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Re: names in conlangs

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 7, 2006, 17:19
Shreyas Sampat wrote:

> What about native ... names? > > Same question goes to the rest of you that talked about borrowing names > but not the other half. >
Kash: Ordinary people have a personal name (or rarely 2) + the father's or mother's family name. Generally, in a marriage (= civil union) of 1 man+l woman, it will be the father's name; in a union involving 2 men+l woman or 2 women+l man it will more likely be the mother's name. But actually, it just depends.... (By the time people qualify for a religious union, they're probably too old to have children.) See further the various "cultural notes" at Personal names are traditionally derived from adjectives or nouns, with some deformation, usually based on the series fricative - stop - nasalized stop, or by dropping/adding a final consonant etc. Thus the male name Shenji is < shenjik 'stoic, stolid'; the female equiv. is Sheshi. The male name Erek is < ereken 'ship's owner, captain' (implies a family of some standing, if only in the past); possible variants of that could be Ekren, Ereng. Male Mita, female Mina are < minda 'happy, smiling'. I frankly haven't worked much on family names; but many of them could begin with An- 'child (of)...'; they might also be based on places or (long-ago) occupations. The titled nobility use the same given names (usually of a dead ancestor, never of a living relative), plus title, plus family or region or estate (if they have one) name. Actual rulers use the name of their domain (though they also have a family/estate name that isn't used once they take office). Children of the nobility are distinguished by numericals: mesa 'firstborn', rona 'second' sina 'third', prana '4th and later'. There are elaborate rules as to who outranks whom, of little importance in daily life, but observed in formal situations-- introductions, seating at official functions etc. Foreign/alien names are adjusted to Kash phonology insofar as possible, often marked off with quotes or "italics" if they violate the rules in some way. Previously mentioned Mikhail Soloviev would come out as 'mihayil soloviyef' (final -f is not ordinarly permittted). My last name would likely be 'miles'--possible 'milis' would be [miljis], not favored). Gwr: Clan name + family name + personal (often a 2 syl. phrase with some meaning). Foreign names: adjusted to Gwr phonology, often with difficulty. Mikhail Soloviev > so lo fi@h mi xayng ; mine > mi l@h~lih la jr. Each syllable is likely to mean something in actual fact. With all names, there is considerable word play--slight changes to the sounds or tones-- so as to create something amusing, slightly or very insulting, naughty or downright obscene. Insulting or obscene variants would not ordinarily be used in direct address, except possibly by _very_ close friends, with a smile :-))


Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>correction: names in conlangs
Michael Adams <abrigon@...>