Dwarven language

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Not to be confused with Khuzdul.

The Dwarven language is one of the languages the player will come across. This language is used in-game for the names of the universe, continents, rivers, dwarven governments and settlements, dwarves, artifacts and engravings. However, as of yet, it lacks everything necessary for proper conversation, like grammar or personal pronouns.

Contents

[edit] Alphabet

The letters of the Dwarven alphabet are:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
Majuscule forms (also called uppercase or capital letters)
A À Á Â Ä Å B C D E È É Ê Ë F G H I Ì Í Î Ï K L M N O Ò Ó Ô Ö R S T U Ù Ú Û V Z
Minuscule forms (also called lowercase or small letters)
a à á â ä å b c d e è é ê ë f g h i ì í î ï k l m n o ò ó ô ö r s t u ù ú û v z

Of these 40 letters, 25 are vowels (A, À, Á, Â, Ä, Å, E, È, É, Ê, Ë, I, Ì, Í, Î, Ï, O, Ò, Ó, Ô, Ö, U, Ù, Ú, Û); the 15 others are consonants.

The letters J, P, Q, W, X, and Y of the ISO basic Latin alphabet do not occur in the Dwarven alphabet.

[edit] Letter frequency

N Letter Frequency
1 A 7.91%
2 À 0.13%
3 Á 0.16%
4 Â 0.31%
5 Ä 0.30%
6 Å 0.28%
7 B 2.76%
8 C 0.48%
9 D 3.81%
10 E 6.24%
11 È 0.14%
12 É 0.13%
13 Ê 0.26%
14 Ë 0.27%
15 F 0.45%
16 G 3.93%
17 H 5.49%
18 I 6.18%
19 Ì 0.14%
20 Í 0.15%
21 Î 0.34%
22 Ï 0.29%
23 K 4.38%
24 L 5.82%
25 M 4.69%
26 N 5.68%
27 O 6.56%
28 Ò 0.16%
29 Ó 0.18%
30 Ô 0.24%
31 Ö 0.29%
32 R 5.95%
33 S 8.59%
34 T 8.43%
35 U 5.54%
36 Ù 0.14%
37 Ú 0.12%
38 Û 0.27%
39 V 0.77%
40 Z 2.08%

[edit] Graphemics

  • Digraphs sh, th, and ng.
    • h only occurs in the digraphs sh and th.
  • Common consonant cluster st.
  • Dwarven has no diphthongs.
  • c, f, and v are always followed by a vowel.
  • Possible syllable structure either (C)2V(C)2 or (C)V(C).

[edit] Diacritic meaning

The Dwarven language has five diacritics (◌̀, ◌́, ◌̂, ◌̈, and ◌̊) used on five vowels (a, e, i, o, and u). The ring accent only appears on a and the diaeresis accent doesn't appear on u.

The diacritics point to Dwarven being a tonal language.

The choice of diacritics is a little bit confusing and makes it hard to decipher their meaning.

Diacritic Diacritic name Use in other languages Probable meaning
None - Neutral pitch
◌̀ Grave accent Low pitch, stressed vowels, open vowels, short vowels. Low pitch
◌́ Acute accent High pitch, stressed vowels, close vowels, long vowels. High pitch
◌̂ Circumflex Used to represent falling pitch or long vowels. Falling pitch
◌̈ Diaeresis (diacritic) Used to show that a vowel should be read separate (like in coöperate). This is certainly not its use in Dwarven because there are no diphthongs. Mid pitch
◌̊ Ring (diacritic) Å is a completely separate letter from A in various Nordic alphabets. And this diacritic is only used on a in Dwarven... Rising pitch

The coincidence of Å being a separate letter in the Nordic alphabets and the ring diacritic only being used on A in Dwarven is probably just that, a coincidence. If Å is distinguished from A in Dwarven, then it is quite strange that no other accents are ever applied to it.

[edit] Vocabulary

The average word in the Dwarven language is 5.088 letters long. The longest known word is ngathsesh, meaning "puke".

The average word has 1.868 syllables. Words either have one or two syllables.

[edit] Notes

Interestingly, the language lacks words like dwarf (possibly bistök-udos, "hairy man", or duradudos, "bearded man"), human (technically they have udos ("man")), goblin or elf (though one could use dák-enur ("tree-hug") for that). However, it is not lacking words for "pearl" (kovest) or "pumpkin" (elbost) which do not even exist in-universe.

The letter W does not exist elsewhere in Dwarven language, so it is unlikely that the word "dwarf" is the native moniker of dwarves for themselves. However "dwarf" might be adopted from the original dwarven word for their own kind, and similarly they might call other races by their respective chosen monikers. "Dwarf" would then be some another language's approximation of the native Dwarven pronunciation, whose correct Dwarvish spelling could purely hypothetically resemble forms such as "dorf" or "dvôrfum".

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