Excerpts from Winds, Walls and Whereabouts: The Story of Merechi Linguistics

"In 18__, missionary-philologist T.E. Hastely was among a party blown off-course in the Atlantic who washed up on the shores of an extraordinary island inhabited by a most extraordinary people..."

"...The Merechi claimed to be refugees from their lost homeland, yet the island showed signs of unbroken habitation spanning the past 4,000 years..."

"...Following the War, a party returned to the island only to find it completely deserted; all possessions of value and all written materials had been removed as well, except for one fragmentary scrap whose translation reads 'extra shirts - birdseed - good coat - do not forget star chart'. The mystery has never been solved..."

"...In Hastely's first monograph, he famously translated the poem 'bltn fl', providing a naive English-based transliteration. In the absence of an orthographic consensus among Merechianists, several of the words from that poem are still customarily transcribed the same way..."

"...Once fame of the monograph had spread to Germany, he was contacted by Heinrich Schnell, who agreed to work with him on the condition that a more European transcription be used for the vowels. A compromise was reached, Hastely insisting upon the use of the short 'u' for the 'schwa Anglicorum', but ceding to Schnell the use of 'e' for the vowel formerly known as 'long a'. He refused, however, to cease what Schnell referred to as his 'abuse of the diaeresis', leading to the publication after Hastely's death of Schnell's 'Orthografiereform der Merechsprache'..."

"...Regarding Merechi theology, Hastely interpreted the use of the feminine pronoun when referring to the gods to mean that the Merechi pantheon was populated solely by goddesses - a misinterpretation with grievous effects, for in conjunction with the famously sexual nature of Merechi mythology[1], it led him to state that the Merechi were 'from Lesbos, as it were'. This comment was taken entirely too seriously by later Merechianists, who then wasted 20 years of the search for the Merechi homeland on the 'ousted by Greeks' theory, despite clear textual evidence from legend that the refugees had fled _toward the rising sun_ ('endndi ciliditpi')..."

"...[1] Hastely and Schnell agreed on one thing: that all but the most innocuous passages from the Book of the Gods must be translated into no language less obscure than Arcado-Cyprian Greek, although requests for translations into _more_ obscure languages were honored upon occasion. Following the mysterious disappearance of the Merechi people and the tragic destruction of Hastely and Schnell's remaining field notes, these stilted translations are all we have left, and are uniformly hard to follow..."

"...The Merechi abugida was clearly designed by someone familiar with the principles behind Devanagari, as well as in possession of sample texts, but just as clearly ignorant of the actual sounds of the signs. It is unique in that the inherent vowel differs from one sign to the next. The use of the virama with the 'r' and 'n' signs, the only two to lack an inherent vowel, is particularly unusual in its effects..."

"...Hastely was adamant in interpreting the variant 'ti' sign as having had a phonological basis, and consistently transliterated it as 'ty' for that reason. Most modern Merechianists rather follow the position of Schnell, that it served only to mark the sacredness of words which descended from the proto-Merechi root *tigh. Why Hastely did not take the same position regarding the variant sign for 'do' has never been explained..."

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Last updated: 7/13/2007