Řon Lebië Kestië

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The Řon Lebië Kestië (Language of the New Categories) is a constructed language created by the Verdurian linguist Šm Osör Ružeon in his 3422 work, Soî Lebî Kestî.

Dividing the world into categories (kestî) has been a pastime of Caďinorian philosophers for two milennia. To know what there was in the world was the first step in education; and with the addition of some commentary you had the beginnings of descriptive science. Kestora, the categories, became the Verdurian word for natural philosophy or scientific knowledge.

Most of these categorizations were based on the seven Caďinorian elements, or on the four souls, or the seven parts of speech of Caďinor (the latter approach is seen in Fatandor Revouse’s grammar of Caďinor); Arašei scholars preferred the four elements of Cuzei and other Cuzeian concepts. Ružeon had studied Caďinor and Cuêzi, but had also been exposed to more exotic cultures and more modern technologies, and he believed that the ancient languages and ancient categories were not sufficient for the modern world. Thus he started his classification from scratch (thus the new categories).

He started with 21 categories, corresponding to the 21 consonants of the Verdurian alphabet, in alphabetical order:

  • k - keďesa - production, in the sense of creation or art
  • ř - řon - language
  • p - poča - the land, including physical features
  • c - celdoni - trade
  • b - bežia - motion
  • g - gaiec - form
  • d - dascoi - animals
  • s - syel - sky (astronomy and the weather)
  • š - šalea - the spirit
  • z - zëi - the sea
  • č - čistë - purity, virtue
  • t - travët - crime
  • ď - ďitelát - engineering, including crafts and tools
  • r - razum - reason
  • h - hicet - numbers and mathematics
  • l - leria - perception
  • m - mör - custom, law, and government
  • f - ftaconî - elements
  • n - nëronát - holiness, religion
  • v - veži - plants
  • ž - žes - home

Each of these was further subdivided; for instance, du named mammals; dug named large herbivores, of which dugu were domesticated but not eaten; duguk was the word for horse. (The vowels also were used in Verdurian alphabetical order; so u referred to the first category of a given level.)

The numbers, by the way, were not hu, ha, ho..., since h had to cover all of mathematics; but hu was the class of digits, so the numbers from 1 to 10 were huk, huř, hup, huc, hub, hug, hud, hus, huš, huz.

Ružeon’s language had a well-developed derivational morphology. From nuku ‘god’, for instance, were derived unuku ‘divinity’, anuku ‘divine’, aynuku ‘divinely’, onuku ‘priest’ (i.e., a person associated with gods), enuku ‘become a god’, yenuku ‘make into a god’, inuku ‘act as a god’, ''nüku ‘small god, godling’; nūkku ‘great or sole God’; snuku ‘goddess’, sonuku ‘priestess’, and hnuku ‘demon’. (H was to be pronounced as a fricative, unlike in Verdurian.)

Ružeon hoped that his classification— and his new language— would be used by scholars in all sciences. Few however saw the need, and those who did preferred to outline their own schemes.