Friday, September 9, 2016

Day 9: Language

No, not like that Mr. Rogers.  Today's exersice has more to do with the language of my campaign setting. Bryant gives a pretty informative lesson on writing over on her page for this day, giving some background information to today's task. 

So here's today's exercise:

Listen to how different syllables sound to you. Do they excite you? Do you associate a particular sound with an emotion or place or memory? Write down some generic preferences for your languages-- "I want the language spoken by the elves to sound like water, and the language spoken by the dwarves to sound like gravel rubbing together" and then go listen to what those things sound like. Write down the syllables you hear when you run a faucet or sit by a stream, for instance. Those sounds will be your "root" syllables when making up your names for places and people and things.
Two races immediately leap to mind when considering this exercise; the Drachon and the Bathal.

The Drachon are my klingons, they're raiders and warriors. They're also basically dragonborn from D&D, big reptile-people with draconic characteristics. Their language is deep, booming, with a lot of "back of the mouth" sounds to their names and languange.

cho   kah   hach   gra   gro   ah-huh

I'm now reminded of the Maori warriors of New Zealand and their war cry dance, the haka. I don't want to appropriate that for my Drachon, but maybe something like it. Regardless, I think that's a decent example of the language I envision with this race.

The next memorable race is the Bathal; my mind-flayer/zerg antagonists. They're all alien and tentacles and sinuous bodies. I want their language to be hisses, whistles, and clicks; all while sounding underwater.

sss   kshh   lis   fwe   nok  grsh  

It's a place to start with that; I'm trying to envision what an octopus would sound like if  it could talk. That's pretty much what the Bathal will sound like if they use their mouths to speak with you.

 Other races will get similar treatments; the allef will have a lot of cat-sounds to them, while the granos language involves a lot of snaps and clunks.  I could go on for much more than 15 minutes, but I still need to make a few of my other races.  Once I have that, they will undergo this exercise too.


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