Author Topic: What would you ask from Peterson?  (Read 7583 times)

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What would you ask from Peterson?
« on: July 10, 2011, 06:18:59 pm »
Presently there's an interview coming at Goodreads, to which you can propose questions. (When you read this, the interview has probably already happened, so this is just a background laying intro paragraph.) Rather than be a sensible person and submit propositions there, I decided to list some questions here and ask you other people persons, what you'd ask. Nice and hypothetical, eh.

Well, we do have the IRC discussions, too. But not everyone has time to visit those chats, and even if you do, there are a lot of good big questions you just rarely can fit into conversations.

1) When you created Dothraki was there need to consider - or maybe even construct - the linguistic environment it had diegetically developed in? Does Dothraki have things like recent loan words? Even more pointedly, many (me included) consider the Common Tongue of Westeros to sound as heard on TV - virtually identical to English (etymologies and such excluded of course). Have you conceived any influence between Dothraki and English / The Common Tongue?

2) On the one hand the GRRM's original corpus of Dothraki was probably written more by the looks of the words than aural images, on the other hand one suspects that diegetically Dothraki is not established as written language and thus the words we read should be an orderly transcript rather than culturally developed written forms.
How does the dichotomy between written and spoken language - and Dothraki's heavy weight on the latter - figure to your work? How do you approach the latin letter written Dothraki?

3) Dothraki seems to be quite strictly single culture language. Still, are there any characteristic lapses in structure or pronunciation during informal speech? Are there any special subgroups with their own style of speech? Womens' argot? Slave creole?

4) Let's imagine the dothraki would notice they had missed a few beats at technological progress and the world around them would suddenly be filled with cars, postmodern art, tax returns and internet. How would the language adapt? What would be the most natural ways to invent new words? Would the language take a new direction or would it be pretty much the same tracks you use now to create Westeros-current dothraki words?

5) As it's a language for specific needs, Creating Dothraki has, I'd imagine, been in many ways an exercise in constrained writing. One challenge has surely been that the language should be easy enough to enunciate for a native English speaker, but unusual sounding enough to convey a sense of exotic. How thin blade edge has this felt like to dance on? And do demands like this ever turn frustrating?
Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.