Aedyran Dialects

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Aedyran Dialects
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Aedyran Dialects is a book in Pillars of Eternity about the Aedyran language.

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Items in italics are quoted directly from the game.

The sun does not set on the Aedyran language. Those of us who commune with this proud language, or some derivation of it, populate every corner of Eora.

Most of us who speak this wonderful tongue know it as Aedyran, but scholars and those obsessed with correctness often qualify it as 'modern' or 'contemporary' Aedyran. This is to contrast the language you and I speak today with Eld Aedyran - the old elven language that was spoken in the Aedyran Empire back before the pioneer settlers of the Dyrwood built their longships.

If Eld Aedyran could be considered the mother of the living Aedyran, the language of Hylspeak could be seen as Aedyran's cousin. Hylspeak is fading from common use but many of the elves (especially the older one) in the Aedyran heartland still use this dialect.

Whether you know it or not, if you can read these words, you can understand Hylspeak - it is almost identical to Aedyran but includes a large vocabulary of archaic words that have fallen out of use in today's Aedyran. When you hear bards sing old Aedyran poems, there are often lines of chorus that sound like melodic nonsense inserted to complete rhymes - these are usually instances of words that are lost from our common language but still used in Hylspeak.

While Hylspeak is familiar to speakers of so-called 'modern' Aedyran, the same cannot be said of our language's predecessor. Eld Aedyran is a dead language, spoken by academics but not used in any major community. Eld Aedyran words are often familiar to Aedyran readers, but the words use orthography that has since been abandoned - unfamiliar accents marks abound.

For example, Eld Aedyran contains some diphthongs that have no place in the modern Aedyran, as well as a few tricky consonant clusters:

Ea creates an "ey-ah" sound that sounds like the colloquial salutation "heya!" Eo sounds like "ey-oh" - this sound is still used in the modern word "Eora." Ey is pronounced as "ey-ee" such as in "wraith." Ue and ü both create long "oo" sounds, as in "loop." Y sounds like a "ee" sounds as in "bee." Gj sounds like the consonant "y" as in "you." Sc sounds like sh, so you'd pronounce scop like "shop." Cg sounds like the "dge" end of a word like "hedge."

It is not uncommon for given names of Aedyrans, Dyrwoodans, and Readcerans to come from Eld Aedyran. Some examples:

Aldwyn is pronounced "ALD-ween" because of the long vowel sound on the y. Durnisc is pronounced "DUR-nish" since the final Sc cluster sounds like an Sh sound. Gjestr is pronounced "YES-tr" on account of the Gj consonant cluster. Slecg is pronounced like "Sledge." Thyrsc is pronounced "THEER-sh." Uscgrim is "OOSH-grim" and not "usk-grim" Yngmar is pronounced "EENG-mar," leading with a vowel sound.