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195280Re: On Creating Altlangs

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  • MorphemeAddict
    Feb 21, 2013
      On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 10:14 AM, Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>wrote:

      > Hallo conlangers!
      >
      > On Thursday 21 February 2013 11:20:03 R A Brown wrote:
      >
      > > I'm away from home & having to use webmail, so formatting
      > > may not be brilliant.
      >
      > Never mind. It came out OK.
      >
      > > On 20.02.2013 23:01, BPJ wrote:
      > > > On 2013-02-19 20:39, R A Brown wrote:
      > > [snip]
      > >
      > > >>> 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!
      > > >>
      > > >> Always a problem for bogolangers. :)
      > > >
      > > > But that's what allows them to break out of the
      > > > bogosphere and into the altosphere (yes, intentiontally
      > > > ambiguous coinage!)
      > >
      > > _May_ allow them if:
      > > 1. the situation is a plausible one, e.g. applying Bantu
      > > phonological developments to Vulgar Latin is IMHO not a
      > > plausible scenario and no altlang, as I understand the word,
      > > will result.
      > > 2. the conlanger has the nous to allow such a break in a
      > > plausible situation.
      >
      > Yes.
      >
      > > > so it's actually a good thing.
      > >
      > > Not necessarily IMO. Some bogolangs I've seen remain
      > > bogolangs & do not cross the threshold into the altosphere.
      >
      > I have seen several bogolangs that were broken beyond repair,
      > usually starting with an utterly implausible scenario (often
      > involving Roman mercenaries in Africa, China or wherever).
      >
      > A common failure mode of bogolangs is to ignore those phonemes
      > of the starting language which are not covered by the GMP because
      > the language the GMP is based on does not have them, and leave
      > them unchanged in the midst of the turmoil.
      >
      > > [snip]
      > >
      > > > yet you generally need to peg even an
      > > >
      > > > altlang on something, like what features of English and
      > > > Welsh are areal/Sprachbund features which perhaps could
      > > > have existed in a Brittanno-Romance language. It's
      > > > still essentially the same beast -- langauge A on
      > > > language B's turf,
      > >
      > > No - that is not the same as applying, say, Welsh or Irish or
      > > Germanic diachronic sound changes to Vulgar Latin. AIUI a
      > > bogolang is produced by:
      > > 1. taking language A;
      > > 2. forming a "master plan" from the diachronic sound of language B;
      > > 3. applying the "master plan" to language A.
      >
      > Yes, that's how the word _bogolang_ is usually defined.
      >
      > > That is *not* the way I would develop, say, a Britanno-Romance lang.
      >
      > Indeed not!
      >
      > My Hesperic family, a family of European lostlangs meant to
      > represent the residues of a Neolithic European language family,
      > will not contain *any* bogolangs. Some of the languages are
      > *inspired* by the phonologies of Indo-European languages of the
      > relevant region, which I justify by assuming areal influences
      > being in play, and some parallels in the sound changes occur
      > here or there (for instance, Proto-Alpianic has undergone a
      > consonant shift not unlike the High German consonant shift
      > - in its complete and thorough form as found in Swiss German,
      > complete with velar affricates - but it is not the same shift,
      > starting, to mention one point, with *three* grades of stops
      > rather than two in German, and many other things, such as the
      > vowels, have developed in utterly different ways), and there will
      > be three Albic languages showing some resemblance to Welsh, Irish
      > and Quenya respectively, but even those won't be bogolangs. It is
      > infinitely more realistic and especially more *fun* to develop
      > your own sound changes than to apply those of an existing language
      > to another language!
      >
      > Geoff Eddy, author of Breathanach, had a conlang family, named
      > "Sunovian", which seemed to involve a great degree of bogolanging,
      > applying sound changes of various IE languages and of Quenya to
      > an a priori proto-language.
      >
      > > > with the difference that one tries
      > > > to create something which *might* have evolved under
      > > > normal conditions of language evolution as we know them
      > > > by humans like us, as opposed to something that absolutely
      > > > *could not* have so evolved.
      > >
      > > Of course.
      >
      > Yes. Some artlangs could never have so evolved. Of course, this
      > does not necessarily mean that the language was a bad artlang, if
      > the motivation is not one of realism. But an altlang or a lostlang
      > must be crafted in a way that one can say, "Yes, this language
      > could have evolved that way", otherwise it is a failure.
      >
      > > > My own Rhodrese is a case in point: it started out
      > > > decades ago as my 'ideal' mix between French and
      > > > Italian, which was certainly not realistic:
      > > I'm not sure what "ideal" means in that context.
      >
      > Nor am I. Ideal things live on a separate tier of existence
      > which in turn only exists in the mind of Platonists ;)
      >
      > > As this was a dialect _continuum_ from Sicily to Picardy, there
      > > was in reality a whole band of "mix between French and Italian"
      > > languages. Some may well still survive despite attempts of schools
      > > to impose the national languages of the two countries within their
      > > national borders.
      >
      > Yep. The dialects of northern Italy, I have been told, show
      > many features where they are closer to Gallo-Romance than to
      > Standard Italian.
      >
      > > essentially
      > >
      > > [snip]
      > >
      > > > An altlang without side-glances on what actually grew
      > > > up in the same soil is just an arbitrary a-posteriori
      > > > conlang of indeterminate plausibility, and one which
      > > > does make such side-glances runs the risk of becoming a
      > > > parody of the thing glanced at,
      > >
      > > It does run such a risk, if the side glances are not checked
      > > and kept in balance. As I've observed before, I think Brithenig
      > > paid undue attention to Welsh, including...
      >
      > It did.
      >
      > > > unless it is spiced up
      > > > with something which is probably implausible.
      > >
      > > ...the implausible (IMO) spelling of [v] as _f_ in a Romancelang.
      >
      > Yes. Romance spelling is largely etymological, and you'd only
      > get _f_ for /v/ if you have a /f/ > /v/ rule, which Brithenig
      > IMHO doesn't have. (Not that I'd have a clue how _f_ ended up
      > representing /v/ in Welsh, though.)
      >
      > > Implausibility may add spice, but then the thing passes from the
      > > altosphere into the artosphere.
      >
      > Certainly.
      >
      > > > Neither
      > > > is that much of an improvement over the bogolang unless
      > > > one keeps in mind that the main goal of conlanging is
      > > > aesthetic gratification and learning about Language,
      > >
      > > Is it? I agree with "learning about language", but is all
      > > conlanging about "aesthetic gratification"? Some auxlangers
      > > may want a result that is aesthetically pleasing, but I am not
      > > convinced that they all do. I'm not certain that aesthetics are
      > > a prime concern of engelangers.
      >
      > Head on. Aesthetic gratification is a goal in many (but not
      > all) artlangs; Tolkien's Elvish languages are a case in point.
      > It is less of a concern of engelangers (who strive for a more
      > rational notion of "elegance"),


      But elegance is a form of esthetics.

      stevo


      > or of auxlangers.
      >
      > > Aesthetic considerations certainly do not play any part in TAKE; it
      > > was just an experiment in trying to produce an "ancient Greek without
      > > inflexions." Nor I convinced that way back in the 17th century Dr
      > > Outis
      > > was concerned with aesthetics any more than his near contemporary
      > > Philippe
      > > Labbé was.
      >
      > Yep.
      >
      > > Ray.
      >
      > --
      > ... 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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