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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:47 am 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:43 pm
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Location: Virginia, U.S.A
The first orthography is easier to read. The second seems more natural and evokes the Romance quality more.

One question: in the second you have "veny" which should be "venh", yes?

Maybe you use both somehow? Like the first is the current, "official" romanization, while the second is the older "traditional" romanization - and perhaps should not reflect some of the most recent sound changes (which it sort of already doesn't).


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:51 am 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 8:46 pm
Posts: 96
That Wikipedia page says that African Romance was spoken in southern Tunisia up until the 17th century, although all the sources are in Italian. The existence of such a group is attested by Muhammad al-Idrisi, who had an interesting career in Sicily. Some really interesting geopolitics there.

If the speaker community remained significantly Roman Catholic for a long period, it seems like they would maintain knowledge and use of the Latin script for a long period, rather than converting to Arabic script, even as significant loanwords crept into the language. Those that converted to Islam possibly used more Arabic script. And literate speakers were possibly multilingual in both Arabic, Latin, and other languages such as Persian or Ottoman Turkish, which might have provided a more robust foundation for an Arabic-derived script, much later. An analogy might be made for Armenians or Copts; Armenians maintained their own script for millennia, but there were many Armenian scribes in the Ottoman Empire, and there were numerous books published in Armeno-Turkish as well as Turkish Arabic script.

In any case, it seems likely that any orthography would have gotten really funky. And language-reform and script-reform movements were so popular in the 19th century that it'd be easy to handwave the modern orthography as a product of one of those. And what often happened if a particular reform wasn't backed by a powerful institution was that no particular reform took hold, and there were competing orthographies, in addition to the normal conservative reaction to script reform.

Generally I would say that the first one is better: it uses K instead of C, and fricatives are just much better written with a hacek. However, in natural languages the hacek is distinctively Czech or Eastern European, so I would wonder how it got to North Africa. But J is not present or used differently in Spanish or Italian, although French uses it that way.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:43 am 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 8:46 pm
Posts: 96
OK, thinking about western Mediterranean scripts, I strongly prefer the second orthography: it just seems likelier to be something that would have developed in the western Mediterranean. But I'd suggest that, like the Maltese alphabet, you use K for /k/. script developed at about the right time under the influence of Sicilians and Italians, who might prefer to spell /ke/ "Ke" instead of "Ce". That would free C up for a reform of the small army of affricates/fricatives.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:17 am 
Smeric
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Second one. a thousand times the second one.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:49 pm 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 8:46 pm
Posts: 96
According to Wikipedia, indigenous Christianity in Algeria after the Arab conquest is supposed to have declined due mostly to the lack of the Christian monasticism that allowed the Copts to persist. Most Catholic monasticism is under the Rule of St. Benedict, who lived in 480-547 CE, but his "rule" was not codified until much later. Augustine was of course the Bishop of Hippo west of Carthage. He wrote several letters on monasticism to the community there, and spread monasticism in neighboring communities to Carthage.

It seems like a major blow to Christian monasticism and Trinitarian Christianity in this region came even earlier than the Arab conquest, due to conflict with the Arian Vandals. Honeric soon came into conflict with the Catholic bishops, trying to seize their property and banish them to Corsia &c. in favor of Arian bishops. The banished Catholics apparently took Augustine's body to Sardinia. Honeric only ruled for seven years, the worst persecution happened in the year of his death, and he was apparently universally despised. Perhaps if his nephew Gunthamund had succeeded him a few years earlier... It seems Catholicism began to revive under Hilderic, but he was deposed and murdered, which provoked the Byzantine re-conquest of Tunisia. Christianity increased under Byzantine rule, and it seems numerous Christians fled to Carthage from the Arab conquest.
History of Roman-era Tunisia
History of early Islamic Tunisia

In general, it only seems like there are reports of local surviving Christian communities when a Christian power seizes control of the region. Wikipedia reports that the medieval Christian community that survived into the Kingdom of Africa lived in Gafsa. But it also seems like Berber was the dominant prestige language until the 13th century or so.

I don't mean to push the Christianity so strongly, but this has been an interesting way to read up on some history I don't know much about. For a region on the periphery of so many empires, it seems extremely cosmopolitan. There might be some interesting influence from Ladino later on.

EDIT
That translated passage was quoted by the last Vanal king, Gelimer.


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