Name Attractors: How Do They Work

Plain old discussion of Alicorn stories.

Name Attractors: How Do They Work

Postby Alicorn » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:05 pm

I recently had cause to write out how Bell name attractors work.

First name: Contains "bel", anywhere in it, or a reasonable approximation thereof. Standard Backstory version: Isabella. Variants include: Alisyrrabel, Arabella, Ayabel, Beila, Beldri, Bell, Belle, Campbell, Claribel, Clarity Bell, Cymbeline, Ebele, Iobel, Isabel, Isibel, Jezebel, Kimbelcayra, Kiribel, Mabel, Maurabel, Mehitabel, Mirabella, Sharabel. Bells have no strong attractor to actually going by the part of their name that contains the "bel". For example, Mabels go by "May" for short and Ebeles prefer their middle names. This attractor is inescapable but may be run away from very thoroughly by, say, early adoption and renaming of the Bell (Loki, Katie).

Middle, second, extra, otherwise secondary non-family name: Contains "M" and "R" sounds in that order and not very many other consonants - extra consonants more likely to be at the end than the beginning. Standard Backstory version: Marie. Variants include: Amariah, Mark, Mariel, Marika, Miriam, Markas, Miar, T'Mir, Miranda, Maria, Mara, Maryah, Imare. A fair number of Bells just don't have one of these.

Last name, family name, surname: Means "swan" or whatever most nearly approximates this meaning within cultural constraints. I translate this name outright from completely fictional languages like Pax, Welchin, or Marlatian rather than making up strings of syllables to supposedly mean "swan", but when a Bell is from an Earthalike setting (Rose, Etty, etc.) I translate it into the Earthly cognate. Standard Backstory version: Swan, obviously. Variants as written: Cygne (French), Schwan (German), Coscoroba, Guxiao (butchered Chinese for "swan-owl"), Swanna, Svaner (Danish), Swanpennon. Some Bells don't have this one either, although in many of those cases their dads still do.

If you want a breakdown like this (with... probably fewer examples) of any green-moiety characters (or purple or blue if kappa or Aestrix want to participate) for any other template's name attractor, say so :)
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Re: Name Attractors: How Do They Work

Postby BlueSkySprite » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:25 pm

Alexes and Sophs?
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Re: Name Attractors: How Do They Work

Postby Alicorn » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:40 pm

Both, for obvious reasons, have the same last-name arrangements as Bells.

Alexes on Earth are named derivations or soundalikes of "Alexander" (in Standard Backstory settings it's "Alexander" or "Alexandra", but Canadian/British/Australian/etc. ones would wind up with different fine details that I haven't worked out yet because there are not any instances so far.) Non-Earth ones get just-soundalikes with no strict rules about what counts as "alike". So far the only example of that is Aleko. The middle name is Phyllis or Philip, or a soundalike (Aleko's middle name is Fylt). Alexes gravitate very strongly towards the use of nicknames, and girl ones prefer ones that end in an -ee sound - Lexi, Andi, Alli - but choose them at near random in early childhood and can wind up with different ones from the tiniest of perturbations. Boy Alexes are less firm on their nicknames and gravitate towards monosyllables ("Xan" for an Earth one, for instance; Aleko is sometimes "Ko".) It's not impossible that one would go by a middle-name-derived nickname meeting these criteria (Li, Phil).

"Sophia" has no masculine counterpart in English, but an Earth boy one would be named Jason, which is also Greek-derived, common in the modern day, and contains the "so" string. The ones named Sophia are consistent about going by Soph; Earth boys would go by Jace for short. Non-Earth ones get soundalikes corresponding to their Earthly baseline of the correct gender ("Zoyah", "Jayce") which are more about vowels than about consonants (oh-ee-ah; ay-ə). Their middle names, where applicable, are allusions to Charlie, significantly because the presence of a Soph tends to signify a healthier relationship between Renée-who-usually-leans-harder-on-name-selection and the relevant Charlie. On Earths, this means Charlotte for a girl and Carl for a boy; Jayce has "Sharrin" to his dad's "Karls", which I assure you according to fanon about Welchin I just made up has a strong etymological connection.
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Re: Name Attractors: How Do They Work

Postby Kappa » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:55 pm

<3

I volunteer to talk name attractors for any of my templates, but warn in advance that my name attractors are often very vague or boring or outright nonexistent.
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Re: Name Attractors: How Do They Work

Postby tau » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:58 pm

Jokers don't count, what about Tonys and Sherlocks?
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Re: Name Attractors: How Do They Work

Postby Kappa » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:14 pm

The Tony name attractor revolves around the "T[one or more vowels]n" syllable, and has a secondary attractor for whatever comes before that to be a variant of "an-" if it exists at all, and another secondary attractor for further vague resemblances to the name "Anthony" or a variant. So Antonelle, Antoniva, but also Tianetta and Tianthonet. They tend to default to going by "Tony" where that makes sense as a nickname, but don't always - Niva, for example. And there are other exceptions - if we do a Hogwarts 'verse, that Tony will go by Ninette because she will be French.

Sherlocks used to strongly tend to be named Sherlock even when that didn't necessarily make a lot of sense, but then I relaxed that constraint. Now, ones who have access to the books will firmly tend to call themselves Sherlock, and ones who are named and grow up without reference to the books at all might get Sherlock or some other Sherlock-ish name. What makes a name Sherlock-ish is the prominent S or Sh sound, plus containing more sounds or letters from "Sherlock", usually arranged in order - Sherial, Serahila, Sarelle. It seems like I end up preferring the R and the L for that purpose, but it isn't impossible that the O or the K might do the job in some future variant.
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Re: Name Attractors: How Do They Work

Postby BlueSkySprite » Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:55 pm

What happens to names when the languages don't have the relevant phonemes? Like in a language that didn't have the /b/ sound, would a Bell in the world just be named with the closest sound, like a name with Pell in it, or something else. Or is it just not a thing that happens?
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Re: Name Attractors: How Do They Work

Postby Kappa » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:06 pm

All of my name attractors that I can think of would adapt to local phonemic restrictions. Like if I had to make versions of all of my templates from Thiyec for some reason. (Thiyecine has a ridiculously small library of sounds. It goes like so, not necessarily in order: a i u e o th c m n l r y f v cs sh ts q. I don't have the difference between c and q down exactly in my head, though.)
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Re: Name Attractors: How Do They Work

Postby Alicorn » Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:52 pm

The Bell one flexes a little ("Beila" because Beila's language is being phoneticsed via Mandarin - even though it isn't Vague Mandarin the way Callian is Vague French - and that's as close as I could get). "Pel" would be within it, other things would be case by case.
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Re: Name Attractors: How Do They Work

Postby Anya » Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:52 am

@Alicorn, Elspeths?

@Aestrix, Zev's and Adarin's?

@Kappa, Dominique's, Steven's and Koyla's?

Old topic, but I was just thinking about name attractors in relation to my own character and started thinking about Elspeths and it just boiled over from there. :)
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