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Rehkorokh Rehhehvtee Prihn


Much literature has been devoted to the language of the D'ni, to categorizing and defining and translating words and their meanings. However, very little has been written concerning the letters themselves, the basic makeup of the whole of D'ni language - indeed, of the whole of D'ni culture. The aesthetic appeal of the script is undeniable, with its soft curves, bold strokes, and seamless flow. The simplicity and ease of learning of the script is also admirable. This book is mainly an attempt to aid the beginner in learning the script, a reference for those who seek this knowledge, and also, on a more personal level, an homage to the script itself, something I find much needed. I am indebted to Nava Erithan and Nava Do'Vahth for their excellent teaching and invaluable aid in this work and as a Linguist. Shehmtee mot bokehntee doshokootee trehhehvtee bodokehntee kokrotee; shehmtee mot lekehntee doshokootee tsahvtee ehrthtsahvtahv bihgtoehts b'fahsee.

Guildsman Do'mahreh, Guild of Linguists

Chapter 1 - The Template Character

Each character of the D'ni alphabet is constructed of three elements - heads, bases, and accents. There exist eight specific heads, eight specific bases, and one accent. The head and accent can be absent in a character, allowing us a greater diversity of letters without creating new heads or bases. The eight heads are: hook, curve, flat, straight, angle, bent, backbent, and blank. The eight bases are: open, closed, full, sharp, curve-full, curve-sharp, joint, and closed joint. A character can either be accented or unaccented. For the most part, heads are confined to the upper half of the character, and bases to the lower half. Accents are placed within the upper half, on both the left and right sides. The next three chapters will be devoted to each specific element of the D'ni character, how they are represented, and what characters they occur in.

Chapter 2 - The Heads

The hook head is characterized by a thin, sharp upstroke at left, then a thick, steep right curve that thins as it approaches vertical, and continues to curve downwards, turning left as it approaches the extreme left of the base.
Appears in: ah, m, t, I

Similar to the hook, the curve head begins with a thin upstroke at left, which quickly curves thickly towards the horizontal, then immediately downwards, to the extreme left of the base, almost parallel with the first upstroke.
Appears in: s, f, z, w, p, sh, th

A thin upstroke at left, quickly, almost angularly, levelling out with a thick horizontal. At this point, a thick slant extends downwards to the extreme left side of the base.
Appears in: g, j, ee, ih, dh, d

A bold upwards slant slightly left, beginning at the center of the base, and tapering off at the slightest curve at the top.
Appears in: kh, l, k, o, r, oy

The angle head slowly curves upwards, over to the right, gradually thickening as it goes. At its rightmost point, it angles sharply downwards, slanting off to the extreme left of the base.
Appears in: v, b

Similar to the straight head, the bent head begins thinly at mid-base and slants forcefully upwards, slightly to the left and widening as it goes. It then bends right, quickly to the horizontal, in a full-bodied stroke.
Apears in: n, uh, oo

Like its namesake, the backbent head begins exactly as the bent head does. Instead of bending right, however, it curves left, coming close to, but not reaching, the horizontal in a thick stroke.
Appears in: ch, a

          The blank base, very simply, is used in characters where there is no head. Only the base is present.
Appears in: eh, ai, h, y, ts

Chapter 3 - The Bases

The open base begins in a quick, thin downstroke at left, then a thick horizontal swipe across. It quickly tapers upwards into a thin upstroke at right.
Appears in: k, kh, y, ih, ee, ah, I

The closed base is similar to the open base in most aspects, except for the small stroke at the left. This stroke is a small half-curve, which joins the thin downstroke and follows the same pattern of the open base.
Appears in: l, z, n, ts, a

Beginning thick at the extreme left, the open base tapers in a full curve down to the horizontal, then rises again at the right, continuing to taper into a thin upstroke.
Appears in: h, o, oy, uh, oo, ch, w

Descending from the head, a thick bar slants to the left, then sharply angles right, slowly curving upwards in a final thinning upstroke.
Appears in: v, b, g, j

A slight upstroke at left, quickly cresting, then sloping thickly downwards, curving towards the horizontal, then upwards and tapering off into a finishing upstroke. Note: The th character begins the left upstroke further down, at the same level with the lower curve.
Appears in: s, sh, th

An almost imperceptible thin downstroke at left, which shoots back almost at the same angle upwards. It crests quickly, thickening, and then curves downward. When it reaches the same level as the first strokes, it angles sharply right, thinning into the ending upstroke.
Appears in: eh, ai, dh, d, m, r

Similar to the open base, the joint base begins with a quick thin downstroke, then a full horizontal stroke, lifting up at the tapered end. Atop this, a thin upstroke crests quickly, then slants right in a thick stroke meeting the open base where it just begins to rise.
Appears in: p, f

Closed Joint:
Almost exactly the same as the joint base, the closed joint base begins with the closed base, then adds the strokes on top.
Appears in: z (anomolous)

Chapter 4 - The Accent

Accents are used in eleven of the thirty-five characters of the D'ni alphabet. They help to increase the number of characters without increasing the number of heads and bases in the alphabet. An accented character will always have a sound related to that of the unaccented character. Vowels are easy to hear; the two vowels are modifications of each other, either a pure to a dipthong vowel, or an open to a closed vowel, i.e., ah and I, uh and oo. Consonants are related by a slight change in arrangement of the mouth to speak the sound, i.e., kh (stationary tongue) and k (tongue hits palette), f (lower lip against teeth) and p (lower lip against upper lip). Placement of accents can be seen in the diagram below. The areas marked with H are where heads are written, areas marked with B are where bases are written, and areas marked A are where accents can be placed. Note that all of the A's are contained in the area for heads; all accents are written in the upper half of the character.


Chapter 5 - The Characters

Characters are formed by taking one of each element of the D'ni character and putting them together to form a recognizable D'ni character. It is important that the heads and bases be accurately formed, because of the similarities between many bases and heads. There is little difference between m and th, between ee and g, between t and v; only accurate script will allow the reader to understand what you write. As a matter of beauty as well, it is essential that the characters be formed correctly, with the writing stylus held in the hand at the correct angle, with the correct strokes.

All characters follow this format -- character - head | base | accent.

ah - hook | open | unaccented
ai - blank | curve-sharp | accented
a - backbent | closed | unaccented
b - angle | sharp | accented
ch - backbent | full | unaccented
dh - flat | curve-sharp | unaccented
d - flat | curve-sharp | accented
eh - blank | curve-sharp | unaccented
ee - flat | open | accented
f - curve | joint | unaccented
g - flat | sharp | accented
h - blank | full | unaccented
ih - flat | open | unaccented
I - hook | open | accented
j - flat | sharp | unaccented
k - straight | open | accented
kh - straight | open | unaccented
l - straight | closed | unaccented
m - hook | curve-sharp | unaccented
n - bent | closed | unaccented
o - straight | full | unaccented
oo - bent | full | accented
oy - straight | full | accented
p - curve | joint | accented
r - straight | curve-sharp | unaccented
s* - curve | curve-full | unaccented
sh - curve | curve-full | accented
t - hook | sharp | unaccented
th* - curve | curve-full | unaccented
ts - blank | closed | unaccented
uh - bent | full | unaccented
v - angle | sharp | unaccented
w - curve | full | unaccented
y - blank | open | unaccented
z** - curve | joint | unaccented

* Note the similarity between th and s. The difference between the two is that the curve head meets the curve-full base of s at the small left upstroke. In th, the upstroke is extended, and begins at the bottom of the character. The end result is a th character that more closely resembles the m character than the s.

** The curve head extends down to the horizontal stroke of the base. An obscure, and anomolous, form of the z character has been found in some manuscripts. It consists of a curve head, a closed joint base, no accent. The example listed above, however, is the standard.

Chapter 6 - A Brief History of the Script

The script of the D'ni language was formed far before the D'ni ever arrived here, in the caverns of our new home. As this is not a work in D'ni history, I will not spend time on the matter; suffice to say that the script had been standardized long before the need arose to leave Gartenay. (Current findings of ancient manuscripts prove this fact.) As no records, at present, survive regarding the script from that time, we can only guess at the origins of the D'ni script.

Although there is no evidence to prove or disprove a theory, many scripts, and possibly that of the D'ni, develop according to a standard pattern. Beginning as pictoral representations of everyday items, characters are diverse and often exist in great number. Commonly, there is no standardization of writing, so different offshoot character systems can exist. Gradually, as a culture grows and matures, the script is slowly modified, moving away from a pictoral to a symbolic system. The best elements of each of the offshoot systems are unified into one character system. As modification continues, characters come to have little or no resemblance to recognizable objects, and become almost abstract, as the modern script is. There is almost always a point in a culture's history, commonly at a peak of prosperity and unity, when the script is standardized; from that time on, it changes little, if any. This event must have occured before our people left Gartenay for D'ni, as texts from that time indicate.


I hope that, in writing this short work, I have aided in some measure those who seek to learn about our people and our culture. The language of the D'ni is perhaps one of the most basic foundations of our society: we are defined by our language and writing, in the records of our great accomplishments, the ease of communication of our people, and, most importantly, the Ages we have written and will write. If one is to understand us as a people, one must understand our language. And for that, I commend all who read this work, as insufficient as it may be, in their attempts to understand our people at a higher level.