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Dawnchant is believed to be a lost - even a dead - language on Roshar.[1]

Anak malah kaf, del makian habin yah.
To be human is to want that which we cannot have.

–According to Navani, this is a line from a song, a chant by the Vanrial, written in Dawnchant by the Heralds themselves.[2]

The Vanrial, an order of artists who live on the slopes of the Silent Mountain in Jah Keved, have for centuries sung these same words and claim that they were written in Dawnchant by the Heralds. However, while they have the words of those songs, any knowledge of the meaning of those ancient scripts have been lost and those vocalizations are now just sounds.[2]

These songs were collected in Corvana's Analectics and some scholars believe that the script and the songs themselves may indeed be in Dawnchant.[2]

Navani fully believes that Dalinar spoke in Dawnchant during his vision, as recorded above, and believes that he may have cracked one of the most perplexing - and ancient - mysteries of all time in so doing. Further, she believes that Dalinar's visionary speech confirms that his visions are real.[2]

The Dawnchant translations, in particular those by some ardents in Jah Keved, were ahead of those by the scholars at Kharbranth.[3]

Navani tells Jasnah that the Dawnchant is close to being cracked. She had thought the prospect of translating the Dawnchant - and writings lost to the shadowdays - would've excited her daughter. Instead, it seems to trouble her.[4]

Pronunciation[]

After Shallan is ensconced in Sebarial's manor in the warcamps on the Shattered Plains, she reviews the maps contained within Jasnah's recovered trunk from the debacle of the Wind's Pleasure. Pattern determined that there were patterns in the language in which the maps were written and tried sounding them out. Jasnah had said that several of them were thought to have been written in Dawnchant. Pattern begins reading and Shallan acknowledges that he's reading in Dawnchant.[1]

Shallan determines that an h sound can be for any letter; that it is currently written as the symmetrical letter, to make the word balance, but also that modern society adds a diacritical mark to indicate that it sounds like a h so the word is easier to say.[1]

"Behardan, you said? Maybe Bajerden ... Nohadon himself."

–Shallan to Pattern[1]

History[]

The Eila Stele is an ancient document written in Dawnchant by one of the Dawnsingers. It is perhaps the oldest document in written memory, according to Rosharan scholars. Of all the Dawnchant documents being translated, this was the one scholars were most eager to translate.[5]

The document reveals that the Dawnsingers were Parshendi and the native inhabitants of Roshar, destroying the original theory that the Dawnsingers were spren.[5]

Collections[]

According to the ardent Urv, the ardent Ellista was the last amongst them all at Jokasha Monastery to check out the transcriptions from Bendthel's collected Dawnchant.[6]

While Ellista had taken care to record just where each text was found, Urv still insisted that Fiksin concluded that these Dawnchant books had all spread from a central location, so that there was nothing to learn by where they had ended up.[6]

While Ellista told Urv that Fiksin was a boot-licker, not a scholar, she also told him that there was easy proof that the same writing system was once used all across Roshar. Further, she told him that she had references in Makabakam, Sela Tales, and Alethela. While not a diaspora of texts, it was real evidence that they of the time had written naturally in Dawnchant.[6]

After an ensuing Desolation, people started using Dawnchant script to phonetically transcribe their language. It didn't work well. People forgot how to read their own language. By the point this happened, the language had been moribund for millennia. They weren't speaking it, and hadn't been for generations.[6]

Urv then tells Ellista that he too had been translating, but that he got stuck on the Covad Fragment. This might be because Covad isn't true Dawnchant, but a phonetic transcription of another ancient language. One of those in-between languages, not unlike a proto-Thaylo-Vorin glyphic radical.[6]

Speculation[]

If Dalinar's conversation with Nohadon[2] was indeed in Dawnchant and not just some part of the vision, then it would appear that Dawnchant was the common language in Alethela, during the Heraldic Epochs.

What I wouldn't give for a way to translate the Dawnchant.

–Presumably one of Jasnah's notes, while searching for information on the Voidbringers.[7]

References[]

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