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Development of Languages


Jeff

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I'm looking for someone who would be willing to prettify up a chart for inclusion in a Gloranthan supplement. After reading Mallory's In Search of the Indo-Europeans, I put together a language tree for the major human languages in the Dragon Pass area, showing approximately when they diverged. A few interesting bits of information there.

 

Language development.jpeg

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1 minute ago, Jeff said:

Curses! I am such a Mac hippy that I have neither installed!

In that case, download Inkscape, and you can manipulate it yourself.

Or try opening it in Safari - that shares much of the Chrome machine. SVG is a web standard, after all.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Now to the content.

I see Earthtongue influences already on Vingkotling.

Theyalan would have had Darktongue influences (Kingdom of Night, Kitori).

Hyaloring influences might be found in some dialects of Vingkotling. Perhaps in Sairdite, too.

Bright Empire: Cross-pollination between Dara Happan and Theyalan.

Old Pavic may have Pure Horse influences.

Carmanian influences on Dara Happan/New Pelorian. Few Pentan/Kralori ones.

Esrolian and Heortling have a history of combining and separating, starting with the Sword and Helm Saga (separation), then with the Theyalans (reunion), EWF period (separation), the Adjustment Wars (reunion, and separation again).

New Pelorian influences on Tarshite - only the Furthest dialects, not the WIntertop ones.

Tarshite and even more Heortling influences on Grazer Pure Horse.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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For ease of discussion as an inline file in png format. Changes or rearrangements can be easily applied to the svg file, e.g. colorizing the vertical and horizontal bars.

 

Languages Dragon Pass 1.png

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1 minute ago, g33k said:

I had understood "Auld Wyrmish" more-derived from a native Draconic language (intentionally made more-usable by humankind) than from an single human tongue ... ?

Correct - AW is a nonhuman language that influences the Theyalan of its time.

Just now, Roko Joko said:

Really interesting chart.  I'll hold off on my lore questions and speculation, but one point of feedback: for practical game reasons it might be nice to see Tradetalk on there.

Tradetalk has strong Theyalan and probably some Western and some Dara Happan influences, but doesn't really have an elemental origin.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Correct - AW is a nonhuman language that influences the Theyalan of its time.

@Martin's monochrome chart show Theyalan as the primary root-language of AW; @Joerg's  has the boundary-line of the First/Second age easily mistaken for that "ancestral root" line.  In either case, the original "Draconic" language should appear as a root (or the finished diagram should have a footnote annotation about the nonhuman origin for AW).

13 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Tradetalk has strong Theyalan and probably some Western and some Dara Happan influences, but doesn't really have an elemental origin.

But it's a primary language for PC's to know/use (and it's derived from languages that DO have "elemental" origins).

 

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23 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

The divergence of the Esrolian dialect from Heortling/Southern-Theyalan looks very interesting. Is there something out there describing the circumstances behind it?

There may be more to it than this, but I think it comes down to Esrolia really having an Earth Queen as the chief divinity, while the Heortling have the Storm King as theirs:  Earthtongue vs Stormspeech.

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20 minutes ago, g33k said:

There may be more to it than this, but I think it comes down to Esrolia really having an Earth Queen as the chief divinity, while the Heortling have the Storm King as theirs:  Earthtongue vs Stormspeech.

 

18 minutes ago, Ali the Helering said:

I would have thought it would have a significant Darktongue influence.

True, but these would have likely been differences from the first age or earlier. Here we're seeing a major change during the third age, and more recent than the development of New Pelorian. (Maybe from the reign of Queen Bruvala?)

Usually Esrolian is just a dialect of Southern Theyalan (cf. GtG 241, S:KoH 357, HQ:G 238). This is more of a change where the Esrolian dialect is merged with the ancient Earthtongue language, or an influx of the latter shifts the Esrolian tongue, making it linguistically distinct enough to count as a different language from South Theyalan entirely.

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29 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

 

True, but these would have likely been differences from the first age or earlier. Here we're seeing a major change during the third age, and more recent than the development of New Pelorian. (Maybe from the reign of Queen Bruvala?)

Usually Esrolian is just a dialect of Southern Theyalan (cf. GtG 241, S:KoH 357, HQ:G 238). This is more of a change where the Esrolian dialect is merged with the ancient Earthtongue language, or an influx of the latter shifts the Esrolian tongue, making it linguistically distinct enough to count as a different language from South Theyalan entirely.

True, so I think the split should arise earlier. There is also the difference between EWF and Middle Sea Empire influences.

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45 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

True, but these would have likely been differences from the first age or earlier. Here we're seeing a major change during the third age, and more recent than the development of New Pelorian. (Maybe from the reign of Queen Bruvala?)

Usually Esrolian is just a dialect of Southern Theyalan (cf. GtG 241, S:KoH 357, HQ:G 238). This is more of a change where the Esrolian dialect is merged with the ancient Earthtongue language, or an influx of the latter shifts the Esrolian tongue, making it linguistically distinct enough to count as a different language from South Theyalan entirely.

I'd put this merging into Earthtongue at the end of the Adjustment Wars.  The Heortling Kings have once again been thrown out.  What better 'adjustment' than to reinvigorate the language with the power of the ancient Earth Queens?

Now, that doesn't align as well with Jeff's initial chart.  So, the next event that would have significance is the coming of Belintar.  One way for the Grandmothers to 'resist' is to encourage the separation and distinction of Esrolian from Heortling (or perhaps it's the point where the Heortlings 'resist' the influence of Belintar by adopting more 'storm' elements?).

The final merging of Earthtongue into Esrolian would appear to align with the reign of Queen Bruvala - another aspect of her long and wondrous rule.

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11 hours ago, Joerg said:

Esrolian and Heortling have a history of combining and separating, starting with the Sword and Helm Saga (separation), then with the Theyalans (reunion), EWF period (separation), the Adjustment Wars (reunion, and separation again).

Of course, it wasn't called Heortling back then.

Vingkot married the daughters of Tada, so his children are likely to have had as much exposure to Earthtongue as they had to Stormspeech. The Vingkotling language was shared by the Durevings and the Helerings (who brought with them influences of Seaspeech). I am still not quite decided how "Orlanthi" the Durevings were and how Old Earth Culture.

Two of Vingkot's daughters married Hyaloring riders. This will have brought in some Hyaloring terms and phrases, especially in connection with horse-keeping and -breeding.

22 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

I'd put this merging into Earthtongue at the end of the Adjustment Wars.  The Heortling Kings have once again been thrown out.  What better 'adjustment' than to reinvigorate the language with the power of the ancient Earth Queens?

I agree - the effective repetition of the betrayal at the Sword and Helm Saga at the start of the Third Age would have been a strong opportunity to re-invigorate the Earthtongue roots of Esrolian.

22 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Now, that doesn't align as well with Jeff's initial chart.  So, the next event that would have significance is the coming of Belintar.  One way for the Grandmothers to 'resist' is to encourage the separation and distinction of Esrolian from Heortling (or perhaps it's the point where the Heortlings 'resist' the influence of Belintar by adopting more 'storm' elements?).

I don't see the Heortlings or the Grandmothers using language as their political weapon. The inflitration will have come through administrative terms, cultic observances, and simply being fashionable.

Both the Hendriki-led tribes of Heortland and the Esrolians had been subject to strong Slontan presence, and probably linguistic influence as well. The Auld Wyrmish influence on the everyday language never got much foothold in the Kingdom of Night.

22 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

The final merging of Earthtongue into Esrolian would appear to align with the reign of Queen Bruvala - another aspect of her long and wondrous rule.

I think you read too much detail into Jeff's timeline. Languages are rarely changed by events, long-term changes such as adoptions of terms and pronunciation may be initiated by such events, though.

The Dragonkill did cause a separation between the northern (Pelorian) and the southern (Manirian: Heortling) dialects. The Auld Wyrmish influence had taken a huge setback with the assassination of the draconic leaders by blue moon trolls. The Sairdites were allies of Dara Happa and Carmania, and they will have spoken a common secondary language among the various anti-dragon factions with a role similar to Tradetalk.

After the death of their draconic leaders, waves of refugees entered Heortland and Esrolia (not the north, though - the build-up of the Hordem. Draconisms in the language fell out of fashion even in Dragon Pass, and only backwater Pavis preserved it as a living language.

The northern traditionalist tribes marched with the kingdom of Saird. They may have synchronized their dialect slightly with Dara Happan. The Hendriki as the dominant tribe in Heortland would have promoted their own dialect. In this way, the separation between Manirian and Pelorian dialects may started earlier than the Dragonkill.

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