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Meta-History of Atlantean (and a tangent about Stargate)

From:Justin Mansfield <jdm314@...>
Date:Monday, July 9, 2001, 16:19
> I've compiled a meta-history of Atlantean, from what I've read on various > sites and in various Disney pubs. > > >
Great job! A nice smooth assembly of all the availible info. One thing though:
> Ironically, the star who played the linguist hero had a tough time with the language, > according to > Hahn. >
But is this truly ironic? Afterall, his character is the only one who isn't a native speaker ;) (At least I assume so... I haven't seen the film yet) Remember in the movie Stargate how the linguist character is apparently utterly hopess in communicating with the natives, until about half way through the movie it suddenly occurs to him that they are actually speaking Egyptian ONLY WITH THE VOWELS PRONOUNCED! (What a novel concept!) At this point he suddenly becomes a fluent speaker, and is apparently capable of understanding Ra when he talks about "atoms" and "bombs." The first time I saw this movie *I* could understand more of what the natives were saying than he could, jsut by context. Years later when I had been studying egyptian very slowly for about a year I had a friend over to study it with me and afterwards we watched Stargate. At this point, even though we felt we were terrible novices at the language, we were already able to pick out several Egyptian words in the dialog. I did correspond briefly with Stuart Tyson Smith, the Egyptologist they hired for this movie. His explanations of everything were quite interesting (he mentions that "atom" and "bomb" are not actually mentioned in what he wrote, subtitles notwithstanding). He was also hired for The Mummy (I dunno if he worked for the sequil or not though) but they basically sent him away as quickly as possible, to prevent him from spoiling their fun. Actually from what he said some of his corrections could have been worked in quite smoothly without spoiling any fun. Oh well, such is Hollywood. Anyway, my idea for the world Caryatic fits into was that it had the same language families as Earth, but not the same languages. Caryatic is, for example, an Indo-European language. I haven't delved much into the other langauges of the planet so far, but Caryatic does have loanwords from other, unidentified, Indo-European languages, as well as Semitic and Egyptian. As for Egyptian- I think reconstructing the vowels, though possible to do scientifically, involves enough creativity to call it a conlang, so I don't plan on making many deliberate changes from the Earth version of the language ;) JDM