I posted an introduction to the project I'm working on right now, and lots of people seemed interested so I thought I'd continue posting on the topic. Before I double down on posting about the recreating of Vastayan and Ionian we need to first establish the linguistic situation in Runeterra now, and at the beginning of times. I've created a language tree for every major language in Runeterra, similar to the linguistic tree of Indo-European languages such as this one.
The finished map and a tl;dr can be found at the end of the post if you just want to skip over the dry linguistic notes (Note that this post disregards dialects, which is something that will be discussed later.)
The main influence that gave rise to the modern civilizations of Runeterra appears to be an unknown diaspora, as can be found in the Ixtal universe page.
Part of the great westward diaspora that gave rise to civilizations including the Buhru, magnificent Helia, and the ascetics of Targon
These culture bombs bring language with them, even if some native Runeterran languages already existed, such a big diaspora would make their language follow them.
But if a great westward movement gave rise to cultures in the west, the only place such a movement could originate from is Ionia, also known as the The First Lands, since it's the only place further east than the cultures it has given rise to. We will therefor place the grandmother language in Ionia, called Runeterran.
Here the path splits, as the people on Ionia stay in Ionia, devolping Ur-Ionian (Ur here means "Original" or "Early"). After the war against the Titans that formed the Vastayashai’rei (who were in turn just mortals before, thus speaking the same language as the mortals) the mortals and Vastayashai’rei continued to live together. The language split later, when humans turned against nature and the vastayas. This caused the langauge to split into Ionian, as spoken by Yasuo and Karma, and Vastayan, as spoken by Xayah and Rakan.
On the other side of the tree, the diaspora moved west, splitting into a movement that went south to Bilgewater, forming Ur-Buhru, the language of Illaoi that resembles Aztec and Ancient Greek. They would then move further south to Helia, the capital of the modern day Shadow Isles. This language would evolve into Helian, while Ur-Buhru would evolve into Buhru over time.
The other side of the diaspora will now have arrived on the continent, speaking a language we know very little about, called Continental. The diaspora would move to the southern part of the continent, giving birth to the Ixtal faction, who spoke Ur-Ixtal, which over time evolved into Ixtal, the language of Qiyana which also appears to be influenced by Meso-American languages such as Mayan.
The last great empire that this culture bomb has either triggered, or influenced is the Shuriman Empire, (Make way for Azir), which means that the last language path is that of Ur-Shuriman, the language of Azir, which over time developed into Shuriman, the language of Sivir. It is likely that the sheer size of the Shuriman empire also influenced Targon, resulted in Targonian, but it's also possible that the Celestials themselves brought the language to Targon.
The last great empires that we have no yet discussed are those of the three northern nations: Noxus, Freljord and Demacia. The most sensible explanation would be that the language originated from the same time as when the diaspora began to influence the southern empires. This northern diasporic language, which was significantly smaller than the southern one, appears to be similar to Germanic. It gave birth to Ur-Nox, a language that is close to our Old High German, and underwent the same sound changes as German, resulting in Va-Nox, the runeterran equivalent of Modern German as pointed out by the rioter Interlocutioner.
Noxian (language) is closer to German, spoken by someone with a mouthful of mashed potatoes
The other side of the tree gave birth to Ur-Freljordian, the language of Lissandra*,* a language alike to Old-Norse, since Rioters have said that Frejlord means Frozen Ground in some northern dialect . This finally split into Freljordian and its many dialects and Demacian that was built on Freljordian parts. Demacian is an exceptionally interesting language, since it has been built by refugees with rich backgrounds who will have influenced the language, and because Demacia and Targon have cultural similarities and , which in turn results in Demacian and Targonian influencing eachother.
The finished chart of this (and more) data can be seen here. Underlined languages are spoken by modern day people.
If anybody has any questions or remarks, don't be shy. The lore of League has grown massive over time, and it's therefore very likely that I have missed something. I will next time dive deeper into the language creation process of Ionian and Vastayan, but for now this is all.
tl;dr: A great diaspora moved west over Runeterra, coming either from The First Lands (Ionia) or further east than our current map. This diaspora gave birth to most big languages in modern Runeterra. Many languages are influenced by human languages. Nox, Freljordian and Demacian are like German, Norse, and Germanic respectively, while Buhru (Illaoi's language) draws from Ancient Greek and Aztec. Shuriman draws from a variety of Indo-European languages. The language tree tries to show the relations and ancestry between all languages spoken. (except the yordles, they do their own thing)
Source: Original link
© Post "I’m recreating Runeterran languages #1 | The Groundwork" for game League of Legends.
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