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Re: [Authentic_SCA] "Speaking foresoothly" at SCA events - another good reference book

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  • 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 1 of 8 , Feb 14, 2009
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      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]
    • 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 2 of 8 , Feb 14, 2009
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        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 3 of 8 , Feb 14, 2009
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          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 4 of 8 , Feb 14, 2009
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            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.
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