195217Re: On Creating Altlangs
- Feb 19, 2013On 18/02/2013 20:43, Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:
> Hallo conlangers![snip]
> On Monday 18 February 2013 14:58:54 R A Brown wrote:
>> I would classify Jörg's "Old Albanic" as an altlang.OOPS - sorry!
> Yes. The "what-if" assumption in Old Albic (not
> is "What if we knew what language was spoken in theYes.
> British Isles before those lands became
> And of course, Old Albic is not at all a bogolang.It certainly ain't.
>I agree on both points.
>> My understanding is that Brithenig did start out as an
>> altlang: What would modern British Romance be like if
>> spoken Latin had survived the withdrawal of the
>> legions? But IMO it did lean too far in the bogolang
>> direction. It certainly gives that appearance.
> Yes. Brithenig is not really a bogolang, but it gets
> close, and is guilty of treading loose a wave of
>>I cannot think of any actual examples among natlangs. The
>> Indeed - and also whether it is a genuine altlang, i.e.
>> the way a language might plausibly have developed if
>> history had been different, or whether it is a
>> bogolang, i.e. early Germanic with the sound changes of
>> a Slavonic group.
> Yes. That is a difference. Of course, we cannot say
> that a bogolang was *impossible* - it is just very
Slav influence on Romanian is obvious, and French acquired
the front rounded vowels of neighboring Germanic, but
neither are bogolangs. Creole are often cited as taking one
language and applying the phonology of another, but the
results certainly do not resemble bogolangs.
On 18/02/2013 20:58, And Rosta wrote:
> R A Brown, On 18/02/2013 13:58:
>> Every so often I think if I ever the time, I might try
>> to produce what I think a modern British Romancelang
>> would be like;
> If you ever do find the time, I'll read the results with
> great interest.
> My first guess, made from a position of near-ignorance on
> my part, is that it would be rather like northern French.
> If that guess is along the right lines, then a further
> question would be in what ways it might be expected to
> differ from northern French.
Certainly the way Vulgar Latin developed in northern Gaul
would probably not be so different. My main criticism of
Brithenig is that it does not IMO make sufficient allowance
for influence from sister Romancelangs. The various
Romancelangs of western Europe were always in contact and
exercising some influence on one another. It's all very
well having the Vulgar Latin of Dacia developing in
isolation, but I don't think having the Vulgar Latin of
Britain behaving similarly is likely.
As for differences between a British Romance & norther
Francien? Probably front rounded vowels would not have
maintained themselves. The continental [ø] and [œ] had
already given way to unrounded sounds in Old English, and
the same happened later with Anglo-Norman borrowings, cf.
bœef ~ beef. The Old English [y] eventually became
unrounded, tho later the Anglo-Norman [y] became [iw].
Old French had a rich set of diphthongs and a few
triphthongs besides; later these all gave way to the
monophthongs of modern French. I see no reason to suppose
that a British romance would have behaved the same way.
Old northern French also had the phones [θ] and [ð]; they
are now lost in modern French. But as both Welsh & English
retain them (including in Anglo-Norman borrowing such as
_faith_), it is surely like that a British Romance would
have retained these phones also.
So, yes, one must IMO have regard to how Vulgar Latin
developed in northern France, but I'm sure a British
Romancelang would be quite distinctive from modern French,
just as french is distinctive from neighboring Italian,
Catalan or Spanish.
On 19/02/2013 05:16, James Kane wrote:
> I have done a Vulgar Latin descended from proto-Germanic
> which isn't too bad because the cases and tenses of
> proto-Germanic collapse nicely,
Yep - and don't forget that Vulgar Latin had two cases,
which were preserved in Old French and in Old Provençal.
(Thinks: Would "Old Britannic" have preserved them?)
> but there was a bit of tempering of the phonology.
Yes - there usually has to be some fudging here because
other languages rarely have the same phonetic inventory as
> Obviously altlangs are much more interesting to do but
> bogolangs are good for beginners who wish to explore
> diachronic sound changes without as much effort.
Indeed - quite a good exercise for beginners and IMO more
worthwhile than the "relex of English" which is often done.
I guess my first conlang - whose details are now long
forgotten - when I was about 10 or 11 was a bogolang.
Essentially IIRC the root words were Old English gleaned from
an etymological dictionary I had come across, and the
morphology was based on French I found in text books
belonging to my mother. But in bogolang, all those verb
endings were still pronounced :)
"language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
for individual beings and events."
[Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]
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