Language in the Steamopera 



Dawajian Bruscoform script 

 Dawajian bruscoform script is a writing system native to Venus, which evolved over thousands of years from what was originally a tellurian script from Earth's Sumer.

It is still unknown how it was possible for an ancient human culture on Earth to spread into space, but it did so quite early on in its history, before the sumerian languages themselves were lost to the onslaught of perfidious semitic languages like Akkadian on Earth. It is still difficult to say whether the languages of modern-day Dawajian, or any venerean languages, are direct descendants of Sumerian languages, but the huge amount of words of Sumerian origin can be attested easily in the vocabulary, either as archaic or still-in-use: though this does not preclude the possibility that these are loans, or a vocabulary superstrate in a Sumerian-and-native creole.

On Venus there are hundreds of scripts, of which some can be surmised to be native, and from a non-Sumerian sphere of influence, but most writing systems, be they morphemic, syllabic, moraic, phonemic, morphophonemic, consonantal, half-consonantal, write-only or read-only, are based on the Sumerian script brought from Earth, much like modern tellurian writing.

In Dawaj, and mostly everywhere, bruscoform is not learned widely. Only a few basic signs are used for day-to-day purposes, and most other writing is done with a mixed-system morphemic-alphabetic script long since separated from its mother script.

Short dictionary of technical and rare words

abaric /æ'bærιk/ adj. lacking gravity on Earth, having zero weight.

abterric /æb'tεrιk/ adj. antibaric gravity – non-Earth gravity.

air boat / aîboat n. a small airship.

airship / aîship n. a steerable atmospheric flying device; a dirigible or an 'air plane'.

analog /ænəlʌg/ n. a machine calculator, an information machine

antibaric / antïbaric /'æntaιbærik/ adj. repelling gravity on Earth, having negative weight.

antibaride / antïbarïed n. substances and elements that are antibaric.

atmonaut /ætmʌnot/ n. a sailor of an atmonav.

atmonautical /ætmʌnotιkl/ adj. being of or having to do with suborbital abaric flight; being of or having to do with earth-orbit abaric flight.

atmonav /ætmʌnειv/ /ætmʌnʌv/ n. an atmonautical ship.

aviation / äviaeţion n. heavier-than-air abaric flight.

bruscoform / bruscöfôm /braskəwfoːm/ n. the particular name of the script used on Venus to differentiate it from its ancestor script from Earth's Sumer, called cuneiform.

caelo /'kειləw/ n. a caelonav

caelonaut /kειlənot/ n. a sailor on a caelonav.

caelonautical /kειlənotιkl/ adj. being or having to do with interorbital or interplanetary space flight.

caelonav /kειlənʌv/ n. a caelonautical ship, interplanetary spaceship.

countergravity / countêgravity n. the specific gravital force of antibaric matter, viz. the gravital force that repels probaric gravital mass.

drighten / drïten n. a ruler of a Grand Duchy or Grand Principality, comparable to German Fürst, Swedish furste and Finnish ruhtinas, to which it is cognate.

egerticism / eğêtiçism /εdʒətιsιsm/ n. the uplifting of an animal species into sentiency by a cultured species.

egerticist / eğêtiçist /εdʒətιsιst/ n. a person who advocates egerticism.

Elmin degrees /εmιn/ n. measure of temperature, where the melting point of water is -10 and the boiling point at 40, leaving 0 as about 20 degrees Celsius. Also called elmin. Scientific notation is [number] E. The conversion formula between C and E is E = (C-20) / 2.

ether / ëthê n. interplanetary fine particle matter, forming currents in orbits of objects.

geobaric / ğëöbaric /dʒιəwbæɾιk/ adj. having gravity on Earth, having normal weight. Syn. probaric.

kenrel /kεnrəl/ n. the principal part of a kenner machine, that which acts as a go-between from one part to another, abbreviation of ken-relay

kenner / kennê /'kεnə/ n. a kind of analog machine, from the name of the popular machine model created by Finn McJones and sold by the dozens in the beginning of the analog boom, usually used as controllers for teleloguical machinery.

moon mile / moon mïel n. one arc minute of the orbit of the moon?

new ounce / new ounç n. measure of weight (in contrast with mass). One sixteenth of a new pound, that is, one thirtytwoth of a kilogram, 31.25 grams.

new pound n. measure of weight (in contrast with mass). Half a kilogram.

new ton n. measure of weight (in contrast with mass). The new ton is part of the new Imperial measurements system devised under King Victor. It is about two thousand new pounds, which is about 1000 kilograms. Abb. 'nt'

skyboat / skïboet  n. a small caelonavic vessel, usually attached to a mothership.

tiresian / tïrësian n. coll. a crossdresser; a transvestite.

transgravity n. the specific gravital force of neutrobaric matter, viz. the gravital force that attracts probarides and antibarides towards alphaneutrides or betaneutrides.

The English Orthography Reformation

In the beginning of the century, there was a movement for the reformation of English spelling. Or rather, a collection of different movements that set out to reform the orthography. Membership to an orthographion was, and is, a function of social class, political affiliation, education, fashion, religion and even career, thus a person's writing could be a mixture of different kind of orthographies, cherry-picked to suit one's tastes from all those employed.

The secondary orthography used in this volume is Second Brimley Reform Spelling, created in 1833 by Fredrik Brimly loosely based on the Rearrangemential Principle. Here is a simple run-down:

  • Shift all original silent «e» letters left-wards to the side of the vowel its historical presence ablauted: «rote» is turned into «roet», «rate» is written «raet»; the digraphemes «æ» and «œ» may be used.
  • Write "long" vowel letters with umlaut dots, like "long" „ī„, as in the primus pronoun «I»: written as «ï».
  • Write «r» after vowels as a circumflex diacritic above the preceding vowel: «tar» as «tâ», «beer» as «bëê».
  • All «ch» sequences that are pronounced as "hard" „k„, and which usually are from Greek loans, are to be written «kh»: «kharacter», «khemistry».
  • "Lenited" «c», «t» and «g» are to be written as «ç», «ţ» and «ğ»: «ace» as «aeç», «nation» as «näţion» and «gem» as «ğem».
  • Remove all silent «gh»  sequences.
  • And so forth, et cetera

Hëê lïes a man with rënown thrü the wôld,

Here lies a man with renown through the world,

as a rïetê hüs books wên't thrown, but hûl'd.

as a writer whose books weren't thrown, but hurled.

The International Linguistic Alphabet

The ILA is an alphabet constructed by the Society of Language & Linguistics for the use of phonetic and phonemic transcription. It contains many symbols based primarily on the Latin alphabet, with some Greek and Cyrillic graphemes included.

Consonant rows: Plosives, fricatives, nasals, semiconsonants, trills, trips, semilaterals and laterals.

Consonant columns (unvoiced and voiced side-by-side): bilabial, labiodental, dental, alveolar, prepalatal, palatal, velar, uvular, pharyngeal and glottal.