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Cross-post: Naming systems, family structure, politeness in , address

From:Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 29, 2000, 16:31
On Tue, 29 Aug 2000, Matt McLauchlin wrote:

> --- In, "Matt McLauchlin" <matt_mcl@h...> > wrote: > How do your naming systems relate to your family structure? > > A Shrislia's most important name is one's personal name (rather like > in Iceland). You also receive a patronymic with the name of the > parent of the same sex (if there is one; see below). > > When you marry, you take an "uxoronymic" (is that a word?) being the > name of your spouse. This replaces the patronymic, although the > latter remains part of your name (compare a woman who uses her maiden > name like a middle name).
[a lot deleted] A neat system. For my conlang/conculture I've stuck to using one given name, one family name, mainly because your average fantasy reader has a pretty darn short attention span and getting any more complicated than that is asking for trouble.
> In noble families, it is slightly different; the child takes only the > name of the highest-ranking parent, regardless of all of the > preceding. So if Enike ze'Urilas had been a commoner, her son would > have been Dorban no'Urilas; but since she is the queen, he is Dorban > no'Enikes.
I do something like this generally. If one parent disappears, the child takes the name of the parent who remains. I haven't worked out how names and fostering work, though. Monks (male and female--it's more like Buddhist than Christian monks) drop their family names. People from Qenar sometimes take "common names," either when they wish to break off ties to their bloodkin or sometimes after traumatic events (say a particular battle), or sometimes because they pick up a nickname. Common names are taken from animals, elements, plants, and natural phenomena in general. Not much stigma attaches for this, partly due to Qenar's mercenary tradition (see below). People from Avrezin who take common names, OTOH, are generally stigmatized. These generally include the very poor, mercenaries and family outcasts. Address: as far as names are concerned, people use the given name to speak directly to someone or to refer to them if they're present. If they're not present, the family name is used, sometimes with something like "the younger" or "the soldier" tacked on for clarity. If you have the family Iromel, "Iromel" will generally refer to the highest-ranking or best-known Iromel, though this may be ameliorated by context, e.g. if people are discussing what calligrapher to hire, "Iromel" might not mean Lord Iromel, but Raevaru Iromel, the only calligrapher in that family. I'm planning on a system of honorifics for the Avren macrodialect, but haven't worked on it yet (I want to get correlatives, colors and numbers done first). Also military rank systems. I was going to use the Chosun Korean rank system, then looked at it in English translation and thought, "Hmm. This will look odd." Someday I'll have to research how different nations have handled military rank. YHL