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Katta Language

The language of the katta.


[top]The Basics

The reason why Kattaoshei remains so elusive, so hard to understand and speak as a second language, is simple. Unlike all other documented languages on Telath, Kattaspeak is tonal; that is, much of the meaning of a word is carried in the inflection and tone of the voice rather than by means of prefixes and suffixes, positions of the words in a sentence, helping verbs, case endings and qualifiers. Written Kattaspeak, which is generally limited to names and common phrases, has made no allowance for tonality, further confusing those few who attempt to learn the language in later life. Hopefully, this treatise will help to clear up this confusion.

Katta are famed for their horrendous singing voices, so it may surprise some to learn that a large part of Kattaoshei is based on the range of pitch at which the speaker is talking. Unlike tone, which is the direction in which the note of the voice travels, range of pitch is the general vicinity of the note on which the word begins. There is a low range, used for modifiers; a medium or ‘normal’ range, used for nouns; and a high range, used for verbs. These ranges do not correspond to low, medium and high range for a singer; in fact, each range is at most three steps wide, and the low and high ranges are usually within a sixth of each other.
Further Reading: Katta

[top]Vocabulary List

Here is a list of common katta words.

[top]Nouns, Verbs and Modifiers

Ashrryal - herb, medicine; to treat, to heal; beneficial to one's health
Baal - love, devotion; to love, to devote oneself to; loving, devoted
Chaur - hospital, healer; to cover (as with a pall); blind, sick, deformed, mutilated
Daeri - magic, a spell, arcana; to cast; magical, arcanic
Daurmin - dullard, weakling, coward; to run for help, especially in a situation in which you already hold the advantage; blustery, heavy-handed in a way that reveals ignorance
Dawprii - traitor, esp. to kattakind; to betray, to become 'one of them'; traitorous, anti-katta
Dawri - dog, wolf, jackal; to bark, to speak in clipped phrases; bestial, brutal
Dorin - dorin; to bully; cruel
Gaar - anger; to be angry at, to hold in anger; angry
Heret - M'Taerowlite, martyr; to defy, to believe; M'Taerowlite, steadfast, saintly
Huuow - member of a lower class, nomad, homeless; to need; poor, hungry, homeless, needy
Iimerl - lair, pit, kennel, stable; to hole up, lurk in one's home, hide away; lurking, skulking
Ka - claw; to scratch, to pierce; sharp
Kaaina - elder, wisekatta, spiritual leader, philosopher; to meditate, philosophize, think deep thoughts; ancient, venerable, deeply spiritual
Kaati - cat; to sneak; stealthy
Kaar - a member of the nobility, a noble; to put on airs; of noble blood
Kaeridi - authority figure, expert; to suggest, to inspire; inspiring
Katta - katta; to understand, to comprehend; culturally or racially superior
Keirron - deity; to command; divine
Kimn - game, sport, contest; to play at (as Kimnpraaal, play-at-hunt), to pretend; inconsequential
Kitta - young one, esp. young katta; to suckle, to suck; innocent of the evils of the world
Korih - meal, food; to eat; tasty
Krian - one almost of age, esp. katta; to rebel; inexperienced
Laahr - small blade, knife; to cut, to slice (as in food); sharp, keen, quick-witted (colloquial)
Lunn - night, darkness; to sleep; serene, dark
Lutran - lutran; to swim; of or relating to a lutran
Maaw - friend, ally; to play, to joke; good-intentioned, playful, joking
Mala - dance; to dance, to evade; dancing, evading (as prey)
Miiirp - joke, laugh; to laugh; funny, humorous
Mmei - fur, hair, mane; to groom, to clean; furred
Mmerkoln - furskin; to divide, to split; furskin
Mmnin - blood, redness; to bleed; red, bloody
Ngaar - ruler, leader, king, rightful lord; to rule wisely, to rule justly, to lead well; just, truly righteous
Ngrah - river, stream, brook, flowing water; to flow; babbling, chattering, constantly making noise
Niir - sight; to see; visible
Niiraa - true vision, true prophecy, true oracle; to prophesize truly; foreseen
Nimmr - decoration, ornament, makeup, jewelry; to display, to attract (a mate); made up, out to attract a mate
Niprii - metal, coin, esp. Crown; to forge, to mint, to form out of metal; metallic, reflective (of an object)
Nir - moon, esp. Chaendar; to gleam; gleaming, white
Nnekch - ice, snow, cold, cold place; to snow, to freeze, to wither; empty, emotionless, wasted
Or - dirt, dust, particle; to soil, to dirty; small, little, dirty, insignificant
Oshei - language, tongue, speech, dialect; to speak, to communicate; spoken, verbal, over the table, forthright
Owa - race; to run; fast, quick, colloquial: intelligent
Pa - appearance, faηade, esp. when false; to appear, to seem, esp. when false; of deceiving appearance
Paurm - foot, footpaw; to walk; land-bound, colloquial: stupid. One never says that a katta is land-bound, even though they are; calling a katta paurm will always be taken as 'stupid.' One may say that any other race is land-bound without necessarily meaning stupid, although that is usually implied.
Polss - city, town, settlement, civilization; to dwell in a city, town or village; of or relating to a city or city life
Praaal - hunt, kill; to hunt, to kill; well-earned
Praaii - warrior, soldier; to make war, to fight against an equal (as opposed to an animal); warlike, fearsome. This word applies only to sentients.
Ptetss - bird; to fly; not worth the effort, colloquial: overpriced
Rati - mouse, rat, rodent; to gnaw; verminous
Ratta - rodenti (all kinds); to tunnel, to burrow; grovelling, sucking up, simpering
Rhaa - tree; to climb, to rise, esp. using claws or other harsh means; steadfast, giving in to none
Rhekaa - a lie; to lie; false
Ri - spirit; to float on air, to be charmed; charmed, lucky
Rraar - spices, wealth; to want, to take, to steal; rich (monetarily), shallow
Rrau - death, Jalat; to die, to be killed; dead
Rraw - tear, grief, sorrow; to grieve; grievous, tragic
Rril - handpaw, hand (on other species), finger; to grasp, to hold, to catch hold of; dextrous, nimble-fingered
Shu - story, legend, poem; to storytell, to recite; epic, legendary, fantastic. Note: As more katta are exposed to written language, this word has begun to apply also to literature and the written word.
Simnrak - market; to sell; of worth
Slaair - small plant, shrub, grass; to sprout, to begin growing; green, growing
Spechi - fish; to fish; scaled, reptilian
Spechas - stoneskin, esp. saurid, colloq. competition; to compete, esp. for resources; stoneskin
Sseith - necromancer, undead, lich; to strike fear, to violate the natural order; necromantic, undead, unholy, evil, awful
Teila - life, Carmelya; to live, to survive, to be born; alive
Thaao - day, sun, dawn; to wake, to rise or set (of the sun), to live life to the fullest; light, sunny, bright, hot
Tharn - fear; to fear; fear-inspiring (archaic: afraid)
Thael - thought, consideration; to think, to ponder, to consider; thinking, intelligent. Intelligent in this case means possessing the faculties required for thought, not necessarily high in intelligence. For 'smart,' see owa.
Thipa - feather; to tickle; intricate, feathery, feathered
Tskal - tooth, fang; to bite; ragged, serrated, fanged, biting
Uaarl - change, adjustment; to shift, to adjust; new, different
Ukiaa - star; to glow softly; pale and cold
Urchaa - fire, heat, body heat; to warm, to cook, to heat; warm, hot, cooked, firey (literally only!)
Zhawrl - pariah, outcast; to cast out, to ban; outcast, antisocial


Av – Yes, exactly; very, truly
Di – a little, sort of, a bit; small, diminutive, less than usual, occasionally
Ke – very much so, almost exactly; big, more than usual, almost always
Nar(l) – No, not at all; not, never, under no circumstances


Ch – I
Nm – singular you
Mr – he (used also for animate objects of indeterminate gender)
Ml – she (used also for non-living things)


Mwaa – indicates a question; 'tell me more'
Ooor – what, which; 'say that again?'
M'baael – a monogamous katta couple; also, either member of the couple.
M'Taerowl – the deity representing the circle of life and death
Ngaaaah – expresses anger
Seraaa – greeting word, with different specific meanings depending upon the group or clan
Dawri - A dorin. Though this word is most properly used to speak of a true dog, katta disdain for the dorin will often shine through. In all-katta company, even higher class katta will not refrain from using this term.
Meow - During the dorin enslavement, 'meow' was a degrading term used widely by most people to refer to a katta. Now that the katta are free, the word is highly offensive coming from the mouth of a non-katta, but lower-class katta have adopted the term as a synonym for katta when talking among themselves, and as a friendly title for others of their race.
Spech - Any member of a scaled race. It is a shortening of the word for fish, and is so widespread that lower-class katta will often refer to scaled persons as fishes even in Charismean.


Credit goes to Karrkh Ti'Praaal

Created by Nimh, September 28, 2014 at 09:44 AM
Last edited by Nimh, October 12, 2014 at 09:27 AM
0 Comments, 735 Views
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