Accents

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Accents are the small marks found below, above, and to either side of the characters of core script and related writing systems in order to modify the significance of said characters. The full accent system is used only when writing for children, as in schoolbooks, and in poetry, where it is absolutely required in order to make any sense of the stuff at all.

We can divide accents into three basic types: consonant accents, vowel accents, and tone accents. The name "Shwarmph", which is written with two characters, conveniently illustrates all three. The first character has a basic reading of sa; however, it bears a consonant accent that changes the sound s into the sound sh, and two vowel accents: one written below that precedes the vowel with the sound w, and another written above that changes the sound a into the sound ar. (Of course, the sound ar is pronounced in different ways in different parts of Ghyll, but this does not affect the general principle.) In addition, it bears a tone accent that means "falling tone"; the reader may hear this fall in the voice by pronouncing the name "Shwarmph" to himself or herself as the case may be. The second character, whose basic reading is mp, is simpler: it bears only the consonant accent that changes the sound p into the sound ph. (Again, ph does not have the same sound everywhere.)

Of course, when used in such a familiar combination as "Bobby Shwarmph", it's typical to omit all the accents on the latter name, as it will be perfectly clear to the reader that we are not talking about some hypothetical "Bobby Samp", but about the well-known editor of Aliens Everywhere magazine.

In addition, some of the core script characters have a semantic rather than phonological significance, such as "¤", which represents a unit of money; these can bear semantic accents that indicate whether we are talking about ooos or Quezloos, a highly significant distinction, since one of the latter is worth some 8520 of the former! Naturally enough, semantic accents are rarely omitted.

Although core script has been using accents unsystematically for some centuries, we owe the systematic account of them summarized above to the early work of Ibaan Malmiz, who was one of the most promising scholars of Ghyll before he went "around the river-bend" as the saying is, and began to spout the foolish, dangerous, and pernicious ideas for which he has become so well known.

We are told that Xuriental writing systems use as many as thirty-two accents on each character, but how that can be possible is not well understood.

Citations: Bobby Shwarmph, Core script, Ibaan Malmiz.

--John Cowan 08:35, 18 May 2005 (EDT)


From what I understand, the Xuriental writing is three dimensional. Some rumors even indicate that their characters are in fact four dimensional, as they cycle in time through a short loop. This would at least aid in the expression of the 32 different accents. --Lady Aleksandra 23:05, 30 May 2005 (EDT)

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