Tien

Warbreaker Languages?

26 posts in this topic

After reading Warbreaker and discussing it with my friend, i decided that language seemed to be more important than Brandon makes it. or rather, Brandon purposely withholds emphasis on the importance of language. one time when language is mentioned is when Vasher is indirectly explaining how to awaken things, and explains how the Commands must be in the Awakeners' native tongue. I feel like this may be more important that most readers assume.

Another interesting thing about language is the briefly mentioned "Hallandren artisan’s script", the language written in colors. I think that this is a brilliant application of the powers of Heightenings. however i noticed there is another way to create a language that can only be learned after an individual reaches a certain Heightening: a Musical language.

I am sure that Brandon has already thought of this (since he is awesome that way) but i decided to see if i could come up with a language like this of my own. Effectively i assigned the most common letters of the English alphabet to the easiest to hit notes on a piano and moved out from there so that the least used letters would be the hardest to hit notes. basically each sound or note has a specific letter. so a song could have a poem or a message hidden inside the notes, and only individuals who have reached the second heightening or above could understand what was being said.

Another aspect of the perfect pitch recognition that i feel may have been unintentionally overlooked is its possible use in interrogating. For instance if someone with perfect pitch was interrogating someone and the individual being interrogated lied, the interrogator would be able to detect tiny fluctuations in the speech that may signal the telling of a lie. (also all credit of this theory goes to Finallity)

I feel like Brandon will one day announce that he has secretly finished a Warbreaker sequel and some of these ideas will be in there, but until that happens i will continue to wonder and theorize.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The interesting thing about this idea is that there is also historical precident for this system. Bach was known to insert his name into a few of his pieces (B flat, A , C , B under the german note naming scheme is B A C H) for instance.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That music language sounds cool! You'r right, Brandon might decide to use something like it at some point. My only trouble is that the greatest "market" for that language would be the Court of Gods, since it is a group of people who all have the music. But then again, it doesn't take too much talent to tell the difference between a "C" and a "G". So we may see that language on some world.

As for the "awaken in own language" I think that is important because the language of the Awakener is the language that his mind works in. It is the Cognitive aspect of that magic system (while Color is Physical, and Breath is Spiritual), that seems to not work when your mind translates it into another language.

For example if I tried to Awaken something in Spanish, it would start out as English, I would translate it in my head to Spanish, and then I would say it in Spanish. But since the command (in my head) was originally English, it's like trying to fit a round circle in a square hole. I know, I know, after you spend a long time learning a language you can speak (and think) in Spanish without thinking. But your brain is still hardwired in English- and that's why you can only Awaken in English.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's not exactly correct. All languages have words that don't have exact translations in others. I'm certain "defenestrate things" command couldn't be given by a very large % of humans if we had Breath (it's probably not a valid command, but an awesome trap could be set with a curtain using that). And when you're fluent in other lingos, those words start to slip into your thoughts. And when your fluency goes further than that, you sometimes start thinking in the other language without noticing. Therefore, those wires aren't as hard as you think.

On one hand, Sanderson may not be aware of such an occurance.

On the other hand, it could be an occupational disease for me. Or that my wires are soft.

On the other other hand... There's no more hands.

...

EDIT: Thinking on that, there has to be some commands that people can't use because of their nativity, thanks to huge differences in sentence structures and word meanings between lingos. And there's bound to be some commands that become unusable when translated, which would put a real damper on international research.

Also new words appear and old meanings shift all the time, especially over centuries. Illustrative example of that.

How would these affect Awakening? That's two barrels of worms there.

Edited by Chicken
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On one hand, Sanderson may not be aware of such an occurance

What blasphemy speaketh you?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That music language sounds cool! You'r right, Brandon might decide to use something like it at some point. My only trouble is that the greatest "market" for that language would be the Court of Gods, since it is a group of people who all have the music. But then again, it doesn't take too much talent to tell the difference between a "C" and a "G". So we may see that language on some world.

It's easy to tell the difference between two notes. However, identifying one note in isolation requires perfect pitch, which most people don't have.

A musical language might still be feasible, but I don't think it would be as easy as just assigning letters to notes. (Also ignoring the fact that such a language would be hell to listen to. It would be full of minor 7ths, and tritones, and other odd intervals).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if a child was brought up for a year or so with one language, got the basics of it and all that and then due to some circumstances ends up in a different place learning a new language and speaking that for the next 40 years before becoming and awakener?

would they have to relearn that original language they have never used again? and if not whats the cutoff point for it to be their native language?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a good question. I bet that they would have to do it in their "new" native language. For example, if a born Japanese speaker moved to America, and due to lack of use, lost the ability to use Japanese, I bet that they would awaken in English.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a good question. I bet that they would have to do it in their "new" native language. For example, if a born Japanese speaker moved to America, and due to lack of use, lost the ability to use Japanese, I bet that they would awaken in English.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the native language thing is an in-world statement. I might have missed it but I can't find anywhere Brandon mentions it outside of the books. So it is entirely possible that they just have not tried it on someone who is fully bilingual. This is probably a Cognitive-Physical interaction that is required for the Command to work. The tones have to match the mental command type thing. As was mentioned before a person who is fully bilingual thinks in the second language as well as speaks it.

For example I lived in Chile for 2 years and rarely if ever spoke English while there. When I returned to the States I had a 1-2 week period where I was thinking in Spanish and translating to English to speak. I would say that during that time I would have had to awaken in Spanish not English. The concentration required to speak in English was almost as bad as when trying to speak in Spanish while I was learning it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As with many of Brandon's magic systems, Awakening is most likely more like a reflex than anything else, so when arrows are flying toward the enhightened individual, they most likely aren't thinking about what language they should awaken in, in fact they may not even know what language they are speaking. after the action someone might point out to the awakened that they were speaking the Warbreaker equivalent of Spanish with out even knowing it.

So basically, the language that you are most familiar with is the one used to awaken.

Perhaps.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aye, it's just native and most familiar with don't mean exactly the same thing! Altho that's pretty much how I figured it would be too

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But there is a difference between your native language and languages you learn later, the way the brain learns and understands them is different and even when you forget that language there are problems in Australia with Lebanese immigrants who had grown up speaking Lebanese at home learnt English in primary school and forgotten Lebanese and they really struggle to learn languages in High School, I'm sure the problem is represented in other nationalities as well, thats just the one I know because my Mum taught in a school that had a lot of Lebanese immigrants. For whatever reason there is a difference in the languages perhaps if someone was brought up bilingual they would be able to awaken in either language because both would have that connection.

I'm not really sure if I actually had anything to say any more, so this was just an information dump now.

EDIT: grammer and spelling

Edited by dj26792
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But there is a difference between your native language and languages you learn later, the way the brain learns and understands them is different and even when you forget that language there are problems in Australia with Lebanese immigrants who had grown up speaking Lebanese at home learnt English in primary school and forgotten Lebanese and they really struggle to learn languages in High School, I'm sure the problem is represented in other nationalities as well, thats just the one I know because my Mum taught in a school that had a lot of Lebanese immigrants. For whatever reason there is a difference in the languages perhaps if someone was brought up bilingual they would be able to awaken in either language because both would have that connection.

I'm not really sure if I actually had anything to say any more, so this was just an information dump now.

EDIT: grammer and spelling

I've heard many claims that this is true. There is certainly strong evidence that humans have a hard-wired "language acquisition module" which only works efficiently in childhood. Languages obtained as an adult are apparently stored differently. Thus the term "Native Language" actually means something quite specific to most people, regardless of what languages they have learned later in life. The only exceptions would be those without language (which often have a hard time obtaining any language) and those with multiple languages, or the truly bilingual.

Since I seriously doubt that "alingual" folk could learn to Awaken at all, the interesting case is the truly bilingual one. If the cognitive aspect really is the "magic filter," I consider it entirely likely that in Warbreaker, a character who was truly bilingual could use any of their native languages to Awaken.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that "alingual" people could awaken, but they couldn't necessarily be taught to awaken. But if you pumped them full of enough Breaths, they could awaken instinctively, probably creating their own pseudo-language that they can use to define their Commands.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that "alingual" people could awaken, but they couldn't necessarily be taught to awaken. But if you pumped them full of enough Breaths, they could awaken instinctively, probably creating their own pseudo-language that they can use to define their Commands.

Well, with enough breath, you could probably do just about anything. (In fact, Endowment and his/her power is probably the end limit of having infinite breath). To a certain extent, though, language doesn't just express thoughts---it shapes them. This is far from absolute, but having no language at all might make it harder to think about what you want things to do so that you could awaken only at a ridiculous extreme, like the seventh heightening.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That music language sounds cool! You'r right, Brandon might decide to use something like it at some point. My only trouble is that the greatest "market" for that language would be the Court of Gods, since it is a group of people who all have the music. But then again, it doesn't take too much talent to tell the difference between a "C" and a "G". So we may see that language on some world.

As for the "awaken in own language" I think that is important because the language of the Awakener is the language that his mind works in. It is the Cognitive aspect of that magic system (while Color is Physical, and Breath is Spiritual), that seems to not work when your mind translates it into another language.

For example if I tried to Awaken something in Spanish, it would start out as English, I would translate it in my head to Spanish, and then I would say it in Spanish. But since the command (in my head) was originally English, it's like trying to fit a round circle in a square hole. I know, I know, after you spend a long time learning a language you can speak (and think) in Spanish without thinking. But your brain is still hardwired in English- and that's why you can only Awaken in English.

I agree with this. The physical patterns of sounds don't matter, what matters is the Intent. (i.e. If you think in English, you will mentally Command in English, and the mental and verbal commands have to match). This is supported by the fact that it is possible to Awaken with no spoken command at all.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with this. The physical patterns of sounds don't matter, what matters is the Intent. (i.e. If you think in English, you will mentally Command in English, and the mental and verbal commands have to match). This is supported by the fact that it is possible to Awaken with no spoken command at all.

Good point.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with this. The physical patterns of sounds don't matter, what matters is the Intent. (i.e. If you think in English, you will mentally Command in English, and the mental and verbal commands have to match). This is supported by the fact that it is possible to Awaken with no spoken command at all.

Since no physical command at all is needed in cases of large amounts of breath (with practice), why should we believe that the physical and mental commands have to match up at all? I still like my idea that hearing what you are thinking stabilizes the cognitive aspect enough for it to work.

Edited by happyman
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im with happyman here, but I think thats what reader is trying to say, if you can't awaken mentally you need to reinforce the thought process by saying the mental command aloud, and using different languages would intefere with that reinforcement, basically whats already been said, as he said.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im with happyman here, but I think thats what reader is trying to say, if you can't awaken mentally you need to reinforce the thought process by saying the mental command aloud, and using different languages would intefere with that reinforcement, basically whats already been said, as he said.

This is true, and I guess we are in agreement on this one. Having to translate a command in the middle of saying it would distract your mind from the command itself and force you to focus on the translation instead. This would almost certainly disrupt any Cognitive shape you are forming enough for the command to not work.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And should we say that mumbling and slurring your words would also disrupt any Cognitive Shape you're forming?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it would, they are both signs of a lack of focus or concentration. Unless you aren't physically capable of speaking clearly when you arent you're rarely focused on what you're saying.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And should we say that mumbling and slurring your words would also disrupt any Cognitive Shape you're forming?

If I'm correct that it's the say/hear feedback loop which does part of the trick of establishing the Cognitive filter, then slurring or mumbling (even by accident) will not provide the correct feedback and thus weaken the Cognitive shape. Apparently, having the wrong shape ends up with the command doing nothing or doing the wrong thing, much like getting an Aon wrong does nothing/the wrong thing, with "nothing" being far more likely.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of Language, did anyone else notice that when Siri was teaching the God King how to read, the first letter/symbol she mentions by name is Shash, which is the same name of the rune put on Kaladin in WoK to denote him as a dangerous slave.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of Language, did anyone else notice that when Siri was teaching the God King how to read, the first letter/symbol she mentions by name is Shash, which is the same name of the rune put on Kaladin in WoK to denote him as a dangerous slave.

I have a theory I'm developing about this... Alethi and the Steel Alphabet are very similar, and letters seem to be called the same, but have different symbols to represent them...

Still working on it, I'll post it when I'm done/have more evidence/decide It's good enough/want to.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.