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"Their leader, who was bedecked in feathers, edged towards me. It was I who spoke first. "Salaam brother, we come in peace!" He spoke to me in his own tongue which I could not understand. It was time to declare the reason for our entry into his land before they decided to attack us..."

—Extract from Ibn Jellba's Expedition to Zlatlan, circa. 1150 IC[1a]

The Saurian alphabet

A collection of Glyphs, the written language of Saurian

The Lizardmen language known as Saurian is a primeval reptilian tongue. It is almost unpronounceable for any race other than the Lizardmen to speak, due in part because it contains so many unique sounds that can't be spoken in other tongues. Only a Lizardman can voice these or interpret them as words or sentences. The Lizardmen's written language is composed upon glyphs chiseled unto bare stone or gold. It is doubtful whether the Saurian tongue was spoken by the Old Ones as they probably communicated with the Slann by means of telepathy. As such, many scholars believe that the Saurian language is one unique to the Lizardmen.[1b]

Dialects

There are currently three dialects of the Saurian language, which is divided between the three core species. The language of the Slann is the most eloquent form of Saurian. However, the Slann rarely bother to speak it. They can communicate with each other by means of telepathy and so restrict their speech to dictating their prophecies to the Skink scribes and issuing their directives. The Slann's use of words are usually reduced to a bare minimum of words and are enigmatic to say the least. As such, it is the Skinks duty to interpret its meaning.[1b]

The Skinks are the most vocal of the Lizardmen race as they are the builders and crafters of their society. They speak a dialect known as Skinkian, and as such do most of the talking and all of the reading and writing. They do not speak fast, but in long sentences laboriously constructed in a low, croaking tone. They use much gesticulation to help communicate because all Saurian words are vague in precise meaning and yet must be used to convey the profound thoughts of their masters, the Slann.[1b]

Crude Saurian is the dialect of Saurian spoken by the Saurus and to an extent the Kroxigors. The Saurus are not really capable of pronouncing many words at all. They are far better at fearsome roars and blood-curdling battle-cries then actual speech. When they do speak in Saurian, it often comes out deep and harsh. As such, most of their vocabulary is limited to only fifty or so words that is mostly associated with fighting. It is their leaders job then to string these words into coordinated orders and battle plans for their cohorts.[1b]

  • Words are stressed on the second-to-the-last vowel (excluding U).[3a]
  • U does not occur as an independent vowel.[3a]
  • X is pronounced like 'SH'.[3a]
  • LL is pronounced like a long 'L'.[3a]
  • TL counts as a single consonant, never as a full syllable. TL is a type of sound not found in Old World languages but common to the Saurian language.[3a]
  • CU and UC are both pronounced 'KW'.[3a]
  • HU and UH are both pronounced 'W'.[3a]
  • H without an adjacent U represents a glottal stop.[3a]
  • Z is pronounced like 'S'.[3a]

Lexicon

A

  • Ataxa - Plague/Curse[2a]
  • Ata - Prophecy/Archive/Sequence[2a]
  • Ax - Chaos/Antithesis/Argument[2a]

B

  • Boq - (Bock) Weapon/Hurt/Hit[2a]
  • Botl - Permanence/Solidity[2a]

C

  • Cho - Warm-blooded/Ignorant[2a]
  • Chaq - Hatred/Deep/Dark[2a]
  • Chuq - Magic/Measured progress/Propel[2a]
  • Conqua - (Kon-Ka) Join/Group[3a]
  • Cuaq - (Kwak) Learning/History[2a]

D

G

  • Gar - Attack[2a]
  • Goq - (Gock) Forward/March[2a]
  • Gor - (Gore) Rend/Slash/Strike[2a]

H

  • Hex - (Hecks) Ground/Solid Base[3a]
  • Huan - (Hoo-an) Darkness/Deep jungle/Moon[2a]
  • Hua - Hunt/Mist[2a]
  • Huini - Small/Insignificant[2a]

I

  • Itza - (Its-ah) First one/Beginning[2a]
  • Itz'xa'khanx - Ringed by the Ocean (Elves)[2a]

K

  • Kai - (Kie) Ancient/Forgotten/Lore[2a]
  • Kro - Dead/Sacrifice/Transcendence[2a]
  • Kha - Revered/Justified[2a]
  • Kor - Mighty/Impressive/Majestic[2a]

L

  • Loq - (Lock) Fierce/Danger/Death[2a]
  • Lot - Slayer/Brave[2a]

M

N

  • Nka - Captive/Unchanging[2a]

O

  • Oatl/Otl - (Oh-tul) Construction/Stronghold/Founding[3a]

Q

T

  • Tehe - (Tuh-heh) Scholarly/Knowledgeable[2a]
  • Tenq - (Tenk) Writing
  • Tlax - (Tlacks) City/Temple[3a]
  • Tli - Beast/Servant[2a]
  • Tza - (Chah) Water/Swamp[3a]

U

  • Uax - (Orks) Sea level/Flood[3a]

X

Z

  • Zec - Foe/Intruder/Thief[2a]
  • Zlat - (Slat) Importance/Focus[3a]

Trivia

  • In the video game Total War: Warhammer 2, the word "Xiliquncani" is treated as a warcry by the Saurus. "X" is often incorrectly pronounced in the game as "ks" instead of "sh".

Source

  • 1 Warhammer Armies: Lizardmen (5th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 6 - 8
    • 1b: pg. 28
  • 2 Warhammer Armies: Lizardmen (7th Edition)
    • 2a: pg. 39
  • 3 Warhammer Armies: Lizardmen (6th Edition)
    • 3a: pg. 78
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