Anonymous asked: anybeast crossing oh my goddddd
(in reference to this post)
This is how I always imagine Alternian working: heavily synthetic, heavily agglutinative.
Alternian is like Japanese in having two writing systems: one alphabetic, which is the mirror-Daedric we see in the comic, and one logographic. Mirror-Daedric is used for proper nouns, including personal names and things like ‘Trollian’ and ‘sylladex’, and also by young trolls learning to read and write. The other system is used for everything else. The reason most animal names on Alternia get rendered in English as ‘hoofbeast’, ‘musclebeast’, etc. is because they’re written with two logograms: ‘hoof’/’muscle’ + ‘beast’. So the general class of living creatures other than trolls is indicated by combining the indefinite morpheme, ‘some/any’, with ‘beast’. The Alternian for ‘foal’ is ‘young’ + ‘muscle’ + ‘beast’. It’s an incredibly compact language: ‘look at that dog!’ in Alternian would be written with two sign-units, [look at + imperative suffix] [demonstrative prefix + bark + beast + accusative suffix]. It also means the language’s core pool of vocabulary is relatively small, since most of the lexicon is formed by sticking base units together, which works well for a conqueror species not all that interested in expanding their linguistic horizons.
This explains a bunch of other stuff. Weird periphrases like ‘nutrition plateau’ are literal representations of the Alternian [food/nutrition + flat object]; you could combine the same ‘flat object’ morpheme with the ‘furniture’ morpheme to get ‘table’, or with the ‘mountain’ morpheme to get the actual English plateau. Terezi coins names for her scalemates ([scale + sentient creature you do not want to kill or have sex with], the latter roughly equivalent to English ‘friend’) by combining [berry + breath], [lemon + snout], etc. Karkat’s distinctive speech pattern is actually that, rather like Dave, he loves long agglutinative chains: ‘worthless crotchstained barfpuppet’ would be a single sign-unit in Alternian, [negative prefix + value + groin + stain/smear + vomit + puppet]. It’s not really clear how any of those relate to each other, and you could equally well translate it as ‘worthless puppet whose crotch is stained with vomit’; Karkat just piles words on top of each other for effect.
Terezi thinks Dave is a [troll between the stages of grubhood and full maturity + cool/radical/awesome].
ceruleanvulpine asked: I really like that headcanon, but how would you fit in the more straightforward terms the higher-blood trolls use?
Archaism. Assume that the pool of core meaning-units has actually reduced over time, on the principle that all languages eventually simplify down. Old single morphemes got phased out and replaced with the easier-to-remember compounds. There was once a single dedicated morpheme for ‘large vessel you wash yourself in’, Eng. bath, but it was much easier just to say ‘[washing + container large enough to hold a non-dismembered troll]’, hence ablution trap. As such, using the old single morphemes is a mark of fancy, flowery diction. Think of how in English we actually have special words meaning ‘from where’ and ‘to where’, whence and whither, but using them now makes you sound like you’re in a 19th-century novel because everyone’s switched to the isolate forms.
Please do not ask me about load gaper. It gets kind of biological at that point.
I think that unlike with (english speaking) humans, where precise diction and technical vocabulary are a mark of education and therefore class and therefore privilege since poor people have historically been denied educational opportunities, trolls have— and have had— some form of universal education for a hell of a long time. So their upper-class marker is the privilege of making everyone else decode what the fuck they’re talking about. Highbloods get to use slang and abuse puns and be opaque––lowbloods to make sense and be clear and intelligible to their superiors. Nondescriptive terms are snooty.
Tavros and Karkat emphatically have large vocabularies, and employ some of the most clunky and unpleasant overexplaining phrases of the cast, with Kanaya as a close third––when she’s nervous. And especially when she’s talking to Rose or Vriska. Feferi’s indignant when Jade asks her to speak more plainly, and says she’s ‘peasant-ificated’ herself, humbled herself, which fits the context of superiors getting to demand coherence from their inferiors without having to return the favor.
Then you see Meenah, and Her Imperious Condescension, flat-out talk like gangsters while Gamzee and Kurloz talk like juggalos. Exceptions to the rule: Cronus is pretending to be human. Aranea’s bookish, well-meaning, interested in at least the outward tenants of the Sufferer, and talks like a schoolfeed, while Vriska seems to wobble between psycho cheerleader and Captain Morgan commercial––maybe the eight puns are enough for her? She uses ‘aint’s’, especially when talking to Terezi and Aradia.
I don’t really know what’s up with Eridan, though, pretty sure he doesn’t even use ‘aint’s’ in canon, though he clips his g’s and uses more typically british words like ‘bloody’ and ‘poppycock’ and ‘claptrap’. The idea of Eridan affecting a cockney accent is completely satisfying just for the thought of him saying ‘ello ello wwots all this then’ to Dave, who would then expire from sheer incredulous delight. Anyway maybe Karkat’s rubbed off on the little twerp, or maybe it’s just one more piece of the seadweller-who-doesn’t-swim-and-has-a-suspicious-amount-of-lowblood-friends-for-a-genocidal-maniac puzzle.
cheCKING YOUR INBOX AND FINDING MESSAGES THAT TUMBLR NEVER ALERTED YOU OF
a lot of people assume because i dont talk a lot that its because im in a bad mood or grumpy or being cold with them but its just like a genuinely have nothing to say!! i am not an interesting person!! i dont know how to respond to people 90% of the time dont take it personally!!
If there’s anything I learn from OFF, it’s this:
We may think we’re doing all that is good and right in the world
But what is everyone else seeing?
i mean you COULD blog about feminism, or you could enjoy the web as it was originally intended: to share military codes and messages 2 help win the cold war
Tumblr giveaway. Must be following me. Everyone is winner. Everyone gets to follow me. My posts are prizes. Enjoy blog friends.