Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Cardassian Language #2

Having a main character who's a linguist is turning out to be lots of fun, especially when she's surrounded by Cardassians and the communications grid goes down.

Thanks to Paramount
I'd like to express my gratitude to Nerys Ghemor, author of Sigils and Unions, for providing a huge body of material to draw from. Everything I've seen is very professionally done and based on a sound knowledge of linguistics. I confess that it bothers me, maybe a little bit too much, when a (supposedly) alien language turns out to be little more than English in a fancy new font, and I'm glad to say that's nothing like what I've found here.

One of the interesting things about the common tongue, as the Cardassians call it, is how it reflects their culture's sense of hierarchy. There are multiple versions of the language, with different pronouns and grammatical forms for each, and which one to use depends on your relationship to the person you're addressing. It's a little like the Spanish tu and usted on hyperdrive.

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