Elcenia discussion

Plain old discussion of Alicorn stories.

Re: Elcenia discussion

Postby Alicorn » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:07 am

Hearing is not literally sound, it's just interpreted that way. It's more of a stream of pure information rendered as language when attention is paid to it (Leekath gets a lot of information that cannot actually be expressed in vampire words). Attempting to act deaf would not help.

It is theoretically possible for hearers in general to turn it off but it's extremely difficult and requires more... concentration, for lack of a better word... than small children have, even small children as smart as Leekath.
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Re: Elcenia discussion

Postby DanielH » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:16 am

And presumably most of them are mentally unstable enough to not manage the concentration by the time they would ordinarily have developed it?
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Re: Elcenia discussion

Postby Alicorn » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:23 am

Yep.
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Re: Elcenia discussion

Postby DanielH » Tue May 05, 2015 9:59 am

From the sandbox discussion I thought of a question to ask here. While doing that, I re-read this last page and I wondered: if Leekath made it known that hearers could theoretically toggle their hearing, would the others be able to be coached into developing the necessary concentration? I doubt they could, at least in most cases, if they can’t even demonstrate that hearing is a real magic. If this could be done in at least some cases, though (or if this knowledge could allow this toggling from the outside via spell or potion), would other hearers be able to recover some semblance of normal functionality? How full a recovery could they make?

Now for the question I was planning to ask: all the dragonish characters Mallyn knows say that he cannot hope to learn to speak or understand Draconic. This is probably true, but it seems like he should be able to get closer than they seem to expect. He can’t learn to speak it like a native¹, but there are some situations (and thus words) that are so much more common than others. Suppose that in a typical year each dragon says about 500,000 non-unique words (rough estimate based on human English speech rate, the length of the Elcenian year, and rounding up), and probably most of those words are repeats even in Draconic. Even if there are fewer repeats than I expect, if Mallyn knew 50,000 of the most common Draconic words² and their associated grammar³, he should be able to perfectly get through a day’s conversation if he’s lucky, or a letter to a friend if he’s careful.

¹ Even this should be theoretically possible as there are only a finite number of words that it can take less than 30 seconds to say, and I expect words longer than that are avoided even if they exist. It might not be possible with a human-architecture brain in human lifespan, though. This actually might be one area where a modern computer with modern natural-language processing capabilities could learn the language better than a human could.
² Difficult but achievable even if the words aren’t very much related
³ For example, the word for an Elcenian year is a nanain in contexts like “it has been one nanain” but not “it happened one nanain ago”; it needs to be declined it for numbers other than one, and declension for this word works like <this>⁴.
⁴ Does declension work differently for different words? I know most of the sub-word morphemes like the sirasiahr prefix sira‐ and suffix ‐aki are more narrow than one might expect, but they obviously still exist sometimes. Would the method of declining nouns for number be shared between words? Would it be the same for nanain and other timespan-like words (or maybe that and other continuous nouns like whatever is closest in Draconic to a meter), but not for other nouns (like atlo)
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Re: Elcenia discussion

Postby Alicorn » Tue May 05, 2015 10:03 am

Hearing is just literally... hearing... a shitton of voices saying things, so there's no strong reason they couldn't recover given other parameters falling out congenially (i.e. their institutional environments and families aren't disasters, they didn't completely zone out between ages four and twenty-four and now have the life experience of a small child as an adult, whatever).

Draconic is a stunningly irregular language (patterns like "shrennaki" are an exception, not a rule), but you are correct that huge quantities of brute force memorization could make him (heavily accented) conversant in it for limited values of "conversation".
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Re: Elcenia discussion

Postby Ezra » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:59 am

Alicorn wrote:@fuckno: "So you're a disabled lesbian of color who needs a scholarship to receive an education -"

Finnah: "..."

@fuckno: "...but you're in favor of mass disability cures and you side with the imperialist invaders?"

Finnah: "... ... Stop, uh, talking over me and questioning my lived experience, asshole."

@fuckno: "you're right I'm sorry I'm sorry"

And now I want more Red again.
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Re: Elcenia discussion

Postby jalapeno_dude » Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:40 pm

Ezra wrote:
Alicorn wrote:@fuckno: "So you're a disabled lesbian of color who needs a scholarship to receive an education -"

Finnah: "..."

@fuckno: "...but you're in favor of mass disability cures and you side with the imperialist invaders?"

Finnah: "... ... Stop, uh, talking over me and questioning my lived experience, asshole."

@fuckno: "you're right I'm sorry I'm sorry"

And now I want more Red again.

Seconded. :(
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Re: Elcenia discussion

Postby DanielH » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:55 am

In the sandboxes, we’ve seen the draconic word [/i]teah[/i], meaning “miracle” as in “the event of miraculous magic occurring”. What are Draconic for “miracle” as in “a physical object capable of effecting a teah” (such as a wishcoin) or “an ex-shren dragon” (such as Finnah)?

Would Draconic recognize that there should be a word for awesome-in-the-way-ex-shrens-are-awesome, like siaddaki? After all, they are now dragons so might not have quite the same discrimination against them that shrens do.
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Re: Elcenia discussion

Postby Alicorn » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:06 pm

I don't actually have Draconic for that. You want me to make it up?

Miracle dragons get to be siaddaki with everybody else.
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Re: Elcenia discussion

Postby DanielH » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:22 pm

If you don’t have it made up I probably don’t need it; I was mostly just curious because teah means miracle but most uses of the word “miracle” in relevant contexts wouldn’t map to the same Draconic word.
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