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zompist bboard • View topic - North African langs during the Roman Empire

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 3:16 am 
Lebom
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What languages were spoken in the Roman Empire in north Africa during and at the end of the Roman Empire? I've tried googling but I'm not getting anywhere.

I was just reading an article about creating romlangs, and it occurred to me that a North African one with influence from African langs might be interesting, but I don't know what they were :S


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 3:35 am 
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 4:52 am 
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 7:54 am 
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You may not be able to find Punic info, but Phoenician is reasonably well-documented. And internal reconstruction can probably tell you enough about Roman-era Berber for the purposes of your romlang. But what kind of vulgar Latin did they speak in north Africa? Was it east romance? West? Other?

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 8:37 am 
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 9:13 am 
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 9:59 am 
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Do we know length was neutralised entirely?
We do know that (possibly as a first step) lengths became 'wrong' - short vowels were lengthened in some stressed syllables and long vowels were sometimes shortened in unstressed syllables.

We also have some records regarding palatalisation, but I can't remember what they are. We know that Africans apparently had an 'unusual' value for /s/, but we don't know what it was.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 10:01 am 
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Around the end of the Roman Empire, the Vandals arrived in NW Africa. They spoke a (probably East) Germanic language, which they appear to have dropped rather quickly in favor of Latin. It could nevertheless have an influence on a North African romlang though, at least in the form of some loanwords and one or two syntactical developments.

Adam Walker of the CONLANG list has a rather well-developed romlang based on the same scenario: .

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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 3:06 am 
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 1:15 pm 
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For Phoenician and Punic, see The languages of Syria-Palestine and Arabia, which is a reprint from The Cambridge encyclopedia of the world's ancient languages. The problem with including Phoenician influences is getting a list of vocabulary. With Berber, you could cheat and use the modern dialects.


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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 2:06 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 7:48 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 3:57 am 
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 6:01 am 
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 6:18 am 
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