The Fiction and Poetry of Jason Thibeault

Thoughts On The Evolution of Earuthlish Naming

Earuthlish is considered the common language of Ear-du-roth, although there is some argument about whether it is just the language most spoken in the shard occupied by humans or the entirety of the Fractured Lands. Still, it is clear from dealings between the shards that Earuthlish is a language understood by many races.

Prior to the Fracture (circa 7,000 BD) [this would have encompassed the Time of Shaping up until the Time of War], Earuthlish names were comprised of three parts. The first part represented the uniqueness of the individual thing, whether an object or being. The second part represented the characteristic of the named. While the final part was only applicable to sentient creatures and represented their personality. In this example, for the Inferi Bowveia-sil-wash, Bowveia represented the uniqueness of it, sil had the meaning of seductive or erotic, and wash meant not to be trusted. It is not surprising that this early version of Earuthlish has been dubbed the “angelic language”.

The following are the current inventory of the angelic language second and third suffixes and their respective meanings.

Second suffixes (the characteristic of the named): sil (seductive or erotic), ankt (hard, unyielding), ou (foul, corrupt), fa (beautiful, fair), twil (uncertainty, shifting), nifh (deceptive, calculating), tah (insubstantial, ephemeral), bon (nurturing, natural).

Third suffixes (the personality of the named): wash (not to be trusted), salhud (evil or psychotic), lesh (cold and emotionless), sho (vengeful and hot headed), pero (clever and smart), quilz (flight and indecisive), afko (loving but harsh), and get (without emotion).

After the time of the Fracture, we can see the language compress towards its final iteration of Earuthlish. Between approximately 7,000 UD and 3,200 UD [encompassing the Time of War through the early years of the Time of Breaking], the third part of the name, that which defines the personality, seems to have been combined into the second term throughout documents from that period. So back to the example of Bowveia-sil-wash, we see references to this Inferi as Bowveia-silsh. It’s important to note, though, that scholars do not seem to agree on the reason for the specific compression as it always appears that the concatenation involves retention of the full second naming part with the last two letters of the final part.

Before looking at the final evolution of the angelic language into Earuthlish, it is interesting to examine a variant that appears to have been isolated to a specific area of the shard in the southern most region. Perhaps this can be contributed to the area being sparsely populated, and largely by nomadic tribes at the time, but written materials at the time, most often dealing with trades between tribes which attributed the transfer of ownership between two or more people, we can see a reintroduction of a third suffix. So a man who might have been named Aruk-et-tilha in the angelic language and then compressed to Aruk-etha was marked as Aruk-etha-bun. It is largely believed, through recoveries of tablets and other written materials across numerous archaeological sites, that the third suffix referred to the person’s number within their tribal unit. Bun, in this example, denoting 21st. It is quite possible that during this time, the Aruk-etha was not the name of a single man but the name of the tribe and the third suffix was the only marker which denoted one man from another. We only see evidence of this for a thousand years or so between 2,500 UD and 1,500 UD. After that, that area of Ear-du-roth, which would have been called Ear-duth throughout the rest of the world, seems to have fallen in line with the final compression into modern Earuthlish.

This final compression appears to have happened in two parts. The first part, which, at best guesses right now, occurred principally from 3,199 UD and 1,000 UD [finishing up the Time of Breaking, through the Time of Heroes up to the Time of Miracles] involved the truncation of the second suffix (now the only suffix) or the concatenation between the first and second parts. Back to our initial example, Bowveia-silsh, now becomes Bowveia or, in the case of Ear-duth, Earuth. Scholars tend to agree that this is a result of an explosion in population during this time. Smaller villages and towns were subsumed by the much larger cities, in most cases, within a specific distance (it is not the point of this writing to expound upon the geographic densities so I won’t specific discuss that). As these cities became much larger, compounded with the general growth of the population during a time of economic prosperity across the world, there seems to be a general need to shorten the written and spoken word for commerce. With so many records being written, shorthand could eventually become mainstream. But there is also a secondary compression which has happened over the last 200 years (up until now, 896 AD). And that is the compression of sounds into singular letters. So looking at what was Bowveia (pronounced, during that time, as “bawveya”) has finally become Bawae as it is now codified in modern Earuthlish.

Examining the evolution of modern Earuthlish sheds a light on previous cultures, allowing scholar to get a better understanding of how environmental and social factors influenced the development of the common language.