On the origin of divisional tongues...

Just something I started wondering about... does anybody know what inspired the introduction of divisional tongues? E.g. languages for the various alignment factions? The concept of a language of "Law" versus a language of "Neutrality" versus a language of "Chaos" in that strict division seems somewhat strange to me. It kind of implies an overarching religious or metaphysical concept, even stronger than in the books of Michael Moorcock (I don't remember seeing any aligned tongues in those books) which seems rather strange for a game that otherwise has almost no hints about the way religions might work.

So, any takers for literary examples that might have influenced the original rules in presenting such a strange special case?


  1. As far as I know, D&D IS the basis for such an idea. But Tolkien's Black speech could be the model for a language of Chaos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Speech), like Westron is a basis for common language (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westron).

    Remmeber in OD&D, the campaign is not a world, but a dungeon with a town nearby and a wilderness around. So languages are not universals.

  2. Mmmhhh... the point about the scope of a campaign is very interesting. You have something there... in the context of a limited bit of wilderness and some dungeon levels all that makes a lot more sense.