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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Jellybelly

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About Jellybelly

  • Birthday 01/01/1
  1. This is a good thread, I would really like to continue the discussion with RAW. He once again made some interesting claims about historical linguistics, which must be answered (however "irrelevant" they may be). He's fun. It will have to wait for tomorrow, though. Anyway, good thread! I will however note, RAW, that "utilise" is a valid spelling (you may check the OED, if there is need). We are not all Americans.
  2. Certainly, but it is not the language from which English is descended. The direct influence of Latin on English is mainly limited to two waves of loanword-influx. Also, after the Norman conquest there was an influx of French forms, which were of course also affected by Latin. Latin did permeate deeply into English vocabulary (witness for instance the "native" forms of latin "grammar" and "arithmetics", the Old English version of which were "stæfcræft" and "rimcræft" - literally "letter-skill" and "number-skill". Latin did, however, not intrude into the "core" function words of the language, namely pronouns of the demonstrative and personal kind. I certainly did not mean to suggest that there has not been areas in which the languages have gained in complexity. My point is that in the core functioning of the langauges descended from Indo-European, there has been extensive morphological and syntactic "simplification" (a term which is not a valid linguistic term, by the way, but since we've been using it...) over a period of millennia. The loss of inflections, cases, reduction of grammatical gender, the fixing of certain word-order patterns etc. I do not think that is really open for dispute. Other areas, such as the lexicon, will undoubtedly have gained members, but I do not think a larger lexicon is necessarily indicative of increased complexity. You stress that language change is due to interaction with other languages. That may be the case now, but I do not think it was the preeminent reason in prehistory. The only languages the various Indo-European dialects would regularly come into contact with, were other Indo-European dialects. This, of course, opens up the question of exactly what constitutes a "language" versus a "dialect", which largely is a meaningless debate. I rather tend to agree with the sentiment that a language is a dialect with an army. Anyway, this is not to be interpreted as a genuine defense of RJ's language construction, although I do think some here are a bit too categorical in their statements about it. The development of RJ's world does not really compare to the last 3000 years of human history. RJ's premise is that the Old Tongue had been established as an exceptional lingua franca, which was probably the mother tongue of all of the world. That premise in itself is fantastical, and does not have anything close to a real-world equivalent. However, if we accept the premise (you may utilise your willing suspension of disbelief) it is not ALL THAT far-fetched that the languages in Randland and Seanchan remain mutually intelligible. The ubiquitousness of the printing press through most of RJ's history, both in Randland and in Seanchan will certainly have contributed to stabilising langauge development. And the consolidation was not a process through which the linguistic features of the conquerors were forced down the throats of he conquered. Besides, we do not know to which extent the Seanchan dialect varies from the dialect of Randland, as RJ has transcribed them into more or less idiomatic English. He does the same with the dialects (which might as well be called languages) of Randland, for instance by letting some languages (Domani, eg) have a higher use of DO-periphrasis, odd syntax, etc. Still, we do not know exactly to which the degree the languages really are different. What we do know, is that it is hard for a randlander to understand a person from Seanchan. That does say something, but not enough.
  3. We certainly do have simplification over much more than a 3000 year period. The postulated Proto-Germanic is assumed to have been spoken from around 2500 BCE, which should be about 4500 years ago. It is the common ancestor to all today's Germanic languages, many of which are still mutually intelligible. Norwegian and Dutch, for example, is still mutually intelligible to the educated speaker. Certainly the germanic dialects have developed in different directions, but they all came from Proto-Germanic, which in turn came from Proto-Indoeuropean. The history of western languages is one long tale of syntactic and morphological simplication. Certainly, that is the case, because no language can ever be isolated. I have merely given examples that language simplication (woeful term) is a known linguistic fact. They most definitely do apply, to the premise at hand. Your obsession over whether or not the language in question has been isolated is irrelevant. Your initial claim was that languages never lose complexity, and gave the example of Latin and Italian in support. I provided a counterexample, that of English, a language which had parallell development to that of Italian, yet lost complexity where Italian (arguably) gained some. German too, is a language which has lost complexity in the same time-span, though not to the same degree as English. EDITED for spelling. It's late.
  4. Latin "gave birth" to languages such as Spanish, Italian, Romanian and French, to give a few examples. It did not give birth to German or English, which are both West Germanic languages. The Germanic languages and Latin were related, though, both being members of the Indo-European family of languages. Modern English is the direct descendant of an Anglian dialect of Old English, a languages in turn descended from the western branch of Proto-Germanic.
  5. Actually, that is not quite true. We have several examples of "language simplification", especially in the Germanic familily of languages, which should be familiar to all here. Without going into too many technicalities, there are many notable counterexamples to your categorical statement. Such simplification is far from a linguistic impossibility. For instance, to the best of my knowledge, all of the Germanic languages have undergone substantial linguistic "simplification" (for lack of a better term) in the course of the millennia they have existed. It is an indisputable fact that important languages such as English and German have lost much complexity compared to Proto-Germanic, their ancestor. For the English speakers here, a familiar example: Old English (c. 450-1200 CE) had four cases with remnants of a fifth: The nominative, the accusative, the genitive and the dative, with some left-over traces of the instrumental. Already at this stage, great simiplification is seen in the language, represented by substantial losses of morphological inflections, and simplification and unification of the various declensions of nouns, adjective, pronouns, etc. In many cases, the nominative and the accusative, previously highly distinct, are nearly identical. The dative case at that stage was already an amalgamation of several distinct Proto-Germanic cases, lost in the Old English period, notably the instrumental, ablative, locative, and so on. Modern English, of course, have none of these cases, except for very few traces and remnants. Great simplification is also seen in noun, adjective and pronoun systems. For instance, English now only has ONE distinct case ending for nouns, which is -'s, added to indicate the possessive, which is the naked remains of the formerly much more complex genitive case. Also in relation to nouns, plural formation was formerly a much more complex affair, compared to today's simple addition of -s the noun. Old English nouns commonly took -es, -as, -an, -u, -ru endings to indicate plurality, in addition to the mutation plurals, which were far more numerous in Old English and Proto-Germanic. In actual fact, the simplification of the Germanic languages from their Proto-Germanic ancestor mirrors the simplification of Randland's language quite nicely.
  6. I highly recommend that some of you work on your reading comprehension. 1) The "fluff" - incidentally consisting of 25 000 words, not 1000, which would equal about two to four pages - Gentled Ben is referencing is a scene which Sanderson would have written regardless of the split. He has simply relocated the scene within the timeline to give screen time to a character who would otherwise have been left out of the book entirely. Very few of us should take offense at that, as manipulating the timeline is something Jordan did quite frequently. 2) Sanderson has made a conscious choice of making this book as large as it needs to be. That decision was made due to the fact that he did not want to cut material provided by RJ's various notes. Sanderson's notes suggest that if he had been forced to cram everything into one volume, he would have had to remove much of said material. It should be painfully obvious that if such a decision was made, we would not have received all of this material.
  7. Hell, if they can get the books out quickly, I'd be fine with two volumes. Three, not so much. But spread out over three years? Hell, no! Try again, Tor!
  8. It seems pretty obvious that the One Power is the essence of the Creator, if anything, which balances the True Power, which stems from the Dark One. It makes absolutely no sense for a third power to suddenly crop up. I cannot believe some of the things some people dream up and call a theory. It is good reading posts from you once again, Luckers. Always interesting.
  9. What I cannot understand is the Swedish compulsion to change every title they come into contact with. For some reason they do not think the original titles are good enough, and always change it into "the tale of X". "The Wheel of Time" being changed into "The Tale of the Dragon's Return" is a case in point. They even saw the need to change "The Fellowship of the Ring" into "The Tale of the Fellowship of the Ring". That is just stupid. Some of these Swedish titles make my skin crawl. Apparently, the last part of "Knife of Dreams" is called "The Trap". Yuck. What sort of imbecile makes these decisions?
  10. I see no real reason to continue this debate at all - the level of ad hominems and ad hoc argumentation from certain people is not at all constructive. We have here a person who sees himself as being absolutely right, who actually proceeds to call those who disagree "weak-minded", "sheepish" and "accepting". I think that says it all. Such people cannot be debated with in a rational manner. This is, of course, a common problem in internet debates, and comes as no surprise. Unless valid points are soon brought up, I would say this thread has played out its role. In closing, one could ask why it is such a disaster to have volume one end at chapter 37, and have volume two start at chapter 38? How will the novel's quality be affected? It is still one novel. If the wait is so excruciating for you, well, suck it up. My contention is that the novel's quality will not be affected by a division. We have in the history of literature countless examples of literary works being written and published in installations, many of which are among our great classics. If the literary quality of "Great Expectations" or "Oliver Twist" did not suffer from being published in twenty instalments, I seriously doubt the integrity of AMoL will be compromised from being published in two. If this view is seriously held, I suggest to the person in question that he acquaint himself with a wider range of literature.
  11. That was a really long post with very little content other than "I am a true fan, and therefore must be appeased". This refusal to deal with reality comes across as little more than a temper tantrum. There has been a lot of confusion with regards to RJ's comments on this being one book. What must be understood is that when he refers to this being the last and final book, it is terms of book structure. I see nothing besides the quips of needing a wheel-barrow to get the book out of the store that indicates him being adamant on this being one volume. Keep in mind that "novel" does not equal "volume". Robert Jordan intended this to be one novel, regardless of volumes. Here, he too would have had to conform to the standards and demands of the book-selling industry. Artistic freedom does not come into it, other than in the sense that Sanderson has not received a final wordcount which he must adhere to - which is a very good thing. It would be infinitely worse if there were limits imposed on this work. Consider Dumas' "The Vicomte de Bragelonne". In English it is consistently divided into three volumes. This does not mean that it is three novels, far from it. What RJ said was that he did not have enough story left to structure as two more novels. RJ's wishes has not been violated if A Memory of Light is split into two parts. The overarching structure is still intact, and that is all he wanted. As an afterthought, I too find it remarkably naïve to blow off the legal ramifications of this. This is a business, regardless of how much of a "fan" you see yourself. The "loyal fans" are served enough by having this book finished in the first place.
  12. Oh, great then. So long as you say it is true, the rest of us will meekly accept the viewpoint. How rewarding it must be to have a real discussion with you. But then again, maybe not. It is notoriously difficult to argue with someone who says "I am inherently right, therefore you must accept my stance". Feel free to present evidence of why RJ lost control of his world at any time, and no, what you already provided is not good enough.
  13. Egwene is supposed to be beautiful with a fairly ahem "womanly" body. Natalie Portman is a bone skinny, shaved head 12 year old boy looking female...who also can't act. Have you seen her in anything other than Star Wars, kid?
  14. Jesus, man, who is pestering the Rigney family? The original poster never adressed the family. He asked a question on a public forum requesting information, which he got from the most reliable source available. So thank you for the answers, Kathana. I know they reassured me, at least.
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