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SumnerH
01-28-2014, 06:43 PM
The Kyzian Empire is located on the planet of Aardia. It's the setting for a low-magic D&D campaign. I'm still getting a feel for the tools and figuring out how I'm going to do the final maps--I'm working on Linux, and have done some stuff straight-up in Inkscape, some Gimp stuff, and some with maptool as well.

I'm not super happy with any of these, but they're a first cut at learning to use the tools and figuring out some different kinds of maps that I may want to use. Detail level is extremely low for that reason (I want to decide exactly what I'm doing before I drill down too deeply).

Rhumb-line navigational map of the sea from someone with a bit more global knowledge. This is stark black and white, but it's meant to be printed on an aged parchment to give it some texture:
http://i59.tinypic.com/28wgzgg.jpg
Final effect when printed:
http://i57.tinypic.com/zlcgzo.jpg

Parchment-style "hand-drawn" map of the continent (the maelstrom swirl needs to be less CGI and I need to work on mountain distribution some). Written from the perspective of someone with very limited world info who's from the Porthelm area, and a much cruder hand-drawn coastline; this one has the cloth/parchmenty background in the image, as it's meant to be shown on screen:
http://i57.tinypic.com/24m8fol.jpg

Satellite-style regional map of that (Porthelm) area:
http://i59.tinypic.com/x5rsw7.png

Toy town map (of Cragshead) from maptool, but this is mostly just me learning how the tool works and will be completely reworked:
http://i57.tinypic.com/2lbi3wn.jpg

Tracker
01-28-2014, 07:08 PM
Hello:

It is a good start. Also no matter how anyone feels about the map, if you are not happy with it then you need to find a way to work it out. I am currently in the same boat. I like the satellite style map. Also the town map does provide data for the players / audience. The world navigational map(s) isn't bad. What are the navigational lines? Are they routes are they an arbitrary style of distance and directions? That is my only questions. I probably missed something on the maps.

Tracker

SumnerH
01-28-2014, 07:42 PM
They are rhumb lines (lines of constant compass bearing), which were used on in the pre-latitude/longitude days for dead reckoning on portolan nautical navigation charts.

Portolan chart - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portolan_chart)

Jalyha
01-28-2014, 08:00 PM
Hiya. That looks like a LOT of work. And very well done!

2 things... the rhumb line heading WNW from the compass to the "Inner Sea" label, it looks.. wobbly? (printed version) Is that intentional, or just my screen, or...


Second... I personally find the rhumb lines that go THROUGH the land/plaque/etc to be distracting.... I don't know what the standard is for these types of maps, but I should think if they were for sailing/navigation, having them only through the water would be fine? Just one opinion :P

SumnerH
01-28-2014, 09:47 PM
Hiya. That looks like a LOT of work. And very well done!

2 things... the rhumb line heading WNW from the compass to the "Inner Sea" label, it looks.. wobbly? (printed version) Is that intentional, or just my screen, or...


Second... I personally find the rhumb lines that go THROUGH the land/plaque/etc to be distracting.... I don't know what the standard is for these types of maps, but I should think if they were for sailing/navigation, having them only through the water would be fine? Just one opinion :P

Thanks!

The 2nd picture is actually of the map printed on paper, which has been rolled up and then unrolled on the table. It's curled somewhat, so the lines look wobbly there. They are straight in the original file (and straight if you hold the paper out flat). I like having a physical artifact to give the players, makes it feel more real sometimes.

My last post has a link to the portolan chart wiki entry that has a picture of a real 1300s-era example; the lines ran over the land. It's not intended for land navigation, so they apparently just took a straight edge and ran it through the whole map--they also don't draw any inland cities or terrain on these maps. Once you hit land, you're expected to pull out a land-based map I guess.

SumnerH
01-28-2014, 11:11 PM
Oh, also I should note that the fact that the rhumb lines are straight implies that the map is a Mercator projection (or closely similar projection)--that's how the Mercator got popular in the first place.

SumnerH
01-29-2014, 08:54 AM
Here's a look at some of my workflow, especially the layers in Inkscape:
http://i58.tinypic.com/i6l0k2.png

They're similar to what's in the tutorial here, but I have some additional things. The rhumb lines are obviously unique to someone who wants nautical maps, but some stuff could be broadly useful:

* 2 sets of city layers, one in smaller size with many cities for regional maps, one in larger size with only major cities for zoomed out world views
* Climate lines, that show the tropics and the arctic circles. This is useful as I'm laying out terrain to make sure I'm placing things roughly at the correct latitudes
* The "Terrain type" and "Mountains bound" layers just have really rough shapes outlining where is going to have hills/forest/mountains/etc; I fill those in with detail on the appropriate other layers. But I can just rough outline them so that if I get bored with placing mountains I can move on to something else and yet still know (and see) the extent of where the ranges are going to finish up.
* "Coastline scratch" is just a quick sketch of where the continents are going to be, done at a totally zoomed out (entire world view) level. That lets me rough out where the continents go, then I zoom in to continent level and draw the actual detailed continent's coastline. For now only the 2 local continents are done in detail, but I can zoom out and see where everything is and can have people in the world talk intelligently about that spice traffic with the continent to the southwest or whatver.
* "Coastline hand" is a hand-traced version of the coastline, so I can have some maps that look more hand-drawn and less detailed.

I had a "coastline concentric" layer for the concentric continental shelf lines (seen in the nautical chart above) but I'm going to redo those somewhat so it's missing at the moment.

Layers are trivial to add and remove and give you tons of flexibility, so may as well use more rather than less!

SumnerH
01-29-2014, 09:18 AM
And the scratch coastline layer; this will be tinkered with a ton before finishing everything out, but helps me have a mental guideline of roughly where things are going to end up:
http://i62.tinypic.com/68zvax.png

EDIT: You can see the equator/tropics/arctic circle here, which are useful to have visible when placing continents.

Jalyha
01-29-2014, 11:36 AM
wait how do you do that? Just put the lines on a seperate layer? That could be useful!

SumnerH
01-29-2014, 12:34 PM
wait how do you do that? Just put the lines on a seperate layer? That could be useful!

Yeah, the climate layer is just those lines (the graticule and rhumb layers have additional overlay lines).

SumnerH
01-30-2014, 03:37 PM
Playing around with some filters to have passable looking mountains in Inkscape rather than have to switch to bitmaps and lose scalability:

http://i58.tinypic.com/1zn65jr.jpg

This is a base level of tan, a mid-level of grey that is inset by 15 pixels and has Filters->Textures->Ink Blot applied, and a top level of white that's inset about 20 pixels and has Filters->Textures->Crumpled Plastic. Both are with default options.

SumnerH
01-31-2014, 01:46 PM
Should I post more stuff about inkscape textures in here as I learn it, or should I start another thread in the tools forum for that?

SumnerH
02-04-2014, 05:06 PM
Placing more rivers--is there anything insane about this placement?

Brown areas will be mountains, light green areas will be hills (and where they run near mountains should be foothills becoming higher mountains, without flatland in between).
http://i59.tinypic.com/2ezmgp5.jpg

Azelor
02-04-2014, 07:12 PM
Your rivers look just fine. Your mountains from the last map look like clouds, they would look more like mountains if they where sharper.

SumnerH
02-04-2014, 07:47 PM
Thanks, yeah I'm still working out how to do decent textures in Inkscape (and whether I want to go for realistic or hand-drawn terrain).

SumnerH
02-05-2014, 06:20 PM
Filling in some lakes and smaller rivers, and now that the rivers are placed I can start placing more towns and roads. The road will eventually continue south of Heliopolis once I figure some things out. It probably becomes more of a path at Innsbruck.

Essentially, Porthelm is the capitol city and Heliopolis is the religious capitol of Kyzia, but the south (visible on above maps) is ruled by Phillippia. Those two areas are allied but fractured, and formerly were one vast empire (sort of like the Byzantine empire and Rome in later centuries). The northern areas were nominally under their control as well, but never very firmly.

http://i58.tinypic.com/2rz2uk7.png

Falconius
02-05-2014, 06:43 PM
Well if you do the hand drawn stuff in Inkscape it will also be vectors and so the only issue will be that the icons wont shrink.

I'm really curious as to why you seem to have Mediterranean sounding names such as Heliopolis and Phillipia (which I guess could be sort of Frenchy, but at first I took to be a spin on Philadelphus) in a region with mostly really anglo sounding names like Old Town, and Darby and so forth?

I like the extensions you did on the rivers they look much more convincing now.

SumnerH
02-05-2014, 06:50 PM
On the phone, but briefly: the southern part of the map is all more Mediterranean, the north is more Scandinavian. This central part is more Anglo/Gaelic, but with some crossover especially in the major religious city of Heliopolis which sees many priests and pilgrims from the south.

Sent from my LG-D800 using Tapatalk

Azelor
02-05-2014, 06:50 PM
Well if you do the hand drawn stuff in Inkscape it will also be vectors and so the only issue will be that the icons wont shrink.

I'm really curious as to why you seem to have Mediterranean sounding names such as Heliopolis and Phillipia (which I guess could be sort of Frenchy, but at first I took to be a spin on Philadelphus) in a region with mostly really anglo sounding names like Old Town, and Darby and so forth?

I like the extensions you did on the rivers they look much more convincing now.

Maybe names could be improved a bit for consistency for some but it's good in general. Also, Heliopolis and Phillipia , that's not french at all. Heliopolis is definitely greek and Phillipia is Phillipia.

SumnerH
02-06-2014, 12:17 AM
Thanks for the comments! More on the vector/hand-drawn issue later, this is mostly about naming.

So here's my thinking. I'm not wedded to it, so definitely feel free to criticize/comment/etc:

1. The original language was a Greek-style language. It's been supplanted most places, but in a few areas it remains--I'm thinking that Heliopolis, as the religious capitol, would be among the most conservative places in terms of name changes and so it's a holdover. Phillipia is similar as the capitol of the southern country (which was less influenced by modern cultural changes).
2. After that was a latinate language, which is still the language of wizards and the educated; such names are more common in the south (Terra Nova and such), but those names also have some pull in the central area (which is the one I posted earlier).
3. After that, the central area's current culture is of a predominately Anglo linguistic background--lots of British/Gaelic sounding towns in that region. They have some sway in the south as well.
4. The north has a strong Danish/Norwegian/Scandinavian bent, so you see those names up ther.
5. The dwarves have a Germanic bent, which you see toward the mountains somewhat in the central regions. In areas where they've been long-established, the humans have alternative names for them and so you see things like "Deep Delve" instead of Germanic stuff. Or if they were translated in earlier years they may have Latinate names (the Dwarven "Silvermouth" is "Argenta" to humans). But the smaller towns just go by the Germanic names (Jarndorff, which might be "Ironland" if it were ever famous enough to be translated, and the like) because they're not famous enough to have humanized names. Much like the real world, where Moscow and St. Petersburg have American/English variants, but once you get regions that do less trade with English speakers you're stuck with Sochi/Vladivostok/etc because they're not prominent enough to have popular Anglicized names.
6. Other races also break the human naming scheme--the elves have cities translated into human tongues as Birchhaven, Ironwood, and the like. The bugbears have Myconeum and Underwatch, the halflings have Bramblewood, etc.

I'm very open to discussion on this--I think names are very important, and while I've thought about it a fair bit I wouldn't be shocked if some of you have some cool ideas here.

I guess this conversation needs some of the rest of the place names.

The North:
http://i58.tinypic.com/10zz7l2.jpg

The South:
http://i60.tinypic.com/2m7670g.jpg

Just a few reasons for some of the specific naming choices:

Lots of the north draws from pseudo-Nordic/Scandinavian stuff. e.g. the Vikings referred to barbarians or outsiders as Skraelings; the town of Skraalsberg is a border area that was intermittently controlled by northerners or by the outsiders from below.
Koeningshaven is basically "Kingstown"--that's sort of a joke/sad happenstance. It's not the ancestral ruling city, it's where the kings had to retreat when the Empire conquered most of the north.
Vallekilde is roughly "Valley of the Killed"--it's a borderland area where many brutal battles took place.
Tradsborg is "the city of Trade", located centrally and a major market town.
Cumbria has an Anglicized name, as the primary city that the south conquered and held for a long time.

In the central region (from the post above):
Bath is a hot springs area, named for the baths there.
Lochsberg is at the north end of a loch (lake)
Unnamed as of yet are the underwater cities of the lakefolk (called "gillfaces" by many insensitive humans).
Birchaven/Ironwood are Elvish.
Innsbruck is the northernmost city that wasn't a border/war town during wars with the north, hence the most northern travel destination where there are many inns.
Norford is the ford to the north of Porthelm (the capitol city, where many positions are judged from). Sudford is the closest major ford to the south of Porthelm.
Eastgate stands at a mountain pass that leads to the desert--it's the "Eastern Gate", pretty literally.
Harvieston lies next to fertile plains and supplies harvests to most of the empire, hence the name.

To the south:
The central and south are cut off by plains dominated by gnolls and kobolds (kobolds are small dog-men, not reptiles); Dog's End is the name of one of the primary defense cities against those folk (as humanoid hyenas/dogs, they're referred to as curfolk or dogmen or the like, and Dog's End is a blustery place name intended to hold them at bay).
Fort Briar is likewise named for local fauna and position as a defense town.
Grappa is a vineyard/wine town.
Argenta and Deep Delve are dwarven mining/homeland towns old enough to have humanized names.
Pine Harbor is an important shipbuilding area with very tall, straight local trees (akin to the cedars of Lebanon or such in Earth's history)
Terra Nova was an outlier far enough away that its name was never Anglicized; it's pseudo-colony, pseudo-city and of great (though currently unrecognized) importance in the history of the realms.


Like I said, I think naming is extremely important so please feel free to offer suggestions, criticisms, etc!


Last, a very brief description of the intelligent inhabitants I had already written (the players begin in the small town of Cragshead):

The empire of Kyzia (in which Cragshead is situated) lies between the Southmarch and the Northlands, to the west of the Grey Mountains. Long ago all three were unified as the Kyzian Empire, but approximately 200 years ago the empire began to shrink.

First the Northlands--only recently conquered to begin with--rebelled and split away, leaving the region in the hands of a rough and barbaric band of human occupants.

Later, in the south, hostile hill people (the dog-folk, Anthrocrocuta minimus and A. erectus, known colloquially as kobolds and gnolls) drove a wedge between the Southmarch and the remainder of the empire. While Kyzia and the Southmarch remain amiable, the union is fractured. The hills and mountains of the Southmarch are the ancestral homeland of Homo fossor, the dwarven folk--they are rarely found elsewhere, though a small colony has moved to the Dark Hills high on the Falls River to work the mines there.

The Grey Mountains are home to the cave-folk: Troglo vulgaris, the common goblin, and its larger siblings Troglo terriblis (the hobgoblin) and Troglo destructor (the fearsome urgoblins). History claims that their cousin Troglo ursus (the bugbear) was once nearly as feared as the urgoblin, but the Empire at its height drove them close to extinction to the point where they capitulated and implemented the code of honor for which that noble folk are now known.

A handful of other intelligent species merit mention: both the peaceful Homo minimus, the halfling folk, and the larger and more aggressive H. colossus (the ogres) live in the hills extending westward from the Grey Mountains. The latter can be aggressive on their own territory, but are generally unwilling to approach human settlements for fear of retribution. Many of the high lakes are home to Icthyus anthropus, the gillfaces, who tend toward xenophobia but aren't overtly aggressive if left alone. And the giants, Homo gigantus, tend to make their homes in the high hills and mountains--even the cave-folk leave them alone.

SumnerH
02-06-2014, 12:35 AM
Thanks for the comments! More on the vector/hand-drawn issue later, this is mostly about naming.

The bugbears have Myconeum

I realized this may seem nonsensical--the bugbears are a reformed, law-abiding folk, and grow tons of fungi. Hence the myco- prefix (meaning mushroom); Myconeum is one of their biggest mushroom-growing underground cities.

Jalyha
02-06-2014, 12:50 AM
Oh words! Fun! :)

I haven't actually studied the map yet, buttttttttttttttt... your breakdown seems logical, as far as naming progression :)

It will probably depend a lot on a few things though.

(Disclaimer: I'm NOT a linguist.. this is all just fun for me :) )

1) Scale/size/intent (they're tied in together).

HIGHLY generalized/over-simplified:

First of all, in a smaller area, there are (for communication's sake) usually going to be less variation in dialects. You have to speak the same language as your neighbor to understand he wants your cow in exchange for his beans. The larger the area, the more likely that the language will diverge.

Ex: A village finds a glass bottle (stole that idea from a movie) and they have never seen anything like that before. Everyone is going to look at it and play with it, but if Big Chief calls it a "Yutime" then everyone is going to call it "yutime".

If glass bottles find their way into a few nearby villages, who trade with each other often, then they will, similarly, attempt to find a common name. But it starts to break down from this point on.

Big Chief of another village might call it something else, and they will either blend the names somehow, adopt a single name for the bottle, or continue calling it different things.

Someone from a village with no bottles comes and hears this strange word "Yutime" one time, as he trades his magic beans for it. He takes it home and can't pronounce yutime so he tells his friends it's a "Yuthim".

Then you get into common terms and slang, and...

And.. lots of stuff... point is.. the further apart the people are, the more diverse their language becomes.

If all these different conquerors lived on ONE smallish continent, and no one came from elsewhere, their languages are likely to be more similar, overall.

If you look at it, European nations tend to have similar languages, and african languages follow a certain pattern (except for french - which has its' own history) and germanic/dutch/nordic languages... they're all different, but similarities tend to grow stronger the nearer they are to one another.

(I repeat: LOTS of generalizations here!)


Given that it's a large/diverse enough area, and your names work that way... you mentioned "anglicized names" for certain areas, and that's true. But people who live in those cities will not, typically, call them by the anglicized names. So if someone outside your mapped-area *(or from one region with a totally different language/dialect) is making the map, you might see more diversity in the names, as well.

2) How long did the conquerors remain? It usually takes anywhere from 10 years to a couple generations for people to adopt the language of a conqueror. If I take over your country, and tell you an apple is called a "hapr", you might say "hapr" in front of me, but at home, or with your neighbors at the store, you're going to say "apple". It takes the *children* learning "hapr" to change the name of the apple. :)

So if your kingdoms were overrun by several armies in quick succession, all the apples (and the cities) will still have their common names.

If the militaries stayed a while... then yes, it makes sense that many things would have changed.

3) What do YOU intend for your map?

There's a difference between accuracy and what people (in general) will accept as accurate.

My neighbor SWEARS there are 58 states in the USA (if you're not from here and don't know, there's 50). She cannot accept that there's 50, no matter how much I do to prove it. It just *feels* wrong to her.

If the names *feel* wrong to all your players, or readers, or w/e, and they aren't the type to fact-check and adjust their opinions, then they won't ever accept this discrepancy in the names.

If they're more open minded, they might.

If you don't have an intended market (if it's just for you) and strict accuracy matters to you, or if it's for some sort of academic project, then do it up right.

Unfortunately, you can't really know how others will react until it's a done thing, but...

Anyway... I'm going to shut up now, and examine your map/history, because it keeps me entertained :P

xoxoxo

SumnerH
02-06-2014, 01:25 AM
Please do. Especially on the "feels" part: let me know what "feels" wrong. That's ultimately the most important thing to me.

The entire continent is about 3000 miles from the tundra to Argenta/Silvermouth, and 1000 miles from Cumbria to the mountains.

The unified empire ruled for about 400 years before they started slipping, and began crumbling about 200 years ago (first losing the north, and then only about 100-125 years ago splintering into the central and southern countries).

The entire map is meant to be what an educated person from the central (Porthelm) area would use, in their "Anglo-ish" language. But the latinate language is still the erudite language everywhere (not the vulgate), much like actual Latin was in the middle ages.

Well, really it's targeted at my players, but they essentially come from the central area.

EDIT: And calling the north a country is optimistic. It's really a group of many different subregions that share a culture. The central and south have smaller divisions as well, and racial divisions, but there's at least a minimal overarching structure left over from the Empire (think of the early days of the Bynzantine Empire/Holy Roman Empire, when those were more than nominal names--there were feuding chiefs, but still a nominal fealty to one larger structure and a unifying faith).

Also, unlike the real world the gods are clear and interventionist, so different cultures share a single religion. If you want the brief overview there, check http://sumnerhayes.com/static/dnd/gods.html

Jalyha
02-06-2014, 03:16 AM
Okay, most of it looks good just going on "feel"... and probably fairly accurate too (though it's hard to make out some of the names on my screen!)

Here's my "feels".

You've got a LOT of different languages of origin here, which is okay, but it leads to problems.

You'd expect a frequently overthrown nation (or group of nations) to have a few naming exceptions.. but not a lot.

I see 15 towns/cities large enough to be named on the map of the "north".

Most of the names have a germanic/nordic feel to them, but even a few of those are (partly) anglicized. "Oarsberg", for example, I would expect something more like "Rudersberg" or, written by your anglicized citizen "Rudder's Berg".

That wouldn't bother me, at all, but as you get further south, (still in the north) the names make less sense coming from the language of origin. *That* grouping would make more sense (nearer to mixed-language borders) if oarsberg and cumbria weren't so far away.

So it isn't groupings.. it feels kind of ... random. That grouping (southeast on the map of the north) you have BATH (I might go with "Batham" or "Baeth" or "Baen" or... Fully accurate or not, "Bath" is widely perceived as *English*, but with your "north" name groupings, it would flow better if it were norse, or germanic, or even *Old English*.
Then you have lochsberg which is decidedly gaelic in feel. (And I haven't seen much else on the map that's decidedly gaelic. It's only "by a loch" if you have people who say "loch".

It's a lake.

"See", "Binnensee", "meer" , "plas", all terms that would *feel* more authentic here.

And then, birchhaven, ironswood... we've lost all "origin of the names" feeling for the entire north. There's no *order* to it. So even if it makes sense given the history, the first glance at this region of your map is going to feel ... off.


The south... the names are about 50/50. That would be okay if... they were all in one area, or they were all "outlying" areas, or if they were all central areas, or ... this is a mix of all of those things. Yes, it makes a sort of sense in black and white, but it doesn't feel natural.

Your central region follows the same "pattern" as the north and south, with different language origins.

Finally... yes, some of the more complicated (to a foreign tongue) place names won't be anglicized... probably ever, lol, but most ... even dot-on-the-map sized places (pun? Anyone?) *WILL* typically be anglicized (especially in a quasi-medieval society) when written down by your anglicized citizen.

If you give me, for example, "Lundsfeld", I'm going to say "Landsfield", even if that's wrong, because that's the way *my* life/world/language works. It takes a lot of advancement in thought before being politically correct (which makes that a no-no) becomes an issue.


I could go on all night, but, it's 2 AM and I talk too much, so...

If it were *me*, I would either anglicize every name you can (as your fictional cartographer probably would by rote) OR...


or write the names as they would have been (except for 2-3 key locations) for each region. Make *everything* in the north nordic, except for Cumbria. De-anglicize everything in the south... nothing there large enough to have been changed, from the look of it.


I just think you're picking your *starting* names from too many pools.

I'd go back and do all the Northern names in the language pool of Nordic/Scandinavian/Dutch/German/Norwegian languages.

I'd go all greek/roman/latin in the south.

Work your way through the center (from both directions) mingling the two languages.

Or, again, write everything in english, with very exceptions only in 2-3 key cities through the whole map.


Then again, 1) I'm no linguist, 2) Mine is only one opinion! and 3) I'm going off "feel" because you said you wanted to know that specifically. :)

Maybe your players feel differently?

SumnerH
02-06-2014, 04:42 AM
Thanks. One note: Bath/Lochsberg/Ironwood/Birchhaven are really part of the more central country. Although they're located to the north, they're on the rivers that flow to the south (down to Porthelm) and are populated by those people . The latter two are elvish cities that are named in translation. Bath is decidedly "English"--you got the feel right there--because it's populated by "Central" people.

Lochsberg is a silly name and should be changed for sure.

Likewise, Greenville and Cupsberg on the south map are really central cities (being on the river that flows up to Heliopolis). The latter of those is a dumb name and merits a change.


I'm still reading the rest of what you wrote. Looks like there are some good thoughts in there. I especially like the idea of "latinizing" more in the South--I kind of like Dog's End conceptually but it sounds dorky. Contracana or Morcanis or something would be less obvious but still sensible.

I also should tighten up the Danish/Norwegian theme up north and get rid of Oarsberg and such halfway names.


About this though:

even dot-on-the-map sized places (pun? Anyone?) *WILL* typically be anglicized (especially in a quasi-medieval society) when written down by your anglicized citizen.


I'm not sure I agree completely. Place names are generally one of the slowest things to change, once an area is named it tends to stick for a long time even when the spoken language changes.

Just looking at a map of England you'll find names with roots from Old English (Acton, Ludleigh, Shepshed) , Norse (Huthwaite, Threlkeld), Scots and Irish Gaelic (Knockentiber, Tillcoultry), Latin (Pontifex, Glen Parva, Chorlton-cum-Hardy), Cornish (Tywardreath, Nancledra), French (Chester-le-Street), Welsh (Cwmbran, Mynydd Moel), along with Pictish, Cumbrian, Brythonic, and tons of other languages. Likewise in Italy you have names from Greek, Latin, Oscan, Etruscan, Umbrian, etc. In the US just the state names come from English, Spanish, various Native American languages, Hawaiian, and French and when you start looking at cities it gets far more diverse (Syracuse, Rome, Ithaca, Palmyra, and Troy are all in upstate New York as well as the Mediterranean).

Heck, we construct de-Anglicized names ourselves in America: we'll stick the Greek -polis on the end of non-Greek city names we make up (Minneapolis, Indianapolis), and we'll have a zillion different manufactured names from different linguistic roots even for one base name (Lincoln, NE; Lincolnia, VA; Lincolnville, ME; Lincolnberg, AB, etc) or even many spellings of the same base name from different sources (Louisville, Lewiston, etc). I live in Alexandria, Virginia (Greek origin), which is next to Fairfax (English), Hybla (Italian) Valley, Potomac (Native American), Fort Belvoir (French), etc.

Jalyha
02-06-2014, 12:11 PM
:)

I think I wasn't clear. (Probably because I was sleepy!) I didn't mean that the names of all those places would change. I meant that someone from another language would CALL them differently. People are, by nature, lazy (with words, at least).

They're going to simplify names that are easily translated, or use words that make more sense to them.

Recently, when being lazy with other cultures became politically incorrect, that changed, but like...


I don't know how technical I can go with this, but I'd like to be accurate. What I'm talking about are called "exonyms" which were very common, more so, until recently.

That is: Names with a similar sound and meaning, have translations in foreign languages *automatically* that are NOT used in the place being named.

The first time an Englishman hears "Bourgogne" he can't pronounce it, so he *says* "Burgandy". He says it to the general, he says it to the king, and THEY parrot it back, and it becomes "Burgandy" in English. It's still not the actual name, but that's the name in English.

Here's a list of only the *most* common/well known of these exonyms (only the English ones, but they exist for every culture) can be found here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_exonyms).

What you are talking about are endonyms - The local or common names for places.


My point is that an early cartographer would either use the endonyms (one of the last things to change) OR the exonyms (one of the first things to change - often before there's ever a dispute)... not both.



As for the names in England, Italy, and America - there are three different reasonings there.

1) England - England is (sorry guys!) a VERY small country. It's changed hands A LOT, and every time it does, the people tend to stay in power for some time. So it picks up a lot of... oddities. (More on England/English after this)

2) Italy - these are not oddities, and they are not exonyms. These are languages which all have the same ORIGIN, and that is how the names are derived from so many places so easily. It's not like the difference between Norwegian and Scottish... it's like the difference between English and American English. They're derived from the same place, most of the root words are the same.

3) America is an atypical example of *anything*. First of all, it wasn't conquered - there were no enemy armies to stalk, or walled cities to beseige. America was *stolen* outright. That does happen, occasionally, in history, but generally, the people of a stolen country will rise up and fight back, and eventually either drive out their enemies, or cede gracefully and become part of the new

That didn't happen in America. In some parts of the country you had people from one nation, in others another a different nation, and so on... America was being overrun by several nations at once, in different areas - fine for awhile, as it was pretty vast for the time. So you have spanish influences happening (very rapidly, as the conquered peoples can't rise up again - they are dead) in south/central america, and french influences happening above those, and to either side of the English influences happening in the center, and ALL of these cultures are operating seperately, but between them, they're committing mass-genocide.

Wasn't really anyone's fault at that point - that's what happens when countries are conquered or at war - people die. The losing side dies more. But this was like... 5 different wars all happening at the same time, with little to no communication between them, and small pockets of peace in the center.

It was chaos. So in each area, the conquerors leave their mark "This area will be called THUS" in their own language OR those of the conquered nations.

Wait, nations? Yes. America wasn't "the indians (or Native Americans)" when it was invaded. It was SEVERAL nations, all with a similar language of origin, but with their own derivative languages and cultures.

Each a different nation, just squished onto one landmass, instead of several. People just don't see that because there were no official political borders. But, just as Europe had Italy and France and Briton, and Scots and Irish and...

America had Cherokee and Chippewa, and Hopi, and Sioux and Mohican, and Chocktaw, and Iroquis, and...

As each of these *several different* countries was conquered (by seperate nations, and over the course of *Centuries* of different rulers in each of those nations) each of those regions took on characteristics of its' conquerors.

So you have Italian/Spanish sounding names near the border between north/central america, and French names to the southeast, and English names spread all along the coast.

America also came late into the game. Most of these languages were nearly fully developed, and had started (relatively) modern trends in naming. Cities are called Something-opolis, or Something-ville, or something-berg, yes, but if you look at the people who *settled* in that area, you'll see that the suffix reflected the conquering culture.

So ... take minneapolis, for example - in that region (Minnesota, which is, by itself, bigger than all of England) you'll still find a *majority* of germanic and native-american names, with some latin thrown in in later years.

In the Virginia area, you'll find MOSTLY English and native american names, with some latin thrown in in later years.


In the louisiana area, it will be *mostly* french and native american, with some latin... blah blah blah.

America wasn't one country... it was several, and the names are grouped accordingly.

THEN we became a single country, and opened doors to... well... everyone. And each culture came and built its' own cities and made its' own stamp on their little pockets of land.

That's why America is called a melting pot. It is, by nature - different. *Other*.



But again... these are all very modern exceptions, because America was found/founded in relatively modern times, and I didn't get a "modern" feel from your description of your lands.

And... i was going to go into grouping languages by common languages of origin, and more about why england/english is weird, but... I think this is too long already so I'll go back to my playpen :P


Fact is... if you want the names, you should keep them. It's possible... might even be plausible, there's nothing wrong with them.. but you asked for discussion and this is a bit of an obsession for me, so....

kbye

xoxoxo

SumnerH
02-06-2014, 02:45 PM
Thanks for taking the time on this. So far I've made the following at your suggestion:

Nordifying the North (as noted, Bath and points south are really "Central" despite geographic location):
Oarsberg -> Utland. The former wasn't really sensible to begin with, the latter ("outlying area") sticks to Nordic roots.
Wintersgaard -> Vintersgaard.
Oxenholm -> Oxholm. The plural in Nordic would be "Okser", and I don't like the look/sound of that so I went with the singular to keep it to its roots.

Romancing the South:
Dog's End -> Contracanis
Fort Briar -> Castravespis? I'm unhappy here. May punt on the original name and just go with something Latin. Or maybe this is an exception.
River's End -> Fons Alta ("High spring/source")
Hermitage -> Peregrinus (pilgrim/traveller)
Pine Harbor -> Porta Robura (Oak port)

Other (just doofus names to begin with)
Lochsberg -> Portishead
Cupsberg -> Broadkirk




:)
I think I wasn't clear. (Probably because I was sleepy!) I didn't mean that the names of all those places would change. I meant that someone from another language would CALL them differently. People are, by nature, lazy (with words, at least).

They're going to simplify names that are easily translated, or use words that make more sense to them.

Recently, when being lazy with other cultures became politically incorrect, that changed, but like...


I don't know how technical I can go with this, but I'd like to be accurate. What I'm talking about are called "exonyms" which were very common, more so, until recently.

That is: Names with a similar sound and meaning, have translations in foreign languages *automatically* that are NOT used in the place being named.

Yes, English has Moscow for Muscovy, Vienna for Vien, Prague for Praha...



What you are talking about are endonyms - The local or common names for places.


My point is that an early cartographer would either use the endonyms (one of the last things to change) OR the exonyms (one of the first things to change - often before there's ever a dispute)... not both.

Ahh, yes, I think this is the source of some of our disagreement. To me, calling places in the south or north by English names is incorrect use of exonyms unless those places were colonized by the central folk for a prolonged period of time (see: Cumbria). That I want to eliminate for sure.

But the central is messy and has been ruled by different regimes through the centuries and has different cultures living there; the endonyms are going to have different backgrounds.



2) Italy - these are not oddities, and they are not exonyms. These are languages which all have the same ORIGIN, and that is how the names are derived from so many places so easily.

It's not like the difference between Norwegian and Scottish... it's like the difference between English and American English. They're derived from the same place, most of the root words are the same.

This isn't exactly right. Those languages don't really have the same origin, except in the sense that they're all Indo-European: Norwegian and English, both being Germanic languages, are more closely related than Etruscan or Oscan (let alone Greek) are to Latin (or Italian or French or Provencal or whatever Romance language).

Etruscan predates Latin and died out around the 1st century AD; its closest relatives are Tyrsenian and Raetic--it's not even in the broad "Italic" family, let alone a Romance language or dialect of Italian. Oscan and Umbrian are Italic but not Latin/Romance languages which also died out between 100BC and 100AD; they are distantly related to Latin in the way that German and English are distantly related).

Sample of Oscan text, transliterated into our alphabet: "ekkum svaí píd herieset/trííbarak avúm tereí púd/liímítúm pernúm púís/herekleís fíísnú mefiíst".
Sample Etruscan: "pe raścemulml escul, zuci en esci epl, tularu. Auleśi, Velθina-ś Arznal, clenśi,"

The point in bringing them up is that place names are "sticky": even long-dead languages like this survive in place names. For some dead languages, toponyms are the only (or at least primary) place that they're attested, in fact.



3) America is an atypical example of *anything*.

Agreed, I brought it up as a counterpoint to older countries to show that even young countries who had a chance to name everything recently still have plenty of linguistic variation. But it's not really relevant.



So ... take minneapolis, for example - in that region (Minnesota, which is, by itself, bigger than all of England) you'll still find a *majority* of germanic and native-american names, with some latin thrown in in later years.

In the Virginia area, you'll find MOSTLY English and native american names, with some latin thrown in in later years.

Agreed, but you'll also find a minority of French and Spanish and German Swedish and whatever other names all over. Which is what I'm getting at in the central region: it should be MOSTLY Anglo/English style names, but making everything English/Anglo seems way too clean and neat to be true--it's the sort of thing you'd only find in a designed/fictional world. You need some messiness because things evolved haphazardly, they weren't designed from the ground up.



Fact is... if you want the names, you should keep them. It's possible... might even be plausible, there's nothing wrong with them.. but you asked for discussion and this is a bit of an obsession for me, so....


I'm enjoying your comments, I don't want you to think I'm rejecting anything without considering them (see: the passel of cities I've already renamed at your suggestion!) and even when I don't necessarily agree I think you're raising interesting points that make me think. Thanks very much!

SumnerH
02-06-2014, 02:48 PM
Another toponym-related thing:
I'm also not sure about the Elvish cities (currently Ironwood and Birchhaven) and Dwarvish cities (currently Deep Delve and Argenta in the south and the much more recently founded Jarndorff and Glistham in the central region) and other racial cities.

My instinct is that all racial cities get translated into a human language.

Exactly how is where I'm muddy. Right now:

1. If you do a lot of trade with the central area then they're used to you referring to your city by name (as the northern Dwarvish cities do), you get an Anglicized version of the foreign name (Jarndorff, Glistham). This is like being Moscow or Rome and closely tied enough to London that they have an exonym that's based in the real name.
2. If not, then if you're very well known up there they'll have an English made-up exonym for you, often a translation if the original name still carries meaning (Ironwood, Birchhaven, Deep Delve).
3. If you're not well known, then there won't necessarily even be an English exonym: they'll call you whatever the local humans in your area came up with (a Latinized name if you're in the south, a Nordicized name in the north, etc: Argenta is the only one right now, but any southern dwarvish cities other than the ancestral homeland of Deep Delve will get this treatment). This is akin to the English referring to Oranjestad in Aruba: the only time they discuss is really in the context of the Dutch, so they just use the local/Dutch name for it.

In particular, the elves are so reclusive that pretty much nothing is in category 1 for them (maybe their language is unpronounceable, too).

But I'm not sold on all that.

Jalyha
02-06-2014, 04:46 PM
Oh, I think I like you :)

Okay, so... (I don't know where to start!!)


Thanks for taking the time on this. So far I've made the following at your suggestion:

Nordifying the North (as noted, Bath and points south are really "Central" despite geographic location):
Oarsberg -> Utland. The former wasn't really sensible to begin with, the latter ("outlying area") sticks to Nordic roots.
Wintersgaard -> Vintersgaard.
Oxenholm -> Oxholm. The plural in Nordic would be "Okser", and I don't like the look/sound of that so I went with the singular to keep it to its roots.

Romancing the South:
Dog's End -> Contracanis
Fort Briar -> Castravespis? I'm unhappy here. May punt on the original name and just go with something Latin. Or maybe this is an exception.
River's End -> Fons Alta ("High spring/source")
Hermitage -> Peregrinus (pilgrim/traveller)
Pine Harbor -> Porta Robura (Oak port)

Other (just doofus names to begin with)
Lochsberg -> Portishead
Cupsberg -> Broadkirk

Overall, I think it will feel more natural with these choices... and I (in no way) meant that there shouldn't be *any* exceptions... just that, with the small number of cities/towns you have listed, it felt like too many exceptions (between 1/4 and 1/2 of the names following no rule).

I think Fort Briar as an exception would be fine.. especially if it were so named during an event of great significance.

I haven't looked up the names listed here, but they *feel* more natural in this grouping.

Just going on instinct here... Broadkirk = Scottish? Feels that way. Honestly, I think your map would be fine with those changes alone.

But... for conversation's sake:


Yes, English has Moscow for Muscovy, Vienna for Vien, Prague for Praha...

Wasn't sure what the level of understanding was here. Most people don't realize exactly *how* prevalent this is. Not JUST for English.. Every culture has exonyms for every other culture in much the same way (until you get to the most recently integrated societies, but that's a whole different topic...) Point being, exonyms *ARE* far more prevalent than most people believe... and the further back you go in history, the more common this practice was.




Ahh, yes, I think this is the source of some of our disagreement. To me, calling places in the south or north by English names is incorrect use of exonyms unless those places were colonized by the central folk for a prolonged period of time (see: Cumbria). That I want to eliminate for sure.

But the central is messy and has been ruled by different regimes through the centuries and has different cultures living there; the endonyms are going to have different backgrounds.

Were we disagreeing? I think merely talking about two different influences on naming. :) And you're right, the use of exonyms IS/Would be incorrect. But people in earlier societies simply did not see it that way. You're imposing your views on your fictional cartographer (The Guy in your fantasy world who supposedly made the map - assuming that you, as yourself, don't exist there.) That's why I listed 2 directions it could go. If your world frowns on the use of exonyms as common practice, there would be barely any "english" sounding names on the map at all. If they are more like early mankind here on earth, it would be the majority of cities/towns considered worth mapping.

The variety of ENDOnyms in the central area would make sense if it were just that region (which, it sounds like, with the changes of names in the north and south, it is. :) )




This isn't exactly right. Those languages don't really have the same origin, except in the sense that they're all Indo-European: Norwegian and English, both being Germanic languages, are more closely related than Etruscan or Oscan (let alone Greek) are to Latin (or Italian or French or Provencal or whatever Romance language).

Etruscan predates Latin and died out around the 1st century AD; its closest relatives are Tyrsenian and Raetic--it's not even in the broad "Italic" family, let alone a Romance language or dialect of Italian. Oscan and Umbrian are Italic but not Latin/Romance languages which also died out between 100BC and 100AD; they are distantly related to Latin in the way that German and English are distantly related).

Sample of Oscan text, transliterated into our alphabet: "ekkum svaí píd herieset/trííbarak avúm tereí púd/liímítúm pernúm púís/herekleís fíísnú mefiíst".
Sample Etruscan: "pe raścemulml escul, zuci en esci epl, tularu. Auleśi, Velθina-ś Arznal, clenśi,"

The point in bringing them up is that place names are "sticky": even long-dead languages like this survive in place names. For some dead languages, toponyms are the only (or at least primary) place that they're attested, in fact.

Yeee....esss... sort of. Depends on which *theory* of language evolution you follow. (This is why I'm not a linguist... huge debate (he says argument) with the instructor on the first day of class when he put up something like this:

61100


However... language evolution is MUCH more complex than that. It isn't linear at all and can't be expressed that way. It's migratory, in ways, completely fluid in others. All of those initial lines, shooting out of your Proto-indo-european origins? Those represent *centuries* of families and villages, spreading slowly further and further away, but as the populations GROW in some central areas, they develop a sort of merged dialect with the neighbors on either side.

It's a lllooooooonnnng time before you get anything recognizably different in one area as opposed to another... "Balto-Slavic" vs "Italic" vs "Tocharian". They're all very similar *at the start*. And, it's more of a ring, than a tree.

Balto-Slavic languages start out being most similar to Germanic in some ways and Tocharian in other ways.

Italic languages are VERY closely related, initially, to both the hellenic AND celtic languages...

I don't know how to illustrate it. Italic is grey. Grey is a shade of black (Hellenic). Grey is a shade of white (celtic). But black and white are, essentially, opposites.

Now expand that a bit further... cause... all your Proto Indo-European languages originate from the same shade of grey.

Well not grey... it's more like.. language is like color... it *blends*... like a giant color wheel. There's tons of variables that affect it, but initially..

I got it!!

61101

Each star being a "language" in and of itself. If you follow any line outward, in any direction, it's no further than the next point in any other direction, but they get further away, nonetheless, and some more so than others.

You get to English by following an (originally) germanic line... but it's no closer to "german" than it is to spanish.

And some languages are just very different from others no matter their grouping.

And my point in this area originally was simply that that is why it *feels* wrong to have a Scottish "loch" in a german/latin continent, so... I lost my train of thought.



Which point is closest in color to any other?



Agreed, I brought it up as a counterpoint to older countries to show that even young countries who had a chance to name everything recently still have plenty of linguistic variation. But it's not really relevant.

Quite the contrary... there's no "even young countries" because young countries operate from a pool of already-established languages. There's simply no comparison. (Unless your world was originally colonized by futuristic earthlings who had a shared language history...)




Agreed, but you'll also find a minority of French and Spanish and German Swedish and whatever other names all over. Which is what I'm getting at in the central region: it should be MOSTLY Anglo/English style names, but making everything English/Anglo seems way too clean and neat to be true--it's the sort of thing you'd only find in a designed/fictional world. You need some messiness because things evolved haphazardly, they weren't designed from the ground up.

Yes and no. It depends largely on scale. If you take any one of those areas, and select the 15 biggest/most important cities in each, you might find 1 or 2 names, at the most, that don't fit a general language pattern. (That's the number of names you had in the north) IF you have a larger selection of cities/towns/whatever you'll find more and more descrepancies.

My point was simply that your selection wasn't large enough for that many obvious diversions.




I'm enjoying your comments, I don't want you to think I'm rejecting anything without considering them (see: the passel of cities I've already renamed at your suggestion!) and even when I don't necessarily agree I think you're raising interesting points that make me think. Thanks very much!

This is the most fun I've had in months :)

I'd write more, but I have like 5 minutes before I have to get my kid off the bus >.<


xoxoxo

SumnerH
02-06-2014, 06:10 PM
Just going on instinct here... Broadkirk = Scottish? Feels that way. Honestly, I think your map would be fine with those changes alone.


Mostly. Kirk (which means "Church") was loaned into Middle English from old Norse, and is found sporadically in older English dialects of all kinds in placenames. So you'll find Colkirk and Kirkley in Norfolk and Suffolk counties (not far north of London), pretty far the realm of Scottish influence.

But it pretty much died out of everything but Scots English, where it's still found today.



Were we disagreeing? I think merely talking about two different influences on naming. :) And you're right, the use of exonyms IS/Would be incorrect. But people in earlier societies simply did not see it that way. You're imposing your views on your fictional cartographer (The Guy in your fantasy world who supposedly made the map - assuming that you, as yourself, don't exist there.) That's why I listed 2 directions it could go. If your world frowns on the use of exonyms as common practice, there would be barely any "english" sounding names on the map at all. If they are more like early mankind here on earth, it would be the majority of cities/towns considered worth mapping.

Well, this gets into another can of worms entirely--the opening post has variant maps of a few sorts. My "master" map of the world is, by definition, 100% accurate (when I change it, the world changes!), but if I were to make another rough hand-drawn map that some local yokel made it might tend toward many more exonyms (or even vague references like "Dwarf city" and "Northmen that way"). But even 100% accurate requires judgements--is it all in English, or should I be using Elvish runes to label their cities?* Going all English, with whatever names the educated class in the English-speaking middle of the country uses, seems like the best compromise for the first cut at a master map.

*This isn't out of the question, but if I overuse use runes now it takes away their ability to add mystery later.



Yeee....esss... sort of. Depends on which *theory* of language evolution you follow. (This is why I'm not a linguist... huge debate (he says argument) with the instructor on the first day of class when he put up something like this:


Language evolution is very complex, but I don't think it's at all controversial to note that Norse and English are far more closely related than Etruscan (which isn't an Italic language) and Italian (or Latin).



You get to English by following an (originally) germanic line... but it's no closer to "german" than it is to spanish.


I disagree quite strongly, but that's a debate for another message board I fear.


And my point in this area originally was simply that that is why it *feels* wrong to have a Scottish "loch" in a german/latin continent, so... I lost my train of thought.

There are almost no German names (as opposed to Germanic)--it's mostly UK languages in the center (including other Scots Gaelic names like Carisbrooke, Byerloch, and Harvieston) and Norwegian/Danish names in the north. The 2 dwarven cities up north are the only two that are consciously of German/Dutch roots, though there might be others by happenstance.


Yes and no. It depends largely on scale. If you take any one of those areas, and select the 15 biggest/most important cities in each, you might find 1 or 2 names, at the most, that don't fit a general language pattern. (That's the number of names you had in the north) IF you have a larger selection of cities/towns/whatever you'll find more and more descrepancies.

I think you're selling it a bit short, and that's maybe our biggest point of disagreement. I'd guess about half of city names come from earlier languages or overlapping/conquering/neighboring languages, though spellings are generally corrupted into the local vulgar.

E.g. the top 15 German cities include 7-9 of non-German origin: Latin (Cologne, Dortmund), Saxon (Bremen), Slavic (Dresden, Leipzig, Berlin), as well as mixed origin (Frankfurt) and disputed (Essen, Hamburg) origins.

France's top 15 has 7-8 city names of non-Romance origin: Celtic (Paris, Lyon, Nantes, Reims), Greek (Nice), German (Strasbourg), Aquitanian (Bordeaux, maybe Toulose).

England has 7-8: Latin (London, Manchester, Leicester), Cumbric (Leeds), Saxon (Nottingham), Welsh (Cardiff), Celtic (Teesside), disputed (Liverpool, perhaps Norwegian).

That's if you lump Old English together (Birmingham, Brighton, Bournemouth, Newcastle, Sheffield, Bristol) which is a bit of a sticky wicket itself.

Jalyha
02-06-2014, 06:57 PM
I guess it all depends on how you look at what's important. :)

I did want to clarify one thing though.. I didn't say, really that what you stated was controversial... just that I view it in a different way.


Language evolution is very complex, but I don't think it's at all controversial to note that Norse and English are far more closely related than Etruscan (which isn't an Italic language) and Italian (or Latin).


Except that Norse and English diverged many times (1) north vs west germanic, (2) West Germanic to old norse (3) North Germanic to old english, (4) old norse to old norwegian, (5) Old english to middle english, and so on, to whatever end result/language you end up with, VS (1) Etruscan from Italic, (2) Italic - Lhatzo, (3) Lhatzo - Latin.

It's nearer, even though it's heading in a different direction.

If I head south from Richmond VA to Chesterfield, from chesterfield to petersburg, and petersburg to dinwiddle, I'm *still* closer (even though I'm moving the opposite direction) to Hanover, than my cousin, who headed down that road... if she went richmond to hanover to bowling green, to bel alton maryland, to st charles to waldorf.

I'm speaking more in degrees of separation than anything.

You can see this in a practical way by looking at the root words of... idk ... warning labels on packaging. I don't understand any of the German because the words and patterns are so very foreign. I can *almost* understand, if not the message, at least the basic meaning, of the same message written in spanish, because most of the words have a *similar* root.

(The kind of thing that everyone who tries to "fake" knowing a language will add to every word, lol)

"Me go to you "house-o"." As ridiculous as it sounds when people mess up like that, it does have a basis. Spanish/english have a lot of cognates.

like...



Delicious

Delicioso


OR Words that are spelled *exactly the same*, like Animal, or hospital

Tons more, and lots of rules here (http://www.linguasorb.com/learnspanish/spanish-cognates)

I think that kind of proves that with languages it's more about degrees of seperation, than linear progression


Then again, as I said, I'm not a linguist... don't even speak any foreign languages, except my own conlangs :)

Azelor
02-06-2014, 08:53 PM
The reason english look similar to spanish is in large part due to William the conqueror, who added a lot of french words to the english language. French is much closer to spanish than english is since they are both latin languages but english feels more latin than Deutsch. Some english words or some sentences feels more germans than latin, but they are the exceptions.

Yea, it's funny to see some people adding a/o when they fake spanish...

You really speak you own conlangs ?

Jalyha
02-06-2014, 09:14 PM
:P I do. Fluently with some, not so much so with others... depends on how old they are and how far I've developed them... not that the two things are necessarily related... a couple of us were discussing it in one of the toponomy threads (mine, lol) :D .


My sister (not my real sister but I call her my sister) she would half-fake, half loud-talk, half imitate her way to people who spoke other languages... like... to a French-speaking African, she would say "Bon joor Jam bo sun" which, is at least halfway to what the two greetings, in french and swahili, must have sounded like to her untrained ears, but THEN she would speak in english and say something stupid like.... "Come-eau to-eau my-eau house-eau por dinner-eau" which is pretty ridiculous and probably offensive, at an ear-splitting volume. Or worse, she'd forget he said he spoke french and start trying to imitate the Swahili, and instead, end up sounding like a grunting gorilla, which HAD to be offensive, not to mention, the wrong fake-language entirely!

Nothing anyone can say will make her stop it either :(

And I didn't know that about french/William the Conqueror :)

So, perhaps, for "accuracy" you'd want to go the opposite way, but it still "feels" that way. So, again, it comes down to what your intended audience is going to go for, I suppose :)

SumnerH
02-06-2014, 11:02 PM
Vocabulary wise, English borrowed a lot from the Romance languages (particularly French, as noted above). It's still got more common words of Germanic origin than of Latin origin, but it's one of the more mixed languages in the world.

The rule of thumb is that because French came in through the upper classes and because day-to-day vocabulary is less able to change then less common words, you see "fancy" words of Romance origin and "common" words of Germanic origin: hut and house Germanic, villa and mansion Latin. Crap (and f--k and s--t) Germanic, excrement and copulate French. Mother and father, German; paternal and maternal Latin. Book Germanic, library Romance. Fight Germanic, battle Latin. Daily use words that have been important for millenia are typically German (horse, sun, moon, field, water, crop, corn, wheat) because people use them so often that they're unlikely to change them. Likewise indigenous species (cow, ox, deer, wolf, fish, bird).

This plays out in word origins: 97% of the 100 most common English words and about 60% of the 1000 most common are of Germanic origin, but about 50% of words that aren't in the 2000 most common are of Romance origin.

But that's just vocabulary, which is the least important part of figuring out how languages at their core are similar or different.

English is structurally much more like German:

The core language features (not particular to one word) come from Germanic roots. E.g. it's "John's computer"--the 's is Germanic--rather than the Romance-style "the computer of John". Even borrowed Latin words are congugated with a Germanic style (I reduce/I reduced/I will reduce, the latter with an auxiliary) rather than a Latin style stem change (reduco/reduxi/reducam), whereas French and Spanish do the latter.

In Germanic languages, modal helping verbs like can, might, may, shall, will are common--we say "He can work", Germans say "Er kann arbeiten". Contrast this to Romance languages, which use a fully conjugated verb meaning "to be able" with an infinitive ("Puede trabajar" in Spanish, or "Il peut travailler" in French). Germanic infinitives are formed with an auxiliary word (to drive, zu treiben) while Romace ones use a stem change (conducir, conduire).

English has a distinction between strong verbs, which change stems to indicate past tense (ride/rode, freeze/froze German reitet/ritt, friert/froren) and weak verbs which use a suffix to indicate past tense (climb/climbed, dance/danced Germen klettert/kletterte, tanzt/tanzte). Romance languages make no such distinction (e.g. congela/congelaron).

There are many more technical things you can look at that show the similarity of English with Germanic languages (e.g. Grimm's law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimm%27s_law)).

SumnerH
02-06-2014, 11:20 PM
Except that Norse and English diverged many times (1) north vs west germanic, (2) West Germanic to old norse (3) North Germanic to old english, (4) old norse to old norwegian, (5) Old english to middle english, and so on, to whatever end result/language you end up with, VS (1) Etruscan from Italic, (2) Italic - Lhatzo, (3) Lhatzo - Latin.


1. Your classification of English might be off a bit: it's a West Germanic language, but norse/norwegian/North Germanic don't play into it until you get back before West Germanic on the tree. The splits would be more like Germanic -> West Germanic -> Anglo/Frisian -> Old English, and Germanic -> North German -> Old High Norse -> Norwegian.

(I think that's actually what you meant to say, just clarifying in case it isn't).

2. The Etruscan link is entirely wrong. Etruscan did not derive from Italic, nor did Italic derive from Etruscan. Etruscan was not even an Indo-European language--English, Sanskrit, and Russian are more closely related to Italic languages or to Italian than Etruscan was.

Etruscan was a Tyrrhenian language, akin to Raetic and Lemnian. There is a proposed link to Eteocretan, which might establish those and an early eteo-Minoan language as a large Aegean pre-Indo-European language family that was later supplanted, but that link isn't widely accepted.

SumnerH
02-06-2014, 11:32 PM
Spanish/english have a lot of cognates.


The false cognates are even funnier--new speakers will sometimes say "Estoy embarazado" thinking they're saying "I'm embarassed", but "embarazado" actually means "pregnant" in Spanish. :)

Jalyha
02-06-2014, 11:51 PM
Aye, I'll cede the point on the grammar. :)

It's fun to learn new things. (And I have a new idea for my "nobility" and my newest conlang, now!)

And, if I was wrong on the details, I apologize, as I said, I'm no linguist, I go primarily by "feel" and the things I've taught myself :D

However, even if we go back to your statement, that it's more similar, and take it as a given that:


about half of city names come from earlier languages or overlapping/conquering/neighboring languages, though spellings are generally corrupted into the local vulgar.

It's still a recognizable pattern, where as, previously, these names simply seemed... scattered. Since you adjusted for that, I just want to clarify, I'm not arguing your other name choices, simply continuing the discussion, because I like words :)

Now that I've clarified (I worry that people will think I'm trying to argue... I'm not!) I did want to say that...

Certain things that happen, language-wise, on Earth ONLY happened that way due to an increasingly specific series of events. If you change one of those, it could change the entire course of language progression.

So, using specific examples is great for backing up your choices... (which I generally do by saying, "Cause it's my world and I'm GOD here and I can do what I WANT!"), even if they don't need justification. BUT it does narrow the view on how languages work as a whole.

If you look at native american tribal languages, for example (I won't use Cherokee, because NOTHING is like the cherokee language, lol)* Sioux and Chippewa/Ojibwe, you'll see that although many words are SIMILAR, as are many language patterns, the only SHARED words are from more modern times.

And each of those languages has its' own dialects. (Which people mistakenly call "tribes", but anyway...)

But there is a clear dilineation between the endonyms and exonyms ... and much more respect for each.

This led to many tribal peoples becoming, not just bi-lingual, but multi-lingual.

In societies with a caste system, the upper class might/would train their children to speak French and Latin, and in the lower classes (or societies without much of a caste system) no one knew any language but their own... and were often unable to communicate outside their own regional dialect.

*Tribes* that live near one another, however, tend to adapt by learning as many languages and dialects as possible, or inventing a seperate "trade" language, that is a mix of all the nearby dialects. (You see a lot of this now with arab/african/indian populations who often speak at least 2 languages and several dialects) (Also, until VERY recently, a lot of very religious cultures that pass down at least parts of their language(s) no matter where they live (or for how many generations!) Ex: Amish and Jewish cultures)


Gah, my mind and my words are rambling again... where was I going with this?


So if your land had a less decidedly roman/european history (which it doesn't, so for future reference) it would be much more common (to the best of my understanding) to see the "local vulgar" than the fully translated version.

And it's nearly Jalyha's bedtime again ... I always ramble when I'm sleepy :)

Jalyha
02-06-2014, 11:53 PM
The false cognates are even funnier--new speakers will sometimes say "Estoy embarazado" thinking they're saying "I'm embarassed", but "embarazado" actually means "pregnant" in Spanish. :)


Maybe he's embarassed that he's pregnant? :P

Viking
02-06-2014, 11:57 PM
Yea, English definitely is closer to Norse/German than to Latin languages. It has borrowed a lot of vocabulary from Latin words but that doesn't change the origin and nature of the language.
Interesting fact: Maltese structurally is a form of Arabic and is a Semitic language but has half its words from standard Italian and Sicilian and Italian.
Interesting fact 2: Arabic has many dialects some of which several are mutually unintelligible.
Interesting fact 3: This is also true of the Chinese languages but they look the same when written down. Since it is one country they are considered dialects.
Interesting fact 4: The Scandinavian languages are more or less mutually intelligible but since they exist in different countries they are seen as different languages.

SumnerH
02-07-2014, 12:09 AM
And 5) Finnish is a weird outlier that's not related to Swedish/Danish/Norwegian/Icelandic, though some vocabulary is borrowed.

SumnerH
02-07-2014, 12:17 AM
Interesting fact 3: This is also true of the Chinese languages but they look the same when written down. Since it is one country they are considered dialects.
Interesting fact 4: The Scandinavian languages are more or less mutually intelligible but since they exist in different countries they are seen as different languages.

Hence the somewhat comedic and somewhat true definition: a language is a dialect with an army.

Viking
02-07-2014, 12:24 AM
So if your land had a less decidedly roman/european history (which it doesn't, so for future reference) it would be much more common (to the best of my understanding) to see the "local vulgar" than the fully translated version.


Maybe I don't quite understand the nature of your question and perhaps this is because maybe it was not directed at me and I have not read this whole conversation. That said, in Europe in the middle ages and early modern period a "vulgar" (or perhaps they'd use a word similar to tongue) language would be a language "of the people" that was not a classical language such as Latin or Greek which were seen to be legitimate languages with their own grammars and worhty of study. For a long while during and after the Roman empire Latin was the language of government and the catholic church continued to use it for centuries after though it too developed from its classical routes. It was a big deal when the first Bibles were written in a "vulgar" language instead of Latin/Greek.

Interesting fact 6: The first non-classical language that got some serious study of its grammar and form was Spanish.
(I had to change this from interesting fact 5 due to SumnerH's very valid and interesting point 5 haha)

You may know this already but all the so called Romance languages (A term I feel disdain for due to "romance" also having a second meaning in English relating to love etc. instead of being "Roman like" and yes, I am sure the one derived from the other) such as Spanish, French and Italian all developed from a hybrid of Latin and local words in those specific environments and this vulgarized form drifted further and further from the classical forms.

Jalyha
02-07-2014, 12:35 AM
Yep :)


Was saying, without the rigid structures those militaries and caste systems imposed, you'd be more like to see the language of the common people :)


I used that terminology because it followed earlier parts of the discussion.


And yeah... I think the "Romance" vs "Roman" thing is why people say (of either French, Italian, or sometimes both) "It's the language of LOVE".

Lol.


& @ Sumner : Yes and no on the nordic/english thing... I was referring to the splits, not the direction, so yes, it boils down to what you said, but I meant the *degrees* of seperation between them, rather than the path they took :) Same result, different methodology, lol :P

SumnerH
02-07-2014, 08:39 AM
Shifting gears, I'm playing with some hand-drawn terrain to see if I want to go that way. There are only about 5 unique mountains and 5 hills here, if I did go with this I'd draw them all or at least have many more variants. Also the lines under the mountains should be split into another layer and be more consistent. But it's enough to get a first impression (and I just got a Wacom tablet so it's an excuse to play with that):

http://i58.tinypic.com/be6hoj.jpg

EDIT: I realized I moved the continent layer accidentally and have floating cities in the ocean. Oops! Ignore that, the only thing I'm interested in are thoughts on whether those style mountains/hills are worth pursuing.

In particular I'm going to want some kind of monochrome option for paper printing, and this is one of the better ones. I'll also be pursuing a realistic/satellite-style view as well.

Tutorial I found handy: http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/5664-%5Baward-winner%5D-hand-drawn-mtns-other-stylistic-map-elements-use-ps-gimp.html

SumnerH
02-08-2014, 06:24 PM
So, extending that idea to the full region for a monochrome map.
http://i62.tinypic.com/2qixvns.png

I'm not happy with the hills, I think the shading to the right side may be too heavy. Considering. After that: forests.

SumnerH
02-13-2014, 10:39 PM
Still working on the hand-drawn map, but also working on an artistic regional map per RobA's tutorial here:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/1142-%5Baward-winner%5D-using-gimp-create-artistic-regional-rpg-map.html

First cut:
http://i59.tinypic.com/b8wqvb.jpg

The labels were just copied and pasted out of inkscape and need the transparent groupings removed, the rivers need to be rendered at higher res and then reduced, lots of other tweaks and cleanups, but it's a first learning experience at bump-mapping and pixel operations and some parts of it look okay.

SumnerH
02-14-2014, 12:11 AM
And some forests per:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/10009-%5Baward-winner%5D-making-photo-realistic-trees-gimp-mini-tut.html

Also toned down the ocean color and darkened the rivers/lakes.

And I brushed in some hill variance in some of the regions that should have it. Too subtle? Any tips on hills?
http://i59.tinypic.com/aow5mq.jpg

Lingon
02-14-2014, 03:38 AM
I like the latest version! The hills are really nice. I think the forests are too dark though, either lightening them or dropping their opacity (or both) would make them fit in with the rest of the landscape better. Also, a tiny nitpick, because I'm like that: the coast in the south tangents the edge of the paper, making it look like the map was cropped and something is missing. I'd suggest giving it some water below it, or cropping the coast away completely, for a more harmonious picture.

SumnerH
02-14-2014, 06:42 AM
Thanks for the feedback.

You're right, the forests do look way too dark for the rest of the palette. I think this is maybe a bit too light, what do you think? (Also added some sea floor texture):

http://i61.tinypic.com/20qes8y.jpg

The framing issue is a good one, I'll crop it down but I'm going to wait until it's closer to finished. I may also crop out the western continent entirely, haven't decided yet.

Lingon
02-14-2014, 08:30 AM
I don't think it is too light, but I do think it is too vibrant. The rest of the land is nicely muted. Lowering the opacity of the forests would probably blend them in more, but you can also play around with the saturation and color balance of the forest layer :)

SumnerH
02-18-2014, 10:15 PM
Lingon, I haven't forgotten your suggestions--I'll get the next version of that map up tomorrow. But in the interim, a cut at a political boundary map:

http://i60.tinypic.com/11ak8ls.jpg

Thoughts?

SumnerH
02-19-2014, 10:35 AM
And another pass at the geographical map:
http://i60.tinypic.com/30kcdbq.jpg

Tree color is muted, land has more height variation, and I've mad a first pass at the Maelstrom, a whirlpool between the continents.

SumnerH
02-20-2014, 05:52 PM
Political map updated with city markers. This is approaching finished, IMO: thoughts?

http://i61.tinypic.com/167qftf.jpg

SumnerH
02-21-2014, 02:58 AM
Just for fun, a globe rendition. I don't think this projection was very smart; it completely truncated the poles, stretching all latitudes. But it was an informative first effort.

http://i58.tinypic.com/jaf3o8.gif

Lingon
02-21-2014, 03:21 AM
Forests are perfect now!

For the globe, I guess you've already realized this, but the distortion needs to be taken into account from the start, so you're working on a distorted map that becomes right when it's wrapped around the globe. Things near the poles look much, much wider on an equirectangular map than they do in reality. For the regional maps, the equirectangular one should then be reprojected to something more suitable for the area, probably one of the conic projections.

SumnerH
02-21-2014, 03:36 AM
Forests are perfect now!

For the globe, I guess you've already realized this, but the distortion needs to be taken into account from the start, so you're working on a distorted map that becomes right when it's wrapped around the globe. Things near the poles look much, much wider on an equirectangular map than they do in reality. For the regional maps, the equirectangular one should then be reprojected to something more suitable for the area, probably one of the conic projections.

Yeah, I understand mapping projections and if I'm doing a reverse mercator I expect the "Greenland as big as African" issue in reverse. This is beyond that, though: the program I'm using isn't really doing a mapping projection, and it's totally truncating the poles (I made them a fairly wide white band as wide as the entire map just for testing, and there's not a sign of them at either end)--it's really meant for wrapping up corporate logos for web sites, not serious cartography. I'll be looking for a more accurate alternative, but it was a fun little experiment.

Up next on the geographical map: fix the rivers and city markings, and possibly add some geographical markings (river/mountain/lake names, etc).

Lingon
02-21-2014, 04:05 AM
Ah, ok. Try G.Projector from Nasa, it's a free app that has a huge amount of projections. The one called "Orthographic" is a globe view.

SumnerH
02-21-2014, 10:34 AM
I snagged G.project. Fun tool.

The distortion for the area I've been working with isn't too bad (as expected, latitudes are basically all below 60):

Equirectangular:
http://i61.tinypic.com/v5bi2g.png

Winkel-tripel:
http://i59.tinypic.com/2ypg0g5.png

Mercator (in particular, I need to redo the portolan navigation chart as a Mercator projection; the rhumb lines there are pretty lies at the moment).
http://i61.tinypic.com/308d55w.png

Ortho:
http://i57.tinypic.com/2q3ytg2.png