Monday, May 3, 2010

Standart [Jun. 20th, 2007 at 6:35 PM]

~The whole despicable episode in Arizona reminded me of this post I made nearly three years ago about the language used in my original Cyber Witch stories:

[info]adayinthelife and I were have a bit of language geek interface and I wrote the following:

Nothing about Standart yet, though I will post this example as a start.

If you look in Witches Cycle stories, you'll see the first word in Harlequin is the name of the world where most of the story takes place, Needodeswaynyo. This word is a microcosm of the whole language, the Anglo phonetic spelling of Nido de Sueño [Nest of Dreams]. I'm still working out details and will 'wing it' quite often, but I do have some things nailed down.

Standart is an Anglo-Iberian patois with a generally Anglo grammatic structure. It has a tendency toward the Germanic habit of smashing several words together into one. The alphabet is roughly thirty characters [keeping that vague for literary flexibility]. And it eats words as voraciously as its American English ancestor.

There are two important linguistic modifiers.

First, and most important story wise, effects their alphabet. This is a 'techomage' society, Cyber Witches in my terminology, and over the course of time they have absorbed Majickal words from hundreds of languages. Scholars keep track of the exact pronunciations of these words through a complex system of diacritics, which has the practical effect of 'expanding' their alphabet to the low hundreds because of the multiple diacritic variations upon each character.

But this is a specialized vocabulary, that while nearly equal in numbers of words vis-a-vis the general language, is almost never spoken outside of Ritual and/or Majickal Working.

The second is the use of Japanese and Kanji script. This is not so much a modifier as a subset.

The social structure is largely a collective of Cults, the Witch version of Clans, though based upon Aspects of The Goddess, not upon blood. These Cults are flexible and have both an intramural flow and a fair amount of overlap.

The most politically and culturally powerful of these Cults are the Amazon Warrior Cults. They have borrowed freely from the structure and traditions of Bushido, especially the highly formalized style of the Tokugawa period. But they have also taken much from its earlier forms.

In this regard, they use Japanese and Kanji in their martial practices. Again, like the Majick vocabulary, this is limited to specific formal activities, but it does have a wider cultural effect.

Young Sisters in these Cults will travel on various Dueling Circuits, going from world to world to sharpen their martial skills in contests, both formal and 'spontaneous', though 99% non-fatal. [There are grudges that become lethal from time to time] When a Sister says, “I shall ride the waves,” that usually means that she is going on a Dueling Circuit. This is an accepted rite of passage.

The source of this is the Ronin, the classic masterless samurai, a word which translates as “wave man”. In this culture, it is also a general idiom. “To ride the waves” can mean feeling happy and free, or conversely, a rejection of responsibility.

I also use the word Soka, which is an archaic slang of 'asodeska' [“I understand”]. It has crept in and replaced 'okay' completely in general usage.

As this all gets 'fixed upon the page' as I write these, more shall be revealed. But this is the broad overview. Thanks for providing an excuse to ramble on about this.

~My point is that I do expect that over the next century or so that we here in the Americas will come to speak "an Anglo-Iberian patois" and all this Bagger bullshit ain't gonna stop it.

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