Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Should names be canon?

As I have been ranting about in previous posts, one of the many problems with Khalani is the incoherence of the corpus. Take into account some of the words and the names of the various Protoss. For example, in-game we have words such as zerashk or naradakh, but then we have the names Artanis, Selendis and Aldaris, the three of which we can make an elvish etymology and we would get meaning (in fact Artanis is the "inner name" of Galadriel from the Lord of the Rings). However we do have names such as Raszagal and Ulrezaj which clearly don't configurate to the more Quenya-like naming conventions of the Khalai Protoss. The big problem here is to try and  harmonize these names with Khalani words, since names such as Artanis, Selendis and Aldaris would require a very Quenya-like language to develop.

I have assumed the idea that Khalani is not "elvish" in any discernible way, why should it be? But to try and adjust the language to the names seems to be a most difficult task. Should the names be made of actual Khalani words? Should they be the remnants of yet another kind of language? Should they be a mixture? Should they be obscure and unfathomable? All this questions spring to mind, but one has to decide to favor one over the others. The language as I envision it is still pretty young and has only a few words, some elements of names could very much be made to fit Khalani patterns, others... well... couldn't if we are to have one straight and coherent language.

So I've decided to go in an unorthodox way. Some names will clearly be composed of Khalani words, some others will have obscure derivations maybe stemming from lost dialects or lost forms, and some may even have some deformation or uncommon sound evolution (this may happen where not available consonant clusters occur). For the time being I will leave the matter here to give more thought on names and their creation. My wish is to create a list of new Khalani names, their meanings and be able to create new names or translate Earth names into Khalani. In future posts we may well see a list of Khalani names ready to be used by players, created in the same fashion of characters we already know, and wouldn't that be sweet? Translating common names into Khalani is certainly another very enticing possibility.

So I leave the question for the comments; should names be completely canonical? Would it be a good idea to create new Khalani names or translate Earth names into Khalani? Your opinions on the comments!

Alysum ankh gulidas!

12 comments:

  1. I think that the list of names is a very good idea. I quite like the idea of translating Earth names into Khalani. I think that names should be mostly, but not completely canonical - there should be some exceptions, like there always are in languages.

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    1. I thought it would be an interesting idea too. The translation of Earth names into Khalani will be a great challenge, also bear in mind that most names in English cannot be explained by English itself, the same would ultimately be true of some Protoss' names. So names should be canonical but some elements could be obscure, as you say, happens in languages anyways.

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  2. I pretty much agree with Morskow. Not only would a list of names be very useful for many people such as myself, but translating Earth names into Khalani would just be cool! I also think that names should be fairly cannonicl, but that you should have some leeway in creating them.

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    1. Again true, I think many fans of the games would find very useful the different names, to create new profiles, new characters or aliases or just for fun. I agree that translating the names would be cool although difficult in some cases, I will have to deal with them with caution. Yes there would have to be some leeway in the names as you say, for the reason that many names cannot be completely explained by their languages, but names (specially the ones from the games) should be taken into account for "canonicity".

      Do you both think this also applies to names from Novels and books by the different authors?

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    2. I think that some of the names from the novels should be canonical, but some should be exceptions, too. The Earth names usually aren't bound to many rules and I think that Khalani names could be largely connected to some rules, but some could also be exceptions as that would sound more realistic both in the books and the general names.

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    3. Yes, of course, that's my idea too. But I meant that names from novels are of course less "canonical" than from the games. Of course having the approval from Blizzard to publish gives you some more "canonicity" but even so I don't know how much are those names regulated by Blizzard itself.

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    4. I agree, I think that the authors try to create names that sound Protoss, but don't follow any rules. Of course I might be wrong, as I don't know how much, exactly as you said, Blizzard regulates the names. The names in the games are definitely more canonical, as they're created by Blizzard itself and not the novel authors.

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    5. I totally follow you, Morskow. In any case I will be careful about all that. I am planning on adding a page with Khalani names in the future next to the Lexicon and the Phrases!

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  3. Here are some names:
    Reszarim, Mera`gulio, Ter'e'rul, Kari`nazar, Tanraszim, Tossmarun.
    Non of them canonical, でも!
    What you think of them: they give the filling that they belong to protoss kind?

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    1. Well, nice name creation. I think many of them do resemble Protoss-like names, maybe a little too many ', but overall, pretty "Protoss-y".

      I would suggest against using "gulio" in a name, since I'm actually envisioning it as an inflected verb. But apart from that, pretty good job!

      Cheers! I'll include more about the "gulio" stuff in future posts.

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    2. Thanks! I'm working on a fanfic now so I have to make more names, so now you gave me the direction of name creation. Arassar ver en nas!

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    3. You are so much welcome, Ryu! I will post in the future some observations about different components of Protoss' names, such as prefixes and suffixes, you might find that very useful.

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