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Re: fictional worlds

From:Wesley Parish <wes.parish@...>
Date:Thursday, August 8, 2002, 10:47
On Mon, 05 Aug 2002 07:37, Santiago 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 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?
I suppose that is one good question. To what degree are my concultures totally fictional? The ones of Nu Ineya Khara-Ansha, Yhe Lakhabrech, and Li' Rakhebuitya are almost pure predator cultures, with Li' Rakhebuitya shading into ordinary human diversivore behaviour a la bears. Ordinary humans are carnivorous, but we tend not to make a habit of it. We're much more comfortable with fruit and vegetables included. And the ordinary humans in my conculture tend to view the above-mentioned concultures as orckish, since their dentition is so predatorial. Accordingly their cultural focuses are somewhat different to ours. So I couldn't make "farmer" or "stockman" believable concepts to them - they would need to borrow such terminology extensively from their neighbours. They would find terms like "tracker" laughably easy. And they're tool users, though not much into making tools themselves - it's a bit hard to do precision work with sharp claws instead of blunt flat-tipped claws - so they don't bother. It's the reason why they try so hard to remain at peace with their ordinary human neighbours ... in spite of such neighbours consistently trying to dispossess their home/hunting territories.
> > 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?
As long as there is a believable link between the concept and the words, I don't care if it is original or not. I mean, Moesteskin speakers could live on the subsurface of a neutron star twelve billion years before or after the present for all I care, and digest subnuclear reactions directly, but as long as there is a believable link between their language, their words and their history - and ours in the event that they use words from our current languages - then it's sweet.
> > 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...
The languages I am irresponsible for are the direct outcome of my fiddling with the keyboard with the aim of trying to write something readable, being inspired by Tolkien, Leiber, Ballard, Peake, Dick, Ellison, Le Guin and others. (Rather unworthily - Praleyo's a saint, and Vheratsho's a bitch, while Akhriech's a total can-do woman with an eye out for making sure everything is _just so_.) It can be a powerful reason to actually get and do it, making a language to fit into and be consistent with a culture you have built up to write stories about. So, go for it. If you still want to write after reading my tirade, that is! ;^) Wesley Parish
> > I hope to hear your advice > > Santiago
-- Mau e ki, "He aha te mea nui?" You ask, "What is the most important thing?" Maku e ki, "He tangata, he tangata, he tangata." I reply, "It is people, it is people, it is people."


Santiago <sanctifeld@...>fictional worlds (Wesley P.)