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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?
Saluton "ponefratoj"! Does somebody here speak Esperanto? Currently I learn it. That's an artificial language created in the 1880s by Dr. Ludwik Zamenhof to serve as world language. He lived in a city with Poles, Russians, Germans and Jews and thought that many conflicts arose due to the language barrier, so he got the idea for an international auxiallary language. It's created to be as simply as possible to learn, while still having the precision and subleties of complex natural languages. It's special point are the same endings for all words of a grammatical category, for example, nouns all end in -o and adjectives in -a. With those endings and certain a-, in- and suffixes one can create neccessary words from word stems, so the number of words you actually have to learn is quite low. "Poneo" means "pony" and "frato" is "brother". They can easily be melted into a compound noun, like in Greek and German. The -j is the plural marker, like -s is in English and French, while "fratino" (the suffix -in is for the female gender, as it's used in German) means sister (literally "female brother"). The word Esperanto itself means "the one who hopes", esper- is the word stem for hope (it's taken from several Romanic languages), while the suffix -ant (from French) is for "people that do something", and then comes the -o to make it a noun. "La espero" (la is the definite article, just like "the" in English) means just "the hope" while "espera" is "hopeful". You can create whatever words you want, like "spacbatalanto", my ponysona's name Space Warrior (spaco = space, batalo = fight, -ant = the one who does something, -o = ending for nouns) or "planedestrino" for "female ruler of a planet" (planedo = planet, -estr = boss of something, -in = female gender, -o = 'cause it's a noun). "Doktoro Esperanto" was the pseudonym under which Dr Zamenhof published the first Esperanto book (Unua Libro aka The First Book). He called the language just "La Internacia Lingvo" (The International Language), but since that's a bit long and generic, the name of the book's author became a synonym for the language. He choose that name because he hoped that his creation would one day become the global lingua franca. "Global" means that all people on the planet learn Esperanto, to use it in international situations, like as a foreign ex-change student, on a vacation or when reading a translated novel. Dr Zamenhof never thought of Esperanto to replace other languages. It's a point of critic that modern-day English is used in non-English speaking countries in situations where it isn't neccessary and many fear that a world language would totally destroy diversity. But Esperanto wouldn't. Esperanto gained a lot of attention shortly after it was published. Millions of people in all of Europe started to learn it. There were congresses and clubs all over the continent. It could have become a world language. Unfortunately, this changed because World War Two. The Nazis hated Esperanto because Dr Zamenhof was a Jew. Adolf Hitler called it a Jewish secret-language for world domination in Mein Kampf. The Nazis banned Esperanto, closed all clubs and murdered many Esperantists. Dr Zamenhof's family was targeted for extermination. After the Second World War the rise of the United States as global superpower lead to English as de facto functional world language. But English is not international - just like Latin isn't Vaticanian - , it's imperial, since it's only so popular because the British Empire once ruled the seas and the United States are so dominant in politics, economy and culture of the Western world since World War II. But who knows what's going to happen in the future. Another constructed world language (that never became one) was Volapük, created by the German Catholic priest Johann Martin Schleyer after the had a dream where God told him to create a world language. It's name means "world speak", vol means world and pük is speak, both where taken from those English words, in fact nearly all words where derived from German, French and English. Volapük was a bit popular after it's publication, too, but Esperanto replaced it. Menade bal, püki bal - Eine Menschheit, eine Sprache - One humanity, one language Interlingua was an international auxiallary language that was used for diplomacy during the Interwar period. It has an extremely simplified grammar and takes all words from Latin and Romance languages. The most recent project for a real world language is Lingwa de Planeta. People at a Russian university work on it since 2010, it's based on the most wide-spread languages in the world. There are also lots of artistic languages that belletristic writers create for fictional worlds. The Elvish tongues Quenya and Sindarin from J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion) and Klingon from the Star Trek TV series are the best-known examples. Those three can be used, but most others have only fractual grammar and a restricted vocabulary, so they can't be spoken. But that doesn't bother somebody, since it'd be useless except at SciFi/Fantasy cons.^^
I have a question for everypony. I am currently doing an ethnographical study on the fandom, with a focus on linguistic features. And as I was typing, the brony/pegasister issue came up. Why is it that some people prefer to distinguish between bronies and pegasisters, but others prefer that we all be classified under one title? Please leave me your thoughts, as this assignment is a major portion of my semester grade.
Okay. Let's do this before I change my mind. As we all know, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has an extensive, colourful (mostly pastel colours) and distinctive official background. This official background information has been extensively used by bronies to create simply stunning works of literature, art, music and many others. However, most of the bronydom each has their own ideas pertaining on the established background of MLP:FiM, and especially on the topics that are not fully explained, or officially discussed at all. These questions left officially unanswered has spawned whole universes of fanfiction, comics, and other story-telling avenues to answer, or at least, to show each ones own thought of what might be the answer. And that leads us here. I would like to use this spot of the internet, and especially this site to ponder upon questions left answered, questions raised by answers, as well as considering what answer others have already come up to the questions, not to mention to ponder upon what ARE the questions themselves. I would like to point out right now, that I am trying to be serious of this: this isn't a place for you to LOL about animation errors and their like, this is no place for tired old memes. This is a place where all can share their thoughts and ideas on the questions, as well ask their own, as long as their legitimate about it. This is also a change for me to improve upon my own headcanon, and my own story-universe, so you've been warned! May contain alternate universes. So go ahead and and ask and wonder away! Everything legimitate is welcome. I start of this whole thing with a question of my own: How did ponies came up with the idea of baked food? As herbivores, born and raised, they could eat pretty much anything green. They don't need their food to be cooked. Yet they prefer it that way. How, when and why? Ponder away.