Haloed Bane

Appendix Three: Speak like Sinduin

Dialectal variations in Standard Incudean Horgothic (SIH) are rather minuscule as a whole. Barring physiological impediments, modification of the language is a great taboo. There is however a thriving dialect known to experts as the Presidency-Gem Speech Synthesis (PGSS, rendanlinyer napurvardaia which is rather bold and has, through propagation by sheer numbers and also by a powerful media presence, become rather well known. As the name suggests, it is spoken in parts of Glowgem and almost the whole of Dani, as well as several of their colonies like Parasai and Entera. This is the dialect that Sinduin speaks when she can get away with it, and though the younger agent Sandalion never uses it, no doubt she grew up speaking it too. Read this page and you'll be able to speak like Sinduin!

General Pronunciation Differences

Horgothic /z/ is realized as [t͡s]. /v/ is realized as [w], when followed by a vowel, and [f] when in a cluster (e.g. /vr/ and /vl/ as [fr] and [fl]). Final /t/, which in the standard is pronounced as [θ], is by some PGSS speakers pronounced that way, though [s] and [f] realizations are also common. Sinduin tends to go with [s].

/t/ has two other peculiarities. When it follows /r/, it disappears altogether, and the /r/ is always trilled as [r], no matter the context. Thus artash becomes arrash. Intervocalically in the same word, it is often glottalized. The change is most often prevented when the syllable preceding the [ʔ] ends in a diphthong other than /ia, io, ui/. This glottalization is originally a trait of Danite speech, but it is very common in the entire PGSS community.

The Three Big Mutations

  1. There are three changes in small words which tend to speed up the dialect. (Similar changes occur in other dialects in Incudea). The first involves the word me, which undergoes metathesis and becomes an augment (as -em of the preceding word when it ends in a single consonant (or nasal plus another consonant). If metathesis has not occurred and the next word begins with a vowel, it is common to elide vowel and attach it to that word.
  2. SIH: Ankon me hand. PGSS: Ankon-em hand.

    SIH: Pu me ondaumir. PGSS: Pu m'ondaumir.

    It is also very common to see the words elu, tuk merged with me in PGSS (as well as in other dialects, in fact), resulting in elu'm, tu'm.

  3. The second change is to another ubiquitous word: nu. Metathesis and attachment as -un follows words that end in a single consonant (or nasal plus another consonant). There is no other change occurring to this word.
  4. SIH: Kanvior nu puns. PGSS: Kanvior-un puns.

  5. The third change involves past tense particle nui. Metathesis and attachment as -in follows words that end in a single consonant (or nasal plus another consonant). If metathesis does not occur, the particle changes its pronunciation to nyi instead, and the final vowel is often elided when followed by a word beginning with a vowel. (Future tense marker vlui is always pronounced vli.)
  6. SIH: Lash nui gum. PGSS: Lash-in gum.

    SIH: Orfand nui donozetum. PGSS: Orfand-in donozetum.

    SIH: Telpi nui tainunim. PGSS: Telpi nyi tainunim.

    SIH: Shulins nui echum. PGSS: Shulins ny'echum.


Most Horgothic nouns end in /ns/. PGSS speakers swallow the /n/ in these endings. It can be somewhat confusing to unaccustomed hearers, since it results in a conflation of plural declesions /ins/ and /is/. The key to remember is that the dialectal change does not affect word stress, and therefore plurals ending i's can and often will have different stress from those ending in original is, a repulsor. Thus:

SIH: grúken, grukénis. PGSS: SAME.

SIH: gríto, grítokins. PGSS: gríto, grítokis (NOT: gritókis).

Note that the /n/ usually survives in plural pronouns like uns and ashins.

Elision of final a

The other famous (or rather, infamous) marker of PGSS is the common elision of final a in words. If the word is a noun of two or more syllables, then it will always lose the a provided it is preceded by a single consonant (or a nasal plus another consonant) and it is not a verbalized noun (ending in -ma), though speakers will drop the a of verbalized nouns in very informal contexts. This does include nouns ending in the diphthong ia (so glidia becomes glidi'). The elision occurs in other instances, but general rules are harder to pin down. The word ena, though not a noun, is elided to en' by virtually all (associated bitena becomes biten'. This practice is especially disturbing to purists when the resulting word ends in a consonant that is unusually not allowed at the end of a word. For example, eida turning into eid'.

When the elision occurs, three final consonants often change pronunciation. /j/ and /v/ (in PGSS, [w]) are vocalized to [i] and [u] respectively. A word like suva becomes suv' and pronounced with along vowel sound, [suu]. Interestingly, the elision of final a in these cases actually allows more than one preceding consonant. Also, the vocalic /j/ persists in suffixation, though the vocalic /v/ generally returns to consonant status. Therefore:

SIH: vanja, vanjam. PGSS: wani', wani'm (NOT: wanjam).

SIH: heva, hevakins. PGSS: heu', hewakis.

The third consonant, affected, sometimes, is final t. Although final t is always [θ] in Standard Horgothic, when it is "exposed" as the result of a elision treatment varies. The norm in Dani is to sound the letter out as [k] (and in the Danite scripts it is also written thus), giving us the well-known moniker Danik to refer to a Danite (SIH Danita). In Glowgem, many pronounce the final t as they pronounce other such phonemes ([s], [f]). More common, however, is Sinduin's way of pronouncing it, as just [t]. Very distateful to refined ears, believe me.

The plural of these originally final a nouns tends to be built on the new elided form in Danite PGSS, but reversion to the original form is more common in Glowgem PGSS. Thus:

SIH: eida. PGSS: eid'.

SIH: eidakins. Danite: eid'i's. Glowgem: eidaki's.

Another example would be the word for "beginning", flama in Standard Horgothic:

SIH: SG> flama PL> flamakins.

PGSS: SG> flama PL> flamaki's.

Very informal PGSS: SG> flam' PL> flam'i's.

Adjectival endings are attached to unelided forms. Otherwise, suffixes in general tend to be added to elided forms by all PGSS speakers. As could be expected, the -a suffix itself is not elided. An Incula is always Kanviora, not Kanvior, though if the name of the member of a species ends naturally in a, then elision can and will take place. Thus, a Mara from Maratania is dubbed a Mar. And elision happens just as readily in compound forms, so that to a PGSS speaker these beings hail from the planet Mar'tani'.

More Contractions and Other Lexical Peculiarities

There are several substitutions and odd word choices in PGSS, but these fluctuate greatly from community to community. Sinduin herself as a cosmopolitan Glowgem of means sticks to the standard vocabulary for the most part. Still, she still follows some odd PGSS usage, as follows:

  • Use of dega (as deg' of course), as a replacement for standard adun to mean "now"
  • The word beth is shortened to be'
  • The word elu is shortened to el', unless it's merged together with me as elu'm
  • The pronouns vio, vliamsha become vi, fl'am'
  • The final m in initiators (lum, pam, vlim, etc.) is often elided.
  • Standard final nd is often shortened to n', especially in informal speech.
  • Other contractions are:
    • oin silau -> o'si
    • oin jiasilau -> o'ji'si
    • tru jias -> 'j'as
    • fenas -> fen's
    • lokes -> lok's
    • rendam -> 'dam
    • ninfa tuk -> ninf'uk
    • kolu ja tuk -> kol'ia'tuk
    • flau tran tuk -> fla'tran'uk
    • ti tuk -> tí'uk
  • The rather cryptic word berfad, stressed on the last syllable, is used for standard tredui and even tegrin
  • Local pronoun hob' in free variation with standard pu (1sg neutral). Hoba is the name of a type of grass that flourished on Old Lagash.
  • Most PGSS speakers make a habit of using the word saki for "hand" instead of SIH dioser. This latter term is reserved for honorific use. Now, Sinduin hardly ever uses saki, but she still refers to two hands as dioserel, the honorific plural, rather than standard dioserins, or an expected dialectal dioseri's

An Example

Below is part of the Klontein text given in the lessons, set as Sinduin would likely read it in a relatively formal PGSS-friendly setting. Words used or pronounced in a non-standard way are in bold. Note how the language changes all over the place without really affecting intelligiblity. Syntax is exactly the same.

Ashi urrongema nyi nenrioʔum in nalnisospel. Hondas glai meiwoʔum? Shen lor shiliam oin gamp'. Nas el' lesos jum, tanseitemir flauchaʔum tior Up'kam', fen's prechauma vais jias tons tru tuk hagen shemachenglari nu fenima's raul ele maun pachima brusi'm. Tan-in felam, oʔum fel, ha brian monkar prel Doles ara seitemir. Tanas-in pegam ima tuk maun dian siomai's ul acham glai. Klontein wani'm dian jisui wuk pik buki, ha tanuno igokrainem. Tsindi's was harlam jia hem tanflinglar, fen's elu'm aul uns glongum watseki's-un wioli's. Nas tanglajori's seitemir tarmeihem-in, uns doch chadinom, liowim mahish grushkema, pashgem gashaul. Nesheheirima's tormin jia harlam pais aul el' ara feloma la kin', fen's daun shuprisfawiches u doguʔunwinyi jum imaja en' wune shin'joster lok's elu'm ul nyigas. Ha klenuʔum aul nyigas doch rum chugla, fen's infiki's eleboi was janioham kidi ashi biʔash'. Klontein-in rum 430priswune.

Syntactic Differences

There aren't many, and they immediately pull the dialect register downward. Omission of the word rui is very frequent, presumably when context is clear, though honestly not always. Conversely, many speakers have a habit adding a redundant personal pronoun immediately after the noun it refers to. In the paragraph above, for example, Sinduin would be just as likely to say infiki's mans eleboi was..., literally: "the clouds they were more and more..."