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. Ars talks with the creator of "The Expanse" Belter Creole language. (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.). Earth and Mars have a very tentative alliance that could come crashing down at the least provocation. A barkeep in Oakland, California, is among its most fluent speakers, along with the cast of "The Expanse." Farmer says he … Creoles emerge from language contact situations where people need to communicate with speakers of other languages. TheBakeMyster. 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. Creoles frequently omit the copula. 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. However, it does use compounding and some suffixes for deriving new words. For our purposes, the rest of this article assumes that the CE hypothesis is correct. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices. 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. 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. The Expanse Wiki is a FANDOM TV Community. 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. Where can I learn some Belter language. While getting interrogated on the martian ship "Donnager" (Season 1, Episode 3 "Remember the Cant"), Naomi shows this sign: See also. 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. Plurality is determined in other ways: the presence of quantifiers, numerals, or simply inferred from context. 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. 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]. CD Covington has masters degrees in German and Linguistics, likes science fiction and roller derby, and misses having a cat. There’s also a whole lot of English/ lang belta codeshifting on the fly. 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. 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. 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. 52:30. To negate a verb, the lexifier’s negator is placed before the verb. Nouns may be used attributively to modify other nouns, forming a compound noun. This will first require a discussion of what creole languages are, as well as their key characteristics. The indefinite article is wa: The definite article is da: Definite articles are used before a person's name in some cases, e.g. Nick Farmer knows dozens of languages, so he invented one for The Expanse. (So there aren’t spoilers for anything past the opening of book 3, Abaddon’s Gate.). That is, when a noun is marked with da, any attributive nouns or adjectives applied to that no… 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+). 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. Adjectives are placed after the nouns they modify: ere: at, on, about (locative preposition), Below are the words for basic numbers.[6]. It’s easy to notice examples of verbal simplification. Miller is from the Belt, and he and the witness speak together in belta. 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. 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. 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. 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. TomoNews US. 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. 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). In everyday chit-chat, they’ll probably switch back and forth without thinking about it. These are not specifically tied to creoles; these are factors that we all use every day when we speak, write, listen, and read. I am a woman. Any time plot-critical information is given, it’s in English. The narrators explicitly mention social aspects of belta multiple times. Belter displays definiteness agreement, similar to that found in Greek or Hebrew. 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. 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. In a creole, ‘is’ and ‘am’ would often be omitted: the sky blue . In "The Expanse" the belter language consists of words and signs. Naomi and Miller explain to the three Inners in the room that people and society are different in the Belt. The resulting Belter creole is a crazy mix of English, Chinese, romance languages like French, German, Persian, Hebrew, Zulu, and a few other surprises. 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.”. 6. 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). The Expanse Wiki is a FANDOM TV Community. There is also one or more substrates, the minority language which has an effect on the superstrate. Verbal inflection … You write a chat message to a friend differently than a quarterly report for your boss or a letter to your grandma. Generally, nouns are not inflected for number; a singular noun has the same form as a plural one. Ars Technica. Do you want to learn it? Language forms a solid plinth for Belter identity, both uniting and alienating them at the same time. Lewis’, A Small and Eclectic Herd of Recent Equine Delights, Thomason, Sarah and Terrence Kaufman. Tense, mood, and aspect are simplified in comparison to the lexifier and substrate languages. This is a (possibly incomplete) chart of pronouns, pro-adverbs and determiners, arranged in a convenient table-of-correlatives format. This page deals with the grammar of Belter Creole, also known as lang Belta. 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. 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. 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. 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. Since I don’t speak any Romance languages, I’ll turn to English and German to invent examples. 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. 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. Our Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. Inflection is the changing of a word form to mark person, number, gender, case, etc. [1] The exception is pronouns, which do have distinct plural forms (see Pronouns below). 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. If they’re trying to talk to a boss, English makes more sense. Machine translation could potentially limit the need for a pidgin to form, but machine translation is only as good as its programming.