This is the final instalment in my ultra nerdish look at etymology and the derivation of words. Lol, I know I keep saying this but I’m sure this particular post will only be of interest to me and maybe one other person, but it seems right to finish the series looking at the inspirations and roots behind my novel, White Mountain, and the whole of the Darkling Chronicles universe.
This last post looks at the finer details of language and gives a general look at the objects and things in White Mountain and their derivation.
Now, although I would never claim to be a linguist or language specialist, I have taught phonetics for the last 16 years and so have a good understanding behind the mechanics of language and word roots. So yes, like a true geek and many other eager teenagers obsessed with JRR Tolkien, I did invent my own working language for White Mountain (although this doesn’t specifically feature in the book, it hopefully gives the background a little more depth/flavour).
My Dworllian language is actually a mixture of Maori, African Ibo & Bantu dialects, Old English, Old Norse and Old Hindi! 😀
One thing you’ll notice that is very prevalent and typical of the Dworllian language, are double ‘ll’ and double ‘rr’. These are most notable in character names which always have these – Korrun, Baillum, Dorrol, Halli, Frell etc., and denote a longer consonant sound in pronunciation. Other races, such as dragons (fÿrrens) do not use these language rules, hence – Gralen, Sedgewick & Varkul. Rollm however is an exception, being so close to the Dworllian race, he has adopted the double ‘ll’ in his name.
Here are two poems/laments from White Mountain in translated Dworllian and English to give you a feel for the language.
Tè Takka ò Tarro / The Falls of Tarro
Undokko à ullvi ò arras
Beneath a canopy of stars
E sullo agarr aggallm,
Its whispering waters flow,
Undokko tè utta tunga harr
Beneath the towers standing tall
Takollo ōku manava d wharri.
Lies my heart and home.
À tūn megirr ò dworri llri
A city great of Dworllian past
Gllès mundii d à gillgalloharr witarr,
Three mountains and a palace white,
Nevfr getàll ù tirr d brkirr are
Nine gates to pass and bridges arch
Ù urru tè ngarro gllm ò sollal.
To reach the secret realm of light.
À kōparr ò sillva, à tunorr rarrrn
A veil of silver, a thundering roar
À kurra dollm, à aggakè haea…
A crystal dome, a rain bowed beam…
È sullirr tè kō ò Dwelldi (Kallorm) k’rran,
I hear the song of Dwellum (Kallorm) call,
Ìri ōku manava, e kōhu mōstan takka.
Within my heart, its mists must fall.
Kallorm, Kallorm rro k’rran irr wharri
Kallorm, Kallorm come call me home
Ù kanikani d sarri ì Tarro agarri,
To dance and sing in Tarro’s spring,
Kallorm, Kallorm rro k’rran irr wharri
Kallorm, Kallorm come call me home
Ù tallo arro koè whakarri mettan.
To rest amongst your sheltered stone.
Tè Takollo ò Fendelli / The Lay of Fendellin
Pærr neorr ufèrr tè mundii witarr
Pass now beyond the mountains white
Herrwa ïssa kara pekè d agarri
Where frosted rivers leap and spring
Arro tè lldva narra solall
Amongst the golden grasses light
Herrwa fÿrrens llvar d alla d sarri.
Where fÿrrens dwell and soar and sing.
À ettan ǽ llri d fægorr ǽ arras
A land as old and fair as stars
Ò ïsso mund d unasoll n’garr,
Of snowy peaks and moonlit seas,
Ò noktarri naru èrr ettirr affar
Of darkling woods we travel far
Ù selell onù ì sillva lèorr.
To gaze upon its silvery leaves.
À ferra whǽ æsell n’korrè fÿrra
A flame that springs eternal fire
À tūn ì tè kōhu atta,
A city in the misty sky,
À bælorra whǽ kēna kaorr elld
A beauty which shall never tire
Arro tè rællan alla harr.
Amongst the banners flying high.
À whakarr vas à affar ettan
A sheltered haven, a sacred land
Ǽ llri gllm ò gillga,
An ancient place of Kings,
À sillvorri hirr’kræl, à fÿrri brrin
A shining sword, a fiery brand
Herrwa mahkirri llvar ìri.
Where magic dwells therein.
Affar ærr uffè manava fendda vallas
Far east beyond heart’s lost desire
Tè llvmanava ò tè llri vakirr,
The birthplace of the eldest kin,
Tōnna akè solla ò wenalla ò fÿrra
Through rising sun on wings of fire
Takollo warrewa Fendelli.
Lies forgotten Fendellin.
Here are a few basic and background terms used predominantly in White Mountain:
Ǽllfr – (referred to in myth as ‘elves’ ‘alfarr’ ‘alfa’ – Greek derivation ‘alpha’ meaning first or primary).
Ǽllfren Sanskrit – A very ancient Ǽllfren text and written language similar to the ancient Indian Vedic Sanskrit.
A’Orvas – Ǽllfren word for the First Realm, equivalent to Valhalla, Elysium, Marrduk (Sumerian – Marduk) and Heaven.
Arrametta – Meaning ‘starstone’. A luminescent quartz type stone that produces light (often when held) and acts of a source of illumination for many subterranean cities and kingdoms (see Kallorm). Sometimes referred to as Arrasoll (starlight) or Kaorrsoll (false light). Dworllian derivation ‘arra’ or ‘arras’ meaning ‘star’ + ‘metta’ or ‘mettan’ meaning stone or rock.
Astarri – Ǽllfren goddess of the moon and heavens, commonly referred to as Ibell’una ‘Lady of the Moon’ in the Dworllian tongue, derived from ‘ibell’ meaning woman/female + ‘una’ meaning moon also derived from Roman goddess of the moon ‘luna’ and arachaic latin ‘lūna’.
Cecrops – legend of the half man/half dragon and hero of Cecropia (Athens). Cecropia, derivation from Cecrops, was the capital of ancient Attica named after city saviour Cecrops and later renamed Athens after Greek goddess Athena.
Dworll – (related to ‘dwarfs’ or ‘dwarves’) Derivation from Old English ‘dweorg’ and related to Old Norse ‘dvergr’ meaning dwarf
Fÿrren – A Dworllian and Ǽllfren colloquialism for any dragon, wyvern, wyrm or fire-drake. Derivation (fÿr meaning ‘fire’ from Old English ‘fȳr’ and Old Norse ‘fūrr’ + en (suffix) from Old English ‘en’ related to Gothic ‘-eins’).
I’Sharri – Dworllian goddess of love and forgiveness. Similar to the Sumerian and Mesopotamia Goddess of love, Ishtar.
Llrinaru – Elder wood. Dworllian derivation ‘Llri’ meaning ancient, old, elder + ‘naru’ meaning wood.
Medeaok – Type of Fendellin alcohol using fermented honey & emmer (ancient type of wheat grown in mountainous regions). Derivation from Old English ‘meodu’ and Welsh ‘medd’ meaning ‘mead’ (wine made from fermented honey).
Mimmirian – Meaning ‘seeing mirror’ from the Dworllian word ‘mimirr’ meaning wisdom or knowledge, derived from the Norse giant Mimir who guarded the well of wisdom near the roots of Yggdrasil. A mimmirian is an ancient mystical communicating device, usually mirror like, with a viewing panel and instrumentation for sound. Derivation from Old French ‘mirer’ and Latin ‘mīrārī’.
Naru’l’tarr – Forest leopard (Amur leopard). Dworllian derivation ‘naru’ or ‘narru’ meaning wood or forest + ‘l’tarr’ meaning swift hunting animal.
Rille – small boat or vessel, often used in funeral ceremonies to carry the dead over a waterfall and into the next world/realm (afterlife). Derivation from ‘rill’ meaning brook or stream also from Old German ‘rille’.
Sillvaf’yrren – Dragonsilver. Dworllian derivation ‘sillva’ meaning silver also derived from Old English ‘siolfor’ & Old Norse ‘silfr’ + dworllian fÿrren meaning dragon (‘fȳrr’ + ‘en’).
Solall – Dworllian meaning ‘light’, derivation from dworllian ‘solla’ meaning sun derived from ‘sol’ the Roman god personifying the Sun and later 15th century Latin ‘sōlāris’ from ‘sōl’ the sun.
Vakirri – V’kirri = Immortals, the first great wizards (grand magi) also known as the ‘magirri’ (magic ones), first order of the wise of which Morreck (M’Sorreck’) is the last remaining one. Mr. Agyk, though an ancient and powerful sorcerer, is not one of the grand magi.
There, lol, I’m sure I’ve bored you all silly, so I won’t go on!
If you’re a geek like me, then check out my previous posts on etymology 😀 :