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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Languages of Pellatarrum: Draconic

The language of the Lords of the Air is laden with hisses, pops, glottal stops, and a series of clicks -- dental, lateral, alveolar and palatal -- that are difficult to replicate without a cleft tongue and elongated snout. Their language is further enhanced through echo chambers in their skulls and vocal sacs in their throats, which are capable of producing infrasonic effects. These sonic cues provide the necessary tonal inflection to differentiate mood and context, such as irritation or sarcasm, and this often makes them seem inscrutable or strangely apathetic to listeners unable to detect such vibrations.

When properly spoken, Draconic can be likened to the sound lightning makes as it travels from storm cloud, through the air, and strikes the ground. The nearest real-world equivalent is Assyrian or Babylonian, only with a more complex polysyllabic structure. While it is possible for non-dragons to speak Draconic, those lacking the proper mouth and tongue structures can only approximate the proper pronunciation. Rather than endure hearing their elegant names being butchered, most dragons adopt pseudonyms that are easily spoken by humanoids. For example, the great wyrm Ni?iqqu!ula'muu"uummuǂugal prefers to be addressed by his humanoid inferiors as "Doomwing."

The Draconic alphabet uses simple and direct strokes to form its letters, much like Futhark runes or ancient Greek (capital letters only), and is optimized for writing with the tip of the claw or tail. It has approximately 35 letters, including diacritical marks for infrasound. Only about 23 of these letters are pronounceable by humanoids.

Different dragon colors have their own unique dialects in terms of variation of pronunciation and slang terminology. This is akin to the difference between American, British, South African, and Australian English.

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