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Re: On Creating Altlangs

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  • father's personal
    ... General question: what s the etymology of _bogolang_? bogus??? It s new to me. Incidentally I find glosarch a perfectly good formation--- after all, we
    Message 1 of 28 , Feb 19, 2013
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      ----- Original Message -----
      --- On Tue, 2/19/13, James Kane <kanejam@...> wrote:

      General question: what's the "etymology" of _bogolang_? bogus??? It's new to me. Incidentally I find "glosarch" a perfectly good formation--- after all, we have autarch (Gene Wolfe's books), heresiarch and a few others (tetrarch IIRC, what's that?), hardly in wide circulation.

      ====================
      A tetrarch is the ruler of a fourth. There are several uses of it in Roman history. I am most familiar with its use in the New Testament as the Roman name for the four sons of Herod the Great. Rome would not give rule over the whole country to one man and divided Judea into four portions, one for each of them, thus breaking up a potential hot spot. There is some discussion, though, as to whether there were three or four divisions. Luke in his gospel mentions Herod Antipas as the tetrarch of Galilee.

      Charlie
    • James Kane
      ... What if Latin survived in the Balkan sprachbund? Probably what I really mean is that Romanian is interesting in its evolution and divergence. Of course a
      Message 2 of 28 , Feb 20, 2013
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        > One will notice that the Romansch dialects have similarly
        > been influenced by the high German dialects spoken in
        > contiguous areas, and the Moorish influence in Spanish is
        > noticeable.
        >
        > I admit Romanian is interesting, but I don't think any more
        > or less remarkable than most other Romancelangs (personally
        > I find the Reto-romance and the Sardinian dialects more
        > interesting). I fail to understand how a living language
        > can be "almost a real life altlang."
        >

        'What if Latin survived in the Balkan sprachbund?'

        Probably what I really mean is that Romanian is interesting in its evolution and divergence.

        Of course a language cannot be a real world example of an altlang, but it could certainly be used as an example of language changes that make a language unique in that it is not quite Balkan or Slavic or Greek but influenced by all of these and quite far from the other Romance languages in terms of its irregular plurals and noun case and postposed definite article etc. one could say that about all the Romance languages - the Rhaeto-Romance languages obviously show similar divergence - or even all languages in the world, but real-life languages are where conlangers get their inspiration from so I see no problem in drawing analogues to certain types of conlangs.
      • BPJ
        ... But that s what allows them to break out of the bogosphere and into the altosphere (yes, intentiontally ambiguous coinage!) so it s actually a good thing.
        Message 3 of 28 , Feb 20, 2013
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          On 2013-02-19 20:39, R A Brown wrote:
          >>> 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!
          >
          > 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!) so it's actually a good thing. I
          found that doing a bogolang a second time wasn't
          anywhere near as fun as the first time -- especially
          not when it wasn't also a way of learning about one of
          the languages in the mix -- but starting to think in
          terms of what *realistically* could have happened
          to language A under conditions B, proved more
          interesting, 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, 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.

          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: essentially
          Italian with apocope, syncope and dipthongization of VL
          /e:/ and /o:/ -- actually Spanish style since it
          applied in closed syllables as well -- and even of
          *Latin* /a:/ since in youthful folly I thought the
          merger of Latin /a/ and /a:/ in VL was a terrible loss!
          :-) When I decided to redo it some years ago wanted to
          strive for realism but I also decided that my aesthetic
          predilections were going to have the last word,
          preferably coming up with some plausible scenario for
          how it came to be so. Unfortunately the result wasn't
          too bloody different: Occitan[^1] with Francien-style
          diphthongization instead of Italian with bastard Hispano-
          Francien-style diphthongization, and only the faintest
          Italian influence in vocabulary and verbal system. Its
          perhaps most redeeming trait is totally unrealistic:
          *Germanic-style* i-umlaut triggered i.a. by an Italian-
          style development of -AS, -OS, -ES into */i/. The only
          thing which doesn't make it a total parody is the
          premise that it beside being at least plausible
          above all should reflect its author's aesthetic
          predilections; the only thing which could save it
          would be finding some more or less a-priori trait
          which would both be agreable to those predilections
          and capable of being made plausible.

          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, unless it is spiced up
          with something which is probably implausible. 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,
          and you may do that as well through both -- perhaps
          even more through the bogolang since it gives
          opportunity to contemplate *how* and *why* its super-
          and substrate differ.

          /bpj

          [^1]: Occitan, which BTW *is* -- historically speaking,
          at least ;-( -- a major Romance language *and* has
          front rounded vowels like the whole 'Gallo- Italian'
          subgroup.
        • carolandray+ray
          I m away from home & having to use webmail, so formatting may not be brilliant. ... [snip] ... _May_ allow them if: 1. the situation is a plausible one, e.g.
          Message 4 of 28 , Feb 21, 2013
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            I'm away from home & having to use webmail, so formatting
            may not be brilliant.

            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.

            > 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.

            [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.

            That is *not* the way I would develop, say, a Britanno-Romance lang.

            > 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.

            > 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.

            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.
            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...

            > unless it is spiced up
            > with something which is probably implausible.

            ...the implausible (IMO) spelling of [v] as _f_ in a Romancelang.
            Implausibility may add spice, but then the thing passes from the
            altosphere into the artosphere.

            > 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.

            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.

            Ray.
          • Jörg Rhiemeier
            Hallo conlangers! ... Never mind. It came out OK. ... Yes. ... I have seen several bogolangs that were broken beyond repair, usually starting with an utterly
            Message 5 of 28 , Feb 21, 2013
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              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"), 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
            • BPJ
              ... OK, I should have added if the scenario isn t all too outrageous. ... OK, so maybe I m expecting to much of the average newbie, but essentially I agree
              Message 6 of 28 , Feb 21, 2013
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                On 2013-02-21 11:20, carolandray+ray wrote:
                > I'm away from home & having to use webmail, so formatting
                > may not be brilliant.
                >
                > 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.

                OK, I should have added "if the scenario isn't all too outrageous.

                > 2. the conlanger has the nous to allow such a break in a
                > plausible situation.

                OK, so maybe I'm expecting to much of the average newbie,
                but essentially I agree with these points.

                >
                >> 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.

                Surely. Did I say otherwise? "Allow" and "make" ain't the same thing.

                > [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.
                >
                > That is *not* the way I would develop, say, a Britanno-Romance lang.

                No, but strictly speaking such a language, had it
                existed, might or might not have any similarities to
                Welsh or English at all; there is simply no way to
                know, although the lack of influence from Gaulish in
                French or from Brittonic in English makes "might not"
                seem the safer guess. I see nothing wrong in donning a
                Montesquieuan hat as a design strategy in doing an
                altlang or a bogolang, but it's as arbitrary in either
                case, the difference being that the 'weak' areal
                traits/sprachbund version may actually produce
                something plausible. However something entirely
                arbitrary, on the "sound changes I like" principle,
                might be just as plausible. I actually created Rhodrese
                on that principle, and it just turned out as something
                which might possibly, if not probably, have arosen in
                Gaul, so I located it there after the fact.

                >
                >> 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.
                >
                >> 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.

                Note the scare quotes! My personal predilections which my
                youthful self regarded as 'ideal'. I was clear about the
                subjectivity, but not about the semantics of "ideal"! :-)

                >
                > 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.
                > essentially

                Several Gallo-Italian varieties live on to varying degrees
                in the Alpine valleys of Italy, where the school system's
                attitude to how the students speak out of class seems much
                more relaxed than (it traditionally was) in France
                <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vergonha>.

                I see now that the particular mix of features of my
                youthful "Roumain" (sic!), high mid diphthongization
                *and* lack of intervocalic lenition, may perhaps be
                found "sur la côte Sud-Est de l'Italie, depuis Molfetta
                jusque dans l'intérieur des Abruzzes" which is an _ei_
                area, but it still doesn't seem very interesting to my
                present self. Something like the current Rhodrese --
                **minus** i-umlaut -- is perhaps more *plausible* to
                actually (have) exist(ed) somewhere in the continuum,
                but it's not more *likely* in any way. First and last
                its only raison d'être is as a reflection of my
                personal lámatyáve, but I do also wish for it to
                possess a modicum of plausibility which "Roumain"
                didn't. There's no telling how my self thirty years
                into the future will judge it of course.

                > [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...
                >
                >> unless it is spiced up
                >> with something which is probably implausible.
                >
                > ...the implausible (IMO) spelling of [v] as _f_ in a Romancelang.
                > Implausibility may add spice, but then the thing passes from the
                > altosphere into the artosphere.

                Yes, at least unless VL /f/ were regularly lenited to
                /v/, but then intervocalic /f/ was rather rare in
                Latin. Actually a Britanno-Romance which coexisted with
                Old English could have picked up the _f_ == [v] mapping
                from OE; not very likely but possible.

                I'd say spelling is a rather superficial aspect. I
                don't think the way Rhodrese uses the digraphs _ch gh
                gn gl tx_ makes it anymore like Italian, Rumantsch or
                Basque *as a language*, but nor do I think that the
                presence or lack of linguistic similarity makes it more
                or less likely that it would have those spellings
                either, though its chosen geographical and cultural
                position, and the way Latin GN, C'L and X developed and
                some back vowels after /k g/ ended up as front vowels
                in the language, might.

                >
                >> 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.
                >
                > 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.

                Perhaps not if you equate "aesthetic" with "beauty". I
                don't. I think there is always an element of
                consideration of artistic impact and appearance. How
                much and in what way may differ of course, as do the
                relevant preferences and concerns of the author and the
                perceived audience. Surely even the most cacophonous
                and/or mechanical engelang somehow reflects the
                artistic preferences and sensibilities of its author,
                or it would turn out differently. All engelangs I've
                seen have some sort of 'aesthetic coherence', as does
                the Black Speech which Tolkien meant to reflect his
                idea of ugliness (it isn't phonaesthetically or
                'morphoaesthetically' ugly to me, but the idea
                expressed in its main extant text is no more or less
                repulsive for that!)

                /bpj
              • Jörg Rhiemeier
                Hallo conlangers! ... Sure. Making a bogolang with a plausible scenario (I don t like this word, and prefer calling them graftlangs , as grafting is what
                Message 7 of 28 , Feb 21, 2013
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                  Hallo conlangers!

                  On Thursday 21 February 2013 18:25:45 BPJ wrote:

                  > On 2013-02-21 11:20, carolandray+ray wrote:
                  > > I'm away from home & having to use webmail, so formatting
                  > > may not be brilliant.
                  > >
                  > > On 20.02.2013 23:01, BPJ wrote:
                  > >> On 2013-02-19 20:39, R A Brown wrote:
                  > [...]
                  > >> 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.
                  >
                  > OK, I should have added "if the scenario isn't all too outrageous.
                  >
                  > > 2. the conlanger has the nous to allow such a break in a
                  > > plausible situation.
                  >
                  > OK, so maybe I'm expecting to much of the average newbie,
                  > but essentially I agree with these points.

                  Sure. Making a "bogolang" with a plausible scenario (I don't like
                  this word, and prefer calling them "graftlangs", as grafting is
                  what happens here) is a cheap and easy way of getting to a passable
                  (though not really a good) altlang, or at least to a first draft
                  of an altlang, which can be refined by tweaking the sound changes
                  to make things make sense. (And we all know that language change
                  is more than just sound change!) Yet, a really *good* altlang
                  needs more work than just grafting sound changes of language A
                  onto language B. You have to tweak the sound changes to match
                  the phonology of language B, which always will be different from
                  that of language A; you need to account for the morphology and
                  syntax, etc.

                  > >> 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.
                  >
                  > Surely. Did I say otherwise? "Allow" and "make" ain't the same thing.

                  Indeed not.

                  > > [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.
                  > >
                  > > That is *not* the way I would develop, say, a Britanno-Romance lang.
                  >
                  > No, but strictly speaking such a language, had it
                  > existed, might or might not have any similarities to
                  > Welsh or English at all; there is simply no way to
                  > know, although the lack of influence from Gaulish in
                  > French or from Brittonic in English makes "might not"
                  > seem the safer guess.

                  Indeed there is no way to know what kind of language would have
                  evolved in Britain if Latin had survived there; assuming that
                  it evolved in similar ways as Welsh is just an application of
                  the "ceteris paribus" principle that is widely considered a
                  "tool of the trade" among alternative history writers.

                  But the ceteris paribus principle does not always work out well,
                  and there are differences between British Celtic and a British
                  Vulgar Latin, such as the latter being in contact with a
                  continental dialect continuum while the former is not.

                  And finally, the ceteris paribus principle in this case led to
                  an *interesting* conlang. While one may be of the opinion that
                  a Modern British Romance would be much like many other Romance
                  languages, Brithenig shows a number of traits that set it aside
                  from the usual Romance fare, such as its initial mutations.

                  Surely, Brithenig is among the better among the many romlangs
                  that have appeared in the last 15 years - it is quite plausible
                  (as opposed to "Bantu-Romance" or "Sino-Romance" languages),
                  and it shows some interesting departures from the Standard
                  Average European structure of the Romance natlangs - and that
                  in quite a plausible way (after all, Welsh shows that a
                  language with those features could evolve in Britain)!

                  > I see nothing wrong in donning a
                  > Montesquieuan hat as a design strategy in doing an
                  > altlang or a bogolang, but it's as arbitrary in either
                  > case, the difference being that the 'weak' areal
                  > traits/sprachbund version may actually produce
                  > something plausible.

                  Right. Brithenig is just *one* of many languages which *could*
                  have evolved in Britain if Latin had prevailed there; there is
                  nothing in it which could not have happened, I think.

                  > However something entirely
                  > arbitrary, on the "sound changes I like" principle,
                  > might be just as plausible.

                  Yes!

                  > I actually created Rhodrese
                  > on that principle, and it just turned out as something
                  > which might possibly, if not probably, have arosen in
                  > Gaul, so I located it there after the fact.

                  The current location of Roman Germanech in the Odenwald is also
                  after the fact. The language started as a language spoken in
                  the entirety of Germany in a timeline where Varus defeated
                  Arminius and Germany all the way to the Elbe river became a
                  Roman province. This was considered for addition to Ill
                  Bethisad, but never canonized and abandoned later. When I
                  started the League of Lost Languages, I decided that Roman
                  Germanech could be the Romance language that survived in the
                  Mosel valley *here* until about 1100.

                  The snag was that the sound changes of that Romance language
                  variety are known (they just weren't known to *me*), and turned
                  out to be utterly different from those of Roman Germanech
                  (basically, Mosel Romance was just an "ordinary" northern Gallo-
                  Romance language). Also, the sound changes of Roman Germanech
                  did not match those of the *German* dialects of that area (most
                  glaringly, the Mosel valley is north of the Speyer line, the
                  northern limit of the /p/ > /pf/ change which occurred in Roman
                  Germanech just as in Standard German).

                  I needed to find a place in Germany where the Romans have once
                  been, that had a more or less "fitting" dialect, and was
                  sufficiently out of the way of the main traffic arteries to
                  allow the survival of a Romance language pocket. The Odenwald
                  at least got close enough to such a location and I could not
                  find a better one (Thuringia, the homeland of Standard German,
                  would have been perfect with regard to the local dialect, but
                  it was utterly beyond the limits of the Roman Empire!), so I
                  placed the language there.

                  > >> 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.
                  > >
                  > >> 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.
                  >
                  > Note the scare quotes! My personal predilections which my
                  > youthful self regarded as 'ideal'. I was clear about the
                  > subjectivity, but not about the semantics of "ideal"! :-)

                  Sure.

                  > > 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.
                  > > essentially
                  >
                  > Several Gallo-Italian varieties live on to varying degrees
                  > in the Alpine valleys of Italy, where the school system's
                  > attitude to how the students speak out of class seems much
                  > more relaxed than (it traditionally was) in France
                  > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vergonha>.

                  Yes.

                  > I see now that the particular mix of features of my
                  > youthful "Roumain" (sic!), high mid diphthongization
                  > *and* lack of intervocalic lenition, may perhaps be
                  > found "sur la côte Sud-Est de l'Italie, depuis Molfetta
                  > jusque dans l'intérieur des Abruzzes" which is an _ei_
                  > area, but it still doesn't seem very interesting to my
                  > present self. Something like the current Rhodrese --
                  > **minus** i-umlaut -- is perhaps more *plausible* to
                  > actually (have) exist(ed) somewhere in the continuum,
                  > but it's not more *likely* in any way. First and last
                  > its only raison d'être is as a reflection of my
                  > personal lámatyáve, but I do also wish for it to
                  > possess a modicum of plausibility which "Roumain"
                  > didn't. There's no telling how my self thirty years
                  > into the future will judge it of course.

                  I now feel that Roman Germanech is a rather mediocre conlang,
                  at any rate not getting anywhere near what I can achieve now
                  in Old Albic; even the lesser members of the Hesperic family
                  can at least compete with it. Yet, it has some strong points,
                  such as the "leapfrogging" change of VL /E/ and /O/ to /i/ and
                  /u/, respectively, which was not even intended that way but
                  fell out of the combination of Western Romance /E, O/ >
                  /ie, uo/ and German /ie, yø, uo/ > /i:, y:, u:/. It is not so
                  decrepit that I feel like trashing it; but I do not have any
                  further plans with it, other than finishing up and publicating
                  a grammar sketch with a few sample texts and some vocabulary.

                  > [...]
                  > > ...the implausible (IMO) spelling of [v] as _f_ in a Romancelang.
                  > > Implausibility may add spice, but then the thing passes from the
                  > > altosphere into the artosphere.
                  >
                  > Yes, at least unless VL /f/ were regularly lenited to
                  > /v/, but then intervocalic /f/ was rather rare in
                  > Latin.

                  It was. Latin /f/ could occur word-internally only in the
                  second members of compounds and in prefixed forms.

                  > Actually a Britanno-Romance which coexisted with
                  > Old English could have picked up the _f_ == [v] mapping
                  > from OE; not very likely but possible.

                  Yes. After all, Welsh somehow came up with this convention!
                  Yet, if there had been a Romance continuity in Britain, there
                  probably would have been a stronger continuity of *writing* in
                  Romance Britain, and the orthography of British Romance more
                  in tune with the rest of Romance.

                  > I'd say spelling is a rather superficial aspect.

                  Sure.

                  > I
                  > don't think the way Rhodrese uses the digraphs _ch gh
                  > gn gl tx_ makes it anymore like Italian, Rumantsch or
                  > Basque *as a language*, but nor do I think that the
                  > presence or lack of linguistic similarity makes it more
                  > or less likely that it would have those spellings
                  > either, though its chosen geographical and cultural
                  > position, and the way Latin GN, C'L and X developed and
                  > some back vowels after /k g/ ended up as front vowels
                  > in the language, might.

                  My spelling of Roman Germanech is partly based on that of
                  German, but it is not identical, after all, the phonologies
                  are not the same, and I wanted Romance continuity to be
                  respected in it. So, I have three letters for /s/, namely
                  _s_ (for /s/ < Lat. /s/), _z_ (for /s/ < Lat. /t/) and
                  _x_ (for /s/ < Lat. /ks/). The affricate /ts/, however,
                  is always spelled _tz_.

                  > >> 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.
                  > >
                  > > 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.
                  >
                  > Perhaps not if you equate "aesthetic" with "beauty". I
                  > don't. I think there is always an element of
                  > consideration of artistic impact and appearance. How
                  > much and in what way may differ of course, as do the
                  > relevant preferences and concerns of the author and the
                  > perceived audience. Surely even the most cacophonous
                  > and/or mechanical engelang somehow reflects the
                  > artistic preferences and sensibilities of its author,
                  > or it would turn out differently.

                  Probably. Few people want to create something they themselves
                  find ugly; and I don't think that engelangers are an exception
                  here. And often, beauty falls out of objective design goals.
                  Perhaps the elegant shape of a wind turbine is a good comparison
                  here - the wind turbine is shaped the way it is not because of
                  some designer's whim, but because that shape makes for an
                  efficient conversion of wind force into electric energy - but it
                  is this efficiency that results in an elegant design. (Also,
                  part of the beauty of a wind turbine is of course that it is a
                  *clean* machine, producing energy without any toxic waste
                  products.)

                  > All engelangs I've
                  > seen have some sort of 'aesthetic coherence', as does
                  > the Black Speech which Tolkien meant to reflect his
                  > idea of ugliness (it isn't phonaesthetically or
                  > 'morphoaesthetically' ugly to me, but the idea
                  > expressed in its main extant text is no more or less
                  > repulsive for that!)

                  Black Speech is less ugly than Klingon, if you ask me ;)

                  --
                  ... 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
                • MorphemeAddict
                  ... But elegance is a form of esthetics. stevo
                  Message 8 of 28 , Feb 21, 2013
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                    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
                    >
                  • Roman Rausch
                    ... Does it really, though? He himself calls it very different from Elvish, yet organized and expressive, as would be expected of a device of Sauron before
                    Message 9 of 28 , Feb 22, 2013
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                      >All engelangs I've seen have some sort of 'aesthetic coherence', as does the Black Speech which Tolkien meant to reflect his idea of ugliness

                      Does it really, though? He himself calls it "very different from Elvish, yet organized and expressive, as would be expected of a device of Sauron before his complete corruption" (PE17:11) which sounds quite positive.
                      I would say that the negative connotations with the Black Speech in Middle-earth are cultural: It is, after all, the language of the great enemy who wants to destroy and enslave the known world. I also do not find it ugly: Phonetically it's well-balanced, you could do much better if you really wanted to make a language ugly - weird consonant clusters, an excess of a certain sound type, glottal stops in the unlikeliest of places to make you choke - you name it.
                    • BPJ
                      ... I couldn t agree more, but look up his description of his intentions with BS -- in Letters I think, which I don t have at hand. My own Sohlob is
                      Message 10 of 28 , Feb 22, 2013
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                        On 2013-02-22 13:16, Roman Rausch wrote:
                        >> All engelangs I've seen have some sort of 'aesthetic coherence', as does the Black Speech which Tolkien meant to reflect his idea of ugliness
                        >
                        > Does it really, though? He himself calls it "very different from Elvish, yet organized and expressive, as would be expected of a device of Sauron before his complete corruption" (PE17:11) which sounds quite positive.
                        > I would say that the negative connotations with the Black Speech in Middle-earth are cultural: It is, after all, the language of the great enemy who wants to destroy and enslave the known world. I also do not find it ugly: Phonetically it's well-balanced, you could do much better if you really wanted to make a language ugly - weird consonant clusters, an excess of a certain sound type, glottal stops in the unlikeliest of places to make you choke - you name it.
                        >

                        I couldn't agree more, but look up his description of his
                        intentions with BS -- in "Letters" I think, which I don't
                        have at hand. My own Sohlob is definitely much more similar
                        to BS than to the Eldarin languages, yet it has no 'evil'
                        connotations within its setting at all -- as if a language
                        could be inherently good or evil, which I don't think
                        JRRT thought. He made a point of pointing out that Morgoth
                        was a skilled omniglot too BTW!

                        /bpj
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