Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

eschaton

On language in Westeros...

Recommended Posts

Guess what

I was looking for homosexual poetry from ancient Greece or Rome as an examplar for Valyrian poetry about sisters/wives...

and I found this poem by Virgil

http://classics.mit.edu/Virgil/eclogue.3.iii.html

Apparently Aegon and Naera are real names. So I now feel safe saying that Valyrian is linguistically a latin based language.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guess what

I was looking for homosexual poetry from ancient Greece or Rome as an examplar for Valyrian poetry about sisters/wives...

and I found this poem by Virgil

http://classics.mit....ogue.3.iii.html

Apparently Aegon and Naera are real names. So I now feel safe saying that Valyrian is linguistically a latin based language.

That's an awesome find! I'm definitely with you on Valyrian being a romance language. Valyrian should really be French because William of Normandy (Aegon the conqueror) brought French with him in 1066, and it was heavily used by the aristocracy, and in all legal and government affairs. GRRM didn't have the nobility speak Valyrian cause I bet that could have become quite complicated. But English has something like 10,000 French words mostly legal and administrative. So, I always figured that was that was the implication.

The "Common Tongue" is more fantastic than dragons, but convenient!

If anyone is interested in linguistics, there is a great book out there called "The Adventure of English" by Melvin Bragg, that explains exactly how and why English evolved the way it did. I wish I had a similar book on French!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's an awesome find! I'm definitely with you on Valyrian being a romance language. Valyrian should really be French because William of Normandy (Aegon the conqueror) brought French with him in 1066, and it was heavily used by the aristocracy, and in all legal and government affairs. GRRM didn't have the nobility speak Valyrian cause I bet that could have become quite complicated. But English has something like 10,000 French words mostly legal and administrative. So, I always figured that was that was the implication.

The "Common Tongue" is more fantastic than dragons, but convenient!

If anyone is interested in linguistics, there is a great book out there called "The Adventure of English" by Melvin Bragg, that explains exactly how and why English evolved the way it did. I wish I had a similar book on French!

Also the name Aenaes is very similar to the name Aenys (which is a Valyrian name).

Has any one noticed how many Valyrian names (from Daenerys, to Nahaaris, Mopatis, Otherys) end in "is" type sounds? I think /YS/ is a significant morpheme in Valyrian, since many surnames seem to have "is" in them i would posit that it means child of (equivalent of Son of in names such Bin Laden, Ben Avraham, O'Reily, Svensen, Macbeth) so perhaps Daenerys means "child of Daen" also many names end in on/en sounds such as Aegon, Balerion, so that maybe a significant morpheme as well. I think in latin lots of things end in "um" so perhaps "on" may have the same grammatical function.

http://en.wikipedia....Latin#Phonology

but also this (edit)

http://en.wikipedia....atin_declension

so /is/ plural and indicates dative, ablative, locative.

Well there are several kinds of Valyrian in the books, each Free City having it's own version...

Let's say High Valyrian=Latin

the Valyrian spoken in Qohor would be like Romanian (a Romance language-the way the Romanians fought off the Turks under Vlad the Impaler is similar to the way the Qohoriki repelled the Dothraki with the Unsullied, although the craftsmen aspect of Qohor is very German-my bets are on the printing press being invented in Qohor. )

In Braavos it could be Walloon (Which seems to be the form of French spoken in Belgium although Bruges itself is part of the Flemish region of Belgium)

In Lorath it could be Romansh (even though their is something very Dutch about the Lorathi, but I guess the way Lorath is never seen (except in Jaqen H'agher fake identity, could be analogous to the way the Swiss are neutral)

In Norvos it could Dalmatian or Aromanian

in Pentos the Tuscan dialect of Italian or Franco Provencal. Also has any one noticed that atleast two (memorable) characters from have names that end in io/eo type sounds Groleo and Illyrio... sort of like Mario, Silvio, Julio etc.

in Lys Occitan/Southern French

in Tyrosh the language could be Portuguese

In Myr the language could be Catalan or Sicilian or Neopolitan

The only problem I have is Volantis... It's very like Constantinople in politics, but they speak a form of Valyrian whilst Constantinople spoke Greek... But perhaps Volantis speaks Romanesco which is the dialect of Italian spoken around Rome.

(even though Norvos seems to be the Papal State being a theocracy, the personality of Areo Hotah personally reminds me of a Serbian Orthodox Priest)

http://en.wikipedia....mance_Languages

Perhaps the language spoken in Slavers Bay is like Maltese-don't the people speak a debased form of Valyrian because they were forced to abandon their native language? Well Maltese is basically semitic (as the Ghiscari seem analogous to Carthaginians), but has about 50% Italian in it...

http://en.wikipedia....altese_language

I suppose the Isles of Cedars speaks Phoenician lol:P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, very impressive. Does anyone know if GRRM has any linguistic background? I guess these are pretty basic rules any author could research for their book (not like Tolkien creating a whole language) but its cool he's making it as "real" as possible, as well as there being "clues" about peoples true identities hidden in plain sight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know if GRRM has any linguistic background? I guess these are pretty basic rules any author could research for their book (not like Tolkien creating a whole language) but its cool he's making it as "real" as possible, as well as there being "clues" about peoples true identities hidden in plain sight.

George confessed in a mail posted at the SSM that he knows very little on languages. When creating Valyrian, he just created a bunch of syllables (rys, mae, vis, rhae,...) and combined them randomly to create names. When he was asked to explain the basics of the language, he said "Sorry, I don't have anything like that. High Valyrian contains seven words, and when I need an eighth, I'll make it up."

Has any one noticed how many Valyrian names (from Daenerys, to Nahaaris, Mopatis, Otherys) end in "is" type sounds? I think /YS/ is a significant morpheme in Valyrian, since many surnames seem to have "is" in them i would posit that it means child of (equivalent of Son of in names such Bin Laden, Ben Avraham, O'Reily, Svensen, Macbeth) so perhaps Daenerys means "child of Daen"

Probably George didn't think of giving meaning to the Valyrian names when he made them up, but the particle "rys" can be inferred to mean "fire" if we take into account that "dracarys" is translated as "dragon fire" in ASOS. It would have some sense that, with the Targaryen motto being "fire and blood", many members of the family have fiery names.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

George confessed in a mail posted at the SSM that he knows very little on languages. When creating Valyrian, he just created a bunch of syllables (rys, mae, vis, rhae,...) and combined them randomly to create names. When he was asked to explain the basics of the language, he said "Sorry, I don't have anything like that. High Valyrian contains seven words, and when I need an eighth, I'll make it up."

Probably George didn't think of giving meaning to the Valyrian names when he made them up, but the particle "rys" can be inferred to mean "fire" if we take into account that "dracarys" is translated as "dragon fire" in ASOS. It would have some sense that, with the Targaryen motto being "fire and blood", many members of the family have fiery names.

If is indicates the genitive case then it opens up many more possibilities.

But most significant are the name commonalities between it and Latin.

Also I found out about this guy

http://en.wikipedia....n_III_of_Geneva

whose name is pretty similar to the Targaryen name Aemon.

Not sure if it is German or Latin, there is also an Arabic version.

Guess what else I found:

from this book

http://www.amazon.co...20649886&sr=1-1

I was reading about the names Beowulf (on page 33)

Most of the names in Beawulf are compounds Hrothgar is a combination of words meaning "glory" and "spear"; the name of his older borhter, Heorogar, comes from "army' and "spear"; Hrothgar's sons Hrethric and Hrothmund contain the first elements of their father's names combined, respectively, with ric (kingdom, empire; modern German Reich) and mund (hand, protection).

This means that the name Tormund means X+Hand/protection, does anybody know if "Tor" has any meaning in German?

Also remember that the Karstarks were founded by Karlon, which does seem very similar to the German spelling/pronunciation of Charles (Karl).

Furthermore Osric Stark who became lord Commander of the Night watch at the age of Ten

http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Osric_Stark

Osric is the same name as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osric_of_Deira Osric of Deira who was King of Deira which is Northumbria (aka Oop North).

Another close example is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodric_of_Bernicia an Anglo-Saxon King.

which is very similar to the name Theon, which was both the name of a Stark King and well Theon.

So this is further evidence that the Old Tongue is a Germanic language.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guess what

I was looking for homosexual poetry from ancient Greece or Rome as an examplar for Valyrian poetry about sisters/wives...

and I found this poem by Virgil

http://classics.mit....ogue.3.iii.html

Apparently Aegon and Naera are real names. So I now feel safe saying that Valyrian is linguistically a latin based language.

What a nifty work you've done! Congratulations!

But I want to point out something you misread. The names you so skilfully found are not Latin, whenever Virgil wrote a piece he used greek names, so all the names you mention are actually Greek names which were very popular at that time in Rome as mythological or as romantic idealizations of the Ancient Greeks. I would say for what I've read of ASOIAF, that the Targaryens have a lot of very Greek names, Aemon, Aegon (as you pointed out) and so on. In fact targyreos means "money, silver" in greek. But this is irrelevant since Martin himself confessed he knows little about languages. My only goal is to point out the profound influence of Greek phonology in Valyrian, not Latin phonology, which wouldn't allow "-rye" as part of a word, also the Rh has more in common with greek "rho" than would latin. So I think the main influence for Valyrian is Greek mixed with Latin and with some other influences such as celto-germanic.

On the other hand many names used in the books for the noble families in Westeros are plainly European names of germanic and celtic type mixed with different latin or early/late transcriptions. For example Tormund, you could think it comes from thor + mund "Protection of Thor" and in fact, it is a real name. All the other names are also very common germanic names that are actually names that have been used... Balon, Frey, Walder, Osric, Brandon, Robert, and so on. Some have different spellings, you have Jon, and also Yohn, both account for "John" or some derivate of real life "Johannes", there is no mystery in these names, he was plainly borrowing from many European names.

The "Aymon" one is the most interesting. But that goes to show that Martin was so imbued with European names of that time that even unconsciously he could pick up sounds that resemble real names and that could have real equivalents. It is a very nice mix. Or what is Rickon if not from the same as Rikkard and Richard? Rodrik Cassel is clearly from Rodericus, Rodrick and Rodrigo in Spanish, and even Cassel (in German Kassel) is a very known german noble surname. Jaime and Joffrey both come from James and Geoffrey wich is Godofredus, Godfrey, Guy or Jofré.

Nobody mentioned, by the way, that Braavos in Spanish means "the brave ones" (although there spelled "los bravos"), which I think would point to a Spanish/Portuguese civilization taking into account the ships.

A most interesting subject this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another close example is http://en.wikipedia....ric_of_Bernicia an Anglo-Saxon King.

which is very similar to the name Theon, which was both the name of a Stark King and well Theon.

So this is further evidence that the Old Tongue is a Germanic language.

One last thing. Yes, Theodric shares the Theo- of Theon, but that could be a coincidence. Bear these two names in mind: Theodric and Theodore. They seem related, but they share nothing in common, the first is germanic, theod- meaning "people" and -ric meaning "ruler", while the second is composed of greek elements theo- meaning "god" and -dore from -doro/-doros meaning "gift". So the first means "Ruler of the people" and the second "God's gift", similar initial sounds though nothing alike, one Greek the other Germanic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a nifty work you've done! Congratulations!

But I want to point out something you misread. The names you so skilfully found are not Latin, whenever Virgil wrote a piece he used greek names, so all the names you mention are actually Greek names which were very popular at that time in Rome as mythological or as romantic idealizations of the Ancient Greeks. I would say for what I've read of ASOIAF, that the Targaryens have a lot of very Greek names, Aemon, Aegon (as you pointed out) and so on. In fact targyreos means "money, silver" in greek. But this is irrelevant since Martin himself confessed he knows little about languages. My only goal is to point out the profound influence of Greek phonology in Valyrian, not Latin phonology, which wouldn't allow "-rye" as part of a word, also the Rh has more in common with greek "rho" than would latin. So I think the main influence for Valyrian is Greek mixed with Latin and with some other influences such as celto-germanic.

That's really interesting. You know it sort of makes sense... the Free Cities are sort of like the Italian City States (with the Reach being France and Dorne being Spain) and the Valyrian Peninsula whilst in many ways similar to the Italian Peninsula could be a bit like the Greek Islands. The Valyrians where great scientists and engineers, more like the Greeks than the Romans. In our world the Greeks have not contributed anything since their conversion to Christianity*, and in Martinworld world Valyria fell into the ocean and thus ceases to contribute. So we can safely say that when creating names for Valyrian characters you sort of combine Greek and Latin?

*except for this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_scholars_in_the_Renaissance

and one does get the impression that Volantis is Constantinople just before it falls to the Turks. So pleased by your correction that I can't respond properly.

I really wish the HBO language creators could get ahold of this so that when they create the Valyrian language for season 3 they will have something to work on.

Also the Ghiscari, the way they continue on speaking Valyrian, could be the same way that Greek was the language of administration in parts of the Middle East until the Islamic Conquest.

On the other hand many names used in the books for the noble families in Westeros are plainly European names of germanic and celtic type mixed with different latin or early/late transcriptions. For example Tormund, you could think it comes from thor + mund "Protection of Thor" and in fact, it is a real name. All the other names are also very common germanic names that are actually names that have been used... Balon, Frey, Walder, Osric, Brandon, Robert, and so on. Some have different spellings, you have Jon, and also Yohn, both account for "John" or some derivate of real life "Johannes", there is no mystery in these names, he was plainly borrowing from many European names.

The "Aymon" one is the most interesting. But that goes to show that Martin was so imbued with European names of that time that even unconsciously he could pick up sounds that resemble real names and that could have real equivalents. It is a very nice mix. Or what is Rickon if not from the same as Rikkard and Richard? Rodrik Cassel is clearly from Rodericus, Rodrick and Rodrigo in Spanish, and even Cassel (in German Kassel) is a very known german noble surname. Jaime and Joffrey both come from James and Geoffrey wich is Godofredus, Godfrey, Guy or Jofré.

Nobody mentioned, by the way, that Braavos in Spanish means "the brave ones" (although there spelled "los bravos"), which I think would point to a Spanish/Portuguese civilization taking into account the ships.

A most interesting subject this one.

So Bertha and Clothilde are possible Westerosi names? do you think their is a pattern for how he modifies normal English names to make them slightly different?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My big problem is that there would be a basically unchanging language for 1000's of years that Sam could read in books - I mean, english from 700 years ago is basically a different language than english today.

This is because of English's incredibly tumultuous history and heaps upon heaps of influences on the language. Take Japanese, for example: if you read scripts from 1000 years ago they're not entirely different to Modern Japanese. English is a huge exception in our world, I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is because of English's incredibly tumultuous history and heaps upon heaps of influences on the language. Take Japanese, for example: if you read scripts from 1000 years ago they're not entirely different to Modern Japanese. English is a huge exception in our world, I think.

No, in normal circumstances in 1000 years languages significantly change. 1000 years ago people in let's say Iceland and Sweden spoke the same language (Old Norse, Viking language), which evolved into something different, Icelandic and Swedish now are really different. 1000 years ago all Slavic people spoke more or less the same language, now there are huge differences between let's say Russian, Czech and Bulgarian. The language change should be even faster in mostly illiterate society like Westeros, even if the literary standard is preserved intact, the actual spoken language (or better languages -- as it would diversify in several languages) would be hugely different from the literary standard established 1000 years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is because of English's incredibly tumultuous history and heaps upon heaps of influences on the language. Take Japanese, for example: if you read scripts from 1000 years ago they're not entirely different to Modern Japanese. English is a huge exception in our world, I think.

Also this is not true. A Japanese person couldn't possibly read something from 1000 years ago. Japanese wasn't always written as it is today, not even the kanas existed. They used different kanji to make out the sounds... also you are ignoring that modern Japanese is a fusion of this "written" system and the oral one. No language has such a difference between written and spoken language as does Japanese...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's really interesting. You know it sort of makes sense... the Free Cities are sort of like the Italian City States (with the Reach being France and Dorne being Spain) and the Valyrian Peninsula whilst in many ways similar to the Italian Peninsula could be a bit like the Greek Islands. The Valyrians where great scientists and engineers, more like the Greeks than the Romans. In our world the Greeks have not contributed anything since their conversion to Christianity*, and in Martinworld world Valyria fell into the ocean and thus ceases to contribute. So we can safely say that when creating names for Valyrian characters you sort of combine Greek and Latin?

*except for this http://en.wikipedia....the_Renaissance

and one does get the impression that Volantis is Constantinople just before it falls to the Turks. So pleased by your correction that I can't respond properly.

I really wish the HBO language creators could get ahold of this so that when they create the Valyrian language for season 3 they will have something to work on.

Also the Ghiscari, the way they continue on speaking Valyrian, could be the same way that Greek was the language of administration in parts of the Middle East until the Islamic Conquest.

So Bertha and Clothilde are possible Westerosi names? do you think their is a pattern for how he modifies normal English names to make them slightly different?

Well, the Greeks have always been a beacon of knowledge and always represented this inquisitive nature of learning things for the sake of learning, different from the Romans who were actually very pragmatic and practical.

You got that last right, I think those names as being Germanic would apply. The only thing is that it seems that Martin stayed out of Germanic only for women. For example the few names we know of are non-Germanic: Lyanna, Lysa, Catelyn, Sansa, Cersei, Elia. These do not seem to be Germanic actually. Many I even wonder where were they taken or inspired from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the Greeks have always been a beacon of knowledge and always represented this inquisitive nature of learning things for the sake of learning, different from the Romans who were actually very pragmatic and practical.

You got that last right, I think those names as being Germanic would apply. The only thing is that it seems that Martin stayed out of Germanic only for women. For example the few names we know of are non-Germanic: Lyanna, Lysa, Catelyn, Sansa, Cersei, Elia. These do not seem to be Germanic actually. Many I even wonder where were they taken or inspired from.

Catelyn is the Celtic version of Catherine, other Tully names include Brynden (Welsh for Raven)...Lysa sounds like a Lisa which is a diminutive of Elizabeth and became popular in the UK.

Personally I think it's a pity that he didn't give the wildlings name like Ethelberta, Osburga, Ealhswith, Eadburh, Ecgwynn, Æthelflæd etc...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reduced language variation is of course plot-dictated, but interesting justifications may be imagined for it. If at all possible, they should be plot-dictated as well.

Then again, we might just rule that the world of Song differs from ours in that human nervous systems are much more suited for linguistic ability than ours. So when faced with the Andals and later the Targaryens, people simply learned the new languages without much of an issue, and eventually let go of the Old Tongue because it was so much more practical to use the Common Tongue.

IMO there is some evidence for that on how skilled in High Valyrian Daenerys is. She is, after all, a 15 years old girl who had very limited contact with other people for most of her life (and hardly anyone to practice Valyrian except Viserys, who doesn't strike me as a very intelectual sort).

Still, let's try other possible explanations. Westeros has been under almost 300 years of unified Targaryen rule, which is a major deviation point from our own historical experience. And it attained that unification largely by military superiority by way of their dragons, which implies that it was a violent conquest that killed many of the more resistant people and scared the others into submission. That alone helps a whole lot in pruning out languages that lack Targaryen acceptance.

And speaking of pruning out, am I the only one thinking that Westeros is a bit underpopulated? That may be just my impression, or it may be a natural consequence of having to deal with winters that last for years and therefore sharply limit the sustainable population (there is some Jon or Bran chapter around the middle that mentions that people often move south during winter).

Combine the two factors - a continent with far reduced military complexity and a sharply reduced population - and maybe it is not that much of a wonder that languages kept stable and fairly static for thousands of years. Who knows, maybe going through long winters leads people towards staying at home and practicing their conversation with others far more than it did in our own Middle Ages as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Catelyn is the Celtic version of Catherine, other Tully names include Brynden (Welsh for Raven)...Lysa sounds like a Lisa which is a diminutive of Elizabeth and became popular in the UK.

Personally I think it's a pity that he didn't give the wildlings name like Ethelberta, Osburga, Ealhswith, Eadburh, Ecgwynn, Æthelflæd etc...

Well... Catelyn, Lisa and Elia are pretty straightforward... although again, they are not Germanic. Catelyn is just a variant of Caitlin or better, Catherine (not "Celtic" as that is an abstract, it's actually English taken from medieval French taken from Greek a little deformed as well), and Lisa is as you say a nickname for Elizabeth which is Hebrew. I don't know about Sansa and Cersei... the first reminds me of Santia, Sanzia or Sancha in Medieval Spanish and the latter kind of Circe with a mixture of Welsh Siors?? Welsh form of Greek George? I don't know. But in any case not Germanic. You also have Jeyne and Anya... also non-Germanic more like variations of Hebrew names used in Medieval Times.

Why should the wildlings have Anglosaxon names?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well... Catelyn, Lisa and Elia are pretty straightforward... although again, they are not Germanic. Catelyn is just a variant of Caitlin or better, Catherine (not "Celtic" as that is an abstract, it's actually English taken from medieval French taken from Greek a little deformed as well), and Lisa is as you say a nickname for Elizabeth which is Hebrew. I don't know about Sansa and Cersei... the first reminds me of Santia, Sanzia or Sancha in Medieval Spanish and the latter kind of Circe with a mixture of Welsh Siors?? Welsh form of Greek George? I don't know. But in any case not Germanic. You also have Jeyne and Anya... also non-Germanic more like variations of Hebrew names used in Medieval Times.

Why should the wildlings have Anglosaxon names?

Well if Cersei is a pronunciation of Siors, then that fits into my theory even better: Davos and Sandor, Kevan, Jaime, Catelyn, Brynden, Duncan, Andrew, Genna all of these names were popular in the Celtic world (David and Alexander were the names of several Scottish kings), James and Andrew was very popular in Scotland as well (although it's originally hebrew), Kevan, Brynden, Genna, Duncan are all names that originate in Celtic languages such as Welsh...

where as the Wildlings and Northerners have Anglo-Saxon or Germanic names: Osric Stark, Eddard Stark, Rodrik Cassel (Cassel is german as well), Tormund, Karlon (founder of the Karstarks-German Karl), Hothor sounds like a name from Beowulf as well for that matter... Theon sounds similar to Theodric, many of the Iron Islanders (who are also First Men) have Viking names which are part of the same language family as English and German... So that's why it would make sense for the Wildlings to have Æthelflæd, since being the furthest North and least affected by Southron culture they would likely have the most Anglo-Saxon names, and wouldn't pick up on the fashion for Southron names even for their women...

Finally a clincher is the use of Runes....and the description of the Old Tongue as being clanking...

So what I am trying to argue is that the Old Tongue was a Germanic language (since Wildlings, Northerners and Iron Islanders often have names that derive from either Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian languages) whilst on the basis of names like Kevan, Genna, Brynden, Duncan and possibly even Soirse/Cersei the fact that Red Hair is only seen in the South and is rare amongst Wildlings...the popularity of names like Jaime, Sandor, Davos, Robert, Catelyn, Margaery which whilst they derive from German, Greek and Hebrew were all popular names either in the Celtic world (several Scottish kings, the patron saint of Wales St Margaret along with St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, Catelyn is the pronunciation of Catherine most associated with Welsh) could indicate the Common Tongue is actually a Celtic Language...

You know how in Britain it was supposedly originally inhabited by the Tuatha Dé Danann who are obviously analogous to the Children of the Forest?

Then Britain was settled by the Celts.

Then the wave of Anglo-Saxon conquerors, who pushed the Celts to the corners of Britain into Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Ireland (which was never conquered).

Then came the Vikings, who are related to the Anglo-Saxons (taking into account the close link between the Germanic languages and the Scandinavian languages).

Then came the Norman-French (French is a Romance language from the same family as Latin) Conquest, led by William the Conqueror.

In Westeros it was originally inhabited by the Children of the Forest.

Then came the First Men, who rather than speaking a Celtic language, their names and use of Runes indicate that they speak an Anglo-Saxon language.

The Iron Islanders arrive at the same time and spoke a Scandinavian language as indicated by their names.

Then come the Andals, and ever so subtly their names and physiognomy indicate that they speak a Celtic language, they force the Firstmen to the edges of Westeros (beyond the Wall, The North, The Iron Islands)...

Then comes the Valyrian invasion, led by Aegon the Conqueror. Subtly clues indicate that Valyrian is largely Greek (sounds like Rh in Rhaenys are similar to the Greek Rho), Illyrio sounds like Illyria which is a Greek word for a place, Naera and Aegon are also Greek names, the YS at the end of a lot of Valyrian names is similar to the IS sound at a lot of Greek names whilst the name Daena is similar to Diana (the Roman version of Artemis), many of the people in the Free Cities have names like Moreo (sounds like Mario), which indicates that instead of having a Roman empire, their was rather a Greek empire.

Also the name Aegeus who was the proconsul of Achaea who had St Andrew put to death (at least according to the Golden Legend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if Cersei is a pronunciation of Siors, then that fits into my theory even better: Davos and Sandor, Kevan, Jaime, Catelyn, Brynden, Duncan, Andrew, Genna all of these names were popular in the Celtic world (David and Alexander were the names of several Scottish kings), James and Andrew was very popular in Scotland as well (although it's originally hebrew), Kevan, Brynden, Genna, Duncan are all names that originate in Celtic languages such as Welsh...

where as the Wildlings and Northerners have Anglo-Saxon or Germanic names: Osric Stark, Eddard Stark, Rodrik Cassel (Cassel is german as well), Tormund, Karlon (founder of the Karstarks-German Karl), Hothor sounds like a name from Beowulf as well for that matter... Theon sounds similar to Theodric, many of the Iron Islanders (who are also First Men) have Viking names which are part of the same language family as English and German... So that's why it would make sense for the Wildlings to have Æthelflæd, since being the furthest North and least affected by Southron culture they would likely have the most Anglo-Saxon names, and wouldn't pick up on the fashion for Southron names even for their women...

Finally a clincher is the use of Runes....and the description of the Old Tongue as being clanking...

So what I am trying to argue is that the Old Tongue was a Germanic language (since Wildlings, Northerners and Iron Islanders often have names that derive from either Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian languages) whilst on the basis of names like Kevan, Genna, Brynden, Duncan and possibly even Soirse/Cersei the fact that Red Hair is only seen in the South and is rare amongst Wildlings...the popularity of names like Jaime, Sandor, Davos, Robert, Catelyn, Margaery which whilst they derive from German, Greek and Hebrew were all popular names either in the Celtic world (several Scottish kings, the patron saint of Wales St Margaret along with St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, Catelyn is the pronunciation of Catherine most associated with Welsh) could indicate the Common Tongue is actually a Celtic Language...

You know how in Britain it was supposedly originally inhabited by the Tuatha Dé Danann who are obviously analogous to the Children of the Forest?

Then Britain was settled by the Celts.

Then the wave of Anglo-Saxon conquerors, who pushed the Celts to the corners of Britain into Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Ireland (which was never conquered).

Then came the Vikings, who are related to the Anglo-Saxons (taking into account the close link between the Germanic languages and the Scandinavian languages).

Then came the Norman-French (French is a Romance language from the same family as Latin) Conquest, led by William the Conqueror.

In Westeros it was originally inhabited by the Children of the Forest.

Then came the First Men, who rather than speaking a Celtic language, their names and use of Runes indicate that they speak an Anglo-Saxon language.

The Iron Islanders arrive at the same time and spoke a Scandinavian language as indicated by their names.

Then come the Andals, and ever so subtly their names and physiognomy indicate that they speak a Celtic language, they force the Firstmen to the edges of Westeros (beyond the Wall, The North, The Iron Islands)...

Then comes the Valyrian invasion, led by Aegon the Conqueror. Subtly clues indicate that Valyrian is largely Greek (sounds like Rh in Rhaenys are similar to the Greek Rho), Illyrio sounds like Illyria which is a Greek word for a place, Naera and Aegon are also Greek names, the YS at the end of a lot of Valyrian names is similar to the IS sound at a lot of Greek names whilst the name Daena is similar to Diana (the Roman version of Artemis), many of the people in the Free Cities have names like Moreo (sounds like Mario), which indicates that instead of having a Roman empire, their was rather a Greek empire.

Also the name Aegeus who was the proconsul of Achaea who had St Andrew put to death (at least according to the Golden Legend.

Good work, as always. Let me just point some things out.

I agree on the great influence of Germanic and Celtic names, but I don't think that's a reason why the Wildling language should be "Germanic". The use of "runes" does not mean the language was in fact Germanic, here: http://en.wikipedia....i/Turkish_runes you can see the "Turkish runes" from a language not even Indo-European. Myself I see a lot of Greek names in the Iron Islands, and their conduct rather parallels that of Dorian invaders and Greek naval strategy than Viking one. Vikings were not a people, they were merely "scandinavian pirates", they did not use war-galleys or an armada. The thing about the "iron price" vs. the "gold price" seems to me like a kind of stoic view on ornaments very reminiscent of Spartans rather than Vikings. Furthermore, Euron... Theon... all could be interpreted as Greek words.

How are the Tuatha Dé Danann analogous to the Children of the Forest other than they being first in a land? I mean... if anything the Children are more similar to the Native American, they too were autochthonous to the land, furthermore they too used obsidian and knew not iron, and also they too were regarded as "little men" (remember the skraellings), they had dark skin also. How are runes indicative of "Anglo-saxon"? At any rate it would point rather towards Scandinavean or even Germanic in general. Also there's a mistake, in any case the Tuatha Dé Danann were Celtic themselves, as being the gods of the celtic people in Britain, one of the many Celtic peoples, but Celtic nonetheless. This is why I don't like "Celtic" it's a very very abstract and englobing term not a people in particular, you have the Gauls, the Welsh, the Goidelic and Gaelic (Scots and Irish, etc) and they did share a "Celtic" heritage, but the meaning of "Celtic" changed according to time and location and the Celtic people with it, so it's hardly a precise term.

The runes were common in the Germanic world it would seem, and the Celts had the Ogham which, by the way, are great to carve in trees and could be consider as "runes" by someone who doesn't know them. The bit about Valyrian and Greek I said it in some other post. And about the names, yes, you have Aigaion "Aegean" that could be Aegeon or greek ainos which could be Aenos. But the point is always the same... a lot of mixture. Don't you think?

Ps.: Oh! Also for Daena you could just have gone with Greek Danae =)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good work, as always. Let me just point some things out.

I agree on the great influence of Germanic and Celtic names, but I don't think that's a reason why the Wildling language should be "Germanic". The use of "runes" does not mean the language was in fact Germanic, here: http://en.wikipedia....i/Turkish_runes you can see the "Turkish runes" from a language not even Indo-European. Myself I see a lot of Greek names in the Iron Islands, and their conduct rather parallels that of Dorian invaders and Greek naval strategy than Viking one. Vikings were not a people, they were merely "scandinavian pirates", they did not use war-galleys or an armada. The thing about the "iron price" vs. the "gold price" seems to me like a kind of stoic view on ornaments very reminiscent of Spartans rather than Vikings. Furthermore, Euron... Theon... all could be interpreted as Greek words.

How are the Tuatha Dé Danann analogous to the Children of the Forest other than they being first in a land? I mean... if anything the Children are more similar to the Native American, they too were autochthonous to the land, furthermore they too used obsidian and knew not iron, and also they too were regarded as "little men" (remember the skraellings), they had dark skin also. How are runes indicative of "Anglo-saxon"? At any rate it would point rather towards Scandinavean or even Germanic in general. Also there's a mistake, in any case the Tuatha Dé Danann were Celtic themselves, as being the gods of the celtic people in Britain, one of the many Celtic peoples, but Celtic nonetheless. This is why I don't like "Celtic" it's a very very abstract and englobing term not a people in particular, you have the Gauls, the Welsh, the Goidelic and Gaelic (Scots and Irish, etc) and they did share a "Celtic" heritage, but the meaning of "Celtic" changed according to time and location and the Celtic people with it, so it's hardly a precise term.

The runes were common in the Germanic world it would seem, and the Celts had the Ogham which, by the way, are great to carve in trees and could be consider as "runes" by someone who doesn't know them. The bit about Valyrian and Greek I said it in some other post. And about the names, yes, you have Aigaion "Aegean" that could be Aegeon or greek ainos which could be Aenos. But the point is always the same... a lot of mixture. Don't you think?

Ps.: Oh! Also for Daena you could just have gone with Greek Danae =)

weren't the Tuatha De Danaan really little though? When I read those Marion ZImmer Bradley books she mentioned these little people who were dark... The Children are explicity not human, where as the Native Americans... are.

The Iron Islanders are vile=Scandinavian pirates fits just right. Even if they have some Greek intelligence. They have words like Witan and Kingsmoot and Thralls....

The Anglo-Saxons are Germanic, at that time Anglo-Saxon was closer to German...and German has since changed.

And when I say Celtic, it's because I don't have the linguistic knowledge to research Irish, Scots, Cornish, Breton and Welsh.

At a stab The Riverlands and Vale would be speaking Welsh, The Westerlands would be Scots or Cornish, the Stormlands Irish, and the Reach Breton... It's very hard to describe because the Celtic people were pushed to the far reaches of the world and very few native speakers survive.

But it's like in Westeros by some accident of history the role of the Anglo-Saxons and Celtics was swapped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"Now What would Scottish culture be like if instead of freezing their nuts off beyond Hadrian's wall they had possessed gold mines and nice weather their whole history".

A scary thought, but I think it would involve a highly developed Alcohol industry and everyone having the same sort of Gold teeth that Mord had.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×