Friday, 30 December 2016

30th Lexember Word

peorrép [pe̞.o̞̽ˈre̞ˑp], alienably possessed noun: “writing, written words; document“

Originally posted by inabrush

Well, it is winter :P.

The Mountain Folk have had a complicated relationship with writing. Until just a few generations ago, they had no writing system, nor any will to create or adopt one, despite being very much aware of the existence of writing and its purpose. Basically, they viewed writing as a feeble attempt to correct what they saw as a weakness of the mind: the lack of an accurate memory. Having an oral-only culture, they relied on people’s memories to keep their tales and stories alive. They also valued trust and verbal contracts very much (and people breaking such contracts were punished severely).

The pride they had in their oral-only culture and their contempt for writing is reflected in their word for writing, which literally means “speech’s shadow” (in that writing is not speech, but a mere shadow of it, lacking the detail and richness of the real thing).

This attitude has changed of last. Realising that their culture was on the brink of extinction due to the campaign of “assimilation” they were facing, they decided that they couldn’t carry on relying on human brains alone to keep their culture alive and needed a more permanent way to record their folk tales, beliefs, and language. Haotyétpi is now also a written language, and teaching writing and reading forms a large part of the revitalisation efforts that must ensure the survival of the Mountain Folk’s culture and language.

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