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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 8:52 pm 
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Heheh. As to liking my languages tidy, though, that's not really so. My invented language contains a fair amount of exceptions to the rule, as any true language would. That's part of the realism. Also, my chosen favorite language is Scottish Gaelic, which while very poetic and almost thematic, in a way, is untidy. By thematic I mean that the exceptions follow a certain mindset, if that makes any sense.

As to orthography, though, I don't see how any language is benefitted by a non-phonetic writing system. Even Gaelic, which looks completely impossible in a sentence such as 'tha i uabhasach mhath', nonetheless has a complicated and correct sound system.

The French Academy and their attempt to defend the language against change is not something I approve of. Human language always suffers from devolution, from something that can be likened to entropy, loss of structure. Thus restricting the creation of new energy out of the expenditure of the old is asking for a language to wither and die.

But I think it needs to be pointed out that language evolves by careless use. It's the day-to-day linguistic happenstance, when absolute correctness is far from the mind, that causes most new expressions and all devolution. The careful types here on the surface, scientists and other technically-minded individuals, cause very little change in the language they use to document their work. I think these are the kind of people that the D'ni could be most likened to, given what we know about them and their attention to detail. I think that, if anything, D'ni evolved more complexity as the D'ni knowledge-base grew.

Andrew

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 12:08 pm 
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Tahm wrote:
As to orthography, though, I don't see how any language is benefitted by a non-phonetic writing system. Even Gaelic, which looks completely impossible in a sentence such as 'tha i uabhasach mhath', nonetheless has a complicated and correct sound system.

The French Academy and their attempt to defend the language against change is not something I approve of. Human language always suffers from devolution, from something that can be likened to entropy, loss of structure. Thus restricting the creation of new energy out of the expenditure of the old is asking for a language to wither and die.

But I think it needs to be pointed out that language evolves by careless use. It's the day-to-day linguistic happenstance, when absolute correctness is far from the mind, that causes most new expressions and all devolution. The careful types here on the surface, scientists and other technically-minded individuals, cause very little change in the language they use to document their work. I think these are the kind of people that the D'ni could be most likened to, given what we know about them and their attention to detail. I think that, if anything, D'ni evolved more complexity as the D'ni knowledge-base grew.

Andrew

Firstly, the word I think you're looking for is phonemic as it's an impossibility to have a phonetic language; the number of sounds the voice can produce are infinite. Which leads me to another point: I've never really seen something on how D'ni allophony works.

Secondly, like Nyrphame said earlier, I don't really understand what you mean by "devolution". All languages change (though at different paces) with time, wheteher you like it or not. No language changes to the "worse" or to the "better", it just changes. To say that the language change you and I contribute to in the long run is "careless" requires the assumption that the current language, for example modern English, is the most correct and pure. But as we look back in time, we see the same changes done there. We have sound changes, grammaticalizations, semantic drifts etc, but there isn't anything inheritently (sp?) bad with that, it just happens, as it does everywhere. Would you try to undo every change in language done, you'd only go as far as, say, Proto-Indo-European, which is a good 6000 years old or so.

But there are languages that have been conserved rather well, with my prime examples being Icelandic and formal Arabic. Arabic is especially interesting as the motivation for this conservation is religion, which parrallels the D'ni view of their own language pretty well. The Arabs believe that the language of the Qur'an is the highest and divine form Arabic and that the content of it cannot be translated without being somewhat currupted in meaning. It's not strange that Written D'ni would likewise be very, very archaic and preserved, but I cannot for the life of me expect that D'ni would be identical between all classes, ages, districts etc. Especially the working class would be very influenced with outsider languages with all the work on other Ages for example.


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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 10:46 pm 
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Aye, Phonemic is a better term, but I don't see it often. It's a less careless term, though, so I'll use it from now on.

Like I said on the other thread, language devolution goes from more to less structure. We still retain the capacity for every grammatical function, of course, because we need them, but where at one time language usually had a way of expressing them within a single structural "theme" (I use this for lack of a better word. What I mean is that, because the language had a structure more or less individual, each grammatical function followed more or less a grammatical "theme" or way of thinking that belonged to that language, and was cultured in the minds of its speakers), over time as the old forms are lost, new forms develop along several different avenues, usually picking up attributes from other languages as well. Modern English has done this with a vengeance.

If you don't think there is a "better" or "worse" way to linguistic change, ask a learner of English. The haphazard way English has been allowed to change means that it has lost its original logic, it's "theme" or pattern. Some languages can be picked up relativly quickly, becaus their theme is intact.

As to the D'ni, you may be forgetting how often the Myst novels stressed the fact that the D'ni wre much more careful and methodical, less inpulsive and emotional, than we surface-dwellers. That's where my argument that D'ni hasn't changed much comes from. I feel my comparison of the D'ni to the scientific and technical types up surfaceward is a good one.

Andrew

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 11:18 pm 
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Tahm wrote:
We still retain the capacity for every grammatical function, of course, because we need them...


That might not even hold. In English we've all but lost the subjunctive mood.

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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 1:38 am 
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Well, not necessarily, because we can still express it through sentences such as "I hope that...", "maybe it'll...", etc. But that's my point, the language goes from order to disorder.

Andrew

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Last edited by Tahm on Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:55 am 
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Hmmmmm......


Let me try. Kay-dish. Sounds right to me. Here's another little tidbit for you. Atrus and Yeesha were brought up mostly in english with no true link to D'ni. I suspect Gehn, being raised by his mother mostly, would have spoken D'ni rather broken. And Escher pronounced D'ni correctly (Duck-nee) with a hint of Hebrew to it. Now in today's culture, many people find it hard to correctly prnounce certain hebrew words, with the hebrew letter "ch" in it. So they simplify it. As I have heard it said, the letter is pronounced like you're "hawkin a loogie."
I know how to correctly say D'ni but most people take the shortcut as it's easier to pronounce. Everyone does it. So to my common knowledge we have incomplete or incorrect information on the D'ni tongue. In order to know better, someone is going to have to make a third type of encounter with the bahro, since they seem to be the only link to Atrus' final home, Releeshahn. The surviving D'ni are there, and they know how to talk.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atrus

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:24 am 
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That makes a lot of sense, Vormaen.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:44 am 
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Vormaen wrote:
I suspect Gehn, being raised by his mother mostly, would have spoken D'ni rather broken. And Escher pronounced D'ni correctly (Duck-nee) with a hint of Hebrew to it.


Gehn lived in D'ni until he was eight, and moved away from his grandmother when he was 14. I'm not really sure how that would have affected his d'ni.

RAWA wrote:
how would A'trus be pronounced?


An apostrophe following a vowel represents a glottal stop. So you say the "ay" and stop the air briefly with your vocal chords before saying the "trus", just as you stop the air briefly with your vocal chords between the syllables of "uh-oh".

Shorahmin wrote:
For example, from Escher's pronunciation, ducknee is closer than dunny but not quite right.


Don't get me started on "ducknee". An apostrophe following a consonant represents a "schwa" from Hebrew. So even if the D'ni glottal stop were as hard as Esher made it sound, it wouldn't have shown up in the word "D'ni". Personally, I'm sticking with my theory that Esher had a bizarre speech impediment caused by being bitten by the snakes in Noloben too many times, and for some reason, it only seemed to manifest itself when he tried to pronounce "D'ni." Stranger things have happened.

:)

RAWA


So "dukhnee" is not quite right. RAWA stated earlier that "d'ni" is to be pronounced with about equal emphasis on the "duh" and the "nee," not slurred, not with an accent on the "duh," and not with a "kh" in between.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:01 am 
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Alright, the RAWA information makes plenty of sense, though I'm going to have to read up on schwas. But as far as an apostrophe following a vowel goes, pronouncing A'trus (or Ai'trus, since the 'ay' sound is apparently used - I prefer é for 'ay', myself), it would sound like saying the "eight truss-" part in "eight trussed-up Rivenese fed the wharks".

(grisly examples are the best kind sometimes)

Shorah.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:28 pm 
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That's only because a lot of English speakers convert consonants ending their words into stops. So "cat" becomes ca' and "wahrk" becomes wahr'. The d'ni, apparently, did not have this problem, so they wouldn't mistake "A'trus" and "eight-truss."

And the schwa is just the vowel sound in "love" and "bun" (to think of a few non-grisly examples.)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:12 pm 
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Right. If you aspirated the end 't' in 'eight', it would sound completely different, but I figured that the average reader who might not understand the term 'glottal stop' might get that instead.

I see as to the schwa, thanks.

Andrew

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 2:38 am 
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However, if we all take it up and begin to communicate in it again - make it live and breath again -- it will begin to change from that moment on.


What we truly need is a new font, a D'ni font for all of our computers, so we all can learn and literally talk using d'ni letters. That would be cool, right?

i probably just murderd the vibe, but i had to get that out... :oops:

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 5:09 am 
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Quote:
What we truly need is a new font, a D'ni font for all of our computers, so we all can learn and literally talk using d'ni letters. That would be cool, right?


I can't find the link to Cyan's official D'ni font, but here's a very good D'ni Script font.
You can try it out at the D'ni Linguistic Fellowship forums, where beginners are encouraged and welcomed. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:45 pm 
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Honestly, I trust Yeesha's pronunciations above all. From a story point of view, she has lived with Calam for quite a while, and he is a Grand freaking Master of Writing. Escher lived with merely the Bahro as "company," and so many theorize that to be the reason for his incredibly strong, not D'ni, accent. He certainly doesn't speak with what Vormaen calls a "hint of Hebrew." The kh sound is common in many tongues, English being a surprising exception.

But more on Yeesha. She says "D'ni" the most accurately, and seems far removed from her siblings', father and grandfather's incorrect pronunciations. "Dunny" my eye, Atrus.

In conclusion, would everyone stop using "D'ni blood" as an explanation for things? If there's one thing we've learned throughout these tales, it's that you yourself, not your geneology, determines who you are and what you can do.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 4:54 am 
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Marentan wrote:
He certainly doesn't speak with what Vormaen calls a "hint of Hebrew." The kh sound is common in many tongues, English being a surprising exception.


Actually, i thought the kh sound was more a fixture of Afrikaans and some other African languages, particularly the native tribal languages. the tribe Xhosha(probably wrong spelling, please correct me) pronounce their tribe name with the kh-(glottal stop) ohsa. Other African tribes have similar things.


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