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Conan's Linguistic Abilities


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#21 Taranaich

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 12:52 AM

The other possibility would be that Puntan, Darfari, Kushite, Keshani and Zembabwan are so close to each other to make them understandable to Conan who speaks Kushite.


Possible.

In The Servants of Bit-Yakin Conan is speaking to the ruler when Thutmekri, a Stygian who is acting as emissary from Zembabwei with a group of Zembabwans offers an alternate plan to the king who seems to have no trouble understanding them.


Also a good point.

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#22 Taranaich

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 12:58 AM

Amra, this topic of yours is one worthy of the late, lamented Cimmerian! B)

I predict that in future, it will be used as a scholarly tool for researchers.

(This is what we in the book trade call a hint, y'all.)


Oh, undoubtedly. *wink*

(I shall be using this topic as a "take THAT" kill-shot against the unwashed who think Conan is just a big dumb barbarian)


Hell yes.

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#23 Gin-Wulf

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 01:16 PM

i just have to say this is one of the best threads. it really hits on just intelligent conan was, and how no incarnation of him has really grasped that, very good job :)

#24 Kane

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 07:41 PM

Great topic Amra! As mentioned before one worthy of consideration in regards to Conan's intelligence and knowledge of the world he traveled in.
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And force upon Mankind the Freedom he fears--
And dead gods I will again defy?"

#25 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 05:13 AM

Hmmm now that we know that he speaks multiple languages the question becomes when did he learn them?

Born in Cimmeria Conan speaks Cimmerian from childhood. More than likely he has learned some Pictish growing up as well from the incessant fighting with them.

"'Even a Zingaran ought to know there's never been peace between Picts and Cimmerians, and never will be,' he retorted with an oath. 'Our feud with them is older than the world. If you'd said that to one of my wilder brothers, you'd have found yourself with a split head. But I've lived among you civilized men long enough to understand your ignorance and lack of common courtesy - the churlishness that demands his business of a man who appears at your door out of a thousand-mile wilderness. Never mind that.'" -The Black Stranger

For the same reason he is familiar with Nordheimr and Aquilonian, possibly Bossonian as well.

"They were barbaric and warlike...They fought on foot, mainly, and made savage raids on their neighbors to the east, north, and south." - REH on Cimmerians in Notes on Various Peoples of the Hyborian Age

"Cimmeria: to the south Aquilonia, to the north Asgard, to the northwest Vanaheim, to the west the Pictish marches; to the east Hyperborea; to the south the Aquilonian marches." - REH in Hyborian Names and Countries

I think the Aquilonian marches Howard lists may be the Bossonian Marches because he lists it separate from Aquilonia that he has already listed.

"At Vanarium he was already a formidable antagonist, though only fifteen. He stood six feet and weighed 180 pounds, though he lacked much of having his full growth."- REH letter to P.Schuyler Miller

"I was one of the horde that swarmed over the walls. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." -Beyond the Black River

"In the north there was incessant bickering along the Cimmerian borders between the black-haired warriors and the Nordheimr; and the Æsir, between wars with the Vanir, assailed Hyperborea and pushed back the frontier, destroying city after city. The Cimmerians also fought the Picts and Bossonians impartially, and several times raided into Aquilonia itself, but their wars were less invasions than mere plundering forays." -REH in The Hyborian Age

He may have also already been familiar with Hyperborean but definitely would have picked up some while in captivity.

"He spent some months among a tribe of the Æsir, fighting with the Vanir and the Hyperboreans, and developing a hate for the latter which lasted all his life and later affected his policies as King of Aquilonia. Captured by them, he escaped southward and came into Zamora..." -Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller

So it comes as no surprise in The Frost-Giant's Daughter that he can speak Nordheimr with the Vanir and Æsir.

Coming out of Hyperborea he would have had to have crossed through Brythunia to get to Zamora. He may have picked up Brythunian while there. How long would it take you to cross a country on foot?

I think I have been persuaded by the argument of Dale Rippke (Dark Storm Dale on these boards) with my brother the Grim Cimmerian as to placement of the next story. My brother has a darn fixation with the pastiches with some being his favorite Conan tales and it has clouded his thinking. I should have never given all of my Conan pastiches to him. I admit though reading my dad's Lancers and later collecting all of the Tor pastiches to date (with John Maddox Roberts being my favorite) I didn't really differentiate either. Then again I did not have access like I do now to the pure Conan stories (thank you Del Rey/Wandering Press).

I guess I follow the Dark Storm Conan Chronology although I don't agree with any non-supportable facts presented in Dale's "biography" in between stories and think some of the arguments he uses in the article are weak and some of his strongest arguments happened in these forums: In the Placement of Conan Books In Chronology thread. He tries to explain Howard's purported errors by creating back stories to fix them. "The Tarantia/Tamar error is certainly explainable (as per my biography)." -Dale Rippke in Musings on the various Chronology issues. I do understand where and why he is trying to fit in comments that Conan makes in other stories in a usable time-line and think he makes some sense. However, this sounds dangerously like a pastiche/De Camp approach to understanding the Cimmerian tales by making up things to fit better. And as for the kettle calling the teapot black here I am inventing language names and making assumptions myself about the Conan stories. That being said...

In The God in the Bowl he speaks Nemedian throughout so he was probably in Nemedia for some time before making it to Zamora. Here is where speculation can creep in, maybe after being held captive by the Hyperboreans he wanted to return home then had to cross Nemedia on his way to Zamora. Heh, I bet Howard would be amused, "Honored", bemused knowing how much thought, speculation, and arguing his stories have caused.

In The Tower of the Elephant he speaks Zamorian. He was probably in Zamora for some time before the story begins. "He had squatted for hours in the courtyards of the philospophers, listening to the arguments of the theologians and teachers, and come away in a haze of bewilderment, sure of only one thing, and that, that they were all touched in the head." - TTotE

He probably speaks to Taurus in the Nemedian he has previously learned, in any case he had already heard of him. "'And who are you?' asked the Cimmerian in a suspicious whisper. 'Taurus of Nemedia.' The Cimmerian lowered his sword. 'I've heard of you. Men call you a prince of thieves.'" -TTotE

I hate using non-Howardian titles but I admit it is the easiest way to differentiate untitled fragments.

Untitled Synopsis: The Hall of the Dead

Conan speaks to the the Gunderman mercenary Nestor with the Aquilonian that he must had learned previously in his youth.

All the evidence suggests that Conan speaks Corithian in Rogues in the House but I guess we will never really know as the city state west of Zamora is never identified.

In the Untitled Fragment: The Hand of Nergal is set in Yaralet in an unknown country. Currently it is thought to be in Corinthia. It is presumed therefore that he is speaking the Corinthian he learned previously in Rogues in the House.

At this time after leaving Zamora and Corinthia he returns home possibly traveling through Ophir and Aquilonia. He may have learned Ophirean along the way.

"I am of the opinion that the city was one of the the small city-states lying just west of Zamora, and into which Conan had wandered after leaving Zamora. Shortly after this he returned for a brief period to Cimmeria, and there were other returns to his native land from time to time"- Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller

Before Iron Shadows in the Moon Conan learns to speak Hyrkanian as a Kozaki and speaks it in the story. Conan also speaks to Olivia presumably in her native tongue Ophirean with no obvious experience in Ophir or dealing with Ophireans named in a previous story to explain how he learned it. Possibly indicating bad placement in chronology or that he must have learned it on his way through Ophir en route to Cimmeria. Well for all intents and purposes he now speaks it.

In Black Colossus Conan speaks Kothic the language of the land which he must have learned whilst employed as a Mercenary. He is enlisted under Amalric the Nemedian. Good thing he already speaks Nemedian. That may have helped him to learn the Kothic spoken in the area by having a commander that can translate orders into a language he is familiar with.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 25 November 2010 - 09:43 AM.

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Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#26 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 05:14 AM

In Queen of the Black Coast I postulated that Conan speaks Argossean learned when he is crossing over to Argos from Khoraja and Shem, and may have learned Shemitish at the same time at any rate he is able to understand Bêlit who is Shemitish. While raiding with the corsairs he learns Kushite/Cushite.

"The black spoke in a sea-coast dialect, and Conan replied; he had learned the jargon while a corsair on the coasts of Kush." - The Scarlet Citadel

He probably picks up some Stygian from his time sacking their cities and raiding their coasts with the corsairs.

"The Tigress ranged the sea, and the black villages shuddered. Tom-toms beat in the night, with a tale that she she-devil of the sea had found a mate, an iron man whose wrath was as that of a wounded lion. And the survivors of butchered Stygian ships named Bêlit with curse, and a white warrior with fierce blue eyes; so the Stygian princes remembered this man long and long, and their memory was a bitter tree which bore crimson fruit in the years to come."-QotBC

"If he were recognized as Amra, the corsair chief who had swept their coasts with steel and flame..." -The Hour of the Dragon

Moving inland Conan is in Shumballa in the land of Kush in the Untitled Synopsis: The Snout in the Dark. He speaks Kushite/Cushite and probably Nemedian to Diana with whom he escapes.

"His emissary bought a Nemedian girl, Diana, from a Shemitish slave-trader, who had captured her from an Argossean trading vessel."- REH in the Untitled Synopsis

In Xuthal of the Dusk while traveling as the sole survivors of an army fighting his way through Koth (knowing Kothic which he speaks from Black Colossus), Shem (knowing Shemitish having learned while journeying before Queen of the Black Coast and after Black Colossus), whilst traversing Stygia (probably picking up more Stygian building on his knowledge learned as a corsair), and finally to the strange city of Xuthal in Kush.

I think he is probably speaking Brythunian to Natala that he would have learned crossing Brythunia in his youth. He speaks his newly learned Stygian to Thalis in Xuthal.

"'Who are you' bluntly countered Conan, who quickly wearied of answering questions. 'I am Thalis the Stygian,' she replied...'I am Conan, a Cimmerian, and this is Natala, a daughter of Brythunia', he answered." - XotD

In A Witch Shall Be Born he speaks the Kothic he learned in Black Colossus, and Shemitish from just before Queen of the Black Coast in a Zuagir dialect.

The Devil in Iron
has Conan speaking the Hyrkanian learned in Iron Shadows in the Moon. He already speaks Yuetshi presumably learned in the same time period as a Kozaki and member of the Red Brotherhood in the region, again in Iron Shadows in the Moon

"The fisherman was typical of his race, that strange people whose origin is lost in the gray dawn of the past, and who have dwelt in their rude fishing-huts along the southern shore of the Sea of Vilayet since time immemorial...among the Yuetshi..."-TDiI

He also speaks the Nemedian learned in The God in the Bowl.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 24 November 2010 - 09:57 AM.

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Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#27 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 07:12 AM

People of the Black Circle has Conan speaking the Vendhyan, Zhaibari (Wazuli and Galzai dialects), and the Ghulistani or Ghuli learned while a Chief of the Afghulis raiding in the area. He also speaks the Hyrkanian learned in Iron Shadows in the Moon.

InThe Man-Eaters of Zamboula Conan speaks Shemitish in the Zuagir dialect learned while crossing Shem before Queen of the Black Coast as chief of the Zuagirs at the end of A Witch Shall Be Born. He again speaks Hyrkanian learned in Iron Shadows in the Moon, Kushite and Stygian learned while raiding with the corsairs. If when Conan listens to the cannibal slaves from Darfar and understands them, they are speaking their own language Darfari it would mean that it is either very close to Kushite or that he picked it up as well while raiding with the corsairs or in the Untitled Synopsis: The Snout in the Dark.

After The Man-Eaters of Zamboula Conan may have traveled to Ophir to sell the ring called the Star of Khorala. If he didn't previously learn Ophirean on his way home to Cimmeria after the tales set in Zamora and Corinthia, he probably learned it on his way to sell the ring. It would explain how he speaks Ophirean later on and would cast doubt on the placement of Iron Shadows in the Moon in the chronology if again, he hadn't already learned it on the way home after his adventures in The Tower of the Elephant, Untitled Synopsis: The Hall of the Dead, Rogues in the House, and the Untitled Fragment: The Hand of Nergal.

"'So you could steal from him the only thing he would never give you - the ring with the jewel men call the Star of Khorala - the star stolen from the queen of Ophir, who would pay a roomful of gold for its return.'" -TMEoZ

"As he rode he drew from his belt a ring in which gleamed a jewel that snared the starlight in a shimmering iridescence. He held it up to admire it, turning it this way and that. THe compact bag of gold pieces clinked gently at his saddle bow, like a promise of the greater riches to come.
'I wonder what she'd say if she knew I recognized her as Nafertari and him as Jungir Khan the instant I saw them,' he mused. ' I knew the Star of Khorala, too. There'll be a fine scene if she ever guesses that I slipped it off his finger while I was tying him with his sword-belt. But they'll never catch me with the start I'm getting.'"
-TMEoZ

Untitled Synopsis and Draft: Drums of Tombalku is set in the desert that lies south of Stygia in the Black Kingdoms. Conan and Amalric were mercenaries in an Argossean army attacking Stygia from the south coming up from the Kushite coasts they are annihilated and forced into the deserts to the south of Stygia.

The Ghanatas are mentioned but not which language they speak. "members of the bandit tribe of Ghanata, a negro race mixed with Shemitish blood." -REH in the Untitled Synopsis

Amalric meets the girl Lissa a Gazali from the city of Gazal. "He found she spoke a language akin to the Kothic, and they could understand each other." -REH in the Untitled Synopsis

"The words were strange, yet possessed an illusive familiarity."
-REH in the Untitled Draft

"Tombalku, a strange fantastic city set in the sands of the desert, beside an oasis of many springs. It was a city of many tongues. The dominant caste, the founders of the city, were a warlike brown race, descendents of the Aphaki, a Shemitish tribe which pushed into the desert several hundred years before, and mixed with the negro races. The subject tribes included the Tibu, a desert race, of mixed negro and Stygian blood; and the Bagirmi, Mandingo, Dongola, Bornu, and other negro tribes of the grasslands to the south."-REH in the Untitled Synopsis

"Conan had been in this part of the world before, and he believed we had a chance to survive."
-REH in the Untitled Synopsis

"They spoke a dialect I could understand a little, it being much like that of the western Mandingo who dwell on the coast." Conan speaking -REH in the Untitled Draft

Conan speaks Aquilonian learned in his youth with Amalric and Kushite from his corsair days (QotBC) with the dwellers of Tombalku.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 24 November 2010 - 07:25 PM.

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#28 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 09:07 AM

In The Vale of Lost Women has Conan again speaking his Kushite learned with the corsairs, and the mysterious Ophirean that he learned while journeying home before Iron Shadows in the Moon or learned after The Man-Eaters of Zamboula selling the Star of Khorala.

The Pool of the Black One has Conan speaking Zingaran. He must have traveled to the coast and there became a Barachan pirate learning Zingaran along the way. At any rate he speaks it by the time of the story crawling aboard a ship from out of the sea and eventually joining the Zingaran crew as one of the Freebooters.

"I came from the Islands" -TPotBO

"Little love was lost between the Zingaran renegades and the outlaws who infested the Baracha Islands off the southern coast of Zingara." -TPotBO

He also may have learned it traveling through Zingara and Aquilonia from the southern Black Kingdoms on his way back to his native Cimmeria during a visit home.

"Shortly after this he returned for a brief period to Cimmeria, and there were other returns to his native land from time to time"- Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller

Beyond the Black River has him speaking Aquilonian, Pictish, and probably Bossonian learned mostly likely in his youth.

In The Black Stranger Conan speaks the Zingaran learned while he was a pirate of the Barachan Isles prior to the events in The Pool of the Black One.

Red Nails depicts Conan speaking the long ago learned Aquilonian and the Stygian he learned while he was a corsair in Queen of the Black Coast.

The Servants of Bit-Yakin

Conan speaks Keshani which is probably a sister language to the Kushite he learned while he was a corsair in Queen of the Black Coast. He also reads Pelishtim a dialect from the city of the same name in Shem. The Shemitish having been picked up just prior to the Queen of the Black Coast. He recognizes a Corinthian accent and probably speaks Corinthian learned in Rogues in the House.

In the Wolves Beyond the Border Untitled Notes and Drafts Conan is only mentioned in the tale about but as previously speculated he may be communicating in Bossonian.

In Phoenix on the Sword the King speaks the Aquilonian learned in his youth.

In The Scarlet Citadel the King speaks the Aquilonian learned in his youth as well as Ophirean. He rushes to aid his Ophirean ally who sent word that he needs aid against the Kothian armies.


"That day Conan, king of Aquilonia, had seen the pick of his chivalry cut to pieces, smashed and hammered to bits, and swept into eternity. With five thousand knights he had crossed the south-eastern border of Aquilonia and ridden into the grassy meadowlands of Ophir, to find his former ally, King Amalrus of Ophir, drawn up against him with the hosts of Strabonus, king of Koth. Too late he had seen the trap."
-The Scarlet Citadel

He also speaks the Kothic learned in Black Colossus and the Kushite/Cushite learned as a corsair in Queen of the Black Coast.

The Hour of the Dragon has the king speaking the following languages:
Aquilonian from his youth.
Nemedian learned prior to the events of The God in the Bowl.
Zingaran as a pirate of the Barachan Isles before The Pool of the Black One
Argossean learned prior to Queen of the Black Coast.
Kushite learned as a corsair in Queen of the Black Coast.
Stygian learned as a corsair in Queen of the Black Coast.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 25 November 2010 - 01:39 AM.

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#29 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 09:21 AM

Well after thinking it out I am going to revise my earlier statement and say Conan speaks 23 languages.

1. Cimmerian learned in his youth.
2. Aquilonian learned in his youth.
3. Bossonian learned in his youth.
4. Nordheimr learned in his youth and refined during his time with the Æsir before the events of The Frost-Giant's Daughter.
5. Pictish learned in his youth.
6. Hyperborean learned in his youth and captivity.
7. Brythunian learned crossing Brythunia after captivity.
8. Nemedian learned prior to to the events of The God in the Bowl.
9. Zamorian learned prior to to the events of The Tower of the Elephant.
10. Corinthian learned prior to to the events of Rogues in the House and the Untitled Fragment: The Hand of Nergal.
11. Ophirean learned while traveling through Ophir on his way home to Cimmeria after his Zamoran and Corinthian adventures.
12. Hyrkanian learned prior to to the events of Iron Shadows in the Moon.
13. Kothic learned prior to the events of Black Colossus.
14. Argossean learned prior to the events of Queen of the Black Coast.
15. Shemitish learned prior to the events of Queen of the Black Coast.
16. Kushite/Cushite learned during Queen of the Black Coast.
17. Stygian learned during Queen of the Black Coast.
18. Yuetshi learned prior to the events of Iron Shadows in the Moon.
19. Vendhyan learned prior to the events of People of the Black Circle.
20. Zhaibari learned prior to the events of People of the Black Circle.
21. Ghulistani or Ghuli learned prior to the events of People of the Black Circle.
22. Zingaran learned prior to the events of The Pool of the Black One.
23. Keshani learned prior to the events of The Servants of Bit-Yakin.

Possibly

24. Darfari possibly understood during The Man-Eaters of Zamboula and learned as a Corsair during Queen of the Black Coast.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 25 November 2010 - 09:22 AM.

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#30 deuce

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 02:25 AM

Cool thread, Amra! B) Here's a somewhat related topic:

http://www.conan.com...h=1

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#31 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 03:53 AM

Cool thread, Amra! B) Here's a somewhat related topic:

http://www.conan.com...h=1


I had a feeling I probably hadn't searched hard enough. I still would have done this thread however. I think I found some that were missed and wanted to find where exactly in the stories they are mentioned.

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#32 deuce

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 04:54 AM


Cool thread, Amra! B) Here's a somewhat related topic:

http://www.conan.com...h=1


I had a feeling I probably hadn't searched hard enough. I still would have done this thread however. I think I found some that were missed and wanted to find where exactly in the stories they are mentioned.


Hey! NO WAY was I saying they were IDENTICAL. IMO, this thread was needed. Great work! B)

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#33 deuce

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 05:29 AM



Cool thread, Amra! B) Here's a somewhat related topic:

http://www.conan.com...h=1


I had a feeling I probably hadn't searched hard enough. I still would have done this thread however. I think I found some that were missed and wanted to find where exactly in the stories they are mentioned.


Hey! NO WAY was I saying they were IDENTICAL. IMO, this thread was needed. Great work! B)



That said, I think any discussion of the whys and wherefores of HOW Conan picked up languages so easily (and historical/fictional parallels) should take place on the older thread. PLENTY to discuss JUST about the languages Conan knew (and WHEN he learned them) on this thread. Once again, great topic, Amra. B)

Edited by deuce, 25 November 2010 - 05:30 AM.

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#34 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 09:14 AM

Thanks Deuce

Dialects: known and suspected

Nordheimr
Æsir?
Vanir?

Cimmerian
Northern?
Southern?

"The country claimed by and roved over by his clan lay in the northwest of Cimmeria, but Conan was of mixed blood, although a purebred Cimmerian. His grandfather was a member of a southern tribe who had fled from his own people because of a blood-feud and after long wanderings, eventually taken refuge with the people of the north." -Robert E. Howard Letter to P. Schuyler Miller

Hyperborean

Pictish
Gwawela
Toucan
Cormorant
Eagle
Wolf
Hawk(Skondaga,Onayaga)
Panther
Alligator
Otter
Wildcats
Turtles
Ligurean

Aquilonian
Gunderman?
Poitain?
Border Kingdom?

Bossonian

Nemedian

Brythunian

Zingaran

Argossean

Ophirean

Corinthian

Zamorian

Hyrkanian
West Vilayet (Turanian)?
East Vilayet?

Yuetshi
Xapur

"Presently she spoke, but the tongue was unfamiliar to him, and he shook his head. She yawned again, stretched lithely, and without any show of fear or surprise, shifted to a language he did understand, a dialect of Yuetshi which sounded strangely archaic."- The Devil in Iron

Kothic
Gazali
Khorajan?
Khauran?

"He found she spoke a language akin to the Kothic, and they could understand each other." -REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

Shemitish
Zuagir
Pelishtim
Aphaki?
Ghanata?

"They were the characters of the archaic Pelishtim, which possessed many points of difference from the modern script, with which he was familiar." -The Servants of Bit-Yakin

"the Shemitish cities of the west, Pelishtim, Anakim, Akkharim,..."
-A Witch Shall Be Born

"members of the bandit tribe of Ghanata, a ***** race mixed with Shemitish blood." -REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

"descendents of the Aphaki, a Shemitish tribe which pushed into the desert several hundred years before..."-REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

Stygian
Xuchotl
Tibu?
Chagas?

"He was gibbering in the Stygian tongue, though in a dialect unfamiliar to her." -Red Nails

"The subject tribes included the Tibu, a desert race, of mixed ***** and Stygian blood" -REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

"they were ruled by a caste of dusky aristocrats, known as Chagas, who claimed descent from a band of Stygians who long ago wandered southward and set up a kingdom..." -Untitled Synopsis: The Snout in the Dark

Kushite/Cushite
Mandingo
Tombalku
Aphaki?
Gallahs?
Chagas?
Ghanata?
Tibu?
Bagirmi?
Dongola?
Bornu?
Suba?
southern grasslands?

"They spoke a dialect I could understand a little, it being much like that of the western Mandingo who dwell on the coast." Conan speaking -REH in the Untitled Draft: Drums of Tombalku

"The city of Shumballa in the land of Kush, which lies south of Stygia, in the vast grass lands. It was the capital of Kush, the population of which was composed of black people, brutal and warlike, known as Gallahs; they were ruled by a caste of dusky aristocrats, known as Chagas, who claimed descent from a band of Stygians who long ago wandered southward and set up a kingdom, of which Kush was the remnant." -Untitled Synopsis: The Snout in the Dark

"Have you taught her Kushite, as I commanded?" -Untitled Draft: The Snout in the Dark

"descendents of the Aphaki, a Shemitish tribe which pushed into the desert several hundred years before, and mixed with the ***** races."-REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

"members of the bandit tribe of Ghanata, a ***** race mixed with Shemitish blood." -REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

"'At this the black king roused and sat up and stared at me, and then he rose and shouted: 'Amra!' and I knew him- Sakumbe, a Suba from the Black Coast, a fat adventurer I had known well in the days when I was a corsair along that coast.'" -REH in the Untitled Draft: Drums of Tombalku

Darfari

Keshani
Bamula?
Jihiji?
Bakala of Bakalah?
Lost Women Valley?

"'The black Kushites raided Kheshatta,' she continued hurriedly. 'We were approaching the city in a camel caravan. Our guards fled and the raiders carried us away with them. But they did us no harm, and let us know that they would parley with the Stygians and accept a ransom for our return. But one of the chiefs desired all the ransom for himself, and he and his followers stole us out of the camp one nigh, and fled far to the south-east with us, to the very borders of Kush. There thy were attacked and cut down by a band of Bakala raiders.'" -The Vale of Lost Women

"a valley to which had fled the young women of a strange brown-skinned race which had inhabited the land before the coming of hte ancestors of the Bakalas." -The Vale of Lost Women
"a low chant arose, that was less human than the gurgling of the distant stream; a rustle of voices like the whispering of the great white blossoms that waved beneath the stars."
-The Vale of Lost Women

Puntan the language of Punt

Zembabwan of Zembabwei

Amazonian of the Black Kingdoms of the Amazons

Atlaian of the Atlaians

"South of Stygia are the vast black kingdoms of the Amazons, the Kushites, the Atlaians, and the hybrid empire of Zimbabwe." -REH in The Hyborian Age

Iranistani of Iranistan

Irakzani of the Irakzai
Dagozai
Khurakzai

Vendhyan

Zhaibari
Wazuli
Galzai

Ghulistani or Ghuli

Khitan of Khitai

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 18 December 2010 - 11:06 AM.

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#35 deuce

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 10:02 AM

Thanks Deuce

Dialects: known and suspected

Nordheimr
?sir?
Vanir?

Cimmerian
Northern?
Southern?

"The country claimed by and roved over by his clan lay in the northwest of Cimmeria, but Conan was of mixed blood, although a purebred Cimmerian. His grandfather was a member of a southern tribe who had fled from his own people because of a blood-feud and after long wanderings, eventually taken refuge with the people of the north." -Robert E. Howard Letter to P. Schuyler Miller

Hyperborean

Pictish
Gwawela
Toucan
Cormorant
Eagle
Wolf

Aquilonian
Gunderman?
Poitain?
Border Kingdom?

Bossonian

Nemedian

Brythunian

Zingaran

Argossean

Ophirean

Corinthian

Zamorian

Hyrkanian
West Vilayet (Turanian)?
East Vilayet?

Yuetshi
Xapur

"Presently she spoke, but the tongue was unfamiliar to him, and he shook his head. She yawned again, stretched lithely, and without any show of fear or surprise, shifted to a language he did understand, a dialect of Yuetshi which sounded strangely archaic."- The Devil in Iron

Kothic
Gazali
Khorajan?
Khauran?

"He found she spoke a language akin to the Kothic, and they could understand each other." -REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

Shemitish
Zuagir
Pelishtim
Aphaki?
Ghanata?

"They were the characters of the archaic Pelishtim, which possessed many points of difference from the modern script, with which he was familiar." -The Servants of Bit-Yakin

"the Shemitish cities of the west, Pelishtim, Anakim, Akkharim,..."
-A Witch Shall Be Born

"members of the bandit tribe of Ghanata, a negro race mixed with Shemitish blood." -REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

"descendents of the Aphaki, a Shemitish tribe which pushed into the desert several hundred years before..."-REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

Stygian
Xuchotl
Tibu?
Chagas?

"He was gibbering in the Stygian tongue, though in a dialect unfamiliar to her." -Red Nails

"The subject tribes included the Tibu, a desert race, of mixed negro and Stygian blood" -REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

"they were ruled by a caste of dusky aristocrats, known as Chagas, who claimed descent from a band of Stygians who long ago wandered southward and set up a kingdom..." -Untitled Synopsis: The Snout in the Dark

Kushite/Cushite
Mandingo
Tombalku
Aphaki?
Gallahs?
Chagas?
Ghanata?
Tibu?
Bagirmi?
Dongola?
Bornu?
southern grasslands?

"They spoke a dialect I could understand a little, it being much like that of the western Mandingo who dwell on the coast." Conan speaking -REH in the Untitled Draft: Drums of Tombalku

"The city of Shumballa in the land of Kush, which lies south of Stygia, in the vast grass lands. It was the capital of Kush, the population of which was composed of black people, brutal and warlike, known as Gallahs; they were ruled by a caste of dusky aristocrats, known as Chagas, who claimed descent from a band of Stygians who long ago wandered southward and set up a kingdom, of which Kush was the remnant." -Untitled Synopsis: The Snout in the Dark

"Have you taught her Kushite, as I commanded?" -Untitled Draft: The Snout in the Dark

"descendents of the Aphaki, a Shemitish tribe which pushed into the desert several hundred years before, and mixed with the negro races."-REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

"members of the bandit tribe of Ghanata, a negro race mixed with Shemitish blood." -REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

"'At this the black king roused and sat up and stared at me, and then he rose and shouted: 'Amra!' and I knew him- Sakumbe, a Suba from the Black Coast, a fat adventurer I had known well in the days weh I was a corsair along that coast.'" -REH in the Untitled Draft: Drums of Tombalku

Darfari

Keshani
Bamula?
Jihiji?
Bakala of Bakalah?
Lost Women Valley?

"'The black Kushites raided Kheshatta,' she continued hurriedly. 'We were approaching the city in a camel caravan. Our guards fled and the raiders carried us away with them. But they did us no harm, and let us know that they would parley with the Stygians and accept a ransom for our return. But one of the chiefs desired all the ransom for himself, and he and his followers stole us out of the camp one nigh, and fled far to the south-east with us, to the very borders of Kush. There thy were attacked and cut down by a band of Bakala raiders.'" -The Vale of Lost Women

"a valley to which had fled the young women of a strange brown-skinned race which had inhabited the land before the coming of hte ancestors of the Bakalas." -The Vale of Lost Women
"a low chant arose, that was less human than the gurgling of the distant stream; a rustle of voices like the whispering of the great white blossoms that waved beneath the stars."
-The Vale of Lost Women

Puntan the language of Punt

Zembabwan of Zembabwei

Amazonian of the Black Kingdoms of the Amazons

Atlaian of the Atlaians

"South of Stygia are the vast black kingdoms of the Amazons, the Kushites, the Atlaians, and the hybrid empire of Zimbabwe." -REH in The Hyborian Age

Iranistani of Iranistan

Irakzani of the Irakzai

Vendhyan

Zhaibari
Wazuli
Galzai

Ghulistani or Ghuli

Khitan of Khitai


Many of these questions are discussed on THIS thread:

http://www.conan.com...wtopic=59&st=80



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#36 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 01:40 PM

Many of these questions are discussed on THIS thread:

http://www.conan.com...wtopic=59&st=80


I disagree none of those are "discussed" on that thread being mainly about which modern languages could have been the ones spoken by Hyborian nations. There is however this cool and interesting post from you that I think you were directing me to.

something else maybe worth considering is those languages likely shared language groups E.G. Germanic / Romance / etc so learning one would put him in a good position to learn another of the same type quickly..


Hey rabbits! I don't think there's any doubt of there being "shared language groups" in Conan's era. Quick list off the top of my head:

Western Hyborian "Family":
Aquilonian
Nemedian
"Borderer" (BK)
Argossean
Ophirean
Corinthian
Kothian
Khauranian
Khorajan
Brythunian
Hyperborean
Eastern Hyborian "Family"
Iranistani
Afghuli
Vendhyan

Stygian "Family:
Stygian
"Negarian": The language spoken "south of the black kingdoms" (as Conan would say).
Several of the "Ku$hite" tongues were probably heavily influenced by Stygian and its cousin tongue of Negari.

'Zhemric' "Family":
Zamorian
Shemite/Zuagir/possibly Tombalkan and Zembabweian

Pictish "Family":
Pictish
Zingaran (The "root language" of Zingaran appears to be Pictish, with Shemite loan-words and a very heavy overlay of Hyborian. A situation similar to that of English, IMO.)
Bossonian (Its substratum was probably either Thurian or "Elder Racian", but I don't doubt that there was a heavy Pictish influence.)

'Ku$hite' "Family":
Most, if not all, of the "Black Kingdoms". Lots of Shemite, Stygian and Negarian influence. There was probably some sort of parallel to the "Swahili" lingua franca.

'Lemurian' "Family":
Turanian (closely related to Hyrkanian, but with a substantial amount of [Eastern] Hyborian loan-words; analogous to Turkish)
Hyrkanian (probably several distinct languages and dialects)
Khitan (probably several distinct dialects)
Kosalan (possibly related to the "Lemurian Family"; possibly derived from "Muvian")

Honestly, this was off the top of my head, so there are probably a few things I'd reconsider upon reflection. I'll admit it, I'm a (pseudo-) philological/linguistical geek. :P

NOTE: I've taken the liberty of moving this post and its reply (#104) from another thread to this one, which is more appropriate. :)


Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 26 November 2010 - 07:43 PM.

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#37 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 01:43 PM

Hey rabbits! I don't think there's any doubt of there being "shared language groups" in Conan's era.


I agree there were definitely shared language groups in the Hyborian Age. "The kingdoms of Kamelia, Valusia, Verulia, Grondar, Thule, and Commoria. These peoples spoke a similar language, arguing a common origin." (Thurian) - REH in The Hyborian Age

"Borderer" (BK)

Interesting that you have listed a possible language from the Border Kingdom. I like the appellation you gave "Borderer".

"and one known as the Border Kingdom - dominate the western world." -REH in The Hyborian Age

REH mentions them and has them on his map but never elaborates on them in any Conan story I am aware of. Since he never made mention of a distinct people or language for them other than being descendants of the Hybori I thought maybe they were similar to their neighbors the Aquilonians. If so I thought they might speak the same or a similar language, if so that may be a separate dialect as distinct by region and location away from Aquilonia.

Kothian
Khauranian
Khorajan


You have Khorajan as a separate language, but in Black Colossus we learn that Khoraja is taken by the Kothians and the Kothic language is spoken there. I listed it as a possible dialect of Kothic because again they are removed from Koth and may have picked up subtle differences in pronunciation, spelling, and inflection being removed from the main body of Kothic speakers.

"But in Khoraja, carved out of Shemite lands by the swords of Kothic adventurers." -Black Colossus

"At first glance she saw he was no Kothian; when he spoke she knew he was no Hyborian." "'Have they shut you into the street?' he asked in barbarous Kothic, reaching for her." -Black Colossus

You also list Khauranian as a distinct language, but in A Witch Shall be Born we learn that Khauran is another Kothian conquest. Probably speaking Kothic. I listed it as a possible dialect of Kothic because again they are removed from Koth and may have picked up subtle differences in pronunciation, spelling, and inflection being removed from the main body of Kothic speakers.

"Khauran is a kingdom of no great size, one of the many principalities which at one time formed the eastern part of the empire of Koth, and which later regained the independence which was theirs at a still earlier age." -AWSBB

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 26 November 2010 - 07:51 PM.

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#38 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 02:13 PM

Eastern Hyborian "Family"
Iranistani
Afghuli
Vendhyan


Iranistani, Afghuli, and Vendhyan

I agree that these languages are probably all from common roots mixed with Hyrkanian influence. I would add Irakzani of the Irakzai to this group. While Howard never mentions it as a language specifically it is obvious that the Irakzai don't speak Hyrkanian. When the Turanian turns to explain what Conan was speaking of, to his followers, the Irakzai tribesmen showing they didn't understand the conversation in Hyrkanian.

"Kerim Shah turned to the silent Irakzai and spoke briefly: 'This chief and I are going to Yimsha to fight the wizards. Will you go with us, or stary here to be flayed by the Afghulis who are following this man?'"- PotBC

We learn that the Irakzai are natives of the Himelians.

"'To Khosru Khan, governor of Secunderam: the Cimmerian Conan has carried the Devi Yasmina to the villages of the Afgulis. It is an opportunity to get the Devi into our hands, as the king has so long desired. Send three thousand horsemen tat once. I will meet them in the valley of Gurashah with native guides.' And he signed it with a name that was not n the least like Kerim Shah." -PotBC

I would also add Zhaibari to the group. Again not specifically mentioned by Howard as a language it is clear Conan in speaking to denizens of the Wazuli tribe and a girl from a Galzai village that it is a separate language from Afghuli and Iranistani. I named it after the Zhaibar region they are found in with separate dialects for each village because Howard specifically lists the different villages.

"Conan and Yar Afzal stood a few paces before the door, and between them and the ring of warrors another man sat cross-legged. This one was addressing his chief in the harsh accents of the Wazuli which Yasmina could scarcely understand, though as part of her royal education she had been taught the languages of Iranistan and the kindred tongues of Ghulistan."- PotBC

Conan speaks to a girl from a Galzai village. "'If you will give this woman your garments,' he said, ' I will give you this money.'" - PotBC

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 26 November 2010 - 07:53 PM.

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#39 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 02:43 PM

Stygian "Family:
Stygian
"Negarian": The language spoken "south of the black kingdoms" (as Conan would say).
Several of the "Ku$hite" tongues were probably heavily influenced by Stygian and its cousin tongue of Negari.


I list Stygian as having a distinct dialect as pointed out by Howard. It is spoken by both the warring factions of Xuchotl, the Xotalanc and the Techultli. I named it after the city-palace they live in.

"He was gibbering in the Stygian tongue, though in a dialect unfamiliar to her."
-Red Nails

Stygian has the possibility of two other dialects, the Tibu and the Chagas that are tribes with Stygian blood and probably some Stygian in their language, or wholly derived from it.

"The subject tribes included the Tibu, a desert race, of mixed negro and Stygian blood" -REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

"they were ruled by a caste of dusky aristocrats, known as Chagas, who claimed descent from a band of Stygians who long ago wandered southward and set up a kingdom..." -Untitled Synopsis: The Snout in the Dark

I cannot however find any reference by Howard at all to the mysterious "Negarian" that you name.

"Negarian": The language spoken "south of the black kingdoms" (as Conan would say).
Several of the "Ku$hite" tongues were probably heavily influenced by Stygian and its cousin tongue of Negari.


Can you tell me where you found it? You list it again with the Kushite linguistics. Is the word "Negarian" your version of the word Negroid or Nigerian? The name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through that country.

'Ku$hite' "Family":
Most, if not all, of the "Black Kingdoms". Lots of Shemite, Stygian and Negarian influence. There was probably some sort of parallel to the "Swahili" lingua franca.


I list Kushite/Cushite as having two dialects mentioned by Howard, Mandingo directly and Tombalku implied.

"They spoke a dialect I could understand a little, it being much like that of the western Mandingo who dwell on the coast." Conan speaking -REH in the Untitled Draft: Drums of Tombalku

I also list the possibility of Aphaki, Gallahs, Chagas, Ghanata, Tibu, Bagirmi, Dongola, Bornu, Suba, and southern grasslands as tribes Howard mentions as living in the region.

"The city of Shumballa in the land of Kush, which lies south of Stygia, in the vast grass lands. It was the capital of Kush, the population of which was composed of black people, brutal and warlike, known as Gallahs; they were ruled by a caste of dusky aristocrats, known as Chagas, who claimed descent from a band of Stygians who long ago wandered southward and set up a kingdom, of which Kush was the remnant." -Untitled Synopsis: The Snout in the Dark

"Have you taught her Kushite, as I commanded?" -Untitled Draft: The Snout in the Dark

"descendents of the Aphaki, a Shemitish tribe which pushed into the desert several hundred years before, and mixed with the negro races."-REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

"members of the bandit tribe of Ghanata, a negro race mixed with Shemitish blood." -REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

"'At this the black king roused and sat up and stared at me, and then he rose and shouted: 'Amra!' and I knew him- Sakumbe, a Suba from the Black Coast, a fat adventurer I had known well in the days when I was a corsair along that coast.'" -REH in the Untitled Draft: Drums of Tombalku

I would probably group these languages together as a family:

Kushite/Cushite from Kush/Cush
Darfari from Darfar
Keshani from Keshan
Puntan the language of Punt
Zembabwan of Zembabwei
Amazonian of the Black Kingdoms of the Amazons
Atlaian of the Atlaians

"South of Stygia are the vast black kingdoms of the Amazons, the Kushites, the Atlaians, and the hybrid empire of Zimbabwe." -REH in The Hyborian Age

I list Bamula, Jihiji, Bakala of Bakalah, and whatever language they are speaking in Lost Women Valley as possible dialects of Keshani as they are tribes or peoples found in that region.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 26 November 2010 - 08:36 PM.

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#40 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 03:11 PM

'Zhemric' "Family":
Zamorian
Shemite/Zuagir/possibly Tombalkan and Zembabweian


Howard's mention of the Zhemri:

"Of the civilized races of the Thurian Continent, a remnant of one of the non-valusian nations dwells among the low mountains of the southeast - the Zhemri" -REH in The Hyborian Age

"As yet the conquerors have not come in contact with the older races. To the southeast the descendants of the Zhemri, given impetus by new blood resulting from admixture with some unclassified tribe, are beginning to seek to revive some faint shadow of their ancient culture." -REH in The Hyborian Age

Both mention the southeast which is why I think you classified Shemite and Zamorian, and I definitely agree.

"Far to the south dreams the ancient mysterious kingdom of Stygia. On its eastern borders wander clans of nomadic savages, already know as the Sons of Shem." -REH in The Hyborian Age

"Southeast of Hyperborea a kingdom of the Zhemri has come into being, under the name of Zamora." -REH in The Hyborian Age

I don't agree with your placement of "Tombalkan and Zembabweian" in this family. Although they are both in the south and east I think they fit better with the black linguistic group.

The language of Tombalku referenced by Conan as similar to Mandingo dialect of Kushite:

"They spoke a dialect I could understand a little, it being much like that of the western Mandingo who dwell on the coast." Conan speaking -REH in the Untitled Draft: Drums of Tombalku

In The Servants of Bit-Yakin Conan is speaking to the Keshan ruler when an emissary from Zembabwei with a group of Zembabwans offers an alternate plan to the king who seems to have no trouble understanding them. Possibly indicating a closeness of Zembabwan to Keshani.

Ghanata and Aphaki both have a mixture of Shemitish blood so I listed them as possible dialects of Shemitish along with the other Shemitish dialects Howard mentions; Zuagir and Pelishtim.

"members of the bandit tribe of Ghanata, a negro race mixed with Shemitish blood." -REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

"descendents of the Aphaki, a Shemitish tribe which pushed into the desert several hundred years before..."-REH in the Untitled Synopsis: Drums of Tombalku

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 26 November 2010 - 08:37 PM.

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales