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Language posted 25 January 2004 in Author Q & ALanguage by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

On the cover of TDTCB and TWP there is what appears to be vertical sort of language. It also appears in the appendices of TDTCB. I was wondering if this was created by R. Scott Bakker and is a functional language. I figure it is, because on the jacket it says that the author is a student of languages. Anyway, just wondering if it was a working language. view post


Language posted 26 January 2004 in Author Q & ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

It's a working script (called 'keneic,' the standard script for Sheyic, which is the lingua franca of the Three Seas). David Rankine, the cover artist for the Canadian edition, actually used the script to transcribe one of the epigraphs in the book (in Sheyic), and then added some of his favourite lyrics (from a King Crimson tune, if I recall correctly). He's yet to tell me what he translated for the WP cover, though...

I do love those covers, especially for WP. I just found out that they'll be used for the US hardcover editions as well. view post


Language posted 26 January 2004 in Author Q & ALanguage by Wil, Head Moderator

Does it have it's own grammar then, different tenses? Would it be more comparable to a latin based language, or something more like English? or is it all it's own?

Also, does it have it's English letter representation? Like does "Cu'jara Cinmoi" mean somting in Keneic? view post


Language posted 27 January 2004 in Author Q & ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Just realized I never fully answered your question, Sovin! No, the languages in the book are hypothetical, without much more than a short lexicon of terms and a distinctive sound pattern. I've studied several languages, which I draw on to try to make the languages of the Three Seas as consistent as possible, but I'm certainly no JRRT! The languages are all what they call 'inflected,' however, which is to say they're more like latin than english... view post


Language posted 27 January 2004 in Author Q & ALanguage by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

Does each character correspond to an english letter? Or is its own alphabet, or like japanese, with a character holding meaning? If it's a literal translation, I think people might enjoy a dictionary for it. view post


Language posted 27 January 2004 in Author Q & ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

It's an alphabet, though like most foreign alphabets it doesn't correspond perfectly with the english one. Once I finish all three books of PoN I hope to beat some coherent background material out of the knobby mountain of notes I've been accumulating all these years, including the various alphabets and syllabaries. I'm committed to finishing the books first though, since I know first hand how frustrating it can be waiting and waiting for sequels. I've been dying a slow death waiting for A Feast of Crows! view post


Language posted 27 January 2004 in Author Q & ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Damn, I forgot again... 'Cu'jara Cinmoi' is the name of the ancient Nonman King who waged the first wars against the Inchoroi before the coming of Men to Earwa. I know he's mentioned a couple of times in The Warrior-Prophet, but for the life of me I can't remember if he's mentioned in The Darkness... Hmm. view post


Language posted 02 February 2004 in Author Q & ALanguage by Mithfânion, Didact

Ah, good taste is always a good sign in an author. Here's another lost soul who's been slowly wasting away waiting for Feast for Crows. As for Tolkien, what he did with languages is just Über-intelligent, I'm so big a fan of his that I've even read The History of Middle-earth series. view post


Language posted 15 July 2004 in Author Q & ALanguage by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

Topic split, the remaining being moved to Other Fantasy Discussion. view post


Language posted 19 July 2004 in Author Q & ALanguage by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

Speaking of fictional languages (having only just now seen this thread), has anyone read Ricardo Pinto? On his site, he and a linguist friend created a detailed language (Quya) that has eight declensions, trial form of address, and all sorts of interesting ways to express opinions. Never thought I'd see declensions discussed when reading about the background for a fantasy series!

[url:ibpz3pqe]http://www.ricardopinto.com/quya/grammar.pdf[/url:ibpz3pqe] view post


Language posted 19 July 2004 in Author Q & ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

'Quya'? Goddamn, I hate it when I encounter my favourite names elsewhere! <!-- s:twisted: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_twisted.gif" alt=":twisted:" title="Twisted Evil" /><!-- s:twisted: --> view post


Language posted 19 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

Look on the bright side, Terry Goodkind didn't steal it for his books...at least not yet <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> view post


Language posted 19 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Well I hope he does! I could use the PR... <!-- s:roll: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_rolleyes.gif" alt=":roll:" title="Rolling Eyes" /><!-- s:roll: --> view post


Language posted 19 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

Hold on, going to test something:

[img:1she4khc]http&#58;//216&#46;77&#46;188&#46;54/coDataImages/p/Groups/59/59016/folders/75464/1148770goodkind&#46;jpg[/img:1she4khc]

There, does that express your opinion as well? <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> view post


Language posted 19 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

<!-- s:shock: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt=":shock:" title="Shocked" /><!-- s:shock: -->
<!-- s:? --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_confused.gif" alt=":?" title="Confused" /><!-- s:? -->
<!-- s:o --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_surprised.gif" alt=":o" title="Surprised" /><!-- s:o -->
<!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->
<!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->
<!-- s:twisted: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_twisted.gif" alt=":twisted:" title="Twisted Evil" /><!-- s:twisted: --> view post


Language posted 19 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

Now aren't you glad you're not receiving that sort of attention from fantasy fans? <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> view post


Language posted 19 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Give it time. Give it time.

PoN is something of a Trojan Horse, I think, bound to be read by people who have little or no patience for what I'm trying to do. As much as the sexuality worries me, the religious stuff worries me more. view post


Language posted 19 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

What part about the religious aspect worries you? I can understand some people being squeemish about the sexuality, but what religious elements might be troublesome to those outside the Puritanical sects? view post


Language posted 19 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Well, I think there's a couple of places where I let the temptation to preach get the better of me in TWP... And there's the actual biblical passages I work into the text here and there. And then there's the reworking of the Sermon on the Mount (or part of it, anyway).

The thing is I really have no problem with religion itself. I think certainty is the disease, and that most religion, like nationalism and dogmatism of almost every stripe, is simply a symptom. view post


Language posted 20 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Grantaire, Moderator

Yep. Conviction of any sort is the enemy of truth. view post


Language posted 20 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Azimuth Fusc, Commoner

I have some questions about the vertical 'keneic' script used in TDTCB and TWP. When I saw Scott's books (the Canadian editions) for the first time, the vertical script immediately reminded me of Mongolian, an alphabetic script traditionally written in a vertical fashion. Is this style of Mongolian writing the inspiration behind the 'keneic' script of Earwa, or is it a mere coincidence that 'keneic' &amp; Mongolian look so similar (at least to my eyes)? Who designed the look of 'keneic' script? Was it Scott? David Rankine? Scott and David together? The decorative elements incorporated into the various examples of 'keneic' script have a quasi-mediaeval/Celtic/Arabic/Indian feel to them -- very cool! Is this, too, the result of collaboration between Scott and David? I can hardly wait to see what the 3rd book of the PON trilogy will look like! view post


Language posted 20 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Mongolian was totally my inspiration in laying out the original script - for longer than I can remember. David used 12th Century illuminated Persian manuscripts as his decorative model, and he does decorative Celtic manuscripts for a living.

You hunches are pretty much all on the money, Azimuth! view post


Language posted 20 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

Quote: &quot;Cu'jara Cinmoi&quot;:1422wyh7
Well, I think there's a couple of places where I let the temptation to preach get the better of me in TWP... And there's the actual biblical passages I work into the text here and there. And then there's the reworking of the Sermon on the Mount (or part of it, anyway).

The thing is I really have no problem with religion itself. I think certainty is the disease, and that most religion, like nationalism and dogmatism of almost every stripe, is simply a symptom.[/quote:1422wyh7]

Ah...maybe it's because I'm used to seeing religion discussed as being akin to a philosophical school, but I really didn't notice anything overt there. But for those that aren't used to that...well, yeah, that could lead to some anger. But I'd maintain that the majority of those who will read your books will be those who've already been exposed to more than just what a particular religious creed instructs.

And yes, certainty is indeed a mass mental disease, but I'd qualify the above by saying most applications of religion, just because certain other religious applications can lead to searching out for more views and then possibly toward attempts to understand others without ever being truly "certain" about things. Other than that, I agree with your sentiments. view post


Language posted 09 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

C's can be either hard or soft, depending on the word. This might sound sloppy on my part - why not simply use K's for the hard C's (as in 'Kishaurim')? - but I wanted my nomenclature to mirror the inconsistencies you find in so many historical accounts. For instance, since most readers crinkle their noses at kyklops, writers tend to go with the conventional, latinized 'cyclops,' even though elsewhere they'll transliterate names directly from the Greek. Likewise, many of the names I use are presented in the 'Sheyic' as opposed to the 'native' version. Since I actually go into this at some length in the Encyclopaedic Glossary in TTT, I'll leave it at that for now.

Since the books literally swarm with new names, I decided to avoid neologistic titles and honorifics, save those that struck my ear in the right way (I had no real system in this regard). I think renaming everything is a mistake, because it either leaves you with a plethora of names that carry little or no semantic weight (I think Steve Erikson falls into this trap at times when he starts naming flora and fauna), or it burdens the narrative with a lot of exposition. Even as it stands, I'm not sure I struck the right balance.

At different periods I've studied German, Spanish, French, ancient Greek, and Latin - though I remain obscenely monolingual! I thought I was going to be a philosophy professor, and as such, you need to find your way around these languages in particular (to check on translations and the like). That was the theory anyway <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

I hope that covers your questions, Aiturahim... Lemme know! view post


Language posted 10 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

to establish psuedo-historical authenticity seems rather superfluous here


Perhaps, but then I suspect you can say that about pretty much every choice I've made when taken in isolation. All I can say is that I try to aim for the mediocra firma!

The term Padiraja rather suggests some blending of Indian and Persian characteristics the culture of the Fanim. Is that a valid assumption?


Sounds fair to me! though personally, I'm not too keen on laying down canonical association-sets for my readers - or pronunciations for that matter. Afterall, it is pseudohistorical authenticity I'm trying to conjure. <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

Do the names of your characters and places have meanings in their own languages?


Many place names are descriptive/incident names in other languages. Most of these will be given in the Encyclopaedic Glossary. view post


Language posted 10 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by JustifiedHeretic, Peralogue

all this talk about this encyclopedia means one thing


I can't wait for "The Thousandfold Thought" whether the encyclopedia is seperate or attached, with 1 comes the other in a sense!! view post


Language posted 11 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

My only real complaint is when they start dabbling in fields about which they know almost nothing.


It seems that this is pretty much all I do when I write fiction! Don't get me wrong, I'm a fellow grognard junkie myself, but I rarely make it a primary criterion when reading fiction. Take all those who criticize Tolkien for the absence of plagues, etc. in his fictional armies: since this kind of verisimilitude obviously didn't interest Tolkien, isn't taking him to task on this and like issues simply missing the point? I guess I'm not clear on what makes this a matter of quality rather than taste.

More later... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Language posted 11 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I see your point regarding Martin, but what makes it an obvious matter of quality is the issue of consistency - which is quite different. Truth be told, from the grognard side of things, I actually have some problems with Westeros as well, but I view these misgivings the same way I view my misgivings regarding the physics of Star Trek: all things being equal, I prefer my fiction be 'hard.' I too dislike ad hoc settings in of themselves, but if they can be made to really work, as Westeros and Federation physics obviously do, then I no longer worry about it.

As you might imagine, I've spent quite a bit of time considering just these issues. After reading tLoTR for the umpteenth time in my teens, I started puzzling over just what it was that gave the book so much impact. I came to the conclusion that it was some combination of scale, depth, and authenticity, and afterwards I decided I'd try to do the same, to create a world as broad, deep, and authentic as Middle-earth. Once you make a commitment like that, the question immediately becomes one of how far do you go?.

I quickly realized that the answer for this would be different for different readers. Take the names, for instance. On the one side, many think I went too far, whereas on the other side, I'm sure some specialists think I didn't go nearly far enough. I have had equesterians question my handling of horses, martial artists question my handling of hand-to-hand combat, and so on and so on.

I could have worked on the story and world for another ten years, and this would still happen. Earwa is an illusion, and since I'm no polymath, there's always going to be people either possessing knowledge that renders them immune to parts of that illusion, or lacking the minimal knowledge for parts of the illusion to work. I see this as inevitable. I mean, if old JRRT couldn't do it...

Given this, how do you think I should respond to linguists 'baying for my blood'? Should I say, 'Damn, I guess I dropped the ball,' or should I just shrug my shoulders and just acknowledge that I didn't write the book for them? view post


Language posted 12 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I'm excited and apprehensive about seeing the first translations of TDTCB. My agent has already told me to admire the cover, but never dare open and start reading translations. Supposedly they're notoriously bad.

Speaking of the name thing, I came across an absolutely hilarious pan of TDTCB on amazon.com! I always thought the book was the 'love it or hate it' type... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

I didn't come to break you on the rack over linguistic inconsistencies. I've actually been pleasantly surprised by how much you've said.


I hope I didn't come across as defensive - I've actually appreciated the opportunity to work out my opinions in text! As I said, I've encountered the concern before and I have no doubt I'll encounter it again.

Regarding your question about editorial pressure to 'keep things simple,' I think it was my profound good fortune to be picked up by Penguin Canada first, and to work with artistically-minded editors. There was no pressure whatsoever, even though I was told by others 'in the know' that the best I could hope for was a Wolfe-like niche audience because of the complexity. view post


Language posted 13 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

This is an opinion given after reading only the first novel, so don't take offense, but there is nothing in TDCTB, except more philosophy, more linguistic and historical work than usual, and possibly, a more Oriental-flavored backdrop, that should put it far outside the mainstream.


Actually this is exactly what I was aiming for: something that walked the line. view post


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