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"Common" Tongues

From:J. K. Hoffman <ryumaou@...>
Date:Saturday, February 22, 2003, 15:28
I always thought of these as Trade Tongues, really.  The only place I'm
familiar with the term "Common Tongue" is from RPGs, in particular
Dungeons & Dragons.
I always sort of imagined these "trade tongues" as a kind of pidgin or,
eventually, a creole, but with words from many of the surrounding
language families.  Like gutter-speak from the Blade Runner movie, or
Spanglish from any large city that has a significant population of
Spanish speakers.  (Though, I have heard similar things in
Greek-American communities where there are a lot of first generation
Greeks bringing over their girlfriends who are Greek nationals.)

It sure would be an interesting concept to explore in a conlang, or
series of conlangs, actually.

Thanks for the fun things to think about!

 >From: Andreas Johansson
 > As Joseph pointed out, there's been at least one language known as
 > in real world history (namely Koine Greek, where "koine" is Koine for
 >  "common"). Lingua francas, that is languages used as a common
 > vehicle of communication between speakers of several different
 > languages, have arose many times in history. In large bits of the
 > world today, English functions as a "common" language. So, assuming
 > that your races are reasonably humanoid, there's every possibility of
 > a "common tongue" being used among them, altho' the odds are that it
 > won't be called "Common". It would probably be the racial/national
 > language of a group that is culturally dominant in the area, or has
 > recently been so.

"It's better to light one candle
   than to curse the darkness."
-Chinese Proverb and The Motto of the Christophers


John Cowan <cowan@...>