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Naya is a simple language constructed from what was originally a basic substitution cipher of Kendane͡ivash.

A Brief History of Naya

350 EYBT

The substitution cipher was used back when the tensions between the Nayabaru and kavkema were better described as an actual war. A cluster of kavkema suffering social and military isolation from the 'main forces' tried to exchange tactical information. They chose a basic substitution ciphertext that preserved the ability to pronounce the resulting words and phrases, following the (initially correct) assumption was that the Nayabaru would not be able to determine the meaning of the messages, but the kavkema would recognise and be able to reverse the basic pattern.


The substitution cipher did not see much kavkem use, overall, but when Terenyira entered the picture (and Ysikary as a Kendane͡ivash influence necessarily disappeared), she felt it right to educate the Nayabaru about the cipher to eradicate the last vestiges of its usefulness, resulting in the Nayabaru typically fluent in both Kendane͡ivash and the cipher language about five thousand years into her existence.

7 000 EYAT

The conflict was essentially resolved at this point and a situation along the lines of the current status quo began to settle on Nekenalos. Culturally, the Nayabaru lay claim to the cipher amongst a search for a new cultural identity, emotionally considering it distinct from Kendane͡ivash, which had politically come to signify the kavkema, and it began to evolve as its own language: Naya.

18 000 EYAT

Naya grammar had evolved to present form, pruning from the original template language various constructs unnecessary for Nayabaru culture (such as a simple grammatical 'I' rather than its use as a degenerate 'we'). Naya words can no longer be easily mapped to Kendane͡ivash, having condensed syllables by packing consonants together in a way better suited for Nayabaru vocalisations than to those of the kavkema.

The global nature of Naya is maintained by the Karesejat, although regional dialects have taken hold regardless - the Karesejat's sole concern is in ensuring that the dialects do not hamper communication between groups of Nayabaru, she is not a purist about the details as for example the kavkema are with Kendane͡ivash.

Substitution Cipher

Much of the substitution cipher was a simple pronunciation shift away from the common intonations for glyphs toward intonations usually used for other glyphs. These were not always reversible - sometimes more than one source glyph/sound would be mapped into the same destination glyph/sound, and sometimes there were more than one destination glyph/sound to optionally map a source glyph/sound to.

a͡u a a e aa a a͡i e͡i e e͡i
e͡i a͡i e͡u y i i i͡y i o a͡u
o͡i y o͡u o u o uu u u͡i u
y u y tsh y͡i i͡u b p b b
d t g tk h1) j g j h
j tsh ja pe k g l r l l
m n n m p b q k r l
r r s sh s s t d th sh
th t v ph z s

Later alterations added the following drifts and conventions:

  • ph adopted its own glyph in the Nayabaru alphabet, though the sound became only marginally harder. For Naya, it is best to transliterate it as f in our own alphabet.
  • certain instances of s (predominantly those previously sh-derived) drifted toward ch, a new sound specific to the Nayabaru.
  • became sh - this has eradicated from the Nayabaru alphabet and while those with linguist interests are still aware of , most Naya cannot properly pronounce it even if they try. Their resulting different pronunciation of various Kendane͡ivash words is a point of offense for many kavkema.
  • leading and trailing vowels were eschewed as incomplete; the Nayabaru typically prepended h or g to words beginning with a vowel, and appended b or l to words ending in a vowel. (They later reversed on this practise with certain nouns and with adjectives.)


The Nayabaru know many more consonant digraphs than the kavkema (although they are not digraphs when written in the Naya alphabet, where they have their own glyph), which is a point of (mostly subconscious) pride, and part of what fuels their opinion of kavkema as a bit dimwitted.

Ironically, the Naya language simplifies some parts of Kendane͡ivash, by tightening the incidental correspondence of certain suffixes to certain types of words into strict rules:

Suffix Meaning Example
o noun, person chrefenno (master)
i adjective tkesiri (powerful)
et verbs chabret (to respect)


Pronoun Meaning
segt we, of our profession
sefl we, of our community
setke- we, pursuant of the goal …, e.g. setkena͡imel 'we who seek guidance'
se we, not further qualified
kegt they, of their profession
kefl they, of their community
ketke- they, pursuant of the goal …, e.g. ketkena͡imel 'they who seek guidance'
ke they, not further qualified.
negt you (plural), of your profession
nefl you (plural), of your community
netke- you (plural), pursuant of the goal …, e.g. netkena͡imel 'you who seek guidance'
ne you (plural), not further qualified.

Singular pronouns don't formally exist (although verbs may clarify). Nayabaru often simply talk about groups of one as they would talk about a larger group.

This means there is no “I” in Naya. There is the unqualified “we”, which is used with caution, or the ability to refer to oneself in third person, usually by name. In some dialects, there are degenerate forms of 'we' (e.g. sel is used in Lower Cetaros) or third person pronouns that usually immediately imply the speaker (e.g. felke, literally not-they, used in parts of Vatenas, or re, widely understood in Tabraan). The Nayabaru do have a sense of individual identity, but they only value it so much.

There is no pronoun for things. The pronoun is simply omitted. Whether omission of the pronoun fully implies 'thingness' is dependent on region and context.

There are many ways to use the Nayabaru system for insults or slights:

  • 'ke' and 'ne', used for someone whose affiliations are clear, is universally considered a deep insult.
  • omission of the pronoun in regions and contexts where this is considered an implication of 'thingness' is an insult. (It will just be confusing in other cultures.)
  • using goal-plurals instead of profession-plurals, if they're the same, can be an insult or a flattery, entirely depending on context.
  • usage of singular modifiers when something reflects (or should reflect) a group choice is various degrees of offensive. (e.g. “negt heshetur”, or “netkeheshet heshetur”, 'you (plural) who seek to protect, (singular) defend')



Using the example of tna͡uchet - to strike.

Present tense:

  • tna͡uchetta - we strike
  • tna͡uchetna - they strike
  • tna͡uchetra - you (plural) strike
  • tna͡uchetun - it strikes / another strikes
  • tna͡uchetur - you (singular) strike

Future tense:

  • tna͡uchetta͡i - we will strike
  • tna͡uchetna͡i - they will strike
  • tna͡uchetra͡i - you (plural) will strike
  • tna͡uchetu͡in - it will strike / another will strike
  • tna͡uchetu͡ir - you (singular) will strike

Hypothetical future tense:

  • tna͡uchette͡i - we may strike
  • tna͡uchetne͡i - they may strike
  • tna͡uchetre͡i - you (plural) may strike
  • tna͡uchety͡in - it may strike / another may strike
  • tna͡uchety͡ir - you (singular) may strike

Requested future tense (used when requesting a future action from someone, the English “would you x?” becomes “you x?”):

  • tna͡uchetto - would we please strike
  • tna͡uchetno - would they please strike
  • tna͡uchetro - would you (plural) please strike
  • tna͡ucheton - would it please strike / would another please strike
  • tna͡uchetor - would you (singular) please strike

Past tense (archaic - effectively absent in modern Naya, where past tense is replaced with observations on present consequences):

  • tna͡uchetta͡u - we struck
  • tna͡uchetna͡u - they struck
  • tna͡uchetra͡u - you (plural) struck
  • tna͡ucheto͡un - it struck / another struck
  • tna͡ucheto͡ur - you (singular) struck

Plural forms are generally preferred unless it creates ambiguity. First person singular, when circumstance force a Nayabaru's hand, is often denoted by prepending she͡i' to a “we” or “it” form verb. The prefix is a derivate of the Kendane͡ivash sa pronoun.


The glyphs that the Nayabaru use to write are based on a simple shape in turn based on a tree:

Cursive exists for the glyphs, but as it is quite difficult to get a hang of, it is almost never used - even in handwriting, Nayabaru tend to use the straight-edged glyphs. Note that letter order in the Naya glyph alphabet is the same as in the Nayabaru tattoo alphabet. The J glyph is often omitted when teaching - Naya itself knows no J, but some Nayabaru titles (most notably, Karesejat) still require it.

# Letter Glyph Cursive
1 o
2 u
3 a
4 i
5 y
6 e
7 m
8 k
9 t
10 sh
11 b
12 p
13 ch
14 n
15 tl
16 h
17 d
18 r
19 ks
20 bt
21 gm
22 tk
23 tsh
24 l
25 v
26 tp
27 g
28 gs
29 f
30 tm
31 tg
32 mt
33 s
34 kt
35 sr
h in source words was simply dropped altogether when applying the substitution cipher
nayabaru/naya.txt · Last modified: 2023-12-19 17:53 by pinkgothic