Stonebreaker and Hammerwielder Language
History and Characteristics
Very little is known about the origins of the speech of the Stonebreakers, Pel Perrakithor. Some say that this is a very ancient language and pre-dates the 'classic' human tongues; some even claim that this was the forerunner of these languages. What is clear is that there are many cognates (shared roots) with them; which came first is less clear. One must not confuse Pel Perrakithor with the prehistoric language of the Dwarfs, which is almost never shared with non-Dwarfs and largely unpronounceable to men. Dwarfs still use ancient Dwarfish to communicate with each other but never with other races.
It is for this reason that perhaps the early Stonebreakers developed a separate language through which they could communicate with men and other races. This undoubtedly arose from the need to trade goods (and ideas) with others.
You will find Pel Perrakithor a logical and highly structured language. There are few irregular words, reflecting the Stonebreakers' love of symmetry and elegance that also shows up in their architecture. It is also clear and unambiguous, almost to the point of pedantry. Thirdly it is a highly efficient language, allowing new words to be constructed by building on existing words (much like modern German). Fourthly it easily allows the expression of concepts (in the form of 'Head' nouns - things you think with) alongside concrete entities (expressed with 'Hand' nouns - things you can, generally, touch). This creates a reflective and meditative language - and comes from long periods spent in solitude, deep underground, where the absence of distraction leads to deep thought and philosophising - a favourite pastime for Stonebreakers (apart from drinking of course). Finally a note on gender. You will find very few separate gender words, apart from those that define relationships such as Brodr and Sjestr (Brother and Sister) and adjectives such as Arka (pretty) and Arkumin (handsome). Children are Pekartth (little ones), Dwarfs are Dvertth, regardless of gender. This just expresses the lack of importance placed on gender by Stonebreakers; all work, play, fight and drink in equal amounts. Gender just doesn't feature. You will find Stonebreaker easy to learn and use; the rules are clear and the vocabulary strangely familiar.
Guide to Pronunciation
Stonebreakers, as their name implies are a race used to working with stone. The are miners, quarriers and masons, and prefer the depths of the world to the open air. Their language reflects this; it is clear and concise, it avoids harshness and consonant clashes and pronunciation is almost always consistent. This makes it easier to be understood when speaking in large underground spaces, where echoes can distort the sounds of words.
Stonebreaker grammar is very similar to classical European languages, with some minor embellishments. It is highly structured and very largely consistent with very few irregularities.
Phrasal verbs - 'To go'
Common Adjectives and their opposites.
Numbers: Cardinals and Ordinals.
Original Stonebreaker was written in the 24 - character 'FUTHARK' or Runic alphabet. This set of characters are easy to carve into rock or wood (they equate to the runes used by Nordic human tribes). In modern times, these are translated into a phonetic alphabet for easy understanding by those who do not read runes. This has been accompanied by the addition of new letters, not in the original alphabet. For example, K is now accompanied by C and J by Y. Some letters do not appear except in names. These include Q and X. Some sounds are recreated phonetically; for example the 'w' sound in wish is created by combining oo with i. The 'j' sound (as in jump) is spelled 'dj'. These combinations are consistent and logical and should cause no problems for the novice.