Cheshire Hall


Language of the Wose

The tree is firmly rooted in time while a human's roots are in mud

Wosei is an ancient language spoken by the legendary treefolk of Wesnoth. The Wose are a both a slow, patient people and have a tendency to be either tacturn or very long winded and their language reflects these facts. The language is rythmic and prone to synthesis of complex phrases through simple words. The written form is composed of lines (generally scratched into earth or stone), but the invective and lament forms have additional characters formed from holes and tree parts.

Due to the lack of tradional speech organs, the language sounds utterly unlike all animal based creature's speech. Listening to a Wose speak is much like listening to a Dijiridu drone with a steady irregular clicking of wood sticks being tapped or clanked together. For instance, wkU is the "Oh" sound from 'nothing' droning with a "w" punctuation and a click overlaid on the transition.


"It is a warm day" becomes "The air/breeze is warm" or "akon wkud akUr vul". Assuming that this is a casual comment, it would become "akonowkudoakUrovul", rendered in written form as:

This sentence only consists of four basic Wosei phrases. All phrases have an assumed sound of "o", pronounced as a long "Oh". In normal conversation each phrase is composed of a consonant, vowel and consonant and linked to other phrases by an "o". The link is changed in different forms (see below) but is usually "o". Phrases not seperated by a link are synthetic phrases that create new words, somewhat similar to hypenated phrases in English. Links are not written and the ambiguous nature of some of the resulting sentences is seen as asthetically pleasing, requiring rumination on the many possible meanings. Wose poetry is often the same long stanza repeated over and over with different links inserted creating different meaning with the same sequence of phrases1.

Valid consonants are w () m () n () r () d () p/b () v () l () a () i () e () and g (). Valid vowels are o (assumed), u (underline), U (overline), ko (vertical line prefix), ku (vertical line prefix plus underline) and kU (vertical line prefix plus overline).


ooh as in nose
uoo as in noose
Uuh as in nothing
koko as in cold
kuku as in cuban
kU    kU as in coming

All sentences are pronounced in a slow, deliberate manner with no breaks or pauses for breath (something the Wose do not have to do). The 'k' vowels are pronounced in conjunction with limbs coming together. In polite conversation the sound is like wind murmuring through tree branches and softly clicking them together, while angry statements are punctuated by irregular smashes of sound as limbs slam together as if being shaken by sudden gusts of stormy weather (since this is usually in invective form, it is accompanied by a crashing shake at the end of each phrase making an angered, yelling Wose one of the scariest sights in Wesnoth).



Alternate Forms

TODO: Lament form, invective form, genealogical form



1 - Elves record Wosei in a different written form that preserves links. Scholors have mused that this may reflect their more oral tradition with regard to language versus the internalized and written traditions of the Wose.