1. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Guardian-eating, tofu-reading dormivitus Supporter Contributor

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    Fantasy Naming Advice

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Iain Aschendale, Nov 5, 2017.

  2. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Comparativist Contributor

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    You'll never convince me diacritics aren't cool! But other than that, yeah, great article.
     
  3. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Contributor Contributor

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    Most of that went over my head, not gonna lie.
     
  4. Gadock

    Gadock Active Member

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    That was beautiful! The amount of ideas it already have given me is astounding! As well as the amount of research I now have to do is also tremendously high :p

    Like, how different would a language become when isolated for, let’s say, 800 years be?

    Still pretty much the same, or would they only vaguely be able to communicate back, like how Italians and Spanish can basically understand each other.
     
  5. animagus_kitty

    animagus_kitty Senior Member

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    I'm almost proud of the fact that I made it 3/4ths of the way through that before I gave up. That was deep, but helpful. :)
     
  6. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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  7. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Senior Member

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    "Other languages and language families don’t get the same privileged status—especially Semitic, East Asian, African, and Austronesian naming traditions. This has partly to do with lack of familiarity (not because they’re unfamiliar to English speakers, but because Western European names and languages are vastly overrepresented in daily life), but has more to do with the Western tradition of exoticism (read: racism)"

    Yes, shame on those eighteenth-century writers for treating cultures, languages and religions that had zero presence in the Christian world as 'exotic.' Isn't it despicable how Nigerians and Vietnamese weren't considered totally commonplace and accepted in every corner of Europe upon the instant of their discovery? If you don't write your own fictional characters/cultures to that standard, your work is officially Problematic.

    (Please don't accuse me of strawmanning him, the guy is literally implying that Western European names and languages ought to be used exactly as much as any other in Western Europe/America.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
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  8. Privateer

    Privateer Senior Member

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    Yeah, the author needs a bit of a slap 'round the head.

    Native English speakers either are Western Europeans or are descended from them. Western European names can scarcely be 'overrepresented' in their own culture...are Masai names 'overrepresented' among the people in Northern Tanzania? Arabic names in the Nile Delta?
     
  9. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Comparativist Contributor

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    How in the world is this true? People who live right next door to me are descended from Africans who were brought to North America (against their will, by Europeans). They're native English speakers and they skipped Europe entirely.
     
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  10. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Senior Member

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    I don't think they would take too kindly to being told that they ought to be speaking some African dialect.
     
  11. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Guardian-eating, tofu-reading dormivitus Supporter Contributor

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    If I were the one to say so, I'd have to brush up on my German to do it, just to be fair. :)
     
  12. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Comparativist Contributor

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    I didn't suggest they should. My point is it's wrong to subconsciously conflate language and race.
     
  13. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Senior Member

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    Fair enough, but African-American culture is still derived from Western culture.
     
  14. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    I invented two Alien languages that borrow concepts from preexisting Languages,
    but hey just write things in alphabetical order for each word, and you will have a
    language if you want. :p
     
  15. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Partly. Certainly not entirely.
     
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  16. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Senior Member

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    Well, it doesn't take a whole lot from African culture. Certainly not to the extent that European culture is 'overrepresented' among African-Americans.
     
  17. badgerjelly

    badgerjelly Contributor Contributor

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    Nigeria, India, Philippines, Jamaica and Guyana spring immediately to mind.

    That said, the more foundational roots and evolution of languages tie into the general culture. English itself is bastardised language pulling from various sources. English, and all European languages, are steeped in Latin/Greco/Christian mythos, with influences spreading back even further.

    Indo-European is a real term. Many words in the English language can be traced back to India! "Water" stems from "Aqua"/"Agua", which is likely tied into the singular determiner of "a" in English being the reason we dropped it from the word "aqua" from which evolved "qua" and its obviously prominent "W" sound.

    In Thailand and Vietnam they both say water with a distinct "N" sound as the most prominent feature. Etymology is far from an exact science though!
     
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  18. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    Western civilization, so to speak, is the tip of the ice berg of world civilization. You cannot separate the two.
    Well, maybe if you're Donald Trump...
     
  19. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

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    Icelandic is largely the same as it was 1000 years ago; English almost completely unrecognisable. Back then speakers of both would understand each other fairly well, despite starting to diverge around 1500 years before.

    In summary, it's complicated
     
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  20. Gadock

    Gadock Active Member

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    So save to assume isolated areas have barely development within their language? As the UK has had so many different influences.
     
  21. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

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    Not a bad rule of thumb, but it's very hard to say. Even isolated languages do change (Icelandic's vowels have changed radically, even if they grammar is basically identical to Old Norse), but probably not as much on average.

    Have a link you might like:
     
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