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Intayazz 8/8/2014 1:24 PM
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Intayazz 8/8/2014 1:23 PM
In a tiny little bar above the forums, you should have the line of 'Forums: Search * Change Handle * Your Active Topics * Subscriptions * New Activity'
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hrm.... Struggling to figure out how to change the character associated with the account, since only a couple of people ever met Kara. But this is Red / Spellfury.
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*wave* I realize I kind of vanished a year ago and it's likely no one really remembers any more, but I actually have a bit of time for gaming again and figured I would see what people are up to?
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aww... *hugs and cookies for zolt*
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ddo doesnt seem to want to work for me , curse you DDO!
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Don't worry, we're grading on a curve. I'm sure you'll do better than half the folks!
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*taps the mic* Test, test
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Merry Christmas everyone! *hugs all round*
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And the award for Worst Timing. Ever. goes to... ;) Sorry to leave you two hanging!
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I hope everyone had a happy turkey day
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yay!
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Yay!
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Dearly beloved, Ready your dancing shoes...
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I should be on DDO today around 7pm eastern if anyone would like to join me.

Archie (Member) 4/22/2012 3:19 AM EST : Languages
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Arachani

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So, a point about languages came up tonight, and Latania sagely suggested that I or Int should create a forum topic instead of squeezing out all our RP text and/or bashing each other's head with a rock.

Now, apparently, canonically, all elves and drow in Eberron speak a dialect of elven as their racial language. I and others have been RPing as if this is not so, and I take issue with the idea from an accuracy standpoint.

39,900 years before the approximate date the Eberron campaign setting assumes the beginning of the campaign, which is to say, shortly after the Last War and the Treaty of Thronehold, the giantish empire collapses and the giants' slaves are freed. The elves and drow, already (if not originally) distinct races, split, the former going to Aerenal and the latter remaining on Xen'drik. Drow and elves as races from this point have minimal contact. 

Now, those who have seen a copy of the original text of Beowulf, or the writings of Bede, Aelfric, etc, can testify to how much a language can change in just over a thousand years. Considering that elves have much longer lives, imagine it would take 10 times as long for the elven language to change to an equal extent. This leaves enough time for the elven language to go through nearly four transitions from OE to modern English. Two sets of this, developing separately, would leave the languages vastly different. Take into consideration the fact that elven culture splits into Aerenal and Valenar elves, and that the drow are a race of autonomous tribes, and you logically reach a conclusion of two distinct languages and a variety of dialects, at the least. 

As I said, canon disagrees. My thought is that the people creating the campaign did not employ anyone who had both a knowledge of changing languages and the logic to apply it to Eberron, or that they wanted to keep languages simple.

To me, neither of these is a good reason to ignore what logic tells me is true.

I'm not going to make Int's arguments for him, as I'm really bad at arguing things I don't believe in, but I do want to address one of hi points. A suggestion made as to why canon with regard to language was written as it was was that language development in Eberron did not work the same way as on earth. If there were to be a justification instead of a mere reason for the elven and drow language(s), this would be the one that would seem most logical and easy to accept. However, language development is linked intrinsically to how people and society as a whole develop, and I have not seen any other suggestion that this is different in Eberron, which leads me to think that the canon regarding language is written in error.

So, the juicy part. What is the point? I would like it to be clear what exactly is a language, what is a dialect, and how able a speaker of one is able to understand a speaker of another.

As I've RP'd it, the system stands as such:

-Drow and Elven as individual languages
-Drow tribes each having their own dialect of drow
-Elves of Aerenal and Valenar having two dialects of elven
-Speakers able to understand, with some limitations, other dialects of their own language, and able to discern minimal information from speakers of another language without also speaking the language in question.
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Sunky (Member) 4/22/2012 3:54 AM EST : RE: Languages
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or you could go by cannon:

http://eberronunlimited.wikidot.com/languages

Drow speak giant, and elven. So you could be speaking giant.

I imagine the dialect might be different enough to be hard to understand each other, but basics of grammar structure would still be in tact, ie: latin based languages. Somebody who knows spanish will be able to pick up Italian pretty quickly, even though the words are slightly different.

39,900 years isn't as long for elves as it is for humans. Especially for the undying court, I'm sure the elves have probably preserved their language, but the drow would have shifted over time without as much structured learning.

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Archie (Member) 4/22/2012 12:11 PM EST : RE: Languages
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I'm not good at blindly following something that doesn't make sense to me.

It's an interesting point that Ara might be speaking giant, but that's not my preference and doesn't actually have any bearing on whether separate drow and elven languages make sense.

Here I point out that while the Romance languages are certainly similar, they are separate languages. I am a native English speaker, speak nearly fluent French, was once a student of classical Latin, am exposed weekly to Church Latin, and can understand most of written ME, OE, German, and Italian. However, listening to someone speaking Spanish at a conversational pace, I am not likely to get more than a few words out of any sentence.

I already took long lives into account, but you bring up the point of the Undying Court, which I had not thought of. Fair enough. 4,000 years ago, we would have been speaking basically a dialect of Indo-European. Perhaps the Aereni have a only slightly altered version of an equivalent. Meanwhile, the drow have developed to speak a modern language. Again, notable similarities, but not enough to claim a speaker of one understands a speaker of the other.

Edit: For that matter, if someone were to speak ME, OE, German, Italian, or Classical Latin to me, I would not be able to keep up.
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SickleYield (Applicant) 4/22/2012 12:51 PM EST : RE: Languages
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I admit, I've been playing as if Sulatar was a real thing separate from elven and Umbragen a different thing yet.  I'm willing for Sulatar/Umbragen to be a giantish tongue that drow have adopted.  There are separate translators available for elven and drow here and here, which facilitates this and tends to reinforce this idea even if it's not strict canon:

http://eclipsegaming.pbworks.com/f/aerenal_translator.html

http://www.eilistraee.com/chosen/language.php

Eberron can't be utterly without the concept of languages mutating in discreet populations over time, or it wouldn't have kobolds speaking a "form" of draconic.

But for me that's not the biggest thing.  The big thing is that different dialects and different language forms add a lot of flavor to RP that "everyone speaks elven, the end" absolutely does not.  To me this is the same as having my human characters have different speech patterns and idioms based on where they're from (Keridor, Dren and Xyries all speak very differently from each other and Xymorel, who grew up in a casual university household, speaks differently yet). 

If it suddenly turns out canonically that all humans everywhere speak East Coast English with Boston accents, I'm throwing that out, too.
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Archie (Member) 4/22/2012 1:11 PM EST : RE: Languages
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Canonically, different tribes of drow do speak different dialects of elven. You have to make an int check of 5 to understand the difference, meaning that an average elf has a 4/5 chance to understand a drow speaking a dialect of elven, and the average drow has a 17/20 chance to understand other dialects. This system for dialects works for me; it's the fact the drow speak dialects of elven and not of their own distinct language that I disagree with.
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Jaggie (SuperAdmin) 4/22/2012 1:17 PM EST : RE: Languages

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*Shrugs slightly* My character Lilly is a student under House P. She's been learning the common elven language but some of the books she reads I consider to be in an older script so some differences do appear.

My character Skipo is the child of two mixed drow tribes and her elven speech is splashed with giant and draconic words.

From my viewpoint, languages grow and evolve threw interactions with other cultures faster then they do when isolated. My home province being a good example when you look at all the various outports and isolated islands. Most of the english speaking towns are the same but some regions only speak galic or french and even rarer spanish. The towns in between all these isolated regions are the ones that get all the fun mingled accents and words that have pretty much died out in every other part of the world. All thanks to families from one town mingling with families from another town.

Aerenal is a rather isolated continent with the various towns once held together by phiarlen story tellers and ambassadors. Undying Court, the Valenar, Vol and I'm sure many other smaller branches of the elven society of that continent where linked by historical bonds and the desire to keep records of their past.

Bonds break with time and the various sects/cultures do one, or two of the following:
Grow and expand outwards (Like House P and a bit like the Valenar, though really they just made a country for themselves rather then truly growing.)
Remain isolated (Undying Court)
Die out (Vol)

Those that grow and expand will take on words from other cultures. Those that remain isolated will retain most of their original language.

The drow of Xen'drik would follow a similar path.
Xen'drik for a long time was isolated from the other continents and ruled by the giants. Some drow still follow the old ways of their masters, some have chosen to be free of such beliefs and created their own culture, others escaped to khyber.
Until the cultures of Khorvaire showed up they had little interaction with other languages outside of their own.  Isolation and little in the way of industrial development will lead to a very base line language similar to others but perhaps old enough and limited enough that other elven cultures may and will show differences.

What does all this mean?

Jaggie thinks all elven languages come with a slightly different accent depending where the speaker is from or from whomever the speaker learned elven from. On some occasions the accents and cultures are so different it sounds like a different language all together.

Example: RL Jaggie speaks mostly english, but then her parents show up and she and they only speak in a english version made up only of vowels. RL Deriaz hides downstairs for his english is not like their english and it scares him.  (Sorry Der.)

What this means for RP:

Whatever you really wish. Just be kind enough to your fellow RPer and let the two of you decide if their version of a language can be good enough to understand and be understood by your version of a language.






*Pages in a book*
I don't make the rules, I just follow them... Because it makes you angry.

"If all the world was painted dark, and all the skies turned grey, then please tell me [if you could] when would it be 'day'?"~ MidnightRyoko
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Sunky (Member) 4/22/2012 1:17 PM EST : RE: Languages
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To be honest, unless you're trying to be rude, you should be speaking common in public anyway. And any character with decent intelligence who spends time in Xen'drik is going to know the drow dialect.

If you want archy to have some special secret tongue that he can talk to his minions with and every day people can't understand, you ought to go with code or a magic spell.

Cannon is there to enhance your RP'ing story, not to limit it, and to make sure everybody is on the same page, languages included.

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SickleYield (Applicant) 4/22/2012 1:35 PM EST : RE: Languages
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Thank you, Jags.  I think you put what I wanted to say much better than I did.

I don't totally agree, Sunks.  One of the more interesting RP introductions I've had was the first time Ondranar met Elorick d'Phiarlan.  Most of the conversation was in Aereni we got from the translator and sent translations to each other via tell.  It was a lot of fun in a way it wouldn't have been if they'd just been speaking straight Common, and it added a little more edge to the mutual mistrust based on their backgrounds. 

Similarly, characters have had conversations with Smudge in a thieves' cant that I don't know to be canonical either, but it adds that much more flavor of secrecy to plans when they have to be made at the Phoenix when characters can catch each other.

And I got a lot of entertainment out of Shurjra's language difficulties between her original tongue and the version of Umbragen Arachan speaks.
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Archie (Member) 4/22/2012 1:44 PM EST : RE: Languages
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All of my characters do usually speak common in public. Then, there are times when you want to be rude and exclude certain people from the conversation, hence a language change. 

Also, mine spellcast in another language, which was how the issue came up.

The point of Ara speaking old Umbragen on occasion isn't to be secret, it adds flavour to his character. It shows that he doesn't like change. If he just wanted to be secret, he'ld be speaking something like Mabran.

I think I am usually pretty good about letting people who speak other dialects of Drow know what mine are saying. I don't think I've been letting people know based on elven, and I don't think I will without another reason, as well.

And, Sunky, I view the fact that Eberron canon acknowledges all of twenty languages as limiting, not enhancing. While I agree that the point is to put everyone on the same page, that is one of the things I would ask a DM to change if I ever played a PnP in Eberron. We just don't have one.
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Sunky (Member) 4/22/2012 1:58 PM EST : RE: Languages
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Making your own code is fine, Speaking Aerenii is a dialect of elf, which is fine, but saying my drow dialect of elf is so special it is its own language, is not fine.

That is the rules, that is cannon. That is THAT.

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