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On Wed, 18 Nov 2015 19:50:00 +0000, Mechthild Czapp <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>> On 18 Nov 2015, at 18:20, Alex Fink <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> [S]omeone posited a system where there was a loose analogue to the family name in which, on marriage, the spouses each took a syllable from their former family names and spludged them together.  
>
>I think you are referring to the Lajik here. Last names have two syllables: One originating from the name of your parent of the same gender, one of the parent of the opposite gender. They are always in that order: Shialasnu Sten-Ja vs Shialasnis Ja-Sten. After marriage, they take the cokmponent of their own gender with them and replace the other component by the one of their spouse: So if Shialasnu Sten-Ja marries Karivanlasnis Lta-Kvi they would be Shialasnu Sten-Lta and Karivanlasnis Lta-Sten. Given that these names are their link to the ancestors, they are retained even though very long contact with more dominant and culturally influential languages (seleken and later Rejistanian) has caused many loan words come into the language so that some words are deprecated or only known to historians. it does not make them meaningless though (except in certain intermarriages where the foreign spouse might for ease of pronunciation take only past of their name into the marriage). 

I'm not sure I was.  In my half-remembered example, the recombination was of meaningless bits of phonological form I think selected at will from the source names, not a consistent choice of one of two halves (the creator may have even mentioned "euphony" or something).  If there are two clear components, one naming a patriline and the other a matriline, that's not outlandish at all!  That's no worse than Hispanic double surnames.

But, while I'm curmudgeoning:

On Wed, 18 Nov 2015 17:58:01 -0500, MorphemeAddict <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>From Fith Cultural Notes: 
[...]
>(Why do I use the pronoun his? Because 80% of
>Fithian births are to males, meaning men outnumber women four to one.)

So either there's some severe sex differentiation like there is in the bee, at least enough to make females four times more resource-consuming to bear, or each Fith has four fathers to their one mother, or evolution works differently there.  For if a species that reproduced like humans had that sex ratio, a mutation that brought it closer to fifty-fifty would be very advantageous for its carriers, as by producing more mothers they'd capture an outsized share of the parentages of the next generation.  But that's not the thing that really caught my attention, it's this --

>The words
>that are used as names have no other meaning (no names like Grace or Joy)
>and are chosen from a set that has become fixed by tradition. There are now
>just 144 possible given names, and 12 times that many clan names. 

Sai, offlist, wrapped up and generalised my objection to this well: your conculture might _say_ it has a list of exactly one gross personal names, but don't take your conculture's claims at face value!  In the nat-examples I can think of where this flavour of numerology comes up, a list having a culturally significant number of items -- the Ten Commandments, the 99 names of God, etc. -- the ground truth is usually messier, and some fudging has been done to make the count come out right.  Perhaps, as in these examples, different items have been selected and left out in different traditions, or single items have been split into several, or several items been unified; perhaps there are variant traditions in your conworld that all respect the correct number of items but disagree on what those items actually are.  When the integrity of the list really does come first you get stuck with unglamorous numbers like 613, the number of mitzvot (though, like there, I guess your culture might retcon any awkward number into significance given enough kabbalah).

Alex