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A question about names...

Discussion in 'World Building' started by ChasingSuns, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. ChasingSuns

    ChasingSuns Sage

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    So in my search for tips to improving my writing, I have come across some articles that state that names should be consistent. While I do agree with this to an extent, I find it to be kinda situational at times. For example, in my WIP, humans all originate from the same part of the continent, but have spread and settled across most of the rest of it. As it is in our own history, such movements to new lands can eventually lead to changes in language, clothing, architecture, and whatnot. Some of the kingdoms have pretty large differences from the others, but some are pretty similar. So I am wondering, how consistent should these names be from kingdom to kingdom? Any thoughts/ideas/opinions are welcome :)
     
  2. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    Well, I think it depends on the origins of the kingdoms/cultures. If two kingdoms share a common ethnicity, their names should be consistent. Then there's cultural assimilation to think about. If two different cultures combine in one kingdom, their names should be a mixture of characteristics from both languages.

    I have a situation similar to yours in Southerner. Two kingdoms, Yianlai and Kirithia, originated from one tribe. However, the Kirithians intermarried with the Rhornlt, another tribe that migrated to their homeland, and took on many of their cultural characteristics. Kirithian and Yianlai names still follow some of the same conventions, but Kirithian names also follow some Rhornlt conventions.
     
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  3. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    If the question of whether or not the names are rational is important to you, there are a whole lot of things to consider.

    Some of the important factors include time, distance and physical/cultural isolation. As there grow the differences grow.

    The other big question is environment. Language and culture adapt to environments and habits. Miners will have different slang and names than farmers, who are in turn different than a sea faring culture. Inuit will have a crazy number of words for snow, while Bedoiun may not have any.

    Lots of variables to play with and think about.
     
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  4. ChasingSuns

    ChasingSuns Sage

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    The kingdom in question is a series of city-states whose rulers act together as a council that rules the region. They are decently isolated in terms of geography (it's a large island), but they are the largest trading hub in the whole continent. So if this is known to the readers, then would it seem plausible that a mass center of trade and commerce would have people with various naming styles?
     
  5. When it comes to names, consistency is an important factor when it comes to immersing the reader into your fantasy world. But consistency does not mean lack of diversity, so long as you explain that this current culture is made up of other cultures resulting in names that have separate linguistic origins. In one way or another, the reader needs to be able to understand that this society/kingdom/whatever has a mish-mush of linguistic influence.
     
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  6. ChasingSuns

    ChasingSuns Sage

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    Ok good to know. I was kinda feeling like that was the way to go, but it's always good to hear others back up ideas when there's uncertainty :D
     
  7. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    Yes. Hubs do that. You should see the varieties of names in places like Vienna for instance...
     
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