caď. -ile):
roi 'cheat' → rolel 'trick'
associated noun:
lan 'flax' → lanel 'linen'

-ek Diminutive:
rhezek 'little dog'
honek 'little woman'
In Hroth and southern Mútkün, -ilh-, from Cuêzi, is seen: rhezilh, honilhê

-nor Place (Caď. -naure):
Rafnor 'Rau jungle'
ekunor 'princedom'
Rhânor 'borderland'

hon- female:
honkônz 'female cousin'
honhêru 'nun'
honursh 'female bear'

-ê wife of an official or noble:
shkokh 'duke' → shkokhê 'duchess'


-hmê (Caď. -smes):
gor 'sense' → gorêhmê 'sensible'
firakh 'enemy' → firakhmê 'opposed'
honê 'woman' → hommê 'womanly'

-izê (Caď. -ises):
Eledha → Eledhizê 'Eledhe'
chir 'body' → chirizê 'physical'

-il A more formal adjectivization (borrowed from Caďinor):
elorî eloril 'royal'
ilôd 'silver' → ilôdil 'silvery'

-ei Geographic adjectives:
Barakhinei; Rhânorei

bu- Not (Caď. bu-):
buhommê 'unwomanly'; bufolu 'unwanted'
Becomes bi- before a front vowel:
bichiroli 'uncomplicated', bilerchê 'unhappy'

- Without:
sîkeram 'shameless'; lelê
'seeing' → sîlelê 'blind'


-ati Use (a part of the body); also general depreciative (Caď. -atir):
doti 'finger' → dotati 'point'
pili 'eyelash' → pilati 'blink'
piru 'alcoholic drink' → pirati 'get wasted'

-inzê Prolongative/Intensive (Caď. -inser):
nenê 'talk' → neninzê 'talk your leg off'
chora 'flow, cry' → chorinzê 'bawl, gush'

rên- Again (Caď. ren-):
laoda 'go' → renlaoda 'return'
lelê 'see' → renlelê 'see again'

-vashê Causative (Caď. fasc- 'do'):
kêshkê 'big' → kêshkêvashê 'enlarge, grow'
shkôrê 'dark' → shkôrêvashê 'darken'

Syntax [To Index]

Constituent order [To Index]

The unmarked word order is SVO:
Ili ekuni dezdîn lebê elorî.
The princes selected a new king.
Honê sîkeram rizundâ âla foela.
A shameless woman wrote this letter.
With case marked for most words and subject agreement on the verb, word order is fairly free. There is a tendency to move the topic to the beginning of the sentence; this is done where English would passivize:
Il lebê elorî dezdîn ili ekuni.
The new king was selected by the princes.
Âla foela rizundâ honê sîkeram.
This letter was written by a shameless woman.

Pronominal objects are normally placed before a conjugated verb, but cliticized after an infinitive.

Il shkokh shkri purho zei shkenhêi.
The governor truly knows his chickens.

Il shkokh shkri purho.
The governer truly knows them.

Ât fut shkrivê.
He wants to know them.

laodâ fetê pomaire.
I'll tell you a story.

A direct object pronoun precedes an indirect one:
Âto tota di. I gave it to him/her.
Tot di! Give me that!

Noun phrases [To Index]

Determiners and numbers precede the noun; most adjectives, genitives, and other modifiers follow it:
âl bop that fool
kaokh feredê a green lizard
kôn eri my money
têrsê il chuz all that shit
il kân glini felachach eri the long pen of my aunt
dhuni poni thainê two left-handed warriors
il ebdûn khip dezi the troll under the bridge

Articles [To Index]

There are no articles per se; but il 'that' is regularly used as a definite article (Leli mashtana 'I have seen a city'; Leli ila mashtana 'I have seen the city'), to the point that the demonstrative meaning of il is commonly reinforced by kêsht 'there' (and âl 'this' by âsht 'here'): Sîk feriâ il mêdh kesht 'I can't stand that boy'. Such reinforcement is not needed when a contrast with âl makes the demonstrative meaning clear: âl shkenh êr il shkenh 'this chicken and that chicken'.

As the demonstratives have not completed their transition to articles, it is not surprising that certain English article usages do not occur in Barakhinei. In general il can be used as an article only when the referent has been explicitly mentioned ('The king is here. I hate the [il] king.') or, in speech, when it is present. A reference by implication won't do. Thus we can say 'I visited the palace. The king was there.' In Barakhinei one must say Elorî fâ kêsht, literally, 'King was there.'

Il should not be used as an article in genitive expressions: il midor chinach 'the mother of the bride' (not *ilach chinach).

Case usage [To Index]

The subject is expressed in the nominative, the direct object in the accusative:
Il elorî badhâ ila elore.
The king hit the queen.

Il elorê badhâ zei giru.
The queen hit the horse.

Il gir badhâ ila kôshka.
The horse hit the cat.

Nominal indirect objects are expressed by men using the dative; by women using the preposition a followed by the accusative:
Di il shkuchua âdhechua eri.
I gave the pig to my church. [male]

Di il shkuchua a âdhechu er.

Destinations are expressed the same way:
Il klâtandu laodê mashtanê.
The priest is going to the city. [male]

Il klâtandu laodê a mashtana.

Prepositions govern the accusative, though some male writers, following Caďinorian and Verdurian usage, use the dative for locative expressions (as opposed to those expressing movement).
Il salhê naku laodê a kelere.
The dirty man is heading for the river.

Il tren letâ tra kôrke.
The turtle flew across the canyon.

Dom eri ê tra kelere.
My house is across the river.

Dom eri ê tra kelerê.
[same, for male pedants]

The genitive is used for possessives: hôrt elorîo 'the king's toe'. Note that declinable possessive adjectives, not pronominal genitives, are used for most pronouns: sinor eri 'my mother-in-law'; genitive sinorach orich; plural sinorâ ori; pl. acc. sinorêi orî, etc.

In expressions involving a superior in rank ("the boy's master"), the inferior does not appear in the genitive, but in the dative (in male speech, or using 3s pronouns) or a + accusative (in female speech):

pidi ekuna the prince's father [male speech]
pidi a ekun [female speech]
pidi âta his father (he = the prince)

medh ekuno the prince's son
medh âti his son

Second person pronouns [To Index]

In male speech, speaking to peers or superiors, naked 'you' is avoided, in favor of titles. Note that second-person verbs are used with these expressions:
Il shkokh ful nhê fin?
Would you (lit., the governor) like some wine?

Il klâtandu sîk amêti ibor?
You (the priest) didn't bring the book?

Moru duzorech tekê dorovê?
Your (the mayoress's) husband is fine?

Children (up to the nakî or manhood ceremony) use for everyone. So do women: it's considered cute in women (and very offensive in men) to address everyone in this 'childlike' way.

Note that or a title is almost always explicitly inserted, except with imperatives, since the verb endings alone do not always distinguish second from first or third person. (Only one is necessary in a multi-verb sentence, however.)

(As a corollary, first and third person subject pronouns are not necessary, and are included only for emphasis or contrast, or when conjoined.)

The subjunctive [To Index]

The subjunctive is used for doubtful or desired events:
Ful chî kir eri olôntmâ.
I want my wife to be sorry.

Ditt chî rênshtanmê.
I doubt that she'll come back.

Laodê noê? Nozê.
Is it going to rain? It might rain.

A conditional expression is formed using the subjunctive as well. There is no word 'if'; the condition is expressed using a participle (as in Caďinor):
Lê roi in gâtûta, lê lodê trai.
If you cheat [lit., you cheating] at dice, you will die.

Il elorî sîk ezê in dom, ât ku mashke âti.
If the king is not [lit., not being] at home, he is with his mistress.

With the indicative, the conditionality of these sentences disappears; they become statements of causation:

Lê roi in gâtûta, lê laodê trai.
Because you're cheating, you're dying.
Il elorî sîk ezê in dom, ât ê ku mashke âti.
The king not being at home, he is (therefore) with his mistress.

A relative clause refers to a definite entity if it uses the indicative, to a potential or indefinite one if the subjunctive is used:
Sa tênil naku kêt pêchâ boradhu er.
I am looking for the man who (I know) killed my brother.

Sa tênil naku kêt pêchtri boradhu er.
I am looking for a man who (might have) killed my brother.

Note that we cannot say il naku, because this usage of il requires a previous reference.

Finally, note that women (but not men) use the subjunctive as a polite imperative:

Shtanmê in dom êr azet! Come inside and sit down!
Prenmê nhê dinhe! Have some melon!

Prepositions [To Index]

The following chart gives the commonest prepositions, with their base meanings.
a to, at, during khip under, below, till
achu (away) from ko near, by, alongside
akh against ku with, alongside, like
ap using, with ôn among, at, within
chint around pâkh almost, like
dichi for, because of prêd before, in front of
et about sa through(out)
horad despite, although si on, on top of, above
im in, inside sup after, following, since
ish out of; made of tra across, over, beyond
Prepositions govern the accusative. Some pedants, following Caďinor usage, distinguish between locative phrases (with dative) and adessive (with accusative); see Case usage.

Time expressions always use prepositional phrases (unlike Verdurian): a ôntru 'in the morning' (cf. Ver. utron), a mere khora 'at the third hour', sa nôchu 'for a night', khip kâdhue 'till ceďnare', sup il fiêtor 'after that evening'.

Phatic particles [To Index]

Barakhinei end most of their (spoken) sentences with emphatic particles, which differ between male and female speech. These particles can serve to: male:
Il ekun fâ âlidên glûmu klât!
The prince was a little snot today!
Poche nikt âtô shkechubrâ shkebûr?
Why hasn't anyone strangled him?
Moru eri renlaodâ ish khichena beler.
My husband is back from the front.
Sîk ê hakni ishgrima kerof e fôrim giro ish dhan hozdi.
It's not easy to get blood and horse dung out of wool.
The particles are not used in writing (except of course when one wants to represent speech).

(If you're wondering, queens use female particles, and butches use male ones.)

In origin, most of the particles are worn-down expressions: e.g. the solidary particle bra comes from boradh eri 'my brother'; the lamentative kokue derives from kaoku eza 'we are destroyed'; the compassion particle zâdhich is from hoz âdhich 'the god's mercy'.

If a sentence already has an adverb with pragmatic force (e.g. purho 'certainly', sîmeli 'not at all'), a phatic particle should not be used as well.

The particles listed are those common in northern dialect; they vary between dialects and tend to change over time. Foreigners are not expected to master the nuances.

Negation [To Index]

To negate a sentence, sîk is inserted before the main verb, or before a nonverbal element to be negated.

Sîk krecha ilî chinzikhî.
We didn't eat the gooseberries.

Krecha sî chinzikhî, ak lomî.
It wasn't gooseberries that we ate, but apples.

As in Engish, double negatives are discouraged, and can be interpreted 'logically': Nikt krecha 'We ate nothing'; Sî nikt krecha 'We didn't eat nothing' = 'We ate something'. However, in areas with strong Verdurian influence, such as Hroth and the Western Wild, Verdurian-style double negatives with a single negative meaning are used, and there is a transition zone (the foothills of the Elkarin mountains) where they are avoided entirely.

Questions [To Index]

In speech, a yes-no question can be formed simply by intonation: Ê rochi? 'Is he crazy?' Or the phatic particles can be added.
Il elorê chilorê shkreve?
The queen needs a beer?

Chilorê shkreve shkê?
She needs a beer, does she? (f. pêza)

In writing, however, the approved method (derived from Caďinor) is to replace the indicative of the main verb with the subjunctive.
Il elorê chilormê shkreve?
Does the queen need a beer?
There is no question mark in the mountain alphabet; the period ends all sentences.

Clauses [To Index]

Subordinate clauses are introduced with the conjunction chî:

Rheda chî ezarzh eri sêth roi.
I believe that my steward is cheating me.

A relative clause works about the same way. The relative pronoun (kêsht) normally follows its head noun.
Saodor eri ê tênil naku kêt pêchâ boradhu tandê.
My sister is looking for the man who killed our brother.

Sâ kashki akh naku kêtô ukôrbâ boradh tandê.
I am hiding from the man whom our brother insulted.

As in Verdurian, but unlike English, verbs with sentential subjects don't need to be fronted:
Chî il elorî ê renê kaokuhmê zêth fichilê.
It's likely that the king is sloshed again.

References [To Index]

Conventional expressions [To Index]

Male and female versions are given where appropriate. (p) is a placeholder for a particle of the speaker's choice; see Phatic particles above. For , males should substitute a title for peers and superiors.

Âdhi eshtûn (ku lê). Lê dan pe/belhu.
(Pagan greetings) The gods be (with you). May they give you peace/glory.

Eledha eshtê ku lê. Lê da pe/belhu.
(Eleďe greetings) Eleď be with you Eleď give you peace/glory.

(m) Lê ê shkê? Kêt shkê? Shtan bra. Az.
(f) Lê ê kêsht pêza? Kêt ê pêza? Shtanmê beler. Azet.

Are you there? Who is it? Come in. Sit down.
(For Shtan bra read Shtan ma (f. zêl) for a visitor of the opposite sex, or one not known very well.)

Kênz shtanê (p)? Dorovê (p). Sîk nhini (p). Mehmê é (p).
How are you? In good health. I'm not complaining. Same ol' same ol'.

Froê shtanê (p). Fôshtre no (p)! Âl adône ê pâkh rot (p).
It's cold out. Damn rain. This room is like ice.

Râdh leri sâ. Fichilâ meli facheka akh lê bra.
I am your servant. I look forward to good fighting with you.

(m) Or. Sîk ma. Epê eza. Sîk shkriva ma. Sîk kirez kirezêlî ilo kêshto klât.
(f) Or zêl. Sîk zêl. Epê eza. Sîk shkriva zêl. Sîk kirezmê kirezêlî ilo kêshto kherof.
Yes. No. Maybe. I don't know. Don't ask such questions.

Achel leri. Mûnite sâ (p). Fuch lerchê. Olontâ (p).
Please. Thank you. You're welcome. Excuse me. I'm sorry.

Subra dêna. Ôterâ lerî âluthî (p). Fichilâ foela beler. Meli facheka bra!
Till tomorrow. I know your virtues. I expect a letter (f/f). Good fighting! (m/m)

( The blessings given as greetings above can also be used when parting. Ôterâ lerî aluthî is a polite salutation for either sex; for men one may substitute lônd 'honor' or zôlant 'strength'.)

Tenî shkolî zônî (shkê/pêza)? Tena tedêsht e pao zônî.
How old are you? I'm 24.

Il khor ê kê (shkê/pêza)? Il khor ê pao shkiredach.
What time is it? It's 4 in the afternoon.

(m) Lê nomê shkê? Êk lhua ma. Leri pidi ê kônu shkê?
(f) Lê nomê kênz pêza? Êk lhua zêl. Leri pidi fâ kônu pêza?
What's your name? I love you. Your father is rich?

Calendar [To Index]

Days of the week Season Months of the year
Barakhinei Verdurian Barakhinei Verdurian
kândên scúreden demêtri (spring) olashk olašu
shkirdên shirden rêslek reli
fidordên fidren kirêndôn cuéndimar
kaldên calten âshta (summer) feorêl vlerëi
chirdên zëden kal calo
therdên néronden rêshkulek recoltë
kâdhu ceďnare kulek (fall) hak yag
gelech želea
ishkirêl išire
hibreli (winter) shkor šoru
froek froďac
bâziand bešana
The gods' names in the days of the week have mostly been worn down to one syllable. In the Aďivro (and thus in rites deriving from it), fuller forms are used; e.g. Rhavkânach dên 'Rhavcaena's day'.

The fifth-year leap day, kasten in Verdurian, is kashdên.

Names [To Index]

Barakhinei names still consist of a nom (given name) and patronymic (pidêl); family names (Ver. ženatî) are not used.

Pagan names are still normally formed from two name elements, though names of gods, planets, virtues, and plants are also popular. The names are much less stereotyped than in Verdurian or Ismaîn-- there are still several hundred elements in common use, and almost anything in the lexicon is really fair game.

The table below merely gives a few representative samples.

Masculine Âdhdu god-given
Elûtsan virtue lord
Girôndkhum lion guts
Kûbâkh righteous core
Lôndorôth honor sign
Parklêkh mountain fist
Zôlpon strong warrior
Bairel coyote
Kehada emperor Keadau
Feminine Arksâ bow woman
Chivêkeler lively river
Elirêli lovely melody
Ilôdnôch silver night
Klachhanta bright amber
Noênhu rain-born
Sonachilêl dream sky
Idura longed for
Kôlef the heroine Koleva
Below are listed the most common Arašei (Cuzeian) names. These may be given to either Eleďe or pagan children. A + after a feminine name indicates a second declension name (accusative in -e). Masculine names ending in -i are declined as neuters.
Masculine Feminine
Adairi Akor Alôda Alan Alôdel Âlu
Ambrizi Anta Araz Ambek Ambriz+ Amizi
Azena Banim Baor Brinim Bûzom Denur
Barda Beret Bishberu Diazam Ekadit+ Ekin+
Bishbirakh Brinimi Chiveya Epet+ Etech Etinhi
Dommava Dula Echeleda Feli Irizam Izech+
Ekuna Enach Enotiva Kaimeli Koelibo+ Lair+
Erês Fiôna Fisnava Laled+ Leret+ Leribod+
Irez Iriand Keloizi Luvor+ Muror+ Nhior+
Koelira Leria Lodikuna No+ Olezam Petinum
Muror Namazi Olu Ridilênd Ruiz+ Salikhu+
Oraona Orom Pomikuna Siz+ Somezi+ Soren
Remobû Samirêkh Saor Teroneli Tizati Ioret
Solezi Sur Teronel Iûr+ Zeli Zien+
Zelizi Zid
Eleniki names have only recently become popular, and are simply transliterated from Verdurian, ignoring the " accent: m. Adham, Klemet, Isac, Rhegoro, Vaseo, f. Agadhe, Kladha, Ihana, Prisha, Veachi, etc. The masculine names in -o are invariable, except for a genitive in -ro: Vaseoro 'Vaseo's'. Feminine names in -a follow the first feminine declension: Ihana Ihana Ihanê Ihanach.

Example [To Index]

Plays (adlelekâ, literally 'showings') in the mountain lands are written and performed entirely by women. The women of any castle may put on plays; but in the larger towns they organize permanent acting societies (kudichanti). In these generally some actresses (kunakuli) specialize in male roles, cultivating male speech and mannerisms, and even studying swordfighting like men.

The plays themselves fall into two categories: tales of adventure and romance (mirebeli), often retelling legends of heroes or tales from national history; or social comedies (ridibeli), satires of contemporary nobles, merchants, and clerics. The first are more popular with male audiences, the second with female ones. Troupes are often adept at tailoring a play to their audience, reserving their sharpest satire or frankest treatments of love for an all-female crowd, and toning down caricature and humor when particularly severe lords are in attendance.

Below is an extract from one such play, Lhumudrel by Benhêk of Barakhina, which explores the consequences of crossing gender boundaries; in this extract we see the title character (whose name means 'loves wisdom') inviting herself into a realm of knowledge meant only for men, that of Caďinor and its literature. Her father strenuously objects; though it is significant that he never suggests any alternative occupation-- noblewomen were not expected to work; there were servants for that. The consequences will later involve a flight from her husband-to-be, in disguise as a male. She falls in with, and eventually in love with, a wandering scholar-soldier.

There is a happy if implausible ending: the scholar turns out to be a lord, and her fiancé. Thanks to the structure of the play, Benhêk can express some fairly radical notions about women's worth, and freely satirize the prejudices of men-- the conventional ending will smooth any feathers that have been ruffled.

Benhêk: Lhumudrel akkurê ibru [To Index]

PIDI. Lê di dêshtpao khurinî in ilhachele shtedhe, nhek eri. Kênz lê kâ ihmêti shkê?

LHUMUDREL. Loda lelê chî teket shkrivê. Ihmêti nhêbor khurinî a habele zêl--

P. Nhêbor khurini, habelê ma.

L. Dinî khurinî a kurseleta dichi noz Alôdelach zêl.

P. Dini khurini, kurseletê ma.

L. E dhunî ôkhekî a ibru zêl.

P. Dhuni ôkheki, ibru ma.

L. Il habel fâ ish lanele adirê ku bôrd flavê, e fâ melhu domerê zêl, lê ful tô lelê pêza?

P. Kêtô lê fêti et ibru klât? Kê kêsht ibro ê shkê? Ridibel kokue, sîk eshtê thizi kêbrizê e kolaodê sachêi, ku eli nhêrulo shkebûr.

L. Ê ibor Gêremo.

P. Ibor kêti shkê?

L. Gêremo kêshtorîno zêl.

P. Sup ked zaa impiôn kêshtorîni Barakhinei meli shkê?

L. Ê kadhin meli lême, pidi. Shkrivû chî Gêrem ni im Barakhun pêza? A ilu kili fâ pedher Sua lême.

P. Kadhin meli ma! Sîk shpakh chî lê ûzê ibrê Kadhinu shkebûr!

L. Pidhiê meli foli. Klâtandu sêth komônê tô grima.

P. Sîk sêth plerê sîmeli. Chî redêlu ihmêta kôn ibroi tôshkê-- moru leri laodê shpakhê kêtô? Ak echilê shkrivê Kadhinu, ku chî lê eshtê medh klât! Kêt subrê shkê? Hashk chî lê laodê krêshki khuvî e sitele shkebûr!

L. Pidi eri, sîk kudiz. Ê prôshkalech, nikt ôtrê, dichi shkiredêi hibrelich, ked shkadrant el shkizant sîk zaa lelôn zêl êr ôterêli sîk zaa shtôn...

P. Sîk sêth shtanmê klât. Ê mankel eri, tô hashk-- sîk sâ êk ihmorêl. Sê zôdek midrê leriê, lê sêth komônê ku rêmant. Zeufol eza ma. Achupuu trator. Zêtê laodâ foka felâ klâtandula, e laoda farki shkeî kudekî ma.

L. Achel leri, pidi, sîk thiba sîmeli sêth morê zêl.

P. Achupuâ trator ma. Sîk laodâ tô etfetê ma. Kêshtorîni klât!

PIDI faichi.

L. Bunori somoch hozdi! Poche shpakhi il nom Gêremo pêza? Sû nomê nhê rizundula ridibelech ku-- ku Benhêk, saledhir kalatel foli. Âl khor laodâ manôdê moru êrât hozdi! E sêth pavôndê a nhê rhukh kedi sîk laodâ ôtera nikt, e kêt shkri kedi, tot epê ashkol rêth ôn parêi chî ibor el adlelek sî dêna zaa oîn, kadhin meli el ôtro rhono meli kherof! Zêth fut chî kêshtor dhirtê radu, ak lê, Gêrem, sê sêth chidêl in klerh zêl!

Benhêk: Lhumudrel buys a book [To Index]

(A note on the prices mentioned. 9 khurini (large gold pieces) is about 65 Verdurian falî; 3 khurini is 22 falî; and 2 ôkheki (small gold pieces) is 4.8 falî. By Verdurian standards the dress is cheap, reflecting the lower cost of Barakhinei labor; and the book very expensive-- it would cost 2 f in Verduria-city.)

FATHER. I gave you fourteen gold pieces last month, daughter. How did you spend them?

LHUMUDREL. Let's see if I remember. I spent 9 khurin on a dress--

F. 9 khurin , dress.

L. 3 khurin on a candlestick for Alôdel's wedding.

F. 3 khurin, candlestick.

L. And 2 ôkhek on a book.

F. 2 ôkhek, book.

L. The dress was blue linen with a yellow border, and very pretty, do you want to see it?

F. What's this about a book? What sort of a book is it? Some silly comedy, I suppose, and not something edifying and suitable for women, like a saint's life.

L. It's a book by Genremos.

F. A book by who?

L. Genremos, the philosopher.

F. Since when are they printing philosophers in Barakhinei?

L. Oh, it's in Caďinor, father. Did you know Genremos was born in Barakhún? In those days it was the province of Su:as, of course.

F. In Caďinor! Don't tell me you can read Caďinor!

L. Only a little. The priest helps me work it out.

F. I don't like this at all. For a young woman to be spending money on books is bad enough-- what is your husband going to say? But to be trying to learn Caďinor, as if you were a boy! What next? I suppose you're going to grow balls and a beard!

L. Oh father, don't be upset. It's only a diversion for the winter afternoons, when there's no riding or shooting and people don't come visiting...

F. Well, I won't have it. It's my fault, I suppose-- I haven't married you off. You're a comfort to your mother, you help me with the accounts. Selfish of us. Put it off too long. Tomorrow I'll send for your uncle the priest, and we'll make up for lost time.

L. Please, father, I'm not in any hurry to get married.

F. I've put it off too long indeed. I won't discuss it. Philosophers!(Leaves.)

L. Oh, cruel fate! Why did I mention the name of Genremos? If I had named some writer of comedies, like-- like Benhêk, I would have just received a scolding. Now I am to receive a husband as well! And be carted off to some castle where I don't know anyone, and who knows where, perhaps so far up in the mountains they've never heard of a book or a play, in Caďinor or any other language! Philosophy is supposed to open the mind, but you, Genremos, you have closed me up in a trap!

Comparison with Verdurian [To Index]

In the interests of language comparison, here is the last paragraph of the sample text again, in Barakhinei and translated line by line into Verdurian.

Bunori somoch hozdi! Poche shpakhi il nom Gêremo pêza?
Samiosë Bunori! Prokio pavetnai so nom Žendromei?

Sû nomê nhê rizundula ridibelech ku-- ku Benhêk, saledhir kalatel foli.
Esli nomnai ti-crivece ridibodëi, com-- com Benëcan, santelece et ascele.

Âl khor laodâ manôdê moru êrât hozdi!
Nun tu sen dome otál maris!

E sêth pavôndê a nhê rhukh kedi sîk laodâ ôtera nikt, e kêt shkri kedi,
Er tu et nasitme ti-řükán ktë řo otermai nikto, er ke šri ktë,

tot epê ashkol rêth ôn parêi chî ibor el adlelek sî dêna zaa oîn,
eššane otal ret im parnen dy rho šrifcu nikagdá kio e ivro iy ralinë,

kadhin meli el ôtro rhono meli kherof!
im caďinán iy nibán otren řonán!

Zêth fut chî kêshtor dhirtê radu, ak lê, Gêrem, sê sêth chidêl in klerh zêl!
Zet ditave dy soa ripriroda tun uve so razum, ac le, Žendrom, ya et cüzre im áiočak!

It's worth noting that there are a good many more cognates than is apparent from this sample, but they are obscured by idiom and semantic change. The Barakhinei future (laodâ ôtera 'I'm going to know') would be understood in Verdurian, for instance, since a similar construction is used in Ctésifon (lädai oteran), and there is a Verdurian cognate to kêshtor 'philosophy'-- kestora-- but it is now limited to only part of the field, what we would call natural philosophy.

On the other hand, somoch and samiose 'cruel' are not cognates; the Barakhinei word derives from the name of the Somoyi, the nearest barbarians and former masters of the mountain realm; while the Verdurian word means 'merciless' (sam iosun).

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