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Constructed Languages and Intuitive *~ Culture Feels ~*


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#21
Infinitron

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Josh: Getting tips on proper pronunciation is cool. I'm reminded of the little pronunciation explanation your companions gave you in Ultima VI when you asked them their names. It was such a small thing but very immersive.


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#22
Morgulon the Wise

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Pronounciation is a good clue to a culture. To know or hear it means to get some access to how the people who speak it are.

 

So thank you for caring about that Josh.



#23
J.E. Sawyer

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Also, I'd just like to say that it would be very interesting if there were established variations in pronunciation between cultures. You know, like the English "MISS-eyel" versus the American "MISS-uhl."

 

There is a bit of this already.  The "Bael" in Bael River is pronounced differently by Dyrwoodans and Glanfathans -- "bæl" vs. "BAY-ul".  It's most common when one culture appropriates the term of another (in this case, "Bael" is the Glanfathan name).


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#24
Micamo

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Okay, here's my problem with this: How much sense does it make for each conlang within the world of Eternity to have its own orthography conventions? Different real-world languages use different spellings for the same phonemes because of sound change and having adopted the latin alphabet at different points in their development. I assume that, in-world, the latin alphabet doesn't actually exist and the latin orthographies we see are a transcription of the native writing systems for the benefit of the reader. But a good transcription system is as historically-agnostic as possible to reflect current pronunciations.

#25
J.E. Sawyer

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It doesn't make sense, but we're viewing everything with Latin orthography and we're going to hear very little of it actually pronounced, so the "cultural feels" of it (IMO) have to come through orthography rather than pronunciation.  If I were to write everything with English orthography (still problematic in many ways due to huge inconsistencies), there would likely be little apparent inspiration for the language/culture.  In the original example I gave, Cornish is much more intuitive to read and pronounce than Irish, but is much less obviously Celtic in origin/flavor.

 

In something like the Game of Thrones TV show, the pronounced sound of Dothraki and High Valyrian are much more important than the orthography because we're hearing everything rather than reading it.


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#26
Micamo

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It doesn't make sense, but we're viewing everything with Latin orthography and we're going to hear very little of it actually pronounced, so the "cultural feels" of it (IMO) have to come through orthography rather than pronunciation.  If I were to write everything with English orthography (still problematic in many ways due to huge inconsistencies), there would likely be little apparent inspiration for the language/culture.  In the original example I gave, Cornish is much more intuitive to read and pronounce than Irish, but is much less obviously Celtic in origin/flavor.
 
In something like the Game of Thrones TV show, the pronounced sound of Dothraki and High Valyrian are much more important than the orthography because we're hearing everything rather than reading it.


A fair point, I suppose. I guess I'm just a stickler for this kinda stuff. So, on the topic of conlangs:

1. How much are you focusing on making the history of the languages apparent in their design? e.g. semantic shift from cognates and re-borrowings? Will the ancient sources of languages we come across (say in ruins) be obviously different (yet related) to their modern counterparts?

2. Are there going to be any conlangs based on languages outside of the indo-european family? (I'd particularly expect this for the Orlans and the Dwarves, given their fluff thus far.)
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#27
J.E. Sawyer

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At the extreme end of the spectrum, ideally I could write everything in IPA and every player (also well-versed in IPA) would read the words perfectly without the need for anachronistic orthographies.  Since our game will be primarily read instead of listened to, I'm currently leaning toward using anachronistic orthographies to convey the feeling of the inspirational source languages.  That's not necessarily "the right" way to do things, which is why I started this thread.

 

You've made a perfectly valid point, though.


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#28
Chippy

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For what it's worth (I may just be looking for trouble) I live in London and attended an inner city school where the mix of culture's from all over the world created what is effectively another variation on the english language.  It goes beyond a type of slang (based on what was implemented in PST) to an accent and change of various words that professionals (some of whom I've worked with) consider a verbal communication of intent - so if you don't speak in this manner, you may be considered an outsider or a threat.

 

That may be totally irrelevant, but thought I'd post it anyway.



#29
Micamo

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At the extreme end of the spectrum, ideally I could write everything in IPA and every player (also well-versed in IPA) would read the words perfectly without the need for anachronistic orthographies.


[ðæʔd biː pəɹfɪkɫiː faɪn baɪ miː]

(Seriously though, IPA aids aren't that bad of an idea, preferrably in some sort of in-game glossary of terms.)

Edited by Micamo, 17 June 2013 - 02:03 PM.

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#30
J.E. Sawyer

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A fair point, I suppose. I guess I'm just a stickler for this kinda stuff. So, on the topic of conlangs:

1. How much are you focusing on making the history of the languages apparent in their design? e.g. semantic shift from cognates and re-borrowings? Will the ancient sources of languages we come across (say in ruins) be obviously different (yet related) to their modern counterparts?

2. Are there going to be any conlangs based on languages outside of the indo-european family? (I'd particularly expect this for the Orlans and the Dwarves, given their fluff thus far.)

 

 

1. Not tremendously, but a little.  Due to the number of cultures and languages, I'm not going to delve deep into each language.  Engwythan and Glanfathan are from the same part of the world and are loosely related (as Cornish and Irish are).  Eld Aedyran and Hylspeak (similar to Scots) are essentially older versions of the "common" contemporary Aedyran which is, for all practical purposes, English.  Vailian doesn't have any branched or ancestral languages represented in the game, but Dyrwoodans have appropriated some of their words (e.g. "duc").

 

2. The languages spoken in Ixamitl, Naasitaq (boreal dwarf-dominated), and Rauatai (northern aumaua-dominated) are all non-Indo-Euro in inspiration.  They will be developed with less depth because they aren't as commonly spoken in this part of the world and frankly, I'm much more familiar with Indo-Euro languages.



#31
lolaldanee

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i'll never get the hang of those constructed languages

why not just use REAL irish cornish or french/italian in the few places where you'll have to use those languages

it should sound just as strange to the average english speaking reader ;)

no one ever had a problem with dwarves using a scottish dialect, and it's just as modern as those others would be

anyway, do as you please, but i just don't get it



#32
J.E. Sawyer

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To be clear, our conlangs won't dramatically veer away from their inspiration languages, but sometimes deviating from the source can actually avoid some stumbling blocks/issues (e.g. "bean" as the Irish word for woman).


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#33
Gfted1

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I like the attention to detail. I trust, since this will be read, that spelling among the different areas inhabitants will be the same? For example, I cant say I would have noticed that "bæl" vs. "BAY-ul" are both describing Bael River.

#34
J.E. Sawyer

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Yeah.  You probably wouldn't notice that unless you heard a Dyrwoodan (or Aedyran) pronounce it and then a Glanfathan pronounce it.  Individual personal names may be spelled differently, especially among Dyrwoodans, who may borrow the sound of Glanfathan names transcribed into their own orthography -- or vice-versa.  This is very common in Earth languages.

 

Durnisc used for a Glanfathan name may be spelled Dúirnis, with the "i' after "ú" being a silent glide vowel added to satisfy the "slender to slender, broad to broad" vowel rule and to maintain the "r" and "sh" sounds from the source name.



#35
Sensuki

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Slightly off topic but do you think the amount of non-player/cnpc voice acting will be on the BG side or the IWD side ?

I have no idea why, but this thread has given me ~* emigration feels *~.


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#36
mcmanusaur

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As long as we don't get names like Z'dgyv-qylix, which is all but unpronounceable by individuals possessing human vocal anatomy


Georgian

Berber

And my favorite, Nuxalk (Bella Coola)

 

 

Probably the oldest recorded instance of trolling in the history of humanity.


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#37
lolaldanee

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To be clear, our conlangs won't dramatically veer away from their inspiration languages, but sometimes deviating from the source can actually avoid some stumbling blocks/issues (e.g. "bean" as the Irish word for woman).

fair enough, but on a larger scale, isn't that a battle that you can't really win? you make something sound right for english readers => now the french (or whoever else) start to read funny things because now it has some meaning in their language :D

of course, i'm aware you are making this game for english speakers primarly, so it's not a big deal i guess

 

anyway, i just wanted to say how very much i enjoy reading about development related stuff like this from you guys; loving your open way of communicating with us backers!

keep on rockin'



#38
Elerond

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In CRPGs I don't usually care how strange looking words should be pronounced, but it would be nice if collector book has pronunciation guide for strange words.



#39
Micamo

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As long as we don't get names like Z'dgyv-qylix, which is all but unpronounceable by individuals possessing human vocal anatomy


Georgian

Berber

And my favorite, Nuxalk (Bella Coola)

 
Probably the oldest recorded instance of trolling in the history of humanity.


Personally, I think they're beautiful.

#40
J.E. Sawyer

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Slightly off topic but do you think the amount of non-player/cnpc voice acting will be on the BG side or the IWD side ?

 

Quantity-wise, more in the realm of the BG games.






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