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195221Re: On Creating Altlangs

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  • James Kane
    Feb 19, 2013
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      Romanian is almost a real life altlang and IMO quite a cool language. It doesn't have an identical phonology to the surrounding Balkan or Slavic languages, nor did it go through the same sound changes but it is obviously influenced by them and different enough from the other Romance languages (while still obviously Romance) without resembling greatly any other language.

      On 20/02/2013, at 5:11 AM, Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...> wrote:

      > Hallo conlangers!
      > On Tuesday 19 February 2013 09:19:46 R A Brown wrote:
      >> On 18/02/2013 20:43, Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:
      >>> Hallo conlangers!
      >>> On Monday 18 February 2013 14:58:54 R A Brown wrote:
      >> [...]
      >>>> 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
      >>> bogolangs.
      >> I agree on both points.
      > Good.
      >> [snip]
      >>>> 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
      >>> unlikely,
      >> I cannot think of any actual examples among natlangs. The
      >> Slav influence on Romanian is obvious, and French acquired
      >> the front rounded vowels of neighboring Germanic, but
      >> neither are bogolangs.
      > Indeed not. French, for instance, does not have the kind of umlaut
      > process German has - it arrived at its front rounded vowels in a
      > completely different way.
      > Another example are the various regional dialects of diaspora
      > languages such as Yiddish or Romani. They never are bogolangs;
      > they simply did not ape the sound changes of the relevant host
      > country's language.
      >> Creole are often cited as taking one
      >> language and applying the phonology of another, but the
      >> results certainly do not resemble bogolangs.
      > That characterization of creoles indeed flies only so far, and
      > creoles do not resemble bogolangs in any meaningful way.
      >> ============================================================
      >> On 18/02/2013 20:58, And Rosta wrote:
      >> [British Romance]
      >>> 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.
      > And I concur with this criticism.
      >> 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.
      > Yes. This is a great difference between British Celtic and a
      > hypothetical British Romance. British Celtic had no dialect
      > continuum on the continent to connect with after about 400 AD,
      > as Continental Celtic was extinct. British Romance would
      > interact with Gallo-Romance, as the sea connects as much as it
      > separates. It would be part of the Western Romance dialect
      > continuum.
      >> 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].
      > Front rounded vowels also disappeared in Welsh; whether they
      > were preserved in Cornish is AFAIK a contentious matter among
      > Cornish revivalists. Breton, at any rate, has them.
      > So yes, a loss of front rounded vowels in British Romance is
      > not unlikely.
      >> 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.
      > I see no such reason, either. British Romance may have a rich
      > inventory of diphthongs and triphthongs.
      >> 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.
      > Quite likely, I think.
      >> 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.
      > Sure.
      > And as for the initial mutations of Brithenig, it is far from
      > certain that a British Romance language would have them. After
      > all, English doesn't. This of course raises the question *when*
      > these mutations arose in the Insular Celtic languages. Most
      > Celticists AFAIK assume that they happened between 400 and 800
      > AD (and Continental Celtic languages never developed them, Dan
      > Jones's Arvorec notwithstanding), but the name _Britannia_ seems
      > to have a mutated initial (otherwise it would be _**Pritannia_,
      > cf. Welsh _Prydein_) - but the /t/ in it shows that intervocalic
      > lenition had not happened yet in British Celtic of 2000 years ago.
      >> =============================================================
      >> 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?)
      > Perhaps; perhaps not. But eventually, they would have been lost.
      >>> 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
      >> Vulgar Latin.
      > Amen! I had to fudge the sound changes, especially the vowel
      > changes, *a lot* when I was doing Roman Germanech because
      > Common West Germanic is quite far away from Vulgar Latin in terms
      > of phonology!
      >>> 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.
      > Sure.
      > --
      > ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
      > http://www.joerg-rhiemeier.de/Conlang/index.html
      > "Bêsel asa Éam, a Éam atha cvanthal a cvanth atha Éamal." - SiM 1:1
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