Print

Print


David Peterson wrote:


> So, my question: Has something similar happened to anyone
> else?  And, do you think I should change the name of the
> language?  Would you, in this situation?  Also, what if someone
> created a language with a name like Teonaht, not knowing
> that one already existed, and (with no disrespect to this
> imaginary person) was far better?

Well, there are only so many 4-letter names. There are also natlangs
that have similar names to unrelated langs in other parts of the world;
I believe there's a Tonga language which is unrelated to Tongan, for
instance. But if it turns out that there's a natlang called Kishtlanarn,
I might want to rename it.

This sort of thing happens all the time. I had a character named Rissa
in a story I wrote a long time ago; it turned out that there's a book
about a character named Rissa, so I changed the name to Thrissa. Later I
found out that Rissa is the scientific name of a kind of gull called a
kittiwake (two species: black-legged, R. tridactyla, and red-legged, R.
brevirostris). Even longer words can have accidental resemblances; the
people known as the Sangari were originally called Sarangi until I found
out that that was a kind of string instrument from India. So I wouldn't
worry too much about 4-letter names; there are bound to be coincidental
resemblances.

I don't think I've ever had a language with the same name as another
language, but it would depend on the language. If there's any chance
that I might have heard of it, I might think about renaming it. But with
thousands of languages, some known by more than one name, it's not
surprising that some of them have the same name as others.