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Social classes (was Re: Aussie pronounciation WAS: The King of Glottal Stops ReignsSupreme!)

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Sunday, January 27, 2002, 20:50
John-Emmanuel wrote:
> ObConlang: How do ppl actually deal with class distinctions in the > conlangs? Does anybody have a really difficult caste-type, like in some > parts of India? Or do you go for the dinky-dye Aussie philosophy that 99% > of ppl are middle-class?
In pre-Classical Uatakassi society, social class was pretty simple. Most of the population was made up of the Houses, with rank determined largely by age. About 5% of those were the leaders. Then there were a very small number, generally no more than 4 or 5 per village, of Houseless people. Houseless does not mean "homeless", they had dwelling places, they just didn't belong to any of the village's Houses. They were immigrants from outside, and were often adopted into a House. They were not permitted offspring. There were also a fairly large number of slaves, perhaps 10% of the population. Slaves were subdivided into several classes. There were life-slaves, who were the closest equivalent to the common idea of slave in our culture. These were generally sterilized by removal of the pouch (the speakers are marsupial). Then there were time-slaves, who were sentenced to a period of slavery for a specific period as punishment for a crime. After the time was up, they became Houseless. Finally there were debt-slaves, who were enslaved to pay off a debt. When the debt was paid, they returned to their Houses. During the Imperial period, the population was divided into 6 classes: Slaves - same divisions as before, except that the forced sterilization of Life-slaves was banned Outsiders - immigrants into the Empire. Very limited rights. Not permitted offspring Foreigners - non-citizens. Limited rights Houseless Kassi - by this time, "Kassi" had ceased to be an ethnic term, and meant, in essence, "citizen". In the Imperial period, all were permitted offspring (except Outsiders), altho Kassi were permitted more than non-Kassi. The Houseless had become a majority of Kassi. Housed Kassi - land-owning Kassi High Houses - powerful Houses, all of the leaders came from these Houses. Most of them are descended from the Houses of great military leaders during the Holy Wars, but some were lesser Houses who grew in power and wealth in the Imperial period. Some High Houses also lost power, becoming lesser Houses. "Houses" referred, originally, to large groupings of theoretically related individuals. During the pre-Classical period, this remained mostly true, with only a small minority of individuals adopted into, or descended from those adopted into, Houses. During the Imperial period, the familial relationship completely broke down. Also, originally the whole House lived in one large collective dwelling, but in the early Classical period, smaller dwellings became fashionable, and Houses ceased to be subdivisions of villages. -- "There's no such thing as 'cool'. Everyone's just a big dork or nerd, you just have to find people who are dorky the same way you are." - overheard ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42


Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>