Re: Brainstorming a Fantasy Language
|From:||Anthony M. Miles <theophilus88@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, June 7, 2000, 14:52|
>From: John Mietus <sirchuck@...>
>Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 19:39:49 -0500
>This recent discussion on Gender and classification got me thinking, and I
>thought I'd throw some of my rough ideas out here and see what percolated.
>In developing my fantasy world, I've been thinking about my version of the
>faerie races and what/how they would communicate (they're essentially
>earth-bound souls who clothe themselves in magic rather than flesh). Since
>they are creatures of magic, I want their language to reflect that -- in
>fact, their language, as interpreted by humans, will be the language *of*
>Since I want something of a pseudo-Celtic/Druidic feel, I've already
>on magic being a balance of forces, especially the four classical Elements
>(Earth, Fire, Air, Water), with Spirit thrown in as well. And it occurred
>me that these five Forces of Magic could also be the five Genders used in
>the Faerie language. And perhaps they're also used in verb conjugation.
>So my definitions for each Gender are:
>Earth = Static, or Stable. Nouns. Things in the physical world. Passive,
>rather than active.
>Air = Active, Chaos, Verbs. Things in motion. Use these two to define
>Verb/Noun deviations and physical world.
>Fire = Destruction/reduction. Violent emotion. Use to describe decreasing
>quantity, negative comparison/connotations, etc.
>Water = Creative. Positive comparisons, pleasant connotations. Use these
>for adjectivial deviations and emotions.
>Spirit = Abstract/Mental/Conceptual.
>Now, before I got serious about conlanging, what I used to do was make a
>words for each language to give myself an idea of how I wanted the language
>to sound and look, and the Faerie (I called them Vianor)Feanor, perhaps?
>were no exception
>-- I have maybe 30 names or so that are supposed to represent their speech.
>Like Tolkien's Quenya, the words have a lot of front sounds, a lot of
>labials and nasals and approximates. One thing I noticed today was that all
>of the words I had that were supposed to have a negative connotations had
>fricatives, while none of the positives did (with one already obvious
>exception).One of my alien conlangs (about 40 words, and a basic grammar up to
subordinate clauses) didn't use velars or voiceless consonants. So
naturally, the names of all the humans in the story had k or g in them. [u:]
has a slight negative tinge in Gweinic.
>So I've decided that fricatives are *extremely* unpleasant to
>the Vianor, and that the "v" in Vianor is actually a plosive <b>.Then how do you write [v]?
>Also, I noticed far more voiced consonants than unvoiced, so I'm >going
>natlang convention and plan to reverse the frequency.
>The consonant structure therefore goes something like this:
>Stops(S) Nasals/Approximates(N) Fricatives(F)
>b p n m v f
>d t l y s z
>g k r w h x
>What the significance of grouping them like this I've yet to determine.
>The vowels (same five as in Spanish), meanwhile, are linked to the Genders:
>Fire = i
>Water = u
>Earth = o
>Air = e
>Spirit = a
>Base = @
>So, a root -- that is, an overall group of concepts -- would be formed as:
>And then words built off that root would be based on which vowel you use.
>E.g.: n@r = being
> nor = creature
> ner = to live
> nur = immortal
> nir = mortal
> nar = soul
>Affixes could then be applied to further modify these:
>a-nor (spirit/mind+creature) = thinking creature, sentient being
>be-anor (modifier indicating action + thinking creature) = First People
>Or something like that. I think I would have a bit more spiritual
>significance to that be- prefix, but what yet I can't decide.
>Meanwhile, verbs will be conjugated in tenses based not necessarily in
>present, and future but rather beginning, ongoing, and ending. I think
>sense of time, being virtually immortal, is askew and therefore the past,
>present and future are all one tense to them... I may tie this in with the
>three divisions of the stops: all d/t consonants are ongoing, all the b/p
>are beginning, all the g/k are ending.
>Anyway, this is just a rough idea. What do you think, sirs?
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