The Juathuur call their language Juathuuvei, which means roughly “true wanderer speech”. It is a very important aspect of not only their culture, but also their magic system.
The most important thing to understand about Juathuuvei is that there is a big difference between the everyday spoken tongue and the language that is evoked by the writing system. The spoken tongue has been widened and corrupted by cross-cultural influences, while the written language has been shielded and kept fairly static because of it’s magical significance. You will very rarely see references to the spoken tongue in the comic unless there happens to be a concept that absolutely won’t translate. There will, however, be many references to the written language since it is used heavily in certain magic techniques.
As well as being a system of communication, Juathuuvei doubles as a system of classification. As a parallel, think of scientific terminology and genus/species/etc. classifications. Now imagine if the whole language worked that way.
The classification system of Juathuuvei is tied to an array of syllables that form the language’s core. The best way to understand this core array is to arrange it on a grid. This is the concept behind the sound stones that feature in the comic — grids used to teach children how to read become in the hands of the Juathuur tools of the logos-based magic known as the word path.
Juathuuvei Root Grid
Here you can see a table showcasing the most common grid arrangement. A sound stone would have one quadrant on each of it’s four faces. Each cell on the grid is a combination of a consonant and a vowel. The cells are grouped into thematic rows as a sort of meta-class. The quadrants are important, because each cell has polar pairing in the opposing, inverse quadrant. For example, the polar pairing of Fae(land) is Lle(Sea). A reversed syllable (i.e. Ar as opposed to Ra) usually implies a tendency toward the polar pairing. Other relationships between cells can be drawn besides rows and polar pairings… the study of these relationships is an important aspect of the word path. Aside from the mystical significance, it can be fun just to learn some of the meanings that infuse the names of the various characters in my comic. Note, however, that this grid only forms the core concepts of the language, and the syllables are only pure in their meaning when used as class prefixes or in a ritual/magical context.
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