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Icelander
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Posted - 22 Apr 2018 :  15:16:21  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Thorass originally came into being around the Lake of Steam and the lands that would become Amn and Tethyr, as a result of trade and contact between the empires of Jhaamdath and Calimshan.

It seems to be the direct ancestor of the modern Common spoken on the Sword Coast and in the Heartlands. The dialects of Common spoken around the Sea of Fallen Stars are likely to be related to Thorass only through the Chondathan language, which probably mixed with the languages spoken by the settlers of the Great Dale, the Dragon Reach and the lands around Impiltur, many of which would themselves have been derived from Jaamdathian.

It's not completely clear to me where the 3e language Damaran came from. Tom Costa's 2e 'Speaking in Tongues' article proposes a Chardic language sub-group, under the Ulou family, which includes Damaran (spoken in modern Damara) and Easting (spoken in Impiltur and the Vast).

Modern Damara, of course, doesn't have a long history and the dialect there cannot be very far removed from the (presumably) older Easting language of Impiltur and the Vast, not unless it was extensively influenced by other languages spoken by the settlers of Damara.

The best I can tell, Impiltur under the Mirador dynasty seems likely to have developed a language from extensive contact between Nar tribesmen and the Jhaamdathian warrior aristocracy that came with the Miradors over the ocean. The Nar element in the language would account for its classification in the 'Ulou' language family, as the Narfelli and Naric language were classified as Ulou languages.

In the early years of the history of Impiltur, I don't see much evidence that the kingdom had much influence outside its borders. It takes until the 4th century DR for Impiltur so project power over the waves as far as Altumbel. In the 1st to 3rd centuries DR, I don't know if there is much contact between anyone living in the south and east of the Sea of Fallen Stars and the proto-Chardic speaking people of the Vast, Impiltur and environs.

At this time, the Second Untheri Empire rules all the lands around the eastern arm of the Inner Sea, from the Wizard's Reach and Chessenta to Unther itself. Jhaamdathan refugees have settled many areas of the Wizard's Reach and probably Chessenta, but have to submit to Untheri rule. It's very probable that the Jaamdathan influence was responsible for the languages in these outlying provinces diverging from the Untheri mother-tongue.

I'm wondering what languages traders sailing the Alamber Sea and the eastern arm of the Sea of Fallen Stars would have used as a lingua franca in the 2nd and 3rd century DR, i.e. in the time period of an 'Athalantean Campaign' (see Dragon #228).

Educated people would have spoken Untheric in all the more westerly ports and Mulhorandi in the ports further east. Chessentan may have existed as a language or at least had started to diverge from Untheric and the Jaamdathan refugees that spread over these areas may still have retained some of their language and/or it may have influenced the languages of Altumbel, Aglarond, Chessenta and the Wizard's Reach.

The dialect of a 'Common' language that eventually spread around the Inner Sea would seem unlikely to have existed in a recognisable form at this time. For one thing, the strong Chardic influence that distinguished the Inner Sea Common from Thorass-descended Common spoken in the Heartlands and the Sword Coast hasn't had time to become part of whatever patois is spoken.

A kind of trade tongue based on the dialects spread by the Chondathan diaspora and the earlier Jhaamdathan refugees is not unlikely, but it would be pretty far from modern Inner Sea Common. It is also likely to be seen as a spoken language only, not something that scholars or poets wrote in. I suppose that educated people who already spoke such a dialect might have learned Thorass, as a more prestigious language that was still close enough to their birth-tongue to be easier to learn than Untheric.

Aside from Untheric of the period, what languages might scholars, scribes and wizards of Unther, Chessenta or the Wizard's Reach, living in the 2nd or 3rd century DR, have translated ancient works into?

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Lord Karsus
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Posted - 22 Apr 2018 :  18:27:29  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-I might be misremembering or putting in my own ideas, but isn't "Common" basically just that? It isn't exactly a set language specifically, but rather just a collection of common words and phrases and whatever else. As such, it would be a very organic language that would change depending on the times. The Common tongue of the 300s and 400s would still be called "Common" but it would be very different from the Common tongue of the 1300s and 1400s because of the different influences and major languages of the time.

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Edited by - Lord Karsus on 22 Apr 2018 18:28:06
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Icelander
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Posted - 22 Apr 2018 :  19:20:50  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

-I might be misremembering or putting in my own ideas, but isn't "Common" basically just that? It isn't exactly a set language specifically, but rather just a collection of common words and phrases and whatever else. As such, it would be a very organic language that would change depending on the times. The Common tongue of the 300s and 400s would still be called "Common" but it would be very different from the Common tongue of the 1300s and 1400s because of the different influences and major languages of the time.


That might be.

On the other hand, Faerun in the past was not as integrated with international trade as it is now. So while the Common language existed, it might have been regarded as 'The Common Tongue of the West' by those who lived within the (much larger then) cultural sphere of the Old Empires.

Also, note that the 2nd and 3rd centuries DR are from 101-299 DR.

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Markustay
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Posted - 22 Apr 2018 :  20:14:02  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
IN Kara-Tur, they have their own 'common', called 'The Trade Tongue". Language is much more of a barrier in K-T than it is in Faerūn - you're lucky if a small village has one person who speaks the Trade language (and the dialects vary greatly from region to region).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 22 Apr 2018 :  20:34:38  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Auld Common as it was then was a mix of calishite and chondathan and I think netherese (although netherese may be a mix of modern common).

It was made up of these languages for a reason, the majority of traders at the time would have been shoon/tethyrians or of chondathan descent.

Chondathans spread to impiltur, Sembia, the dalelands, The vilhon reach, the Dragon reach, the vast, and probably a whole host of other lands. Soon meanwhile spread to tethyr, amn, tashalar, shaar, western heartlands, and even parts of the sword coast north (until the illuskan arrived).

Netheril meanwhile touched the savage frontier, halruaa, moonsea, western heartlands, and more.

Combined, the Calimshan, Chondathan, and Netherese people's touched upon just about every corner of faerun so words derived from a mix of those three languages are likely to have a common root in every other language.

I reckon modern common came about with the addition of the illuskan language which came to dominate the savage frontier (the netherese influence there being almost completely by the demons of ascalhorn and orc hordes).

The only language families not included in auld or modern common were outlying languages like rauric and ulou, but these people often mingled with or had extensive contact with those from the chondathan, calishite, or chondathan people's.

At least that's how I'm rationalizing it. The birth of the common tongue was as a direct result of the diaspora which caused humanity to spread itself thin but at the same time open up new trading opportunities and the need for a common language. I don't think anyone deliberately created the language with the intention of creating a trade language for the whole of faerun but it was so useful that every trader who encountered it adopted it and so it spread between regions and nations and within a century it was everywhere. Then when the illuskan came they adopted and altered it and that gradually replaced the Auld with Modern.

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Icelander
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Posted - 22 Apr 2018 :  21:01:23  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
dazzlerdal, in light of this rationalisation, the lands of the Second Untheric Empire and their closest neighbours, would be outside the area where the Netherese and Shoon influenced and the Jhaamdathan/Chondathan immigrants would have arrived into established societies, where they would have been economically disadvantaged and their languages unlike to be viewed as prestige dialects.

So, apart from 'proper' or High Untheric, which would undoubtedly be one language of the educated, what other languages would a travelling scholar of the eastern arm of the Inner Sea have been likely to know around 200 DR?

I'm aware that many of the trade pidgins or local dialects would not have survived to the modern age, but in what languages would literature have been written?

I'm partial to a language that is ancestral to modern Chessentan and the dialects spoken in the Wizard's Reach existing as a trade tongue in the provincial ports of Unther's outlying regions, the result of Low Untheric mixing with Jhaamdathan, Chondathan and various regional argots. It might even have been spoken first as a first language by pirates in the area, surely a polyglot mixture of races and ethnicities at that time as at any other.

What languages might have been regarded as attainments suitable for an educated man in that area?

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 23 Apr 2018 :  14:54:08  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My initial thoughts about a trade language for the alamber sea region would be that untheric would be the prime candidate.

Before 600dr untheric would have been spoken in chessenta.
Before 400dr untheric would have been the main language in aglarond, shaar, maybe even dambrath.

Untheric is largely unchanged from the rauric/Mulan fusion of languages that happened -2300dr ish.
Mulhorandi is substantially evolved from the same rauric/Mulan fusion with bits of turami added and possibly a turami slave language. Unther and chessenta had no such turami slave language (they took anyone as slaves and exiled or slaughtered the turami natives).

Since untheric was spoken South, west, and north (aglarond and wizards reach and thesk) of the alamber sea, and because it is the involved origin of mulhorandi it would have been much easier to use untheric as a trade language as mulhorandi speakers could recognise many untheric words but untheric speakers may not be able to recognise some mulhorandi words.

I don't think rauric would have been used as a trade tongue as the untheric/mulhorandi empire would not deal favourably with those speakers and I think murghom and sell her may once have spoken such a language but it was quickly eradicated when mulhorand subjugated them.

So untheric was probably the trade tongue in the east while common was used in the West.

Untheric speakers would have had familiarity with chondathan after existing alongside jhaamdath for so long (as trading partners and warring nations).

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Icelander
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Posted - 23 Apr 2018 :  18:28:42  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If the variety of Untheric spoken in Chessenta and the Wizard's Reach has evolved into Chessentan by 600 DR, there must have been a period while this evolution was taking place. After all, modern Chessentan and Untheric seem nothing alike, so I'd prefer a long period of linguistic drift and admixture with Jhaamdathan/Chondathan languages.

It's canonical that there are class-based dialects of Untheric, so it's not implausible to assume that traders and sailors have always spoken an argot extremely divergent from the archaic and stilted language of High Untheric.

A thousand years is a long time, long enough for there to have been a lingua franca around the eastern arm of the Inner Sea, based on Low Untheric, that eventually evolved into the languages of Chessenta and the Wizard's Reach.

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 23 Apr 2018 :  19:17:32  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can't say I've encountered an example of class based dialects in unther yet, if you could direct me to a source that would be great.

I have the mixing of chondathan and tethyrian with untheric from around 300 DR onwards. There seems to have been unrest in chondath around this time (mayhaps the goblin wars and perhaps the arrival of Bane) that drove a number of turami and chondathans east into Chessenta. Around 400 DR were the mage purges in shoon which led to a lot of tethyrians migrating to chessenta and the wizards reach as well (chondath was too chaotic at the time for them I think).
Over the next few centuries these languages mixed to form the chardic Creole in chessenta now, I don't think it became dominant until Tchazzars time though. It makes sense for him to unite the people by making the new chessenta language a language that everyone could understand rather than the pure untheric or chondathan spoke by the dominant factions in the country.

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Markustay
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Posted - 23 Apr 2018 :  19:20:04  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Modern Mulan languages would all derive from Devic, which was the language of the Imaskari (although today its usually just referred to as 'Imaskari' by Sages).

Knowing that language would be akin to knowing Latin in modern Europe - you may be able to 'get by' in a lot of countries, but it would be rough.

I would assume 'Mulan Common' or 'Southern Common' would be a pidgeon of the original Mulan languages (Babylonian, Sumerian, & Egyptian, which probably all have common roots anyway), combined with Devic and perhaps some Turami and Arkaiun.

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Icelander
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Posted - 24 Apr 2018 :  05:36:20  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

I can't say I've encountered an example of class based dialects in unther yet, if you could direct me to a source that would be great.

The Alabaster Staff novel.

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Icelander
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Posted - 24 Apr 2018 :  12:02:30  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Modern Mulan languages would all derive from Devic, which was the language of the Imaskari (although today its usually just referred to as 'Imaskari' by Sages).

I'd prefer Devic to be one of the many modern language families which descend from the languages of Imaskar, as it beggars belief that there was some kind of single 'Imaskari' language which was recognisably the same from -8000 DR to -2,500 DR.

Also, as the real-world languages used for inspiration for some of the languages that are said to have descended from the language of Imaskar belong to language families that are actually not related, at least not provably so, even if they might have been considered so at the time that The Horde was being written (especially among laypeople), I'd really like to avoid claiming that they are all one language family.

As the Realms have a longer recorded history than our world, we can know for a fact linguistic relationships that we must essentially guess at in our world. Macro- or superfamilies of languages, while hard to prove in the real world, are probably a real thing in the Realms. And the Imaskari languages would be just such a macrofamily, including what in our world would be Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Turkic, Mongolian and many other languages.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Knowing that language would be akin to knowing Latin in modern Europe - you may be able to 'get by' in a lot of countries, but it would be rough.

Knowing Latin in modern Europe is a slight help when learning Italian and Spanish, maybe a little better than nothing when studying French. It provides no useful common language with anyone you might meet on a tourist trip to modern Europe, as even scholars that study Latin are extremely unlikely to know how to speak it. There were a few basic Latin words I could try repeating slowly in Italy, which was better than nothing in those small mountain villages where no one spoke a word of English, but that wouldn't work in France, Spain or anywhere else Romance languages are spoken.

What I'm looking for is the equivalent of Vulgate Latin in medieval Europe, i.e. something that scholars from anywhere would be extremely likely to know. I know that High Untheric would be one such language, but what other languages might have been prestigious and widespread among educated people around the eastern arm of the Inner Sea. Mulhorandi, to a degree, yes.

Is it likely that some from of proto-Chessentan had already come into existence?

It is canonical that there was a 'Chessentan Empire' around -700 DR, most likely at that time rebellious western provinces that broke free from Unther in the aftermath of the Orcgate Wars and the decimation of the Untheri pantheon, not to mention the abdication of Enlil. Perhaps the Chessentan Empire consisted of provinces that didn't immediately acknowledge Gilgeam as Enlil's successor, but were later re-integrated into the Second Untheric Empire.

In any case, such events might have led to the dialects of Untheric spoken in Chessenta to diverge further and perhaps even deliberately distinguish itself from the mother tongue, by adopting influences from other languages spoken in Chessenta. This is, of course, extremely plausible from -250 DR onwards, as successive waves of Jhaamdathan and then Chondathan immigrants would have become part of provincial Untheri society and, especially, settling the new frontiers, but might not have been as welcome in the ancient heartlands, except as slaves.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I would assume 'Mulan Common' or 'Southern Common' would be a pidgeon of the original Mulan languages (Babylonian, Sumerian, & Egyptian, which probably all have common roots anyway), combined with Devic and perhaps some Turami and Arkaiun.


There is no credible evidence of any common root language between Akkadian (what you call Babylonian), Sumerian and Old Egyptian. They are, respectively, an East Semitic language, a language isolate, with no known related languages, and a language with its own branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family.

While it is fairly commonplace to propose that both Egyptian and Akkadian are descended from a common proto-Afroasiatic language, Egyptian is divergent enough from most other Afroasiatic languages to make it extremely challenging to make any declarative statements as to the exact degree of familial relation and some theories do not accept any close relationship between Semitic languages and Egyptian, beyond linguistic influences from proximity.

And while Sumerian and Akkadian influenced each other in ancient Mesopotamia, there exists absolutely zero evidence that the languages were in any way related before this. In fact, while no familial relationship with any other language has been widely accepted, theories proposing a relationship with Dravidian languages of the southernmost part of India are taken more seriously than the idea that there exists a common root language of both Sumerian and Egyptian.

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Edited by - Icelander on 24 Apr 2018 12:06:29
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Markustay
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Posted - 26 Apr 2018 :  07:12:15  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I did use the word 'probably'. LOL

I just assumed they were all branches off of some ancient, proto-semetic tongue.

I read somewhere that they've found most of the books of the old Testament (Torah, actually) on Sumerian clay cylinders (how they kept records), and it was all stories about their gods, and the Jews just adapted it. But since you really can't trust any information these days (we never really could - we are just aware of that fact now), who knows. Since the Israelites presumably 'came from Sumer' (Sumeria), one can see a connection between language and culture (not that Egyptian is Semetic - I definitely agree with you on that. Egypt is pretty unique). As for Babylonia and Sumeria - I always thought of it like Ancient Rome and The Holy Roman Empire - a 'sequel', of sorts. As you obviously know, a few thousand years can certainly change a language.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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