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Thoughts on Language

by James Mishler

A "Common Tongue" in a D&D or AD&D game is the same as the "Lingua Franca" in the RW; this is the language used by the dominant society of the time, and in which most people who are well travelled, well read, or otherwise concerned with doing business outside their own native country (or with traders and travellers from other countries) are likely to speak. The concept of "Lingua Franca" itself (meaning "Language of the French" literally, or "Common Tongue" most generally) developed long ago; I suppose the "Common Tongue" of the Achaean Age was most likely Minoan Greek or perhaps Egyptian; in the Middle Ages it was Latin and in the Renaissance and earlier modern times, French (thus, "Lingua Franca"; also related to money, some say). In modern times the "Common Tongue" throughout the world has pretty well been English (American or Queens; most Germans speak with a British accent); though French is still used in the UN and elsewhere.

Thyatian is the "Common Tongue" on the continent of Brun at least as far as Slagovich, where the local Pidgin version of Thyatian (known as "Slag", after Slagovich) takes over (presumably there is much Traladaran influence in Slag, as the people of the City Sates are descended from Traladaran migrants ca. 450 AC). On the Isle of Dawn, the Common Tongue is either Thyatian or Alphatian (or, rarely, Thothian), depending on where you live; those who can, speak both. In the Alphatian Empire and to the east, the Common Tongue is Alphatian.

The fact that Darokinian is a "Dialect" of Thyatian has only two sources (both of them suspect to my way of thinking). I have given TWO different variants of the history of the Daro; one, my own, in which Daro is a descendant of Antalian-Traldar developed in ISOLATION from Thyatian (which is also an Antalian-Traldar tongue, developed on the Southern Continent); and the other, on which Daro is descended from Thyatian/Kerendan/Hattian, with influence from Elvish. The Isolated version of history is my own, while the Descent from Thyatian seems to some to be more in keeping with Canon. What you use is your own business, I have simply been proposing historical derivations for both...

And, by the way, Linguistics *was* one of my major area of studies in college... for whatever that may be worth...