Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

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* >magic. > >Since I want something of a pseudo-Celtic/Druidic feel, I've already >decided >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 >to >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 >two >for adjectivial deviations and emotions. > >Spirit = Abstract/Mental/Conceptual. > >Now, before I got serious about conlanging, what I used to do was make a >few >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 against
>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: > >C@C > >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 >past, >present, and future but rather beginning, ongoing, and ending. I think >their >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? > >John
________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at