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zompist bboard • View topic - Interesting things you've done/seen done in a Romlang...

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:51 pm 
Sanci
Sanci

Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:25 pm
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There are hordes of banal romlangs floating in the tepid sea of abandoned conlangs, but on occasion some jewels arise that are truly innovative or intriguing. What romlangs have you encountered or created that stand out?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:59 pm 
Smeric
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:10 pm 
Avisaru
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Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
I used to have a romlang (Sharshali) replete with ugly retroflexes and a pretty un-Romance set of fricatives. It was supposed to be a North African (Southern Romance) romlang, closest related to Sardinian. I also planned on Semiticizing it with Phoenician and Arabic influences, but eventually the whole project boiled down to picking random Romance words to replace with Semitic ones, and looking up Arabic phrases and calquing them into Sharshali. I got bored with it and stopped working on, but I still like the idea, so maybe I'll overhaul it and develop a better methodology and see what happens...


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:12 pm 
Sumerul
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Like a mirror-version of Maltese? Do it! :o


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:20 pm 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:23 pm 
Lebom
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That makes me think of "The Years of Rice and Salt" by Kim Stanley Robinson, where ~99% of Europe was wiped out by the Bubonic Plague. The entire time I read the book I kept thinking of what wonderful languages would have evolved in Europe. And even more interestingly how the indigenous populations of North America contacted and lived beside Chinese colonists and on the East Coast I believe Arab colonists. The whole book makes for wonderful linguistic speculation. Hell, maybe I should reread the book for some specifics of the placement of the colonists try to make a language based off it. Hmm... I guess that's neither here nor there though.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:28 pm 
Smeric
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Eandil's romlang's causative forms are pretty cool, it's something that is a bit different from most romlangs I have seen.

I like Antirri's Sharshali, I wish he'd work on it more. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:26 pm 
Smeric
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I've semitised Romanian...
Yeah...


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:40 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:05 pm
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Location: Tel Aviv, Israel


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:52 pm 
Smeric
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:45 pm 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 5:50 pm
Posts: 196
Location: Berlin, Germany
One of my first real conlangs was a romlang. It was supposed to be a southern Romance language, obviously. :( I took some sound changes from Southern Italian dialects, and some unique ones and then I added a lot of semitic loan words.
I also have a romlang that is supposed to be a modern day version of the hypotetical romance language along the river Mosel in Germany. It shares some sound changes with french, but there is also a great German influence, of course.

Generally spaking, I'm a fan of romlangs. The only thing is, that most of them seem to be quite poor done and just look like Spanish or Romanian to me. An interesting romlang has to have some unique yet not unrealistic sound changes, some unique traits in its grammar (that's not "My romlang X retains the Latin case system") etc.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:13 am 
Smeric
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My own romlang, Roman Germanech, doesn't do much of interest, I think, though there is a phonetic development which I am quite fond of despite being not planned that way but falling out from the combination of Romance and German sound changes:

We start with Vulgar Latin: /i e E a O o u/.

1. /E/ and /O/ are diphthongized, which happened in many Romance languages: /E/ > /ie/ and /O/ > /uo/. So far, ordinary Romance development. What now happens is based on what happened in German.

2. Back vowels before /i/ in the following syllablle are fronted: /u uo o a/ > /y yø ø e/.

3. The diphthongs are monophthongized: /ie yø uo/ > /i y u/. What you can see here is that /E/ and /O/ have leap-frogged /e/ and /o/, respectively.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:16 am 
Avisaru
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I've tried a Romlang before as well (it's a rite of passage, in a way :D), and I tried to be interesting by giving it an ablaut system in verb conjugations. It was actually really interesting, but I abandoned the project when I realized I don't really know anything about Latin and I probably wouldn't be able to bullshit my way through it to make a realistic Romlang. Here's a sample, taken from some Latin textbook that I found online (only words put through sound changes, not much in the way of grammar changes, semantic drift, neologisms, etc.):

"El deo sümón dól mal quie grav sópletj, mai ji, qui paren el léyé dól deu, són cürad pos qua mert. El vét es dhel deo el plü grat, quiai avab esj dhel uomnié el plü üdel. Ló plü buon dié quó tód pramj er qu’iemuortalet. Tal priemj es dad a Ercól."

Something about Hercules, judging by the name and what I can remember of the sound changes. Apparently it was something like: /El dEu s_aymOn dOl mal kiE gRav s_auplEts\ mEj z_ai ki paREn El leje dOl dEu s_aOn ts\yRad pOs_a ka mEtS). El vet Es_a DEl dEu El ply gRat kiE avab Es\ DEl uOmnie El ply ydEl. lu ply buOn die ku tud pRam_j ER k-iEmuOtS)alEt/

I also had an idea to do a bogolang thing with Old Chinese > Mandarin sound changes, but then I couldn't find much in the way of sound changes...I tried to fudge it a little and did a little word list, with stuff like this:

avis > wéi
sanguis > sàn
pōns > pěng
mors > mèng (also came from mensis...)
oculus > kú
ignis > néi
manus > mán

etc. etc. I would actually really like to see something more serious done along these lines though, it would be really interesting.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:05 pm 
Lebom
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Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 8:46 pm
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Sharshali was such an awesome idea.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:23 pm 
Avisaru
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Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:59 pm
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Location: Seoul
I kind of like "banal" Romlangs. Most Romlangs try to be as weird as possible, which defeats the purpose. Why would you get into a group of extremely similar languages with a unified aesthetic if your end result has nothing to do with their history, areal features, or euphony? If your Romlang is weirder than Sardinian, that's a good sign you need to stop. I prefer Romlangs that could blend effortlessly into the langscape (this was supposed to be "landscape," but I'm leaving it as it's the greatest typo ever), as if it sprang straight out of the mountains of its particular region.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:44 pm 
Smeric
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Tha cvastam émi cvastam santham amal phelsa. -- Friedrich Schiller
ESTAR-3SG:P human-OBJ only human-OBJ true-OBJ REL-LOC play-3SG:A


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:49 pm 
Lebom
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Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2003 1:34 pm
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Location: Fnuhpolis- The City of Fnuh
I've never created a Romlang per se because vulgar latin bores me. I did toy with creating a descendant of Classical Latin (i.e. keeping the case system), whose main feature was the development of lexical tone. For instance the nasalization of the accusative -m became low tone and that eventually got analogized as a marker of the accusative case. I might come back to this someday - contrary to brandrinn's opinion, I am absolutely in favor of "weird" Romlangs, especially to the point of not really caring about what proto-romance actually did historically and trying *not* to be banal. There's plenty of actual romance languages out there already if you're going to be slavish about authenticity.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:57 pm 
Sanci
Sanci

Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:25 pm
Posts: 63
^^
One of my current romlangs does that, having simplified all diphthongs into falling tones. I also am toying with devoicing voiced consonants and fricativizing the previously devoiced ones. I am also adding glottal stops to replace intervocalic t, and metathesizing initial clusters so that initial [st] > [ts] > [t͡ʃ], for example. There's also m-nasalization, but that isn't very exciting.
EDIT: I turned Classical Latin's cases into politeness suffixes: the genitive became a polite register (since it is indirectly addressing someone), the accusative became a fossilized neutral register, and the dative became a pejorative register (since it is sort of a "direct" address)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:54 pm 
Smeric
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:12 pm 
Avisaru
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I think I've put my finger on exactly why I hate weird Romlangs. Making a Romlang automatically means you are curating linguistic history. Your audience needs to be language nerds because nobody else gives a shit. So if you agonize over something like the palatization of /n/ people will appreciate it, even though it's not a particularly flashy sound change, because we enjoy diving into the minutiae of Romance diachronic phonology. In contrast, retroflexes only make sense if it is in some way related to Sardinian. Otherwise, you're ignoring all the yummy things we come to see when we read about Romlangs. It's like going to a seafood restaurant and ordering a hamburger.

Weird shit for the sake of weird shit belongs in sci-fi conlanging. Go nuts. Everybody loves Dritok.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:44 pm 
Avisaru
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I was working on a romlang(s) in it's own branch of the family that was formed in the Crimea. The idea is kind of shelved right now but I want to work on it eventually. It's major influences would have been Greek, Crimean Tatar and Ukranian. It also had some limited contact with Romanian on the one hand and Caucasic languages on the other.

a couple of sound changes that I remember:

C > 0 _#
o: > ou > oU > ow
k > S > h > 0
e > jE V_V
e > i
Nt > n
Ct > pt > f

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:43 pm 
Sanno
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:10 pm 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:34 pm 
Avisaru
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My question, if just making an alt-history lang is so interesting, why not branch out into other families more? Especially outside Indo-European. I would love to see some Chinese conlangs (bonus if you go so far as to create an orthography using Chinese characters that includes repurposed or entirely new characters). Or, say, an extra Bantu language. Or Athabaskan, Uto-Aztecan ... anything, really.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:46 pm 
Avisaru
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Because a) Latin is the most well-documented and commonly taught (at least in English, not sure about other langs) of the "classical" languages, and b) I like the idea of taking something familiar and accessible and making it really different. I would equally love a really weird Germanic lang, for instance.

But Chinese, Bantu, Athabaskan, Uto-Aztecan, et al. are so foreign to me (well, except Mandarin, and even then, I'm not familiar with any other Chinese languages) that I wouldn't be able to appreciate the oddity for what it was. Of course, making an althistory or conlang from the older forms of any of those languages would be "weird" from the start, since I don't know much about them.

However yes, I do think that althistorians (? is that the term?) could do with branching out to more families, though I'm not really one to be telling people what to do, since I hardly have any conlang of my own to show........


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