The Dryadic Languages are languages that are or have historically been spoken by the native inhabitants of Planet Eunomia, the Dryads. It is commonly accepted that the Dryadic languages comprise one language family. This may be due to the fact that the Dryads are not as naturally inclined to migrate as humans and are, thus, not as culturally and linguistically diverse, occupying only a small, confined area of their planet. The following graphic shows the basic genealogical relations of the Dryadic languages.
Proto-Dryadic is a reconstructed language, similar to PIE, which attempts to recreate the language of the Dryads as spoken before recorded history. There is much speculation and disagreement among scholars in the accuracy of such a reconstruction and during which time period in the past such a language might have been spoken. Furthermore, the archaeological data found from that long ago is very scarce making it difficult – if not impossible – to reconstruct an accompanying culture, and it is highly likely that there existed more linguistic diversity than currently thought, leading to the possibility of several “Proto-Dryadic languages” that heavily influenced each other through language contact instead of one “Proto-Dryadic language”.
Old Dryadic, or ‘Ancient Dryadic’, encompasses the group of dialects/languages spoken thousands of years ago and is characterized by the advent of writing. Most of what is known about these languages come from ancient inscriptions on temples, petrified pieces of decorated bark, and hardened slabs of clay or dirt containing messages that were drawn into them when they were wet. This ancient writing system functioned very similarly to Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs, featuring thousands of stylized characters that could have phonetic, syllabic, or logographic properties. The writing system had three stylized variants based on the method by which it was written; chromographic writting which used colorful paints – usually green and red – with smooth brush strokes on a hard surface such as bark or stone, lithographic writing which used stone tools to etch or engrave in a more angular style on a hard surface such as bark or stone, and geographic writing which was written in smooth strokes with the tip of a stick or ones finger on the ground, usually in soft sand, dirt, or mud. The language, however, was not standardized for much of its existence and many tribes displayed great variation in spelling and in exact character use.
Classical Dryadic – generally dichotomized as Eastern Classical Dryadic and Western Classical Dryadic – is the term used to describe the languages/dialects spoken in the Classical or Golden Era of the Dryads. During this time, the ancient hieroglyphic writing system had evolved into several simplified alphabetic systems, and a clear linguistic divide had appeared between the tribes east of the Sphurathic mountains and west of the mountains. This time period also saw the advent of fire-use leading to the great Inferno Wars which resulted in the eastern tribe of the Meliads becoming an imperial power with cultural dominance over the East, leading to a standardized literary language and homogenization of the many Eastern dialects. This standardized language is what most people think of when they hear ‘Classical Dryadic’, and it remains in use in modern times as a liturgical language and for reading/studying Dryadic literature. The western tribes, however, remained a diverse group of cultures and mutually intelligible languages that remained unstandardized and were jointly called “Zedris Suphiliady” (lit. ‘the language of those who live west of the mountains’) by the Meliads.
Spheliadic is the standard, modern language that arose as an amalgamation of the Western Classical Dryadic languages. The language uses a modified version of the Eastern Classical Dryadic alphabet and is the second most spoken Dryadic language today.