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Thread: WIP: Aardia and the Kyzian Empire

  1. #21
      SumnerH is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by SumnerH View Post
    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.

  2. #22
      Jalyha is offline
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    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

    xoxoxo
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  3. #23
      SumnerH is offline
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    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
    Last edited by SumnerH; 02-06-2014 at 01:44 AM.

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    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?
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      SumnerH is offline
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    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.
    Last edited by SumnerH; 02-06-2014 at 05:01 AM.

  6. #26
      Jalyha is offline
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    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.

    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


    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
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  7. #27
      SumnerH is offline
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    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



    Quote Originally Posted by Jalyha View Post

    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!
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  8. #28
      SumnerH is offline
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    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.
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  9. #29
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    Oh, I think I like you

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SumnerH View Post
    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:

    WIP: Aardia and the Kyzian Empire-pie2.gif


    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!!

    WIP: Aardia and the Kyzian Empire-color-wheel.jpg

    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
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  10. #30
      SumnerH is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jalyha View Post
    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.

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