Entry #055

The Avin Written Language

Fragment of the old folk song, “The Wind Is Here” (author and date of origin unknown)


Whereas our spoken language has gone through little alterations through the ages, the written one has had a far more interesting, and complex, history of changes. Starting with its most basic roots back when Avia was first discovered, when most if not all avin population was illiterate and the need for a simple, yet effective system of symbols was invented to express written ideas.

This over-simplified language of strokes and dots, the proto-avin alphabet, soon required to develop into a more sophisticated system to accommodate the frequent communication between settlers and explorers across the continent. And so, the diagonal strokes saw themselves adorned with even more horizontal lines, no longer representing single concepts such as “avin settlement”, “dangerous road” or “wind temple”, but instead single words, until the written language evolved to its modern incarnation, that of symbols that represent individual sounds that compose into words, then sentences.

A most curious element of avin writing, and subject of eternal debate, has been the matter of whether to write the strokes diagonally upward or diagonally downward. As ages passed, each region has adopted different perspectives on the matter. For instance, Siroonians are for the most part indifferent, writing both upwards and downwards regardless of context or intent. In Koumul, meanwhile, the downwards writing is reserved for formal and official documents to highlight their importance, with the upwards format exclusive for informal and casual writing.

Regardless of what the dominant opinion is on the matter, there is the common opinion that the old-fashioned method of writing in fully vertical, non-diagonal way, has become obsolete and impractical for any use. The only exception, of course, being numbers, as it allows for their easy identification within written texts (see entry #057, “Brief History of Avin Mathematics”).

Lorekeep’s note: This entry only addressed the common written language used all across Avia. Derived, but obscure writing systems, such as the Windborn’s Secret Alphabet, will be addressed in future entries. That is, if I manage to avoid getting caught one more time.