Oynprith is a language that is primarily used by the Droyne race throughout Charted Space.
- It is a central language.
For centuries, only the vast distances separating Droyne worlds from each other concealed the fact that Droyne worlds had a common language. That is not to say every Droyne spoke the same language; indeed, different Droyne communities spoke different languages, often very different languages.
In interstellar commerce, Oynprith was soon discovered by Droyne to be a universal language among their race; as trade increased, Oynprith became more commonly used, finally reaching a status as the universal Droyne language.
B BR D DR F H K KR L M N P PR R S SS ST T TH TR TS TW V
B D F H K L LB LD LK LM LN LP LS LT M N P R RD RF RK RM RN RP RS RT RV S SK SS ST T TH TS V X
A AY E I O OY U YA YO YU
Oynprith inflects for gender and certainty, and uses unbound words to represent aspect. Number is inherently plural, with no standard mechanism to represent the singular.
Oynprith nouns are sorted into seven grammatical genders and three “exceptions”. Usually, nouns of a given gender all have the same final vowel. This connection is so strong that newly minted nouns tend to drift from their category of meaning into a different category.
Gender. Final Vowel. Traditional or Typical Word Meanings ------- ------------ ------------------------------------ Leader. -A Sociology, Psychology, Law Technician. -AY Engineering, Technology Sport -E Nature Warrior. -I Military, History Worker -O Economics Drone. -OY. Medical, Design Outcaste. -U Communication, Information, Art Exception 1. -YA Exception 2. -YU Exception 3. -YO
The three exceptions (YA, YO, and YU) do not inflect verbs. All others impose their endings to their adjectives and verbs. For example, OSTAX “moon”, a Leader word, adds -AX to its adjectives and verbs.
Nouns default to plural, and pronouns are always plural. There are no singular pronouns.
Three rather typical indicatives are used: “e” the/this, “a” that, and “o” that over there. They come immediately before their noun, e.g. “E OSTAX“ in the phrase EPYOSSAXAL E OSTAX, “near the moons”.
We I You (plural) U They HOY They (inanimate) RUR They (hypothetical) SURS +possessive +YOT
Descriptive verbs and nouns can be fused onto the front of nouns to form new words. For example, TROLATETH “orbital ship” derives from TROY “ship” and LATETH “orbital”. Similarly, ESKAYLOYT, the Droyne world of origin, derives from ESKAYTS “homeworld” and LOYT “lost” – and ESKAYTS itself in turn derives from ESSID “world” and KAYTS “home”.
Conjunctions create a group out of two or more nouns. And/But VA Or HI
Originally a research language, Oynprith is geared towards the reporting of results. Thus, besides agreeing with their subject noun, verbs finally inflect for certainty. After adding the subject noun gender-based suffix, add the certainty suffix. Certainty also can communicate other forms of grammatical mood:
-AL or YAL, “Metaphysical Certitude.” This denotes truth, complete certainty, and factual knowledge. -YAR, “Probable.” This is typically used with informal indicative statements, as well as expressing technical probability. -0, “No clue.” An absence of a certainty suffix means exactly that: the statement may or may not be true. This form is often used for speculation (X supposes...), hearsay (they say...), wishing (X wishes...), and imperatives (X orders...). -YO, “Unlikely.” This form is used to express doubt, as well as express technical improbability. -OLM or YOLM, “Not.” This denotes falsehood, no probability, and counterfactuals.
Example "That is the moon". Using the verb THYO "to be" and the noun OSTAX "moon":
THYOYAL OSTAX. “It is the moon.” E THYEYAL OSTAX. “This is the moon.” A THYAYAL OSTAX. “That is the moon.” AX THYOYAL OSTAX. “It is that moon."
Unless otherwise specified, simple present (“IKRAY”) is assumed for sentences. If specificity is needed, time words may be used. They are formed with a perfective prefix plus a time suffix. These words inflect with their verbs.
PYA- Perfect ‘done’ IK- Non-perfect ‘does’ THYU- Progressive ‘doing’
-RON Simple Past ‘did do’ -RAY Simple Present ‘does’ -KET Simple Future ‘will do’
TAS is the “what/who” question-form:
Tasay vastay ostax? What or who is the lord of moons?
Inflecting for certainty adds an indicative, probability-style mood to the question:
Tasayal vastay ostax? Surely he IS the lord of moons?
Tasayyar vastay ostax? Isn’t he the lord of moons?
Tasayyo vastay ostax? He isn’t the lord of moons, is he?
Tasayolm vastay ostax? Surely he is NOT the lord of moons?
Prepositions and Adjectives
Prepositions and adjectives in Oynprith are just kinds of verbs, e.g. “it is-near home” or “is-green home”. As such, they also agree with noun gender and inflect for certainty.
Examples: The new moons. New = TOX. Moons = OSTAX. New (maybe) moons = TOXAX OSTAX New (certainty) moons = TOXAXAL OSTAX
Genitive verbs show possession and create noun phrases. Example “The lords of moons”. Using the genitive verb MOY, noun VASTAY “lords”, and noun OSTAX “moons”:
MOS VASTAY OSTAX “GEN lords moons” MOSAY VASTAY OSTAX “THEY ARE (maybe and maybe not; who knows?) Lords OF moons” MOSAYAL VASTAY OSTAX “THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY Lords OF moons” MOSAYYAR VASTAY OSTAX. “[Informal] they are lords of moons”
Agreement with nouns allows a (relatively)free word order, because verb and adjective suffixes indicate to which noun they refer.
[They are] lords of new moons = MOSAYAL VASTAY TOXAXAL OSTAX. [They are] new lords of moons = MOSAYAL VASTAY TOXAYAL OSTAX. [They are] moons of new lords = MOSAXAL VASTAY TOXAYAL OSTAX. [They are] new lords of new moons = MOSAYAL VASTAY TOXAYAL TOXAXAL OSTAX.
Relative Clause TOYN
Basically works like a colon :
Mosot ostax PA iyot. The moons are ours! Mosot PA ostax iyot. The moons are ours! PA mosot ostax iyot. The moons are ours!
Sketrolm I hyatyoiyal. "We dislike Vargr." (Object-Subject-Verb)
Tsoyyar dodroypatyar ayaystal. "Alpha-males suppose that Chirpers should be kept safe." (Subject-Verb-Object)
Tsuvetsayal moyayyo vastay ostax. "The so-called lords of moons are absolutely displeased." (Verb-Subject)
Syalskolm pyaray nuhholmal mosolmal beyo mosoyal rissoyal nyabeh va vasse.
See Oynprith Lexicon
History & Background (Historical Linguistics)
All Droyne communities shared one common language — Oynprith, the language used in the coyn casting ceremony. Outsiders missed Oynprith simply because it was not used in public very often; it had a status as a ritual or ceremonial language, much like the status of Latin on Terra.
Worlds & Sectors (Astrography)
This language is primarily in use in the following areas:
- It is used throughout charted space on Droyne worlds and a few non-Droyne worlds.
The homeworld of this language is:
World Listing: 1105
Significant communities of speakers of this language are known to reside within the following systems and worlds:
References and contributors
- J. Andrew Keith, Marc Miller, John Harshman. Droyne (Game Designers Workshop, 1985), 40-41.
- Dave Nilsen, David L. Pulver, Andy Slack, David Thomas. Alien Races 3 (Steve Jackson Games, 2000), —.
- Jae Campbell. Encyclopaedia Dagudashaag (Signal-GK, 2017), 275.