Klazoo

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Klazoo is an extinct Southern language once spoken at the southernmost tip of Peilaš. Despite its age and conservative vocabulary, it has been of little help in reconstructing Proto-Southern, since it is only extant in a small number of short inscriptions written after speakers of other Southern languages such as Sáśaravi began to exert cultural influence on the area.

The approximate locations of confirmed or suspected Klazoo inscriptions in southern Peilaš.

Klazoo Hill Country

The southern tip of Peilaš has a warm temperate climate. In the northeast it transitions into the humid subtropical lowlands of the east coast. In the west a Mediterranean climate transitions to a coastal desert. The hills along the southeastern margin of the continent have more moderate temperatures and moisture patterns. Gentle southeasterly winds in the winter and strong southerly winds in the summer keep the southern slopes of the hills wet and cooler than many places at the same distance from the equator in northern Peilaš. Temperatures sometimes drop below 5 degrees in the winter, and surpass 30 degrees in summer, but frost or very hot days are rare. Rainfall averages 1400mm on the windward coast, but may be double that on some south facing slopes, or half that on the leeward side.

The Klazoo Hills rise steeply from the east coast of Peilaš, but quickly level out to a series of valleys and ridges that barely exceed 500 meters. The western slopes drop much more gently. These slopes foster a mix of oak and grass, with strong catabatic winds for much of the year. Most of the hills are covered in thin, poorly developed soil, but some valleys have thick, boggy soil. Coastal soils tend to be acidic and leached of nutrients, but still support thick forests of laurel and pine. Some of the myrtles and other trees that grow in equatorial Peilaš have their southernmost habitats here.

The native people of the area spoke a language related to those spoken to the northeast and northwest, but came from a different genetic stock than the speakers of those languages. Their skin was reportedly darker and their hair straighter, and their eyes were usually amber in color. A minority of the population had eyes of a dark purple color, which for some reason correlated very closely with the appearance of webbed fingers and toes. Rumors abound about the physical differences between the Klazoo Hill people and their neighbors on Peilaš, from chronic anemia, to an ability to regulate body temperature in very cold conditions, to a higher likelihood of having perfect pitch. Most of these rumors are probably fairy tales, such as the notion that people in the hills could see in complete darkness. Others, like the total absence of wisdom teeth, are probably exaggerations based on cultural misunderstandings. Given the physical differences, it is unclear how the people of the area came to speak a language related to those from the north. Theories such as conquest, trade, or intermarriage remain untestable.

These theories will likely remain untestable since the extinction of the native population years ago. Their peculiar vulnerability to the virus explains why neighboring groups were not severely affected. The people of the Klazoo Hills were probably preliterate for most of their history, until writing arrived from the west sometime around -400 YP. By -100 YP the Klazoo language had most likely gone extinct along with its speakers.

The Klazoo Inscriptions

The corpus of Klazoo comes from fragments written in Klazoo and Sáśaravi (presented here in English translation), in the Sáśaravi script, which is poorly adapted to the Klazoo language. Presented here is a rectification based on the best analysis of what the text is supposed to represent. The vowels e and a represent a vertical two vowel system, and y represents palatization, not an independent vowel or consonant, except in some cases where it appears word-initially. The exact realizations of each phoneme is speculative, since the Sáśaravi script could not transcribe any significant phonetic differences between the two languages.

Most of the evidence is available as short fragments about the deeds of important people. The texts were probably written by Klazoo speakers fluent in Sáśaravi, whose speakers are probably responsible for the ethnological description above. Below is a selection of inscriptions. Note that the proper names are likely local, and may reflect semantically meaningful Klazoo words.

  • alelnyexy mersyakt xan yetyenyer bese kyalydyanese nesnyeltanda nangel mxe

In the fifth year the chief went to the town of Kelden to conduct many hunts.

  • manytyere bat ntyeswane ba xyenyesanat xan nestsaryer alyak synexysndesygyal dya

The priestesses and laity of the place saw the chief kill a snake with a shoe.

  • a dyen xystxatxe leranex lexrkyat

This is what it says on the tomb of Lurka.


  • gelyeny balya xent yextakyne andyexy syesye ksyartes

Gilin, the wife of the chief, died in a dry summer.


  • ameskespaly xan byeramaskeget psyekalatnat asye aδrat anybat

Amuskuspal, chief of Biramaskug married Ashi of the Anba clan.


  • yama gyarya yelasy balyaxy xent bat mawlaδxy

The master of song sang to the wives of the chief and the dowager.

  • selnyexy yelasy tarkyryenexy

Later he sang to the chief's father in law.

  • tarkyryene yendesygyalnat ngeln stleks

The father in law killed him at the bank of the river.


  • txakyantyeny xan lerangyamet awndedanat ksrandyedames xan namyemeδrn

Txekenchin, chief of Lurangema, conquered Ksrandjedamus, chief of Nemimader


  • alelnyexy syxyartaxy xan psyeδasnat asryalel

In the seventh year the chief summoned his servants.

  • nyewx sgyaxya ndaks nesdranysytya gyer yas mxe

The people will say I give them many good things.

  • ndaks psyestate...

I will make for them... [unintelligible]


  • sa mesyal xent maryewak nyewx kyan sesat nesdange kamyast bat bxanyxwep

After the chief's mother died, the people could not eat bread or onions.


  • beter ntank awgenytyas leraneq aδrat beraδrat

All the towns came together at the tomb of the Burader clan.


  • nyala kenyetateswes bat...

The clothes were properly made and... [unintelligible]


  • et kera xyenyese balgare dandar awsganytye agaty

His sister saw four vultures perched on a tree.

  • xyeyar nesdede awmaryeveka dalpegy

She was so surprised that she fell into a ditch.

  • nesdede sa ete balgar xyselke

Thus vultures are to be spurned ever after.


Exactly one monolingual inscription has been found to date. The word "vaya" may be a loanword from Sáśaravi, but otherwise there is no Sáśaravi gloss, and thus the meaning can only be guessed at.

  • net vaya
  • kyatlen yedranytye merser
  • reδek yedranytye eknax

Analysis

Scholars are currently working to compile a rudimentary grammar and dictionary for Klazoo. What information there is on this topic will be updated once a scientific consensus has been reached.