Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Chx

This is Ostapex, who uses an old monster truck tire as his shell.
He rolls around in it to move, pushing with his claws.
He owns an old open-air parking lot, which is called the
Shellot Hotel. This hotel is a place where Chx can sleep at
night while staying in the big city.

My world is filled with alternative races. Rather than elves and dwarves, I use gats and kudanites. I wanted to make something new and unique. To explore new themes in fantasy and society.

Today I’m going to talk about another race I’ve created. It’s not a prominent race in my novel, but one that is only talked about a few times in passing. The Chx.

The Chx are crustaceans, as if a lobster somehow evolved into the overruling sentient race of a planet. They are most similar to hermit crabs, made giant, with massive shells, their outer layer is an exoskeleton, and they can breathe both water and air.

They are very much intelligent, however, and their needs are sharply less sophisticated than that of the humans. You see, they eat sea gunk from the ground, and they have almost an endless supply of it. Without hunger, they tend to only desire things like a nice shell on their backs. They’ve come to desire shiny things, which they enjoy attaching to their shells as decorations. So, they enjoy speaking with humans and bartering with them, because humans dig up shiny jewels and metals. This is one reason why they have interactions.

Because of their water-lives, they do not share our sort of vocal cords. They hiss, click, snap, and gargle words. Because of this, I had to create an “alphabet” of sorts, which can be used to create words for their language. They are more limited than humans in tongue, because they have more of a focus on vague concepts than specifics.

For example, they would not distinguish between frogs and toads, but call them all frogkind. Zebra fish and sharks are all fishkind, however they might distinguish sharks are fishkind that are dangerous.

I don’t want to reveal the entire language I’ve created, but I will give an example of several letters of my Chx “alphabet” to talk more about creating an alien language.
br = spawner/parent, what comes out
tr = food, something edible, what goes in
trx = eater of chx
x = dangerous, hurtful
To create some sort of “flow” and “logic” to my lobster language, I tried to make individual sounds used for repeating meanings. So, “r” is a movement sound, used for when something is changing positions. I can use it for a spawner word, because a baby being born is coming out of the parent. The “t” sound has to do with something consumable, and “x” meaning something that can be harmful. I can combine sounds to therefore create other meanings such as “tr,” which means the movement of consumption, and then reflect it with “x” to make “trx,” to make it mean a predatory creature that can hurt a Chx.

Altogether, I have about 47 sounds (edit: more now!) within the Chx alphabet that I can use to create words in the language. I’ll probably talk more about their number system in a different post.

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