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For the TV adaptation, they recruited the linguist Nick Farmer to consult and develop the creole further (see the Ars Technica post linked above), and he put his linguistic skills to work imagining what curses and insults people would use in space and how body language would look. You can choose to use a different dialect or a particular type of slang to show that you belong to a particular group (this is often called code-switching), either out of solidarity with your interlocutor or to reject your interlocutor’s familiarity and emphasize your difference. There is also one or more substrates, the minority language which has an effect on the superstrate. What I learned about creoles in Contact Ling was that they are the result of a pidgin developing a full grammar and being acquired and spoken as a native language. 0:49. Belters like Naomi can make use of their bilingualism and code switch to show solidarity, which Naomi is also shown to do in the TV adaptation (season 2, episode 6, around 35 minutes in). The Belters consider Earth and Mars to be equally bad and refer to them as the Inners. Any time plot-critical information is given, it’s in English. The you-form of verbs would be pretty frequently used in this kind of situation, and it’s plausible that this would be the most salient, noticeable form for learners, which they then would pick up and use as the only verb form. Farmer says he … Inflection is the changing of a word form to mark person, number, gender, case, etc. The Expanse: Why Marco & Other Belters Hate Earth & Mars Lang belta shows some features of creoles, and, given what I’ve read about the size of the worldbuilding bible for this novel series, it’s likely they did the research (A+). This page deals with the grammar of Belter Creole, also known as lang Belta. I know there is a site that teaches Belter but I don't need to know the entire language I just sort of need their top 10 most used words to get me through the Free Navy chapters. Plurality is determined in other ways: the presence of quantifiers, numerals, or simply inferred from context. It’s quite a percussive and catchy language, and on set many of us began tossing around Belter words and phrases in our daily speak. The Feature Pool isn’t the first hypothesis to make use of generativist ideas. Sociolinguistically, lang belta functions as a typical language in a diglossic situation. I am a woman. The man says, “Inners kibble you, bitch. For the language from the TV show, see Belter Creole. Ars talks with the creator of "The Expanse" Belter Creole language. In relation to plantation creoles, for example, the Feature Pool Hypothesis suggests that, as multiple waves of slaves were brought to the Americas, they learned a non-native version of the languages, which approaches equilibrium over time. A pidgin doesn’t have grammar per se, but it has very basic syntax. da Mila for "Miller". We’ve already discussed an example of a technique around the midpoint of the spectrum in Cherryh’s Hunter of Worlds, so now I’d like to explore something on the more elaborate end: Belter creole in The Expanse. For example, the -lowda suffix is used to form plural pronouns (see below). Multiples of 10 or 100 are formed by appending teng or xanya to the combining form of the multiplier, with the stress remaining on the multiplier: Numbers with values in both the ones and tens place are composed in little-endian order, joined by un: If there is a hundreds place, it comes before the ones-and-tens place terms:[7], When used attributively, numbers come before the noun they count, as in English.[8]. If they’re holding a separatist rally to protest Earther rule, Belter is the order of the day. Earth and Mars have their own insults for each other and the Belters, but they speak similar standard languages, with some lexical variation akin to U.S. vs. British English. There’s also a whole lot of English/ lang belta codeshifting on the fly. The Expanse Wiki is a FANDOM TV Community. Tolkien! 4. Over time this developed into a full-fledged creole language, lang Belta, which became the lingua franca, a common ton… This will first require a discussion of what creole languages are, as well as their key characteristics. Active 2 years, 4 months ago. 1 Words and expressions 2 … There is no break in transmission of the source languages. "Beratna" (brother) and "copeng" (friend) may also make a splash. This is a (possibly incomplete) chart of pronouns, pro-adverbs and determiners, arranged in a convenient table-of-correlatives format. Generally, nouns are not inflected for number; a singular noun has the same form as a plural one. In everyday chit-chat, they’ll probably switch back and forth without thinking about it. Ars Technica. Rather than inflections, it primarily uses separate words to build grammatical constructions, such as prepositions and auxiliary verbs, and the meaning of a sentence depends strongly on word order. Vasta used to host a 2015 blurb from the dialect coach, Eric Armstrong, where he talked about The Expanse gig, including some of the phonology that he was given from Nick Farmer, and how he adapted it for the Belter accent (s) for the series. Think of how a Belter would say “Jo-burg” as in Johannesburg. The FPH advocates only study one or two creoles, when there are in reality hundreds of them, and claim that CEH advocates aren’t scientific because they aren’t using generativist theories. While getting interrogated on the martian ship "Donnager" (Season 1, Episode 3 "Remember the Cant"), Naomi shows this sign: These are not specifically tied to creoles; these are factors that we all use every day when we speak, write, listen, and read. The two most well-known of these are Media Lengua, which combines a Spanish lexicon with Quechua phonology, morphology, and syntax, and Michif, which combines French nouns and nominal morphology with Cree verbs and verbal morphology. For our purposes, the rest of this article assumes that the CE hypothesis is correct. That is, when a noun is marked with da, any attributive nouns or adjectives applied to that no… It was a pretty cool idea at the time and would have done a lot to support the UG hypothesis, but, unfortunately, evidence contradicted this premise, as studies were published that showed that children who created creoles (in this case, Hawaiian Creole English) did not have insufficient input, because they spoke English at school and their parents’ languages at home (McWhorter 2). Since I don’t speak any Romance languages, I’ll turn to English and German to invent examples. For a real-world, US-based example, we have Standard American English (what you learn in school) and African-American Vernacular English (which has its own separate rules). Both of the inner planets use the Belt as a source of resources, in an extractive economy. These languages blend together, so you get things like “sabez nichts” (know/s nothing), “bist bien” (am/are good), and “kept top bunk á dir” (for you). me if I misstate something. I am a woman. Ars Talks with the Creator of 'The Expanse' Belter Creole Language. These are true hybrid languages, where two languages are intertwined. The indefinite article is wa: The definite article is da: Definite articles are used before a person's name in some cases, e.g. The language in the books series is apparently little … Asked 2 years, 11 months ago.,,,,,,,, List of Belter Creole individual articles, 18 votes, 13 comments. We link particular traits to accents, dialects, and slangs (among other things), and we choose, consciously or not, our own ways of writing or speaking depending on our audience. Unlike in English, where the modifier typically precedes the word being modified, in lang Belta the head noun goes first and the one modifying it follows afterwards: Definite articles are used before a person's name in some cases, e.g. This is the linking verb ‘to be.’ If the lexifier uses a copula, the creole often lacks it, or only uses it in certain instances. Belter displays definiteness agreement, similar to that found in Greek or Hebrew. As its English name suggests, Belter Creole is a creole language. The lexifier is often, but not required to be, the superstrate, the dominant language or language of power. Thanks for A2A! European languages are the most frequent lexifiers (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese), and all of these languages use a form of ‘to be’ to link the subject with the predicate: The sky is blue. During humanity's expansion into the solar system, people from many different parts of Earth or Mars would often have to live and work together, and they developed a pidgin language so that they could communicate with one another. And so, when adapting the books into a TV show, linguist Nick Farmer and accent-coach Eric Armstrong worked together to develop the Belter language based on existing cultures. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices. This is the linking verb ‘to be.’ If the lexifier uses a copula, the creole often lacks it, or only uses it in certain instances. English isn't my first language and with the added slang of Belter it makes it frustrating to follow what they are talking about. Linguistic worldbuilding can be fairly simple—like making up and incorporating a few slang words or insults based on whatever your fictional culture finds profane—or it can be elaborate, like inventing an entire new language and writing poetry in it (hi, J.R.R. So today, in creolist circles, the Bioprogram Hypothesis is basically disproven, but it provides a theoretical heritage, of sorts, to the Feature Pool. So the children take features from the languages and construct a new grammar, which becomes a creole. The world of The Expanse is divided into three main factions: Earth, Mars, and the OPA (Outer Planets Alliance). It’s easy to notice examples of verbal simplification. The guy who made the awesome Ronaldo bust made another one. I took a class in contact linguistics, where we covered the basics of pidgins and creoles, among other things, and in preparation for this essay, I read John McWhorter’s The Creole Debate (2018). Within a creole, there is an acrolect, which is most similar to the lexifier, a basilect, which is most different from the lexifier, and a mesolect, which is in-between. Pidginization was not involved. It’s gotten better, but it has quite a ways to go. In "The Expanse" the belter language consists of words and signs. Any sentence can be turned into a yes–no question by ending it with the interrogative particle ke: The related tag question keyá also makes a sentence into a yes–no question, but one which expects agreement: Sentences containing the ke-based interrogative words kemang, kepelésh, ketim, keting, or kewe do not need the trailing ke. In a creole, ‘is’ and ‘am’ would often be omitted: the sky blue. His partner, from Earth, remarks that it’s “Belters keeping the Earther out,” but Miller corrects him: it’s poor folks keeping the educated guy out. Our Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. Nick Farmer knows dozens of languages, so he invented one for The Expanse. Verbal inflection … This means that people in-universe are aware of the language as a marker of Belter identity. This is a pretty neat idea, and it goes along well with the Chomskyan/generativist trend in formal linguistics, but, according to McWhorter, there is no evidence at all whatsoever for this hypothesis. The question remains as to whether modern tools like Google Translate or Duolingo would have an effect in this situation. Nouns can come from any of the languages in contact with each other, as can verbs, adjectives, etc, although vocabulary most often comes from the dominant language (i.e. Throughout the books, people say “bist bien,” which uses the German du-form (2nd person singular) of “to be” for all people and numbers, and “sabez nichts,” which also extends the 2nd person singular form of “to know.” Many creoles extend the infinitive form, but that doesn’t mean this one is impossible. However, it does use compounding and some suffixes for deriving new words. So, how does a creole evolve and develop from this? As The Expanse executive producer Daniel Abraham, who co-created the series under the pen name James S. A. Corey, explains, the Belters' accent was created by a professional linguist. (1988). Is Belter Creole, from The Expanse, a full conlang or is it just phrases? In a creole, ‘is’ and ‘am’ would often be omitted: the sky blue . Typologically, Belter is an analytic language. The main opposing view is that pidginization is not necessary because creoles are mixed or hybrid languages, created by speakers choosing from a “feature pool” of the source languages to build new morphology, where similar features combine in a least-common-denominator-type arrangement. Verbal inflection is minimized. I didn’t write every example of belta in my notes as I read, and the ones I took are primarily from the first two books. TheBakeMyster. So, beratna: What are your thoughts on belta? The Expanse: The Belters' Language Is Excellent - Here's Why Farmer says he has over 1,000 Belter words in his personal dictionary, and he keeps adding more as the show's producers and fans request them. Miller even remarks, “We’ve practically got our own language now.” Amos, despite being from Baltimore, has spent twenty-five years on ships and has learned to understand Belter talk, which he demonstrates when Naomi breaks out with “tu run spin, pow, Schlauch tu way acima and ido.” He translates this as “Go spinward to the tube station, which will take you back to the docks.” A more literal translation might be “you run spinward, tube your way up and gone.”. Related: The Expanse's Book Time Jump Could End The Show Early Because Belters have roots in different nations, their language needed to reflect their multiculturalism. The Expanse Wiki is a FANDOM TV Community. ), or anywhere in between. 0:07 Nick Farmer discusses that in the interview with AT: Some characters speak pure Belter, but most speak about half-English, half-Belter, adjusting their vocabulary for each situation. This idea of Belters using their language for privacy and to assert identity—people who associate most strongly with Belter independence ideals use belta more often, and often a deeper lect of it—repeats throughout the series. He is a proponent of the pidgin-creole lifecycle hypothesis, which he refers to as Creole Exceptionalism, and I think he lays out an excellent case for his argument. (This is really a spectrum, rather than a three-point line.). Viewed 3k times. “Practically all of the Atlantic English-lexicon creoles, for instance, employ a Past tense derived from been, a Future derived from go, and a Terminative Perfect expressed by done” (Winford 324). Creoles frequently omit the copula. The two most easily identifiable (to me) non-English languages involved in lang belta appear to be German and Spanish, with que/ke, pendejo, agua, nichts, dir, and bist. In creoles, this often takes the form of generalizing the infinitive. Adjectives are placed after the nouns they modify: ere: at, on, about (locative preposition), Below are the words for basic numbers.[6]. It was just my luck that Ars Technica published an interview with Nick Farmer about his work on the TV version of Belter while I was putting the edits on this post. Rather than I/me, or he/him, you find ‘me’ or ‘him’ extended to all cases: think Harry Belafonte, “daylight come and me wan’ go home.”. List of words in the Belter Creole language (TV-version). See list of Belter Creole individual articles for a multi-column list of all words in this category. Belter Language Guide So I found some words for Belter Creole here and thought it would be amazing if someone connected to the show(or not) came made a Belter language guide complete with the hand/arm gestures and verbal phrasing. The Expanse is an ongoing novel series by James S.A. Corey (the collaborative pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck); currently at eight doorstop-sized volumes, it was adapted for TV by SyFy, cancelled, and rescued by Amazon Prime. da Milafor "Miller". Creoles have some common grammatical features, like preposed negation and simplified morphology. See also. About those Belter hand-gestures; early space suits had terrible comms that would often crap out, leaving teams working in dangerous environments with only one way to communicate — their hands/ limbs. TomoNews US. Diglossia occurs when two dialects or languages exist in the same space and are spoken within a language community. For standard English, we have ‘I go’ but ‘she goes.’ Generalizing the infinitive would be ‘she go.’ German has different inflectional forms, ‘ich gehe,’ ‘du gehst,’ ‘er geht,’ ‘wir gehen,’ ‘ihr geht,’ ‘sie gehen.’ Generalizing the infinitive would give ‘ich/du/er/wir/ihr/sie gehen.’, Case distinction is lost in lexifier pronouns. [1] The exception is pronouns, which do have distinct plural forms (see Pronouns below). They begin as a pidgin, which is an ad hoc language with minimal morphology and basic syntax, and children develop them into a full language, and the next generation speaks it as their native language. McWhorter gives an example from Sranan Creole English, spoken in Suriname (5), which includes multiple creole features: the hunter NEG PAST PROG buy a house give me, “The hunter was not buying a house for me.”. Is there any consistency to when certain languages' loan words are used in the Belter language, or even just a list somewhere … Naomi and Miller explain to the three Inners in the room that people and society are different in the Belt. that of the people in power). Come by r/LangBelta and say oye. I don’t know how many real-world creoles are composed of a lexifier plus five or more substrate languages (I think the one McWhorter mentions with the most substrate languages is Mauritian Creole French, at six substrates), but it is certainly possible, especially in a space-future where people from dozens of countries are thrown together and have to communicate. Lewis’, A Small and Eclectic Herd of Recent Equine Delights, Thomason, Sarah and Terrence Kaufman. Together on the Roci, the crew and Miller are discussing the reasons that Protogen, the Earth-based company, believed that they could use Eros as a testing facility for their protomolecule. Category:Belter phrases; This is a very large category! (So there aren’t spoilers for anything past the opening of book 3, Abaddon’s Gate.). Machine translation could potentially limit the need for a pidgin to form, but machine translation is only as good as its programming. There are also various sociolinguistic factors in evidence in belta. 52:30. A really cool but rare result of language contact is a mixed language. This probably means Belter words like "Beltalowda," meaning "us Belters," will be heard on the new episodes. You they dog.” This demonstrates both copula deletion and loss of case distinctions (no possessive marking), as well as the verbing of the noun “kibble.”. She is a graduate of Viable Paradise 17 and has published short stories in anthologies, most recently the story “Debridement” in Survivor, edited by Mary Anne Mohanraj and J.J. Pionke. Seth Macfarlane's From the guys who made family guy +18 only. I think you could call lang belta a (constructed) creole, because it hits many of the common features of a creole, and if similar conditions were mapped onto a real-world situation, the social aspects would be highly amenable to creole formation. Belters use the standard language when they have to talk to people not from the Belt, and belta to communicate with the in-group. In the book and TV series The Expanse inhabitants of the asteroid belt (Belters) speak a language called Belter Creole, a conlang designed by Nick Farmer which is intended to be the result of creolisation between most of the Earth's languages, including English, German, Chinese, Japanese, Romance languages, Hindi, Slavic, and Bantu. I think it's ordinary human behavior to switch between languages in order to be better understood by the people you're talking to. Early on in the book, Miller and his partner are interviewing a witness to a crime. Earth and Mars have a financial interest in the colonies in the Belt, and Belters typically work for companies owned by Inners. A break in transmission of the parent languages is a key aspect in the formation of a creole, because when adults learn a second language (in a non-classroom setting, as would be seen in this type of situation), some of the more complex features are lost, and when these adults transmit the languages to their children, those features aren’t there. Earth and Mars have a very tentative alliance that could come crashing down at the least provocation. Creoles frequently omit the copula. That is, when a noun is marked with da, any attributive nouns or adjectives applied to that noun must also be so marked:[5], delowda(relative)/kelowda(interrogative): how many/how much. I must note here that I am not a creolist by any means, so please forgive (and correct!) Tense, mood, and aspect are simplified in comparison to the lexifier and substrate languages. In Leviathan Wakes, chapter six, Detective Miller, a Belter who works for an Earth-based security company, is talking to a man who’s inciting a riot on Ceres. If they’re trying to talk to a boss, English makes more sense. To avoid any potential confusion, please also note that this is a discussion of the concept of creole languages, and not the concept of creolization as it relates to ethnicity and Creole peoples. To negate a verb, the lexifier’s negator is placed before the verb. This is exactly the type of situation where we’d expect a pidgin to develop, then eventually a creole. Believe it or not, Belter slang — or, more officially, Belter Creole — isn't a completely made-up way of communicating. The Outer Planets Alliance (OPA) is a very loose collection of factions who want the Belt to be independent from the Inners, each with its own preferred methods of getting there and vision of what an independent Belt would look like. Language forms a solid plinth for Belter identity, both uniting and alienating them at the same time. There are plenty of other linguistic worldbuilding features I didn’t cover in depth, like Inners’ slang and Belter body language, so please feel free to discuss those below as well! Creoles emerge from language contact situations where people need to communicate with speakers of other languages. Here are just a few of the Belter words and phrases that we've heard on … 6. (They don’t consider Belters fully human.) (Sociolinguistics is the fun part: it’s the “why do people do the thing?” and “what does it mean when they do the thing?” Many of my friends and colleagues prefer formal linguistics, which is cool I guess, and someone has to study phonetics and morphology and syntax, and I’m glad it’s not me.). Drummer doesn’t believe that Naomi is on her side, so Naomi answers her in the belta basilect. It’s an interesting question—apparently some people disagree with what I thought was a settled matter (again: not a creolist), as I learned from McWhorter’s book. While English doesn’t have much verbal morphology, and the verb often looks like the infinitive, the Romance languages have extensive verbal inflection. I also noted some examples from the first two seasons of the TV adaptation. The resulting Belter creole is a crazy mix of English, Chinese, romance languages like French, German, Persian, Hebrew, Zulu, and a few other surprises. Miller is from the Belt, and he and the witness speak together in belta. Now for some definitions: Every creole has a lexifier, which provides the majority of vocabulary. It's actually a mix of several Earth languages spoken by the original settlers in the Asteroid Belt colonies — very appropriate, as the Belt is a melting pot of several different races, customs and backgrounds. Where can I learn some Belter language. Belter displays definiteness agreement, similar to that found in Greek or Hebrew. Other source languages include French (bien, dieu), Japanese (shikata ga nai), and Mandarin (dui ), along with other languages that I didn’t recognize because I don’t know them. Given that Belter is essentially a daughter language of English (via the route of creolization), it’s easy to do. Encountering the Alien in, Disruptions in Communication Disrupt Atevi Society in CJ Cherryh’s Foreigner Series, Five Books That Get Kinetic Weapons Very Wrong, Fairy Tale Sisters Who Don’t Hate Each Other, The Real Ghosts Were the Friends We Made Along the Way: Téa Obreht’s, Being a Superhero Is Super Hard in the Trailer for, Leia’s Bounty Hunter Disguise Brings My Favorite Fantasy Trope to a Galaxy Far, Far Away, Advertising for Burglars: Lord Dunsany’s “How Nuth Would Have Practised His Art Upon the Gnoles”, Calling Evil Good, and Good Evil: Spiritual Abuse in C.S. According to this hypothesis, “creoles instantiate Universal Grammar with parameters unset, the ‘default’ of language, produced by children under the unusual circumstance of acquiring language with insufficient input” (McWhorter 1). A barkeep in Oakland, California, is among its most fluent speakers, along with the cast of "The Expanse." Nouns may be used attributively to modify other nouns, forming a compound noun. The background pits three main factions against each other: Earth, Mars, and “the Belt,” which is everything past the asteroid belt. Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat. In the 1980s, Bickerton proposed the Bioprogram Hypothesis, based on Chomsky’s conception of Universal Grammar (that brains come inherently equipped with computer-like 1/0 settings for principles and parameters, which are set as the languages are acquired). Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), © 2021 Macmillan | All stories, art, and posts are the copyright of their respective authors, Who Gets to Be People? The Expanse has already finished its first season (we liked it as much as Farmer's fans at Longitude last week), but don't fret if you missed all the Belter thus far. European languages are the most frequent lexifiers (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese), and all of these languages use a form of ‘to be’ to link the subject with the predicate: The sky is blue. Out in the Belt, though, people from a lot of different countries who spoke a lot of different languages came together to build colonies or mine asteroids or fly cargo ships. For example, maliwala can mean either "child" or "children", depending on context. You write a chat message to a friend differently than a quarterly report for your boss or a letter to your grandma. These languages developed among fluent bilinguals. The narrators explicitly mention social aspects of belta multiple times. CD Covington has masters degrees in German and Linguistics, likes science fiction and roller derby, and misses having a cat. As a language teacher, I have to say I’m not fond of Duolingo’s pedagogical methods (other people have discussed the topic here and here), so I am skeptical of its utility in this kind of hypothetical situation. A pidgin is an ad hoc language that typically arises in situations where people who don’t speak the same native language have to communicate with each other, such as trade with a new partner or (all too frequently) as a result of colonization or enslavement. Even if a Belter managed to reside on the inner planets, they would be over-policed and underrepresented, while being harassed by planetary authorities. Do you want to learn it?

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