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Author Topic: Dwarven Linguistics Core Project  (Read 18662 times)

Dirst

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics Core Project
« Reply #135 on: March 28, 2015, 11:03:33 pm »

Thanks for summarizing The Story Thus Far.  The conversation is pretty disjointed because people drop in and out as their real lives give them time to participate.  I for one want to take another crack at those consonants when I have a free hour or five.
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CaptainMcClellan

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics Core Project
« Reply #136 on: March 29, 2015, 03:00:39 am »

Awesome.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 04:55:27 pm by CaptainMcClellan »
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Ops Fox

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics Core Project
« Reply #137 on: March 29, 2015, 01:30:53 pm »

snip
I had not actually meant to post that when I did, I was just trying to see if my formatting in a word document would be carried over to the forum post. Which is how I found out the tab key automatically post things you are working on when you hit it, so rather than indenting a line I ended up posting something that had not been checked for grammar or spelling. I fixed that for the most part and clarified what each post is talking about, so it should be good now.


« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 06:04:45 pm by Ops Fox »
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CaptainMcClellan

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics Core Project
« Reply #138 on: March 29, 2015, 04:55:59 pm »

Cool. I'm glad you got it fixed. Mind snipping out my late-night embarrassment?

Dirst

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics Core Project
« Reply #139 on: March 31, 2015, 09:44:46 am »

Just a note on adding words to the language files.  If a WORD entry exists (say, a noun for "six") it will get picked up by every language whether or not the language has a T_WORD entry (how "six" is spelled in that language).  If the name generator picks a WORD for which there is no T_WORD in that language, it puts an ugly blank space in the name.

If the project is going to add WORD's to a specific language, they need to be gathered into a SYMBOL that can be culled from the civs using every other language.  So we would end up with at least a DWARF_ONLY symbol, perhaps more if we need finer control.  Then for example the FOREST entity will cull the DWARF_ONLY symbol from all of its names.
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CaptainMcClellan

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics Core Project
« Reply #140 on: April 01, 2015, 01:17:34 pm »

Just a note on adding words to the language files.  If a WORD entry exists (say, a noun for "six") it will get picked up by every language whether or not the language has a T_WORD entry (how "six" is spelled in that language).  If the name generator picks a WORD for which there is no T_WORD in that language, it puts an ugly blank space in the name.

If the project is going to add WORD's to a specific language, they need to be gathered into a SYMBOL that can be culled from the civs using every other language.  So we would end up with at least a DWARF_ONLY symbol, perhaps more if we need finer control.  Then for example the FOREST entity will cull the DWARF_ONLY symbol from all of its names.
I thought that symbols were hard-coded? If so, that'll make for some interesting work in explaining how word X is related to mountains. Though, given who we're talking about here, I'm sure somebody already has ideas on how to do so.

Dirst

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics Core Project
« Reply #141 on: April 01, 2015, 05:51:54 pm »

it looks like they were hard-code way back in 40d (which was the last deep dive the wiki took into language structure), but I'm not sure how the current version responds to adding entries in language_SYM.  Also don't have time to test it right now.  Maybe one of the language-centric mods will have evidence one way or the other?  Or just make a test symbol, move a few existing words to it, and enable the symbol in the Dwarven language.  If it will cause errors, it should do so during worldgen.
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Loam

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics Core Project
« Reply #142 on: April 12, 2015, 09:12:11 pm »

So this is unrelated, but I was thinking about the pragmatics of Dwarvish the other day. I feel (and maybe it's the general consensus) that Dwarves would appreciate directness in speech, rather than indirectness. In other words, a straight command like "Open the window", while it sounds rude or brusque in English, would to a Dwarf indicate respect: the speaker respects their audience enough to be direct with them and tell them straight out what they want, how they feel, etc. In contrast, the more indirect "Could you open the window?" would sound evasive, possibly manipulative, and would indicate that the speaker may not trust the audience well enough to speak straight.

However, there should be a way to be "rude" in Dwarvish, not just evasive. I think this can be accomplished with formality registers, an idea which has come up before: addressing someone with the wrong pronoun would indicate distaste or disparity. That Dwarvish would have various register of formality is somewhat suggested by their social structure, which is very hierarchical. A simple formal/informal would suffice, but we could come up with a more robust system if we wanted to: so, counts would speak to dukes and kings in formal, to other counts in informal, and to barons and commoners in inferior informal.

So I could say Guth mamgoz than, "Kill - dragon - you (formal)," which would be a respectful, direct way of telling someone to kill a dragon. Than cal guth mamgoz? "You (formal) - can kill - dragon" would not be "rude," but would indicate the speaker's unwillingness to engage the audience directly. Guth mamgoz ush, "kill - dragon - you (informal)" would be disrespectful if said to a superior or possibly to an equal, but acceptable if said to an inferior (in which case than would be generous, even prodigal depending on the circumstances).

Ops Fox

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics Core Project
« Reply #143 on: April 12, 2015, 09:38:06 pm »

So this is unrelated, but I was thinking about the pragmatics of Dwarvish the other day. I feel (and maybe it's the general consensus) that Dwarves would appreciate directness in speech, rather than indirectness. In other words, a straight command like "Open the window", while it sounds rude or brusque in English, would to a Dwarf indicate respect: the speaker respects their audience enough to be direct with them and tell them straight out what they want, how they feel, etc. In contrast, the more indirect "Could you open the window?" would sound evasive, possibly manipulative, and would indicate that the speaker may not trust the audience well enough to speak straight.

However, there should be a way to be "rude" in Dwarvish, not just evasive. I think this can be accomplished with formality registers, an idea which has come up before: addressing someone with the wrong pronoun would indicate distaste or disparity. That Dwarvish would have various register of formality is somewhat suggested by their social structure, which is very hierarchical. A simple formal/informal would suffice, but we could come up with a more robust system if we wanted to: so, counts would speak to dukes and kings in formal, to other counts in informal, and to barons and commoners in inferior informal.

So I could say Guth mamgoz than, "Kill - dragon - you (formal)," which would be a respectful, direct way of telling someone to kill a dragon. Than cal guth mamgoz? "You (formal) - can kill - dragon" would not be "rude," but would indicate the speaker's unwillingness to engage the audience directly. Guth mamgoz ush, "kill - dragon - you (informal)" would be disrespectful if said to a superior or possibly to an equal, but acceptable if said to an inferior (in which case than would be generous, even prodigal depending on the circumstances).

I agree that dwarfs would have hierarchical structure for determining what degree of formality is used when speaking to whom, but I dont think it would just encompass nobility. I could see their hierarchy looking something like:

King---------------------------------------------------Allied foreign dignitary
duke-----Artifact Maker
Count----Legendary Craftsman---legendary warriors
Baron---------------------------Military Officers--------disliked foreign dignitary,
Clerks----skilled Craftsman-------Warriors---------------tradesmen
----------craftsman-------------recruits/reserve forces--------------------------Skilled other.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------other
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CaptainMcClellan

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics Core Project
« Reply #144 on: April 13, 2015, 11:29:17 am »

a straight command like "Open the window", while it sounds rude or brusque in English, would to a Dwarf indicate respect: the speaker respects their audience enough to be direct with them and tell them straight out what they want, how they feel, etc. In contrast, the more indirect "Could you open the window?" would sound evasive, possibly manipulative, and would indicate that the speaker may not trust the audience well enough to speak straight.
Huh. Does it? I guess I'm more dwarven than I thought.

So I could say Guth mamgoz than, "Kill - dragon - you (formal)," which would be a respectful, direct way of telling someone to kill a dragon. Than cal guth mamgoz? "You (formal) - can kill - dragon" would not be "rude," but would indicate the speaker's unwillingness to engage the audience directly. Guth mamgoz ush, "kill - dragon - you (informal)" would be disrespectful if said to a superior or possibly to an equal, but acceptable if said to an inferior (in which case than would be generous, even prodigal depending on the circumstances).
Bah. I don't think so. I think if a dwarf wants to be rude, then he/she 'll be rude, by flinging direct or implied ( with all the subtlty of an anvil ) threats, insults, and lovely comparisons to horrible, horrible things. It doesn't seem in-game that much class system exists, there's simply "nobles", "skilled individuals" and "unskilled individuals". I imagaine that they all just bark orders at each other all the time based on that hierarchy and that only the nobles give a crap about the hierarchies, and only amongst nobles. ( i.e. "I am a king, you are a mere baron. Get out of my sight and go scrub something." And substitute peasant for any non-noble, except skilled individuals that have managed to impress said noble, who'll be addressed directly and complimented upon a job well done. ) I think beyond that, it'll come down to the temperment of each dwarf, and given the nature of dwarves as seen so far, I could well see a hauler cussing out a skilled individual, even an artifact-maker, if sufficiently peeved or prone to anger. I think they'll hold their tongue when it comes to nobles, simply because of the dwarves' incredible commitment to the concepts of oaths. It's been a while since last I read it, but I'm thinking something like Heorot in Beowulf in terms of most of the populous, with Dwarven greed and excess of power driving the higher nobles to act like Thorin Oakenshield from the latest Hobbit movie: Bossy, bratty, impatient, and more prone to negative emotions and paranoia. Even then, it would come down to the temperament of a dwarf and I doubt the dwarves will put as much subtlty as having syntax rules involved in insults and will more likely just insult each other, brag, and/or fight and tantrum. Again, we have all seemed to agree that they love directness and I personally see their culture as being influenced heavily by Anglo-Saxon tradition - sensible considering they're [loosely] based on the Tolkien conception of a dwarf, which is heavily influenced by an affinity for the Anglo-Saxon and Nordic traditions combined with a bit of scrutiny of Tolkien's own time. Doubtless, they'll continue to develop away from this, and with time - assuming dwarves are subject to the same foibles as humanity - they might develop such a complex, pedantic, unpleasant, and Tywin Lannister style of supreme double-edged "compliments" which quite obviously translate to "I wish you were dead and given time I might make you dead." ( Note: I hate most of the Game of Thrones series, I don't know or care if the books are better, but I'd rather not see that be taken as the Dwarven norm just because it's "popular fantasy". Cos f*** that, there's way better ways to make a dark story than that revolting mess that is King's Landing. ) Anyway,  back from my digression, in summation: Dwarves prefer to stab people with swords and spears, not words. If there's any species in the Dwarf Fortress universe that does it, it's humans. Dwarves and elves are pretty much direct in their disdain or approval of things, and the little I've observed of goblin and kobold culture, they're much the same. If a Dwarf cannot bury their emotions enough to continue working dutifully, they act upon them and probably don't make a show of backhanded compliments and subtle implications of displeasure with a person. Also, if we take the fact that human cultures are most prone to being taken over by demons to be culturally indicative, I think this further supports my assertions. ( More likely, it's just cos they're living on the plains. ) So, to conclude with a point: I don't think it's necessary, prudent, or fun to develop complex formality systems in languages, as subtext is typically lost with time and formality systems in real world languages wax and wane, being at their best and most complete binary: superior and equal/inferior, which is sort of what Loam is suggesting but less complicated. And while we could develop that, it would be both a gigantic pain in the arse and totally unnecessary, at least as I see it. Sorry for rambling.

PS. Yes I am aware that Old English and even Middle English had a formality system and that Old English had not one, not two, but three different formality titles/levels, even so there was a lot less... arrogance? in the way I've seen it carried out in those languages. No, I haven't read that much Old English lit. and I've been assisted by translations so I might've just missed it. My main point is that dwarves are not huge, backstabbing assholes stereotypical humans for the most part, so they've much less a need for subtle manipulativeness in language and their language, at least in its inception, should reflect that until such a time until a dwarven settlementculture has devolved into that, if ever it did. My second main point is that titles suffice. My secondary point is that it'd be a pain in the ass to implement and I'm lazy enough to just borrow "jarl/earl" "carl/" and "thrall" to describe noble, skilled labor, and unskilled labor respectively with or without the connotations of slavery - preferably without as I don't think dwarves even have a notion of slavery. They seem like they're honour-bond since birth to do labor in accordance with what best suits the needs of their settlement as determined by nobles - who even when corrupt should be obeyed because it is better to die with honor. This is a fundamental disconnect between their society and the societies of Europe and the States, but that just adds to the depth of it. Of note, dwarves don't seem to take war prisoners as slaves, so they aren't even congruent with real-world societies of past times and even further wouldn't have a notion of slavery. As per what to do with "outsiders", stereotypically dwarves are wary or ambivalent to outsiders, absorbed in their own affairs to a fault, but never do they really condescend around them unless they are condescended too first. ( For example, in the Tolkien universe with the Dwarves vs Elves there. ) However, dwarves of Dwarven forts routinely ignore elven insults, implying that they are either insult backfires, not comprehended, or that the dwarves just don't care. So, I think talk about outsiders would follow these lines - not that "others" are inferior, slave quality, or to be disrespected, just that they're not trustworthy and should be watched even when trade is going good. This attitude is probably applicable to humans as well, but I haven't really observed them enough to tell. Humans and dwarves, and dwarves and elves seem to naturally be on amicable terms so I would imagine that dwarves simply adopt the mannerisms of who they're speaking to temporarily, rather than craft their own analogues. ( i.e. Dwarves can use human politeness when trading with humans, so long as the humans don't directly insult them or try for a ludicrous bargain. Dwarves can temporarily - maybe even genuinely - care about trees when trading with elves, saying things to the effect of "it is a shame, but it is inevitable and we take care to not take more than needed." This is even more probable if the dwarves are speaking in the language of who they're trading with or some sort of common tongue, which would likely cover the basic niceties. I'll attribute navigating that quagmire to the negotiator skill.)

CaptainMcClellan

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics Core Project
« Reply #145 on: April 13, 2015, 11:37:46 am »

King---------------------------------------------------Allied foreign dignitary
duke-----Artifact Maker
Count----Legendary Craftsman---legendary warriors
Baron---------------------------Military Officers--------disliked foreign dignitary,
Clerks----skilled Craftsman-------Warriors---------------tradesmen
----------craftsman-------------recruits/reserve forces--------------------------Skilled other.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------other
I disagree. I think foreign dignitaries, at least non-dwarven, would be handled separately. Also, I think that hierarchy-wise, nobles are always above everyone - except perhaps legendaries and artifact makers - then it would be skilled craftsman and warriors together, with military officers only being treated as of greater rank by members of their squad, then recruits and unskilled labor. I do think, however, that military officers would be addressed by their subordinates as if they were a noble when not in the presence of a noble and when off-duty, and that all communication on-duty would be limited to completely formality-free direct speech of only necessary communication. Formality is an extravagance, and while beneficial to us humans, I think, as I elucidated above, it'd be cumbersome to most dwarves and that it would only be affected in titles and what a person is addressed by*, not in formality levels of speech. This would come into play with it requiring more "bravery" to insult a superior and a greater frequency of flattery, but that's all I see. I don't think the flattery would require different pronouns or formality levels, just convincingly lying about one's appreciation for another's skills and person.

*Also, whether or not you can curse in their presence. :P
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 11:39:26 am by CaptainMcClellan »
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Dirst

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics Core Project
« Reply #146 on: April 13, 2015, 08:43:10 pm »

Captain, have ever seen The Invention of Lying?  It's full of these kinds of dwarfy conversations.
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Dirst

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics Core Project
« Reply #147 on: April 16, 2015, 08:46:23 am »

Here is the latest incremental update to the alphabet runes.  Hopefully it's starting to look like something useable.

The curvy bits of the consonants can be replaced with diagonal lines for engraving, but plenty of the engraving-friendly Latin capital letters have curves as well.



Edit: It's been a while, so here are the positions, I think.  This didn't change since I last took notes, did it?
i u o a e

 f  v  th (ch)
 s  z  sh  c
 t  d  k   g
(p) b  l   r
 n  m  ng (mg)
« Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 11:10:49 am by Dirst »
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Ops Fox

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics Core Project
« Reply #148 on: April 16, 2015, 10:49:56 am »

Here is the latest incremental update to the alphabet runes.  Hopefully it's starting to look like something useable.

The curvy bits of the consonants can be replaced with diagonal lines for engraving, but plenty of the engraving-friendly Latin capital letters have curves as well.


what characters does each rune correspond to again?
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Dirst

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics Core Project
« Reply #149 on: April 16, 2015, 11:11:20 am »

what characters does each rune correspond to again?
Good question!  I edited the post above.
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