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Names in Knódtser
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How they're assembled and what they mean
This public article was written by Northwest, and last updated on 21 Nov 2017, 08:40.

[comments] Menu 1. Birth 2. Adulthood 3. Surnames 4. Honorifics 5. Example
?FYI...
This article is a work in progress! Check back later in case any changes have occurred.

[top]Birth

At birth, Úlhetólet children are assigned the terrene gender. This is because they lack the qualities necessary to identify them as aerial or aqueous, for they do not yet have any specific role in society. Thus, names for children always end with t, because this is the ending for singular terrene words in Knódtser.

Often, names are simply words that are perceived as attractive by the culture. Some examples of these can be found in the table below.

NameMeaningIPA
Hinút"dream"[hɪ'n̪ut̪]
Keút"blossom"[kɛ͡ut̪]
Klioduheta specific species of tree[k͡lɪ͡o.d̪ɘ'hɛt̪]
LúunetLúuned means "pond"[lu͡ɘ'n̪ɛt̪]
Shulet"poem"[ʃɘ'lɛt̪]

Other times, names have no specific meaning, but may be associated instead with an ancestor, mythological hero, or historical figure.

NameIPA
Kolet[ko'lɛt̪]
Chelet[t͡ʃɛ'lɛt̪]
Deltset[d̪ɛl't͡sɛt̪]
Nelutn̪ɛlɘt̪
Shúurnitʃu͡ɘɹ'n̪ɪt̪

Whatever type of name is chosen, the given name is assigned at birth along with the surname the child inherits from their parents. This name is kept until the child's fifteenth birthday.

[top]Adulthood

At a child's Gendering Ceremony on their fifteenth birthday, the child declares first their gender, and then their new name. The name will almost always retain its root, while name endings are almost always changed. If a child declares that they belong to the aqueous or aerial gender, the t ending is no longer appropriate, so it must be changed. The tables below shows the name-endings that new adults may take on, along with their meanings. In this example, we will say that the child was assigned the name "Lúunet" at birth.

First, here are the possible adult names for someone of the aerial gender:

EndingNameIPASignificance
-rLúuner[lu͡ɘ'n̪ɛɹ]This is the most basic aerial name ending.
-sLúunes[lu͡ɘ'n̪ɛs]This ending comes from the plural marker for aerial nouns. It amplifies the aerial quality of the name, conveying a sense of strength.
-oLúuno[lu͡ɘ'n̪o]Like all vowel name-endings, this ending carries a sense of beauty, attractiveness, and grace.

These endings can also be combined to create names such as Lúunos or Lúunor.

Next, the adult names for an aqueous person:

EndingNameIPASignificance
-dLúuned[lu͡ɘ'n̪ɛd̪]This is the most basic aqueous name ending. For this name specifically, this ending makes the name mean literally "pond". This considered a very good name and is quite popular among members of the aqueous gender.
-nLúunen[lu͡ɘ'n̪ɛn̪]This ending comes from the plural marker for aqueous nouns. It amplifies the aqueous quality of the name, conveying a sense of intelligence. While this ending is not uncommon, this specific name is not often chosen.
-úaLúunúa[lu͡ɘ'n̪u͡ɘ]Like all vowel name-endings, this ending carries a sense of beauty, attractiveness, and grace. This ending can be spelled with the anglicized -úa ending shown here, or with the more proper Knódtser form, -úu. In this language's script, there is no distinction.
-aLúunalu͡ɘ'n̪ɘThis ending evokes the idea of youthfulness and joy. It can be spelled with the anglicized -a ending shown here, or with the more proper Knódtser form, -u. Again, in this language's script, there is no distinction.

Though it is technically allowed to combine these endings into forms such as Lúunúan or Lúunúad, it is quite uncommon, and the latter form specifically is almost never used.

Finally, the adult name endings for someone of the terrene gender:

EndingNameIPASignificance
-tLúunet[lu͡ɘ'n̪ɛt̪]Terrene individuals can choose to keep their childhood name if they wish.
-bLúuneb[lu͡ɘ'n̪ɛb]This ending comes from the plural marker for terrene nouns. It amplifies the terrene quality of the name, conveying a sense of capability and power.
-eúLúuneú[lu͡ɘ'n̪ɛ͡u]Like all vowel name-endings, this ending carries a sense of beauty, attractiveness, and grace.

These endings are almost never combined to create other forms.

[top]Surnames

Surnames always begin with the word duh, "of/from", and have two distinct parts. The first is the name of the land the child will be raised on. On small islands, this may simply be the name of the island, whereas on larger ones, the family's land is given a name according to its notable characteristics. For example, a piece of land forested with Klioduhet trees might be called "Kelet-Klioduhet" (literally forest-Klioduhet), or a piece of land where a wildcat lives may be called "Tet-duh-lelet" (literally home-of-cat). These may be compressed over time to "Kelioduhet" and "Tedulelet"

The second part of the surname comes from the child's parents. In this culture, when a couple marries, they do not join one family or the other; they are expected to move away and begin a "new" family. As such, the child does not take on one of their surnames, but both. The surnames that are taken are the parents' first surnames, and these are then put together with a hyphen in an arbitrary order chosen by the parents. The order carries no significance and is typically chosen according to what sounds best to the parents.

What follows is a brief example of how this would work:

Noret and Keles are two young Ulhetóleb who fall in love. Noret's family's land was called Kelioduhet, and Keles was raised on Tedulelet. They get married and move to a different island. The young couple settles on a piece of land they they decide to name "Per-chuh-keúb", year-of-blossoms, for the long-lasting flowers they find there. Noret and Keles go about their lives, making a home for themselves and working. Grudually, they come to call their home "Perchukeúb". Eventually, they have a child, and they name the child Shulet duh Perchukeúb Kelioduhet-Tedulelet. At age 15, Shulet declares that she belongs to the aqueous gender and takes on her chosen name, Shulúa. Her final adult name, which she will carry for the rest of her life, is Shulúa duh Perchukeúb Kelioduhet-Tedulelet. When she eventually marries in turn and moves away, the name she will contribute to her child's second surname is Perchukeúb.

[top]Honorifics

In Knódtser, honorifics come before an individual's first name, as they do in English. In this language, however, they are connected to the given name with hyphens. Honorifics can be used to politely mark age/marital status, divine favor, earthly favor, governmental rank, and level of education. Usually only one is used at a time (names in this language are long enough without stacking titles on to them as well) according to the situation an individual is in. For example, a child may use the marital status honorific for their friend's parent when they come over to visit, even if that parent could also use an honorific denoting their position in the government. In formal situations, however, when an individual's full name must be given for official purposes, this is the order that the honorifics would be given in:

divine favor > earthly favor > governmental rank > level of education > age/marital status

The table below outlines all of the possible honorifics and explains their significance.

CategoryHonorificAbbreviationIPAEnglish EquivalentSignificance
Divine FavorDochtsetDts-[d̪ot͡ʃ't͡sɛt̪]n/aThis honorific is used to denote someone who has been favored by the deity Tsihet. If an individual has some sort of encounter with the god, they may go to their local temple and have the honorific bestowed there after a ritual to confirm the deity's favor. In legend, this step was not always necessary, as the deity would reveal themself and announce their favor for all to witness.
Divine FavorDochknedDkn-[d̪ot͡ʃ'k͡nɛd̪]n/aThis one is for those favored by the goddess Knured.
Divine FavorDochperDp-[d̪ot͡ʃ'pɛɹ]n/aThis one is for those favored by the god Pededúr. If an individual finds themself favored by more than one god, the honorifics would be listed in chronological order.
Earthly FavorNetsitNts-[n̪ɛ't͡sɪt̪]Hero, the GreatThis honorific can be bestowed by the government to recognize acts of heroism, selflessness, or general accomplishments.
Governmental RankÚltetutÚt-[ul't̪ɛt̪.ɘt̪]CouncillorThis honorific marks a council member.
Government RankÚlfiotetutÚf-[ul'fɪ͡ot̪.ɛt̪.ɘt̪]Speaker, Council LeaderThis honorific marks a council speaker or other position where the person in question is the single highest ranking person in their government body.
Level of EducationÚlsrúuklut, or ÚlsrúutÚsr-[ul's͡ɹu͡ɘ.k͡lɘt̪] or [ul's͡ɹu͡ɘt̪]GraduateThis honorific is for someone who graduated from their secondary education (typically at age 20).
Level of EducationFutklutFk-[fɘt̪'k͡lɘt̪]Scholar, DoctorThis one is for someone who continued their education after secondary and received recognition for their work by their place of learning. This honorific is followed by chuh and then their area of study.
Level of EducationÚlchiotÚch-[ul't͡ʃɪ͡ot̪]Expert, MasterThis honorific denotes an individual who is considered to be an expert in their field, someone who has not only studied in an area but contributed to it. It is followed by chuh and then the person's area of expertise.
Age/Marital StatusKefutKt-[kɛ'fɘt̪]MasterThis one is for all children under the age of fifteen.
Age/Marital StatusLufurLr-[lɘ'fɘɹ]Mr.This honorific denotes an unmarried aerial person over the age of 15.
Age/Marital StatusLufudLd-[lɘ'fɘd̪]MissThis one is for an unmarried aqueous adult.
Age/Marital StatusLufutLt-[lɘ'fɘt̪]n/aThis one denotes an unmarried terrene adult.
Age/Marital StatusNufurNr-[n̪ɘ'fɘɹ]Mr.This honorific is for a married aerial individual.
Age/Marital StatusNufudNd-[n̪ɘ'fɘd̪]Mrs.This one is for a married aqueous individual.
Age/Marital StatusNufutNt-[n̪ɘ'fɘt̪]n/aThis one is for a married terrene individual.


[top]Example

With all this information, we can put together a full example of a name in Knódtser and show how it changes for an individual over time.

Our subject's parents were raised in Durlet and Lúunednúut. They settled down in Túkurót. They named their child Kelet. At this point in their life, the child's full name is Kefut-Kelet duh Túkurót Lúunednúut-Durlet.

On his fifteenth birthday, the child claims the aqueous gender and changes his first name to Keles. He begins secondary school and graduates at age 20. Now, his full name is Úlsrúuftúot-Lufur-Keles duh Túkurót Lúunednúut-Durlet.

Keles eventually meets someone he grows to love, and the pair is married. A few years later, they adopt a child. In a freak accident, the child's school catches on fire after being struck by lightning, but Keles comes to the rescue and manages to save the children and teachers by running inside the burning building and leading them each out to safety. For his bravery, Keles is awarded earthly favor by the government. His final name now, the one he will carry to his death, is Netsit-Úlsrúuftúot-Nufur-Keles duh Túkurót Lúunednúut-Durlet. If someone were to write his full name out, they would abbreviate the honorifics, like so: Nts-Úsr-Nr-Keles duh Túkurót Lúunednúut-Durlet. Of course, people mostly just call him Keles, beacuse son-of-a-gun, that is one long name.
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