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TerryTroll

Languages spoke in this period?

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In the game, everyone speaks the same language. It's easier that way and it's faithful to the sources.

Of course, in reality, there was many languages and many variants, and people had trouble to understand each other.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Tizun Thane said:

In the game, everyone speaks the same language. It's easier that way and it's faithful to the sources.

Of course, in reality, there was many languages and many variants, and people had trouble to understand each other.

Indeed, Celtic languages alone were a complex question. As for Common Brittonic, it was breaking/had broken into Old Welsh and early Old Cornish, the latter of which was also spoken in Brittany, where the Cornish had long had a colony and some Welsh had fled. Old Cumbric was still spoken north of Wales. As for Goidelic, the Irish had invaded western Scotland and the Isle of Man and put a settlement there; very early Middle Irish is what you'd hear in all these places. (They also invaded southern Wales but the colony didn't last.)

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@Qizilbashwoman describes the general British situation well. The Saxons, Angles, and Jutes would have all spoken early versions of West Germanic languages with some of them being from the Frisian language family. These languages would develop into Old English with almost no Celtic influences. Continental side, the French would have spoked the West Germanic Frankish and the Aquitainians, just from a guess, would have spoken Latin from the way they seem to be described. Geographically, they're similar to the Visigoths who spoke the East Germanic Gothic language. Generally, there would be a degree of mutually mutual intelligibility between the various West Germanic languages enough so not to be worth the trouble of splitting them.

Also, I was actually reading about this yesterday, but the Picts had a language, Pictish, that apparently started to go extinct around this time period. I would say it's decline would begin in the 500s. The language was thought to be Celtic in origin, but there's not really any evidence of the language.

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7 minutes ago, Username said:

@Qizilbashwoman describes the general British situation well. The Saxons, Angles, and Jutes would have all spoken early versions of West Germanic languages with some of them being from the Frisian language family. These languages would develop into Old English with almost no Celtic influences. Continental side, the French would have spoked the West Germanic Frankish and the Aquitainians, just from a guess, would have spoken Latin from the way they seem to be described. Geographically, they're similar to the Visigoths who spoke the East Germanic Gothic language. Generally, there would be a degree of mutually mutual intelligibility between the various West Germanic languages enough so not to be worth the trouble of splitting them.

Also, I was actually reading about this yesterday, but the Picts had a language, Pictish, that apparently started to go extinct around this time period. I would say it's decline would begin in the 500s. The language was thought to be Celtic in origin, but there's not really any evidence of the language.

The inhabitants of now-France all spoke varieties of Romance, they just weren't the same varieties. The Gascon language is one of the lengas d'òc, that is to say a non-French Romance language under the Occitan umbrella. During this time period it would have just been a dialect of Occitan, which was a highly-prestigious literary language in the Middle Ages. There are also Basque (Euskera) speakers in Aquitania, a non-Indo-European language.

The Picts are largely unattested in place-names and the like. We find Cumbric words for places and Irish ones: there's no weird words hanging out in the North that can't be explained by origin in either Brittonic or Goidelic. Thus we suspect the Picts were perhaps wiped out quite early and also were Cumbric-speaking in at least the southern areas.

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3 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The inhabitants of now-France all spoke varieties of Romance, they just weren't the same varieties. The Gascon language is one of the lengas d'òc, that is to say a non-French Romance language under the Occitan umbrella. During this time period it would have just been a dialect of Occitan, which was a highly-prestigious literary language in the Middle Ages. There are also Basque (Euskera) speakers in Aquitania, a non-Indo-European language.

 

Let us not forget the native language of Bretagne (Brittany) called Amorica in the day,  which I am guessing would be related to the celtic languages across the channel. Wasn’t there a bit of travel and migration across the channel in this period.

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29 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The inhabitants of now-France all spoke varieties of Romance, they just weren't the same varieties. The Gascon language is one of the lengas d'òc, that is to say a non-French Romance language under the Occitan umbrella. During this time period it would have just been a dialect of Occitan, which was a highly-prestigious literary language in the Middle Ages. There are also Basque (Euskera) speakers in Aquitania, a non-Indo-European language.

Indeed, Basque people had (and still have) their own language.

The historical Wisigoths should speak their own proto-german language, whereas the local native of the VIe century should speak their gallo-roman (Vulgar Latin?) language who will evolve in the langue d'oc you are speaking about.

23 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Let us not forget the native language of Bretagne (Brittany) called Amorica in the day,  which I am guessing would be related to the celtic languages across the channel. Wasn’t there a bit of travel and migration across the channel in this period.

As Qizilbashwoman said. In fact, it's even more complicated because there was two britonnic languages. The Breton, and the Gallo, a mix beetween the Breton and old french (langue d'oïl). Of course, their was no french at the time, but a bunch of Gallo-romans,  Franks and other germanic tribes, with their own language.

Gallo is now extinct, like many other regional languages in France.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallo_language

By the way, did you know that Conan is a breton name, like the famous Conan Meriadoc? ;)

 

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39 minutes ago, Tizun Thane said:

By the way, did you know that Conan is a breton name, like the famous Conan Meriadoc? ;)

 

Yes, 

 

39 minutes ago, Tizun Thane said:

As Qizilbashwoman said. In fact, it's even more complicated because there was two britonnic languages. The Breton, and the Gallo, a mix beetween the Breton and old french (langue d'oïl). Of course, their was no french at the time, but a bunch of Gallo-romans,  Franks and other germanic tribes, with their own language.

 

Now a quick check, Qizilbashwoman was speaking of langue d’doc from the south of France I believe, I am speaking of Amorica which is the far north of France. Langue d’oil is a is distinct from Langue d'oc, no?  Is it the language of Amorica?

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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2 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Is it the language of Amorica?

the language of Armorica was Southwestern Brittonic, the common ancestor of Breton and Cornish. Armorica means "place on the sea".

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4 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

There are also Basque (Euskera) speakers in Aquitania, a non-Indo-European language.

Distantly related to ancient Mayan / Late-Period Atlantean, if I have my sources correct.

!i!

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7 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The inhabitants of now-France all spoke varieties of Romance, they just weren't the same varieties. The Gascon language is one of the lengas d'òc, that is to say a non-French Romance language under the Occitan umbrella. During this time period it would have just been a dialect of Occitan, which was a highly-prestigious literary language in the Middle Ages. There are also Basque (Euskera) speakers in Aquitania, a non-Indo-European language.

I may be mistaken, but isn't the topic about the 5th century situation not the 12th century when the romances were written? If it's about the languages spoken at the time of the romances then ignore my comments. They would be all entirely wrong. In the 5th century, Basque, as far as I know, would still be present, but the Aquitainians as described in the game don't seem to be culturally Basque. They would be more akin to a nobility in the area with a strongly sophisticated culture. Which is why I guessed at Latin as it would have been spoken at the time and there's evidence to suggest that the Visigoths and Frank's both would have made use of the Romanized population in their administration.

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The KAP Aquitanian nobility is Visigothic, but, IMHO, probably bilingual with the local dialect of Vulgar Latin.

EDIT: As other posters have mentioned, language skills don't exist anymore in KAP. They did in 1st Edition, if I recall correctly, but Greg took them out, stating that they were a hindrance to the game play and counter to the sources where people converse easily with knights from all over Europe and even beyond.

Edited by Morien

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3 hours ago, Username said:

I may be mistaken, but isn't the topic about the 5th century situation not the 12th century when the romances were written? If it's about the languages spoken at the time of the romances then ignore my comments. They would be all entirely wrong. In the 5th century, Basque, as far as I know, would still be present, but the Aquitainians as described in the game don't seem to be culturally Basque. They would be more akin to a nobility in the area with a strongly sophisticated culture. Which is why I guessed at Latin as it would have been spoken at the time and there's evidence to suggest that the Visigoths and Frank's both would have made use of the Romanized population in their administration.

nobody was speaking Latin in the 6th century; that's Romance territory. Not sure when the Visigoths gave up their language.

the Basque were not assimilated to Romance culture, no. They remained largely pagan at that time and hostile. Caesar had employed them during his conquests against the Celts, and they subsequently were pushed out by the Latinate cultures to the mountains and other "liminal" areas.

The Basques are still present.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman

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13 hours ago, TerryTroll said:

What languages are people from the various regions likely to speak at this time?

There are many. Pretty much each culture had a language or three, with lots of regional differences. 

13 hours ago, TerryTroll said:

How much trouble would a Saxon have understanding a Briton, etc?

As much or as little as the GM desires.It's worth noting that in First Edition Pendragon there were Speak (Language) skills, but that they were dropped in latter editions for better play. Generally speaking, it might be realistic, but not much fun if the characters cannot communicate with each other. So for role-playing and story purposes, everyone is assumed to be able to communicate with everyone else to some degree.

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45 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

nobody was speaking Latin in the 6th century; that's Romance territory. Not sure when the Visigoths gave up their language.

The clergy would be speaking Latin. Historically Latin might have been dropped from day to day use, but in Pendragon there are still pockets of Roman culture left and they hang onto Latin to some extent.

 

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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

The clergy would be speaking Latin. Historically Latin might have been dropped from day to day use, but in Pendragon there are still pockets of Roman culture left and they hang onto Latin to some extent.

In the real world people still used Latin for writing but they didn't speak it. The first attested written Gallo-Romance is the Oaths of Strassbourg, dated to 842, but Vulgar Latin had turned into Romance some time after the fourth century - basically when the Roman Empire really disintegrated, local varieties really flourished rather than still straining after a single standard. And Vulgar Latin was already different by the time of the Republic, showing distinct grammar and vocabulary changes that preceded Romance: people wrote "in ore" but lewd graffiti says "im bucco".

Pompeii's graffiti is startling because it shows sound changes much, much earlier than anyone had expected: Ismurna for Smyrna ("Esmyrna", no initial -sC- cluster), coliclo "cabbage" for *cauliculum "little cabbage", showing 1. au > o, epenthesis of u, loss of case ending, possible shift of short vowels.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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In fact the Cymric/Pictish people of Great Britain have no Celtic blood.  There is a distinct lack of Celts across the British isles until the Viking Invasions, as the Vikings carried most of the Celtic genes from the continent.  Now if you want to discuss culture, then it is a moot point how much the continental Celts and the Cymric/Pictish Britons influenced each others' cultures, and whose styles affected the other more.  In short, what most people call the Celtic culture in the British isles isn't actually Celtic, it's Cymric, and had been since the ice age.

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Obviously they got invaded by Romans, Vikings  and the Germanic tribes, but that is a separate issue.

Edited by Darius West

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15 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

the language of Armorica was Southwestern Brittonic, the common ancestor of Breton and Cornish. Armorica means "place on the sea".

Possibly came with the wave of immigrants brought Conan Meriadoc.

 

15 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Distantly related to ancient Mayan / Late-Period Atlantean, if I have my sources correct.

 

I can never tell if you are serious or not but that is cool, love the idea (silly or not).

 

12 hours ago, Username said:

I may be mistaken, but isn't the topic about the 5th century situation not the 12th century when the romances were written? If it's about the languages spoken at the time of the romances then ignore my comments. They would be all entirely wrong. In the 5th century, Basque, as far as I know, would still be present, but the Aquitainians as described in the game don't seem to be culturally Basque.

And what is your opinion on the Langue, d’doc, Langue d’oil question. Did they exist at this time and where?

 

12 hours ago, Morien said:

EDIT: As other posters have mentioned, language skills don't exist anymore in KAP. They did in 1st Edition, if I recall correctly, but Greg took them out, stating that they were a hindrance to the game play and counter to the sources where people converse easily with knights from all over Europe and even beyond.

Seems a good MGF decision to me. 

8 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The Basques are still present.

True and the first time I saw the acronym for Edited To Add all over the place I thought I was in a hotbed of Basque nationalists. :)

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3 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

I can never tell if you are serious or not but that is cool, love the idea (silly or not).

I'm entirely serious about my sources.  And the Atlantis-Avalon connection is long established.

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia
👉🏾🐵👈🏾

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7 hours ago, Darius West said:

There is a distinct lack of Celts across the British isles until the Viking Invasions

uhhhh no

there's Goidelic and Brittonic languages attested long, long before that. Irish is written in Ogham as early as the 1st century and Brittonic is attested in Roman-era inscriptions and in Ptolemy's Geography and in Tacitus' Agricola. The archaeological evidence not only corroborates an unbroken cultural residence but shows it reaching into earlier eras.

The period of the arrival of the Insular Celtic languages to the British Isles is not clear, but it wasn't after the seventh century CE. For heaven's sake! The Britons were Romanised but never replaced Common Brittonic with Latin, just took a boatload of loanwords.

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18 hours ago, Username said:

I may be mistaken, but isn't the topic about the 5th century situation not the 12th century when the romances were written?

All discussions of the RPG King Arthur Pendragon and "history" always hover in tension around this point, like two magnets facing each other with the same polarity... never quite able to meet!

Edited by creativehum
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10 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

In the real world people still used Latin for writing but they didn't speak it.

Yes, except as Mass. However , the setting for Pendragon isn't the real world. There are still a few Legionaries and such floating around. So Latin is probably still in use.

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22 minutes ago, creativehum said:

All discussions of the RPG King Arthur Pendragon and "history" always hover in tension around this point, like who magnets facing each other with the same polarity... never quite able to meet!

Yes, because it comes down to which version of the King Arthur legend people want to go with. Greg, in his wisdom, didn't really lock down entirely on one version (although I think KAP is predominately based on Mallory with a good chunk of the HRB) and took elements from various versions. Thus the setting is a hodgepodge of Welsh triads, French Romances and even semi-historical records, not to leave out the more modern retelling such as the works of T.H. White or Mary Stewart. It's kinda of an Arthurian tradition to revise and retcon Arthur. Even Mallory was guilty of it to some extent, with Arthur fighting the Saracens.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Arthur fighting the Saracens

does arthur know there are no saracens yet? muhammad didn't preach till 610, and the initial expansion of the Umayyads over the Visigoths in Hispania started in 711 and the Battle of the Highway/Battle of Tours was in 732

- a saracen

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