History of Mando'a and Galactic Basic

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History of Mando'a and Galactic Basic

Unread postby Munnodol » 09 Oct 2017 20:40

Su'cuy gar anade

I just want to make a thread where we can discuss Mandalorian History and culture along with the Linguistic Features of Mando'a. I will post regularly, and the topics will vary. For those who want to join in, feel free to do so, if you just want to read it, that is fine too. Finally, I want to say all of this because I am in the process of figuring out Mando'a, not just the sounds and specific environments they occur in, but also the affixes and how they work, sentence structure, pragmatics, semantics, etc. So, without further ado, onto my first topic.
According to Wookiepedia, Galactic Standard Basic is the most prevalent language in the galaxy. Established along with the Galactic Republic 25,053 BBY, the standard mainly consisted of Old Coruscanti, but also included words from over a dozen other languages.
While Old Coruscanti is widely considered the Standard tongue of Coruscant (the capital of the Galactic Republic) another language also originated here: Archaic Mando’a. Before the creation of the Galactic Republic, two native groups waged war on Coruscant (At that point, it was known as Notron): The Zhell and the Taung. The Zhell were humans who lived on a clear majority of planet, and are believed to be the descendants of the humans currently residing on the planet. The Taung, on the other hand, were grey skinned, humanoid beings who, despite having a small population, were one of the strongest groups on Notron. Even so, after centuries of warfare, the Taung were eventually defeated and were forced to leave Notron, only to later conquer a planet that they named Mandalore.
So, what does this mean linguistically? Well, considering the use of Old Coruscanti that is present in Galactic Standard Basic, we can deduce that it was the Zhell who spoke it. Also, considering the prominent use of Mando’a on Madalore, we know that the originators of the language were the Taung, but what if the two languages were mutually intelligible at some point? If we follow the Dialect Continuum model, we find that while at extreme distances the two languages would quite distinct, they at certain points would have had to intermingle and mix. That being said, that is not always the case (irl ex: Mandarin and Cantonese) but some words, most notably the word Coruscant (in Mando’a it is Coruscanta), we see similarities that supports the dialect argument. Another example is the sounds of Mando’a, which are said to be similar to Basic.
Ultimately, I propose this order of events:
1. The Taung and the Zhell wage war against each other, which results in a Zhell victory.
2. The Taung leave Notron, later adopting a nomadic life before settling on a conquered planet
3. Th Zhell decide to band together with other groups to fight a common enemy
4. The Taung Adopt a nomadic life coupled with a monolithic ideology and culture.
5. Due to the alliance, Coruscanti is constantly influenced by several different languages
6. Due to strong cultural ties and a borderline isolationist policy, change in Mando’a has been slow and mainly internal instead of the external influence of other languages
7. In the end, the rapid change of Old Coruscanti, along with the stagnation of Archaic Mando’a, created the two different languages we see today.
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Re: History of Mando'a and Galactic Basic

Unread postby Ner Jate'kara » 09 Oct 2017 21:28

This is interesting because it makes me think about basic in universe, because it is not actually english, so it is like lotr where they speak common tongue but it is translated to english.
So this means that if we knew some parts of the other languages influencing basic like Dromnyr, Bothese, Durese, and more, and make a mash up of Mando'a and these, we could find out the general sound of what basic really sounds like. But this also reminds me of Dha Werda Verda, the epic, which has no translation except for one part, but it is written in Notron Cant, and it was written there, so do we know the relation between the languages and could we use the translated part to discover more about the ancient versions of mando'a and coruscanti? I really love language and it kinda bums me out that there is no complete language in star wars, especial one we can use to decipher others and learn new things. Another thing about Notron Cant though, is its slight similarity to huttese, making yet another connection between languages to make us confused. But the Notron Cant was purposfully deigned to sound germanic, so perhaps if it is related to ancient mando'a, coruscanti and more, they might sound like this. This was kinda more about the basic than the mando'a side so sorry.
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Re: History of Mando'a and Galactic Basic

Unread postby Munnodol » 24 Oct 2017 10:20

Ner Jate'kara wrote:This is interesting because it makes me think about basic in universe, because it is not actually english, so it is like lotr where they speak common tongue but it is translated to english.
So this means that if we knew some parts of the other languages influencing basic like Dromnyr, Bothese, Durese, and more, and make a mash up of Mando'a and these, we could find out the general sound of what basic really sounds like. But this also reminds me of Dha Werda Verda, the epic, which has no translation except for one part, but it is written in Notron Cant, and it was written there, so do we know the relation between the languages and could we use the translated part to discover more about the ancient versions of mando'a and coruscanti? I really love language and it kinda bums me out that there is no complete language in star wars, especial one we can use to decipher others and learn new things. Another thing about Notron Cant though, is its slight similarity to huttese, making yet another connection between languages to make us confused. But the Notron Cant was purposfully deigned to sound germanic, so perhaps if it is related to ancient mando'a, coruscanti and more, they might sound like this. This was kinda more about the basic than the mando'a side so sorry.


It is not impossible, but it would be very difficult to do such a thing. There are a lot of variables to look at, for instance, the languages were largely separate even before the mandalorians left. After that, a thousands of years further separate them. Plus, it wasn't like they were a planet away, they were in a completely different rim. So ultimately, if we could do everything you stated above, we would at most get a half decent guess at old coruscanti, because we do not know how much of an influence mando'a or old coruscanti had on each other, or how mutually intelligible they were, and this is just one variable.
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