The World Of Twilight

World Building => The World => Topic started by: zaratan on May 14, 2013, 05:06:17 am

Title: Fubarnii Linguistics
Post by: zaratan on May 14, 2013, 05:06:17 am
I've been thinking about the language of the Fubarnii quite a bit. It seems to me that we can divide the Fubarnii language into three general periods. The first is proto-fubarnii, the language of the fubarnii as they wandered the continent and built their first settlements. The second is the Devanu Captivity, when the Devanu enslaved the fubarnii and forced them to create the towers. This period is most likely when the Fubarnii language was written down, setting the road to a standardized Imperial Fubarnii language. Last, we come to Imperial Fubarnii, which has likely been in existence for about almost five hundred years (12 Emperors times a life expectancy of approx. forty years = 480 years, not counting periods of civil war if there were any.)

There are likely five dialects: Feral, Heartland, Argoran (West), Casani (South), and Knight.

I would argue that the language in general has been conservative, like the Slavic languages of Earth.

It also seems to me that it may be more productive, even if somewhat more difficult, to create the modern language first and work backwards. This prevents words like grishak from becoming unrecognizable or unattractive.

Title: Re: Fubarnii Linguistics
Post by: Carcharoth on May 14, 2013, 08:53:38 am
Interesting thoughts there! That's certainly a good starting point. I don't think the fubarnii have any real memories from before the Devanu occupation. Myths and legends, but no real idea how long it lasted. Some would argue whether language existed before the Devanu at all and it is a popular theory (among engineer-linguists) that the pressure of the enslavement is what created the language in the first place, but I think there probably was the language earlier, albeit in a relatively simple fashion.

I think the casanii may have a more distinct language, or it may just be a strong dialect closer to original protofubarnii. The Delgon may also have a more distinct language, with strong links to the dhogu tongue.

The casanii and the ferals have merged as a race (in my writing of them, rather than within the world), so the ferals as were are now casanii who range beyond the casanii lands following the great herds.
The knights are drawn from across the empire so would have a variety of accents. The higher ranks probably tend to pick up more of the central empire accent, but it would be varied rather than a distinct dialect.
I think there would be a lot of other dialects, although they don't need to be investigated initially. The Eragu are a long way from the central empire do would likely have a strong dialect, possibly with more dhogu influence.
The Great Lakes to the south east are the home of many of the trading houses, so I imagine the traders themselves may often have that sort of accent/dialect, although picking up quirks of the lands they travel through.

I'll caveat all of the above with the warning that I am not a linguist, although I do find it very interesting! I'm not sure what is meant by a 'conservative language', so I'm not sure if that sounds right. Of it was practical I would suggest even stronger variations between languages across the empire, but a but of homogeneity is probably a lot easier to make convincing!

Fubarnii only live for 20 to 25 years, but the early period of the empire's formation is slightly uncertain. While it may not be 500 years, it would be the equivalent in 'fubarnii years', so that's a good starting point from a linguistic perspective.

Title: Re: Fubarnii Linguistics
Post by: Lost Egg on May 15, 2013, 05:48:33 am
I thought with the knights they were taken once hatched, if so then they'd speak with the accent of those who raise them, central empire?


Title: Re: Fubarnii Linguistics
Post by: zaratan on May 16, 2013, 08:07:12 am
I'm not a linguist either, but I love to conlang!

I'd recommend that the language started before the Devanu enslavement, but became more complex under the Devanu. Casani being a sister language of Imperial Fubarnii would be a good idea. I was initially thinking that the knights's language was a creole akin to Hawaiian Pidgin, as the Jenta would have the start of their native language before coming to the capitol for training and adopting features of the Central language. I imagine the Eragu speak a version of Western with influence from the Dhogu.

The Delgon and Dhogu would definitely be in a seperate language branch, likely derived from proto-fubarnii. As different from each other as the Germanic languages are from the Romance languages.

My description of the language being conservative was meant to imply that the language has remained consistent and resistant to change. For example, Old Church Slavonic was relatively similar across a vast swath of Eastern Europe for a long period of time and even today, many Slavic languages have kept features lost in other members of the Indo-European family. An example would be with cases, where many Slavic languages keep the eight noun cases whereas languages like German have reduced themselves to four (I think it's four, I may be wrong on that).

It occurs to me that I probably should have said daughter languages instead of dialects, but the line is fuzzy on the distinction anyway from what I've read. There are likely numerous smaller dialects throughout the Empire, but these are not very important as they should be able to understand each other due to the standardized writing and speech of the capitol. The ones that I felt were most important were the ones where distinct regional differences created divergences. For example, if in Argoran, wet is Nera, while in Central, it is Nara, we have something that might imply greater linguistic and cultural seperation from the Empire proper. Americans could think of the difference between a Californian accent, a Southern accent, and a general accent (such as TV broadcasters use). People in the UK might compare an Irish accent with a Scottich accent with an English accent (and North English vs. South English or so I've read).

A revised language family

Proto-Fubarnii -> Imperial -> Central, Argoran
                     ->  Casani -> Feral, Casani
                     -> Satirii -> Delgonic, Dhogu

Great Lakes would likely be a dialect of Central Imperial or a creole of Casani and Central Imperial.
If the knights don't speak a creole, then I would say they speak Central Imperial, albeit with loanwords from other parts of the Empire.

Title: Re: Fubarnii Linguistics
Post by: Carcharoth on May 16, 2013, 08:38:58 am
That all makes good sense!

Crian's comment on the knights is a good point. I expect jenta are adopted into the knights at quite variable ages, but still young enough that there wouldn't be much of their native tongue. Knight locations and redeployments in different regions would have an impact, but they do tend to remain rather detached from the locals so probably do have quite a distinct accent.

Title: Re: Fubarnii Linguistics
Post by: zaratan on May 16, 2013, 07:10:44 pm
Here's the start of the Central Imperial phonology and wordlist compilation.

For grammar, I think the standard sentence structure goes something like: Verb, Adverb, Adjective, Subject, Adjective, Object.

I'm not sure where pronouns fit in there. I'll have to do some reading.

As an example, the sentence "The wealthy Kopa had four beautiful sempa wives." becomes "Had wealthy the Kopa four beautiful sempa wives." At least, I think thats right. Like I said, I need to do more research.

Title: Re: Fubarnii Linguistics
Post by: Carcharoth on May 21, 2013, 07:23:51 am
Looking good so far. Hard to know if that sentence structure makes sense, but it'll be interesting to see more examples as you build on it.
It took me a little while to notice the attachment, but it does look to be on the right track!

Title: Re: Fubarnii Linguistics
Post by: zaratan on June 02, 2013, 08:10:29 am
Tom sent me his notes, so I'm looking at what he developed. I'm likely going to compile a list of terms for a "naming language" so that people have something to go off of when naming cities, towns, mountains, and so on before working further on grammar.

Title: Re: Fubarnii Linguistics
Post by: zaratan on July 24, 2013, 05:31:49 am
I need to revise my wordlist as I realized that concepts such as reptile or bird don't really apply to this world. I've been thinking that grish is a word meant to mimic the sound it describes like swoosh, woof, or meow. Thus grishaks are beasts that grish.

About the only other new thing I have to offer at the moment is the following snippet of grammar:

Verbs, nouns and adjectives must agree.

Verbs inflect for the following: Person, Number, Aspect, Deference, Mood and Voice.

Person is divided into: 1st, 2nd inclusive, 2nd exclusive, 3rd.

The Numbers are singular and plural.

Aspects are: Imperfective and Perfective. Generally, the former is for actions not completed (and the present/future), the latter for completed actions (and the past).

Deference reflects the status of the speaker or receiver. It is divided into: inferior, informal (a familiar equal), familiar (family), formal (for equals you don't know well or only have a loose association with), and superior (for high ranking officials and royalty).

Moods are: Indicative (for statements), Interrogative (for questions), Subjunctive (for wishes, requests, wants, and so on) and Imperative (for commands).

Voice is divided into active and passive. active is for when the subject is doing something. passive for when the subject is affected by something.

Title: Re: Fubarnii Linguistics
Post by: Gethuch on July 31, 2013, 02:00:46 am

Shiny :)

Much more human (even English?) than Devanu, which is probably fortunate for us English-speakers trying to wrap our heads around it! Devanu hurts my head as well as my throat and teeth.