Personal Names

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Personal Names

Postby Miatato » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:23 pm

This is probably jumping the gun, as they say, but I thought I'd throw this out here for discussion. Names are an interest of mine and I don't think I am the only... ah... onomastically inclined... person out there. I think we might discover something about the thoughts, beliefs, and priorities of our imaginary society in the process of working some of this out.

Should we look at given names and surnames at the same time?

It seems most people that have expressed an opinion are at least warm to the idea that these might be people living among us, all over the world, either secretly or at least outside of common knowledge. Does it seem likely (or at least pleasing to us) that they might have a public name and a native name?

It seems likely to me that they might have native adaptations of names from the local majority culture (i.e. adapted to the phonology), and also names specific to their language/culture.
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Re: Personal Names

Postby kadani » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:07 pm

I guess so, yeah. They will probably also have ways to transform other names into their phonological system since they have probably developped a certain purism and xenophobia concerning their language.

Edit: Such a rule could be a simple mapping to similar phonemes (rejistanian maps /g/ to /k/ and the various vowels in English and German to just /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/ and /u/) and a rule how to break up too big or incorrect consonant clusters. For example: /mECthIlt/ this could for example mean that the first pass changes it to /meStjilt/ and the second one could work via insertion (/meSetejilte/) or deletion (/mesjil/).
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Re: Personal Names

Postby Matthew Turnbull » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:24 pm

Names make examples much easier! I think that they would definitely have ways of pronouncing foreign names. I think that a very important thing to think about before coming up with names is what do they think about death? Is there a taboo on mentioning a dead persons name? is it a strong taboo? If it is it would hardly make sense to name some one "water", because you know that when they die, the word "water" will die with them. Some cultures, or so I've heard, solve this by giving people trivial names that wouldn't come up in conversation like "bee's knee" or "twig sunk in the mud" or whatever, others by loaning in a new word for whatever when the person who had that name dies, which worked for them because they were in an area where all the languages were related, so it was easy to borrow.
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Re: Personal Names

Postby kadani » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:35 pm

I think the name taboo is simply impossible in case of the unitiated. If one person called Markus dies, would that mean other people who share that name no longer could be named?
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Re: Personal Names

Postby Matthew Turnbull » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:49 pm

kadani wrote:I think the name taboo is simply impossible in case of the unitiated. If one person called Markus dies, would that mean other people who share that name no longer could be named?

I think it's more likely that they would be given in group names, which would be the one's to which the taboo applied. So they might be Marcus to the rest of the world but to the special few they would be italakede u xatafe. Or maybe the taboo is very weak or non-existent.
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Re: Personal Names

Postby kadani » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:57 am

This is a good idea, now that I thought a bit longer about it.
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Re: Personal Names

Postby Uh-Oh » Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:55 pm

Matthew Turnbull wrote:
kadani wrote:I think the name taboo is simply impossible in case of the unitiated. If one person called Markus dies, would that mean other people who share that name no longer could be named?

I think it's more likely that they would be given in group names, which would be the one's to which the taboo applied. So they might be Marcus to the rest of the world but to the special few they would be italakede u xatafe. Or maybe the taboo is very weak or non-existent.


What if there were an anti-taboo? When a person dies, someone in the clan has to take their name (and retain their own), to ensure continuing life. When Meunax dies, Olodu (who is singly-named) carries forward her name: Olodu am Meunax = Olodu spirit-carrier-of Meunax.
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Re: Personal Names

Postby Matthew Turnbull » Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:19 pm

Uh-Oh wrote:
Matthew Turnbull wrote:
kadani wrote:I think the name taboo is simply impossible in case of the unitiated. If one person called Markus dies, would that mean other people who share that name no longer could be named?

I think it's more likely that they would be given in group names, which would be the one's to which the taboo applied. So they might be Marcus to the rest of the world but to the special few they would be italakede u xatafe. Or maybe the taboo is very weak or non-existent.


What if there were an anti-taboo? When a person dies, someone in the clan has to take their name (and retain their own), to ensure continuing life. When Meunax dies, Olodu (who is singly-named) carries forward her name: Olodu am Meunax = Olodu spirit-carrier-of Meunax.


That's a cool idea, but when Olodu am Meunax dies, does the new carrier of the name get just Olodu, or both names?
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Re: Personal Names

Postby PeteBleackley » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:11 am

Maybe each name goes to a different person - maybe Menuax, being the older name, goes to an older candidate than Oluda.
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Re: Personal Names

Postby Matthew Turnbull » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:11 am

PeteBleackley wrote:Maybe each name goes to a different person - maybe Menuax, being the older name, goes to an older candidate than Oluda.


I like it, but perhaps there should be a time when a name is retired. For example, they might have some kind of "fetish?" whereupon is placed a name after it has been bourn by three humans or something. So Muenax starts out life on it's carrier, then gets passed to Olodu, and when Olodu dies, thier name goes to someone, and Muenax goes to whoever would have been next in line for Muenax after Olodu when Muenax died, and when that person dies, then it leaves human beings altogether and is passed into the fetish, where it will remain until...some kind of ceremonial unbinding from the "earthly plain"?

This scheme requires that there are rules about who gets what name though, perhaps the next-born direct same sex decendant of the names carrier gets it, followed by the next one born. So that means that if Muenax was male, then he had some children, then the next grandson or great-grandson born after his death carries his name as well as his own (he would be Olodu am Muenax). And then when Olodu dies, and then Olodu goes to the next born male hier of Olodu and Muenax goes to the next youngest male in the line after Olodu. When he dies Muenax goes to the fetish!

*phew*
ave matyu at vijeréiisoblarre ayna
saluton mi nomas mateo kaj lingvokreas mi
je me nomme Matthew Turnbull et je fais la glossopoésie
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