This is Day 7 of the Blog Tour for Between Starfalls. Make sure you check out the others on the tour here.
So, Conlang. What is it, You ask. Or, maybe you already know, and you want to know why we’re talking about it today. Kriti, from Armed with a book, and WriteHive, was organizing this Blog tour and asked if I’d be interested in a Guest Post. Of course I said yes right away. The only problem was, I had no idea what that meant. I am new to a lot of this stuff, so I am having to learn as I go. I like to say yes though. Yes, a simple word, but it has the power to push you in new directions, to learn. A tiny piece of a language to change your path.
That leads us to today, and a good intro to the topic the author of Between Starfells, S. Kaeth, will be shedding some fascinating light upon. SK created a conlang, well, two Conlanguages to fit the people the story is based on. This is something that for the most part, new to me, but not new to fantasy. Nevertheless, one rarely gets a chance to find out the intricacies involved. Another self published fantasy writer,
The following is what S. Kaeth said in the course of our conversation. I’d like to give a huge thank you to SK for being so open, gracious, and willing to answer questions that I admit felt a bit amateur.
“I grew up as a giant Tolkien geek, and started dabbling in conlang as a teenager, fascinated by how language can reflect diverse ways of thinking and seeing the world. I knew I wanted an immersive world that was not our own for my setting, and I really wanted to take the reader on a journey to this made up land and hope it felt real. So a conlang for me was part of that. It also helped me create names and terms that feel real, that feel like a part of a cohesive culture or people. It was really fun! I create a set of phonotactics (the rules for what sounds can be by each other) for each culture I create, to help things feel cohesive, and it’s also just fun to reflect on sounds that some languages have, that others don’t, and therefore, how they might pronounce each other’s names and words.”
How much time did you spend, or devote to the creation of two languages?
“Oooh, I would love to answer this. I don’t actually know, as I just dabbled with it off and on. Rinaryn has a full fledged grammar and syntax, so a person could actually speak in it. I needed that for the conlang within the book. I haven’t needed that yet for Kamalti (or any of the others I’ve done), so I don’t have full languages there. I even developed a script for Rinaryn and for Kamalti, just for fun, and it is really super cool. I love both of them. I actually took a few hours recently and turned both scripts into computer fonts. For Kamalti, I actually fashioned a stylus that I have at my house that I use with ink to produce the letters. I have terrible penmanship though- I’m not precise enough!”
That is so cool, I would love to see that. Now, on to a serious matter…
Do you ever mess with your friends, like curse at them, when people think you’re saying something super wise? Have you any thoughts on getting something tattooed in Kamalti, or Rinaryn? What would it say, and how would it be written?
“Haha! These are great questions! Well, since Rinaryn and Kamalti both have their own curses, it’s possible they would sound wise?”
(Good point, and the reader should read the book to see what they are.) They’re spattered throughout the book.
“I don’t actually have any tattoos, though if I did, it might be something in Rinaryn. I could translate it and put it into script. But actually, I have this crazy idea of doing something like Litographs or Storiarts but with the quote in script (possibly translated, in the case of Rinaryn, as neither Rinaryn nor Kamalti has all of the English sounds). If I was super crazy, and have the time, I might one day translate the book and use the Rinaryn font, and release it in script and everything. That, of course, would be for any extreme fans!”
Here’s an example of how each look (my device really wants to spell check those words in Rinaryn):
(Hello, this is some writing in Rinaryn.
and this is some writing in Kamalti.)
Was this created just for this book/series, or is it something you’ve been working on for longer?
“I started on it many years ago as I was dabbling with the worldbuilding. As I got serious about my writing and started really honing my craft, I made a lot of changes though, so early Rinaryn is very much early.”
What language from the worlds history to you liken it most to?
“Hmmm, that’s a super interesting question, like all of these have been! I’m not actually sure, as I myself am only monolingual still (working on it though!) Since I’ve been studying Welsh so much, I wouldn’t be surprised if some influence crept in. I wanted Rinaryn to sound like water, really flowing, but I didn’t want to just grab from existing languages, so I intentionally didn’t (consciously) base it on any other language. I did want the ability to tack on more and more info and have really long words, so I can also see some resemblance to, for instance, Latin.”