The history of the Ákat language

The Ákat language is spoken in the southwestern corner of the continent of Ewlah, with the greatest concentration of native speakers found in the Land of Arakuushe. It is considered to be part of the Nakap language lineage, which in turn arose from the old Telik languages spoken away from the coastal areas of the Telik Nations in south eastern Falah.

A "reconstructed" language

Ákat is, in essence, a heavily reformed language which was first developed around a thousand orbits ago by spiritual, ecological and other groups (who called themselves the Nakap) living in the Telik Nations on the continent of Falah. The purpose of the reforms originated in the thinking of the Nakap philosophers, whose aim was to align human thought and action with that of the natural and spiritual (they called it "real") world in which they believed all people lived. The Nakap philosophers held that much human misery derived from people living in discord with the natural world around them, and that by bringing their thoughts and actions into alignment with the "real world" people could more quickly develop the skills (and luck) needed to survive in an otherwise hostile environment.

Nakap philosophers included "unsound" language and thought as one of the barriers to attaining this alignment, and saw language reform as a key issue to be tackled. Working from the commonalities arising from their closely related native languages (which in fact survive in evolved form as Yangat, Wenkast and Yedwael), the philosophers and their supporters undertook to identify and define the key ideals underpinning the language and to devise "sound" methods of derivation which allowed these ideals to be combined into common words without damaging the integrity of the constituent ideals within the word.

Initially the work concentrated on giving existing words a "rigorous" philosophical basis while at the same time seeking the "deep root" or "bedrock" concepts (and their associated sounds) through investigating related groups of words and ideas. Following the move to the new settlements on Ewlah, the focus of the work changed as succeeding generations of philosophers moved towards deriving a new lexicon of words from the bedrock concepts to describe their lives in a pristine, "uncorrupted" world.

The development of the language

Two particular events helped the Nakap philosophers in the development of the new language. The first was the Great Pandemic of gc437 which hit the Telik Nations particularly hard. While there's no proof that the Nakap communities suffered less than other communities during the pandemic, the philosophers lost no time in making such claims in the direct aftermath of the destruction. This significantly increased knowledge of Nakap, both socially and politically, and bought many converts and followers into the Nakap communities.

The second event was the political fallout following from the nine orbit dictatorship of the man history remembers by the name Àqaspap, who publicly espoused Nakap concepts while at the same time undertaking a number of violent actions (including two massacres) to consolidate his rule over the fractious Nations. The bulk of the Nakap communities supported Àqaspap in the early orbits of his reign of terror, and paid the price following Àqaspap's death when action was taken to supress Nakap philosophy. The migration of Nakap followers to the new settlements in Ewlah over the next five orbits effectively separated the developing language from larger scale phonemic and lexical changes occuring in the Nakap and Late Telik lineage languages.

Even so, Ákat never became the common tongue of the Ewlah settlements. Rather, it became the language of philosophical discourse and debate, of laws and contracts, of ritual and diplomacy. Most of the language was developed in the first 200 orbits of the experiment, and little innovation now takes place beyond the minting of new words to describe new developments. Where Ákat has had an impact is in the lexicography of other languages spoken across southern and western Ewlah.

This page was last updated on Tecunuuntuu-15, 527: Jafcuu-2 Gevile