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I was thinking about creating a realistic portrayal of how language(s) would develop in Equestria. Of course you would have different language families, most likely divided by the different sentient species in their world; the equine languages, the griffin languages, the draconic languages, etc. Each would have their own unique history, dialects, grammar, phonetics, and more importantly lexicon, which would be highly influenced by their culture and way of life. Now let’s focus on the Ponies’ languages, or possibly a common Equestrian language that would have developed with the unification of the tribes. I was thinking they could develop an interesting noun classification system based on three groups; Earth/Terrequine, Sky/Pegasian, and Magic/Monocerous. This classification would not only apply to the types of ponies themselves, but reflect in how they view the world. Their names could take on the appropriate endings depending on if they were an earth pony, pegasus, or unicorn, and all nouns would get classified into one of those three groups; the ‘earth’ group for more earth-oriented things, the ‘sky’ group for sky-oriented things, and the ‘magic’ group for more abstract concepts. This could even apply to a single noun, where changing that noun’s ending or classification would change its meaning. Let’s make a word in example; perhaps la phona could mean “the tree” in earth form, then le phone could mean “the cloud” in sky form, and li phoni could mean “the pony (sentient individual; conscience)” in the magic form. (This is just for example; if I really make this language, there will be much more thought put into making it natural and have historical context with phonetic changes, irregularities, historic spelling rules, etc.) Now historically, among the three tribes, each one would’ve had their own distinct dialect of a “proto-equestrian” language, which would eventually shape the accents, dialects and colloquialisms of their modern counterparts. The unicorns’ language would’ve probably been more archaic and formed the basis for the standardisation of modern equestrian grammar; hence, people from Canterlot and aristocratic unicorns/ponies tend to speak very clearly with a distinct accent and word choice that could possibly sound ‘posh’ and ‘ritzy’ to other ponies. You could even have a similar thing to English where, after the invasion of Normandy, we took words from French, which took on a more pretentious and sophisticated feel as they were used by the aristocracy, yet we also retained the same words from Anglo-Saxon which have a lower register as they were used by the commoners or working class. So words from historic Unicorn language would sound more formal and sophisticated, while perhaps words originating from Earth Ponies would sound more simple. The earth ponies would also develop many accents and dialects of this modern Equestrian language based on their historic language(s), which could be perceived by other ponies to be very ‘country’ or ‘rustic’ (i.e. Applejack and the Apple family). Of course in modern Equestrian times these colloquialisms won’t always hold true solely based on a pony’s type; for example, Octavia is an Earth Pony who speaks kind of poshly or ‘properly’. You could also have unique accents arising in the city, for example Babs’ accent. Princess Luna, then, would speak a very archaic, unicornish form of the Equestrian language, possibly an Early Modern Equestrian language based in Canterlot (comparable to Early Modern English). If I continue through with this idea of documenting/creating a theoretical linguistic background for Equestria and constructing actual languages, I’ll probably post my progress here. Maybe one day we can have actual language courses and an entire community speaking an Equestrian language? That would be amazing. I’ll try to develop this more when I can, and hopefully I’ll have an actual speakable language underway soon. I will, however, probably have to start with an experimental Equestrian language first, before I start something serious, to kind of get an idea of how it would turn out and to get a basis for the whole thing. So what are your thoughts on all of this? Any extra ideas or Equestrian history you'd like to point out that may contribute to this?
So as you've probably seen from my previous postings, languages and writing systems fascinate me greatly. Though the conlang as a whole is in development hell, I've come up with a few variations of my previous drafts of Equestrian language. The following was inspired from the various dialects of Syriac, one of three known abjads (consonantal systems, no vowels) known in use today, the others being Arabic and Hebrew. It's derived directly from Aramaic, the language of Jesus himself. Syriac is divided into three types: Estrangelo, an outdated system found in early manuscripts, and the Western (Serto) and Eastern (Madnḥāyā) systems. So in response, I used these, along with my previous systems, as a model to create what I dub "Marestrangelo Horsyrian", a title parodying "Estrangelo Assyrian". It's still a work in progress, but see below in the red box: It doesn't appear to have any pictographic origin; that's because it was purportedly taught to paleoponies by the Arcana (spirits embodying the 22 Elements of Harmony) themselves. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Note the rarity of vowels; they only established those later on, and I'll add said vowels accordingly. It is written right to left in hieratic cursive, so each letter probably has an initial, medial, final, and isolated form. Won't be the first time I had to do that. Anyway, tell me what you think! Cheers, Sean