Archive for 'worldbuilding' Category
Today I made some exploration into the etymology of the pirate usage of, “Arrr.”
Arrr is used in a variety of forms. It can be used as a greeting, an affirmative reaction, an expression of sympathy, an inquiry for more information, a call for attention, and more. So where did it come from? Some quick research online (in probably the wrong places) revealed nothing solid. The best I could find was this page that says, “In popular culture, pirates are associated with a stereotypical manner of speaking and dress. This tradition owes much to Robert Newton’s portrayal of Long John Silver in the 1950 film adaptation of Treasure Island.”
I have a sneaking suspicion that it is a mangling of the the word “aye” whose meaning grew to fit circumstances of that stereotypical pirate image we have today. Aye probably became arrr in the same way that many pronounce Washington as Warshington. Does anyone else have any ideas or a link to an actual answer?Comments Off | Catergorized: worldbuilding
Quick post to note some language links I want to be able to refer back to.
Language Miniatures is a series of short essays on language in it’s many forms.
The Fantasist has a great constructed language page here which includes a web version of the great LangMaker tool that seems to have fallen by the wayside. The rest of their site has tons of great material for world building in general.Comments Off | Catergorized: worldbuilding
Everyday I’ve been reading Today in Alternate History since discovering it. Now I see there’s a companion site providing annotations for the real events mentioned in the Alternate History. Great reading even on its own!3 Comments | Catergorized: geek worldbuilding
This site has an interesting animation showing the origin and changes of the Latin alphabet over time. It’s a good study in how to modify your artificial writing systems in a realistic manner. The main page has many other script evolutions, including Cyrillic, Arabic, and the original Phoenician based on Proto-Sinaitic characters (though the animations aren’t as involved as the Latin).Comments Off | Catergorized: worldbuilding
I found the David Rumsey Map Collection through an article in the CSM. The maps in the collection are pretty astonishing. A warning for Safari users, their site is none too friendly. IE seems ok, but still wonky at times.
Looking at old maps is always a great inspiration for me. Sometimes I still wonder if i should have gone into cartography.Comments Off | Catergorized: worldbuilding
I learned about an interesting language today spoken only by women in the Yao ethinic group in China. They have thier own distinctive language and writing system. It looks quite interesting and the idea of a gender based language could be interesting for some of the earlier languages.4 Comments | Catergorized: worldbuilding
I’m facinated by these pictures of the Celebrations of Ashoura. It is so completely foreign to our western mind, very primal in its execution. The images are graphic so be forewarned. I’m not very keen on the comments below, however… provincial, narrow people.
It would be interesting to include a ritual like this in a culture for the world building project, though I’d have to meditate on where and what it would entail.Comments Off | Catergorized: worldbuilding
Here’s a list of the one thousand most common English words compiled to help people learn English as a second language. Also handy for creating basic constructed languages… Now if they’d only put that into a single file for easier access.Comments Off | Catergorized: worldbuilding
bOING bOING today pointed me to an interview with linguist Alexandra Aikhenvald, found here. The interview deals with languages that are fading into obscurity and why maintaining at least a record of these languages is important.
Of interest to me, however, in gathering ideas for building a language was this note on the grammar of Tariana.
What’s your favourite example of a big difference between languages?
In English I can tell my son: “Today I talked to Adrian”, and he won’t ask: “How do you know you talked to Adrian?” But in some languages, including Tariana, you always have to put a little suffix onto your verb saying how you know something – we call it “evidentiality”. I would have to say: “I talked to Adrian, non-visual,” if we had talked on the phone. And if my son told someone else, he would say: “She talked to Adrian, visual, reported.” In that language, if you don’t say how you know things, they think you are a liar.
It sounds like some method to employ with the language I’m planning for the Lekthis people.
Best quote in the interview, though, which has nothing to do with actual linguistics is this at the very end when Ms. Aikhenvald is asked what language she dreams in: “If I dream of Tariana, they speak Tariana. Sometimes I dream of Estonia, and they speak Estonian. In my nightmares, people speak to me and I understand, but I can’t answer…”Comments Off | Catergorized: worldbuilding
This is a general historical outline for a world building project of mine. Read the rest of this entry…Comments Off | Catergorized: worldbuilding