Conlangery #61: amman îar
July 30, 2012 9 Comments
This week we cover the monumental and yet incomplete amman îar, a heavily Tolkien-inspired language that nevertheless manages to have its own flavor.
Top of Show Greeting: Uskra
Featured Conlang: amman îar
Email from FE:
I don’t know if someone has already addressed this, however, in episode 40 you discussed the ubiquity of British-esque varieties in fantasy media and introduced the implications thereof but weren’t able to come up with examples besides the Game of Thrones series and which William (or Bianca?) noted largely features British actors. There is also the issue, unaddressed, that fantasy media like Game of Thrones and the Lord of the Rings films portray fantasy worlds explicitly based at least partially on an indeterminately ancient Britain.
Some examples that came to my mind during this discussion that can’t be explained away by the native variety of the performers were the films “Gladiator” and “Troy”. While the former is not strictly fantasy its pseudohistorical adventure genre utilizes the same linguistic trope.
In the case of “Gladiator”, I vaguely recall that a cast member on the DVD commentary addressing the fact that nearly all the non-British cast members (among them Americans, Danes and Kiwis) who were portraying Romans adopted their own approximation of the English accent that actors like Derek Jacobi had naturally. If I recall correctly, the commenter mentioned that someone (either one of the producers, the director, or actor Richard Harris) found their mangled fake accents appalling, but it was par for the course on a film like this.
The dialogue in Troy features the constant use of the term “Milord” by characters when addressing their social superiors. This word shows up in a lot of fantasy and historical films as a generic marker of social stratification despite the fact that, as I understand it, until very recently in English it was never used as a form of general address and only used in a specific context (that is, addressing a person to who bore the specific title of “Lord”). See also “Game of Thrones” and the 2004 film “King Arthur” (English people before they were English!).
Thanks for making the podcast. William’s brain is a sexy beast.