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Lesson 2: Understanding Chords
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An introduction to the chord and pitch system of spoken Lamallu.
This public article was written by [Deactivated User], and last updated on 4 May 2017, 16:55.

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The angels that speak Lamallu have a complicated system of expressing emotion through sound. They have the ability to speak in musical chords, sometimes adding two different chords at the same time. This means that when truly spoken, the language sounds like a strange sort of ethereal singing.

Chords only apply to the vowel of a syllable in any given word. They are not necessary on every vowel, but there must be at least one per word.

Chords have three main components:
  • pitch
  • note
  • tonality

The pitch is how high or low the chord is and corresponds with stress rules. There are three pitches: low, medium, and high. A low pitch is a stressed syllable. A high pitch is a stressed syllable. And finally, a medium pitch is a syllable with neutral stress. Syllables with no pitch are unstressed. The different stress markings are conveyed in romanized form using accents for high pitch, macron signs for medium pitch, and grave accents for low pitch.


Pitch is the signal for whether or not a chord is "silent" or conveys emotional meaning. A low or medium pitch syllable is effectively "silent" or formal. A high pitch syllable means that the inherent emotions attached to specific notes are important for understanding the meaning of the word in context; otherwise, the chords act as placeholders for emotion that could be applied.

The root note of a chord corresponds to any of the seven musical notes and may convey different emotions depending on its paired tonality and pitch. There are generally both positive and negative emotions associated with each note. All notes convey neutral emotion in speech until they have a high pitch. However, the underlying tonality forms the word's root meaning, even as a placeholder.

A: contentment, faith; loss, sadness
B: compassion, love; unease, fear
C: neutrality, peacefulness; unclear, warning
D: happiness, joy; expectation, confusion
E: neutrality, order; focus, trust/certainty
F: curiosity, suspicion; anger, chaos
G: hope, uncertainty; disgust, horror

Tonality is the type of chord used. There are four kinds, which group the different note emotions accordingly.

Majorconveys neutral emotions or positivityfaith, love, neutrality
happiness, curiosity, hope
Minorcan convey either positive or negative emotionsadness, compassion, peacefulness, joy
order, suspicion, uncertainty
Augmentedconveys change and expectation as well as caution or hopecontentment/pride, unease, warning, expectation
trust/certainty, anger, horror
Diminishedconveys change and expectation as well as caution, distrust, or the unexpectedloss, fear, unclarity, confusion/surprise
focus, chaos, disgust

The complete chord can then be changed to its sharp (♯) form, which intensifies the emotion expressed. For example, an A minor chord might convey sadness, but an A♯ minor chord would convey grief. D♯ minor would convey elation rather than joy.

Currently, there is no way of romanizing the chord markings, but they are marked in the IPA pronunciation of dictionary words by a capital letter and diacritic preceding the vowel the chord is on. Sharp chords have a sharp sign (♯) between the capital letter and the diacritic, for example A♯˔ is the symbol for an A♯ minor chord.


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