Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Should names be canon?

As I have been ranting about in previous posts, one of the many problems with Khalani is the incoherence of the corpus. Take into account some of the words and the names of the various Protoss. For example, in-game we have words such as zerashk or naradakh, but then we have the names Artanis, Selendis and Aldaris, the three of which we can make an elvish etymology and we would get meaning (in fact Artanis is the "inner name" of Galadriel from the Lord of the Rings). However we do have names such as Raszagal and Ulrezaj which clearly don't configurate to the more Quenya-like naming conventions of the Khalai Protoss. The big problem here is to try and  harmonize these names with Khalani words, since names such as Artanis, Selendis and Aldaris would require a very Quenya-like language to develop.

I have assumed the idea that Khalani is not "elvish" in any discernible way, why should it be? But to try and adjust the language to the names seems to be a most difficult task. Should the names be made of actual Khalani words? Should they be the remnants of yet another kind of language? Should they be a mixture? Should they be obscure and unfathomable? All this questions spring to mind, but one has to decide to favor one over the others. The language as I envision it is still pretty young and has only a few words, some elements of names could very much be made to fit Khalani patterns, others... well... couldn't if we are to have one straight and coherent language.

So I've decided to go in an unorthodox way. Some names will clearly be composed of Khalani words, some others will have obscure derivations maybe stemming from lost dialects or lost forms, and some may even have some deformation or uncommon sound evolution (this may happen where not available consonant clusters occur). For the time being I will leave the matter here to give more thought on names and their creation. My wish is to create a list of new Khalani names, their meanings and be able to create new names or translate Earth names into Khalani. In future posts we may well see a list of Khalani names ready to be used by players, created in the same fashion of characters we already know, and wouldn't that be sweet? Translating common names into Khalani is certainly another very enticing possibility.

So I leave the question for the comments; should names be completely canonical? Would it be a good idea to create new Khalani names or translate Earth names into Khalani? Your opinions on the comments!

Alysum ankh gulidas!