Languages

Summary

Kelkaas ['kelk.käːs] is the language of Ellal, Ennaim, Bolshoy, and many smaller villages and pastoral nomads in the Tehga Confederacy. The lingua franca of Tehgas, it has four main dialects:

  Ellal dialect, characterized by many loanwords from other Tegha languages and its high frequency of voiced consonants. Ennaim dialect, characterized by its grammatical and phonological conservativeness and the slow rate of speech of most of its speakers. Bolshoy-Kalzam dialect, characterized by its pitch accent and lack of a copula (the verb "to be"). Kaitchay dialect, about which rather little is known. 

 Kelkaas is spoken natively by between five-hundred and fifty thousand to six-hundred thousand-some people in Tehgas, and is spoken as a second language by some two-hundred thousand others.

 While Kelkaas is written, it is mostly confined to documents for mercantile and administrative purposes. As with the other languages of Tehgas, its speakers primarily transmit culture via songs and stories, and probably only about thirty percent of its speakers are literate in any fashion. Kelkaas has two separate writing systems - the large script and the old script.

The old script was developed at least seven hundred years ago, and has changed very little since then - even the oldest texts are still readily intelligible to speakers of all dialects of Kelkaas, and particularly those of Ennaim. The large script was developed much later, and is so named because of the larger size of its glyphs.

The large script has been gradually outpacing the old script in use, but for the time being, the two are roughly equal in popularity, with the old script being more common among lawkeepers and historians and the large script being slightly more prevalent amongst merchants and commoners.

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