Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Equivalent to Grand Master Plans in Proper Linguistics?

Expand Messages
  • Arnt Richard Johansen
    Throughout my undergraduate linguistics studies, I have been exposed to the Neogrammarian hypothesis, that is, the idea that historical sound change can be
    Message 1 of 18 , Jun 19, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      Throughout my undergraduate linguistics studies, I have been exposed to the Neogrammarian hypothesis, that is, the idea that historical sound change can be described as an ordered sequence of phonological rules that operate on a protolanguage to create a daughter language.

      When conlangers describe fictional diachronic languages, this set of rules is called a Grand Master Plan, and is sometimes specified to such a precision that it exists as a machine-readable file that can be used by a sound change applier.

      In my textbooks I sometimes saw examples of one or two sound change rules, but I have never seen a set of sound change rules between a proto-language and a daughter language, say Latin and French, that was claimed to be reasonably complete.

      So, my question is this: are there any examples of scholars in historical linguistics having collected a complete set of sound change rules from some pair of language and proto-language? Do they use computerized tools to test those rule sets?

      If so, what do they call their equivalent of the sound change applier, and what do they call their Grand Master Plans? I would like to play with one of those. For example, to see what would happen if language X had retained the word Y from its protolanguage, instead of losing it and extending the sense of a different word. Or to see what would happen if language X went through the same sequence of changes that happened between proto-language Y and language Z.

      If on the other hand academic linguists do not build such complete sets of sound changes, how can they make strong claims of exceptionlessness?

      --
      Arnt Richard Johansen http://arj.nvg.org/
      I know, I know. I could write a whole book about procrastination, but
      who has the time? -- Mark Shoulson
    • Padraic Brown
      ... Sure. One well known hereabouts is From Latin to Romance in Sound Charts by Peter Boyd-Bowman. I think it is more or less this particular work that is
      Message 2 of 18 , Jun 19, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        >From: Arnt Richard Johansen <arj@...>

        >Sent: Wednesday, 19 June 2013, 4:36
        >
        > Throughout my undergraduate linguistics studies, I have been exposed to the Neogrammarian hypothesis, that is,
        > the idea that historical sound change can be described as an ordered sequence of phonological rules that operate
        > on a protolanguage to create a daughter language.
        >
        > When conlangers describe fictional diachronic languages, this set of rules is called a Grand Master Plan, and is
        > sometimes specified to such a precision that it exists as a machine-readable file that can be used by a sound change
        > applier.
        >
        > In my textbooks I sometimes saw examples of one or two sound change rules, but I have never seen a set of sound
        > change rules between a proto-language and a daughter language, say Latin and French, that was claimed to be
        > reasonably complete.
        >
        > So, my question is this: are there any examples of scholars in historical linguistics having collected a complete set of
        > sound change rules from some pair of language and proto-language?

        Sure. One well known hereabouts is "From Latin to Romance in Sound Charts" by Peter Boyd-Bowman. I think it is
        more or less this particular work that is ultimately the prototype of all the GMPs used by various GMP using conlangers.
        Most of the older grammars (Wright, especially) contain this sort of information (for example, sound changes that occur
        between Primitive Germanic and Gothic), but it's often densely packed and a bit tedious to sort out. B-B takes away all
        the grammar and all the historical information and leaves you with a number of "rules" and examples of their application
        across the Romance speaking world (though I don't think he makes use of Romanian). Frankly, I'd like to see just this
        kind of book for Germanic.


        I freely admit to having used B-B in working on Kerno, though by no means to the point where the resulting sound chart
        becomes a "machine readable" file! Generally speaking, I don't like such microscopically planned conlanging. It's a little
        unnatural, all that exactly-and-precisely-one-to-one correspondence.


        > I would like to play with one of those. For example, to see what would happen if language X had retained the word Y
        > from its protolanguage, instead of losing it and extending the sense of a different word. Or to see what would happen if
        > language X went through the same sequence of changes that happened between proto-language Y and language Z.

        That I think you could certainly do with a work like B-B's and any VL word you like that didn't make it into French or
        Spanish or Italian. Just apply the rules and presto changeo! There's your newly minted, never before existed, honest to
        goodness real Spanish word! After all, if I can use an altered set of rules to devise a conlang's word for VL vetulu, why
        not apply the real rules to devise a word that is wanting in a modern Romance language?

        The test then would be to pepper one's conversation among native speakers with these devised words and see what their
        reactions are...


        > If on the other hand academic linguists do not build such complete sets of sound changes, how can they make strong claims
        > of exceptionlessness?

        I couldn't really comment, not being a linguistician, but I think it's fairly clear that in order for them to make claims of
        exceptionlessness, they would have to have made some kind of similar tool to that proposed in the book, and would also
        have had to test it.

        Padraic


        >Arnt Richard Johansen                                http://arj.nvg.org/
      • Roger Mills
        ... Throughout my undergraduate linguistics studies, I have been exposed to the Neogrammarian hypothesis, that is, the idea that historical sound change can be
        Message 3 of 18 , Jun 19, 2013
        • 0 Attachment
          --- On Wed, 6/19/13, Arnt Richard Johansen <arj@...> wrote:
          Throughout my undergraduate linguistics studies, I have been exposed to the Neogrammarian hypothesis, that is, the idea that historical sound change can be described as an ordered sequence of phonological rules that operate on a protolanguage to create a daughter language.

          RM: Hist/Comp. Linguistics (Austronesian langs.) is my area, though I'm rather inactive these days (long retired)..
          I'm not sure the neogrammarians thought of it that way, but with the development of generative phonology, it has become feasible. I think there's an early paper by Paul Kiparsky on the subject. I don't know if anyone has actually created a GMP for any language family, but I've certainly seen similar work for developments within subgroups. Clearly, as one works one's way from Proto-state X to modern lang. Y, one encounters questions of rule ordering.
          ------------------------------

          When conlangers describe fictional diachronic languages, this set of rules is called a Grand Master Plan, and is sometimes specified to such a precision that it exists as a machine-readable file that can be used by a sound change applier.

          RM I wrote up a series of generative rules for Proto-Bau Da Gwr > Modern B.D. Gwr, that, to the best of my ability and knowlege, is ordered, and AFAICT, works :-))) If you're interested, it's here: http://cinduworld.tripod.com/gwr_rules.pdf. I'm not competent with the computer to know whether it would work in that way.,.....

          I've got lots of notes for the development of Proto-Kash > modern langs., but nothing concrete yet.

          I've done a lot of work (in the old-fashioned way) on a small lang. family in Eastern Indonesia (now called Proto-Luangic-Kisaric); it could probably be reduced to a set of (for the most part) ordered  rules.
          ------------------------------

          In my textbooks I sometimes saw examples of one or two sound change rules, but I have never seen a set of sound change rules between a proto-language and a daughter language, say Latin and French, that was claimed to be reasonably complete.

          RM I'm not sure I've seen such things either, but then, I don't keep up with the literature much anymore. But it should be possible. (IIRC a man named Sanford Schane, back in the 70s, did some work of this sort on French.) The problem in the Romance field is that the actual proto-lang. (Vulgar Latin) is not well-attested, and Classical Latin isn't it. And so many other factors enter into it-- analogical levelling, borrowing, "substrate" (a bad word amongst linguists!), etc.

          I'm not familiar with anything specific in the Austronesian field, but a lot of things are implicit in various papers/books dealing with individual languages or subgroups.
          ----------------------------------------------------

          So, my question is this: are there any examples of scholars in historical linguistics having collected a complete set of sound change rules from some pair of language and proto-language? Do they use computerized tools to test those rule sets?

          RM Maybe some younger scholars are able to computerize their work, but us old fogeys are at a disadvantage there :-((((
          -----------------------------------------------------------------------

          If so, what do they call their equivalent of the sound change applier, and what do they call their Grand Master Plans? I would like to play with one of those. For example, to see what would happen if language X had retained the word Y from its protolanguage, instead of losing it and extending the sense of a different word. Or to see what would happen if language X went through the same sequence of changes that happened between proto-language Y and language Z.

          If on the other hand academic linguists do not build such complete sets of sound changes, how can they make strong claims of exceptionlessness?

          RM These days, I think, almost everyone accepts the idea that there indeed _are_ exceptions, or at least " unexplained" phenomena.... In my 1975 diss. on the langs. of South Sulawesi, I encountered lots of double (or more) reflexes of ceertain proto-sounds, e.g. in Buginese, I found both /b/ and /w/ > *b, /d/ and /r/ < *d, /k/ or 0 < *k, among others, for which there were hints of an explanation, but nothing certain. Not to mention a fair number of obvious loan words from other Sulawesi langs. chiefly distinguished by either 1.complete loss of final C or 2. /o/ < *schwa, which were NOT typical changes in the S.Sul group. It can be, as someone once said, a puzzlement :-))))
        • David McCann
          On Wed, 19 Jun 2013 10:36:10 +0200 ... A very good example is Ringe s From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic . The sound changes are listed with many
          Message 4 of 18 , Jun 19, 2013
          • 0 Attachment
            On Wed, 19 Jun 2013 10:36:10 +0200
            Arnt Richard Johansen <arj@...> wrote:

            > In my textbooks I sometimes saw examples of one or two sound change
            > rules, but I have never seen a set of sound change rules between a
            > proto-language and a daughter language, say Latin and French, that
            > was claimed to be reasonably complete.

            A very good example is Ringe's "From Proto-Indo-European to
            Proto-Germanic". The sound changes are listed with many examples, and
            he also works out the order in which they occurred, with a nice
            flowchart. It's also a good source for the latest thinking on PIE
            phonology and grammar.

            On a rather different tack, I'm currently studying "Evolutionary
            phonology", by Blevins. She avoids all the theoretical posturing of
            recent linguistics and goes back to the reality of speakers and
            listeners, to explain sound changes and patterns in terms of the
            listener's (especially children's) analysis of what they hear.
          • Dirk Elzinga
            Lyle Campbell and Ronald Langacker present an 11 rule cascade from Proto-Uto-Aztecan to Nahuatl in part II of their paper Proto-Aztecan Vowels (International
            Message 5 of 18 , Jun 19, 2013
            • 0 Attachment
              Lyle Campbell and Ronald Langacker present an 11 rule cascade from
              Proto-Uto-Aztecan to Nahuatl in part II of their paper "Proto-Aztecan
              Vowels" (International Journal of American Linguistics, Vol. 44, No.l 3
              (July, 1978), pp. 197-210). It was very helpful for me in a project I'm
              currently working on.

              Dirk


              On Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 2:36 AM, Arnt Richard Johansen <arj@...> wrote:

              > Throughout my undergraduate linguistics studies, I have been exposed to
              > the Neogrammarian hypothesis, that is, the idea that historical sound
              > change can be described as an ordered sequence of phonological rules that
              > operate on a protolanguage to create a daughter language.
              >
              > When conlangers describe fictional diachronic languages, this set of rules
              > is called a Grand Master Plan, and is sometimes specified to such a
              > precision that it exists as a machine-readable file that can be used by a
              > sound change applier.
              >
              > In my textbooks I sometimes saw examples of one or two sound change rules,
              > but I have never seen a set of sound change rules between a proto-language
              > and a daughter language, say Latin and French, that was claimed to be
              > reasonably complete.
              >
              > So, my question is this: are there any examples of scholars in historical
              > linguistics having collected a complete set of sound change rules from some
              > pair of language and proto-language? Do they use computerized tools to test
              > those rule sets?
              >
              > If so, what do they call their equivalent of the sound change applier, and
              > what do they call their Grand Master Plans? I would like to play with one
              > of those. For example, to see what would happen if language X had retained
              > the word Y from its protolanguage, instead of losing it and extending the
              > sense of a different word. Or to see what would happen if language X went
              > through the same sequence of changes that happened between proto-language Y
              > and language Z.
              >
              > If on the other hand academic linguists do not build such complete sets of
              > sound changes, how can they make strong claims of exceptionlessness?
              >
              > --
              > Arnt Richard Johansen http://arj.nvg.org/
              > I know, I know. I could write a whole book about procrastination, but
              > who has the time? -- Mark Shoulson
              >
            • Robert Marshall Murphy
              Sabatino Moscati s INTRODUCTION TO THE COMPARATIVE GRAMMAR OF THE SEMITIC LANGUAGES has had several reprints and is essential for Semitic conlanging. I would
              Message 6 of 18 , Jun 19, 2013
              • 0 Attachment
                Sabatino Moscati's INTRODUCTION TO THE COMPARATIVE GRAMMAR OF THE SEMITIC LANGUAGES has had several reprints and is essential for Semitic conlanging. I would recommend this for anyone interested. It has been my constant companion in the planning of Proto-Oceanic Hebrew.

                -Robert Murphy-

                On Jun 19, 2013, at 10:39 AM, Dirk Elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...> wrote:

                > Lyle Campbell and Ronald Langacker present an 11 rule cascade from
                > Proto-Uto-Aztecan to Nahuatl in part II of their paper "Proto-Aztecan
                > Vowels" (International Journal of American Linguistics, Vol. 44, No.l 3
                > (July, 1978), pp. 197-210). It was very helpful for me in a project I'm
                > currently working on.
                >
                > Dirk
                >
                >
                > On Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 2:36 AM, Arnt Richard Johansen <arj@...> wrote:
                >
                >> Throughout my undergraduate linguistics studies, I have been exposed to
                >> the Neogrammarian hypothesis, that is, the idea that historical sound
                >> change can be described as an ordered sequence of phonological rules that
                >> operate on a protolanguage to create a daughter language.
                >>
                >> When conlangers describe fictional diachronic languages, this set of rules
                >> is called a Grand Master Plan, and is sometimes specified to such a
                >> precision that it exists as a machine-readable file that can be used by a
                >> sound change applier.
                >>
                >> In my textbooks I sometimes saw examples of one or two sound change rules,
                >> but I have never seen a set of sound change rules between a proto-language
                >> and a daughter language, say Latin and French, that was claimed to be
                >> reasonably complete.
                >>
                >> So, my question is this: are there any examples of scholars in historical
                >> linguistics having collected a complete set of sound change rules from some
                >> pair of language and proto-language? Do they use computerized tools to test
                >> those rule sets?
                >>
                >> If so, what do they call their equivalent of the sound change applier, and
                >> what do they call their Grand Master Plans? I would like to play with one
                >> of those. For example, to see what would happen if language X had retained
                >> the word Y from its protolanguage, instead of losing it and extending the
                >> sense of a different word. Or to see what would happen if language X went
                >> through the same sequence of changes that happened between proto-language Y
                >> and language Z.
                >>
                >> If on the other hand academic linguists do not build such complete sets of
                >> sound changes, how can they make strong claims of exceptionlessness?
                >>
                >> --
                >> Arnt Richard Johansen http://arj.nvg.org/
                >> I know, I know. I could write a whole book about procrastination, but
                >> who has the time? -- Mark Shoulson
                >>
              • And Rosta
                ... Disappointingly, _From Latin to Romance_ includes only the national Romance lgs, excluding Romanian, so I d have thought it would be of pretty limited use
                Message 7 of 18 , Jun 20, 2013
                • 0 Attachment
                  Padraic Brown, On 19/06/2013 14:55:
                  > "From Latin to Romance in Sound Charts" by Peter Boyd-Bowman. I think it is
                  > more or less this particular work that is ultimately the prototype of all the GMPs used by various GMP using conlangers.
                  > Most of the older grammars (Wright, especially) contain this sort of information (for example, sound changes that occur
                  > between Primitive Germanic and Gothic), but it's often densely packed and a bit tedious to sort out. B-B takes away all
                  > the grammar and all the historical information and leaves you with a number of "rules" and examples of their application
                  > across the Romance speaking world (though I don't think he makes use of Romanian). Frankly, I'd like to see just this
                  > kind of book for Germanic.

                  Disappointingly, _From Latin to Romance_ includes only the national
                  Romance lgs, excluding Romanian, so I'd have thought it would be of
                  pretty limited use for serious Romance-based conlanging of the sort
                  that strives to model alternative reality plausibly related to ours.

                  =-And.
                • R A Brown
                  On 19/06/2013 09:36, Arnt Richard Johansen wrote: [snip] ... Indeed - and natlangs don t change by such mechanical precision ;) All sorts other things
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jun 20, 2013
                  • 0 Attachment
                    On 19/06/2013 09:36, Arnt Richard Johansen wrote:
                    [snip]
                    >
                    > When conlangers describe fictional diachronic languages,
                    > this set of rules is called a Grand Master Plan, and is
                    > sometimes specified to such a precision that it exists
                    > as a machine-readable file that can be used by a sound
                    > change applier.

                    Indeed - and natlangs don't change by such mechanical
                    precision ;)

                    All sorts other things operate as well such as analogy (i.e.
                    ironing out grammatical irregularities that change change
                    alone would produce), borrowings into the standard language
                    from non-standard dialects, borrowings from other languages
                    etc. also different sound changes do not all happen at once
                    as some GMPs seem to suggest.

                    > In my textbooks I sometimes saw examples of one or two
                    > sound change rules, but I have never seen a set of sound
                    > change rules between a proto-language and a daughter
                    > language, say Latin and French, that was claimed to be
                    > reasonably complete.

                    Oh yes, such things do exist. Pages 29 through to 108 in my
                    1953 edition of Alfred Ewert's "The French Languages" deals
                    with the sound changes that have taken place in the journey
                    from Vulgar Latin to modern French, with some very useful
                    charts.

                    > So, my question is this: are there any examples of
                    > scholars in historical linguistics having collected a
                    > complete set of sound change rules from some pair of
                    > language and proto-language?

                    Yes - see above.

                    > Do they use computerized tools to test those rule sets?

                    Obviously Mr Ewert did not ;)

                    But i guess linguists nowadays would make use of computers.

                    > If so, what do they call their equivalent of the sound
                    > change applier, and what do they call their Grand Master
                    > Plans?

                    Diachronic phonology, presumably. What linguists are doing
                    is trying to unravel the often complicated development of
                    the language. Languages do not develop according to some
                    preordained GMP.
                    ==============================================================

                    On 20/06/2013 09:02, And Rosta wrote:
                    > Padraic Brown, On 19/06/2013 14:55:
                    >> "From Latin to Romance in Sound Charts" by Peter
                    >> Boyd-Bowman. I think it is more or less this particular
                    >> work that is ultimately the prototype of all the GMPs
                    >> used by various GMP using conlangers.

                    Is that so? It won't be mine ;)

                    >> B-B takes away all the grammar and all the historical
                    >> information and leaves you with a number of "rules"
                    >> and examples of their application across the Romance
                    >> speaking world

                    Is that so? Then IMHO this is of very limited value. The
                    grammar and the historical information IMO is essential for
                    a proper understanding of how a language has developed. The
                    grammar often explains the "exceptions.'

                    >> though I don't think he makes use of Romanian).

                    Then the title is surely misleading.

                    [snip]

                    > Disappointingly, _From Latin to Romance_ includes only
                    > the national Romance lgs, excluding Romanian,

                    ...and some of the more interesting Romance languages IME
                    are the non-national ones.

                    > so I'd have thought it would be of pretty limited use
                    > for serious Romance-based conlanging of the sort that
                    > strives to model alternative reality plausibly related to
                    > ours.

                    On this, I am in complete agreement with And.

                    --
                    Ray
                    ==================================
                    http://www.carolandray.plus.com
                    ==================================
                    "language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
                    for individual beings and events."
                    [Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]
                  • Jyri Lehtinen
                    ... I fully agree that it s important to remember all of these sources of irregularity if you are heading at maximal naturalness for your language. It s of
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jun 20, 2013
                    • 0 Attachment
                      >
                      > All sorts other things operate as well such as analogy (i.e.
                      > ironing out grammatical irregularities that change change
                      > alone would produce), borrowings into the standard language
                      > from non-standard dialects, borrowings from other languages
                      > etc. also different sound changes do not all happen at once
                      > as some GMPs seem to suggest.
                      >

                      I fully agree that it's important to remember all of these sources of
                      irregularity if you are heading at maximal naturalness for your language.
                      It's of course much easier to mess things up if you are not following a set
                      of deterministic rules, but I'd say that a large part of the fun is exactly
                      in that challenge.

                      If you find a good dialectological study of a language, you'll find that
                      none of the distinctive features (sound changes, words, uses of grammatical
                      elements) tend to coincide perfectly. Each new feature happened as an
                      innovation at different geographical locations and at different periods of
                      time. There is no reason why the spreading patterns of different
                      innovations have had to follow each other and often you find features that
                      have spread over old and well established dialect boundaries. The spreading
                      also takes time and you might be able to track this for example from the
                      environments in which a given sound change has been active in a given
                      dialect.

                      It's also a very good point that no sound change happens instantaneously in
                      any dialect. Frequently used words might have different patterns for
                      adapting to the change than very rarely used ones, such as archaic or
                      technical words. During this period you observe only a partial sound
                      change. I can give two such examples from my own speech,both of which are
                      very common in the form of Finnish spoken around the grater Helsinki area.
                      One is whether the reflex of the weak grade of /t/ is /d/ as in the
                      standard language of loss as in the eastern dialect area and the other is
                      whether the standard language /ts/ gets replaced by /t:/ which is typical
                      to many western dialects. For commonly used words I tend to use exclusively
                      the dialectal variants unless I aim for a hyper corrected register to put
                      someone off. Uncommon words haven't implemented this spread of dialectal
                      features and get the reflexes of the standard language. There is however a
                      middle ground between the two extremes where I'm never certain which reflex
                      to choose and the choice depends sensitively from the register of the
                      discourse. These examples are somewhat complicated by the fact that both of
                      the standard language reflexes are in fact historic spelling
                      pronunciations, but that's beside the point. I'm pretty certain that you
                      can find similar partial sound changes from your own idiolects as well.

                      For older stages in the development of a language the complex variations
                      tend to simplify and the development is easier to catch with a linear set
                      of change rules. But this is only because the vast majority of historic
                      dialects has disappeared and left us with a lack of data. You still get
                      irregular development paths and now, due to the missing data, they appear
                      to us as true irregularities.

                      I have seen a couple of sources give a proper list of sound changes between
                      two stages of a language. The best one has to be in Sammallahti's "The
                      Saami Languages: An Introduction" which lists the changes from Proto
                      Finno-Saamic to modern North Saami and gives a couple of reconstructed
                      examples of each change as well as a paragraph of discussion after most of
                      the stages. Even that is not a mechanic list as it also has to give
                      examples of real irregular developments. Most of the works I've read
                      discussing sound changes of a language have only had descriptions of the
                      changes inserted into the bulk text with some examples included.

                      -Jyri
                    • Jörg Rhiemeier
                      Hallo conlangers! ... Yes. These are the main reasons why I don t use sound change appliers. Working out how the words evolve in a diachronic conlang is a
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jun 20, 2013
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Hallo conlangers!

                        On Thursday 20 June 2013 10:36:32 R A Brown wrote:

                        > On 19/06/2013 09:36, Arnt Richard Johansen wrote:
                        > [snip]
                        >
                        > > When conlangers describe fictional diachronic languages,
                        > >
                        > > this set of rules is called a Grand Master Plan, and is
                        > > sometimes specified to such a precision that it exists
                        > >
                        > > as a machine-readable file that can be used by a sound
                        > > change applier.
                        >
                        > Indeed - and natlangs don't change by such mechanical
                        > precision ;)
                        >
                        > All sorts other things operate as well such as analogy (i.e.
                        > ironing out grammatical irregularities that change change
                        > alone would produce), borrowings into the standard language
                        > from non-standard dialects, borrowings from other languages
                        > etc. also different sound changes do not all happen at once
                        > as some GMPs seem to suggest.

                        Yes. These are the main reasons why I don't use sound change
                        appliers. Working out how the words evolve in a diachronic
                        conlang is a creative task, even if you have a sound change
                        list at hand, and that is something computers just cannot do.
                        Sound change appliers just churn out bogolangs!

                        I *do* have sound change lists (I prefer not to call them
                        "grand master plans", though) for my Hesperic conlangs, but
                        I prefer going through those sound changes manually, and when
                        the result doesn't make sense, I fix it creatively.

                        Historical linguistics has advanced *a long way* beyond the
                        Neogrammatical paradigm. Irregularities are smoothed out by
                        analogy; words are borrowed back and forth between dialects;
                        homophonies and other awkwardnesses falling out from the
                        regular sound changes are fixed; etc. Considering all this
                        stuff is what distinguishes the good and creative diachronic
                        conlanger from the novice who just feeds words into an SCA.

                        > > In my textbooks I sometimes saw examples of one or two
                        > > sound change rules, but I have never seen a set of sound
                        > >
                        > > change rules between a proto-language and a daughter
                        > >
                        > > language, say Latin and French, that was claimed to be
                        > > reasonably complete.
                        >
                        > Oh yes, such things do exist. Pages 29 through to 108 in my
                        > 1953 edition of Alfred Ewert's "The French Languages" deals
                        > with the sound changes that have taken place in the journey
                        > from Vulgar Latin to modern French, with some very useful
                        > charts.
                        >
                        > > So, my question is this: are there any examples of
                        > > scholars in historical linguistics having collected a
                        > > complete set of sound change rules from some pair of
                        > > language and proto-language?
                        >
                        > Yes - see above.

                        Sure. Several examples have been mentioned in this thread.
                        Of course, there are plenty of sound changes where you just
                        cannot know which went first as they do not feed, bleed,
                        counterfeed or counterbleed each other. Hence, you only get
                        a "partially ordered set" and a kind of "flow chart" rather
                        than a linear list, as in Ringe's (indeed highly recommendable)
                        book which David mentioned.

                        > > Do they use computerized tools to test those rule sets?
                        >
                        > Obviously Mr Ewert did not ;)
                        >
                        > But i guess linguists nowadays would make use of computers.

                        Perhaps some even use SCAs to test whether the sound change
                        lists they have worked out give correct results ;)

                        > > If so, what do they call their equivalent of the sound
                        > > change applier, and what do they call their Grand Master
                        > >
                        > > Plans?
                        >
                        > Diachronic phonology, presumably. What linguists are doing
                        > is trying to unravel the often complicated development of
                        > the language. Languages do not develop according to some
                        > preordained GMP.

                        Indeed not! Hence, "Grand Master Plan" is a rather inappropriate
                        term for something that in reality is an _a posteriori_ summary
                        of an *undirected* development. Of course, when you build a
                        diachronic conlang, you *can* direct the development, and the
                        term "Grand Master Plan" becomes somewhat less inappropriate ;)

                        --
                        ... 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
                        ... I ve come across a number of similar works, including: Pinsker, Hans Ernst Historische englische Grammatik : Elemente der Laut- und Formlehre München,
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jun 20, 2013
                        • 0 Attachment
                          2013-06-20 10:36, R A Brown skrev:
                          >
                          >> In my textbooks I sometimes saw examples of one or two
                          >> sound change rules, but I have never seen a set of sound
                          >> change rules between a proto-language and a daughter
                          >> language, say Latin and French, that was claimed to be
                          >> reasonably complete.
                          >
                          > Oh yes, such things do exist. Pages 29 through to 108 in my
                          > 1953 edition of Alfred Ewert's "The French Languages" deals
                          > with the sound changes that have taken place in the journey
                          > from Vulgar Latin to modern French, with some very useful
                          > charts.

                          I've come across a number of similar works, including:

                          Pinsker, Hans Ernst "Historische englische Grammatik : Elemente
                          der Laut- und Formlehre" München, 1959

                          Haugen, Einar "Scandinavian language structures : a comparative
                          historical survey" Tübingen : Niemeyer, 1982 (Includes a run-down
                          of the sound changes from PIE/Proto-Germanic to Old Norse)

                          Bidwell, Charles E. "Slavic historical phonology in tabular form :
                          Evolutio historica phonologiae linguarum slavonicarum tabellis
                          explicata" The Hague : Mouton, 1963 (Essentially a Slavic Boyd-
                          Bowman -- including failure to cover non-national and some
                          national languages... Gotta love the *Latin* alternate title
                          though!)

                          Carlton, Terence R. "Introduction to the phonological history
                          of the Slavic languages" Columbus, Ohio : Slavica Publishers,
                          1991 (A bit more advanced, and providing references to the
                          real works.)

                          Prins, A. A. "A history of English phonemes : from Indo-European
                          to present-day English" Leiden, 1972 (Which also offers insights
                          into Dutch historical phonology through constant comparison!)


                          These are all essentially cribs for students who need to get the
                          big picture down for a test, all ignoring details, complications,
                          exceptions and dialectal variation -- which admittedly makes them
                          suited as introductions for conlangers. In fact the verbose
                          explications of some historical grammars often make you long for
                          a more tabular and/or 'generative phonology'-like style. The
                          Pinsker book, supplemented by the works it references, has been
                          invaluable for my tinkering with my 'non-Norman' English, but the
                          Author has done a good deal of fudging to construct an apparent
                          straight line from West Saxon Old English to the English of mid-
                          20th century RP speakers. One thing which elementary and advanced
                          historical grammars don't treat is vocabulary. I would have been
                          quite lost without "A Concise Dictionary of Middle English by A.
                          L. Mayhew and Walter W. Skeat" <http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/10625>
                          and above all the online Middle English Dictionary
                          <http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/med/>. I only wish the later used Unicode
                          instead of giflets, and that you needent jump through hoops to
                          search definitions.

                          /bpj
                        • Henrik Theiling
                          Hi Dirk and others! So you are working on a Nahuatl based conlang? That s exciting. Nahuatl has one of my favourite phonologies. Are there details of your
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jun 20, 2013
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Hi Dirk and others!

                            So you are working on a Nahuatl based conlang? That's exciting. Nahuatl has one of my favourite phonologies. Are there details of your project available online?

                            Wrt. the original question: for Þrjótrunn, it took me a very long time to get the right order of the rules that I had taken from the linguistic works on phonology of Icelandic (many from ~1900s, densely packed with rules that were usually quite imprecisely described) . The rules were all there, but what was missing was (a) an order and (b) classification by likelyhood/possibly dialect.

                            **Henrik
                          • Dirk Elzinga
                            A couple of years ago I was hired by a movie production company to design two Native American languages for an upcoming feature film. Since I know Uto-Aztecan
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jun 20, 2013
                            • 0 Attachment
                              A couple of years ago I was hired by a movie production company to design
                              two Native American languages for an upcoming feature film. Since I know
                              Uto-Aztecan languages, I started with what is known of Proto-Uto-Aztecan
                              and designed a hypothetical Northern Uto-Aztecan language and a
                              hypothetical Southern Uto-Aztecan language. For the NUA language I applied
                              Shoshone-style sound changes sparingly to PUA roots and made the grammar a
                              sort of creolized version of the NUA languages that I'm most familiar with:
                              Shoshone, Hopi, and Luiseño.

                              For the SUA language I wanted a more Nahuatl feel to it, so I started with
                              the same set of PUA roots and applied a subset of Nahuatl sound changes
                              with some additional sound changes that I thought would give it some
                              additional character--mostly rules of vowel syncope and glide/stop
                              fortition (yielding voiced stops and ejectives). I wrote a perl script that
                              would apply a cascade of 17 rules to any given PUA root. I then adjusted
                              the results to fit my aesthetic of what the language ought to sound like.
                              The grammar is mostly inspired by Nahuatl, Cora, and Huichol, but I also
                              included a couple of my favorite features of Miapimoquitch, just because I
                              could. :-)

                              I'm not really at liberty to discuss lots of details of the languages, so
                              they don't have an online presence right now. I'm hoping that when the film
                              is officially announced, I'll be able to share more. (Actually, I should
                              check again with the producer; he may be willing to let me talk up the
                              languages some more since they're all I really know about the film. I've
                              read the script, but it seems to be pretty fluid, and I haven't gotten any
                              specific translation assignments from it yet so I can't give much away.)

                              Dirk


                              On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 1:27 PM, Henrik Theiling <ht@...> wrote:

                              > Hi Dirk and others!
                              >
                              > So you are working on a Nahuatl based conlang? That's exciting. Nahuatl
                              > has one of my favourite phonologies. Are there details of your project
                              > available online?
                              >
                              > Wrt. the original question: for Þrjótrunn, it took me a very long time to
                              > get the right order of the rules that I had taken from the linguistic works
                              > on phonology of Icelandic (many from ~1900s, densely packed with rules that
                              > were usually quite imprecisely described) . The rules were all there, but
                              > what was missing was (a) an order and (b) classification by
                              > likelyhood/possibly dialect.
                              >
                              > **Henrik
                              >
                            • Jörg Rhiemeier
                              Hallo conlangers! ... Also, there are so many other things that can change in a language - morphology, syntax, semantics. You miss all of these when you just
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jun 21, 2013
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Hallo conlangers!

                                On Thursday 20 June 2013 15:51:05 I wrote:

                                > Hallo conlangers!
                                > [...]
                                > Yes. These are the main reasons why I don't use sound change
                                > appliers. Working out how the words evolve in a diachronic
                                > conlang is a creative task, even if you have a sound change
                                > list at hand, and that is something computers just cannot do.
                                > Sound change appliers just churn out bogolangs!
                                >
                                > I *do* have sound change lists (I prefer not to call them
                                > "grand master plans", though) for my Hesperic conlangs, but
                                > I prefer going through those sound changes manually, and when
                                > the result doesn't make sense, I fix it creatively.
                                >
                                > Historical linguistics has advanced *a long way* beyond the
                                > Neogrammatical paradigm. Irregularities are smoothed out by
                                > analogy; words are borrowed back and forth between dialects;
                                > homophonies and other awkwardnesses falling out from the
                                > regular sound changes are fixed; etc. Considering all this
                                > stuff is what distinguishes the good and creative diachronic
                                > conlanger from the novice who just feeds words into an SCA.

                                Also, there are so many other things that can change in a
                                language - morphology, syntax, semantics. You miss all of
                                these when you just feed words in an SCA loaded with a GMP.
                                In one of my Hesperic languages, a locative marker has become
                                an inanimate plural suffix from an expression of the type
                                N LOC Num (N=noun, Num=numeral), meaning 'Num of N', which was
                                later generalized to plural nouns without numerals. In the
                                same language, the cognate of Old Albic _alba_ 'Elf' has
                                acquired the meaning 'ancestor'. Etc. These and other
                                interesting changes get missed in automated bogolanging.

                                --
                                ... 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
                              • Eric Christopherson
                                ... I m curious as to what the target (I m not sure of the correct term) of these spelling pronunciations was; did Finnish itself have and
                                Message 15 of 18 , Jun 22, 2013
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  On Jun 20, 2013, at 6:41 AM, Jyri Lehtinen <lehtinen.jyri@...> wrote:

                                  > One is whether the reflex of the weak grade of /t/ is /d/ as in the
                                  > standard language of loss as in the eastern dialect area and the other is
                                  > whether the standard language /ts/ gets replaced by /t:/ which is typical
                                  > to many western dialects. For commonly used words I tend to use exclusively
                                  > the dialectal variants unless I aim for a hyper corrected register to put
                                  > someone off. Uncommon words haven't implemented this spread of dialectal
                                  > features and get the reflexes of the standard language. There is however a
                                  > middle ground between the two extremes where I'm never certain which reflex
                                  > to choose and the choice depends sensitively from the register of the
                                  > discourse. These examples are somewhat complicated by the fact that both of
                                  > the standard language reflexes are in fact historic spelling
                                  > pronunciations, but that's beside the point. I'm pretty certain that you
                                  > can find similar partial sound changes from your own idiolects as well.

                                  I'm curious as to what the "target" (I'm not sure of the correct term) of these spelling pronunciations was; did Finnish itself have <d> and <ts> pronounced as /d/ and /ts/? -- or did those spellings only occur in surrounding Germanic languages, and it was from there that the spelling pronunciation caused the *Finnish* graphemes to be pronounced likewise?

                                  I know <d> is a grade variant of /t/; does <ts> occur in native words?
                                • Arnt Richard Johansen
                                  Thanks to everyone for your insightful comments! ... Thanks for the suggestion. I ve ordered this. ... There is a sound change applier called IPA Zounds that
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Jun 23, 2013
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Thanks to everyone for your insightful comments!


                                    Padraic Brown:
                                    > Sure. One well known hereabouts is "From Latin to Romance in Sound Charts" by Peter Boyd-Bowman.

                                    Thanks for the suggestion. I've ordered this.

                                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                    Roger Mills:
                                    > I wrote up a series of generative rules for Proto-Bau Da Gwr > Modern B.D. Gwr, that, to the best of my ability and knowlege, is ordered, and AFAICT, works :-))) If you're interested, it's here: http://cinduworld.tripod.com/gwr_rules.pdf. I'm not competent with the computer to know whether it would work in that way.,.....

                                    There is a sound change applier called IPA Zounds that is based on binary features and would probably be able to apply those rules, with appropriate modifications. I haven't tried that myself though.

                                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                    David McCann:
                                    > A very good example is Ringe's "From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic". The sound changes are listed with many examples, and he also works out the order in which they occurred, with a nice flowchart. It's also a good source for the latest thinking on PIE phonology and grammar.

                                    Looks interesting. I've ordered this.

                                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                    R A Brown:
                                    >> If so, what do they call their equivalent of the sound change applier, and what do they call their Grand Master Plans?

                                    > Diachronic phonology, presumably. What linguists are doing is trying to unravel the often complicated development of the language. Languages do not develop according to some preordained GMP.

                                    I wasn't meaning to imply any goal-directedness on the part of language change. Rather, I was trying to find a searchable term for the rule sequences themselves. “Sound change rules”, “sound laws” or “sound change sequences” doesn't seem to be used, at least in the sense we are discussing here.

                                    But presumably linguists don't consider those all that important, except as elements of a more complete historical description of a language family.

                                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                    Henrik Theiling:
                                    > Wrt. the original question: for Þrjótrunn, it took me a very long time to get the right order of the rules that I had taken from the linguistic works on phonology of Icelandic (many from ~1900s, densely packed with rules that were usually quite imprecisely described) . The rules were all there, but what was missing was (a) an order and (b) classification by likelyhood/possibly dialect.

                                    I've seen your rules.sch for Þrjótrunn before, and it is likely one of the things that has suggested to me that using a sound change applier for this kind of project is a sensible thing to do.

                                    But I can't remember that it was this long! This must no doubt have taken many hours to complete. I'm afraid that by suggesting that diachronic conlanging could be reduced to “instant daughter language, just add existing sound change rules” I may have inadvertently trivialized the efforts of those of you who do it properly. For that I apologize.

                                    --
                                    Arnt Richard Johansen http://arj.nvg.org/
                                    Evan, a Quiz Bowl reject, nevertheless knows more than what's good for
                                    him. The son of deposed royalty from some obscure nation whose name is
                                    probably only known to himself, Evan is the life of the party when the
                                    party's over. -- Leon Lin: Kissing the Buddha's Feet
                                  • Galen Buttitta
                                    ... If you can deal with command-line stuff, you might want to try phonix. I only took a brief gander at that PDF, but I think the program can handle a lot of
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Jun 23, 2013
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      On Jun 23, 2013, at 15:05, Arnt Richard Johansen <arj@...> wrote:

                                      > Roger Mills:
                                      >> I wrote up a series of generative rules for Proto-Bau Da Gwr > Modern B.D. Gwr, that, to the best of my ability and knowlege, is ordered, and AFAICT, works :-))) If you're interested, it's here: http://cinduworld.tripod.com/gwr_rules.pdf. I'm not competent with the computer to know whether it would work in that way.,.....
                                      >
                                      > There is a sound change applier called IPA Zounds that is based on binary features and would probably be able to apply those rules, with appropriate modifications. I haven't tried that myself though.

                                      If you can deal with command-line stuff, you might want to try phonix. I only took a brief gander at that PDF, but I think the program can handle a lot of what's in there, even sporadic changes.

                                      SATOR
                                      AREPO
                                      TENET
                                      OPERA
                                      ROTAS
                                    • Roger Mills
                                      Thanks to you and to Arnt for the suggestions.  I ve looked at Zounds in the past, and decided I wasn t competent to use it. I ll take a look at phonix. At
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Jun 23, 2013
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Thanks to you and to Arnt for the suggestions.  I've looked at Zounds in the past, and decided I wasn't competent to use it. I'll take a look at phonix.

                                        At this remove, I don't remember some of my own rules :-(((((




                                        ________________________________
                                        From: Galen Buttitta <satorarepotenetoperarotas3@...>
                                        To: CONLANG@...
                                        Sent: Sunday, June 23, 2013 3:38 PM
                                        Subject: Re: Equivalent to Grand Master Plans in Proper Linguistics?


                                        On Jun 23, 2013, at 15:05, Arnt Richard Johansen <arj@...> wrote:

                                        > Roger Mills:
                                        >> I wrote up a series of generative rules for Proto-Bau Da Gwr > Modern B.D.  Gwr, that, to the best of my ability and knowlege, is ordered, and AFAICT, works :-))) If you're interested, it's here: http://cinduworld.tripod.com/gwr_rules.pdf. I'm not competent with the computer to know whether it would work in that way.,.....
                                        >
                                        > There is a sound change applier called IPA Zounds that is based on binary features and would probably be able to apply those rules, with appropriate modifications. I haven't tried that myself though.

                                        If you can deal with command-line stuff, you might want to try phonix. I only took a brief gander at that PDF, but I think the program can handle a lot of what's in there, even sporadic changes.

                                        SATOR
                                        AREPO
                                        TENET
                                        OPERA
                                        ROTAS
                                      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.