zompist

zompist

  • Commented on Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera
    Ergative is not the same as accusative. Very briefly, consider: (A) The boys broke (B) the window. (C) The window broke. In a nominative-accusative language (like Russian), A and C are in the same case, B is in another. (English...
  • Commented on Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera
    On languages, I hope it's OK to plug my own site and book, the Language Construction Kit. E.g it will explain the six basic words orders (all are attested on Earth though three of them are rare). The intersection of...
  • Commented on Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera
    Also, a few more I don't think are on there: * The armed forces the same ranks, mores, and structures as the ancient US Navy * All political terms, by law, derive from ancient Rome (emperor, senate, consul, republic, ...)...
  • Commented on Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera
    Planets rotate east-to-west Maybe the trope should be "There is a universal Aristotelian set of directions. And a universal calendar valid for everyone, even those traveling at FTL." Thing is, without that universal frame of reference, how do you determine...
  • Commented on A world-building puzzler
    Why would a world without writing produce paper, for instance? Paper was originally used in China as a packing material. Then for clothing, wrappers, walls, windows, kites, toilet paper, even armor....
  • Commented on A world-building puzzler
    Someone at Metafilter mentioned Panini, who wrote a huge and highly sophisticated grammar of Sanskrit centuries before Indian writing developed. So a scholarly work can definitely be created and memorized. The obvious non-writing civilization is the Incas... only it's not...
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