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"IT'S A NICELY DESIGNED GAME AS LONG AS YOU DON'T WANT ANY MEANING IN YOUR LIFE."-TIM

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Author Topic: FAN PARTICIPATION: Lizard Man Language  (Read 32271 times)

Joe

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FAN PARTICIPATION: Lizard Man Language
« on: January 18, 2017, 11:38:19 AM »

    Hey, all! We wanted to invite you to take part in a fun opportunity to potentially contribute to making
Underworld Ascendant.

You likely loved the sequence in the original Ultima Underworld where the player learned the Lizard Man (or Thepa) language as much as we did. Since the Lizard Men will play a BIG role in Underworld Ascendant, we intend to expand their vocabulary even further.

Want to help? Below, youll find a handy guide to the rules of the language by our lead designer Tim Stellmach, all currently known words, and ideas on where this list may grow.

Your suggestions for new words may make it into Underworld Ascendant, either in text form or even performed by our stellar voice cast.

NOTE: Adding suggestions to this thread grants consent of use to OtherSide Entertainment.

LIZARD MAN LANGUAGE GUIDE

ALPHABET: acćčʗehχikloprɾsśtuyz
Not used:: bdfgjmnvwth

Exception: unvoiced consonants (p,t,k,ch,) may become voiced (b,d,g,j, th ) when they appear at the beginning of a word (for example, in the greeting pica, which is pronounced like bee-tsah, not like pizza.).

ʗ   Postalveolar click, as in the Zulu q. Transcribed in UW1 as click.
c    Voiceless alveolar affricate (ʦ), as in the Polish cebula and Japanese tsunami.
χ   Voiceless velar fricative as in Scottish loch and Polish chr. Transcribed in UW1 as kk
ss, śś, , cs   long consonant, held for an extra mora (or beat,) in duration, as with Japanese long vowels.
Ś   Soft sh, as in the Polish ś
   Hard sh, as in the Polish sz
Ć   Soft ch, as in the Polish ć
Č   Hard ch, as in the Polish cz
s   As in English
r   Alveolar trill, as in the Polish r or Spanish rr. Transcribed as rr in UW1.
ɾ   Alveolar tap, as in the Polish or Spanish r.
   Voiceless dental fricative, as in the English th (thin, not this).

a = ah
e = eh
i = ee
o = oh
u = oo   

KNOWN WORDS
Lizardman/Human

au - And
ʗ - no, not, dont
ʗ iriass - Cabirus   
-ʗ (as a noun suffix) - non-, opposite
cor - Go
eppa - Visit
eppala - visitor, wanderer
isili - Me
-ik - did (past tense verb suffix after consonant stop)
-it - shall (future tense verb suffix after a consonant stop)
-k - did (past tense verb suffix not after consonant stop)
krik - grab
kri'kla - Lurker
ku - of, from, possessed by
ku'isili - mine
kutosa - y ours
-la - verb suffix equivalent to English -er
-oco - -ing
ossli - Enough
pa - to do, to make
paśi - to talk
paśioco - speech, language
pica - hello, goodbye, pleasure
picaʗ   - Pain, sorrow
sela - Give
si - to be
soɾʗ - Stranger
sor - enemy
sora - steal
sorala - thief
soraoco - theft
sse   - yes, thus, that way
sstreś - help (v.)
sstreśoco - help (n.)
a - multiple (plural determiner)
ali - we/us
atosa - you all (plural)
epa   - Lizard Men
esʗ   - hate (v.)
esʗoco - hate (n.)
eś - like
it - need
itla - beggar
-t - shall (future tense verb suffix not after consonant stop)
tosa - you (singular)
ye- -polite noun prefix
yeśorʗ - friend
yee   - kill
yeela - warrior
zeχa   - food[/li][/list]

UN-KNOWN WORDS
Human/Lizard Man

Armor - ?
Arrow - ?
Bow - ?
Capable - ?
Choice - ?
Dire Bunny - ?
Dwarves - ?
Earthclot - ?
Elves - ?
Fighter - ?
Hunter - ?
Mage - ?
Mana/Aether - ?
Marcaul (a Lizard Man settlement) - ?
Mind Crippler - ?
Provision (verb) - ?
Ripper - ?
Rotworm - ?
Rune - ?
Shadow Beast - ?
Shamblers - ?
Skill Shrine - ?
Silver Sapling - ?
The Stygian Abyss - ?
Sword - ?
Trap - ?
Undead - ?

We'll try to keep the above list updated with your suggestions and who made them.

Many thanks for your help!
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Tim

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Re: FAN PARTICIPATION: Lizard Man Language
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2017, 11:49:04 AM »

If you should happen to be asking "what's with all the Polish?" the answer is very simple. What could be more lizardy than two different "sh" sounds? It's also got two different "ch" and "zh" sounds (though we're not using the zh's at the moment).

Besides, English, Spanish, and Polish are the only languages I know any real amount of (though I must confess, not all that much of the latter).
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Tim

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Re: FAN PARTICIPATION: Lizard Man Language
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2017, 12:02:42 PM »

Also, it's worth adding a note on spelling:

Here we're using a character set that has one character per sound, and tries to explain some of the Underworld 1 text that would otherwise be kind of specifically English-like (for example, why would you even _have_ an English-style letter "c?" what's with double consonants?).

So, it's useful when it comes to designing the language, but I don't think we have a decision yet about what player-facing text will look like. And if it drives you nuts, please don't be shy of using just the characters on your keyboard and letting us sort it out.
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Swarm

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Re: FAN PARTICIPATION: Lizard Man Language
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2017, 12:26:07 PM »

I think it'd be cool to see some compound nouns, if it doesn't complicate things too much. You could have some creative things, like 'above world' referring to the land outside the Abyss.

I've always wondered who was responsible for the UU1 Lizardman puzzle. Was it the work of one person or a team effort? Definitely one of my favourite early gaming moments :- )
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dancingcrab

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Re: FAN PARTICIPATION: Lizard Man Language
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2017, 01:15:37 PM »

Oh my, I haven't been on these forums in a LONG time! Nice to be back.

I'm excited about this language stuff. I'm an English orthography enthusiast, so look forwards to seeing the written language develop. Phonology kinda makes my head hurt, though. Have you considered using IPA characters?
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Tim

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Re: FAN PARTICIPATION: Lizard Man Language
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2017, 01:19:38 PM »

I've always wondered who was responsible for the UU1 Lizardman puzzle. Was it the work of one person or a team effort? Definitely one of my favourite early gaming moments :- )
I understand it was the work of JD Arnold. I know he had previously worked at Infocom, but he was out of the picture by the time I started testing Underworld 1.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 01:38:51 PM by Tim »
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Starker

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Re: FAN PARTICIPATION: Lizard Man Language
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2017, 01:21:40 PM »

I'll give a few words a shot:

cak -- sword
cakla -- fighter, soldier
iɾi -- life, breath
iɾila -- living being, person, somebody
iɾiʗ -- undead
karila ("k" is voiced) -- hunter
karioco -- hunt (n.)
lokrik -- trap (n.)

Something like this?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 01:42:13 PM by Starker »
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When I grew up I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

andth

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Re: FAN PARTICIPATION: Lizard Man Language
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2017, 01:30:08 PM »

I'd love to see a sound shift on the existing words of the Thepa language. For players of the original UU1 this would make UA even more realistic (immersive)...
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Tim

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Re: FAN PARTICIPATION: Lizard Man Language
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2017, 01:34:29 PM »

Phonology kinda makes my head hurt, though. Have you considered using IPA characters?

I did for the click and the "r" sounds, and almost for the "χ" (the IPA for that sound is just "x"). Well, and for "s", whose IPA symbol is just "s."

For those that are interested, the IPA symbols for the other consonants are:

c = t͡s
Ś = ɕ
= ʂ
Ć = t͡ɕ
Č = t͡ʂ
= θ

In a nutshell, though, you've got both a trilled and a tapped "r" like Spanish, the "th" sound is soft, "ts" is considered its own consonant, and there are two "sh" and two "ch" sounds, plus the sound English _spells_ as "ch" in words like "loch" and "chutzpah."
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dancingcrab

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Re: FAN PARTICIPATION: Lizard Man Language
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2017, 01:38:08 PM »


I did for the click and the "r" sounds, and almost for the "χ" (the IPA for that sound is just "x"). Well, and for "s", whose IPA symbol is just "s."

For those that are interested, the IPA symbols for the other consonants are:

c = t͡s
Ś = ɕ
= ʂ
Ć = t͡ɕ
Č = t͡ʂ
= θ

In a nutshell, though, you've got both a trilled and a tapped "r" like Spanish, the "th" sound is soft, "ts" is considered its own consonant, and there are two "sh" and two "ch" sounds, plus the sound English _spells_ as "ch" in words like "loch" and "chutzpah."

Thanks Tim! Will look more closely when I'm home tonight, but this helps me  ;D
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Tim

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Re: FAN PARTICIPATION: Lizard Man Language
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2017, 01:38:20 PM »

I'd love to see a sound shift on the existing words of the Thepa language. For players of the original UU1 this would make UA even more realistic (immersive)...
In fact, we've discussed explaining some of the discrepancies this way (e.g., did this dialect gain the ɕ/ʂ and t͡ɕ/t͡ʂ distinctions, or did the one in the original game lose it from a shared parent language?).
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Joe

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Re: FAN PARTICIPATION: Lizard Man Language
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2017, 01:48:01 PM »

A potential combat VO line worth translating:

"Treachery and doom!"
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andth

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Re: FAN PARTICIPATION: Lizard Man Language
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2017, 01:55:12 PM »

Dark Elves - eppaśśorroco

Explanation:
eppa - visit
śśorru - dark, gray, shadow, colorless
-oco - -ing (n)

The Dark Elves were not in the original Stygian Abbyss. Upon their arrival, the Lizardmen saw them as dark visitors, so that became their word for them
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EngineArtist

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Re: FAN PARTICIPATION: Lizard Man Language
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2017, 02:03:29 PM »

I've said it before and I'll say it again: OtherSide, you rock!  8)

Here's a few words I came up with:
kua - to choose
kuoco - choice
kuala - leader, chief, person in charge

This is an awesome way for a developer to engage with their fans!
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andth

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Re: FAN PARTICIPATION: Lizard Man Language
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2017, 02:13:35 PM »

Rune - aʗukka

Initially there was only a word for "runes" (pl) in the Thepa language. When they found out that a rune alone has a specific magical meaning, they created the irregular Thepa word aʗukk (dropping just the last letter) for one single rune.

Rune spell - ʗukkapaśi or aʗukkapaśi
(paśi - to talk; origin from aʗukka paśi ku'isili = the runes talk for me = my magical spell)

Remembering that the Lizwardmen were created by the crazy wizard Mondain, they probably knew rune bags and that wizards carried them. They just didn't understand rune magic at first.
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