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195222Re: On Creating Altlangs

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  • Hugo Cesar de Castro Carneiro
    Feb 19, 2013
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      I see people creating altlangs/bogolangs between (somewhat) closely related
      families. Usually Indo-european ones.

      Does anyone here know of an alt/bogolang based on non-related families, or
      maybe somewhat related families if you consider the controversial
      macro-families of Nostratic or Dené-Caucasian? Something like a Uralic
      language that looks like Indo-European? Or an Indo-European language that
      looks like Eskimo-Aleut?

      Furthermore, has anyone seen an alt/bogolang based on completely
      non-related families, like a Mapudungun language that looks like Bantu or
      Khoisan?


      On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 3:13 PM, James Kane <kanejam@...> wrote:

      > 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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