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July 22, 2010

Hmmm. When it comes to the vocabulary, it looks like I’m going to have to put a lot of work into designing the culture behind the language. Simply saying “isolated stone age culture” isn’t going to cut it. Well, I mean, I could simply create a broad variety of generic terms that would be useful for a broad variety of generic stone-age peoples, but that wouldn’t be realistic. People need specialized terms for survivng in and interacting with their environment. But even if I say, screw realism, there’s still usually considerable cultural influence on the generic level. For example, is there a generic word for “animal”? Would they count insects as “animals” or something else? If there isn’t one, how do they divide different kinds of animals into broad categories? (In western societies, it was usually “birds, beasts, fish” where fish is anything that lives in the water. Don’t ask me how they classified frogs.) Do they have any meta-categories which all things fall under, like the gendered languages (male, female, sometimes neuter) or more exotic categories (women, fire, dangerous things? No, I haven’t read the book by that name). And so on.

I’m tempted to divide everything into 6 very broad categories (you were expecting some other number?) and having a different ergative article for each instead of a single, generic article. And set the culture in my native pacific northwest USA (even though, historically, that makes no sense for an isolated culture, as the original locals were anything but) just so I can apply my own knowledge of survival in this region.

Ah, I’ll figure it out eventually. This is what happens when you try to plan things rather than doing them haphazardly.. Meanwhile, this is a good time for any readers to comment.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ember Nickel permalink
    July 22, 2010 9:41 am

    Don’t have much to contribute, but I do think the Pacific Northwest is a beautiful part of the world! I’m sure whatever you choose will be fine.

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