Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

My second conlang: Ogre (re-proposal, somewhat long)

From:Danny Wier <dawiertx@...>
Date:Sunday, March 7, 2004, 17:46
Language name: Ogre
Alternate names: Ogrish, Ogric, Orc(ish), Ghoul(ish)
Native name: URUKU
French name: l'orcais (m.)
Arabic name: al-ghuliyat (hence the alt. name Ghoul)

Ogres, orcs, ghouls, whatever you might call them... they're big and
repulsive and, if you believe what most people tell you about them, the
worst thing on earth (not that humans and Techians are much better). I
visualized the Ogres from inspiration by the ghouls of Arabic lore,
Tolkien's Orcs and Uruk-hai, the Orcs of the Warcraft strategy game series,
and the heroic ogre from the animated movie Shrek. They do have a green tint
to their skin, are larger and more physically powerful than their human kin,
but are considerably less advanced intellectually. They came into existence
through genetic experimentation and cloning, using DNA from earlier forms of
man (especially Neanderthal). The original plan was to create a race of
slaves for humanity who would be willing to do menial labor, since humans in
the Empire thought of such work to be too humiliating, and prison inmates
proved to be too much trouble. Since the Ogres turned out to be too hard to
"tame", almost all were banished from civilization, many to prison colonies
in Antarctica. Sadly, they gained the reputation for being savages and
monsters, but in fact, they're main concern is simply survival.

Ogres have no native language, but missionaries (particularly Christian and
Baha'i) have attempted to adapt human language for them. The result is a
hodgepodge mix of European and Middle Eastern vocabulary and a very basic
isolating grammar with a reduced phonology. A sort of cross between Lingua
Franca or Esperanto and a typical creole or pidgin. Add to that mix the
attempt by demons (= evil Techians) as grunt troops to fight humanity, or
benevolent Techians simply as a mission of mercy, to teach a simplified Tech
to them.

Whatever the case, Ogre vocabulary is mostly based on English, Spanish,
Russian and Arabic with some French, German, Greek, Turkish, Hebrew, Farsi,
Urdu and whatnot thrown in. But the phonology is simple and straightforward,
as is the grammar.

Ogre is written in either standard Latin CAPITALS (they decided miniscules
were unneccesary), and more often a simplified epigraphic-type script
designed for easier inscription in stone (it can be written in seal skin as
well). But the language is much more spoken, since writing things is far
less practical, given the lack of technology in Ogrish settlements, and most
information is transmitted orally anyway. Your basic "primitive" culture,
only with green skin.

So here's the twenty-letter alphabet and phonology, which I posted here
years ago, and now revised:

A /a/
B /b/ or /p/
C /g/ or /k/
D /d/ or /t/
E /E/ or /e/
F /f/ or /v/ (rare, often merged with /p/)
H /x/, /h/, /?/ or silent (rare, often merged with /k/)
I /i/ as vowel; /j/ as consonant
K /k/
L /l/ or /r/
M /m/
N /n/
O /O/ or /o/
P /p/
R /r/ or /l/
S /s/ or /S/
T /t/
V /u/ as vowel; /w/ as consonant
X /ts/ or /tS/
Z /dz/ or /dZ/ or /ts/ or /tS/

Note that only in "high" pronunciation do voiced stops and affricates exist;
many speakers merge them with voiceless. Also there is confusion of L and R,
and among some, even M and N. F and H are considered "highbrow" letters, and
often merged with P and K.

The grammar is completely isolating, and concepts grammatical gender, noun
case, and even plurality do not exist. If one wants to indicate femininity,
the word FEMI or PEMI "woman, feminine" comes before the noun, and for
plurality, PVLV "many, plural". There is a marker for topic/focus as well.
Otherwise, it's like Esperanto, only simpler. Word order is strictly SVO.

Coming up with a vocabulary (again, _a posteriori_) will be much easier
compared to Tech.


Danny Wier <dawiertx@...>