Wenja Language: frashta, frashni, fraja, shrash

Smarkaka, sakush! Tan-ra nakway kraybay bidam, ma Primal “Gwayfa Santaha” lijam. Say-saywa, ma taw-tawsam! Palhu sashwal pa, “nati”s hu-warhamas.  Ya si-gwar sahi, Takkar sa warha. Cha Takkar alya warshta warha: frashta. Shaja sis traya brashtar-warshtas-kwa warhamas: shrash, fraja, frashni-kwa.

Hello, friends! I apologize for not writing anything, but I’ve been playing Primal on “Survival Mode”.  It’s super hard, but I’m loving it! A couple weeks back we spoke about nati “no longer”. It’s what Takkar saying releasing his beast. Takkar says another word: frashta “right, correct”. Today we’ll talk about it & three related words: shrash “yes”, fraja “to target; guide”, and frashni “queen”.

Let’s start with the less common, but more straightforward words. The words frashta and frashni are taken from the verb fraja “to target, aim at; direct, guide, rule”. Both show the common alternation of -j- to -sh- (fraj-ta- –> frashta, fraj-ni –> frashni). The original meaning of frashta is “upright, guided” and the frashni is the “one who rules”.  Of course, in the context of Far Cry Primal, we’re talking about Batari here.

So how is shrash connected to all of this?  Well, originally shrash WAS frashta, just spoken so many times it got slightly modified. The strong “sh” sound took over the less-audible “f” sound, and the final syllable was lopped off. This was all done on purpose; more common words tend to undergo more changes than less common words.  Just think of the English word “and”.  You usually pronounce this word as simple “n” (In n’ Out, fish n’ chips, etc.)  But the same reduction isn’t seen in words like “sand”, “hand”, “band”, etc.  They cannot be reduced to sn’, hn’, bn’, etc. That’s because “and”, as a common word, doesn’t play by the rules.  The same is true of shrash.

And where does this come from in PIE?  A very common root: *h₃reǵ-, which had the same meaning as Wenja fraja. We still have this word in words dealing with royalty (regal, royal, etc.) as well as direction (the board of regents, registration, etc.).  Those words are borrowed from Latin, however.  Do we have any direct descendants in English? Yes, indeed! In fact, our word right is from the same source as frashta.