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zompist bboard • View topic - Naming a Fantasy World

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 Post subject: Naming a Fantasy World
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:09 pm 
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I need to come up with a name for the fantasy world on which the realms of Haethion (the realm that speaks the Haethic language family) and Oquivion (the realm that speaks a lot of language families) are found. While the names for the realms were made up easily, as they are simple modifications of the English words "aether" and "oblivion", I don't have a good standpoint on naming the world these realms rest on. Any tips or name ideas? I am all ears.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:42 pm 
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I'm a little disappointed more fantasy writers don't follow Tolkien's lead and call their world "earth." More proper names always strike me as being in contrast to something else (like Dragon Age's Thedas or The Elder Scrolls' Nirn*, for example), which isn't exactly a concept that would be familiar to a technologically/sociologically medieval people.

*But TES has the justification that there are other worlds and people are aware of their existence, and all of these worlds exist within Mundus, Latin for "world" but in this case better translated as "universe."

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:03 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:15 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:50 pm 
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Borrow real naming customs (not all languages have earth > Earth though) and translate it into a conlang. Maybe a word for earth and the name of the planet are separate, but etymologically the second derives from the first.

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ìtsanso, God In The Mountain, may our names inspire the deepest feelings of fear in urkos and all his ilk, for we have saved another man from his lies! I welcome back to the feast hall kal, who will never gamble again! May the eleven gods bless him!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:29 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:11 pm 
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There are many ways to name the world: some come from words meaning "dirt, ground" (such as English earth or Latin terra), or "land" (vs. sea or air--I believe this is the case in Haida, where Xaayda Gwaay means something to the effect of "where the three worlds [land, air, sky] meet"), or "what is seen" (offhand, I believe this is the etymology in Northwest Semitic), or even "what is" (viz., Quenya Eä). Other possibilities: "order" (e.g., Greek κοσμος) in opposition to primordial chaos (a common theme in Mediterranean mythology), "under heaven" (Chinese tiānxià [noting that this was a Chinese term for China, but the premise is sound], the stock Biblical phrase "under the sun"), and even concepts borrowed from time (e.g., world: "age of man," or the usage of age to refer to places in Myst).

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:44 am 
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Generally speaking, thinking of the naming conventions your conlang already has is a good start. For instance, my Ayakadiya speakers (aya) enjoy naming customs that are effectively whole sentences or phrases (if short ones) smooshed into one word. Their word for 'world' is mašaaḥkaana, which literally translates to "It is all of the notes." (Song and musical notes are considered to be the basic building blocks of physics.)

If you don't already have an idea of your naming conventions, Zaarin has an excellent overview that I doubt I can improve on.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:34 am 
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What you call your world / universe as a "brand" can be different from what the inhabitants call it.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:50 am 
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Examining the evolution of ethnonyms, political labels and other such names show that most literate humans are fundamentally incapable of understanding having more than one name for something.

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ìtsanso, God In The Mountain, may our names inspire the deepest feelings of fear in urkos and all his ilk, for we have saved another man from his lies! I welcome back to the feast hall kal, who will never gamble again! May the eleven gods bless him!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:25 pm 
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The ancient Germanic people called the world they lived in the "Middle Homestead" (Old Norse Miðgarðr, Old English Middangeard).

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:23 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:59 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:26 pm 
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In the advice of Zaarin, I could just name the world Pletam and it'd be over. Or I could stress my brain and come up with something else. Thoughts?

And sanskacharu, it would be a good idea to come up with some naming conventions. If it weren't for the fact that this is a proto language and they probably wouldn't have that.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:03 pm 
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Last edited by Zaarin on Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:42 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:48 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:07 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:58 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:13 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:00 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:10 am 
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I stumbled upon a song title which didn't have any meaning, or at least none I could find out. So I thought I'd put the word into my conlang and later on, I gave it the meaning of "world". It only later occured to me that this could be the name of the whole setting.
Then I thought I might get sued if I ever publish anything under the name "Ozium", so I changed it to "Ôzíwa", which is a little more in line with the main conlang's derivation and word ending patterns.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:14 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:19 am 
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