Posted by & filed under Podcast.

We have no Will today, but we do have Adam Skoog from Sweden.  After a good discussion about personal names where I continually refer to Chinese naming conventions, we talk with Adam about his wonderful language Kozea and the kooky videos he has created with it.

Classical Tailancan by Dewrad

Links and Resources

Featured Conlang: Kozea

  • Kozea Daily Videos: 1 2 3 4
Ling (email)

The links are in Chinese, but they offer some scripts (number listed) not covered by English Wikipedia:

Taoist Scripts

Chinese Scripts

Chinese Wikipedia:

13 Responses to “Conlangery #12: Personal Names”

  1. Adam Heurlin

    On the topic of Japanese, I feel a strong urge to quote from section 16, Japanese Writing, of The World’s Writing Systems (and I realise this should probably go on the Scripts and Writing episode):

    Throughout this century, no writing system has been written about so pejoratively as Japanese (e.g. Sansom 1928: 44; Miller 1967: 91–140; Coulmas 1989: 122–23, 133). Two apparent reasons are: (a) the multiscriptal nature of Japanese, seen as unnecessary by many analysts since the kana syllabaries can encode in writing anything that can be said in Japanese; and (b) the complexities of kanji use, involving multiple potential readings for each character, choice among which is dependent on the lexical—or sometimes even the larger textual—environment. The Japanese writing system, however, is associated with a highly literate and successful society, with a rich written tradition which makes full use of its multi-scriptal potentialities for the creation of nuanced, graphically vital texts. The high degree of literacy of Japan and the high consumption of published material suggest that the writing system is fully functional.

    Food for thought, perhaps!

    Enjoyable episode in any case. 🙂

  2. Anthony Docimo

    As to the Generational Names…I was watching the documentary _Faces of America_, and I think it was Yo-Yo Ma who found out that the name his parents gave him (in France) complied with the Generational Names book for his branch of the Ma family.

    Also, a question for Bianca: what if two of your conlang’s speakers haven’t seen each other since they were kids, but they’re now almost 40? Is there a “hey…um, you, old buddy” equivilent, or would they have to give their friend’s entire name, minus the personal name (as they don’t want to call an old friend “child”)

    thank you for the great podcasts, both this and all the preceeding ones.

    • Ossicone

      They wouldn’t have to give they’re whole name. Presumably if they’ve known each other than they already know the family bits (Clan/Region name, Mother’s name, Father’s name) and would just need to be updated on their new ‘taken’ name.

      What would most likely happen is they’d greet each other with the ‘given’ name (possibly with the augmentative suffix) and then ask for the new ‘taken’ name.

      The reason it is childish to use a given name is because Inyauk get their taken names as part of a right of passage into adulthood. So, a consistent use of the given name would be like denying their adulthood.

  3. Ling

    Taiwanese will also choose a random English word or Chinese nickname for people in the entertainment industry or casual use. Could be wrong, but my impression is that Indonesians and other SEA also use English words for nicknames.

    • admin

      Yeah, I do believe it’s quite common in much of East and Southeast Asia, though curiously Japanese don’t seem to do it so much.

  4. Ian

    My Korean room-mate and a large amount of Korean kids in my school had English names, such as “Sam” “Philip” and such. So you would end up instead of like Hyung-Ho Kim you would have Philip Kim…

  5. rejistania

    I have to admit that I thought that the pro-communist names in Chinese were interesting. Rejistanian does have a name which is referring to the motto of the rejistanian republic. I always thought that Xkeliko is a bit unrealistic, but it is such a nice name that I kept it.

  6. AlucardNoir

    I am crying, because I’m developing a language and my people have a parent given name, the mothers name, the fathers name, the place were they were born, the place were they reside and eventually the name of there profession(like private, general, professor etc.) and a chose name put before all that list, I am Hating you right now Bianca.

  7. Anthony Miles

    In light of Bianca’s comments, I can attest to the difficulty of sharing names. My dad has the same first name and health provider (but I am not Icelandic so I am not Anthony Anthonyson). I had to order a new card because the health provider had conflated my data with that of my dad.

    • admin

      My father and grandfather have* the same name (Hobert Henry Corley). Many record-keeping problems have occurred due to that. Of course, others have occurred due to Hobert being an unusual name.

      *had? There is a curious dilemma here, as my grandfather is deceased, but my father is not.

  8. pá mamūnám ontā́ bán

    In Britain middle names are not unusual at all, people in my family as far back as I know (to great-grandparents) have had middle names, strangely my mum doesn’t.

    In my conculture names have four parts: two given names and a “family” name made up of a patronymic and a matronymic. The old royal and noble families used to have a “house” name and in every day life people are referred to by friend with only their first given name.

    And it is /lɒkətɪv/.

  9. Dustfinger Batailleur

    This comment is quite late, but Sumerian often had personal names that were whole noun phrases or even sentences. For example, the King en-me-te-na is literally “his own lord”. Another example is a farmer called inim-en-líl-lá-an-dab5 (he obeys Enlil’s command). I feel that such name formation could be interesting for conlangers.


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