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 Rashemi & Jotun Languages ... Need Some Help.
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Snow
Learned Scribe

USA
125 Posts

Posted - 26 May 2015 :  19:09:36  Show Profile Send Snow a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Greetings Fellow Scribes,

I have some questions for you regarding Faerûnian linguistics.

1. Is the modern-day language of Rashemen ... Rashemi? I see references to a language called Rasallesian in both Tom Costa's Dragon article on Linguistics and at the Forgotten Realms Wikia. Tom Costa's article implies that Rasallesian is the modern core language of Rashemen. The Wikia implies it *was* the core language. Interestingly, a search here at CK Forums shows nobody ever referencing Rasallesian before!

2. What alphabet/script is used for the Jotun language? Giantcraft (2E's FR Giant sourcebook) doesn't give a very crystal clear answer on Pg. 27. My guess is that it uses Dethek or its own proprietary script. It can't be Thorass, because I believe Thorass is derived from older incarnations of Jotun. Then again, that may be the *language* they are talking about - and not the script. Perhaps down the line, Thorass could have been reverse-adopted to be the script for Jotun.

hashimashadoo
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1114 Posts

Posted - 27 May 2015 :  00:33:47  Show Profile  Visit hashimashadoo's Homepage Send hashimashadoo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
1. Tom Costa's article is the only reference to Rasallesian that I've seen. Rashemi is the name of the language used in other sources. While Rashemi has a Thorass (latin) alphabet, Rasallesian was described as having a more Cyrillic flavour which would make sense if Faerun cleaved closer to our world (the Rus (i.e. vikings) mix with native Rashemi (i.e. slavs) to form the modern Rashemi).

2. 3rd edition said Dwarf while 4th edition said Primordial. Giantcraft states that an old dialect of Dwarf influenced the Jotunstein dialect spoken by stone giants. Primordial could conceivably be the unknown language Giantcraft states helped to form the core Jotun language.

When life turns it's back on you...sneak attack for extra damage.

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Snow
Learned Scribe

USA
125 Posts

Posted - 27 May 2015 :  02:07:32  Show Profile Send Snow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Hashimashadoo. That's very helpful info. By the way, would you happen to note which 3E sourcebook mentioned that Jotun is written Dethek script? I checked a number of them (FRCS, PGtF, RoF, etc.) and I could not find that reference.

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Ayrik
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Canada
7174 Posts

Posted - 27 May 2015 :  04:23:06  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Jotun runes are supposedly very different from Dethek runes.

Dethek is, curiously, apparently identical on every D&D world where dwarves exist. Dwarves might stubbornly insist this is because the runes originate with Moradin. (Although, curiously, I'd thought in the Realms that Oghma invented alphabets, scripts, and the written word?)

Dwarves and giants share some sort of shared ancient history (predominantly through a shared ancient hatred). An adaptation from real-world Norse mythologies, I think, where both races dwell within Nine Worlds of Yggdrasil and are fated to align themselves against the gods in the battle of Ragnarok.

[/Ayrik]
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hashimashadoo
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1114 Posts

Posted - 27 May 2015 :  15:26:24  Show Profile  Visit hashimashadoo's Homepage Send hashimashadoo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Snow

Thank you, Hashimashadoo. That's very helpful info. By the way, would you happen to note which 3E sourcebook mentioned that Jotun is written Dethek script? I checked a number of them (FRCS, PGtF, RoF, etc.) and I could not find that reference.



I didn't actually say Dethek, I said Dwarf. The reference is from the Player's Handbook but as Ayrik says, Dethek in 3rd edition seemed to be the Dwarven alphabet in every 3rd edition campaign setting.

When life turns it's back on you...sneak attack for extra damage.

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Snow
Learned Scribe

USA
125 Posts

Posted - 27 May 2015 :  19:19:59  Show Profile Send Snow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, there's definitely a lot of edition-to-edition discrepancies and inconsistencies when it comes to F.R. linguistics ... languages, dialects & scripts/alphabets.

I was just reading up on some of Tom Costa's comments regarding his famous Dragon article in relation to his interaction with SKR on 3E's FR linguistics. That being, 3E's emphasis was to simplify FR's vast linguistic complexities. Which also occurred with 4E - and probably a further dilution will occur if/when 5E's FRCS gets published.

It's ashame. I absolutely love this complex tapestry of linguistics. Which very much mirrors that of our real world. But it seems within the context of RPGs, there's very little demographic interest in such detail except for a good number of the scribes here in Candlekeep.

Hopefully one day I'll get to that F.R. Linguistics Project I've been taking notes on for years. In essence, an edition-neutral follow-up to Tom Costa's excellent treatise that also plugs some holes and adds some 4E/5E racial & ethnicity updates.

Edited by - Snow on 27 May 2015 19:20:43
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7174 Posts

Posted - 28 May 2015 :  04:23:49  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The AD&D1E FRC0 Grey Box describes Dethek, briefly. And AD&D2E FOR7: Giantcraft describes Jotun, in a little more detail.

I agree that linguistic diversity can add a lot of depth to a campaign and it's generally a good thing. But D&D 3E-onwards simplifies things for the sake of convenience. Apparently all dwarves speak dwarven, all giants speak giantish, etc. Language barriers are sometimes emphasized for story/plot purposes but are generally ignored. Tools like Comprehend Languages are always present. Even though, in my experience, people always think much better of you if you make some actual attempt to speak their language, it demonstrates that you want to learn about them and not remain a distant "foreigner". I suppose that speaking the tongue of an entirely different species (dwarves are not humans, after all) would give a lot of insight into their racial psychology, it would let non-dwarves understand dwarves in far more depth than words like "stubborn, cranky, angry, and fierce" can properly convey.

(Star Trek handwaves language barriers with a "universal translator", Star Gate handwaves this with the implicit understanding that one of the party members is a linguistic genius who's figured it all out before, etc, because these shows want to focus on the story and not on the tiresome translation issues. Who wants to "waste" a large portion of each one-hour episode or 2d4-hour adventure constantly rehashing such mundane stuff?)

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 28 May 2015 04:26:26
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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 30 May 2015 :  01:53:38  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Could be that dwarves learned runes.... Odin learned runes by hanging from Yggdrassil... giants gleaned knowledge of runes from dwarves and "norse"..... or they all may have stolen rune lore from the Primordials.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2015 :  05:13:17  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm pretty sure that I made up Rasellesian whole cloth.

Also because there seems to be some interest, here was my source material at the time:
Realms References and Notes:

Anthony, Mark (1993). Crypt of the Shadowking (TSR, Inc.). U.S.A.: Random House.
This novel mentions the ancient language of Telfir.

Bennie, Scott (1990). Old Empires (TSR, Inc.). U.S.A.: Random House.
On pages 13 and 49, Mr. Bennie points out that “The Mulhorandi language comes from a language family known as Rauric. Only Mulhorandi and Untheric survive from this linguistic family: Mulhorandi has preserved much of the old tongue, while Untheric has evolved greatly over the course of the millennia…. Basic Mulhorandi writing consists of complicated picture-glyphs, each of which represents a different idea.” He also notes that “the runes used by the Untheri are entirely different from those used by the Mulhorandi; these runes pre-date their migration from Raurin. Early Untheric writing consisted of syllabic hieroglyphs (runes that represent one syllable, as opposed to the hieroglyphs of Mulhorand, which represent one word) and seem to have had at least minor influence on the alphabet of Thorass (Old Common).”
The people of Chessenta are said to speak the common tongue and to have spoken Untheric 200 years ago. This article ignores this reference. It also notes that Untheric is often known as a second language.

Cook, David “Zeb” (1990). The Horde (TSR, Inc.). U.S.A.: Random House.
On pages 17-18, Mr. Cook notes that each of the Horde tribes speaks a different language, that to various degrees are intelligible to the other tribes. All of the languages have a common root in ancient Imaskari. In addition, the tribes are divisible into three regions – Northern, Southern, and Eastern. This article treats each of these regions as having separate languages with each tribe having its own dialect, instead having its own distinct language. Furthermore, it indicates that the Raumatharan Empire influenced the northern group. This suggests that the empire had its own distinct language.
Cook also notes that Muhjuri is the language of Semphar and Murghom. Solon is said to speak a dialect of Ulgarth’s native tongue, Devic, called Solonese. This last tidbit of information contradicts information in Prusa’s The Shining South, which states that the common tongue is the language of Ulgarth. The tongue of Shou Lung, Khazari, and Ra-Khati is mistakenly named Shou Chiang. Shou Chiang is the name for the writing system of the language of that region, Kao te Shou.
One of the 8.5”x11” stock cards depicts a detailed language chart, showing the relationship between the region’s languages. It also seems to indicate that Siremun is the name of the dwarvish dialect in the region.

Cunningham, Elaine (1996), “Rogue’s Gallery.” DRAGON Magazine Annual #1.
On page 41, Ms. Cunningham notes that Hasheth, a character from her Realms novel Silver Shadows, speaks the following languages: “common, Old Tethyrian (formal court language and what amounts to a ‘common Tethyrian’ language), Zazesspurian (regional dialect of Tethyrian), Amnish, High Calidrian (the dialect most frequently spoken in Calimshan).” This information is not quite consistent with the official language information found in Haring’s Empire of the Sands or Schend’s Lands of Intrigue. Amnish is an improper Realmsian construction and has been changed to Amnian, otherwise this article treats each of these “languages” as a dialect.
The DRAGON article also notes that the Elmanesse tribe of wild elves in the Forest of Tethir speaks a dialect of elvish called Elmanesse. It is probable that the neighboring Suldusk tribe speaks their own dialect of elvish as well.

Greenwood, Ed (1991). Anauroch (TSR, Inc.). U.S.A.: Random House.
On the inside cover of the supplement, Mr. Greenwood notes that “the Bedine tongue, called ‘Uloushinn’ by sages, though the Bedine themselves seem to have no name for it, is old, and boasts a large vocabulary.” There are also a number of Uloushinn words translated into English. On page 31, he also note that “D’tarig have their own throaty language.”

Greenwood, Ed (1990). Dwarves Deep (TSR, Inc.). U.S.A.: Random House.
While this source has a chapter on dwarven language and gives a number of examples of dwarvish words, it does not give this language a specific name.

Greenwood, Ed and Grubb, Jeff (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (TSR, Inc.). U.S.A.:
Random House.
On pages 25-26 of “A Grand Tour of the Realms,” the authors go into some detail on the major written languages (including their alphabets) and make mention of the major spoken languages of the Realms. Most notably, Espruar is noted as “the moon elven alphabet, in which most elves of the Realms render messages” and Dethek runes are mentioned as the dwarven script. In this article, these two scripts have also become the names for the racial tongues of the elves and dwarves.
Ruathlek is mentioned as “the ‘secret language’ or magical script of illusionists.” It is also noted that Nimbral is said to be a land of powerful magic. In Wizards and Rogues of the Realms by William W. Connors, it is said that the wizards of Nimbral are all illusionists. This article assumes that the wizards of Nimbral are descendent from ancient Netheril, much like the Halruans.

Grubb, Jeff and Hayday, Andria (1992). Al-Qadim: Land of Fate (TSR, Inc.). U.S.A.: Random House.
On page 124 of the “Adventurer’s Guide to Zakhara,” Midani is mentioned as “the language of all civilized and intelligent creatures [in Zakhara]. . . . The Land of Fate also has five regional dialects,” those of the Free Cities and Qudra; the Pearl Cities; the Pantheist League; eastern Zakhara; and Huzuz and Hiyal.
It also notes that Thorasta is the name of the common tongue, Shang-Chou (an obvious derivation of Shou Chiang, the writing system of Shou Lung’s tongue Kao te Shou) is the tongue of Kara-Tur, and Akotan, the tongue of the “western trading outposts.” Given that Dambrath is noted as trading extensively with Zakhara and its primary tongue is Akalan, it is likely that Akotan is simply a poor translation of Akalan.

Haring, Scott (1988). Empires of the Sands (TSR, Inc.). U.S.A.: Random House.
Schend, Steven (1997). Lands of Intrigue (TSR, Inc.). U.S.A.: Random House.
Both of these sources make note of the languages of the area. On page 5 of Book One, Mr. Schend notes that Tethyrians speak “the common dialect found all across the Realms, . . . [This] ‘native Tethyrian’ tongue is a pidgin mixture of archaic elvish and dwarvish (southern dialects), Old Alzhedo (the “common” tongue for the Elemental Plane of Air), Calishite Alzhedo, Thorass, a now-dead halfling racial tongue, and modern common.” On page 2 of Book Three, Erlkazar is said to use the same tongue as Tethyr, although it is said to draw on “a few more dwarven root words.”
On page 4 in Book Two, it is noted that “merchants doing business in Amn must brush up on the ancient trade tongue of Thorass, long abandoned elsewhere for today’s common language. All documents, contracts, court proceedings, and official scripts and speeches used by Amnian merchant houses or the government use Thorass.” It then notes that the common folk use a pidgin form of common that this article ignores.
On pages 48-49 of Empires of the Sands, Mr. Haring notes that Calishites use Alzhedo, a very difficult language to learn, even for native speakers. Moreover, it also notes that “the Chult and Shaar races in Calimshan speak their native languages among themselves, but speak either Alzhedo or common when dealing with other Calishites.”

Lowder, James and Rabe, Jean (1993). The Jungles of Chult (TSR, Inc.). U.S.A.: Random House.
On page 3, the authors note that “the entire country finds itself peopled by men and women [the Tabaxi] who share a common language” which is distinct from the common tongue of most of the Realms. This tongue is not given a name. It also notes that the Eshowe are a distinct tribe from the Tabaxi.

Moore, Roger E. (1998). Errand of Mercy (TSR, Inc.). U.S.A.: Random House.
This novel mentions that the Ffolk settlers of the Utter East speak Thorass. Since this article has the Ffolk speaking a different language, it disregards that reference. In addition, the novel also mentions that the native inhabitants of the region, the Mars, speak a different language.

Prusa, Tom (1995). The Shining South (TSR, Inc.). U.S.A.: Random House.
On page 5, Mr. Prusa notes that “Halruans speak Halruan, a version of Netherese, brought with them from the far north. It is a complicated language not easily learned by a foreigner.”
On page 28, He notes that “most of the people of Dambrath speak Akalan, the original tongue of the Akaiuns [see notes under Grubb and Hayday’s Al-Qadim: Land of Fate]. The ‘high’ language [of the nobility] of Dambrath is drow. The priestesses of Loviatar are all taught the ‘maiden’s tongue,’ a language said to be sacred to Loviatar. Actually, it is a degenerate version of Thorass, the trading tongue of Amn and much of the Sword Coast. Someone who speaks Thorass can’t make himself understood in the maiden’s tongue.”
The discussions on Luiren, the Shining Lands, and Ulgarth do not mention any unique languages. However, on page 58, Durparians are noted as being among “the most polylingual of the Realms,” preferring to conduct their council business in Thorass, and using common as their official tongue. This article has done away with their native uses of Thorass and common. In addition, Cook’s The Horde contradicts some of the information in this supplement by stating that Ulgarth natives speak a language called Devic.
The chapter on Durpar includes a new nonweapon proficiency called linguistics. This proficiency gives the character the ability to gain a temporary understanding of multiple languages. It works differently than the mechanics of this article, but is still somewhat compatible.

Pryor, Anthony (1995). Spellbound (TSR, Inc.). U.S.A.: Random House.
On page 71 in the chapter on Rashemen, there is a small reference to Halardrim, “the lost tongue of this part of the northlands,” and from which words such wychlaran have their roots.

Smith, Curtis and Swan, Rick (1990). Ronin Challenge (TSR, Inc.). U.S.A.: Random House.
On pages 86-87 of this module, there is an excellent appendix on the languages or Kara-Tur. The appendix explains that Kao te Shou is the primary tongue of Shou Lung, though it has many dialects. The dialect of the Mandarinate and the educated is known as High Shou, while the writing system is called Shou Chiang. T’u Lung’s tongue evolved from Kao te Shou. Koryo, Kozakuran, and Wa-an all developed from the ancient language known as Han. The peoples of the Ama Basin speak their tribal tongues, Isacorte, Pazruki, or Wu-Haltai. Imaskari is not mentioned. Instead the tribes of the Plain of Horses are said to speak Chuchian. Most likely, Chuchian is the Shou term for Imaskari. Kara-Tur is also mentioned as having a trade tongue much like the Trade Pidgin mentioned in this article. Lastly, the appendix mentions a number of languages from less developed regions, mostly to the South, little known in Faerûn. However, as this work deals primarily with Faerûn, the western Realms, this article only gives mention to the dominant languages of the East in the Linguistic Atlas of Faerûn table.

Swan, Rick (1992). The Great Glacier (TSR, Inc.). U.S.A.: Random House.
On page 20, Mr. Swan notes that “though tribal dialects vary, all Ulutiuns speak essentially the same language; Iulutiuns, Angulutiuns, and Nakulutiuns have minimal trouble understanding each other. Because Ulutiuns trace their ancestry to human communities outside of the Great Glacier, most visitors to the region are able to communicate with the natives.” The supplement also includes a number of Ulutiun words scattered throughout its pages. While this tongue is not given a name, it is interesting to note the similarity between the name of the Glacier natives, Ulutiuns, and the name of the Bedine language, Uloushinn (see notes under Greenwood’s Anauroch).

Winninger, Ray (1995). Giantcraft (TSR, Inc.). U.S.A.: Random House.
On page 80, Mr. Winninger writes, “In addition to the Common tongue, most barbarians still speak Bothii (the “barbaric” language of their ancestors) and a smattering of Jotun.” Earlier, on page 76, it mentions that the people of Hartsvale are descended from the Uthgardt.
On page 27, Jotun is noted as the common tongue of all giants. It also makes note of the various specific giantish racial tongues. This article classifies these tongues as dialects rather than as distinct languages. More importantly, the work notes that “there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that Jotun shares a lingual base with both Thorass and the Common tongue of humanity. It is likely that these later languages were partially derived from older incarnations of the giant tongue.” A relation between Jotun and Auld Dwarvish is also noted.

Drawing on multiple sources, the author has tried to pay close attention to migration patterns. In particular, Eric Boyd, an author of several Realms products, most notably Powers & Pantheons, and a member of the MPGN sponsored Internet Listserv, realms@mpgn.com, has done a great deal of work on human migration patterns in the Realms. Comments on his work by a number of other list-serve members were also helpful. In particular, there have been suggestions that the people of Lantan are descended from the Imaskari, which this article has adopted as its own.

Languages have been placed into language groups by comparing them to their closest real world cultural counterparts when possible. Thus Alzhedo, Midani, and Untheric were placed into the same language group, though they are still quite different from one another (as demonstrated by the nonweapon proficiency cost table). Everything else, Bobby Nichols or the author made up.


Credits:

Thanks to Bobby Nichols, whose work on languages first gave me the idea for this article. With his permission, this article has used a number of the language names he created.

Thanks also to Marc Triaureau, Simon Gibbs, and Julia Martin for their editorial touches.

Microsoft Bookshelf ‘94 and Encarta ‘97 also proved extremely useful in providing some basic information on languages.


And here is some errata that I sent in to Dragon, but IIRC never got printed:

The article’s second paragraph notes that the genetic classification chart appears first followed by the linguistic atlas. In fact, the linguistic atlas appears first (p. 26) and the genetic classification chart is entitled Faerûnian Languages and appears at the end of the article (p. 28-29).

The following languages were mistyped in the Linguistic Atlas of Faerûn chart: Illuski should be Illuskan; Ulutim should be Uloushinn; Akalaic should be Akalan; and Mari should be Maran.

Similarly, the following language groups and subgroups were mistyped in the Modern Language Proficiencies chart: Chessentic should be Chessan; Chessic should be Chessentic; Imask Patois should be Imask Creole; Durpari-Shaartan Patois should be Durpari-Shaartan Creole; and Alzhedo should be Alzho.

The article notes that official FORGOTTEN REALMS languages should be listed in italics. These languages are Bothii, Netherese, Ruathlek, Ulutiun, Uloushinn, Thorass, Thorasta, “Maiden’s Tongue,” Telfir, Akalan, Halardrim, Imaskri, Northern Imaskari (and all of its dialects), Southern Imaskari (and all of its dialects), Eastern Imaskari (and all of its dialects), Devic, Mulhorandi, Muhjuri, Untheric, Noga, Kadari, Midani, and Calishite Alzhedo, as well as Azuposi, Nexalan, Payit, Trade Tongue, Pazruki, Issacortae, Kao te Shou, T'u Lung, Kozakuran, Koryo, and Wa-an, which are listed in the Major Foreign Lands portion of the linguistic atlas.

The article makes note of a reference portion. The following sources were used in putting together the article:

Anthony, Mark (1993), Crypt of the Shadowking.
Bennie, Scott (1990). Old Empires.
Cook, David “Zeb” (1990). The Horde.
Cunningham, Elaine (1996), “Rogue’s Gallery.” DRAGON Magazine Annual #1.
Greenwood, Ed (1991). Anauroch.
Greenwood, Ed (1990). Dwarves Deep.
Greenwood, Ed and Grubb, Jeff (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.
Grubb, Jeff and Hayday, Andria (1992). Al-Qadim: Land of Fate.
Haring, Scott (1988). Empires of the Sands.
Lowder, James and Rabe, Jean (1993). The Jungles of Chult.
Moore, Roger E. (1998). Errand of Mercy.
Prusa, Tom (1995). The Shining South.
Pryor, Anthony (1995). Spellbound.
Schend, Steven (1997). Lands of Intrigue.
Smith, Curtis and Swan, Rick (1990). Ronin Challenge.
Swan, Rick (1992). The Great Glacier.
Winninger, Ray (1995). Giantcraft.

In addition the author owes a great debt to the works of Eric Boyd and discussions that have occurred on the official FORGOTTEN REALMS listserver,
realms-l@oracle.wizards.com.

Lastly, the second paragraph on page 29 that begins “The dialect spoken…” should be a footnote to the Waelan Five Kingdoms’ dialect located in the Faerûnian Languages chart on page 28.

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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

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Posted - 13 Jun 2015 :  05:16:08  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
All that said, from a playability stand point, I totally got and was okay with simplifying it for 3E. Now the further simplification in 4E I thought went a bit too far, but everyone's mileage I'm guessing will vary.
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 13 Jun 2015 :  08:47:27  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well those are interesting references to know. I will be preserving them forever in my archive. Thanks Tom, I loved the article and still use it today.

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Snow
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Posted - 13 Jun 2015 :  18:31:05  Show Profile Send Snow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
(jaw drops to the floor) ....

This is outstanding, OUTSTANDING stuff, Tom. Wow. Thank you so much for posting this supplemental and reference material to my thread. Like Dazzlerdal above stated, I'll be adding your additional linguistics clarifications to my F.R. world as true, ironclad canon.

So as you can see, I like my F.R. Linguistics flavored with immense detail and complexity. :-) Again, great, great stuff.
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Riley37
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Posted - 14 Jun 2015 :  13:23:33  Show Profile Send Riley37 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some of the most popular Star Trek episodes involved translation which was not solvable by Universal Translator; sure, there's lots of stories which go better if you can handwave language, but occasionally going deep on communication is also a good story seed.
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 14 Jun 2015 :  16:42:05  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Im so glad to see a link between the ulou language and the bedine since I am making the rengarth a fourth sub group of ulou people. Their majority in low Netheril explains the link when the bedine merge with the survivors of the successor states.

I've also got the beginnings of thorass around 1 dr in the western heartlands which is plenty of time for the ffolk to pick it up and take it with them to the moonshae isles and then the utter east later.

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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

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Posted - 15 Jun 2015 :  02:31:08  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Glad to be of service and thanks for the kind words. FYI, what I originally did to create the linguistic atlas was start with Eric Boyd's old notes on migration patterns and then I looked for natural barriers that would have created differences in cultures. I think it holds up pretty well, but there are probably a few things that should change given the evolution of the Realms since then, particularly with Races of Faerun.
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TBeholder
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Posted - 15 Jun 2015 :  04:30:56  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, Al-Qadim materials mentioned Jannti - the "common" language of genies. They have dialects per element.
Dialects probably are influenced most by the respective elemental tongues, while Jann both serve all elemental types - they are the natural choice for traveling agents and go-betweens and act as traveling merchants, so they can maintain general cohesion.

As to Alzhedo, let's not forget that first there was Calim with his entourage, then Memnon with his servants dropped in, thus local tongue had influence of languages used by both genies and their respective planes.
So we can assume that when Alzhedo was influenced by creatures from elemental planes, that included three distinct languages.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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hashimashadoo
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Posted - 15 Jun 2015 :  06:52:20  Show Profile  Visit hashimashadoo's Homepage Send hashimashadoo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There was a Dungeon article by Eric Boyd that stated that Alzhedo was the common tongue of the Plane of Air. Not only was it spoken by Calim and his djinni, but it was also spoken by the Wind Dukes of Aaqua.

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Snow
Learned Scribe

USA
125 Posts

Posted - 15 Jun 2015 :  14:28:51  Show Profile Send Snow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's right. "Old Alzhedo" actually is the the common tongue of the Elemental Plane of Air. Which from what I recall, is an extremely breathy language that just sounds like shifting air. Conversations in Calimshan back in the day must've been really interesting for outsiders to listen to ...

I'd be curious if any of the other 3 major elemental languages had significant influence on any of Toril's other human-centric languages.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
9465 Posts

Posted - 15 Jun 2015 :  23:25:35  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Snow

That's right. "Old Alzhedo" actually is the the common tongue of the Elemental Plane of Air. Which from what I recall, is an extremely breathy language that just sounds like shifting air. Conversations in Calimshan back in the day must've been really interesting for outsiders to listen to ...

I'd be curious if any of the other 3 major elemental languages had significant influence on any of Toril's other human-centric languages.



The geomancers over in Zakhara and the yak-men that enslaved Dao over in Zakhara all probably had some liberal stealing from the language of earth.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Lhynard
Seeker

USA
33 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2015 :  16:47:40  Show Profile  Visit Lhynard's Homepage Send Lhynard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Snow

Greetings Fellow Scribes,

I have some questions for you regarding Faerûnian linguistics.

1. Is the modern-day language of Rashemen ... Rashemi? I see references to a language called Rasallesian in both Tom Costa's Dragon article on Linguistics and at the Forgotten Realms Wikia. Tom Costa's article implies that Rasallesian is the modern core language of Rashemen. The Wikia implies it *was* the core language. Interestingly, a search here at CK Forums shows nobody ever referencing Rasallesian before!


Hi!

This is my 1st ever post here. I am one of the admins over at the FR wiki, and I am the group's "linguistic specialist". I am currently undergoing a major project to write articles for all of the languages of Faerûn, so I can speak to some parts of your question.

First, the article you read on Rasallesian was one of the ones that had not been updated yet. It was written by a previous editor and was based solely on Tom Costa's article.

Second, the entire wiki is supposed to be written in past tense, just like a novel, to keep it separated from the timeline. If you see the word "was" that doesn't mean ANYTHING at all about the state of a language in 3rd, 4th, or 5th edition.

Third, we hold to an all-editions-are-valid rule if at all possible, but we also hold to a hierarchy of canonicity that puts sourcebooks above Dragon articles.

Fourth, I was already aware of the Rasallesian/Rashemi "conflict". My take is that it is not a conflict. Rashemi is the canon name for the language by 1372 DR, the date of Races of Faerûn and the 3e FRCS. But nothing about this conflicts with Tom Costa's article if we assume that they aren't conflicts, that is, if we assume that they are just two names for the same language. There are tons of cases where sourcebooks have multiple names for the same language, and this occurs in real life as well.

Anyhow, hope that helps.

~Lhynard

P.S. Thanks, Mr. Costa, for that very helpful reply. I am now linking to it from some of the wikia articles I am writing.

Edited by - Lhynard on 27 Aug 2015 16:50:54
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Roseweave
Learned Scribe

Ireland
212 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2015 :  21:53:34  Show Profile  Visit Roseweave's Homepage Send Roseweave a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Looking at the history of the Ruamathari empire, and the fact that the Durpar language is also related to it(which fits with the Gur language also being an offshoot, real life Romanes is a variant of Hindi) would suggest some sort of evolution like what occured with the proto-Indo European language in real life.

Durpari tongue is presumably something like Sanskrit, and the Gur language would be a variant of it with more Rashemi words. It's a really tough one to call, as there are clearly a lot of real world influences but things don't interact in the same way.

Edited by - Roseweave on 27 Aug 2015 21:54:23
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Snow
Learned Scribe

USA
125 Posts

Posted - 01 Sep 2015 :  01:18:47  Show Profile Send Snow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LhynardHi!

This is my 1st ever post here. I am one of the admins over at the FR wiki, and I am the group's "linguistic specialist". I am currently undergoing a major project to write articles for all of the languages of Faerûn, so I can speak to some parts of your question.

First, the article you read on Rasallesian was one of the ones that had not been updated yet. It was written by a previous editor and was based solely on Tom Costa's article.

Second, the entire wiki is supposed to be written in past tense, just like a novel, to keep it separated from the timeline. If you see the word "was" that doesn't mean ANYTHING at all about the state of a language in 3rd, 4th, or 5th edition.

Third, we hold to an all-editions-are-valid rule if at all possible, but we also hold to a hierarchy of canonicity that puts sourcebooks above Dragon articles.

Fourth, I was already aware of the Rasallesian/Rashemi "conflict". My take is that it is not a conflict. Rashemi is the canon name for the language by 1372 DR, the date of Races of Faerûn and the 3e FRCS. But nothing about this conflicts with Tom Costa's article if we assume that they aren't conflicts, that is, if we assume that they are just two names for the same language. There are tons of cases where sourcebooks have multiple names for the same language, and this occurs in real life as well.

Anyhow, hope that helps.

~Lhynard

P.S. Thanks, Mr. Costa, for that very helpful reply. I am now linking to it from some of the wikia articles I am writing.

Wow! Thanks for that post, Lhynard! Can you tell us any more about this new Linguistics Project for the FR Wiki?

By the sounds of it ... and by the looks of y'all using all the past editions of TSR, WotC and Dragon Magazine linguistics references as being contextually accurate in some fashion ... you're gonna definitely have your work cut out for you!

Sounds awesome!
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Lhynard
Seeker

USA
33 Posts

Posted - 11 Oct 2015 :  09:57:38  Show Profile  Visit Lhynard's Homepage Send Lhynard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Snow
Wow! Thanks for that post, Lhynard! Can you tell us any more about this new Linguistics Project for the FR Wiki?

By the sounds of it ... and by the looks of y'all using all the past editions of TSR, WotC and Dragon Magazine linguistics references as being contextually accurate in some fashion ... you're gonna definitely have your work cut out for you!

Sounds awesome!



Sorry for the huge delay in responding! I forgot all about these forums again.

So, the project is simply to carefully go over every language ever mentioned in FR sources and create or update articles so that they are as self-consistent as possible across all editions. Yes, this is quite the challenge, more so for some languages than others!

You can watch the progress of the Project here:
http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/User:Lhynard/Projects/Linguistic_Project

As a warning, this is a very slow project, as it is primarily me working on it, and I have many different projects running at the same time.

FWIW, here is the updated Rashemi/Rasallesian article, which was written under the assumption that they are alternate names for the same language. (In researching several different sourcebooks, there was nothing that remotely posed a conflict to this assumption.)
http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Rashemi_language
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