Ricardo Pinto - The Stone Dance of the Chameleon The Stone Dance of the Chameleon

Quya - introduction

Quya is the language spoken by the Chosen. It cannot be denied that the impulse to develop such a language for The Stone Dance came, to some extent, from Tolkien. Like him, I felt the need to give things in the Three Lands names that were of that place. But the language would have been nothing but a collection of pleasing sounds if I had not met David Adger, then a linguistics student. It was he who showed me that, bilingual as I was, in the world of languages, I saw in black and white. He revealed to me the rainbow that is human languages. With his help, we shaped Quya, a court language which is possessed of all manner of strange elements originating in the mythological and historical antiquity of the Three Lands.

Originally, my intention was to use Quya throughout The Stone Dance. Carnelian was Odrásir, Osidian was Yáhrátha, Aurum was Akriurós, Vennel was Erugutáya and Jaspar was Ksarathás. I dispensed with these names when I became aware that, as I myself had often done when encountering strange names, readers would just memorise the shape of these words and not even try to pronounce them. Here and there Quyan words were kept: tyadrá, baran, Osrakum - but much else was lost including Mahár, Lord, and Usgádrakuinjá for the City at the Gates.

Ultimately, only the Song to the Earth was left as a substantial example of Quya. Additionally, in some editions, the glyphs that accompany chapter headings, as well as those accompanying the maps and on some of the book jackets, are grammatically accurate transliterations of those headings translated into Quya by David.

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