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Hyperspace New Short Fiction: JJM's "The Secret Journal of Doctor Demagol" now online!!!

Discussion in 'Literature' started by JohnJacksonMiller, Apr 7, 2008.

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  1. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

    Feb 18, 2005
    Indeed, though I think the turnaround time for them might not be so quick . . . next few days will be busy for me with IRL concerns.

    Wow, thanks. :)

    While I would love to be the awesomest person in the history of awesome, I doubt a good diachronic analysis of Basic is likely to be in the cards. ;-)

    Well, at least it's not *my* say-so. ;-)

    As much as I would like to explore the creation of this book by everyone's favorite Indiana Jones homage and the son of my favorite character, I don't think that's likely to be in the cards, either. :confused:

    The existence of multiple alphabets used to write Basic has been canon since the release of WEG's Star Wars Miniatures Battles Companion, which flat-out stated Aurebesh was but one alphabet used to write the language. The fact that one of them is the Latin alphabet (or is regularly translated into the Latin alphabet) is a given from things like the Corporate Sector Authority logo, which uses both Latin and Aurebesh characters.

    We have an in-universe explanation for the TIE Fighter's name. We have no such explanation yet for the Rebel -wing fighters, other than taking their names literally.

    Indeed, SW academia can be a lot of fun; I had a blast coming up with good academic-sounding works for the "further reading" section.

    Well, the Article primarily focused on writing systems used with Galactic Basic, either as a primary script or in some sort of niche use. While there are Huttese loanwords in Basic, I've not gotten the impression the Huttese alphabet saw much role in the language.

    If WEG and computer game writing is what interests you, I suggest taking a closer look at the Atrisian script, which is the neat writing system that saw use in early computer games like Dark Forces. It's earlier incarnation from before Eoaq the Expansive's reforms can be seen as squiggles in SWAJ 14.
  2. CeiranHarmony

    CeiranHarmony Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 10, 2004
    thx for pointing me towards them ;)

    PS: Now I wonder if the Jedi got their own writing system and what that would mean. Especially since they have Tython close to Coruscant AND Ossus close to the Tion.

    Second, and more curious am I about the Sith-Arkania connection. I know it's old by now that they have this nice Sith library and that once the Sith Empire reached till there... but:
    1) WHY there and no further expansion if they were not trapped by the Caldera back then?
    2) WHEN? and how did they get reduced to just the stygian caldera again?
    3) HOW did this relate to Jedi/Republic/Sith encounters/wars pre Great Hyperspace War?

    The Jedi found/destroyed it only after the Great Hyperspace War, so was Arkania unknown till then or just hid its dark secrets well?
  3. Thrawn McEwok

    Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare star 6 VIP

    May 9, 2000
    This I like. :D

    I know. :p

    Flattery. :p

    I was referring to the fact that the Aurebesh has some seeming relationships to the developed "Alsakan" script (i.e. separate isk and jenth), but seems to have gone through a period of stylization, and also has some frankly unrelated glyphs like xesh. It looks like it's based on combining Alsakan/Tionese (note thesh) with a separate system...

    A part of me feels that the relationship of the scripts should match the real-world development of the Greek and Latin alphabets and the Semitic abjad (and their general supercession of earlier ideographic/syllabic scripts), so that a source script led in one direction led to Desevrar and (latterly) Alsakan, whereas in another it led to Common Sith and later Sith scripts, with little real connection to earlier Massassi hieroglyphs...

    Similarly, since High Galactic isn't Old High German or Latin, I find it harder to take it seriously as the ancestor of Basic, if Basic "is" English; it "feels" to me like an archaizing conlang, or at best an alternative descendant...

    Any thoughts on the syllabic/abjad system of glyphs used aboard the Chu'unthor in CoPL (where the name "Yoda" is two glyphs on the keypad)? [face_thinking]

    EDIT: corrected, since I'm going by memory from something I read around 1995. :p

    Obviously, all this problem is solved if there's a complex translation going on. But why make things easy?

    Unreservedly: =D= =D= =D= =D=

    - The Imperial Ewok
  4. Dan Wallace

    Dan Wallace Author: Essential Atlas, Essential Guides, RPG star 3 VIP

    Aug 17, 1998
    This was a great article. I've always been dismayed by the gradual abandonment of the Roman alphabet and the "Cresh-Threepethosk" that that implies, so it's great to have something officialized and so well thought-out.

  5. Plaristes

    Plaristes Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 2, 2007
    I loved this article, jSarek. Now I wish someone could figure out how to retcon German words into the GFFA languages, so that we could include the "Uber-Men" Rebel squad from Vortext's "Shootout at Landing Pad 94." [face_thinking]
  6. CeiranHarmony

    CeiranHarmony Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 10, 2004
    hmm german... then again some Taung words sound German-esque while others don't and Mando'a is a total mix.

  7. MercenaryAce

    MercenaryAce Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 10, 2005
    We have an in-universe explanation for the TIE Fighter's name. We have no such explanation yet for the Rebel -wing fighters, other than taking their names literally.
    Well, the B-Wing is short for "Blade-Wing", but other than that, yeah...
  8. CeiranHarmony

    CeiranHarmony Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 10, 2004
    A-Wing and Aleph might be connected

    X-Wing and Y-Wing and E-Wing remain... hmm... also K-Wing..
  9. Tyber

    Tyber Jedi Knight

    Mar 12, 2009
    Don't forget that Basic is always the language you read or hear while consuming Star Wars. So for me as a German, Basic is in fact German language. That is a problem which is difficult to address canon-wise.

    Besides: The Taung tongue (haha, funny me...) sounds more like Dutch than German. That was at least my first impression when I read the Dha Werda Verda.
  10. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

    Feb 18, 2005
    They probably did have their own writing system at some point, now that you mention it, though they're clearly using other writing systems by the time we get to know them.

    Hmm, just noticed one tidbit that was edited out of the section on Trade Federation Basic. Guess now we'll never know why they were using it in the Jedi Temple in Episode I. ;-)

    Alas, I have no insight on these question, beyond noting that Ambria, Tund, and Malachor V, are also described in the Atlas as early Sith colonies, so Arkania isn't alone.

    I've seen you in action; it's fact, not flattery. :p

    I think, given how "J" is pronounced in English, it's not a stretch at all for I an J to be separate letters in the Aurebesh. As for the similarities between High Galactic and Aurebesh, we might just assume that the Alsakanese weren't as thorough at weeding out Aurebesh influences as they might have liked; at the very least, it would appear they slavishly followed the letter order of the Aurebesh when creating the High Galactic Alphabet.

    I don't think the relationship between Hebrew and Greek is at all obvious to the untrained eye, so an in-universe counterpart to the Phoenician alphabet is probably not necessary. That said, while it might not preserve the directionality of that developmental relationship, you might look to the fact that Xim's empire *d
  11. Ki-Aaron-Mundi

    Ki-Aaron-Mundi Jedi Knight star 2

    May 22, 2008
    Man, awesome stuff!

    I think I'd be just as happy to read Huttese Ain't What it Used to Be.

    Though if you ever line up a short story gig, jSarek, I'd love to read the actual scripting of the Heroine Hall/Hero in Hell Jar Jar debacle. :D
  12. Ki-Aaron-Mundi

    Ki-Aaron-Mundi Jedi Knight star 2

    May 22, 2008
    I seem to recall that on the production side of things, B-Wing stood for "Bill-Wing" after the designer. This is the first I've ever heard about "Blade Wing."
  13. Lord_Hydronium

    Lord_Hydronium Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 11, 2002
    I'm pretty sure it was called that because it was the second fighter designed after the A-wing.
  14. TalonCard

    TalonCard •Author: Slave Pits of Lorrd •TFN EU Staff star 5 VIP

    Jan 31, 2001
    Finally read the article in full, and I gotta say, it's an awesome piece of work. So if I understand this correctly now, pretty much every incarnation of text on-screen and most of the major examples of text in the tie-in works are now explained? Great, great stuff, particularly tying the extra-universe letters with the existing GFFA parallels of the cultures that originated them. I get that Tionese is pretty much Greek, because of the Xim/Alexander parallels, but I'm really interested in the Sith and Atrisian character histories...argh, when are those endnotes going to get here?! ;)

    And did we finally get confirmation that Jar Jar is Naboo's Imperial Senator? Awesome!

  15. eddie1969

    eddie1969 Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 3, 2005
    Oh man, there's even a reference to the R-22 Spearhead!!!! Great article!!!!
  16. CeiranHarmony

    CeiranHarmony Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 10, 2004
    wait.. JarJar as Imperial SENATOR? oh my... I now officially fear for the Live Action series :p

    Senator Binks, Boss Nass and Moff Panaka... now THAT is a fun trio. Imagine Boss Nass speaking in the Senate accompanying JarJar because of some issue? Imagine Panaka getting headaches.. and then JarJar joined the Rebellion and had a son... if the Mangas are canon one day :p Abso Bar Binks need to gets canonized.

  17. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

    Feb 18, 2005
    I'm glad those titles were both mouth watering. :) I figured, after the Milanda recommended some very dry scholarly works, that two books geared for the pop-nonfiction market (which often have much more interesting titles than books aimed at an academic audience) would spice up the Further Reading section. Though had I known how much action Corellia Antilles would be getting in recent works (having also been name-dropped in the Atlas, the Despotica, AND Death in the Slave Pits of Lorrd), I might have found Gideon a different co-author. ;-)

    [Edit: Accidentally misattributed this to Tyber earlier; now fixed.]

    I'd probably have to find a co-author for that one . . . I don't think I could write that much Gunganese and retain my sanity. :p

    Seriously though, I don't think Jar-Jar committing a high-society faux pas is a story. It's more like a Tuesday.

    I think I got all on-screen text that's used by Basic speakers, at any rate; I didn't cover any Huttese or other alien writing.

    The original reason I chose Tionese to represent Greek was because Lianna is in the Tion, and Sienar *loves* them some Greek letters for naming shuttles. The fact that there are some big historical parallels between the Tionese and the Greeks just made the decision easier.

    I chose to connect Hebrew with Sith (specifically, Common Sith) because of its use on Vader's chest box. There's a fair bit of analysis of the box [link=]here[/link].

    As for Atrisian, the writing used in Dark Forces seemed to be used mostly on code keys, locks, and other paraphernalia used by Imperials. The Atrisian Empire was established as an ideological antecedent of the Galactic Empire (and particularly beloved by elements within Imperial Intelligence), so it seemed like a good choice as an origin for the script. It was then a simple matter of making sure most of its uses were tied either to Intel or General Rom Mohc, who I retconned as an Atrisian to justify it being used throughout his Dark Trooper project.

    Well, he seemed to be next in line for the role, given that he was the one to fill in for Padme in Episode II, and looked the part at her funeral; in all honesty, I don't think I realized this was an unconfirmed thing. Note we don't know for how *long* he was a Senator, since Apailana's own death forces the timeframe for the Grizmallt visit to occur very soon after Episode III.

    It seemed a discussion of the -wing ships was a good place to shore up the Spearhead retcon.
  18. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

    Feb 18, 2005
    [Edit: I fail at webernets. Disregard.]
  19. Thrawn McEwok

    Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare star 6 VIP

    May 9, 2000
    Well, they're not just in Basic, as jSarek pointed out; they're also in Old Corellian, and Vulanish, another language spoken on Corellia (one of several), appears to be a straight-out dialect of Swedish. :p

    So I'm guessing that there are German or at least generally Germanic-speakers around... [face_thinking]

    I'd go for a form of Common Sith, myself. :p

    :p It's flattery to applaud it. [face_mischief]

    o_O I see your logic here, placing the real-world letters in fictional chains of development, but I'd rather match the real development, seeing the two as being derived from a single glyph (Tionese "iota"); also, the way the dipthongs sit at the end of the Aurebesh makes it look like they're the additions to a core that followed the "Alsakan" word-order. [face_thinking]

    Hmm... so if we say that Desevrar is closer to Phoenecian, and separate it out from later Tionese, that works for me (and also moves it closer to the Azure abjad, which probably IS either Phonecian or Imperial Aramaic, perhaps both at different stages)... although I was thinking of the Phonecianalog ( :p) as being associated with the Infinite Empire (though NOT in fact Rakatan in origin, would be my preference [face_mischief]). I'm also trying to work in an obvious Borges joke about Twees here, but I guess the diffusion of alphabets and abjads (and indeed dancing-girls) already does that. :p

    Works for me. Old Galactic Standard is basically Latin (hence the alphabet); High Galactic is a fictional Romance language (Fi, Pera, Pliada di am Imperium), perhaps also subject to a sort of Victorian grammatical nationalism... [face_thinking]

    Basic, meanwhile, has been thorougly mucked around by the Germanic influence also seen in Old Corellian (and, coming at it from another angle, what's New Corellian? o_O)...

  20. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

    Feb 18, 2005
    Deciding how much to recapitulate Earthly linguistic evolution is a fine line: do it too little, and suspension of disbelief suffers when two obviously related things aren't related in-universe; do it too much, and you are forced to slavishly re-create Earthly dynamics that might not be best for the setting, in order to make connections that could be adequately described by coincidence or alternative evolutionary routes.

    As for the diphthongs at the end of the Aurebesh, there actually are only two that come after the High Galactic Alphabet ends: Enth and Onith. The rest of the letters represent normal sounds; it just happens that they're represented by digraphs in High Galactic. One possible explanation is those sounds were added by one or more of the reforms that created Basic, and were added to the end of the Aurebesh; the High Galactic Alphabet, by contrast, dealt with these new sounds by using digraphs instead, keeping the alphabet unchanged out of conservative impulse.

    If you want to posit an Infinite Empire ur-script which had influence on all of the major Galactic Basic scripts, not just the Aurebesh clones, the Atlas certainly would allow it. The Rakata held Coruscant, Raxus, and Korriban, thus giving them a presence in or near the origins of the Aurebesh, Tionese, and Sith alphabets. While I don't consider such a retcon necessary, it's there for the taking if you want it.

    As for the Twee joke, well . . . now we see where this educated amateur runs up against the limits of his knowledge. ;-)

    I think you're on the right track, yes. As for New Corellian, I couldn't say what it is, though Arner Figgis notes that Socorran is often wrongly referred to as Middle Corellian.

    It's possible, but note that any too-close analysis of the RotJ script is [link=]g
  21. Thrawn McEwok

    Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare star 6 VIP

    May 9, 2000
    You're right to twit me for not checking which digraphs are there ( :oops:), but when the sounds represented by digraphs in High Galactic and single letters in the Aurebesh all come at the end of the Aurebesh, and the order is otherwise the same, that makes me suspect that the Aurebesh utilizes the HG letter-order with extra characters added.

    Also, there's a fun translation/semantic issue over whether the Basic word for "alphabet" is "alphabet" as opposed to "aurebesh"... :p

    And I agree with your first paragraph; I just get a little dissonance by seeing the Alphabet recontextualized like this (although in contrast, if the relationships are the same, and we're basically talking about Latin, Greek and English, we'd be getting into slightly weird territory in a whole different direction, and I'd be hesitant about spelling that out)... :p [face_mischief]

    Would you, more importantly! :D :p

    Well, considering that I'm just responding with a theory, and you're the unargued master here, I'll think about it? [face_blush]

    "Twee" is the first letter of the Sith alphabet? :p

    Interesting! :D

    Touché. :D =D=

    And that page is fascinating. :D

    - The Imperial Ewok
  22. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Jul 8, 1999 Roman is now High Galactic, and Greek is Tionese?

    Sweet. :D
  23. johnthejedi24

    johnthejedi24 Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2004
    I just can not yet get my head around that the "English" writing seen in some illustrations like Role Playing guides and source-books is now canon. It just feels kind of weird. So if I wrote in English in the GFFA I would be understood....ha.[face_worried] But what they are saying in the movies, games and shows is not English but basic or another dialect translated for the viewer?
  24. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

    Feb 18, 2005
    That's one possibility, but I think the alternative I mentioned is as good at explaining the letter order without needing to rock the boat.

    Exactly; it's a fine line that can be crossed in either direction.

    I think I would leave it open, in case one answer or the other worked better for a future story; it's certainly the sort of thing that can be an open question for in-universe linguists, much like the [link=]Nostratic hypothesis[/link] is in our own.

    D'oh! Here I was looking for some complicated linguistics thing above my pay grade, and totally missing the Aleph-class's nickname. :p

    Indeed. His entire site proved quite useful in my preliminary research for the article.

    Again, the "English" writing isn't *necessarily* the same as High galactic, nor Greek as Tionese. While they *may* be the same, it's also possible that those alphabets are being consistently translated for our benefit.
  25. Eyrezer

    Eyrezer Jedi Master star 3

    Aug 4, 2002
    How are those endnotes coming along, JS?

    ~ Eyrezer
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