Shadow Language Language in Paldurog | World Anvil

Shadow Language

The Shadow Language is an ancient language in use by the Shadow Empire.


At the founding of the Shadow Empire, it was clear a secret language was needed to keep their communication safe. What started as a cipher for the common language, developed into a fully independent language. The language is only taught to the Shadow Agents.


There are multiple dictionaries available of the shadowian language. All are linked to the master dictionary that is kept in the Shadow Keep and to the end user. If either of them expire, so does the copy dictionary.

The Master Dictionary is the only dictionary that does not automatically expire when the end user dies. If a Duke dies or is exiled, the Master Dictionary and all copies will turn into solid stone until a new Duke is appointed.

Most times, Shadow Agents have to sign in their new dictionary with a Void Pen, claiming that they will not intentionally share any of the contents, nor will they reproduce the book in any way.

Magical properties

Only the intended user of a dictionary may read its contents. To any other reader, it will look like a normal dictionary of the common language.

The Duke can send a message to any or all copies through a secret spell. This communication, however, is one-way. It can show a bright symbol of the Shadow Empire, a message on the cover or both.

Upon detection of someone creating a copy of a Shadow Dictionary, the book is set aflame and a message is sent to the master dictionary describing who was trying to copy it and where.

Common knowledge

While few know about the Shadow Empire’s existence, even fewer know about the Shadow Language. A feat that is only possible due to the secrecy surrounding the language and the countermeasures of the dictionary.


Natively known as: shadowian /shaˈdowiˌan/

  ...and he stood holding his hat and turned his wet face to the wind... nde ta dvul ḍe ḷo jdon nde umpi ḷo símb ruru jum ríṭ Pronunciation: /ⁿde ta dvul ɖe ɭo ʤdon ⁿde umˈpi ɭo sɨᵐb ɽuˈɽu ʤum ɽɨʈ/ Shadow Language word order: and he stood holding his hat and turned his wet face to the wind  

Spelling & Phonology

  Consonant inventory: b d f j k l m n p s t v z ɖ ɣ ɭ ɻ ɽ ʂ ʈ ʐ ʤ ʧ ᵐb ᵑg ⁿd  
Stopp b ᵐbt d ⁿdʈ ɖk ᵑg
Affricateʧ ʤ
Fricativef vs zʂ ʐɣ
Lateral approximantlɭ
    Vowel inventory: a e i o u ɨ  
    Syllable structure: Custom defined Stress pattern: Second — stress is on the second syllable Word initial consonants: bl dj dl dv f fj j k kl kv l lj m n nj nt p pl s sn t ts tv v z zj zn ɖ ɣl ɣn ɭ ɻ ɽ ʈ ʈʂ ʤ ʤd ʤj ʧl ᵐb ᵑg ⁿd Mid-word consonants: b bb bd bl bt bz bʤ d dd dm ds f fd ff fl fp fɣ j jk jn k kd kj ks kt kv kʈ kʧ l lb ld lf lj lk ll lv lz lɣ m md mf mk ml mm mp mv mʤ n nd nf nj nl nm nn ns nʐ p pj pk pm pt s sd sj sk sl ss st sʧ t td tf tj tl tm v vb vd vj vv z zb zj zk zl zm zp zv ɖ ɣ ɣm ɣn ɭ ɭd ɭk ɭɭ ɻ ɻk ɽ ʂ ʂk ʂl ʂn ʈ ʈn ʈʂ ʈʈ ʐ ʐd ʐn ʤ ʤl ʤm ʤt ʧ ʧf ʧl ʧm ᵐb ᵑg ⁿd Word final consonants: b f l m n p s t v z ɖ ɭ ɽ ʂ ʈ ʐ ʤ ʧ ᵐb ᵑg ⁿd   Spelling rules:  


  Main word order: Subject Verb Object (Prepositional phrase). “Mary opened the door with a key” turns into Mary opened the door with a key. Adjective order: Adjectives are positioned before the noun. Adposition: prepositions  


SingularNo affix jyes /ʤjes/ dog
PluralSuffix -on jyeson /ʤjeˈson/ dogs


Singularfyí /fjɨ/ the to /to/ a
Pluralfyi /fji/ the ít /ɨt/ some
    Uses of definite article that differ from English:
  • Used for languages: ‘The English’


1st singulardval /dval/ I, me, mine
2nd singularŕu /ɻu/ you, yours
3rd singular mascta /ta/ he, him, his, it, its
3rd singular femŕa /ɻa/ she, her, hers, it, its
1st pluraldli /dli/ we, us, ours
2nd pluralam /am/ you all, yours (pl)
3rd pluraldlel /dlel/ they, them, theirs

Possessive determiners

1st singulardvu /dvu/ my
2nd singularḍa /ɖa/ your
3rd singular mascḷo /ɭo/ his
3rd singular femḍe /ɖe/ her
1st pluralmís /mɨs/ our
2nd pluralndi /ⁿdi/ your (pl)
3rd pluralndej /ⁿdeʤ/ their


1st personSuffix -os yuos /juˈos/ (I/we) will learn
2nd personSuffix -a yua /juˈa/ (you/you all) will learn
3rd personIf ends with vowel: Suffix -ʤ Else: Suffix -aʤ yuj /juʤ/ (he/she/it/they) will learn
    Shadow Language uses a standalone particle word for past tense:
PastParticle before the verb: ta - ta yu /ta ju/ learned

Imperfective aspect

  The ‘imperfective’ aspect refers to ongoing actions, such as I am learning and habitual actions, such as I learn (something new every day).   Shadow Language uses a standalone particle word for imperfective:  
ImperfectiveParticle before the verb: ʧlɨ - chlí yu /ʧlɨ ju/ learns/is learning


  Shadow Language has a base-20 number system:   1 - ru 2 - fyu 3 - vi 4 - ḷun 5 - ḷí 6 - i 7 - koṭ 8 - jokta 9 - ri 10 - fonda 11 - fum 12 - jezyoṣ 13 - ndasyap 14 - maŕo 15 - noṭṭiv 16 - ḷon 17 - íska 18 - luḷ 19 - yalfe 20 - dvir 21 - ru nde dvir “one and twenty” 400 - ru jyí “one fourhundred” 401 - ru jyí ru “one fourhundred one” 800 - fyu jyí “two fourhundred” 8000 - ru ḍí “one eightthousand”  

Derivational morphology

  Adjective → adverb = Suffix -u Adjective → noun (the quality of being [adj]) = If ends with vowel: Suffix -s Else: Suffix -as Adjective → verb (to make something [adj]) = If ends with vowel: Suffix -m Else: Suffix -am Noun → adjective (having the quality of [noun]) = Suffix -on Noun → adjective relating to noun (e.g. economy → economic) = Suffix -eʤ Noun to verb = If ends with vowel: Suffix -ʂ Else: Suffix -oʂ Verb → adjective (result of doing [verb]) = Suffix -az Tending to = Suffix -ɨf Verb → noun (the act of [verb]) = Suffix -ov Verb → noun that verb produces (e.g. know → knowledge) = If ends with vowel: Suffix -n Else: Suffix -on One who [verb]s (e.g. paint → painter) = If ends with vowel: Suffix -p Else: Suffix -op Place of (e.g. wine → winery) = If ends with vowel: Suffix -n Else: Suffix -en Diminutive = If ends with vowel: Suffix -t Else: Suffix -at Augmentative = If ends with vowel: Suffix -ʐ Else: Suffix -oʐ


4516 Words.
Language generated by Vulgar

Cover image: Red Blood Moon by Stephan H.


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