Author has written 64 stories for Avatar: Last Airbender, Misc. Cartoons, Babylon 5, Johnny Test, Hunger Games, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Legend of Korra, The Prisoner, and iCarly.
In the beginning...I wrote fan fiction.
I have plans to return to the uncompleted projects in my collection of stories but I get distracted easily.
For many people, Henwa or Suihan as they have come to be called) appears too Western. I modeled it after Britain or Holland and it does have a Western like culture as a result of centuries of relative isolation and the fact much of its early history saw it split into competitive small city states. Henwa is envisioned as the first truly modern industrial state in the Realm.
I find it unlikely a whole world would be of one language or of one language family. I invented a language built on Indo - European to give some variety in a rather bland linguistic landscape.
They have a monotheistic religion based on rationalism. They do not worship the Christian God but a being also called the Creator. The religion became a force for nationalism during Fire Nation rule and a source of identity after.
The Suihan Language (pronounced Soohahn) or Henwanese is an Indo European language which fits between the Celtic and Romance branches of that language family. In terms of typology and grammar it resembles Latin and to a lesser extent, Old Irish. It hears no relation to the Asian languages that surround it in the Avatar Realm except for Sanskrit - the liturgical language of the Air Nomads. In Fire Nation Chinese, Suihan is often called Henwanese (the language of Henwa island). The name Henwa derives from the Old Suihan 'hanaffa' or speak. Either name is correct.
Suihan has a 'split ergative' grammar.. English and Japanese define the subject of the sentence as the actor or the agent and objects as the recipient of the action or the thing affected or changed by it.
Like most Indo European languages, Suihan has a system of arbitrary gender: nouns are masculine, feminine, neuter or mass (think of things that come in swarms). Suihan has singular and plural forms but the rules governing which nouns take a plural form are somewhat complex - feminine nouns lack plural forms or have irregular ones and mass nouns lack plural forms.
The language allows for the formation of names for places and people as well providing a means of explaining the origins of names in Fire Nation Chinese that do not fit the pattern of Chinese or Japanese names. Long time fans of the show have wondered where names like Azula, Azulon, Sozin and Ursa came from. They are derived from Suihan. The root 'asul' means 'blue' ans 'soci - sochi' means wise and 'ursa' means bear.
Suihan differs from the Asian languages surrounding it in that it has very free word order (a non configurational language), a complex system of inflectional morphology (word endings) for nouns, verbs and adjectives, lacks honorifics and has a complex system of gender marking for nouns. Suihan also has an ergative grammar which marks the subjects of verbs that take an object (transitive verbs) and verbs that cannot take an object (intransitive verbs) differently.
A difficulty of presenting the grammar comes from the lack of features in Fan Fiction for presenting charts for aspects of grammar. Suihan nouns can have one of four genders and most nouns have sixteen forms - eight singular, eight plural in a list termed a declension. While most nouns are regular, a chart helps keep these concepts clear. Adjectives and verbs have conjugations which can get confusing if not charted. All these forms follow regular rules but also have complex and compound forms. Nouns and pronouns have a different form for each subject case and most nouns have a singular and plural noun. Suihan never uses classifiers (a sheet of paper or eight cups of coffee) like the measure words found in Chinese or Japanese..
Suihan has pronouns and they have little or no rhyme or reason to their forms. I have refrained from using Suihan in writing out of the fear the reader would not track og, mna, mnada etc as variants of the first person singular if not familiar with languages such as German or Russian that also have this behaviour.
Suihan does not have the 'expected' Asian features of grammar. The language has no verb forms for honorific or communicating deference - thus giving rise to the perception that its speakers are 'rude' or thoughtless. Tenses work differently for verbs than the typical 'past' and 'non past' framework for Japanese or English. Suihan has three simple tenses for verbs Aorist (timeless or narrative tense), Past tense and Future tense. Suihan has only a few irregular verbs but deploys a complex system of auxiliary verbs to express tense, aspect, voice and mood. Suihan lacks a copula verb (to be in English)
Suihan verb morphology is quite complex. Suihan has a closed class of verbs - a core set that have all possible forms. They are the function (modal) verbs and basic set fo verbs used in compound tenses or to denote mood. Suihan has an open class of verbs which include most transitive verbs (verbs that take an object) as well as verbs derived from nouns or other parts of speech. Suihan grammar often terms these classes 'true - closed' and 'finite - open'.
The adjective in English modifies nouns (the red car). Suihan adjectives modify nouns but the rules governing their endings differ. English lacks agreement but in French or German, the adjective must agree with the noun terms of number (singular and plural). In Suihan, adjectives agree with the verb in terms of tense. Suihan adjectives lack the comparative or superlative endings (-er or -est in English) and Suihan grammar treats adjectives as a special category of the open class of verb. This isn't as odd as it sounds given that Suihan grammar lacks 'to be' as the verb has collapsed into the adjective (the red – is car).
The adverb in Suihan doesn't exist. English words like softly, slowly or angrily do not translate literally into Suihan. Suihan deploys a verb or an adjective to do this job. Suihan also resorts to verb forms that act like nouns and so can use adjectives. In terms of negation, this make Suihan very simple. Suihan has one word for no 'ne' and it prefaces whatever it refutes. It takes no endings, no effect on verbs: imply plop it in front of the thin negated and the Suihan language is satisfied. This makes 'ne' a particle in Suihan grammar.
Suihan has the article 'i' which means 'the'. It takes no endings at all. It belongs to a class of words that take no endings called particles. These do things like the English word 'and' or 'to' or 'by do. One class of these words deserves mention. Some kinds of words express 'this' or 'that' or 'what' and are also particles. The wordímeans this and 'eto' means that thing and the word 'pet' means what, 'ko' means who and they have no forms. Suihan considers them particles because they do not change.
The sentence in Suihan as stated before, has fairly free word order. Suihan typically finishes a sentence with the verb but unlike Japanese (Kyoshinese) has freedom to move it. The rules governing formation of dependent and independent clauses to form sentences follow very simple rules compared to Japanese (Kyoshinese). In the case of independent clauses, nothing is needed in conversation but 'to' clarifies things – a particle meaning that or and. A dependent clause is an incomplete sentence and is formed as a single unit. Unlike Japanese, nothing more is needed as the phrase will reveal itself as incomplete. Like English, Suihan has an optional 'that' equivalent – é.