Thursday, April 10, 2014

Accents of the Empire

The Imperial domain is now large enough to require a full listing of the types of Varan accents to be found within it. From the Rhûnnish accent which gives High Varan its defining features (thanks to Colandrus the Peaceable's Grammar of the Avar Tongue) to the thickly spoken Mercantine accents of Meirenia, the imperial citizen must learn to recognize a number of different tones.

Rhûnnish—the clipped, high, pinched-ending accent that causes the barony of Valbois to be pronounced "Val-bwas," Rhûnnish is the high style of the age. Ancient Milean accents are more accurately to be found amongst the street folk of Miles, but the nobles all speak with the Rhûnnish tone.

Thyrnessen—the accent closest to Old Varan, Thyrnessen is spoken by most of the peasants of the Heartland, Noranor County, and the Duchy of Auruxol as well as the merchant classes there. Every letter of every word is pronounced, "e" makes an "eh" sound, and nothing is swallowed. Considered somewhat passé.

Mermarchine—While Mermarche is pronounced "Meer-marsh" in the Rhûnnish accent, "Mairmarcheh" in the Thyrnessen accent, in the Mermarchine itself it is "Mermark," reflecting the Duchy's long affiliation with Stonemark and Middlemarker trade. Ch's are always hard in Mermarchine, as are c's.

Serpentine—Named for the Serpentis River, not the accent, the Serpent Baronies, the Lonely Lands, and the north-eastern fringes of the Empire speak an accent descended from the old Bataille accent of the Second Empire. It's close to Rhûnnish, but bears a more pronounced rolling r.

Westren—The accent of Westreth, Lomere, and Clayland, Westren is spoken like a mix between Rhûnnish and Thyrnessen.

Colonan and Meirenian—Double L's and J's are pronounced as i's in Colona and the Coast of Scythes.

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