Language, Liirian

From SotS


Liirian is the possessive to refer to things which belong collectively to all Liir. I.e. "the Liirian Empire". Singular possessive is simpler: "This Liir's name is Suubu (the feeling you have when the spring sun warms your back under a cool sheath of water)."


Liir personal names are impossible for Humans to fully comprehend, much less pronounce, because they are woven tapestries of sound, thought and emotion. Ergo, a Liir might introduce himself to you as "Suubu (the feeling you have when the spring sun warms your back under a cool sheath of water)".

Planet Names

Thanks to the invention of fleetsong, Liirian planet names are relatively simple phonemes which even a Human could learn and pronounce. While many Liir planets do not have direct translations, there are some planet names which do have known translations. The prime example is the planet "Muur", which is the name for the Liir homeworld; it is also their word for "Water" with a cognate for "ocean".


Amiiru Amuul Aniim Ashuumi Aylu Banuur Baymu Biibiri
Biima Biishi Bobosh Bomono Egoun Laylii Liimen Liruuma
Lomoshu Luun Luural Miirio Mi'shiim Moshu Muuno Muur
Niiben Niishini Nonu Noshu Numa Ololobu Oluum Shay'mi
Shiimo Shonobu Shuulsi Shuu'nan Tuumen Uulani Uursh Wiira

When names are used more than once, the name is appended with Roman numerals up to X, and then decimal digits afterwards. For example: Foo, Foo II, Foo III...Foo X, Foo 11, Foo 12...

Click here for general, non–race-specific planet names.

Click here for list of Sci-Fi references.

Songs of the Liir

Non-verbal and non-telepathic communication techniques were developed among the Liir just before, during, and after they rebelled and drove off the Suul'ka.

In recent years a revolution of thought and communication has occurred among the Liir. Up until very recently the Liir had only limited notions of spoken language. For eons vocalizations existed only to aid in perception, convey emotion or for aesthetic appreciation: a traditional Liirian "song" is an artform which has the character of both music and painting. The "words" or "lyrics" of the ancient songs are received telepathically by the audience.

As a telepathic race, there is no need for any special way for individual Liir aboard a single ship to stay in sync with one another. They are all part of the same battlesong, sung in counterpoint to the enemy.

The challenge of commanding and controlling a fleet of starships however, has forced the Liir to develop new modes of communication. A new class of Liirian "singers" has recently emerged and they now sing an entirely new type of song, one that is purely auditory. These Liir can now shape sequences of gross physical sounds which are meant to be broadcast by mechanical means, and can be heard at far greater distances than even the strongest telepathic shout can travel.

Once they had developed the concept of "fleet song" and created a code of physical sounds which were analogous to concepts and strings of ideas which would normally be spoken telepathically, the Liir were easily able to grasp the concept of spoken language among other, non-telepathic, species. Since most of the species they come in contact with do not possess even the most rudimentary telepathy, they began to assemble a cadre of Liirian specialists who would dedicate their lives to learning the "fleetsongs" of other species. These specially-trained linguists communicate verbally with other species and develop software to translate any spoken language into Liirian fleetsong.

There was no traditional word for such a profession among the Liir but they have invented a new title for the job. Members of the diplomatic corps are now called "Singers to the Deaf".

Written Language And Symbols

Even the notion of non-telepathic communication is foreign to the Liir, as witness the difficulties they had grasping the concept of "fleetsong" and inventing a language of solely verbal/auditory content. Written language was another hurdle for them to overcome. They do understand symbols and three-dimensional art and coming up with a symbolic language is inevitable under the current trying circumstances. Currently, the few written symbols used in Liir factories, shipyards and aboard fleet vessels are hieroglyphs given in a form of sonar-braille incised into metal sheets. Many of them are borrowed or adapted from Suul'ka written characters.

This new ability to read and write is called "steelsinging". It is a required course of learning for Black Swimmers, scientists, technicians and engineers.

Other Forms of Communication

Liir are mammals, and as such they have various expressions of emotion and thought that can be reflected in blood flow to the skin/hide. They also have body language, stance and gesture communication, although these are very alien to a bipedal, land-walking, non-psionic mammal.

FTL Communication

Each race has a different method for sending FTL communiqués based on their drive tech. The Liir have designed semi-intelligent beacon pods which can accelerate at many times the speed of any normal vessel. Once given directions, these tiny "fish" swarm in flickering schools through the universe, seeking the Liir to whom they can deliver their data. Like carrier pigeons, they can be bred and trained to respond to/obey one specific person, and they have the rudimentary empathy and intelligence of a pet monkey.

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