Teach Yourself ... Shirahlat?
|From:||Herman Miller <hmiller@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, August 8, 2001, 0:58|
I've been considering the idea of doing an introduction to Czirehlat in
more of a "Teach Yourself" style ... but it just seems a bit odd. The
language really needs a culture to go with it. Otherwise you'd end up with
chapter after chapter of Zelda hints and thoughts about microtonal tuning;
after all, Czirehlat is a personal language. So I was thinking about who
might possibly be the native speakers of the languages of the Tirelat
family (of which Czirehlat is just one dialect), and I came up with the
weasel-folk. They're not literally weasels, but the weasel is an animal
they admire and closely identify with. They wear animal masks in their
private gatherings, but in ordinary life, they put their "human masks" on.
It's possible they may be kin to the fairies, but no one knows for certain,
and they're not telling if they are.
The idea of the weasel people came to me early last year, when I had more
ambitious plans for my web site. You'd get masks from the weasel folk and
use them as keys to enter various areas of the site. But all the job
searching and moving got in the way, and I never got back to it.
The Czirehlat word for weasel is "szira", thus the weasel folk are
"Szirajahr" and the weasel language "Szirahlat". But I spell [S] as "sz" to
make alphabetic sorting easier; there's no reason not to spell it "sh" for
a "Teach Yourself"-style book. And it's likely that their language will
eventually diverge from Czirehlat, as Czirehlat itself has diverged from
the other Tirelat branches. But for now, it'll probably start out very
similar (with perhaps a few phonological changes).
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