Kogaanzul (Blessed Voice, can be shortened to Kogaan in past tense) is a language originally spoken by Ancient Alenians. It's known mostly for its harsh consonants and double vowels, (ah, aa, ii, etc). Alenveil is the only place ever known to speak Kogaanzul. There are no dialects that Kogaanzul has been shown to use because no one has ever been known to speak it; there are only written tablets.
- 1 History
- 2 Writing System
- 3 Grammar
- 3.1 Strong and Weak Adjectives
- 3.2 Subjects, Verbs, and Objects
- 3.3 Nouns & Artciles
- 3.4 Showing Possession
- 3.5 Adjectives & Adverbs
- 3.6 Verbs & Tense
Speculation has surrounded Kogaanzul, linguists stating there is a possibility that the language originated as an offshoot of Standard Prymontian.
As stated earlier, Kogaanzul is believed to have been brought over by clans in Prymont. This diaspora could have been caused by rebellion, exile, or simple conquest, the third being much more likely as city-states were very quickly established. This is a very notable argument because of how similar vowels are to Prymontian languages. Even then, this language was the basis of Gut Atmora, Vataanjunaar, Viingrahvok, and eventually Alenveil.
The language of Kogaanzul stayed relatively stable throughout the Iron, Classical, and Renaissance Eras. All of this changed in the late 1480s when merchants from Limonaia visited Viingrahvok. Limonaia attempted to colonize Alenveil, years after they had already gained their independence from Prymont. Ancient Alenians refused and Limonaia responded by conquering them by force. They launched The Great Purge and destroyed every trace of Kogaanzul from Alenian lands and banned it from being spoken or written, replacing the language with Limonaian.
The alphabet of Kogaanzul consists of the same vowels of the Anglish script, as well as 9 ligatures. "aa," "ah," "ei," "ey," "ii," "ir," "oo," "uu," and "ur." The consonants consist of Latin consonants except for "C," as there is no equivalent. In its native script, letters are written with dots in certain parts and with slashes vertically, diagonally, and horizontally.
Strong and Weak Adjectives
Most Anglish words fit only one part of speech. For example, "speak" can only be used as a verb while "speech" can only be used as a noun. Sometimes, a word can act as multiple parts of speech; "hunt" can be either a verb or a noun, and "cold" can be either an adjective or a noun.
Kogaanzul words are highly flexible and may act as multiple parts of speech depending on the context. Tinvaak is both the verb "to speak" and the noun "speech". Stin can be the adjective "free", the verb "to set free", and the noun "freedom".
To describe this phenomenon, we have coined special terms using the words "strong" and "weak". "Strong" indicates a word that can be used as a noun, while "weak" indicates a word that cannot be used as a noun. These terms are grammatical only and do not reflect on the meaning of a word. For example, sahlo "weak" is a strong adjective because it can be used as the noun "weakness," while suleykaar "powerful" is a weak adjective because the word for "power" is suleyk.
Subjects, Verbs, and Objects
Subject pronouns are used as the subject of a sentence, also known as nominative case. For example, "I went to Sarbo" or "She is a soldier". In cases where a nominative pronoun is unknown (marked non-canon), it is assumed to be the same as the accusative pronoun. Below are all of the nominative pronouns:
- I, "zu'u,"
- You, "hi,"
- He, "rok,"
- She "rek,"
- It, "nii,"
- They, "nust,"
- We, "mu."
Object pronouns are used as the object of a sentence, also known as accusative case. For example, "The bear ate him" or "The king doesn't like them." Some are the same as the nominative case, like hi (you) and nii (it). In cases where an accusative pronoun is unknown (marked non-canon), it is assumed to be the same as the nominative pronoun. Below are all of the accusative pronouns:
- Me, "dovah" or "zu'u"
- You, "hi"
- Him, "rok"
- Her, "rek"
- It, "nii"
- Them, "niin"
- Us, "mu"
Possessive determiners and possessive pronouns show possession, for example, "my sword", "his crown", or "the day is ours". The possessive forms of a few pronouns are unknown.
- My/Mine, "dii"
- Your/Yours, "hin/him"
- His, "ok"
- Her/Hers, "ek"
- Our/Ours, "un"
The reflexive column is for pronouns that refer to themselves. For cases where the reflexive is unknown, you may use the accusative form instead.
- Myself, "zu'u"
- Yourself, "hi"
- Himself, "rok"
- Herself, "rek"
- Itself, "nimaar"
- Themselves, "niin"
- Ourselves, "mu"
Nouns & Artciles
Making Plural Nouns
In Kogaanzul, the last letter of the noun is repeated, and the suffix -e is added to the end. For example, dovah becomes dovahhe, jun becomes junne, and Zul becomes zulle.
Some words like rotmulaag and kaaz might change more in plural form. Aa or ii in the final syllable can be reduced, forming rotmulagge instead of rotmulaagge, and kazze instead of kaazze.
This plural rule is not strict. Where in English some nouns are their own plurals (sheep, fish, or moose), all Kogaan nouns can potentially be their own plurals. Sometimes plural suffixes are not featured at all. This can be seen in songs or poetry where an extra syllable needs to be removed.
The term article refers to the words the and a/an; both commonly used in English. Below are the equivalent Kogaan articles:
- the (informal), "fin"
- the (formal), "faal"
- a / an, "aan"
Faal is used to reference a proper noun or something held in high regard. For example, "the sword" would probably use fin, but "the Sword of Talos" would use faal instead. Aan is for both "a" and "an", regardless of whether the next word begins with a vowel or consonant.
Kogaanzul articles are almost always cut with exception of faal. The words fin and aan are removed wherever possible. For example, the sentence "The sword of the king is sharp" would be "Zahkrii do jun los kinzon" (lit. "Sword of king is sharp"). If we want to be respectful, we might keep faal in reference to jun: "Zahkrii do faal Jun los kinzon".
In some cases where articles are kept include poetry or lyrics, where they can provide a needed extra syllable.
Possession is showing ownership between two nouns. We've already seen how pronouns can be used to illustrate this: "my sword", "her horse", etc. Other English examples of possession include "the spoon of Ysgramor" and "the king's army". English most commonly uses the –'s suffix to show possession. Kogaanzul tends to show possession in a different way.
Compound Words & -se
A compound word is a single word made up of two or more joined words. English examples include butterfly, quicksand, and underground. Here we will talk about compound words in Kogaanzul and how they can be used to show possession.
One way you can show possession is by using do (pronounced "doe"), the Kogaan word for "of". For example, you might express "the king's army" as "lahvu do jun" ("the army of the king"). Compound words, using the word se, give us a more elegant way of saying the same thing. Se is a word that means "of" just like do, but can be used as a connector or bridge in compound words. The example "lahvu do jun", could be compounded into one word: lahvu + se + jun, or lahvusejun. Other examples include qethsegol ("bone of the earth"), junnesejer ("kings of the east"), and Ahrolsedovah ("hill of the dragon", the Kogaan name for Sarbo). "Se" is synonymous with "do," but do can't be used in compound words. Something like "Lahvudojun" would be incorrect. You might have noticed that these compound words cut out articles like "the" and "a". Lahvusefinjul and Ahrolsefindovah are examples of incorrect compound words. What do we do with faal if we are making a compound word with a proper noun? In this situation, you have two options. Take for example "The Sword of the King". If you want to keep the formality, you can express this as "faal Zahkriisejun" or decide to split it up as "faal Zahkrii do faal Jun". Sometimes using compound words is not always the way to go. You may have a phrase that would be unwieldy as a compound. If you want to say "the Axe of Sarbo", it might be best to leave it as "faal Hahkun do Ahrolsedovah" rather than compound it as "faal Hahkunseahrolsedovah"!
Adjectives & Adverbs
- Adjectives can precede or follow the word they describe.
- All adjectives can be used as adverbs.
- Comparisons are formed with zok, "most".
- The suffix -aan forms past participles.
- The suffix -taas forms present participles.
Adjectives as Nouns
Some adjectives ("strong" adjectives) can also be used as nouns, similar to how the English adjectives "cold" and "dark". See the examples below of Kogaan adjectives being used as nouns:
- Mu fent siiv un stin. "We shall find our freedom."
- Nid ronit sahrotii. "None rivaled her might."
- Frin do heim ag med toor. "The heat of the forge burned like an inferno."
- Krosis saraan ko Sovngarde. "Sorrow awaits in Heaven."
Possessive suffixes, verbs, and other adjectives can help indicate when a strong adjective is being used as a noun.
Adjectives as Verbs
English has verbs like "strengthen", "weaken", and "sharpen" to mean "to make or become (adjective)." Most Kogaan adjectives are also the equivalent verb. This oftentimes results in verbs that have no direct English translation. See the examples below of adjectives being used as verbs:
- Mu fent stin fahdonu. "We shall free our friends."
- Ek tey sahrot voth enook krongrah. "Her tale became mighty with each victory."
- Daar yol frin heim. "This fire heats the forge."
- Dii rot fen krosis hi. "My words will sorrow you."
Meyz, "to become" may also be used alongside an adjective to produce the same meaning; meyz sahrot "to become strong", or meyz fundein "to come unfurled".
In English, "-er" and "-est" (superlative) is used to form comparisons; "I am stronger than you," or "She is the greatest warrior." Kogaanzul is less subtle. Comparisons are typically formed using zok "most". Below are English comparisons and their Kogaan equivalents:
"I am stronger than you" - Zu'u zok mul ("I am the most strong") "She is the greatest warrior" - Rek zok lot kendov ("She is the greatest warrior") "You are wiser than them" - Hi zok onik ("You are the wisest") "You less wise than me" - Hi ni zok onik ("You are not the wisest") Below are other words important to forming comparisons:
|Med||like/similar to||Norok med dovah "Fierce like a dragon"|
|Ol||as||Mid ol dok "as loyal as a hound"|
|Pruzaan||best/better||Bo pruzaan "(to) fly (is) better/best"|
|Ronit||to rival||Mulaagii ronit kodaav "her strength rivals a bear's"|
Experiment with zok and the words above to help form comparisons.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, or sometimes an adjective. Most English adverbs end with "-ly"; "she fought boldly" or "the courageously brave warrior".
Kogaan adjectives and adverbs are interchangeable. Consider the following examples:
- Mu bo stin. "We fly free/freely."
- Rek sahrot kriin dovah. "She mightily slew the dragon."
- Ok smoliin ag frin. "His passion burned hot/hotly"
- Fahdonu los krosis sizaan. "Our friend is sadly lost."
Like English, adverbs may precede or follow the verb they describe. If an adverb describes an adjective, it must precede the adjective.
Adverbial phrases may also be formed using voth "with" or ko "in" in tandem with nouns. Krif voth ahkrin means "to fight courageously", or literally "with courage". This can be used to express adverbs in places where there is no equivalent adjective: tinvaak voth vahzen "to speak truly (with the truth)", aam voth sahvot "to serve faithfully (with faith)", or dir ko faaz "to die painfully (in pain)".
Ordinary verbs can become participles, verb forms that can behave as an adjective or adverb. A past participle indicates something that has taken place in the past. English examples include "a stolen crown", "a conquered kingdom", or "an honored friend".
Past participles in Kogaanzul are usually formed with the suffix -aan. Examples include duaan "devoured", wahlaan "built", and agaan "burned". If a verb ends in "h", the suffix becomes -laan, as seen in mahlaan "fallen".
Verbs that contain aa or ii in their final syllable are reduced to a and i. For example, qahnaar "to vanquish" becomes qahnaraan "vanquished," and krii "to kill" becomes kriaan "killed/slain".
Sometimes the suffix -aan is not used and context is used to imply the participle; kron junaar "a conquered kingdom", or gahrot du'ul "a stolen crown". The suffix -aan should be used where a past participle could be confused for a present participle; kron junaar "a conquering kingdom" (possible), or gahrot du'ul "a stealing crown" (rather unlikely).
Some verbs have irregular past participles. These should be used instead of the suffix -aan. Below is a list of all irregular past participles:
|Gron "to bind"||Gro "bound"|
|Kren "to break"||Krent "broken/shattered"|
|Naak "to eat"||Naako "eaten"|
|Saan "to lose"||Sizaan "lost"|
Another way to form participles is with the suffix -taas. A present participle indicates a noun that is presently doing an action. For example, viintaas tuz describes "a shining blade" or "a blade that shines". A krontaas hun likewise describes "a conquering hero" or "a hero who conquers".
Unlike -aan, the vowels aa and ii are not reduced in the final syllable.
Sometimes the suffix -taas are not used and context is used to imply the participle; kron jun "a conquering king", or ag yol "a burning fire". The suffix -taas should be used where a present participle could be confused for a past participle; kron jun might be "a conquered king", but agtaas yol probably isn't "a burned fire".
Verbs that end in "t" use the suffix -aas; funtaas grahmindol "a failing stratagem".
Some verbs have irregular present participles. These should be used instead of the suffix -taas. Below is a list of all irregular present participles:
|Dir "to die"||Viir "dying"|
|Lahney "to live"||Nahl/Nahlaas "living/alive"|
Verbs & Tense
Kos is Kogaan for "to be". Like English's "to be", it has a number of different forms, though considerably fewer. The forms of kos are:
Am/Are/Is || "los" Was/Were || "lost"
Kos is the infinite form, los is used for present tense, and lost is used for past tense. Unlike English, this doesn't change no matter if the subject is "I", "you", "they", etc. "I am" would be "zu'u los", "you are" would be "hi los", and "she is" would be "rek los".
The verb kos can be used to make adjectives out of verbs. "Rek siiv" would mean "she finds", but with the kos, we can make "Rek los siiv", or "she is found". Likewise "rek lost siiv" could mean "she was found".
"Lost" is also used to form present perfect tense ("She has found him"). Therefore it can be tricky to try and distinguish "she was found" from "she has found". An object can help distinguish the two.
Like the articles fin and aan discussed in Nouns & Articles, the verb "kos" is often cut to shorten speech. This occurs most often in conversation. If you were to say "I am the Dragonborn!", you could translate it simply as "Zu'u dovahkiin!" Along the same lines, "I am not the Dragonborn!" could be "Zu'u ni dovahkiin!" or even "Ni dovahkiin!". These simple steps can go a long way towards making your Kogaanzul more authentic.
"Los hi" ("are you") can contract to "Losei" ("you're") in questions. For example, "Ful, los hi dovahkiin?" ("So, are you the Dragonborn?") could contract to "Ful, losei dovahkiin?".
Another important verb is dreh, which means "to do". Like kos, it's an irregular verb that has a past tense conjugation. The conjugations of dreh are as follows:
- Do/Does dreh
- Did "drey"
Dreh can help clearly express past or present tense. "Rek dreh siiv" means "she does find" and clearly establishes that siiv here is present tense. "Rek drey siiv" means "she did find" and clearly establishes that siiv here is past tense. Seeing dreh used in this way is not very common, but drey is used a lot for this, especially in places like Word Walls where present tense may be used one sentence and past tense the next.
What is Tense?
Tense is when a verb is happening. On a very basic level, a tense can be past (the action has happened), present (the action is happening), or future (the action will happen). English has a vast number of tenses. Kogaanzul has only four main tenses. Use the table below as a quick guide for how to use verbs:
|Simple Present||I fly||Zu'u bo|
|Simple Past||I flew||Zu'u bo, Zu'u drey bo.|
|Present Perfect||I have flown||Zu'u lost bo, Zu'u boaan, Zu'u lost boaan.|
|Simple Future||I will fly||Zu'u fen bo, Zu'u fent bo.|
When considering tense, all verb usage must fall under one of the above tenses. Do not attempt to use tenses that exist in English but do not exist in Kogaanzul. For example, progressive tense ("I'm going to Whiterun") should instead be expressed as simple present tense ("I go to Whiterun").
"Bo" ("to fly/move/go") is not used for future tense in the same way that "go" is in English ("I'm going to kill,"). Use "fen" ("will") or "fent" ("shall") instead.
Conditional verbs like "would", "could", or "should" also do not have Kogaan equivalents. Use straightforward language instead; "I will not betray you" rather than "I would not betray you".
Simple Past Tense and Present Perfect Tense
Just as verbs do not change between subjects, they also do not change between simple present tense and simple past tense. Where English's "I find" would become "I found", "zu'u siiv" could mean both "I find" or "I found" depending on the context. This is most clearly seen on the Word Walls, which are largely written in simple past tense. Context is king when it comes to tense.
As discussed above, you can indicate simple past tense with the use of drey. "Zu'u drey siiv" can only mean "I did find". This is one way to provide additional clues that you want siiv to mean "found" rather than "find".
Present perfect tense indicates action that has taken place in the past or possibly continues into the present ("I have eaten", "You have conquered"). There are three ways to express present perfect tense in Kogaanzul:
- With "lost" - Zu'u lost krii dovah "I have slain a dragon"
- With a past participle - Zu'u kriaan dovah "I have slain a dragon"
- With a "lost" and a past participle - Zu'u lost kriaan dovah "I have slain a dragon"
The third method is extremely rare. Usually, present perfect tense can be implied with lost or a past participle alone. Lost is more common in writing while past participles are more common in speech.
The Suffix -a
A verb in its most basic, the unmodified form is said to be an infinitive. For example, "fight" is an infinitive while "fights" and "fought" are not. An infinitive with the word "to" ("to fight") is called a full infinitive or to-infinitive.
One way to express to-infinitives is to simply use wah "to" ("wah krif", "to fight"). The verb suffix -a offers another way to express this. "Wah krif" instead becomes "krifa." This is more commonly seen in speech than writing, where wah is most often cut in all its forms.
The suffix -a can also be used as a contraction of wah. "Rok funt wah koraav" ("He failed to see") can instead become "Rok funta koraav." In both cases -a stands for wah either before or after the verb. You can use context clues to determine which is meant.