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Ath (alphabet)

The Ath Alphabet, used to write Baronh

“Baronh” is the official language of the Abh and means “language of the Abh”. Its writing system is known as Ath. Baronh is a fictional language created by Japanese science fiction author Morioka Hiroyuki and used in “Crest of the Stars” and “Banner of the Stars”. The name Baronh means “language of the Abh”.


The Baronh language is derived from the ancient Japanese language, spoken until the beginning of the ninth century and recorded in “Kojiki”, “Man’yōshū” and other ancient documents. It is not precisely the ancient language itself, but a reconstructed one which is named “Takamagahara language” after the mythological heaven in “Kojiki”. In “Crest of the Stars”, Japanese revolutionists seeking to remove foreign influence from the Japanese language created their own “purified”version, which removed borrowed words and expressions and revived ancient ones. It was these revolutionists who established the colony that created the Abh, giving them their language.

After the Abh were freed from slavery, their language quickly, in a few generations, changed into the form seen in Morioka’s works of fiction. Having not been allowed to write as slaves, the Abh previously had no writing system, and that is the biggest reason why this change proceeded so swiftly. In order to write Baronh, an alphabet called “Ath”, which means “letter”, was created, derived from the roman Latin alphabet but rooted in the Japanese kana.

During the long voyages and isolation of the Abh, they developed their own variation which is now Baronh.


Baronh is an inflectional or synthetic language: affixes are attached to a fixed stem to express verbal aspect and mode, and case in nouns and pronouns, Nouns and pronouns have seven cases which affixes were derived from particles in the Japanese language. Some Japanese particles remain as such.

The seven cases of Baronh are:

  1. nominative (used for the subject of a verb or naming a noun)
  2. accusative (used for the direct object of a verb)
  3. genitive (used to indicate relation or possession, often represented by the English “of”)
  4. dative (used of the indirect object of the verb, often represented by the English “to” or “for”)
  5. directive (originally used to show the direction of movement, similar to terminative or lative, but used to show a location without movement in modern Baronh)
  6. ablative (separation, source, cause, start point of movement)
  7. instrumental (instrumental, and a predicate of a copula).

There are 4 types of declension of Baronh nouns. In the first declension there is usually only one vowel and its place shifts according to its cases. For example, Abh is “Abh” in its nominative but changes as “Bar” in its genitive.

Adjectives have no change. Most of the adjectives consist of a stem and the ending “-a”, like “bhoca” (“large”) or “laca” (“high”). A verb can be used as a sort of adjective in a form of its stem and -a affixes like the gerund in English. Usually adjectives follow nouns like “lartnéc casna” (literally “princess first”). Adverbs have no change and many adverbs were derived from adjectives, like “bhoci” (“largely”) or “laci” (“highly”).


Baronh is written both in Ath (their own letters) and in some other alphabets, like the Latin alphabet.

Each letter of Ath has its own sound, though some consonantal digraphs stand for other sounds: digraphs in “h” stand for fricatives. For example “bh” represents “v” and “mh”. Some consonants are silent at the end of a word.

Every vowel is clearly pronounced except occasionally “e”. When “e” appears as a part of affixes, it frequently becomes silent (for example, “byrec” [r] “fleet”, “cluge” [ɡ] “relax”).


Each letter of Ath has its own sound, though some combinations like “bh” stand for other sounds. Such combinations appear between consonants letters.

Every vowel is clearly pronounced except occasionally “e”. When “e” appears as a part of affixes, it frequently becomes silent (for example, “byrec” [r] “fleet”, “cluge” [ɡ] “relax”).

Some consonants become silent at the end of word or in a series of consonant letters. Digraphs in <h> are used for fricatives. For example “bh” stands for [v], “mh” for [ɸ].


Ath ABC Phonetic Latin ABC [1][2] Katakana a [a:] a, A ア, ァ i [i:] i, I u [u] u, U é é = [e] E o [o:] o e [e] e k, c [k] k, K (c, C) s [s] s, S t [t] t, T l [l] l, L n [n] n, N h [h], can change the sounds of previous consonants ** h, H p [p] p f [f] f, F m [m] m, M ï [i], [j] before vowels j ai [ai] J y [i] y, Y œ [œ] (Œ), W r [r] r, R ü [u], [v] before vowels v, w au [o:] o, O ÿ [i],[j] before vowels Y eu [eu] eu, P g [g] g, G, jhe z [z] z, Z d [d] d, D b [b] b, B


Signs table
Ath Sign


  • ”Cluge sa?”: “Hello” (literally “Are you relaxing?”)
  • ”Fe cluge”: “Hello” as a reply (literally “I am relaxing.”)
  • ”Carsisto!”: “Hello” (in office: literally “Let’s work”)
  • ”Bile éna!”: “Bye” (literally “Good voyage”)
  • ”Froranto”: “Farewell” (literally “I will never forget [you]”)

Japanese EtymologyEdit

  • ガサルス(←八咫烏)
    jatagarasu [3] →(vowel change)→ jatgarse →(consonant change)→ gatharse →(nominative ending-“c” added)→ gatharsec(nominative ending - soundless “ec”)
  • ラクファカール(←高天原)
    tacamagahara [4] →(vowel change)→ tacmgahar →(consonant change)→ lacmhacar →(nominative ending-“h” added)→ Lacmhacarh(”mh” added pronounced [f)
  • サリューシュ(アーヴ根源二九氏族の一つ←二十八宿|参)[5]
    karasuci →(Apophony [6])→ karsc →(consonant change)→ sarrc →(nominative ending-“h” added)→ sarrych(ch suffix, pronounced [sh)
  • スポール(同上←二十八宿|昴)[7]
    subaru →(vowel change)→ sbaur →(consonant change) spaur →(nominative ending-“h” added)→ spaurh

Practical deciphering, interpretation and roman spellingEdit


Due to the japanese backround the writing of Baronh is extremely difficult to determine. There is no sure way other than basing on known writings. The majority of problems come from japanese romanization which is very ambiguous as many japanese kana have dual or even triple interpretations in roman writing. This has impact on the pronounciation.

Although japanese people use the normal latin alphabet pronounciation, they also use engrish pronounciations. Depending on each case a name could have been written based on roman writing or based on engrish pronounciations. Adding to the problem is that a lot of these exotic names have multiple writings in roman, too, not to mention alphabetical variations like norse. Multiple japanese writing variations always exists. Official literature offer the closes version of a “correct”‘ writing.

While the Ath follows the normal Latin alphabet, Tokyopop has been following the english version leading to many confusions. For example, in normal Latin alphabet “K” is the hard form and “C” is soft and is sometimes similar to “S”. There is supposedly no “C” in Ath. However, Tokyopop exclusively uses “C”.

Many terms and names appear to originate from exotic or luxurious brands known in Japan or worldwide. Some names appear to originate from famous people or places. Many of these are composed and don’t follow exactly “popular” writing, not that there are “correct” writing of roman names in Japanese.

Morioka went to great pains to ensure there are no names that are written differently in Japanese and have the same pronounciation. However, there are plenty of typos and misprints in the novels.

Baronh word root is a reliable, but in most cases it depends on its use or context. As Baronh is also based on french grammar, grammatical modification of a word has to be taken into account. For example a word can be modified based on gender e.g. Ryufu = Baron or Lymh = Baroness. As can be seen here we have a serious problem between deciding if the word root is written with an “R” or with an “L”. There is no difference in Japanese as both are written with an “リ”. It appears Tokyopop preferred “L” when a word somehow appeared “female”.

There are cases where word modification lead to similarity between different word roots, too.


Most anime on-screen Baronh writing is based on roman or engrish. Many Baronh writing to follow a japanese-romanization to Baronh writing, but it’s not one hundred percent of the time. Due to the complexity of romanization, exceptions, and other reasons it’s difficult to narrow down the dominating conversion rules.


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