The Neighbours

Qári is not spoken in a vacuum: the Qáritu have neighbours and these neighbours have their own languages. 

To the east are the Uššārit, pastoralist nomads of the Western Chadatar who speak a fiendishly difficult language heavily dependent on nonconcatenative morphology. To the north on the Asphari Plateau and its westernmost foothills are the Tsentulin, speaking a relatively straightforward ergative-absolutive language with fifty-nine consonants and only three vowels. The Qáritu find it challenging to distinguish the two languages, thinking both sound like the speaker is choking.

Across the sea to the north-west are various Lacaro-Kaplan speaking peoples; the most prominent being the Kingdom of Wëkken, whence comes the majority of tin used in Ukxár. The Wëknét speak a highly fusional language with accusative alignment. The Qáritu are rather more comfortable with this language and its speakers: they have exported literacy to the Wëknét and consider them almost civilised in spite of their stubborn reliance on monarchs.

To the south, across the Nudharian Desert, is the valley of the River Nwaxa, which debouches in a vast delta in the Sea of Pearls. The people here are called the Ħįtuʔka, their language Ħįtumu. If, for the sake of argument, we say that the Qáritu are the Adeian analogue of the ancient Mesopotamians – being the first people to develop urbanism, writing etc. – then it could be said that the Ħįtuʔka are analogous to the ancient Egyptians: sometime trade partners living in the valley of an exotic river running through a desert, with literacy, agriculture and sedentism. That is, of course, if one swaps out pyramids and pharaohs for cannibalism, headhunting, near-constant internecine warfare and a society so thoroughly divided along gender lines that it might as well actually be two distinct civilisations running in parallel.

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