(urth) On Blue's Waters (Initial thoughts)
jerry_friedman at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 10 22:04:06 PST 2012
> From: António Pedro Marques <entonio at gmail.com>
> Jerry Friedman wrote (10-01-2012 04:52):
>>> From: António Pedro Marques<entonio at gmail.com> No dia 09/01/2012,
>>> 19:36, Antonin Scriabin<kierkegaurdian at gmail.com> escreveu:
>>>> See, I found the way the thieves and other disreputables spoke in
>>>> Long Sun
>>> to be great; the odd words were carefully selected (like the vocabulary
>>> of New Sun) from other places and cleverly used. A lot of the words
>>> were actually found in thieves slang from the 1800s (like
>>> "dimber" for example).
>> My objections in the /Long Sun/ are to Xiphias (every sentence ends in an
>> exclamation point!), Olivine (every sentence gets to the second-last word
>> and then... every sentence gets to the last word and then repeats),
>> and--ah--Remora. (Do Oreb and the catachrest count?) In the /Short
>> Sun/ we get Pig and the people of Dorp. Wolfe does better, in my
>> opinion, with a lot of the other characters's ways of speaking.
> With the possible exception of Pig's 'eye dialect', how can those
> characters' specific ways of speaking be presented other than as they are?
> You may say you'd rather they didn't have specific ways of speaking, or
> that their ways of speaking weren't so conspicuous (like those of thieves,
> soldiers, councillors, and so on), but there I'd just have to disagree, as I
> quite like Remora and just love Oreb, for instance. The one I feel is a bit
> forced is Incus, but that's in character also.
I'm not sure what you're saying here. I think Wolfe did a good job distinguishing the speech of the characters, except for the ones I mentioned, which are too mechanical for me. (There might be other exceptions that I don't remember.)
> Xiphias can not but remind me of one of The Secret of Monkey Island's
I haven't played it, but permit me to say "Arrrrr..."
>>> The character on Blue who simply had the order of words in his
>>> sentences changed up clearly didn't have the same amount of work
>>> into him.
>>> Arrghhhhh!!!! NO, NO, NO, NO! He's DUTCH! It's a masterly
> rendering of
>>> Dutch that Wolfe does there! PLEASE, folks, wait a little before you
>>> form your conclusions!
>> Wikipedia says, "Dutch exhibits subject–object–verb word order, but in
>> main clauses the conjugated verb is moved into the second position in
>> what is known as verb second or V2 word order."
>> However, the dialect of Dorp has object-subject-verb order, with the
>> conjugated verb never moved that I've noticed. "Another Main you
>> Maybe a name it's got." (OBW, Chapter 4.)
> You are right. Dorp's word order is not the same as Dutch. Not only the most
> usual order isn't the same, Dorp's is quite consistent whereas modern
> Dutch's is more complex than just SOV/V2. However, to me as someone
> who's been learning Dutch, Dorp's english evokes just the right feeling
> of dutchness.
I'm glad it works for you as a student of Dutch, but... well, I've said it already.
> I can't quite explain it, but, for instance, the placement of pronouns in
> Brazil differs from that in Portugal. However, in some types of clauses, they
> appear in the same position. Rather than perceiving that as being a similarity,
> what it feels like is that a very different type of construction is being used -
> so different that by following the different rules of placement, the pronouns
> end up in what looks like the same position. Likewise, I don't think the
> rendition of a foreign grammar in english has to be an exact tranposition of the
> foreign rules. Well, I said I couldn't quite explain it.
>>> Linguistic individuality is one of the things Wolfe pays a lot of
>>> attention to and it's frustrating to see it taken for random
>>> seasoning. And of course the _vironese_ thieves will differ mostly by
>>> their lexicon. Speakers of related languages or dialects will have
>>> different grammars and phonologies. My only complaint is the amount of
>>> h's in a certain part of the book. Since the aitches really are
>>> one could do without the apostrophes.
>> I have the gravest possible doubts that either the h's or "yer" for "you"
>> are part of the dialect Wolfe seems to be aiming at.
> There is no Scotland in the Whorl.
Okay, why wouldn't it be better to use one's best imitation of a real Scots dialect (or literary Scots) than a combination of Scots with a feature from Classical Cockney? Or just let the simple sentences and third-person self-references characterize Pig's speech? On the other hand, maybe few people beside me were annoyed that they didn't know whether Pig pronounced the "r" in "yer" and "ter".
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