(C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Discussions about constructed worlds, cultures and any topics related to constructed societies.
User avatar
LinguoFranco
greek
greek
Posts: 537
Joined: 20 Jul 2016 17:49
Location: U.S.

Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguoFranco »

I've only created conlangs for human speakers, but I have been wanting to make something for a non-human race, but still close enough to human to have the same speech organs, like elves, for example.

However, I think elvish are overdone for conlangs, and wondering what some other species I could make a language for aside from your stock races (dwarves, orcs, etc.)
User avatar
sangi39
moderator
moderator
Posts: 2888
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 01:53
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 »

LinguoFranco wrote: 28 Nov 2021 06:02 I've only created conlangs for human speakers, but I have been wanting to make something for a non-human race, but still close enough to human to have the same speech organs, like elves, for example.

However, I think elvish are overdone for conlangs, and wondering what some other species I could make a language for aside from your stock races (dwarves, orcs, etc.)
I created the Kovur as a sort of in-world version of "werewolves" (although they're not human in anyway and instead come from a different lineage that evolved on the opposite side of the planet to humans), since it gave me a chance to work on a non-human language for a "fantasy race" that, probably because of the way they're often depicted, don't often get their own language (when they do, it doesn't seem to be a strictly "werewolf language" but instead the language of a long-lasting lineage of werewolves within a human wider community, who then moved away from or survived that human community).

The same thing seems to be the case for vampires. There's an old "core" of vampires who, either through birth or initiation, understand some vampiric language, but for the most part vampires outside of this core are either turned as adults and just learn whatever human language exists in the area at the time, or smaller "peripheral" vampire lineages form that speak one specific human language that they carry with them.

I think this is probably because transience and "nesting" are big features of vampire and werewolf lore, at least in modern cultures, and where there is an older core lineage, it's often very remote and mysterious.


Giants don't seem to be given very much in the way of languages either, even though they're probably considered "stock races"(?), and where they are, from what I can tell, it's often either a straight rip-off of something like Swedish, or is presented as a sort of stereotypical "primitive caveman" language. The same seems to be true of trolls as well come to think of it.


There's always merfolk if you want to go for a difference in environment as well, or something like selkies and kelpies (if you want they're default form to be human, you could say that the seal/horse form is something they use as a defence mechanism, a means of traversing the sea, etc. similar to the Wildshape of Druids in D&D).


Possibly the household spirits like Kobolds, Bogles, Boggarts, and Bogeymen, etc. Thinking about it, faeries too always just seem to get dumped with Gaelic or Welsh, but there's no reason to suggest that would be their primary language beyond "they probably learned it to trick humans"
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.
User avatar
Creyeditor
MVP
MVP
Posts: 4603
Joined: 14 Aug 2012 19:32

Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor »

Can a species have civilization without sentience?
Creyeditor
"Thoughts are free."
Produce, Analyze, Manipulate
1 :deu: 2 :eng: 3 :idn: 4 :fra: 4 :esp:
:con: Ook & Omlűt & Nautli languages & Sperenjas
[<3] Papuan languages, Morphophonology, Lexical Semantics [<3]
User avatar
eldin raigmore
korean
korean
Posts: 6094
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 19:38
Location: SouthEast Michigan

Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore »

Creyeditor wrote: 23 Dec 2021 12:20 Can a species have civilization without sentience?
Depends how you define the terms “species” and “civilization” and “sentience”.
User avatar
Creyeditor
MVP
MVP
Posts: 4603
Joined: 14 Aug 2012 19:32

Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor »

Let's assume that sentience is the combination of sapience (the ability to contemplate and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, reason and insight.), self-awareness (the experience of one's own personality or individuality), and consciousness (awareness of internal and external existence).
Let us assume that civilization is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and symbolic systems of communication.

Could bees be a non-sapient civilization without self-awareness, but with a monarchical city system and bee dance as symbolic representations?
Creyeditor
"Thoughts are free."
Produce, Analyze, Manipulate
1 :deu: 2 :eng: 3 :idn: 4 :fra: 4 :esp:
:con: Ook & Omlűt & Nautli languages & Sperenjas
[<3] Papuan languages, Morphophonology, Lexical Semantics [<3]
User avatar
Titus Flavius
sinic
sinic
Posts: 295
Joined: 13 Apr 2021 14:53
Location: Sol III

Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Titus Flavius »

The "Xenology" book calls it "genetic sentience" and says that a single bee isn't sentient, while the whole hive is.
ω - near-close near-back unrounded vowel.
XIPA
:pol: :mrgreen:
:eng: [:)]
:esp: [:S]
:lat: [:'(]
Salmoneus
MVP
MVP
Posts: 2674
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:37

Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

Creyeditor wrote: 23 Dec 2021 17:50 Let's assume that sentience is the combination of sapience (the ability to contemplate and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, reason and insight.), self-awareness (the experience of one's own personality or individuality), and consciousness (awareness of internal and external existence).
Let us assume that civilization is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and symbolic systems of communication.

Could bees be a non-sapient civilization without self-awareness, but with a monarchical city system and bee dance as symbolic representations?
*shrugs*
If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound? If you have a fever with a cold, can it still be called a cold?

With respect, I'm not sure your question means anything, since the answer depends entirely on definitions.

Certainly you can have complex systems without sapience, or even sentience (you're using the word strangely - sentience just means being able to have sensations). The solar system's pretty complicated. Or look at your computer, that's massively complicated.

But is complexity 'civilisation'? Well, you give some criteria, but those criteria are all just ways of rephrasing your original question. When does a complex system become "a form of government" - does it require that the governor and the things governed are sapient? What makes a complex system "symbolic" (rather than merely responsive) - does it require that the creator and interpreter of the symbols be sapient? What makes a system in which different things act differently "social stratification" - does it require sapience? What makes a system in which some items cluster together in an environment that has evolved for that purpose "urban development" - does it require sapience?

The usual answer to all these questions is of course that these things require sapience, but that's not a factual claim. Its just that you're using a set of words that's usually only used of sapient things. When similar things happen without sapience, we use different words. We don't call your computer a complex urban development housing electron citizens; we don't call a beach a culture in which social stratification has lead to the development of a class system based on grain size; we don't say that the LEDs in your TV are subject to a draconian and anti-democratic system of government; we don't say that an avalanche symbolises the mountain's feelings about the loud noise it just heard...

...but, I mean, we could. If we wanted. If you decided that you could have a civilisation without sapience, then you could go around renaming all sorts of things in sapience-language, and nobody would be able to say that you were factually wrong in any way, just that you were speaking whimsically. [well, I guess a priest might claim that you were wrong, but it's not like they'd have any empirical basis for that, or objective proof that their theology was better than yours].

So it's kind of just up to you how you want to use the words - there's no truth or falsity at stake here, I don't think.

Instead, these questions are more like "could you have a bony fish that had lungs instead of gills?" - well, according to one way of speaking (eg traditional definitions of 'fish'), no, but according to another way of speaking (eg cladistic onomastics) yes, you could, and you are one. Questions like this are just asking which of two ways of speaking you 'should' use, and there is no way to answer that.
User avatar
Creyeditor
MVP
MVP
Posts: 4603
Joined: 14 Aug 2012 19:32

Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor »

Interesting points, espacially the side note on theology. I was thinking about adding a non-sentient/non-sapient species (in the sci-fi sense) to my conworld that comes close to the definition of civilization *there*, maybe some eusocial semi-aquatic con-mammal. But maybe only people discussing theology would really wonder if this non-sapient species is civilized.
Creyeditor
"Thoughts are free."
Produce, Analyze, Manipulate
1 :deu: 2 :eng: 3 :idn: 4 :fra: 4 :esp:
:con: Ook & Omlűt & Nautli languages & Sperenjas
[<3] Papuan languages, Morphophonology, Lexical Semantics [<3]
User avatar
LinguoFranco
greek
greek
Posts: 537
Joined: 20 Jul 2016 17:49
Location: U.S.

Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguoFranco »

What is needed to sustain a permanent settlement in the mountains.

I'm thinking of a small village rather than a whole kingdom like the Incas.

Obviously, there should be substenance farming, but what else is needed, and why would mountain people choose to rely primarily on farming as opposed to herding?
Salmoneus
MVP
MVP
Posts: 2674
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:37

Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

The same things you need anywhere else: a source of food (from hunting, gathering, fishing, farming or herding), a source of water (rivers, springs, glaciers), and probably (not necessarily, but probably, depending on climate) sources of shelter and/or clothing.

People prefer to rely on farming than on herding because farming delivers more calories per acre of land. And because fruits and vegetables are a better basis for a balanced diet than meat is. [although most farmers also engage in some pastoralism as well, as a way of exploiting otherwise less useful plots of land, of producing protein-rich foods, and of producing other useful animal byproducts (hides, glue, wool, etc)]
Keenir
mayan
mayan
Posts: 2303
Joined: 22 May 2012 03:05

Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Keenir »

apologies for the lateness of my reply...
LinguoFranco wrote: 17 May 2020 02:33I've been reading about coreless planets, and I'm wondering if it is possible they could contain a strong magnetosphere?
if the magnetosphere belongs to a planet that its orbiting (like Jupiter's magnetosphere covers Io and Europa)
By coreless, I mean a world that has no metallic core or magma, and is entirely rocky mantle.

Is there a way I can get around having a core in order to have a magnetosphere?
The idea for my world is about a society with no metal, and I thought "Hey, what about an entire planet without metal?"
You could have a core, and all the heavy metals sank into the lower part of the crust, the mantle, and the core...making the surface (and the easily mineable depths) poor in the metals needed to get past the Stone and maybe Copper Ages.
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799
Keenir
mayan
mayan
Posts: 2303
Joined: 22 May 2012 03:05

Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Keenir »

Salmoneus wrote: 21 Dec 2020 22:56- meanwhile, although the outer mantle has not collapsed, it is straining under its own weight. It is gradually contracting, causing such phenomena as deep sea trenches, subduction and orogeny. This contraction causes scraping, causing heat, melting rocks and causing surface volcanoes.
Sounds a bit like what forms the scarps of Mercury: tectonic shrinkage.
(also a bit of plate tectonics IRL, but I'd wager that geological models exist to show how shrinkage alone could create scarps - after all, the plate movements part is a recent discovery)
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799
Post Reply