On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Discussion of extensions to the Mando'a core grammar and suggestion of new word roots.
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On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Raeth » 15 Dec 2013 22:56

Studying and using Mando'a is a bit of an interesting challenge. Not only is it a con-lang (constructed language), but it is also a 'copyrighted' language. For some like myself, I would hazard to guess, we want to be able to use Mando'a 'fluently', i.e., make it a 'living' language. As the current vocabulary of canonic Mando'a exists now, there are not quite enough words to transition Mando'a to a fully functional living language. And yet, creating new words is problematic because we have no ability or right to declare them official or canonic Mando'a. The discussion about whether or not to create new words and subsequently what new words we do want or agree upon is discussed elsewhere, and that is a discussion I am eager to immerse myself in.

But, for sake of argument, let us assume people will out of necessity create new, non-canonic words to use. What then?

First, any new, non-canonic words we or anyone else create will by their very nature represent a 'dialect' of Mando'a (just as Okinawan is a dialect of Japanese, or just as Old English started as a radical dialect of German on the way to being its a discrete language in its own right). Secondly, as people use Mando'a, they will find new ways to use the language, and new ways of using words or even slang variations will arise naturally creating new Mando'a dialects.

Here are my humble suggestions regarding Mando'a dialects (open to your comments, dissection, criticism, advice, demolition, and guidance, of course!):

aliityc'miit'e - dialect [n], (lit., clan words)

Dialects in General
~la'miit'e/~yc'miit'e - ~dialect, dialect of ~
Examples: English'la'miit'e = English dialect, or, a dialect of English; Mando'la'miit'e = Mando'a dialect, or, a dialect of Mando'a.
Etymology: -la/-yc are adjectival suffixes, applying the quality of the preceding word to the antecedent word or words; miit'e means 'words'; Mando'la'miit'e would literally translate as, "Mando'a-like words"; i.e., a dialect of Mando'a.
Usage: Ni jorhaa'i ibic Mando'la'mitt'e. (I speak this Mando'a dialect.) Kaysh jorhaa' ehn Mando'la'mitt'ese. (He speaks three Mando'a dialects.)

Mando'a Dialects in Specific
~aliitla'Mando'a - ~ dialect of Mando'a (lit., ~ clan Mando'a)
Examples: ORG'aliitla'Mando'a = The mando'a.org dialect of Mando'a; Fett'aliitla'Mando'a = The Clan Fett dialect of Mando'a
Etymology: aliit means clan, while adding the adjectival suffix '-la' then turns the meaning into 'clan-like' or 'of the clan'; Mando'a is the Mandalorian language; ORG'aliitla'Mando'a would literally translate as, 'Mando'a of Clan ORG', i.e., the Clan ORG dialect of Mando'a
Usage: Ni emuuri ORG'aliitla'Mando'a. (I like the Clan ORG dialect of Mando'a.)

I know this is rough and is in desperate need of polishing. But, it was the idea I was kicking around about how we could create and add new words to Mando'a to make it more fully functional and living, while at the same time easily distinguish between canonical Mando'a and new 'dialects' of Mando'a that are non-canonical and easily categorize the origins of said non-canonical dialects.

For example, words that we create and agree upon here at mando'a.org could be listed under, 'org'aliitla'Mando'a' - or, Clan ORG Mando'a (dialect). Those from other sources could be listed under their own 'Clan dialects'.

What do you think? No need to be gentle. Vod'e an, so give it to me straight up, even if you think these ideas are dikutla.
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Re: On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 16 Dec 2013 03:26

I like the words. I do wonder how we should handle plurals here, though, as "clan-wordses" is a bit cumbersome.
The Aliit'Org idea is interesting, and I like it.
Overall, your method of constructing neologisms in Mando'a mirrors my own. When you look at the "official" Mando'a we know of, it becomes pretty clear that this is a standard thing.
Take, for example: "Te racin ka'ra juaan kote"
It's officially translated as "The stars pale beside our might" while a direct translation is "The pale stars next to our glory"
Ignoring the direct implications of honor and glory in Mando'a, this is still a very different way of saying it, and ilustrates the fluidity of context allowed by the language.
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Re: On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Nabterayl » 16 Dec 2013 20:43

I definitely agree that if we don't stick to the canonical wordbase when neologizing we will quickly become unintelligible. In this sense we are far more constrained than if we (or anybody, really) could simply make up a brand new word for a new concept; we're essentially limited to describing a new concept using existing words, resorting to analogy when we must. And I also agree that clearly Mando'a does this natively.

This built-in need for circumlocution makes me wonder, though, if we shouldn't be wary of the desire to come up with increasingly complex compound words for new concepts. The construction you suggest, Raite, seems to result in words that are more complex than any existing ones th at we have. While I grant that real Mando'ade undoubtedly have a word for "dialect" (it seems like too important a concept for such an astrographically disparate, language-centric people not to have a word for), do we need to have a single word for dialect-of-a-given-place-or-people? For instance, English gets by just fine without that ability. If I want to say "the dialect of Wiltshire, England," that takes me at least two words to say in English ("Wiltshire dialect"). "Wiltshiredialect" seems needlessly clunky.

With that in mind, I submit that it really isn't necessary, or even any clearer, to say something like Fett'aliitla'Mandoa as opposed to (say) Mando'a be Vhette or Mando'a be Vhett aliit. In general, Mando'a seems to be fairly comfortable with using about as many words as English (minus copulas and articles), so if in English we would say "he speaks three Mando'a dialects" I don't think we have any particular need to make "Mando'a dialects" one word in Mando'a.

As for the word you propose for dialect, I'm a little uncomfortable with the only having a suffix for a noun. If the word for "dialect" itself requires a stem to modify, how would we say things like, "I speak three dialects?" Ni jorhaa' ehn -la'miit'e doesn't seem like good grammar to me.

In thinking about how Mando'ade might conceive of a dialect, it occurs to me that in some ways they might deprecate the concept. For instance, it's entirely possible for two Mando'ade to have two different sets of vocal apparatus, two different sets of aural and language processing apparatus, two different mother tongues that bear no linguistic relation to one another, and have spent their entire lives hundreds of light-years apart from one another. They almost certainly sound very different from one another, even when speaking Mando'a. But in an important sense, the relevant fact is that they both speak Mando'a. No matter what throat it comes from or what ear it passes through, it's still Mando'a; it still binds them together as cultural brothers.

This leads me to suggest, as a neologism for dialect, kaabe'taap - the sounds of a place, with an alternative meaning as the distinctive soundscape of a place in general. Maybe that's all dialect really is to Mando'ade - a distinctive soundscape (undoubtedly to be celebrated, at least in theory). I suggest tying the word to place rather than a culture or clan because in my experience, real-world dialect is tied to place. If your clan spends most of its time in astrographically disparate locations (as it well might), it seems to me it actually isn't very likely to have a single clan dialect.

In this construction, we would render "He speaks three Mando'a dialects" as Kaysh jorhaa' ehn Mando kaabe'taape (Mando, I believe, is already in adjective form).
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Re: On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Raeth » 16 Dec 2013 23:28

Nabterayl wrote:I definitely agree that if we don't stick to the canonical wordbase when neologizing we will quickly become unintelligible. In this sense we are far more constrained than if we (or anybody, really) could simply make up a brand new word for a new concept; we're essentially limited to describing a new concept using existing words, resorting to analogy when we must. And I also agree that clearly Mando'a does this natively.


I am actually suggesting that we purposefully don't stick to the canonical list of Mando'a words. I do not have any problem with people who want to learn/use purely canonical Mando'a. However, I would like to see a 'living' Mando'a language, and that will require a greater lexicon that is currently provided by canon sources. There is another discussion thread about what new words we agree to add or not. This is half a discussion of the theoretical applications of dialect to Mando'a (think of the language spoken by Concordant Dawn - very similar to Mando'yaim Mando'a but not the same; or, in the real world, think of the differences between Russian and Ukranian), and half a discussion of how those who are so inclined would like to distinguish differing non-canon dialects of Mando'a so that we can avoid being unintelligible even if we are being slightly 'heretical'.

Nabterayl wrote:This built-in need for circumlocution makes me wonder, though, if we shouldn't be wary of the desire to come up with increasingly complex compound words for new concepts. The construction you suggest, Raite, seems to result in words that are more complex than any existing ones th at we have. While I grant that real Mando'ade undoubtedly have a word for "dialect" (it seems like too important a concept for such an astrographically disparate, language-centric people not to have a word for), do we need to have a single word for dialect-of-a-given-place-or-people? For instance, English gets by just fine without that ability. If I want to say "the dialect of Wiltshire, England," that takes me at least two words to say in English ("Wiltshire dialect"). "Wiltshiredialect" seems needlessly clunky.


I half agree with what you are saying, and half do not. There is a danger when creating longer and longer compound words that, one, the meaning of what you are trying to say gets lost, and, two, the language itself risks become unwieldy. That said, both German and Japanese are languages that vacillate between long and short compound words. From what I have studied and experienced, these compound words created to express new concepts first start as long monstrosities cobbled together from available words. As time goes on, there seems to be a natural process of contraction wherein common usage and familiarity abbreviates and distills the original compound down to its most basic and necessary components until - voila! - you have a wholly new, short and efficient word whose etymology can trace back to a larger compound.

Some concepts or ideas cannot be transmitted simply or with a single word only. As to what you were saying about "Wiltshiredialect", imagine two communities that both speak 'English', but who have their own unique words and perhaps even their own unique grammars. Perhaps 90% of the English they use is the same, but 10% is unique to each community. Let us call these two communities, for sake of argument, Scotland and Kentucky. While it may seem unnatural (to us!) to say, "He speaks with a Scottish dialect." Or, "She speaks with a Kentucky dialect." But, we would think nothing of saying, "He speaks in a Scottish brogue." Or, "She speaks with a Southern patois." We wouldn't say, "He speaks Scottish." Scottish is its own language, and we are trying to specifically denote a dialect of English. Sometimes things just take explaining.

So, to say (in context), "He speaks the Clan ORG dialect of Mando'a." may seem a bit long, but it makes a terrible lot more sense (to me, at least) than saying, "He speaks ORG." Also, this would be one of those things that would not be said in frequent conversation. It is, by its nature, an analytical categorization for clarity. So, whatever is decided upon to label non-canonical dialects of Mando'a is going to be a little clunky by nature.

Nabterayl wrote:With that in mind, I submit that it really isn't necessary, or even any clearer, to say something like Fett'aliitla'Mandoa as opposed to (say) Mando'a be Vhette or Mando'a be Vhett aliit. In general, Mando'a seems to be fairly comfortable with using about as many words as English (minus copulas and articles), so if in English we would say "he speaks three Mando'a dialects" I don't think we have any particular need to make "Mando'a dialects" one word in Mando'a.

As for the word you propose for dialect, I'm a little uncomfortable with the only having a suffix for a noun. If the word for "dialect" itself requires a stem to modify, how would we say things like, "I speak three dialects?" Ni jorhaa' ehn -la'miit'e doesn't seem like good grammar to me.


Perhaps you should take a second look at my OP. ~la'mitt'e is not what I listed as 'dialect', and is only attached to a language to mean 'a dialect of ~'. 'Dialect' as a discrete noun was suggested as such:

aliityc'miit'e - dialect [n], (lit., clan words)

So, "I speak three dialects." would not be "Ni jorhaa' ehn -la'miit'e." Rather, it would be, "Ni jorhaai ehn aliityc'miit'e."

The usage of ~la'miit would be, "Ni jorhaai ORG'la'mitt." - "I speak the Clan ORG dialect." (The implied contextual meaning, in this case, being the ORG dialect of Mando'a.) If one wanted to be expansive, one could say, "Ni jorhaai ORG'aliit'la Mando'a." - "I speak the Clan ORG dialect of Mando'a." (lit., "I speak Clan ORG's Mando'a.")

Nabterayl wrote:In thinking about how Mando'ade might conceive of a dialect, it occurs to me that in some ways they might deprecate the concept. For instance, it's entirely possible for two Mando'ade to have two different sets of vocal apparatus, two different sets of aural and language processing apparatus, two different mother tongues that bear no linguistic relation to one another, and have spent their entire lives hundreds of light-years apart from one another. They almost certainly sound very different from one another, even when speaking Mando'a. But in an important sense, the relevant fact is that they both speak Mando'a. No matter what throat it comes from or what ear it passes through, it's still Mando'a; it still binds them together as cultural brothers.

This leads me to suggest, as a neologism for dialect, kaabe'taap - the sounds of a place, with an alternative meaning as the distinctive soundscape of a place in general. Maybe that's all dialect really is to Mando'ade - a distinctive soundscape (undoubtedly to be celebrated, at least in theory). I suggest tying the word to place rather than a culture or clan because in my experience, real-world dialect is tied to place. If your clan spends most of its time in astrographically disparate locations (as it well might), it seems to me it actually isn't very likely to have a single clan dialect.

In this construction, we would render "He speaks three Mando'a dialects" as Kaysh jorhaa' ehn Mando kaabe'taape (Mando, I believe, is already in adjective form).


This is an interesting question, at least as far as the storyline goes. I do know that the Concordant Dawn spoke something that was almost the same as Mando'a, yet distinctly its own language or dialect. For that matter, it seems many 'adopted' Mando'a spoke in various amalgams of Mando'a and their own native tongues, e.g., Galactic Basic mixed with Mando'a. Given that learning Mando'a was one of the Resol'nare, I think that, yes, Mando'ade would place a certain importance on speaking as true and singular a form of Mando'a as possible.

Unfortunately, we have a problem in that we do not have access to the full language of Mando'a, only those words that have been released through canon sources. It simply is not enough of a lexicon for a fully-functioning, living language. So the choice is to either simply accept what is and study Mando'a the same way you might study any other non-living language, i.e., for academic or aesthetic reasons, but not for actual usage. Or, you can be somewhat 'heretical', and create new words to fill in the gaps.

I respect whatever choice a person makes in regards to this. I am not here to say one way is right or wrong or better than the other. For myself, I want a living Mando'a language, so I accept this means some new vocabulary that is non-canon will need be introduced. This takes me back to the beginning, wherein I suggested that we make clear distinctions between canonical Mando'a and non-canonical Mando'a by calling the non-canonical Mando'a a 'dialect' or 'dialects'.

This suggestion is for the sake of clarity and understanding. It is a way of saying, "This lexicon over here is canonic Mando'a, but this lexicon over here is the non-canonical ORG dialect of Mando'a that some crazy people who want to walk around speaking Mando'a came up with. It's based on their best understanding of canonical Mando'a, but, really, they are all completely nuts so if you don't understand them that's OK. Those heretics made up their own Mando'a words, if you can believe that!" That way, if we meet other crazy people who want to use Mando'a in a living language manner, they can choose to use our 'dialect' if they wish, and then all of us heretical dialect speakers will be understandable and intelligible to each other. Heresy? Probably. Chaos? No. This is meant to be the method in the madness. That is all that it was meant to be: Consensus.

I am ready for rebuttal, ner vod, even if it is a gauntlet to the head. Heh heh. At least we are having a lively debate! Oya!
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Re: On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Nabterayl » 17 Dec 2013 00:56

Raeth wrote:I am actually suggesting that we purposefully don't stick to the canonical list of Mando'a words. I do not have any problem with people who want to learn/use purely canonical Mando'a. However, I would like to see a 'living' Mando'a language, and that will require a greater lexicon that is currently provided by canon sources. There is another discussion thread about what new words we agree to add or not. This is half a discussion of the theoretical applications of dialect to Mando'a (think of the language spoken by Concordant Dawn - very similar to Mando'yaim Mando'a but not the same; or, in the real world, think of the differences between Russian and Ukranian), and half a discussion of how those who are so inclined would like to distinguish differing non-canon dialects of Mando'a so that we can avoid being unintelligible even if we are being slightly 'heretical'.

I'm not sure I was clear here. I'm personally fine with coming up with new words; the question is, how? Do we allow ourselves to invent entirely new word stems? So far both you and I (and I gather this is the consensus on this forum) is that we would rather go to the trouble of trying to describe dialect in terms of words and clans and places and sounds even though it would be so much easier to just say dyrce means dialect (or whatever word one might want to make up).

Raeth wrote:That said, both German and Japanese are languages that vacillate between long and short compound words. From what I have studied and experienced, these compound words created to express new concepts first start as long monstrosities cobbled together from available words. As time goes on, there seems to be a natural process of contraction wherein common usage and familiarity abbreviates and distills the original compound down to its most basic and necessary components until - voila! - you have a wholly new, short and efficient word whose etymology can trace back to a larger compound.

I don't disagree with any of this, but the next question is how it applies to Mando'a. For instance:

Raeth wrote:Some concepts or ideas cannot be transmitted simply or with a single word only. As to what you were saying about "Wiltshiredialect", imagine two communities that both speak 'English', but who have their own unique words and perhaps even their own unique grammars. Perhaps 90% of the English they use is the same, but 10% is unique to each community. Let us call these two communities, for sake of argument, Scotland and Kentucky. While it may seem unnatural (to us!) to say, "He speaks with a Scottish dialect." Or, "She speaks with a Kentucky dialect." But, we would think nothing of saying, "He speaks in a Scottish brogue." Or, "She speaks with a Southern patois." We wouldn't say, "He speaks Scottish." Scottish is its own language, and we are trying to specifically denote a dialect of English. Sometimes things just take explaining.

Quite agreed. What you're suggesting, though, is not analogous (at least as I understand it) to "he speaks in a Scottish brogue." That would be something like jorhaa' Scottyc miite, or maybe jorhaa' ti Scottyc miite. As I understood you, you were proposing jorhaa' Scottyc'miite, which seems like a needless compound to me. Why does he need to speak <object>, as opposed to speaking <adjective> <object>? Why "He speaks Scottishbrogue" as opposed to "He speaks [in] a Scottish brogue?"

Raeth wrote:So, to say (in context), "He speaks the Clan ORG dialect of Mando'a." may seem a bit long, but it makes a terrible lot more sense (to me, at least) than saying, "He speaks ORG." Also, this would be one of those things that would not be said in frequent conversation. It is, by its nature, an analytical categorization for clarity. So, whatever is decided upon to label non-canonical dialects of Mando'a is going to be a little clunky by nature.

This I agree with.

Raeth wrote:Perhaps you should take a second look at my OP. ~la'mitt'e is not what I listed as 'dialect', and is only attached to a language to mean 'a dialect of ~'. 'Dialect' as a discrete noun was suggested as such:

aliityc'miit'e - dialect [n], (lit., clan words)

So, "I speak three dialects." would not be "Ni jorhaa' ehn -la'miit'e." Rather, it would be, "Ni jorhaai ehn aliityc'miit'e."

Ah, I did have some trouble following your proposal. In that case, I have two critiques to offer. The first is that I'm not sure it actually makes sense to describe dialect in terms of family relationships, even extended family relationships. I am very far from a linguist, but none of the actual dialects I can think of are organized along those lines. They're geographical (astrographical) by nature, as far as I know. So I'm not sure that aliit is the best word to base the word for "dialect" upon.

The second is that I'm not sure we have any instances of compounds in which the modifier suffix is used in the middle of a word. That is, aliit'miite seems to follow the form of existing compounds, but do we have anything parallel to aliityc'miite?

Raeth wrote:I am ready for rebuttal, ner vod, even if it is a gauntlet to the head. Heh heh. At least we are having a lively debate! Oya!

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Re: On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 17 Dec 2013 01:28

Mando'a is a social imperative, not a basic communication tool. Remember, few people spoke only Mando'a, so it's actually very likely dialects would have sprung up based on family.
Also, if we assume Aliitla'miite was the word for dialect, then la'miite is a natural slang version. It's certainly what I'd end up using...

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Re: On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Nabterayl » 17 Dec 2013 01:59

Vlet Hansen wrote:Remember, few people spoke only Mando'a, so it's actually very likely dialects would have sprung up based on family.

Why is that? If my grandmother was born and raised in one place, my second cousin in a second, my father in a third, and I myself am not even of the same species as the rest of my clan and born and raised in a fourth place still, why would my dialect be influenced by my family and not by the people I actually spend most of my time with (or spent most of my formative years with)? Mando'ade are clannish in the sense that family matters a great deal to them, but not clannish (at least as I understand it) in the sense that they spend most of their time in close proximity to family.
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Re: On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 17 Dec 2013 16:42

Mando'a is an internal language, basically one giant shibboleth. You'd likely spend most of your time talking with people you knew well. Family and other Mandalorians from the community in the immediate "area", be that area physical or informational, would be who you dealt with the most.
Think about the Skirata clan, when they were speaking Mando'a it was nearly exclusively with their family. They interacted with some people from town on Mandalore as well, but it was more limited.
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Re: On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Raeth » 17 Dec 2013 18:19

First, I want to apologize for my abbreviated reply today. Work and home dynamics are fluid and challenging at the moment, so I have just a brief window of time to post.

As to why I chose aliit'miit'e, aliit'la'miit'e, aliit'miit, or any derivative or variation thereof to represent the word and meaning 'dialect', it is fairly along the lines of what Vlet said. Mando'ade culture is, at its heart, clan based. Your clan is more important than your ethnicity/species, it is more important than your nationality, and it is vastly more important than your immediate place of residence. While I would say that Mando'ade are loyal to each other versus all aruetiise, within Mando'ade culture one's clan - regardless of physical proximity - trumps all other associations save for loyalty to the Mand'alor, and sometimes it even trumps that!

So, looking at Mando'a the language from the perspective of Mando'ade the culture, to me it would make more sense to refer to any 'dialect' as being a 'clan' variation versus a 'locale' variation. I am not saying that locationally discrete populations don't influence the evolution of a language, but from the perspective of Mando'ade culture, those variations - location to location - would matter less than variation from clan to clan.

Which seems more likely:

1) This is the Mando'a spoken by the people from the northern hemisphere of Mando'yaim.

2) This is the Mando'a spoken by Clan Skirata.

I would hazard the guess that the latter is a more likely statement than the former.

So, coming full circle, I made my suggestions about how to categorize new words we come up with based on the idea of 'clan dialects'. The purpose of assigning dialect categories was so that when deviating from canon Mando'a, there would still be an ordered, common reference so that speakers of Mando'a could still understand one another, or barring understanding what a speaker of a particular dialect was saying at least one would know by that speaker's clan dialect what reference materials to use to translate unfamiliar words (e.g., if 'Clan ORG' had their own non-canon dictionary, non-Clan ORG-dialect Mando'a speakers could reference our dictionary to figure out what the shabs we were talking about; likewise, if another Mando'a group developed their own 'dialect' we could compile their words under their own 'clan dialect' for our own reference).

OK, I am ori'hryc and probably stopped making sense about 15 minutes ago. Just wanted to at least reply a bit so that you vod'e knew I was still engaged in the discussion and reading what you had to share.
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Re: On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Nabterayl » 17 Dec 2013 19:20

Vlet Hansen wrote:Mando'a is an internal language, basically one giant shibboleth. You'd likely spend most of your time talking with people you knew well. Family and other Mandalorians from the community in the immediate "area", be that area physical or informational, would be who you dealt with the most.
Think about the Skirata clan, when they were speaking Mando'a it was nearly exclusively with their family. They interacted with some people from town on Mandalore as well, but it was more limited.

That's true, but the Skirata "clan" as Kal re-conceived of it immediately prior to and during the Clone Wars was essentially a confederation of outlaws who spent a lot of time together because they were either part of the same military unit or actively hiding from people who had equal reason to hunt all of them. Prior to his engagement with the clones, Kal Skirata did not spend a great deal of time co-located with either other members of the Skirata clan or members of the Skirata family. Similarly, Jango Fett didn't seem to spend a great deal of time co-located with other members of the Fett clan.

Raeth wrote:Mando'ade culture is, at its heart, clan based. Your clan is more important than your ethnicity/species, it is more important than your nationality, and it is vastly more important than your immediate place of residence. While I would say that Mando'ade are loyal to each other versus all aruetiise, within Mando'ade culture one's clan - regardless of physical proximity - trumps all other associations save for loyalty to the Mand'alor, and sometimes it even trumps that!

I don't disagree with this, but I don't think that how important things are to you is a good predictor of either your accent or your diction.

Raeth wrote:Which seems more likely:

1) This is the Mando'a spoken by the people from the northern hemisphere of Mando'yaim.

2) This is the Mando'a spoken by Clan Skirata.

I would hazard the guess that the latter is a more likely statement than the former.

It's good to have this discussion then, because I think the former is more likely.

I would hazard a guess that we are all operating on the underlying assumption that your dialect is shaped by the context in which you spend the most time speaking the related language. What I am questioning is the assumption that a Mando'ad would mostly speak Mando'a with members of his own aliit. I agree that Mando'a is a private, internal language, obviously - but I don't think it follows that you would only speak it with members of your own clan. All that follows from that fact, I think, is that you would only speak it with other Mandalorians.

The follow-up question, it seems to me, is this: are the Mandalorians around you particularly likely to be predominantly from your own clan? I don't think that they are. If you're actually on Manda'yaim, it's fairly likely that you have regular contact with other clans. Country farms might be mostly mono-clan, but unless those farms are extraordinarily large, it's quite likely that you have regular linguistic contact with neighboring farms, who will be from other clans even though all your farms exist in the same geographical area. Suppose you are from Clan A, and live on a farm in the countryside. Your nearest neighbors are a couple kilometers away and come from Clans B and C. One day you meet another clan member who lives on the other side of the world, a good 14,000 kilometers away. Is it more likely you sound like that person, or that you sound like the people in your little cluster of farms? I think the latter.

If you aren't on Manda'yaim (or in some kind of permanent off-world Mandalorian ghetto), then who are the Mandalorians you likely spend most of your time with (and with whom you speak most of your Mando'a)? For some, it will certainly be clan members - if you don't actually live and work with any other Mando'ade, then I suppose you mostly speak Mando'a with your family. But if you do live and work with other Mando'ade (say, you're part of a mercenary company), then it seems to me highly unlikely that your clan members predominate in that company. And it seems only natural to me that a people who constantly see themselves as foreigners wherever they go would tend to congregate. If you're off-world, the one or two other Mandalorians at your factory, or in your mercenary company, or starship crew, or whatever, will become a lot more important to you than they otherwise would. Unless you're off-world as part of a Mando venture, such as part of an all-Mando mercenary company, which I think would also tend to be very clan-heterogeneous.

We have no suggestion, as far as I know, that Mando clans tend to travel together. If anything, the impression I get is quite the opposite - the members of a given clan are culturally expected to be scattered far and wide, and it is in some part because of that that clan ties are so culturally important.
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Re: On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 17 Dec 2013 23:09

While you might not say as many words to your family as you do to others, you spend more time talking to your family or very close friends than you do talking to any *one* person. For instance, due to my job, and my father's, I've spoken with people of just about every accent possible on a regular basis, yet I still have my father's inflection.
Speaking from the point of view of someone who's in the military, I can say that you have two different things you find with people in these sorts of jobs: they speak like wherever they're from (accentwise and such) and they pick up a whole mess of slang and in-jokes and the like from the units they serve with. The second one, particularly, is what leads me to agree with Raeth here.
Also, I'm not sure we ever really heard of any other Skirata clan members.
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Re: On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Raeth » 17 Dec 2013 23:28

One more quick reply before my halyc shabs stumble off to work:

Would a Mando'ad identify more by their location on Manda'yaim or more by their clan? Answer: By their clan. Beyond clan, each Mando'ad is simply of the Mando'ade. They may live or work in one location or another, but no one says they are a Coruscanti Mando'ad or a Keldabe Mando'ad. They are in general simply Mando'ad, and in specific of Clan Skirata or Clan Talon and so on. When they identify what is most important to themselves within the Mando'ade demographic it is their clan, their aliit. Even the idea of ba'slan shev'la comes with the implicit understanding that remaining in a specific place or defending a place to the end is not important, but the survival of the clan is.

Given all that, I think it reasonable to think that the relations, loves and hates, habits, customs, mannerisms, and, yes, even the slang and dialect of one's clan is the valuable if but intangible possessions that a Mando'ad would carry with them no matter what. That may pick up slang, jargon, and other linguistic tidbits as they travel around, but whether or not that because wholly internalized to an individual Mando'ad and then gets transmitted to broader use as a part of a dialect and not just a personal idiosyncrasy would seem to depend upon whether it was adopted and used by their aliit. Even then, it would still be part of that aliit's dialect or patois. They wouldn't suddenly say, "Oh, hey, we are speaking Coruscanti Mando'a now." There would be nothing to suggest that they would identify themselves or what they do as anything other than their identity as Mando'ade or their identity as part of a clan.

Yes, I agree that any individual Mando'ad may pick up habits, mannerisms, and particulars of speech from people around them. But, that will not change their identity or how they categorize inside versus outside, aliit versus aruetiise. So, if that is how Mando'ade categorize themselves, then it makes sense to also do so when trying to categorize non-canon evolutions of Mando'a. Clan ORG Mando'a dialect, not North American Mando'a dialect, etc.
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Re: On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Nabterayl » 18 Dec 2013 16:13

I am persuaded by these arguments. I withdraw my objection.
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Re: On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 18 Dec 2013 19:29

We had a good conversation...
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Re: On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Raeth » 18 Dec 2013 22:12

It was a good discussion. And no matter what, VODE AN!
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Re: On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Nabterayl » 19 Dec 2013 00:33

Vlet Hansen wrote:We had a good conversation...

Bic bana teh ca'nara bah ca'nara ;)
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Re: On canon Mando'a, living Mando'a, and dialects.

Unread postby Taljair te Mir'ad » 13 Mar 2015 11:25

One word:
Magnificent!
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