The Besokian Languages

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The Besokian Languages perhaps are the most self-contradictory in their distribution, once reaching from the Nukna Highlands of Geran to the merchant quarters in every Seligonian city, by the end of the Imperial Era near-extinct save for a handful of idioms—one of them still the most widely spoken language of Elondor, Lécaronian Soskish. As it is the language spoken by most characters in most of my stories, I render it in the language of my writing, originally German, by now English—much like Tolkien reproduced the Westron dialogues in his works as English—, and consequently, the Besokian languages are rendered entirely (except for a few loans in Iilish) as Indo-European: Soskish as West Germanic, with Western Soskish English/German, Eastern Soskish Dutch, and Thárian Soskish Luxemburgish, Reknayan as Russian, and Kattasi as Tocharian B. It is mostly for this fact that I have not given them the attention many of my other families have received, and currently only three of almost forty planned languages are complete enough for a sensible utterance to be made in them.

Branches and Languages

  • Proto-Besokian
    • Old Besokian[1]
    • Proto-Soskish
      • Old Western Soskish
        • New Western Soskish
          • Lécaronian
          • Sildinian
      • Old Eastern Soskish[2]
        • → Old Iilish
          • Iilish
      • Old Thárian Soskish
        • Thárian Soskish
    • Proto-Kattasi
      • Ciswattian Kattasi (Kattasi Proper)
        • Old Lenkwellian
          • Classical Lenkwellian[2]
        • Common Western Kattasi
          • (Three Dialects)
      • Transwattian Kattasi (Oshalian)
        • Old Terian
          • Scripture Terian[1]
          • Modern Terian
        • Archaic Dermonian
          • Old Dermonian
            • Classical Dermonian
              • New Dermonian
                • Late Dermonian
          • Old Yamenaic
            • Primitive Oshalian
              • Oshalian (Proper)[2]
            • Northern Yamenaic[2]
            • Southern Yamenaic[2]
    • Primitive Reknayan
      • Old Reknayan
        • Classical Reknayan
          • Book Reknayan[1]
          • Middle Reknayan
            • Modern Reknayan


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Major literary language
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Branch extinct


The history of the Besokians begins not far from that of the Ortûlékians, in the valley of the eponymous Besokan River (PBes. Kônôwîs). This area, which had been a fertile refuge all throughout and long after the Ice Ages, was home to the presumed first farmers of Elondor. Their cult was centred at Nishûnâc, a sacred system of caves and caverns in the rocky gorge of the Besokan south of Lake Marin, or Tûkegûl, as they called it. They language is now called Proto-Besokian as it is mostly the product reconstruction, but a small number of words and place names, including the ones mentioned here, are known from inscriptions at Nishûnâc, the oldest on the continent, and the language they use seems close enough to the last common ancestor of all Besokian languages, or at least a close relative of it. The script is the oldest known from the Rhombic family of Abugidas, from which the later Iilish and Reknayan writing systems were derived and the use of which seems to have at least partially inspired the introduction of writing in Belkondíl. Among the inscriptions is also a group of younger texts, written in a language not too distant but clearly distinct from Proto-Besokian: This idiom has been called Old Besokian or Ecclesiastical Besokian, and the time it was spoken in the Old Besokian Period. Initial expeditions to the north and south had grown into migrations, establishing the three nations of the Besokians: the Kattasi, who first migrated north into the mountains and later west into Geran, where they came in contact with the early Aribelians and finally vanished, leaving old place names as the only trace of their existence; the Reknayans, who followed the Kattasi north but remained in the fertile upper Besokan Valley into and past Lécaronian times; and the Sosks, who were the first to break the horse and conquered large swathes of land in Old Seligon and Belkondíl, forming the Soskish League in the west and the Kingdom of Môredh in the east. They spoke three dialects, the eastern of which disappeared when Môredh fell to the invading Auls but still lives on as substrate in Iilish; the dialect of Oakshire on the eastern outskirts of Belkondíl survived centuries after centuries, receiving little attention from any of the nations and polities that crossed and conquered the land; the western dialect, finally, was spoken in what would later become Morineb and the Edhennín, in the kingdoms of Hûnutû, Dûroc, and Norfêgu. All three eventually fell to the Olgish clans, but Soskish culture survived under their rule, and so did their language. They served and merchants and cavalrymen and later some even as rulers, shaping the history of the Olgish lands as much as the Olgs themselves. For all of its history, the east of Belkondíl was Soskish-speaking, and with the majority of expanding Olgish armies and settler corps composed of Sosks, most Olgish colonies were as well. By the seventh century B. R., long before the Olgish conquest of Seligon had come to a close, Soskish had replaced the earlier Hakessian dialects as the main lingua franca of Seligon. When Lécaron was founded in 1312 E.B., Soskish was a major spoken language all over its territory save for western Belkondíl and Geran; but it was only five centuries later that Ésôrin the Wise established Lécaronian Soskish as the official language of his empire. Only few of its sister languages had survived to this point: Thárian in the more remote parts of Oakshire, Reknayan in the Besokan Valley, Sildinian in Eastern Seligon, and a handful of remaining Kattasi dialects in the Reknayan Mountains.


Word order for most Besokian languages was a strict VOS. A rather complex system of derivational morphology can be reconstructed for Proto-Besokian or an immediate ancestor, but it was mostly lost in its descendants, and inflection seems to have been absent from this family as far back as is tangible. The Kattasi languages would later go on to develop a complex system of agglutination with up to fifteen distinct grammatical cases, possibly under influence from the neighbouring Andaro-Yenmic languages; Soskish and Reknayan, on the other hand, possess largely, in some cases strictly, isolating grammars. They do not distinguish lexical categories (although a few items, mostly prepositions and numerals, ostensibly fulfil only one function), with most words displaying a range of meanings depending entirely on syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic context. The sound system of Proto-Besokian was likewise fairly simple, distinguishing only 14 consonants and six vowel qualities, and clusters of any kind prohibited. Most words a disyllabic with a consonantal onset and a closed coda. Later collapsing of syllables eases these rigid principles in most daughter languages, up to the complex tone system of Lécaronian.