Common Tongue

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The Common Tongue was brought to Westeros by the Andals and the Rhoynar.[citation needed] It is spoken in the entirety of Westeros. There are regional accents, as "Pyp had travelled the Seven Kingdoms with a mummers' troupe, and bragged that he could tell what you were and where you'd been born just from the sound of your voice",[1] but there is no lack of comprehensibility, in any region. Some regional accents can be geographically limited to a single city, as King's Landing.[2]

Language

The largest dichotomy of speech appears to be between the lowborn and the educated, most likely due to a long history of prescriptivist tutors for the highborn young. (For example, Mariya Darry corrects Amerei Frey's use of the word hung to hanged, in regards to Merrett Frey's death.)[3] There are differences that are not exhibited in the orthography, as it is possible to distinguish highborn from low accent merely by listening: "Doran!" called some highborn voice. "To the spears!"[4] These differences encapsulate both highborn vs. lowborn as well as regional dialects:

"How could you tell I was of noble birth?" [Sam asked].
"The same way you can tell that I'm half Dornish." The statement was delivered with a smile, in a soft Dornish drawl.[5]

Mycah the butcher's son's few lines shows the lowborn patois:

"She ast me to, m'lord," Mycah said. "She ast me to."..."It's not no sword, it's only a stick."[6]

Another stablehand in the Red Keep has other non-standard usages: "She don't know me," he said, "but I knows her, oh, yes...I says, come."[7] One of the Mountain's men uses the colloquial past tense of eat, et.[8]

The isolated mountain clans of the Mountains of the Moon have little difference in their speech.

Shagga glowered, a fearsome sight to see. "Shagga son of Dolf likes this not. Shagga will go with the boyman, and if the boyman lies, Shagga will chop off his manhood."[9][10]

Quotes

"I swear it," she said in the Common Tongue of the Seven Kingdoms that by rights were hers.[11]

References and Notes

  1. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 26, Jon IV, p. 259.
  2. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 37, Brienne VII, p. 556.
  3. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 30, Jaime IV, p. 450.
  4. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 2, The Captain Of Guards, p. 41.
  5. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 45, Samwell V, p. 678.
  6. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I, p. 150.
  7. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 50, Arya IV, p. 538.
  8. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III, p. 403.
  9. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 56, Tyrion VII, p. 607.
  10. Languages Corpus at DothrakiWiki
  11. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 72, Daenerys X, p 800.