Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Crel

Uz Language Questions

Recommended Posts

I'd like to put together a phrase or two of Darktongue for my RQG game, to emphasize the non-Earth feel of the Uz. How many words of Darktongue do we know? Is there a glossary or grammar of Darktongue or other languages spoken by trolls? What sorts of characteristics does their spoken language have? And so on.

Also, how do y'all pronounce "Uz"? I read it as "Ooze" but figure it could also sound a bit like "Us," but with the fricative voiced instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Crel said:

Also, how do y'all pronounce "Uz"? I read it as "Ooze" but figure it could also sound a bit like "Us," but with the fricative voiced instead.

I've always said it as "Us" with a "z", so the latter. But that leaves room for variation, from the RP through to something more like "oos" or "oss". Pronunciation will no doubt vary between regions, and possibly with context. There may even be variations in the language depending on whether it's dark or not, with difficult subvocal harmonies needed to cut through the daylight and make oneself clear, that are not needed in the calm of darkness.

Darktongue should be strange and somewhat terrifying to humans who are not used to it.

Edited by PhilHibbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too always say "Uz" as if it were "us, but with a z."

But I conceptualize it in Darktongue with that s/z sound being something with a clicking/hissing character, something sounding almost chitinous, insectoid, as if the speaker had no soft palate, but a hard one...

YGMV

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, g33k said:

I too always say "Uz" as if it were "us, but with a z."

But I conceptualize it in Darktongue with that s/z sound being something with a clicking/hissing character, something sounding almost chitinous, insectoid, as if the speaker had no soft palate, but a hard one...

YGMV

I suppose, if we apply RW logic, that would depend on what the palate of the trolls themselves look like.

Speaking of which - how about some implied sub-sonic sounds as part of the Uz languages? This is something RW elephants are capable of producing, and use to vibrate through the ground for vast distances. One might imagine such a quality being useful for an originally Darkness-dwelling, and currently often cave-dwelling group of beings. While humans won't be able to hear that normally, we might be able to pick up a slight deep buzz, or a vaguely audible rumble, which would probably come off as pretty off-putting, adding to the general air of scariness most Dark Trolls probably have to your average human Joe.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

While humans won't be able to hear that normally, we might be able to pick up a slight deep buzz, or a vaguely audible rumble, which would probably come off as pretty off-putting, adding to the general air of scariness most Dark Trolls probably have to your average human Joe.

Of course the Uz can use those sub-sonic tones to share insults about (or plan an ambush on) the nearby humans, even those that "know" Darktongue.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't need to possess any Darksense to be able to learn perfect Darktongue, so I doubt that this form of "seeing" has been turned into a standard part of that language.

I think of Darksense as vibrations in the medium of Darkness (something non-existent in our world, unless someone manages to find a way to interact with Dark Matter). Some of this might be transmitted to air, and then perceived as sound, but the sound vibrations are not used for perception of the environment, only the dark vibrations are (and their wavelengths may be totally different). Think of the different noise a boat motor makes above the water or when you dive under water - in the denser medium the sound is several octaves higher.

Personally, I pronounce "uz" with a short vowel "ooz". (That goes against the German use of the "s" sounds with a buzzing "z" sound at the start of a syllable and a sibilant "s" at the end of a syllable). I think of heavy German or Russian accented English learned somewhere in rural Britain or Australia. From my impression, regional dialects can tune the pronunciations of vowel sounds quite a bit away from the Oxford English standard. A lot of that can be traced back to Anglo-Saxon dialect variations, with the written form reflecting the Wessex outlier of those dialects, already non-phonetic in London or Mercia.

The only darktongue sound examples that we have are the names of uz types and uz deities. I would suggest a fair number of glottal stops in the language.

 

One thing never quite defined for any of the Elder Races are their voice ranges. Are trolls really speaking basso or baritone (the females more so than the males, being bigger) or do they actually have higher-pitched voices like alto or mezzo-soprane?

Given their standard silhouettes, I would have trolls speak in belly voice rather than in head voice. Given my own voice range, that would make them speak baritone through me.

Enlo usually lack these paunches, are diminutive, and probably have squeaky voices compared to their uncursed kin. I would use head-voice for them when giving a voice-imitation (which is not really my narrative style).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see Darksense as having much mystical component, personally. I  think of it as a combination of sonar, passive sound and vibration sensing and EM vision in the infra-red, with some pretty good smell-o-vision added in for 'flavour'.

Really big-ass trolls being able to hum 'brown noise' is an interesting side of Darkness...

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Joerg said:

You don't need to possess any Darksense to be able to learn perfect Darktongue, so I doubt that this form of "seeing" has been turned into a standard part of that language.

I think you probably do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, womble said:

Really big-ass trolls being able to hum 'brown noise' is an interesting side of Darkness...

No joke, that sounds like an amazing combat ability, or ambush tactic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have put together a roster of possible Darktongue syllables based on the proper nouns from the published material (mostly Trollpak and the Guide). I can publish it on my blog should anybody be interested.

 

Do not forget that, as with any other linguistic material from Gloranthan canon, this is all as "heard by Greg during his explorations of Glorantha and approximated to an American English ear". It's not the real McCoy.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, GianniVacca said:

I have put together a roster of possible Darktongue syllables based on the proper nouns from the published material (mostly Trollpak and the Guide). I can publish it on my blog should anybody be interested.

That would be useful for me. I want to make up something to snarl at my players :).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, womble said:

don't see Darksense as having much mystical component, personally. I  think of it as a combination of sonar, passive sound and vibration sensing and EM vision in the infra-red, with some pretty good smell-o-vision added in for 'flavour'.

Really big-ass trolls being able to hum 'brown noise' is an interesting side of Darkness...

Troll Opera must be popular. And contests, of course; who can sing a Trollkin away in the most amusing manner? I can also envision Troll Battle Choirs, as well as Choir Battles.

 

Not to mention Mistress Race communicating in an, er, whale-like manner. This also suggests, let's see what happens when the Trolls meet the deep Tritons somewhere near Sramak's River. Friends or enemies?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, The God Learner said:

I can also envision Troll Battle Choirs, as well as Choir Battles.

My brain was working along similar lines (although I didn't come up with Uzuz whalesong; I like that!). Battle choir amuses me. And really, isn't that what this is all about? :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Battle Choir has nothing on the Zorak Zoran "Drum Corpse"!  Zorak Zoran also rather obviously has a long tradition of aggressive Battle Rap dissing enemies and talking up their own prowess. 

I'm sure somewhere there exists a "xylophone" (xiolaphone?) made out of various sized trollkin captured in stocks and variously bashed and prodded to make entertaining "music".

I suspect most of the most entertaining ideas are far too organized for most troll territories, but the Shadow Plateau and surrounding areas may have enough Human influence to create more elaborate musical traditions. In most cases, Uz are perfectly happy with chanting along with drums. More complicated arrangements and instruments are just so much decadent nonsense. "Stop singing and fetch me something to EAT dammit!"

1 hour ago, GianniVacca said:

OK, here are my Darktongue syllables: https://2ndage.blogspot.com/2018/12/darktongue-101.html

Thank you Very much for that!!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, boztakang said:

Battle Choir has nothing on the Zorak Zoran "Drum Corpse"!  Zorak Zoran also rather obviously has a long tradition of aggressive Battle Rap dissing enemies and talking up their own prowess.

Zorani flyting is reknowned for its highly creative take-downs, death-threats and glorious cacophony.

3 hours ago, boztakang said:

I suspect most of the most entertaining ideas are far too organized for most troll territories, but the Shadow Plateau and surrounding areas may have enough Human influence to create more elaborate musical traditions.

Well, either that, or Troll music would seem cacophonous and unappealing (or, conversely, just boring droning) to humans, but be perceived as a complex and laudable skill among trolls. Let's not forget that Death Metal is a thing in real life, and it can produce similar results in fans and detractors.

4 hours ago, The God Learner said:

let's see what happens when the Trolls meet the deep Tritons somewhere near Sramak's River. Friends or enemies?

Sea Trolls are a thing, and sound travels farther underwater, so I guess this is pretty possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Well, either that, or Troll music would seem cacophonous and unappealing (or, conversely, just boring droning) to humans, but be perceived as a complex and laudable skill among trolls.

That's my view. The troll Pavarotti heroically(!) belting out Nessun Dorma not only makes the breast bones of his enemies rattle and their internal organs feel distinctly wobbly and not nice at all, he is also cheered by his fellow Uz, some perhaps discreetly dabbing the corners of their eyes.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my Glorantha, Uz can be used as part of a name, so Mistress Race Trolls are often called Uz-Something, for example Uzarl, Uzkogag or Uzant. Clans have Uz as a suffix, so Sazdorfuz is the Uz Sazdorf Clan. The founder of the clan often uses Uz, so UzSazdorf is the Mistress Race Founder of the Sazdorf Clan.

Also, in my Grloantha, UzUz (Mistress Race Trolls) know a Sonar frequency that kills trollkin, yes, just kills them dead. They don't often use it, but when they do, they get closer to the frequency, as a wrning, then kill the trollkin if they get angry, or hungry, or want to make a point. The trollkin just drops dead.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×