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A Green and Literate World
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the plants and alphabet of the little world of Hotúlet
This public article was written by Northwest, and last updated on 7 Dec 2017, 06:20.

[comments] Menu 1. Introduction 2. Alphabet 3. Others 4. Botanical Vocabulary
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This article is a work in progress! Check back later in case any changes have occurred.

[top]Introduction

The speakers of  Knødtser, or Ńúdzer [kn̪ød̪t̪sɛɹ], live in a little world of islands. Most of these are thickly forested and the forests carefully managed, but some of the islands have faced such severe deforestation that they are nearly bare. The culture has learned from these mistakes and returned to its religious roots, considering each plant that grows on the islands to be worthy of notice and attention -- for each was said to be hand-chosen or hand-crafted by Zihet [t̪sʲɪ'hɛt̪], deity of the land.

[top]Alphabet

Some of the most important plants on the island inspired the glyphs that made up the culture's earliest alphabet. The chosen plants each gave the first sound (or blend) in their name to the glyph that imitated their likeness. These glyphs showed key characteristics of each plant in order to convey that sound. Before the orthography was standardized, images of different plants with the same initial sound could all represent that sound, and the redundancies live on in the modern cursive script (written with a fine brush and ink on paper) in the characters for blends. Each sound in the blends exists both as its own character and in combination with another sound.

GraphemeSoundConscriptLetter NameNotes
TttecoerNamed for tecoet [t̪ɛ'ʃʷɛt̪], this plant grows in a single tall vine that is held up by balloon-like leaves full of lifting gas. These special leaves allow the plant to reach more easily towards sunlight in the dense jungle.
Zzt̪szierZiet [t̪sʲɛt̪] is a low-growing vine that forms pronounced kinks which release an explosive sound like fireworks when pulled straight by wandering feet. This unique defense mechanism is intended to scare off intruders who might trample more vines or the delicate blue flowers and fruit they guard.
IiʲɪinerThe small orange berries of the inet [ʲɪ'n̪ɛt̪] plant are prized for their spicy,
slightly bitter flavor. These hide beneath the leaves on the plant's vines, which grow up the trunks of rainforest trees for about seven feet, at which point they are halted by beetles, which feast on their greenery. Thus, zoáton lah fóh inet sah fóh xoátśot [t̪sʷɑ't̪ʷon̪ lʌʔ foʔ ʲɪ'n̪ɛt̪ sʌʔ foʔ ksʷɑt̪'sɹʷot̪], "to grow like the inet plant towards the beetle-line," is an idiom in Ńúdzer that means "to exist in a state of equilibrium."


[top]Others

Other plants that grow on the islands of Hotúlet [hʷot̪ølɛt̪] are listed below.

Ĺiót dah Zihet, or Ĺiódahet [klʲot̪ d̪ʌʔ t̪sʲɪhɛt̪], or [klʲod̪ʌhɛt̪] "Fruit of Zihet," a tree that bears gold-colored fruit and was, in legend, originally conjured by the Deity themself — one of the first miracles the original Ulhetúleb [ul'hɛt̪.ø.lɛb] (practitioners of the religion of Hotúlet) witnessed
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[top]Botanical Vocabulary

Just for fun, here are some other Ńúdzer words that have to do with plants:

zát [t̪sɑt̪] n. general greenery, undergrowth, or jungle
zaut [t̪sʌut̪] n. an individual plant or species
zautip [t̪sʌu't̪ʲɪp] adj. plantlike
ćát [t͡ʃɑt̪] n. stem
riót [ɹʲot̪] n. vine
rióton [ɹʲo't̪ʷon̪] v. to wrap, to twine around
keut [kɛut̪] n. flower, blossom
keur [kɛuɹ] n. a floral scent
keurtip [kɛuɹ't̪ʲɪp] adj. smelling of flowers
keuton [kɛu't̪ʷon̪] v. to blossom, to bloom, to flower
keutip [kɛu't̪ʲɪp] adj. flowery
zeut [t̪sɛut̪] n. leaf
zeutip [t̪sɛu't̪ʲɪp] adj. leafy
lait [lʌɪt̪] n. berry
loit [lʷɪt̪] n. fruit
let [lɛt̪] n. tree
letloit [lɛt̪'lʷɪt̪] n. fruit tree
ĺeut [klɛut̪] n. the fruit of the Ĺiódahet tree
ĺeud [klɛud̪] n. wine made from fermented ĺeut
sered [sɛ'ɹɛd̪] n. sun tea
hiled [hʲɪ'lɛd̪] n. hot tea
xit [ksʲɪt̪] n. mushroom
zaiton [t̪sʌɪ't̪ʲon̪] v. decompose
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