Sathir Orthography

Like any good conlang, there are two methods of representation for the Sathir language: A romanization system, and an orthography. In all but rare or specialized cases, these two things should be different. In many cases, they're not. Kelenala, for example, doesn't have an orthography yet. It will one day, when I decide what would make sense. Sathir, however, has an orthography now, and this is it. If you'd like to download the font, you can, by left-clicking these very words that I'm typing at this very moment right now. But not these words. That moment, sadly, has passed. Another moment has come upon us, though, and that moment is thus: Click these words if you need a zip file. But not these. Now both moments have passed. Gone forever. Gone! Their memories fading away, like so much morning mist...


The Sathir Writing System

The Sathir writing system, called Tankhota Tadavar (or sometimes Tankhota Tadavar Suntaþir) is an alphabetic writing system. It's written from left to right with no spaces in between each word. Additionally, it's most commonly written right to the end of the line, so that the first letter for a word can appear at the end of one line and the rest can appear at the beginning of the next without anything like a hyphen. For an example of this, take a look at the image of the Babel text.

makes use of two cases for some letters, but these cases don't perform their usual case function, à la English. There are two kinds of dual-cased letters: Letters with word initial case and letters with coda case. The unaspirated stops p, t, and k have word initial variants. These variants generally have a descender that drops below the writing line. Any time a word begins with one of these stops, the word initial case is used. Additionally, word initial case is used intervocalically when the sound is voiceless as opposed to voiced (this came to be because geminates degeminated, but the resulting singletons didn't devoice intervocalically. See rule 6 of the phonology section). For p, t and k, the word initial case variant will be listed first below.

The other kind of case, called coda case, is used when the letters s, h and n are used as word-internal codas. So if a word ends in s, for example, you use the normal variant of s. In a word like asta, though, the s is put into coda case. For s, h and n, the coda case variant will be listed last below.

Below is the alphabet, which I shall list in Sathir alphabetical order. First will appear a picture of the letter in question, then will come its romanizational equivalent, then the picture of a word using that letter, and then that word will appear in romanization next with its definition just to the right of it.


Alphabet

Letter

Allophone

Example

Romanization

a a asta asta, "ear"

capital p p papi papi, "rabbit"

p p ispita ispida, "sack"
  b thaba thaba, "word"

capital k k kokis kokis, "flour"

k k nasko nasko, "friend"
  g twaga twaga, "dog"

capital t t tatis tatis, "moss"

t t ostemi ostemi, "who"
  d khoda khoda, "mouth"

e e neze neze, "sand"

s s sebi sebi, "seed"
  z khazar khazar, "hidden"
  š šafo šafo, "sheep"
  ž yežin yežin, "fire"

coda s s pwestu pwestu, "bird"

th th nentha nentha, "river otter"
  þ loþi loþi, "inhabited"

i i iþir iþir, "root"

kh kh khodo khodo, "bear"
  x roxo roxo, "eucalyptus"

l l leska leska, "breath"

m m madun madun, "leaf"

n n nuduri nuduri, "discovery"

coda n n honthu honthu, "plain"
  m rumpho rumpho, "earth"
  ng wankhu wankhu, "egg"

ng ng ngamma ngamma, "mother"

o o opyo opyo, "city"

ph ph phaþa phaþa, "night"
  f ostufo ostufo, "brick"

kw kw kwaza kwaza, "bird"
  w mewa mewa, "blood"

r r ril ril, "clay"

š š šawa šawa, "water"
  ž ožoo ožoo, "fog"

tw tw twana twana, "statue"
  ðw oðwa oðwa, "fist"

pw pw pwaro pwaro, "chair"
  v šavi šavi, "shovel"

h h hoza hoza, "metal"
  š šime šime, "width"

coda h marks a long vowel ː* kwoone kwoone, "land"

y y yungi yungi, "rope"

u u umunga umunga, "fame"
  w woras woras, "grass"

*This mark is used in the IPA to indicate that a vowel is long. I used that mark here because there is no general symbol for vowel length in the romanization. To achieve the effect of a long vowel, you merely double the vowel.


Punctuation

Sathir has some punctuation, but all of it isn't always often used all the time often. The one mark that is used fairly consistently is the full stop, which is simply a raised dot that goes before and after whatever needs to be set off:

full stop

In connected text, only one dot is placed between each phrase (see the Babel text for examples). The full stop often coincides with periods in English, but it can also be used for commas, quotes, exclamations, parenthetical phrases—pretty much anything.

Even though the full stop has many uses, there are three other specific punctuation marks which are not always used, but which can be used. The first to mention is the question mark (or question marking system):

question marking system

The question marks have an open and closed variety, and are used to enclose questions.

The third most common type of punctuation mark is the open full stop which is used to specifically denote quotations. It's often only used when a given quotation isn't obvious in a text. This is what it looks like:

quotation marks

The last type of punctuation mark is rarely used, but is there for use. These marks are kind of like parentheses. They're used to kind of lend emphasis to a given word or phrase, or sometimes an entire clause. There's an open and closed version, and the mark looks like this:

marks akin to parentheses

That's all the punctuation that Sathir has to offer. It's limited, but powerful—and vague!


Number System

For one reason or another (or none in particular), Sathir has a base 6 number system. What is that? Who knows? These guys seem to, as does this guy. I don't quite fully get everything they get, though, so I'm just going to stick with what I know. Essentially, Sathir's base 6 system is comprised of the digits 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. They look like this (in order from left to right):

the digits of Sathir: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

So up to 5, everything's normal. But you'll notice there's no 6. So how do you say 6? The same way you say the number after the last digit in English: You take the first digit and add a zero. Thus, 10 = 6. (Is Big Brother watching? He could learn a thing or two.) Additionally, everyone's favorite number 36 is now represented by 100 in Sathir, pictured below.

36 in Sathir

And, to round things off, if you wanted to say 100 in Sathir, you'd actually have to say 444:

100 in Sathir

And that's the end of that chapter.

Back to Sathir Main

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