Kgáweq’ had a rather arbitrary reason for existence. In one of my classes at OU, we were assigned a book to read, namely The Seed Is Mine: The Life of Kas Maine, a South African Sharecropper 1894 - 1985 (van Onselen, 1996). One of the unintended takeaways from that book was that I was exposed to Dutch and Afrikaans; pertinently, I saw that they romanized the phoneme sequence /kx/ as <kg>, and I thought that was really cool. I therefore cooked up a language where <kg> was a legitimate digraph.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Xander Vedejas for designing the first iteration of the Kgáweq’ script, based on a stenciled sample of…I think it was Tamil? In any event, I eventually developed it significantly away from the original specifications, but the aesthetic lives on.


The Kgáweq’ live north of the River Sobadegh in southwest Matanhír, where their lands form a southern extremity of the local holdings of the Tim Ar Empire on the mainland. The Kgáweq’ language itself is of recent standardization; it's developed sufficiently that intelligibility problems between the various dialects are common. However, the writing system is still parsable for most speakers regardless of dialects--the native orthography bears some resemblances to Tibetan in that respect.

Kgáweq’ languages tend to be polysynthetic and have a penchant for prefixing as opposed to suffixing. The verbal forms are typically highly complex, though they can be nominalized with a well-placed relative affix. Noun incorporation is a Thing, although only for so-called "simplex" (i.e. underived) nouns; complex nouns, typically those derived from a verb by means of a relativizer, usually cannot be so incorporated. Kgáweq’ proper is rich with dorsal consonants.

A feature of Kgáweq’ proper, which has been moved away from to some extent by its descendant idioms, is that of height-based vowel harmony. Words are either in the "u-state" or the "o-state". One complication of this is that the (more numerous) western dialects base their harmony on the stressed syllable--which stress is not fixed--whereas eastern dialects base it on the vowel of the ultima. In writing, as a concession to the situation, posttonic vowels are written in their eastern realizations; other vowels follow western convention.