At CitizenCon 2947, we met one of Star Citizen’s early stretch goals and debuted the Xi’an language. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the warm reception it’s been given. Our xenolinguist Britton Watkins has continued to develop the language since its debut. Many members of the community have already contributed to the evolution of the language by suggesting ideas about Xi’an culture as well as words to be added to the dictionary. We’ve already added 98 more words!
Britton and the Lore team would like to invite you to help us name these three Xi’an animals, recently designed by the art team. We’ve provided descriptions of the animals below to help you in the naming process. The winners of the contest will have the names of the animals featured in this week’s Xi’an Language Lesson video.
You can find the rules below the descriptions. Please comment on this page with your suggestions. Entries are due November 16th at 12:00 PM PST / 8:00 PM GMT. Happy naming!
A domesticated animal bred for its fur, which is used in textiles. The cloth it produces is soft, smooth, durable, and takes well to colors; like a cross between vicunña and silk. Native to rocky, high-altitude biomes, its unusual hooves are well-suited to navigate among craggy terrain. The Xi’an have effectively propagated this species throughout their entire empire.
An apex predator. Native to Xi (Rihlah V), this species is an arboreal animal that can glide from tree to tree in pursuit of its prey. It generally feeds on other arboreal creatures, but has been known to go after land-dwelling creatures if they’re the right size. It mainly preys upon vegetarian animals, but it’s been known to defend its territory from other predators when threatened. Heavily endangered on its native world, but has a stable population on the preserve world Koli (Eealus III).
A Popular Pet
A common pet. It domesticated itself as the Xi’an developed farming, helping itself to the plagues of pests that would break into fermentation houses and make off with valuable food. It loves swimming and water, as its ancestors used to live in the streams and lakes that supported early Xi’an villages. Consequently, Xi’an find beavers and otters to be the most adorable Earth animals. It comes in many different coat patterns, but unkuth (a series of yellows; pictured here) is preferred.
- Names must follow Proper Xi’an phonology. All non-native combinations of sounds will be rejected. See the 2nd Chapter in the video series for reminders.
- It is fine to use “sound symbolism” that is evocative of the creatures’ physical presence or to name them referencing sounds you imagine they make, etc., but these resulting names must conform to the phonological rules of the language.
- If you need to use “root syllables” that are not currently listed in the dictionary (new tai), please explain that you want to invent the new tai as a part of the name. As a theoretical example: if you want a tai for “hair; fur” and you can’t find one in the dictionary, you can propose that it be created and added because you need it to create a descriptive name. (As an example, North American raccoons are called “washing bears” (アライグマ (洗熊) in Japanese because of their behavior when eating.)
- Hint: the Xi’an would likely have shorter names (one to two syllables) for more common animals that are more familiar to them in their daily lives or cultural experience.
- You are naming the species (type of animal) as the Xi’an would commonly know and call it. You are not giving it a personal (pet) name for this exercise.
The names will be evaluated based on how well they fit into the Xi’an linguistic aesthetic and how creatively they evoke the animals based on appearance, description, and imagined behavior. Bonus points will be given for additional information provided about how the name was conceived and how it might be used in idioms, etc. in Xi’an cultural contexts. The more concrete your examples, the better. You should also feel free to include the Human name for the animal. This could be an alternate spelling of the Xi’an filtered through human phonology or entirely unrelated to the Xi’an conceptualization of the species name.