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Dividing North America

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by humble serf, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Zaarin

    Zaarin My Dearest Doctor

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    No. I spotted the citation on Wikipedia. :p My knowledge of California languages comes from Mithun, but I don't find them very interesting--most lack the complex agglutinative or polysynthetic features found elsewhere.

    Perhaps. It implies that people were pretty isolated.

    I suspect it may have to do with climate. The temperate rainforests of the PNW, combined with the fish-filled waters and salmon runs, meant that the people of the PNW had to spend less time gathering food, which meant more time for pursuing other professions. Another factor would be the cedar (redcedar, Thuja plicata, in the south and yellowcedar, Cupressus nootkatensis, in the north), which is in many ways the perfect tree for just about anything you want to do: build a house, make a canoe, carve a crest pole, weave clothes from the outer bark, eat the inner bark, make bent-wood boxes from the planks, make red dye from the bark...

    Yes, California was the source of dentalia and abelone shells, which were highly valued and used as currency and jewelry in the PNW.
     
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  2. Guandao

    Guandao Rajah of Minyue and Langkasuka

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    Well, those agglutinative and polysynthetic languages are too hard to learn.....no wonder the Native American ones went extinct.....:p
     
  3. Zaarin

    Zaarin My Dearest Doctor

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    Georgian, Turkish, Finnish, and Hungarian seem to be doing just fine. :p
     
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  4. Guandao

    Guandao Rajah of Minyue and Langkasuka

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    I don't think the Californian natives were that primitive, even if they didn't have agriculture. Seeing California's struggles with water shortages and wildfires, I'm guessing they didn't see the point in taking up farming. It's a huge risk to jump from hunter-gatherers to farmers. Plus, they seemed to do fine living off those acorns. :D Another thing, a crop like maize was never brought to California before the Europeans arrived. Here's a link to a paper about that topic. Most of the crops they grow today in California didn't exist there before contact.

    I don't want to bother to learn them. :p They are all pretty much limited to one country. There's no way they could've spread around the world like English or the Romance languages. How is mashing a bunch of syllables to create an incredibly long word efficient? *
    *I'm just joking for the most part. I do find those languages interesting! :D But I find non-aggutinative/polysynthetic languages interesting as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
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  5. Zaarin

    Zaarin My Dearest Doctor

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    I'm inclined to believe that the major languages of the world being fusional or analytic is a coincidence. :p I'll also point out that polysynthetic languages have been the languages of empires, including Nahuatl and Quechua. :p
     
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  6. TyrannusRex

    TyrannusRex Chieftain

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    Probably not civ-worthy, but just wanna throw out that my favorite California tribe is the Modoc. :)
     
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  7. Guandao

    Guandao Rajah of Minyue and Langkasuka

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    No wonder the Nahuatl and Quechua dialogue spoken in Civ5/6 sounds like it consists of big long words as opposed to multiple ones! :p Well, both of them are dying out today.....:cry:

    Fan of Kintpuash/ "Captain Jack"?
     
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  8. Zaarin

    Zaarin My Dearest Doctor

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    I'm more familiar with their Oregonian cousins the Klamath.

    According to some irregular analyses, languages like Nahuatl and Quechua have no words, only phrase-length utterances. :mischief: (Which is nonsense. Numerous linguistic studies have demonstrated that speakers of polysynthetic languages can agree on what constitutes a word.)

    Nahuatl is moribund but not beyond saving if either the Mexican government would stop demonizing Nahuatl (hahaha) or the Nahuan themselves took a greater interest in their linguistic heritage. My impression of Quechua is that it's under linguistic pressure but nevertheless stable, with even non-indios in some communities learning Quechua and still a sizable body of (older, of course) monoglots who speak only Quechua.
     
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  9. TahamiTsunami

    TahamiTsunami Chieftain

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    Yeah, primitive doesn't exactly bring the right image to mind, but the Californians were comparatively less advanced than their northern cousins (I actually don't know if the Californians were more closely related to the PNW than to other groups or not). As a Californian myself I do agree that fires and droughts don't really inspire farmers plus the Chumash certainly did pretty well without needing to farm! I'm still greatly impressed with their tomols as well as their art, hopefully they can be represented in-game with something like a city-state. Thanks for the link, I do appreciate getting to learn more!
     
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  10. Zaarin

    Zaarin My Dearest Doctor

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    Linguistically Klamath-Modoc and Athabaskan crossover from the PNW into California, and Penutian (if it's a thing) extends from California into Oregon. It's fair to think of southern Oregon as a transitional region from Southern PNW culture to California culture.
     
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  11. TahamiTsunami

    TahamiTsunami Chieftain

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    I see, it sounds like they're pretty closely related then. Thanks for letting me know, occasionally I'll have questions that are trickier to answer on a Google search so I definitely appreciate the info! I'd like to learn more about which tribes are more closely related to each other (like a sort of NA family tree) to see which groups have more connections as well as which groups are more isolated.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I heard that the Hopi and other Puebloans are related to the Aztecs.

    The Chumash are my favorite Californians but I'd like to learn more about the others too!
     
  12. Zaarin

    Zaarin My Dearest Doctor

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    If you can make a NA family tree and demonstrate it's accuracy, I'd expect a Nobel prize for the effort. :p I think generally speaking it's probably more useful to think of North America as being comprised of culture zones, with linguistic families often spanning several culture zones (for example Algic was spoken in the Great Plains, the Plateau, the Subarctic, the the Eastern Woodlands, the Southeast, and California; Siouan was spoken in the Great Plains, the Great Lakes, the Plateau, and the Southeast; but Natchez-Muskogean was only spoken in the Southeast, Wakashan was only spoken in the PNW, etc.).

    Yes, the Aztec originated in the American Southwest as speakers of an Uto-Aztecan language. Most of the Uto-Aztecans remained in the Southwest, southern California, and northern Mexico; the Nahua and their cousins the Pipil moved south into Mesoamerica. Cf. Athabaskan, where the Navajo and Apache moved into the Southwest while most Athabaskan languages are spoken far to the north.
     
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  13. Guandao

    Guandao Rajah of Minyue and Langkasuka

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  14. TahamiTsunami

    TahamiTsunami Chieftain

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    Yeah, the consensus in this thread seems to be that the PNW, NE, and SE are particularly deserving of official Civ representation. We even went into secondary picks for those areas if our first choice wasn't picked. The SW would be nice to have too since they fill in a blank spot on the map pretty nicely. It's not that I don't like the Great Plains groups but I do admit that it would be much harder to convincingly make a civ based on them with the current game mechanics. That being said, I wouldn't mind seeing their inclusion, as long as it is inclusion with the other cultural areas and not being picked over them.

    I was looking into the Wabanaki Confederacy and they look like they could be another option for the NE. I don't know if I'd want them over the Iroqouis and Powhatan but they do look like a significant force worthy of consideration. What do you guys think?
     
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  15. Guandao

    Guandao Rajah of Minyue and Langkasuka

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    Tpangolin/Colonialist Legacies made a great mod for them in Civ5, with Henri Membertou as the leader.
    I wouldn't mind seeing the New England Algonquians as a Civ as well, with Massasoit (or possibly even his son Metacomet) as the leader. They interacted with the early colonialists in Massachusetts/RI/Connecticut, so I have a soft spot for them.
     
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