The language of magic, part 3 of lots

7 Oct

Inamali is the language of magic – the language of the Inamali people and their writings, including their spell books. It is the language Karia must master if she is to understand how to destroy magic.

And I thought you may enjoy the books a lot more if you understand a few things about the Inamali language.

Spoiler alert: If you have not read The House in the Old Wood, you will not want to read the rest of this post.

OK, English speaker, whose language is written with an alphabet. What’s the relationship between the following syllables: a, ka, ma, sa, va?

They all have the same vowel, right?

Well done.

But what’s the relationship between the following symbols?

a, ka, ma, sa, va

Those are a, ka, ma, sa and va in Inamali. And someone who spoke Inamali would see no more relationship between them than you see in the symbols.

An Inamali speaker is not thinking in terms of the sounds individual letters make, because their language has no individual letters. They’re not thinking, “Oh, those all end in ‘a,’” because a is a distinct and different syllable from ka.

But knowing that, if you were to peruse an Inamali syllabary, you would see something strange. Some of the symbols for syllables with the same vowel are similar.

For instance, here are a, la, ra and sha:

a, la, ra, sha

Why the similarities?

Inamali arose among people who spoke and wrote the language commonly known as Teneka – the language of all people, based on the language of Nymph, written with an alphabet. Inamali is based on the language of Sylph.

It bears similarities to Analiki, which was the previous language of magic, and also arose among people who spoke and read Teneka and also is based on the language of Sylph.

So the influence of an alphabet shows up in both Analiki and Inamali.

Next we’ll look at the stuff that really doesn’t make sense.

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