Thursday, April 9, 2015

How do Kresz talk? Creating language.

As part of Swancon, I appeared on the More Than Just Extra Umlauts panel about invented names and languages, because as part of the development of the Lenticular Series I'd realised that I needed to work out how my alien Kresz spoke and how their language was constructed in order to bring consistency to their names.

I didn't have the language skills, time or need to invent a totally new language - like Klingon - so I decided to cheat a little.

The starting point was the way the Kresz mouth is constructed. As you see from this picture, their mouths are quite different to yours and mine and this meant there would be sounds that we can make that the probably couldn't.

So thinking about their mouth shape I tried out a few sounds and decided they couldn't form 'eff', 'em', 'en', 'pee', 'vee' and 'we' sounds. I then created a table of phonemes based on the sounds I thought they could form with their mouths.



a
b
c
d
e
Ad | ag | ah | ak | al | ar | as | at | az
bv
cz (ch)
Da | De | di | dj (ji)
Eh | el | ek | er | es
g
h
i
k
l
Ga | ge | gi | gu
Ha | he | hi | hu
Id | ig | ik | il | ir | is
Ka | ke | ki | kl | kr | ku
La | le
r
s
t
u
z
Ra | re | ri | ru
Sa | se | sg | si | sk | st | su | sz (sh)
Te | ti | Tz (ts) | tu
Ud | ug | uk | ul | un |ur | ut
Za | ze | zi | zr | zu


After that I was ready to string these sounds together and create new names. I had a bunch of placeholder names that I'd used along the way, which were made up on the spur of the moment and didn't necessarily sound like they came from the same language. I realised first up that my protagonist's name 'Jeldon' was going to have to change. It was quite hard to change the name of someone whose lived inside my head for years, but I bit the bullet and he's now called 'Udun'. He seems to like it. The results of the other name changes have - to my ear - brought more consistency to the Kresz naming conventions.



Character names
Final version
Jeldon
Udun
Cherak
Czerag
Karis
Kergis
Insa
Isza
Bax
Bvax
Tsep
Tzek


The same can be said for the House and Lodge names used by the Kresz:


HOUSES

Cherak
Czerag
Karis
Kergis
Fra
Ukat
Griss
Dageru
Marhav
Haketiug
Errad
Akczek
LODGE Leaders

Hern (merchants)
Hebv
Szemad (adepts)
Djelad
Krup’na (defenders)
Resgtu
Mehap (cultivators)
Diudsu
Gulpak (priests)
Gulatesi
Go’kran (educators)
Tzagse


In any case now I feel there is some reason behind the sounds my aliens make and it all adds to the sense of verisimilitude I'm trying to create.