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Sáharían Cultural Notes
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Religion, Politeness, Names, Idioms, Proverbs
This public article was written by [Deactivated User], and last updated on 31 Mar 2020, 04:46.

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Menu 1. Sáharían Religious Beliefs 2. Politeness & Respect 3. Names 4. Idioms 5. Proverbs & Sayings
This article is just a place to throw cultural information about Sáharía; nothing very organized, and it'll grow very hapharzardly.

[edit] [top]Sáharían Religious Beliefs

The deities the Célibríans venerated were considered deeply entwined with place, so when a group of them left and settled Tílthoría, they left their gods behind, with the exception of the ocean goddess, who gave her name to the sea; Shála. Tílthoría had been previously inhabited, however by the time the Tílthoríans arrived very few traces were left of them. Sáharían tradition tends to hold that a plague killed them, but they have no evidence whatsoever. What traces were left for them to find were mostly in the form of cairns swallowed by the forests, and the glimmer of ancient offerings in springs. The Tílthoríans soon came to believe that the spirits of the island’s previous inhabitants, who had gone so long without living people to observe, had become sundered from them, becoming a new type of being, somewhere between a human and a god. As time passed and the emphasis on their old gods having been left in Célibría strengthened, the clear-cut conception of Shála as a goddess blurred. Since the spirits—being weak supernaturals beings only a step away from human—were appealed to only in the direst of circumstances, in place of the gods the Sáharíans began to hold the king in a divine light, which continued even after the royal line which they had put so much stock in died out. Their civil wars were as religious in nature as they were political. The closest thing the Sáharíans had to priests were the lúthenal; the bards, or maybe the cáreithílvonel; village leaders with judicial functions, among other things.

The Tílthoríans, and the Sáharíans after them, did maintain their legends and myths about the Célibrían deities, however over time the Sáharíans disconnected with these stories of the gods and places their ancestors had left long ago, and while they were always maintained, epic poems in many ways took their place, though only one epic involved a supernatural element, and they were otherwise only exaggerated accounts of past events.

Sáharíans have few words for supernatural or mythological creatures; they have ghosts (filtúthel), the spirits (éthral), the deities (yujól), dragons (cýriárenel), ogres/giants/what have you (unórnel)… and that’s it. They don’t really believe in any mysterious beasts on Tílthoría, just the spirits, and only dragons and giants have continued to be referenced. The Célibríans doubtless had many other mythological creatures, however the Sáharíans, as needs and their environment changed, didn’t maintain them in their lexicon. A highly-educated Sáharían might reference a gólta, but few people will know what they’re talking about. The exception is the northwest, where someone who lives by the sea will tell you that a golta is a reclusive creature which dwells in sea-caves, which you’ll only ever see if you’re caught out at sea in a storm; goltal are afraid of storms and in those cases will seek to bring seafarers to their dens to keep them company until the storm wears itself out. It would be a benign creature, if it weren’t for the fact that it doesn’t understand humans need air to breath. All along Sáharía’s north coast, “to be comforting a golta” (gólta linsón) is a euphemism for “be lost at sea after a storm”. That said, it’s only some maritime creatures that have been maintained in the northwest; even the oldest, most traditional Ároashána won’t be able to explain a reference to a tirshó.

[edit] [top]Politeness & Respect

Despite belonging to a very hierarchical society, Sáharían doesn’t have many ways of expressing this linguistically. Largely because people are meant to stick to their own rungs of the social ladder, and to leave the talking to their social superiors unless asked a question. So politeness is mostly foisted off on behaviour. That said, there are some ways of indicating respect.

Titles are the most common, usually used as a vocative when addressing a respected figure, such as a parent, cáreithílvon/village leader, lúthena/bard, lord, etc. Various endearments—such as stoyén (foal), cáloren (bird) and hecón (lamb)—may likewise be used in familiar situations, especially from parents to their children or between romantic partners.

Names are usually used between equals—especially in shortened forms between family members—though someone might address a social inferior with their name if necessary for differentiation. Shêlanians never really got a handle on that part of Sáharían communication, so in certain situations addressing a social inferior by name could be seen as a Shêlanianism—a dangerous thing for most of Sáharían history, moving into something merely frowned upon as subseviant to Shêlanian influence after the Vúlnorían transition. In general, Sáharíans perceive Shêlanians as being very free with names (which is true), and it wouldn’t be unusual for a Sáharían to address a Shêlanian of relative higher social standing by name, particularly at the expense of their title.

Ethlínaru is used to politely encourage people, usually to come, as it literally means “welcomingly” or “with welcome” (ie. “please/do come”).

Tátheór (“goodbye”, to the one who’s leaving) may be used in place of the imperative of "go (away)" “tátheshí”, which can have the connotations of “go away!”

Since Sáharían doesn’t make much avoidence of the imperative, it might be worth noting that it has a means of strengthening it, for when you really want to make a point. This is done by using the future tense (ex. “talén tátheshí [oró]”).

Questions asking for information can be softened by adding “do you know?” So “do you know who that woman is?”/“feláth jés bérna hár?” is politer than “who is that woman?”/“feláth jés bérna?

Another note on politeness would be requests for material things, for which there are three main avenues of approach. The first way is to ask a yes/no question (ex. caroth társa tár ilís?/do I eat bread?); this method is used when the item requested is considered to be in the addressee's possession, and the speaker doesn't have a right to expect to receive it. For the example, the scenario might be that someone's stopped by a friend or acquaintance's place and is feeling a bit peckish. The second way is to use the verb suthé (ex. társa suthé ilís/I want bread), which is used when the item requested is in the addressee's possession, but the speaker has some right to expect it to be given/shared. The example in this case might be used by a visitor. If the speaker wants to be particularly polite, they might drop the subject pronoun ilís and simply say "társa suthé"/"bread is wanted". The third way is to use the verb hór (ex. ára ilís társa hór/give bread to me), which is used when the item requested is communally possessed. For example, if a household is eating dinner, someone might directly request bread this way. Other verbs can also be substituted, such as sen/bring, though that can affect the politeness.

Sáharían has no direct equivalent to “please”, however it does have words for thanking and apologizing, primarily orfán/thank you and bívelís/sorry, which may be used in their unabraded forms of “oró jófan [ilís]” and “[ára oró] bíve ilís” by someone speaking to a social superior.

Another facet to the formalities surrounding language is the use of informal and/or slang terminology. This has more to do with the status of the speaker than the context; nobles, scholars and that sort avoid informal language, the exception being words which formed differently in the formal and informal registers (ex. milk, CLQColloquial (spoken)
for informal or colloquial situations
liénsa, FORFormal (respect/formality)
for formal situations
cóyenilósa), in which case the informal version might be used in casual situations, though never when a high-class child is around (as this would run the risk of “tainting” their vocabulary). Slang terms are only used by middle- or lower-class people in the company of their family and/or friends. Dialectal terms are usually considered slang outside their region, and informal within it. The exception is the field of medicine, where informal words are frequently used, even in preference to formal ones.

Sáharíans only had a single name, and a monothematic one at that. Since most Sáharíans lived in small villages, and there was no tendency of passing on names, however, it doesn't seem to have been much of a problem for the average Sáharían in everyday life. When disambiguation was required, there were a couple of ways to accomplish it. Farmers and common types of craftspeople such as blacksmiths would usually be specified by using the name of their village. So Hírun cavó Vúshiénal compared with Hírun cavó Nurthánvel. Since there were some villages which shared a name even after the institution of unique place names under Thílhanun in -161, another specifier might rarely be needed; in that case it was occupation, or if that failed, age (with one dubbed "Old Hírun" and the other "Young Hírun"). People with an occupation or status they had reason to be proud of would be identified with that. So bécirshar Hárun would be contrasted with cáreithílvone Hárun. No form of filiation or patro/matronymic was used, except for a ruler's child(ren)/heir, and that only during the Late Sáharían and Early Vúlnorían periods.

Names were formed from a single word, though it might be a derived one (ex. Thílhanun, which is derived from thílhana, the agentive form of thílha/fight). The transition between Old Sáharían and Sáharían names was something of a bottleneck, in that people favoured words which had passed from the former to the latter, and only gradually began using words not directly derived from a root. Sáharían names continued to be formed from a disproportionately high number of roots, and it affected the tastes in which words were suitable for being turned into names. Names could be formed from nouns, verbs or adjectives. Sáharíans would make a name out of almost any word. Some names suggest strength or a hope for the child’s future (ex. Jérnun “caregiver”, Vulna “healer”, Círarun “mighty”, and Yéara “dignified”), while others are more likely to have originated as apotropaic names (ex. Talórun “envious”, Rothúna “roughness”, and Rúthun “exhaustion”). Women very rarely had names with a negative base, but it was common for men, especially through the Middle and Late Sáharían periods. Other names were formed from a concept, generally a positive one, though there were exceptions for men (ex. Ólishun “vengeance”, Éona “joy”, Váshun “fear”, and Fiyára “rememberance”). Animals were another source of name bases, especially popular in the Early and Middle Sáharían periods (ex. Old Sáharían Dhóshun “cat”). There were also names formed from natural features (ex. Rínayun “riverbank”, Négitha “fennel”, Gílirún “mud”, and Jána “moon”), and, mostly among the upper classes, manmade objects (ex. Róshun “ship”). At the end of the Late Sáharían period, and into the Early Vúlnorían, the lower classes started to use informal words as bases for names (ex. Bórtanun “inquisitive troublemaker”, from “goat”). Trisyllabic names were popular for women in the Late Sáharían/Early Vúlnorían periods. Some Old Sáharían names continued to be used after their base word had dropped out of the vocabulary, though they became vanishingly rare by the middle of the Late Sáharían period—they experienced an uptick in popularity among nobility of a certain political leaning, but declined permanently after that.

The base was suffixed to form a name, with -a for women, and -un or -ún for men. A vowel could be lopped off the end to derive a name, however this was more common for masculine names than feminine ones. Hence, tevór becomes Tevórun, thayén Thayéna, sóanó Sóanún, and ílió Ília. A general requirement in forming names was that it could not be identical to a word. So cála could be formed into the name Cálun, but could not be used as a name on its own—a feminine version could, however, be derived from its accompanying verb or adjective, as Cálana or Cálara, respectively. Another factor in naming was that Sáharíans rarely named their children with a name borne by a famous ruler. So while after it was clear Thílhanun would be long remembered there were few Sáharíans of that name, there continued to be a number of Tírvuns after that king's reign.

Nicknames were almost always a shortened form of a person’s name, and followed a set pattern—not all names could be shortened. Feminine nicknames took the second syllable of the name, provided it was followed by a consonant suitable for a coda (ex. Lín from Celína or Falína, Han from Sáhana, Gith from Négitha). Masculine nicknames took a two syllable section from the name, and followed a CV(C)CV pattern (ex. Harú from Ólharún, Fáli or Lisu from Fálisun, Gíli from Gílirún). Feminine nicknames could coincide with words, but masculine nicknames couldn’t. For both, if a nickname would only be a single letter longer if not shortened, it was always left full—Lyrún would never be shortened to Lyrú, except perhaps addressing a young child.

[ Sáharían’s Namebase is populated by names and nicknames with derivations, if you’re interested in more examples.]

[edit] [top]Idioms

fiyár celíru - remember shiningly - remember through a rose-coloured glass

yaféthi ótunóraru - disdain laughingly - ridicule

gárvon fýrnen - know_person again - reacquaint/catch up

ráthan órfalaru - speak dagger.ADVAdverbial
e.g. English '-ly'
- talk behind someone's back

evír lýrienu [réa] - live long [ruler] - long live [the king]

bínebra réntuví - moment steal - buy time

tévabó hór - grief give - wreak havoc

lysérn nár - truth have - be correct/right

távonó hór - dishonour give - dishonour (smn does it to smn else) (ex. ára eró távonó hóru - DATDative (case)
indirect object; recipient, beneficiary, location
3SMThird person singular masculine (person)
dishonour give-PASTPast tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
- he was dishonoured vs. eró távone - 3SMThird person singular masculine (person)
dishonour-PASTPast tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
- he dishonoured himself)

gólta linsón - gólta comfort.VBVerb - be lost at sea [after a storm] - dialectal: Ároásh (see Religion above for explanation)

úthevó tár - death eat - eat meat

eórn sérethcí - place draw - to map (draw one)

jésa vonór - that.PNPronoun see - I see it

galnór sáravítha - proud purpose - greater purpose

sárne lýrilha - familial war - civil war

fýgorcar [shána] - furry [building] - thickly thatched [building]

suvéb shaló - without defence - vulnerable/susceptible

shálonal furés - sea-wave-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
among - at sea

rathésh cérni - away cut.VBVerb - amputate/sever/cut off

róva [cavó únevra] nár - certainty [of event] have - be sure [that something will happen]

[bérn] feráth shála rúshan - [person] in ocean discover - see someone in a new light

véb sethérn hév rathérn - by written_message and spoken_message - by word of mouth/rumour/from the vine

… shávare ilís - search.VBVerb 1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
- let me get ... (ex. felór hórilfena shávare ilís - 2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
generic possessive article
payment search 1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
- let me get you your money)

[bérn] nár ísra - [person] have disease - have a disease (literally, the disease has the person)

hír ilís cúsran - grow 1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
allow - lend me your ear (references týlan, the verbal form of the word “vine” which informally means “to hang on someone’s words”)

cifén cavó fálisána/cálva cavó fálisana - cremation of soldier/burial of soldier - a pragmatic action taken at the expense of a tradition or formality

ára [ra] bitúr - DATDative (case)
indirect object; recipient, beneficiary, location
[thing] rip.VBVerb - get into [thing] (ex. ex. ára réjynilósa bitúru varén - DATDative (case)
indirect object; recipient, beneficiary, location
cheese rip-PASTPast tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
dog - the dog got into the cheese again)

[óberó] feóa ráthirna és - [name] 3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
generic possessive article
praiser COPCopula
used to link the subject of a sentence with a predicate
.NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future
- be in love with [name] - Informal

tátheshíb bínebra - go_away-PASTPast tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
moment - one’s lips are sealed

[bérn feóa] jýlefúno feráth éinar - [one’s] riverbed in flow - speak to one's heart

tár jésergénu - eat grass-ADVAdverbial
e.g. English '-ly'
- graze/browse/snack

garíl eórn és - before place.NMNoun (POS) COPCopula
used to link the subject of a sentence with a predicate
.NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future
- be somewhere early (same structure used for similar ideas)

yarú eórn és - after place.NMNoun (POS) COPCopula
used to link the subject of a sentence with a predicate
.NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future
- be somewhere late (same structure used for similar ideas)

Caroth sítha cavó sharýnel? - what.QInterrogative
action of hand - What are you doing? (Other body parts can be substituted; phrase needed because “Caroth síthan oró?” means “Are you doing anything?”)

íshuva thúni - peril dare - take a risk

féln ethíru - try well - do one's best/make one's best effort

jýnthan hónen/lúnen - rub injuriously/painfully - chafe/rub raw

[bérn] yéve cáloréan - [person] over soar - watch over someone

[edit] [top]Proverbs & Sayings

SáharíanGlossMeaningEnglish Equivalent(s)
Cýgalen sú és shílfanó. flowering_plant NEGNegative (polarity)
used to link the subject of a sentence with a predicate
.NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future
Prosperity isn't easily obtained.Money doesn't grow on trees.
Súyalnór sérathól ráthan tálesaru galnór bérn.humble word-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
speak possibly proud person
What seems to be may not be - very varied usage, from warning against deception, to saying one can act against their nature when necessary, to warning against making assumptions.Looks can be deceiving/A fair face can hide a foul heart/Don't judge a book by its cover/etc.
Tesáth feóa cársa cárnivéhan oró, briéth cárvuthan, eróa órcesan. Yagó tesáth ára cársa cárnivéhan hév cárhosájer eróa hárthan oró, láthybéo cavó feóal hebírnel varés, eróa hév feóa hárlal órcesan.if 3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
generic possessive article
fire light 2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
| until extinguish | 3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
warm || but if DATDative (case)
indirect object; recipient, beneficiary, location
fire light and feed 3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
teach 2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
| remainder of 3PThird person plural (person)
neither speaker nor addressee, they/them
generic possessive article
life-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
during | 3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
and 3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
generic possessive article
student-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
Teaching someone a skill is far more valuable a gift than doing it for them, and can be given to many others in turn.Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
Thigáln fúshan éthalésravictory serve law/justiceAnother proverb with varied usage, depending on how cynical the speaker is, ranging from expressing the idea that the victor in a contest is chosen by justice, to the idea that whoever is powerful/victorious dictates the law.The truth will out/History is written by the victor/Might makes right/(in Vúlnorían period)In times of war the law falls silent
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