Common Tongue

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The Common Tongue, sometimes called the Common Speech of Westeros,[1] is a language commonly spoken in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. There are regional accents,[2][3] but these do not result in a lack of comprehensibility.

While some free folk who live beyond the Wall understand the Common Tongue, many clans instead speak local languages.[4] The Thenns, for instance, speak the Old Tongue and can only speak a few words of the Common Tongue.[5]

Language

The Common Tongue is the language spoken by the people of the Seven Kingdoms.

A difference in speech can be observed between the highborn and lowborn of the Seven Kingdoms.[6][7][8][9] These differences can be found in the sound of their speech,[8][2][10] but also in the use of specific phrases and words. An example is the use of "my lord" by nobles, but "m'lord" by peasants.[11] According to Lord Roose Bolton, peasants pronounce "m'lord" as if they have mud in their mouths.[11] Although the degree of which it is used differs greatly between the common born, the lowborn patois can be seen in multiple further instances:

Example 1: "She ast me to, m'lord," Mycah said. "She ast me to."..."It's not no sword, it's only a stick."[12]
Example 2: "She don't know me," he said, "but I knows her, oh, yes...I says, come."[13]

Regional accents can lead someone to determine where a person has been born.[2] This is not limited to the regions of Westeros (i.e., the north, riverlands, westerlands, Reach, Vale, Crownlands, Iron Islands, and Dorne),[2] but also specific cities.[14][15] The largest difference within the Seven Kingdoms can be found in Dorne, where the Common Tongue is marked by the influences of the language of the Rhoynar.[16][17] This influence can be found all over Dorne,[16] but most strongly among the salty Dornishmen,[17] who have the most Rhoynish blood.[18] The Dornish speak with a Dornish drawl,[19][20][8] stretching, rolling, or lilting some words.[17] Some describe the Dornish speech as charming.[17]

Quotes

"I swear it," she said in the Common Tongue of the Seven Kingdoms that by rights were hers.[21]
- Daenerys Targaryen to Jorah Mormont


At least in Dorne they speak the Common Tongue. Like Dornish food and Dornish law, Dornish speech was spiced with the flavors of the Rhoyne, but a man could comprehend it.[16]
- thoughts of Tyrion Lannister

References

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