Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

"Speaking foresoothly" at SCA events - another good reference book

Expand Messages
  • julian wilson
    Lordings All,  this is primarily for those who are interested in trying to learn the style, phrasing and some of the vocabulary of 15th-Century or Early
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 14, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      Lordings All,
       this is primarily for those who are interested in trying to learn the style, phrasing and some of the vocabulary of 15th-Century or Early Modern English to add even-more "atmosphere" to their event experiences.
      From my own researches so far, it seems that the most-easily-available, contemporary reference sources are
       The Paston Letters, and the published excerpts from the Celys, Lisle, and Plumpton Archives.
      If you decide to treat yourselves to a published edition of the Plumpton Correspondence, but are unable to view an actual copy and have to buy online, - DON'T buy the "Alan Sutton" published Edition, ISBN 0-86299-656-2, edited by Thomas Stapleton !
      Why?
      Because in reproducing the period text of the 1839 Camden Society Edition, and in attempting to reduce the cost of the modern book, the Publishers have reprinted original 1839 text in a "4-pages-on-one-folio" format in their 1990 Edition.
      Which means that the font size is probably down to 4pt or even 3pt. - and one needs a magnifying glass to be able to read it at all - especially if one's eye-sight  is not 100%.
      A far better [more-easily-readable, larger- font-sized"] edition is the Cambridge University Press "hardback" one, published in 1996, ISBN 0-521-57394-7
      I made the mistake of buying the Alan Sutton edition first, and have been regretting it ever since.   My copy of the Cambridge University Press 1996 edition arrived this morning, and compared with the other, I'm delighted with it.
       I just thought I'd pass on the info, to perhaps save any of you from making the same fairly-expensive error.

      YiS,
      Lord  Matthew Baker
       from the Anglo-Norman Isles.

      --- On Sun, 1/2/09, julian wilson <smnco37@...> wrote:
      From: julian wilson <smnco37@...>
      Subject: Missing info for "Historically-authentic SCA-event Sites in UK during 2009"
      To:
      Date: Sunday, 1 February, 2009, 3:37 PM





      Your Graces, your Excellencies, Lordings and Gentles of the
      Authentic SCA List,

       first I apologise if this is a breach of List Etiquette.



      However, it does seem to me that - if members of this List are primarily
      interested in enjoying a degree of authenticity at SCA events - then nothing
      will promote that quite as much as an event held in truly medieval
      surroundings.



      Also, this is the time of year when everyone begins to plan their
      holidays,  - if they haven't done so already.



      So, it seems to me that advance notice of such events, in time to arrange
      holidays to attend [ should that be possible ] might be appreciated by some
      members of this List - who might not be members of other online groups where
      the events' details will come to their attention by another source.

      Moderators, if this contravenes List Etiquette, I do apologise.



      So, with those points in mind, my Lords and Gentles all, I commend to your
      attention two Events at SCA-period historic locations in the UK
      during the coming year

      WINCHESTER PILGRIMAGE 2009.

       and

      RAGLAN FFAIR, 2009.

      Neither event has an ACTIVE webpage YET.

      When they DO, event details will be found both on the
      general events page for Insulae Draconis,

       And on the "events"
      pages of the 2 hosting Shires,

      West Dragonshire in the case of Winchester Pilgrimage,

      http://westdragonshire.org

      and Mynedd Gwynn in the case of Raglan Ffair.

      www.mynydd-gwyn.org


      The Official Tourist Website for the ancient "Almshouse & Hospital of
      St Cross" in Winchester [
      where the Pilgrimage will be based] can be found at

      http://www.stcrosshospital.co.uk

      which includes lovely pictures of the Event location.



      The Welsh Shire's website for LAST YEAR'S Raglan Ffair is still active, and can
      be found at

       http://www.raglanfair.org

      I commend this to your attention because the "Galleries" subfile has
      lots of lovely pictures and some video footage of previous Raglan Fairs.



      In service to the medieval ream

      [ which is why I subcribe to and enjoy THIS List]

      Lord Matthew Baker,

       Hospitaller for West Dragonshire .



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Andrea Hughett
      Does anyone have suggestions for giving a hint of authentic flavor to one s speech if one is NOT 15th/16th century English? Even if I were fluent in 13th
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 14, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        Does anyone have suggestions for giving a hint of authentic flavor to one's speech if one is NOT 15th/16th century English? Even if I were fluent in 13th century Welsh, no one (almost no one?) would understand me.

        Andrea
        kitscaa Gwervyl verch Hywel Gwyddwyllt





















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Brad Moore
        Andrea, I think its interesting when one chooses to interject words or exclamations from the language of one s persona into their speech. I have heard the use
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 14, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          Andrea,

          I think its interesting when one chooses to interject words or exclamations from the language of one's persona into their speech. I have heard the use of alternate titles which are culturally specific, or of phrases (Mon Dieu!, etc.) which set you apart culturally, but don't prevent your ability to communicate clearly. I know nothing of Welsh, but I'm sure there are sources available that could lead you in the right direction.

          Brad Moore

          "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."
          - J.R.R. Tolkien




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • julian wilson
          ...  Does anyone have suggestions for giving a hint of authentic flavor to one s speech if one is NOT 15th/16th century English? Even if I were fluent in 13th
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 14, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            --- On Sat, 14/2/09, Andrea Hughett <aindreva@...> wrote:
             Does anyone have suggestions for giving a hint of authentic flavor to one's speech if one is NOT 15th/16th century English? Even if I were fluent in 13th century Welsh, no one (almost no one?) would understand me.
            >
            > Andrea
            > kitscaa Gwervyl verch Hywel Gwyddwyllt

            COMMENT
            Gentle Lady Gwervyl verch Hywel Gwyddwyllt, 
            Compromise, compromise, compromise; - try Early Modern English  with a strong Welsh accent.
            Every multinational meeting location thoughout history  - such as the great medieval Trading Fairs in Champagne, at Troyes, and Provins, and at Bruges and Mechelin, - seems to have evolved a "lingua franca".
            I joined the SCA from being a founding member of a late-15th Cenutry living history group, and was pleased to discover that - in the SCA-UK Branch at least, the tendancy has been for those making "formal statements" and trying to "get-away" from standard US or UK modern English, - have tended to use Early Modern English as the "common tongue of meeting and diplomacy". I'd don't know how I'd manage in Nordmark, though, since I don't even have a smattering of any of the Scandinavian toungues.

            Within Insulae Draconis at the least - there is an general acceptance amongst the Populace that Skakespearian-flavoured English shall be the "common toungue". Which is just as well, since I'm late 15th-century, one couple of our friends do Elizabethan, of another couple one is a Saxon, and his lady is Persian; another friend does 12th century Polish person, while his lady is 14th century Iberian; while yet another has recently adopted the persona of a Samurai from the Copurt of the first Shogun.
            Without the tacit acceptance that our common trans-national and trans-temporal meetings demand a common tongue - which is a form of English, - none of us could converse at all, without years of study.
            I learned Latin at school, and can still contstrue well enough if I have time to think about it; and speak fluent Classical French, can manage reasonably well in High German, and have survived 4 years working in London in a largely-Japanese Company [where I had to learn enough Japanese to be able to "fit-in"]
             However, having spent four years now playing with the SCA in the UK, I suspect such modern liguistic  ability is a little unusual within the general membership.
            As for my persona, he's Lincoln-born, but brought-up in Wales, so he'd have learned medieval Welsh as well as English making him a bi-lingual child;  given "gentle" schooling, which taught him medieval Latin; exiled to Brittany for 13 years with his Liege Lord - where he'd have had to learn to speak medieval Breton and medieval French [ not the same thing at all].
             But thanks to the SCA's "lingua franca" - he can talk to all the trans-national and trans-temporal gentles of the Populace; - and for the writer that is one of the joyous "miracles" of the SCA culture. Everyone accepts that compromise.

            YiS,
            Matthew Baker



            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > ----------------------------------------------------
            > This is the Authentic SCA eGroupYahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • lilinah@earthlink.net
            ... My persona is not English from any time period, nor am i a lordling, being female. And if i spoke any of the languages of my persona, i wouldn t be
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 14, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              > Does anyone have suggestions for giving a hint of authentic flavor to
              > one's speech if one is NOT 15th/16th century English? Even if I were
              > fluent in 13th century Welsh, no one (almost no one?) would understand
              > me.
              >
              >Andrea
              >kitscaa Gwervyl verch Hywel Gwyddwyllt

              My persona is not English from any time period, nor am i a lordling, being female. And if i spoke any of the languages of my persona, i wouldn't be understood, either.

              I'd recommend reading literature of one's time period and culture and trying to incorporate some of the phrasing. Of course, that may be a bit difficult for people from times or cultures that didn't have written literature or from which none has survived.
              --
              al-Sayyida Urtatim al-Qurtubiyya bint 'abd al-Karim al-hakam al-Fassi
              (that's urr-tah-TEEM)
              the persona formerly known as Anahita
            • Heather Rose Jones
              ... I ve done a class and pamphlet that I humorously title Conversational Medieval Welsh . Basically what I ve done is extracted short phrases and sentences
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 14, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                On Feb 14, 2009, at 8:55 AM, Andrea Hughett wrote:

                >
                > Does anyone have suggestions for giving a hint of authentic flavor
                > to one's speech if one is NOT 15th/16th century English? Even if I
                > were fluent in 13th century Welsh, no one (almost no one?) would
                > understand me.

                I've done a class and pamphlet that I humorously title "Conversational
                Medieval Welsh". Basically what I've done is extracted short phrases
                and sentences -- especially of the "meaningless social interaction"
                type -- from medieval Welsh literature and adapted them into a
                "tourist phrasebook" type of presentation. While one can't be certain
                that the material reflects actual conversational language of the day,
                I _do_ focus on material that is presented in the original sources as
                dialogue -- i.e., what characters in the stories are saying to each
                other in quoted speech -- so it's probably as close as we can come

                Now, you get as late as the 16th century and we actually have a
                "tourist phrasebook" for English speakers traveling in Wales --
                although it was created as a bit of social satire and shouldn't be
                taken at face value.

                I've also been working on analyzing the evidence from the 16-17th
                centuries on how English people perceived a Welsh "accent" (i.e., how
                Welsh-speakers of the day were perceived as pronouncing English) which
                I hope some day to turn into a useful tool. The main flaw with this
                project is that the primary evidence is taken from a theatrical
                stereotype intended for comic effect, so it has roughly the same
                balance of truth and fiction (and potential for offensiveness) as any
                comedic ethnic stereotype. (Well, "potential for offensiveness"
                within the context of making fun of people who are long dead but whose
                cultural descendants are still around.)

                But getting back to the original question, my approach is that the
                easiest way to start adding a historic and/or persona-appropriate
                flavor to one's speech is to begin with words and phrases whose
                functional content can be conveyed by context and tone: greetings,
                please/thankyou, interjections, swearing. The next level would be
                attempting to do things with pronunciation (if information on the
                topic is available), with changes in sentence structure, or with
                changes in (translated) vocabulary -- but these all within a context
                of still speaking what is essentially your own native tongue (e.g.,
                modern English).

                As you note, the problem with using historic vocabulary (even for many
                historic forms of English) is that it undermines the main purpose of
                speech: communication. And on an esthetic basis, one of the problems
                with "stage accents" is that they generally represent the effects of
                the primary language on "English as a second language", rather than
                necessarily representing the original language itself. But this is
                getting fairly deeply into nuance.

                Tangwystyl
                (who may be one of the few Scadians who _would_ understand you if you
                were speaking or writing 13th century Welsh)
              • Ruth
                I would look into greetings or other common phrases in your culture. No one may understand 13th century Welsh, but if you greet them with an uncommon word,
                Message 7 of 8 , Feb 14, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  I would look into greetings or other common phrases in your culture.
                  No one may understand 13th century Welsh, but if you greet them with
                  an uncommon word, they will likely understand it as a greeting, and
                  may ask you about it, which gives you a chance to talk about your
                  persona. Things like hello, goodbye, thank you etc. will go a long
                  ways in setting the tone.
                  Rose Atherton
                  Adiantum
                  An Tir

                  --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Andrea Hughett <aindreva@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Does anyone have suggestions for giving a hint of authentic flavor
                  to one's speech if one is NOT 15th/16th century English? Even if I
                  were fluent in 13th century Welsh, no one (almost no one?) would
                  understand me.
                  >
                  > Andrea
                  > kitscaa Gwervyl verch Hywel Gwyddwyllt
                  >
                • JL Badgley
                  ... To add a modern example of how this can be done, take a look at Hercule Poirot. The Agatha Christie s detective throws in occasional French interjections,
                  Message 8 of 8 , Feb 14, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    On Sun, Feb 15, 2009 at 12:42 AM, Brad Moore <mamluk@...> wrote:
                    > Andrea,
                    >
                    > I think its interesting when one chooses to interject words or exclamations
                    > from the language of one's persona into their speech. I have heard the use
                    > of alternate titles which are culturally specific, or of phrases (Mon Dieu!,
                    > etc.) which set you apart culturally, but don't prevent your ability to
                    > communicate clearly. I know nothing of Welsh, but I'm sure there are sources
                    > available that could lead you in the right direction.

                    To add a modern example of how this can be done, take a look at
                    Hercule Poirot. The Agatha Christie's detective throws in occasional
                    French interjections, or even entire sentences, but generally speaks
                    English. I try to do a similar thing with Japanese, and it is
                    probably how my 16th century English turns out when I try it.


                    -Ii/E.
                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.