A Manual on the Language of Shiban, Chapter 1

Standard

This manual is focused primarily upon the instruction of the most common dialect of Shibani, that spoken in the city of Ausin and surrounding regions, concentrated in the northeastern part of the peninsula. However, many of the features of this language are common across its various dialects, and shared with its neighbouring tongues. Most of the languages of this region are related and many are mutually intelligible. The variety of Shibani spoken in Ausin is often considered to be the default language of communication between peoples, when Aeskhonan is not employed.

Further, it is noted that Shibani languages have had a significant grammatical and lexical influence on the dialects of Aeskhonan spoken in the Tiler Sea, and all along the coasts of both continents.

Successful completion of this manual will not only render intelligible the languages of many people, but will grant a new richness to the study of Aeskhonan and to that of languages generally.

In order to begin speaking and comprehending any spoken language, the student must first be able to both produce, and distinguish upon hearing, the sounds used therein. What follows is a complete account of the consonant sounds encountered in Shibani, and the glyphs used to represent these sounds.

Those sounds produced by halting the flow of air:

p – The air is halted and then released at the lips. The vocal cords are not excited.
b – The air is halted and then released at the lips. The vocal cords are excited.
t – The air is halted and then released by the tip of the tongue rising to behind the teeth. The vocal cords are not excited.
d – The air is halted and then released by the tip of the tongue rising to behind the teeth. The vocal cords are excited.
k – The air is halted and then released by the root of the tongue rising to the roof of the mouth. The vocal cords are not excited.
g – The air is halted and then released by the root of the tongue rising to the roof of the mouth. The vocal cords are excited.
ʔ – The air is halted and then released by the closing of the throat. The vocal cords are not excited.

Those sounds produced by directing air through the nose:

hm – With the mouth fully closed, air is directed through the nose. The vocal cords are not excited.
m – With the mouth fully closed, air is directed through the nose. The vocal cords are excited.
hn – With the tip of the tongue behind the upper teeth, air is directed through the nose. The vocal cords are not excited.
n – With the tip of the tongue behind the upper teeth, air is directed through the nose. The vocal cords are excited.
hng – With the root of the tongue rising to the roof of the mouth, air is directed through the nose. The vocal cords are not excited.
ng – With the root of the tongue rising to the roof of the mouth, air is directed through the nose. The vocal cords are excited.

Those sounds produced by directing air through narrow passages:

f – The air is directed between the upper teeth and the lower lip. The vocal cords are not excited.
v – The air is directed between the upper teeth and the lower lip. The vocal cords are excited.
th – The air is directed between the tip of the tongue and the upper teeth. The vocal cords are not excited.
dh – The air is directed between the tip of the tongue and the upper teeth. The vocal cords are excited.
s – The air is directed between the tip of the tongue and behind the teeth. The vocal cords are not excited.
z – The air is directed between the tip of the tongue and behind the teeth. The vocal cords are excited.
sh – The air is directed between the tip of the tongue and the roof of the mouth. The vocal cords are not excited.
x – The air is directed between the root of the tongue and the roof of the mouth. The vocal cords are not excited.
h – The air is directed through a partially closed throat. The vocal cords are not excited.
hw – The air is directed between rounded lips. The vocal cords are not excited.
w – The air is directed between rounded lips. The vocal cords are excited.
l – The tip of the tongue rises close to, but does not touch, behind the upper teeth. The air is directed along the sides of the mouth. The vocal cords are excited.
ll – With the tip of the tongue behind the upper teeth, air is directed along the sides of the mouth. The vocal cords are not excited.
j – The root of the tongue rises close to, but does not touch, the roof of the mouth. The air is directed through this gap. The vocal cords are excited.

r – There are a number sounds, depending on dialect, that may be used interchangeably, that shall be represented by this glyph.
Firstly, and most commonly, the tip of the tongue rises slightly as air is directed through the mouth. The vocal cords are excited.
Secondly, the tip of the tongue trills behind the teeth. The vocal cords are excited.
Thirdly, the tip of the tongue taps behind the teeth, without halting the airflow completely as in a d. The vocal cords are excited.

Hybrid sounds

ç – A hybrid glyph, indicating a t followed by a sh.
c – A hybrid glyph, indicating a t followed by a s.
ḑ – A hybrid glyph, indicating a d followed by a sh, but keeping the vocal cords excited.*
ẓ – A hybrid glyph, indicating a d followed by a z.
ř – A particularly difficult sound, produced as a trilled r occurring simultaneously with a sh.

*Curiously, the secondary part of this sound, sounding as a sh but with excited vocal cords (it could perhaps be rendered as zh) is not found in Shibani.

Many of these sounds may be difficult to produce, and may even be difficult to distinguish from each other. Diligent application and practice, bearing this guide in mind, will quickly instruct the student in the correct pronunciation necessary for Shibani. It will be noticed that many of these sounds occur in pairs, bearing the same manner of production solely for the excitation or passivity of the vocal cords. It is fruitful to practice producing these sounds in pairs, isolated from other consonants, to develop a natural ability to both pronounce them and distinguish them.

The vowels used in Shibani are sufficiently similar to those of our own language to begin learning vocabulary. The subtleties of vowel production will be covered in a later chapter.
Study the following vocabulary, being sure to carefully pronounce each word according to the guide above, before proceeding to the next topic of the manual.

mother, ama; mothers, nama.
father, ata; fathers, nata.
sun, toli; suns, doli.
city, caix; cities, acaix.
sea, kwyl;seas, gwyl.
land, dalt; lands, adalt.
day, luth; days, lluth.
night, jos; nights, njos.
god, duot; gods, aduot.
human, tlogan; humans, dlogan.
sky, ahwal; skies, nahwal.
water, tall; waters, dall.
fire, llan; fires, tllan.
fish, hmidhyn; fish, midhyn.
bird, toten; birds, doten.
dog, kiçi; dogs, giçi.
cow, fuca; cows, vuca.
camel, llazem; camels, tllazem.
elephant, esvuç; elephants, nesvuç.
tree, kathen; trees, gathen.
leaf, iẓen; leaves, niẓen.

drink, iflo.
eat, kuto.
see, geto.
hear, klygo.
know, ymato.
sleep, giço.
walk, nemtho.
come, hido.
swim, tlanfo.
fly, heflano.
sit, mostho.
stand, semllo.
give, raxo.
speak, syrto.

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