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Zoss speaks

Zoss speaks in U.M. after appearing in Allison's bedroom.

Universal Metaconstant,[1] often abbreviated as U.M., is the spoken language of Throne. The Black Speech of devils is derived from U.M.

Description Edit

According to Abbadon, U.M. only has an alphabet when engaging the low speech,[2] which can be seen untranslated in some places in the comic. Names and other terms may be transliterated into the Latin alphabet in a more or less systematic way (though some names have variants).

"Aesma", "Asma", and "Ashma" refer to the same person, for example, while the word "ATUN" (meaning praise) is also seen as "ATYN".[3] Payam's name is given as "Pavam" when 82 recites the Prayer and the name "YISUN" is written as Y-S-U-N when spelled out loud.[4]

Transliterated terms are always written in capital letters. In this system, it seems the letters "V" and "Y" represent liquid consonants [5] as shown by the words "YTTR", the prefix "YS-", "IMVTTR", and "VAM".

Script / Alphabet Edit

The script, as depicted in the comic so far, has been used in a rather consistant way, and several rules can be assumed when it comes to composing characters. There are basic characters, which can be put together to form more complex ones, which possibly also alters their pronounciation.

K6BD-Metaconstant

Characters pulled directly from the comic and edited to allow comparison.

So far, there have been in-comic examples of how to write (spelling follows the most basic level):

Abbadon has also released bonus material, most notably about YS-PRAVI, UN-HANSA and UN-SIVRAN (all spelled just like that), which use the same way of spelling letters. The prophecy of Jadis has also been made in U.M., but the few readable fragments have not been deciphered yet (at least not to a satisfactorial translation; Jadis probably uses a shorthand or steno "font" when projecting her characters).

Note that by far the most inscriptions seen on Throne are not examples of U.M., but some of them may be derived languages. It possible that White Chain's name, or Mottom's curse are also composed of derived characters. Also, Allison returned on the verge of puking in U.M., saying something like "O-S-M-OU"; the blue devil she then barfed up also complained in Universal Metaconstant.

Double use characters Edit

The characters for "B" and "V" are apparently the same, although the derived characters for "BR" and "VR" are looking different, with the two horizontal R-strokes on different sides. The "P" character and the derived "PR" character look similar to the same schema. Due to the speculative Y-V dichotomy mentioned above, the depicted transliteration uses the letter "F" instead of "V" or "B", although it is possible that this F is meant as a spoken "VE/VU" or a soft "B".

The "Y" letter, a horizontal stroke looking like the chinese "yi", has also been used as "L" in Solomon's and Lo-Kai's name.

It has been noticed that the letter O in the writing has been used for both "A" and "O", while the letter U has been used for both "O" and "U": This might mean that these vowels are used and pronounced differently in Metaconstant than in English (as should be expected of a different language!). Also, the letters for all three A, O and U, look rather similar with a vertical stroke and an attached rectangle on the left or right side. Instead of being fixed characters, it might be possible that the length of the stroke and the size/side of the attached rectangle might be a rough indication how the vowel is to be spoken; comparable to the IPA diagram of open/closed and front/back vowels.

The way that the letter A has been used in Mottom's name "Nadia" might mean that it is pronounced more like "IÄ!". Usage of the same vowel in the names IA-gonoth and IA-dis has yet to confirm or refute this speculation. Another less lovecraftian explanation is that the missing "I" character in Nadia is only missing in the writing because it has been attached to the neighboring characters "D" and "A" - the "I" has been treated like that also in "David" and "Eris". The "A"-usage in the name of David seems to contradict the "IA!" theorie as well. There, the spelling of Daifid indicates that "A" is generally spoken as an open unrounded vowel, and only in combination with the letter "I" is formed as an "AI", like "dAIf" (Dave).

The last part also stipulates that for some reason, David is pronounced like english [/ˈdeɪvɪd/] rather than the hebrew [/daˈwid/], just like Incubus is apparently pronounced similar to english [/ɪŋ.kjʊ.bəs/] rather than latin [/ˈɪŋ.kʊ.bʊs/].

Vocabulary and Grammar Edit

The most comprehensive example of Universal Metaconstant is written in the Third Middle Hym, a prayer of the Mendicant Knights:

VM ASRA, VM ITTM (To the sky, to the other-side that is not sky)
YISUN PATTM ATTRA AM (YISUN is the Universal Lord)
AUN VS UTTR (Of nothing he was)
AUN VS YA (And nothing he is now)
YTTR AM! (What a paradox!)
ATOMUS UNSM (We must constantly seek salvation and perfection through division.)
VM ITTR A VSK PRET (Seek heaven through violence.)
YISUN ATUN! (Praise YISUN!)[1]

From this passage, several terms can be properly defined, while the word "ATUM" is defined in chapter two on a signpost.

  • ASRA: noun (sky, heaven)
  • ATUM: noun (body)[6]
  • ATUN: verb (praise)
  • ITTM: noun (lit. that which is not sky)
  • VM: verb/preposition (seek, go to, to)
  • UTTR: verb modifier (indicates past tense)
  • YA: verb modifier (indicates present tense)

In addition, some terms can be theorized:

  • AM/VS: verb (likely two conjugations of "to be", perhaps from YIS )
  • AUN: noun (likely "nothing", perhaps from UN )
  • YTTR: noun (likely "paradox")
  • PATTM ATTRA: phrase (likely "universal lord")

Most of the lines seem to be in Subject-Object-Verb order, with the exception of lines containing "VM", though this may be because "VM" is a preposition. In addition, the temporal modifiers "UTTR" and "YA" are found after what is likely the verb. Thus, a more complete sentence structure may be VM-Subject-Object-Verb-Modifier.

Titles and honorifics Edit

  • Pankrator — an official title designated to people of extraordinary high social status; only Jagganoth and Au Vam are known to hold this title
    • It is very likely the term Pankrator is derived from Pantocrator, which is a Greek title held by Jesus that means "almighty" or "all-powerful".
  • Pre — a diminutive of pree, it is used as a term of endearment[7]
  • Pree — a respectful term used exclusively when referring to women[7]
  • Preem — a term of respect and a shortened version of the word supreme; it is almost always used when referring to men[7]
  • Yot — a title of unknown connotations
  • Ys — a title given to deities born of YIS[8]
  • Un — a title given to deities born of UN[8]

Trivia Edit

  • For humans who have not consumed blue devil liquor, U.M. is completely unintelligible, but those who have appear to have no difficulty speaking or understanding it.[9][10]

ReferencesEdit