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Re: fictional worlds

From:Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Date:Friday, August 9, 2002, 3:52
I have a question for you all... I'd like to know to what extent are the
cultures behind your conlangs absolutely fictional... 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... Have you thought of the
physical appearance of your langs' speakers?

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?

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?
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...

Well, some of my languages are spoken by humans, especially the early
ones, and even some of the non-humans have technology similar to
television and computers. But I think it's more interesting to do a bit
of culture building along with designing a language. So for instance,
Olaetian has words for different kinds of musical instruments. I
actually drew crude pictures of some of them, and made notes on the
pitch range of each one. Zireen cultures have a fundamentally different
sort of government, and so their languages lack words for concepts that
are associated with Human governments, such as "law" and "crime".

After a couple of years of developing languages like Tirelat and
Ludireo, which are to a large extent grounded in the "real world", I'm
gradually starting to regain interest in fictional languages associated
with alternate realities, especially non-human cultures like the Zireen.
In fact, I'm not even sure if there _are_ humans in the new Azirian
universe. I've also been trying to re-learn how to draw so I can
illustrate what Zireen and the others look like. I'm having difficulty
with the nose and ears, and it's hard to find books with reference
photos of Zireen in them to look at. 8-) But for now, the old
illustrations on the Zireen language page
( will have to do.


bnathyuw <bnathyuw@...>musical systems (was fictional worlds)
Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Irina Rempt <irina@...>