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Phonology

Denden as we know it is primarily a written language. The phonological values given to the various signs and combinations of signs have been deduced from contemporary grammars and dictionaries, poetry and short quotes in texts written in other languages, especially in verbatim representations of pleas made before magistrates.

The script itself has been used for many languages, and every speaker used it as he was accustomed. Because of the wide variety of languages the script was used for, the inventory of signs is a rather large composite. It cannot be reliably reduced to a standard used for Denden only, although it is of course possible to indicate which subset was used in a particular text or even in a particular area.

The description of Denden phonology is not ready yet.

Script

The script most often used for Denden is the chancery script. There has never been a unified Denden spelling, and that means that the transcription used in this grammar cannot aspire to constency. In fact, the script seems to represent an exhaustive inventory of all the sounds of speech spoken in the Charyan empire, with no particular system.

Spoken Denden

In the linguistic diversity that reigned in all cities and towns of the Charyan empire, Denden quickly came to the fore as a spoken medium, too. All the spoken examples in this grammar have been recorded in the city of Broi, and thus represent a quintessentially southern accent. The primary informant is the 41 year old merchant Kelu Keluxir, who lives in the Nenyra quarter, just south of the imperial Palace.

Denden as spoken in Nenyra does not differ phonologically from the Nenyra dialect of Southern Colloquial Charyan, a dialect which can be characterized by a rich vowel and consonant inventory, especially when compared with other, more northern and eastern colloquial dialects.


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