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Re: fictional worlds

From:Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>
Date:Thursday, August 8, 2002, 23:01
--- Santiago <sanctifeld@...> wrote:
> I have a question for you all... I'd like to know to > what extent are the cultures behind your conlangs > absolutely fictional...
I think it would be extremely difficult to come up with something _entirely_ fictional - something that has absolutely no analogues or similarities to human cultures here on Earth.
> I mean, what sort of words > you didn't include in your langs, because of > referring to human-made objects or concepts so > closely related to human cultures that they cannot > exist in your fictional cultures...
Certainly, if the conculture lacks something we have, then the language won't have those words. Kerno has a word for computer (il compiwter), because the culture has them. Computers in Ill Bethisad (the universe Kerno inhabits) are largely the demesne of government, the military and academia. Talarian on the other hand has no word for it, because there are no computers as we know them in the World (the universe Talarian inhabits). On the third hand, Talarian does have a word, rotapraxašrowampar, which is a kind of clockwork adding device. There are similar devices (notably clockwork translators), so I guess you could say they have computers, just of a different kind.
> Have you thought > of the physical appearance of your langs' speakers?
Of course! Many of them are humans (obviously the Kernow are, being Latins with a goodly Celtic substrate); the Talarians are Men as well. Most of them are Daine, though, who look sort of like humans but have wings and are usually taller than the average Man.
> My lang, Moesteskin (Moestesian would be in English) > has a lot of vocabulary relating to the latest (an > not so late) technology developments... Yes, words > like "television", "computer"... what do you think > of that? It doesn't look original, does it?
Why not? I would suppose that Moeteskin doesn't have an analogue to the Real Academia (or other language boards that regulate what foreign technological objects should be called). It seems that M. is an avid borrower of the latest and greatest gadgets along with their names. It would be equally original if M. speakers took the _idea_ of television - a long seeing box - and expressed its essence in terms more native to M. Neither way is better.
> Should I do away with those terms, and try to create > a whole culture with their own objects and then name > them with the lang?
Which way is more natural for M. speakers? Kerno is a rabid scrounger of foreign words. "Compiwter" comes from its neighbour Brithenig; il xefes (dockmaster) comes from Spanish; il cwns (cheap fake fur) comes from American; il furracans (hurricane) from Carib. Sometimes the borrowing is made because the idea is foreign (like hurricanes); sometimes there is no clear logic to why a word is borrowed. The third person pronouns (ys = he; sa = she) are borrowed from Brithenig for no apparent reason I can see!
> Moesteskin actually was born as that, the language > of a people of a fictional world, but then I > abandoned the idea of thinking so much about the > fictional context... Now I'm considering the > issue...
You certainly won't be the first person to reconsider the very essence of his conculture! It may well be that M. will suit you better as a private language to write things you'd not want others to read. On the other hand, you may find a newfound breath of interest in M. culture! Who knows?
> Santiago
Padraic. __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? HotJobs - Search Thousands of New Jobs