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Conan's Linguistic Abilities


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#41 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 04:09 PM

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.)


I agree with this family classification.

As for the Picts I list them as having possible dialects of Pictish for each tribe Howard mentions; Gwawela, Toucan, Cormorant, Eagle, Wolf, Hawk(Skondaga,Onayaga), Panther, Alligator, Otter, Wildcats, Turtles.

Maybe Ligurean in this family as well?

"I knew he must be a Ligurean, one of those light-skinned savages who dwell in small clans in the great forest, generally at war with the Picts, but sometimes at peace and allied with them." - Wolves Beyond the Border Draft B

The Bossonian language reference mentioned by Howard implies it's similarities to Pictish.

"In a sort of bastard-Bossonian, the priest made the chief understand his purpose, and the though extremely puzzled, Gorm gave him permission to remain among his tribe unbutchered- a case unique in the history of the race." -REH speaking of Picts in The Hyborian Age.

"Between Aquilonia and the Pictish wilderness lie the Bossonian marches, peopled by descendants of an aboriginal race, conquered by a tribe of Hyborians, early in the first ages of the Hyborian drift. This mixed people never attained the civilization of the purer Hyborians, and was pushed by them to the very fringe of the civilized world." -REH in The Hyborian Age.

Zingaran

"Next to the Picts, in the broad valley of Zingg, protected by great mountains, a nameless bad of primitives, tentatively classified as akin to the Shemite, has evolved an advanced agricultural system and existence." -REH in The Hyborian Age

"To the southwest, a tribe of Picts have invaded the fertile valley of Zingg, conquered the agricultural people there, and settled among them. This mixed race was in turn conquered later by a roving tribe of Hybori, and from these mingled elements came the kingdom of Zingara." -REH in The Hyborian Age

Although the Zingaran come definitely from some Pictish stock, and it is clear that the Poitains have mixed with the Zingarans, I would not classify Aquilonian with this language family liking it better where you placed it in the Western Hyborian linguistics group.

"The people of southern Aquilonia have mixed with the brown Zingarans until black hair and brown eyes are the dominant type in Poitain, the southern-most province." -REH in The Hyborian Age

Since Poitains obviously speak Aquilonian I thought that since they are mixed with Zingarans they may still have some different language traditions from standard Aquilonian and thought it could be classified as a separate dialect.

I thought the same with Gunderman from Gunderland as they also obviously speak Aquilonian but have their own proud traditions that may translate linguistically as well differing from the normal spoken Aquilonian making a separate dialect.

"Only in the province of Gunderland, where the people keep no slaves, is the pure Hyborian stock found unblemished." -REH in The Hyborian Age

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 01 December 2010 - 06:12 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


#42 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 05:06 PM

'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")


I mostly agree with this "family" grouping. As Howard definitely mentions Hyrkanian coming from the Lemurian.

"Now the Lemurians enter history again as Hykanians Through the centuries they have pushed steadily westward, and now a tribe skirts the southern end of the great inland sea -Vilayet - and establishes the kingdom of Turan on the southwestern shore." -REH in The Hyborian Age

Turanian in itself is never mentioned by Howard as a language with the predominant language of the entire kingdom of Turan being Hyrkanian. I thought that being on west side of the Vilayet Sea the spoken Hyrkanian of Turan may be somewhat different than the Hyrkanian found to the east of the Vilayet so I listed them as possible dialects, eastern and western. Howard seems to consider them slightly different calling the people Turanians but maintaining that they are Hyrkanian when mentioning them. On a side note Turanian is mentioned by an author other than Howard as a language in one of the pastiches novels which I choose not to take into account when considering languages from all the known Howard Conan Canon.

"Yezdigerd, King of Turan, was the mightiest monarch in the world... His fleets of purple-sailed war galleys had made Vilayet an Hyrkanian lake." - TDiI

"The watchmen did not accost him...They were Pelishtim...mercenaries hired for work the ruling Turanians considered beneath themselves." -TMEoZ

I would add Yuetshi to this family coming from the same region.

The Yuetshi "who have dwelt in their rude fishing -huts along the southern shore of the Sea of Vilayet since time immemorial." - TDiI

Yuetshi has a dialect mentioned by Howard spoken in 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

Khitan
I have always thought that the Khitans of Khitai were descendants of Lemuria but there is no mention of it in The Hyborian Age.

Kosalan
In Red Nails Conan states that Kosala is in the east and that the Afghulis who live in the Himelian mountans favor the Kosalans. There is no other mention of them or the language they speak that I am aware of. If it is a language I would group it with Iranistani, Zhaibari, Irakzani, Afghuli, and Vendhyan instead.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 30 November 2010 - 05:05 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


#43 grim cimmerian

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 08:58 PM

Well I haven't been on the site for several long years but my twin brother has been involved in his Conan language project so I thought I would take a look. Fine job Amra the Lion I guess I will have to finish my story reviews now. It has be a long while but any excuse to read Conan right?
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#44 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 09:40 PM

Well I haven't been on the site for several long years but my twin brother has been involved in his Conan language project so I thought I would take a look. Fine job Amra the Lion I guess I will have to finish my story reviews now. It has be a long while but any excuse to read Conan right?


Heh, "a huddled, withered, wizened shape, with dried brown limbs like dead wood showing through moldering bandages" like a long dead mummy from an ancient tomb, the power and draw of the true Conan stories as written by Howard has raised Grim Cimmerian from the long sleep of death and brought him back to life on these forums!

The question now brother will be, are you going to revise those reviews to purge the non-canon, non-Howard, Non-Conan meaningless drivel or continue with your work on reviewing the pastiches?

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


#45 Kortoso

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 06:43 AM

Do you think that Aquilonian and Nemedian might be close cousins, or even dialects of the same tongue? Did they share vocabularies? They certainly shared names.

Well done by the way!

#46 Kortoso

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 06:44 AM

Is anyone here from Georgia? ;)

#47 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 07:30 AM

Do you think that Aquilonian and Nemedian might be close cousins, or even dialects of the same tongue? Did they share vocabularies? They certainly shared names.

Well done by the way!


Close cousins maybe, dialects of the same tongue probably not. Howard specifically mentions each language.

"Conan asked in the Aquilonian tongue: 'Who is this madman' Valeria shrugged her shoulders." -Red Nails

'I didn't kill him,' he answered, speaking Nemedian with a barbaric accent." -The God in the Bowl

If they were real languages I would think being neighbors they more than likely shared some words that were adopted from both tongues.

I am closer to you in California than I am to Georgia by a long shot.

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


#48 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 08:59 PM

Great stuff, Amra! Well done!

I have to say, Puntan is a good bet. If Conan & Muriela did get to Punt, it would make sense for him to speak in their language, though he might just speak in Keshani.


After looking into it I think you are right we ought to add Puntan to the list.

"'I can use an actress like you. There's no use going back to Keshia. There's nothing in Keshan now that I want. We'll go to Punt. The people of Punt worship an ivory woman, and they wash gold out of the rivers in wicker baskets." - The Servants of Bit-Yakin

"The vaulted ceiling was of lapis lazuli, adorned with clusters of great green stones that gleamed with a poisonous radiance. 'Green fire-stones,' growled Conan. 'That's what the people of Punt call them. they're supposed to be the petrified eyes of those prehistoric snakes the ancients called Golden Serpents. They glow like a cat's eyes in the dark At night this hall would be lighted by them, but it would be hellishly weird illumination. Let's look around. We might find a cache of jewels.'"
-Red Nails

Not only does he mention their beliefs, customs, and one occupation of the people of Punt (maybe that he saw first hand) he states, "that is what the People of Punt call them" indicating that he has spoken directly to them and understood. Not sure how I missed that before.

Darfari

"But I saw I'd been stung when we marched to the Darfar border. The Pay was poor and the wine was sour, and I don't like black women. And that's the only kind that came to our camp at Sukhmet - rings in their noses and their teeth filed - bah! Why did you join Zarallo? Sukhmet's a long way from salt water." -Red Nails

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 01 December 2010 - 10:19 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


#49 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 09:10 PM

Revised again!

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.
24. Puntan learned after the events of The Servants of Bit-Yakin and prior to Red Nails.
25. Darfari learned prior to the events of Red Nails.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 01 December 2010 - 10:20 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


#50 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 05:09 PM

Kosalan
In Red Nails Conan states that Kosala is in the east and that the Afghulis who live in the Himelian mountans favor the Kosalans. There is no other mention of them or the language they speak that I am aware of.


"'Your head, Cimmerian!' taunted Baal-pteor. 'I shall take, with my bare hands, twisting it from your shoulders as the head of a fowl is twisted! Thus the sons of Kosala offer sacrifice to Yajur!'" -The Man-Eaters of Zamboula

"The priests of Kosala, the Stranglers of Yajur, are strong beyond the belief of men. And I was stronger than any. With my hands, barbarian, I shall break your neck!" -The Man-Eaters of Zamboula

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

Darfari

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

Puntan the language of Punt

Zembabwan of Zembabwei

Amazonian of the Black Kingdoms of the Amazons

Atlaian of the Atlaians


A new tribe mentioned so therefore a new possibility of another dialect for the black kingdoms languages.

Wadai?

"A giant black man stood framed against the soft glow of a copper lamp. A quick glance showed Conan the man was not from Darfar. his teeth were unfiled and his kinky hair was cropped close to his skull. He was from the Wadai." -The Man-Eaters of Zamboula

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


#51 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 08:17 AM

Final Revision.

While Conan is far more fluent in some languages than others; these are the languages I theorize he speaks at least passably, being able to communicate with the peoples of various lands he has traveled to.

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 the events of The God in the Bowl.
9. Zamorian learned prior to the events of The Tower of the Elephant.
10. Corinthian learned prior to the events of Rogues in the House and The Nestor Synopsis refined during his time as a Corinthian Mercenary.
11. Ophirean learned while traveling through Ophir on his way home to Cimmeria after his Zamoran and Corinthian adventures. Further refined after The Man-Eaters of Zamboula when he travels to Ophir to sell the Star of Khorala.
12. Kothic learned prior to the events of Black Colossus while serving as a Corinthian Mercenary. Further refined in Black Colossus and A Witch Shall be Born.
13. Shemitish learned while a thief and during his service as a Corinthian mercenary. Further refined during Black Colossus, A Witch Shall be Born, and Queen of the Black Coast.
14. Hyrkanian learned during A Witch Shall be Born as a Zuagir raiding Turanian cities and further refined during The Man-Eaters of Zamboula, and Iron Shadows in the Moon.
15. Argossean learned prior to the events of Queen of the Black Coast while traveling from Ophir into Argos.
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.
24. Puntan learned after the events of The Servants of Bit-Yakin and prior to Red Nails.
25. Darfari learned prior to the events of Red Nails.

To see more in-depth on when he may have learned them and used them see my ideas on Conan's career in chronological order in The Chronicles Of Conan The Cimmerian as I no longer agree with Rippke's Dark Storm Conan Chronology.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 16 December 2010 - 06:08 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


#52 deuce

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 11:48 AM


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 ***** 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.

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


Hey Amra! "Negarian" refers to the language spoken by the "Atlantean" rulers of "Atlai" who also figure into the Solomon Kane yarn, "The Moon of Skulls". Frankly, it is easier to group the SK yarns with the pre-"Hyborian Age" essay fiction of REH (for instance, ALL of the Kull tales), than it is to try and shoehorn all of Howard's yarns. MUCH easier to just say that Conan existed in his own separate and unique universe. Bran, SK and Kull belong together.

A lengthy discussion of the options can be found here:

http://www.conan.com...opic=2419&st=40

Hope that helps. :)

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#53 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 10:07 PM

Hey Amra! "Negarian" refers to the language spoken by the "Atlantean" rulers of "Atlai" who also figure into the Solomon Kane yarn, "The Moon of Skulls". Frankly, it is easier to group the SK yarns with the pre-"Hyborian Age" essay fiction of REH (for instance, ALL of the Kull tales), than it is to try and shoehorn all of Howard's yarns. MUCH easier to just say that Conan existed in his own separate and unique universe. Bran, SK and Kull belong together.

A lengthy discussion of the options can be found here:

http://www.conan.com...opic=2419&st=40

Hope that helps. :)


Yeah I came across it later when looking at Dale Rippke's stuff but at the time I didn't know, and apparently didn't remember from my reading of the Solomon Kane stories.

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


#54 deuce

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 09:46 PM


Hey Amra! "Negarian" refers to the language spoken by the "Atlantean" rulers of "Atlai" who also figure into the Solomon Kane yarn, "The Moon of Skulls". Frankly, it is easier to group the SK yarns with the pre-"Hyborian Age" essay fiction of REH (for instance, ALL of the Kull tales), than it is to try and shoehorn all of Howard's yarns. MUCH easier to just say that Conan existed in his own separate and unique universe. Bran, SK and Kull belong together.

A lengthy discussion of the options can be found here:

http://www.conan.com...opic=2419&st=40

Hope that helps. :)


Yeah I came across it later when looking at Dale Rippke's stuff but at the time I didn't know, and apparently didn't remember from my reading of the Solomon Kane stories.


Annotations for "MoS" can be found here:

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

BTW, I misspoke my opinion earlier. IMO, Atlai itself is a black/Kushite nation; a breakaway from Negari (the Corsair Isles may be as well). Very likely, the Atlaians speak some form of Negarian/Atlantean. The Negarian presence further west and north is alluded to in TVoLW, RN and possibly in TSoB-Y. At one time, its possible that the Negarian and Stygian realms bordered each other, or nearly so.

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#55 deuce

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:06 PM


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.)


I agree with this family classification.

As for the Picts I list them as having possible dialects of Pictish for each tribe Howard mentions; Gwawela, Toucan, Cormorant, Eagle, Wolf, Hawk(Skondaga,Onayaga), Panther, Alligator, Otter, Wildcats, Turtles.


I don't think it hurts to divide Pictish in such a way, but I'd say any such dialectic differences would be mostly minor.

Maybe Ligurean in this family as well?

"I knew he must be a Ligurean, one of those light-skinned savages who dwell in small clans in the great forest, generally at war with the Picts, but sometimes at peace and allied with them." - Wolves Beyond the Border Draft B


I don't see a genetic/linguistic connection betwixt the two. I'm sure there are some Pictish loan-words, but REH strongly implies a definite distinction/separation between the two peoples.

The Bossonian language reference mentioned by Howard implies it's similarities to Pictish.

"In a sort of bastard-Bossonian, the priest made the chief understand his purpose, and the though extremely puzzled, Gorm gave him permission to remain among his tribe unbutchered- a case unique in the history of the race." -REH speaking of Picts in The Hyborian Age.

"Between Aquilonia and the Pictish wilderness lie the Bossonian marches, peopled by descendants of an aboriginal race, conquered by a tribe of Hyborians, early in the first ages of the Hyborian drift. This mixed people never attained the civilization of the purer Hyborians, and was pushed by them to the very fringe of the civilized world." -REH in The Hyborian Age.


That's not how I read the passage in question. From all accounts, the Bossonians hate the Picts. The Picts would need to know Bossonian in order to buy booze, etc. Arus was simply using the patois of the border to make himself understood. The Bossonians appear to be descended from the Thurians or Elder Racians.

BTW, I dig that part about the "ages of the Hyborian drift". Just shows once again how REH collapsed the timeline in the finasl draft and then telescoped it again for the actual Conan yarns, like TSC and BC, for instance.

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#56 Kortoso

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 09:31 PM

As for the Zingaran - Pictish connection, REH is apparently trying to echo Mexican history. What do you think of that?
Yet, in Mexico, the official language is Spanish, with a few Nahuatl words.

#57 grim cimmerian

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 06:21 AM

That's not how I read the passage in question. From all accounts, the Bossonians hate the Picts. The Picts would need to know Bossonian in order to buy booze, etc. Arus was simply using the patois of the border to make himself understood. The Bossonians appear to be descended from the Thurians or Elder Racians.


No more than Aesir hate Vanir and they speak nearly identical if not the exact same language. I could see a case like Germans invading the Netherlands during WII, their similar native Dutch would have been more than enough to communicate with hated foes. Animosity doesn't necessarily mean there can't be a language similarity although in the case of the Picts and the Bossonians it seems maybe they are as far apart as Vietnamese and American soldiers where both sides learned at least some phrases out of necessity.
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#58 Ironhand

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 10:35 AM


That's not how I read the passage in question. From all accounts, the Bossonians hate the Picts. The Picts would need to know Bossonian in order to buy booze, etc. Arus was simply using the patois of the border to make himself understood. The Bossonians appear to be descended from the Thurians or Elder Racians.


No more than Aesir hate Vanir and they speak nearly identical if not the exact same language. I could see a case like Germans invading the Netherlands during WII, their similar native Dutch would have been more than enough to communicate with hated foes. Animosity doesn't necessarily mean there can't be a language similarity although in the case of the Picts and the Bossonians it seems maybe they are as far apart as Vietnamese and American soldiers where both sides learned at least some phrases out of necessity.

I sort of agree with you that hostility is not necessarily a function, either positive or negative, of linguistic relatedness. The Dutch/German analogy is not exactly true. The Germans liked the Dutch because they were related (both Teutonic), but invaded them in what they perceived as a strategic necessity. They wanted the Dutch to like them, but the Dutch hated them as brutal invaders. Language was totally trumped by politics and military strategy. ("We like the Dutch because they are our Teutonic brothers, and we would like them to like us, but we have to invade them to defeat the French.")
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#59 thatericn

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:40 PM

A few suspicions...

Might many of the Hyborian languages be VERY similar? Possibly much like Romance languages? Howard's historical comments so often refer to Hyborian invaders founding these kingdoms. Might possibly there have been a "Hyborian Latin" that Aguilonian, Nemedian, etc. look to as their root? Of course, going further back, I'm sure there was a Proto-Hyborian language of their common ancestors as the Hyborians burst on to the scene...

My suspicion is that the Hyborian-derived languages were not imaged by REH to be too different from each other. His vision of the exceptional vitality of the Hyborians, and a lack of a linguistic split, like historic Europe's Latin/Germanic split makes me think that varations were often not exceptional.

On the Vanir/Aesir, I would suspect the REH figured that these peoples and their kingdoms would represent flesh-and-blood "origins" of the competing dynasties of gods in Norse mythology. A shared culture with memories of an ancient conflict lost in time. As languages, I'd bet he envisioned them as no more separated and Norwegian and Swedish, but with a terrible blood feud - much like the old conflicts in the Balkans or the Caucasian regions.
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