La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

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La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Salmoneus » Fri 06 Apr 2018, 22:09

I've been playing around a little with a romlang recently, for old times' sake. La Ziunga certainly isn't a fully fleshed-out language, and probably won't ever be, but it seemed interesting enough to me that I thought it might be worth sharing.


I'm not going to say anything about setting yet; I'm interested to hear the impression other people get from the language (rational or otherwise!).

To begin with, a little bit of vocabulary:

the land - il tera
the home - il waṛi
Christmas - La Intéudád
the key - la wavi
the hand - il meu
the cause - la qau’a
the light - il zumi
the castle - il kátel
the frog - la ṛea
the penknife - la inváza
the tile - la tsaza
the mouth - la boka
the tongue/language - la ziunga
the root - la ordhíg
the louse - il fçiz
the heart - il crothui
the tooth - il denti
the eye - il oz
the flame - la lama
the fire - il wek
the reed - la kana
the clay - la ragila
the cheese - il qe’u
the sand - il ‘izu
the night - il nusi
the liver - il qfat
the pear - la peira
the woman - la muzri
the sand - la ṛeya
the apple - la maçá
the celery - il eçu
the tear - la zagriu
solid - weḷ
rational - reçoai
new - nwev
many - mus
dead - mrot
old - viaz
general - zéṛai
to listen - aukutar
to hear - audhir
to eat - kóyadhri
to sleep - dromir
to cry, to shout - wáwar
to talk, to speak - faular
to fly - wear
to shake - tsélar
to have - tsayir
to do - faqṛi
France - La Frenca
Germany - La Zrimáya
Spain - La Ṣfáya
Italy - La Taza


Any immediate thoughts?
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Creyeditor » Fri 06 Apr 2018, 22:24

It does not look very coherent to me, and I am sorry to say that. Some terms looks very Iberian to me like 'ziunga', 'la ṛeya'. Others look very Indian, like 'il waṛi'. 'il qfat' looks Arabic, 'la ordhíg' and 'il fçiz' look Celtic. 'il eçu' and 'il qe’u' on the other hand look vaguely French. So, positively, the romlang looks very unique to me.
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Ælfwine » Sat 07 Apr 2018, 05:02

Is it more Eastern or Western? (Or maybe...Southern?)

BTW Malta would be a cool place to put it.
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Salmoneus » Sat 07 Apr 2018, 12:08

Well, sorry it's not very good. Although I think it's hard to have anything be "coherent" when you have more than four or five words - after all, it's not as though "aeon" and "texts" have identical phonotactics either...

aelfwine: interesting - why Malta?
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by DesEsseintes » Sat 07 Apr 2018, 12:35

I’m intrigued by several things:

1) Many nouns seem to have shifted from feminine to masculine gender, that is if il is masculine and la is feminine. I cannot see any phonetic motivation for this, so I wonder if it’s due to influence from a contact language?

2) The sound changes seem complex. Initial f is gone in wek but not on faular. I’m curious to know what the that s seems to leave behind stands for. I also want to know why l becomes z a lot of the time but not in the articles. I have a theory that it occurs intervocalically with the article counted as part of the phonemic word unit? As there are no standalone words in the sample beginning with l, I can’t test my theory and am probably wrong. And wait! There is il zumi so I guess I’ve no idea...

Looking forward to more!
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by spanick » Sat 07 Apr 2018, 15:44

Intriguing! The spelling conventions give it a strongly Arabic-influenced vibe. There are some words that seem very Iberian (read: Spanish-looking) to me as well. Just a guess, but I’d place it in North Africa maybe in the Morocco area.

I agree with DesEsseintes, the sound changes appear to be bafflingly complex. But having seen Wenthish, I’m not very surprised.
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Davush » Sat 07 Apr 2018, 16:05

First of all I love it, especially the orthography.

Second of all, at first glance it looks like there is Arabic influence, but upon closer look I don't see any (none of the vocab looks derived from Arabic), so there's definitely something interesting going on here which makes me want to see more.
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Ælfwine » Sat 07 Apr 2018, 17:17

Salmoneus wrote:
Sat 07 Apr 2018, 12:08
Well, sorry it's not very good. Although I think it's hard to have anything be "coherent" when you have more than four or five words - after all, it's not as though "aeon" and "texts" have identical phonotactics either...

aelfwine: interesting - why Malta?
Just the vibes I got. If you put it on say, Comino you get an Arabic romlang somewhat close to Sardinian but with significant Arabic influence.

However some of the sound changes do seem more Western Iberian, which in that case I'd tell you to take a look at Tingitana Mauretania.
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Creyeditor » Sat 07 Apr 2018, 17:42

Salmoneus wrote:
Sat 07 Apr 2018, 12:08
Well, sorry it's not very good. Although I think it's hard to have anything be "coherent" when you have more than four or five words - after all, it's not as though "aeon" and "texts" have identical phonotactics either...
Sorry I did not mean it like that. [:S]
Judging from what the others said, maybe it is 'coherent' in a sense. Arabic-French-Spanish with a slight Celtic substrate might hint at a setting in an area in Northern Spain. Arabic and Spanish influence from the South, French from the North, it all makes sense suddenly [:D]
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Salmoneus » Sat 07 Apr 2018, 19:26

Ælfwine wrote:
Sat 07 Apr 2018, 17:17
Salmoneus wrote:
Sat 07 Apr 2018, 12:08
Well, sorry it's not very good. Although I think it's hard to have anything be "coherent" when you have more than four or five words - after all, it's not as though "aeon" and "texts" have identical phonotactics either...

aelfwine: interesting - why Malta?
Just the vibes I got. If you put it on say, Comino you get an Arabic romlang somewhat close to Sardinian but with significant Arabic influence.

However some of the sound changes do seem more Western Iberian, which in that case I'd tell you to take a look at Tingitana Mauretania.
Correct - this is indeed a language of Romance Mauretania Tingitana (i.e. northern Morocco, so congratulations also to spanick!).

It may be, however, that the choice of underdots (which are not emphatics!) is just overkill in terms of Arabic-flagging the language. Also, does anyone know where and when the tradition of underdotting in Arabic transcription originated?

--------

To address a few points:

- gender-switching: actually, this is probably just the result of my misremembering the gender of latin nouns, particularly in the third declension. Although contact-induced gender-swapping is a great idea, and now I'm going to steal it.

- currently, /f/ drops adjacent to vowels other than /a/. Or rather, it debuccalises to /h/, which then drops. The apostrophe officially indicates a glottal stop, although I think that in practice it more often just indicates vowels in hiatus; it drops next to glides, at the moment. But this is all an area I'm uncertain about.

- Ah, /z/! I like the /z/ in this language. The /l/ > /z/ change is mostly more specifically the result of its palatalised version, which became a palatal lateral fricative, and then a palatal/postalveolar non-lateral voiced fricative (paralleling developments in Iberian). Then, this merged with the reflex of /j/ and initial /g/, and with that of /dj/, to all yield /z/. Palatalisation of /l/ happens before /j/, of course, and after /k/ and /g/ (which drop in non-initial position), much like Iberian; but is also happens with all initial /l/ - which seems odd, but which also happened in Asturian/Leonese. Initial /l/, outside loanwords, therefore comes from former /pl/ and /fl/ clusters. (la lama for flammam, and la luya for pluviam). It also does not affect geminate /ll/, although this is only in effectively initial position in the article la from illa.

- complexity of the sound changes. I don't think they're really all that complex, particularly compared to somethig like French! Are there any words in particular that seem too bizarre?


-------

The big question here is the influence of Arabic, and indeed of Berber. In terms of language history, the language would have spent a couple of centuries under Arabic dominion and, ever since, Islam has been the religion of the majority of the country, though for most of that time not of the ruling class. We can expect substantial borrowing from Arabic, which is indeed not reflected in this wordlist; in particular, I think a lot of words that in Spanish are learned re-borrowings from Latin will in this language be learned borrowings from Arabic. However, Arabic is not a language of the people in this setting (colloquial Arabic is still spoken here, but more as a language of intercommunal communication and trade, rather than as a mother tongue). Berber, though, is: huge chunks of the rural population still speak Berber as their first language.

However, I didn't want to just bogolang an 'arabised romance', which seemed too simplistic. After all, Maltese and Hebrew show that even a Semitic language, under European influence, can have its edges rounded, so adding those edges to a Romance language due to contact seemed excessive.

The influence therefore is currently (not considering loanwords) on the very vague and schematic level: a greater tolerance for clusters, for example, and a greater tendency toward trivocalism (the language obviously has a five vowel system, but /e/ and /o/ are less common than in many Romance languages, and /i/ and /u/ more common). There won't be a triconsonantal system - although maybe an afroasiatic adstrate might lead to greater tolerance of what's looking like some pretty extreme morphological alternations in verb inflection and derivation.

One thing I did try to do was introduce emphatics; but I couldn't really think of a good, reasonable way. [kt clusters are already eliminated, after all]. So the language may only have emphatics in loanwords? Or perhaps the existing /t/ etc could split in some way, but i'm not sure how (aspiration? it would only be allophonic, but I guess loanwords could then phonemicise it).

Of course, I'm rather handicapped in this regard by the fact I don't actually know anything about Arabic, let alone Berber...


--------

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. For now, an attempt at a brief translation. Again, I've so far not strayed into loanwords, which would probably be found here...

‘Ás, ‘ás, ‘ás
Il Dom il deyu di ótí
Líu ṣtat lí kayí i la tera
Kó la wura di maitád toai
O’ana a dhil ‘izu di David
Biédhis ki veit í nomi dil Dom
O’ana í ékeḷú
‘Ás, ás, ás
O Dom O deyu nótru!
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Davush » Sat 07 Apr 2018, 20:49

I like that it’s not ‘over’ Arabized - I think there’s a temptation to do that, but this looks like a more natural outcome to me. Also just a quick note regarding emphatics - Spanish /t/ was (and still is) perceived as actually closer to Arabic emphatic /t/ than the plain counterpart, hence the older Arabic placenames of Madrid as مجريط majriiT (sorry no diacritics), Córdoba as قرطبة QurTuba etc.

Does this language have the pharyngeal ع? I’d be interested in knowing how that sound arose given how distinctive it is.
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Salmoneus » Sun 08 Apr 2018, 14:43

Davush wrote:
Sat 07 Apr 2018, 20:49
I like that it’s not ‘over’ Arabized - I think there’s a temptation to do that, but this looks like a more natural outcome to me.
Thank you. I think I might want a little more influence, rather than just relying on the underdot to flag it, but I think I also want to go about it in a slightly more organised way than I have so far.
Also just a quick note regarding emphatics - Spanish /t/ was (and still is) perceived as actually closer to Arabic emphatic /t/ than the plain counterpart, hence the older Arabic placenames of Madrid as مجريط majriiT (sorry no diacritics), Córdoba as قرطبة QurTuba etc.
The complexity we face here is that these spellings are from the interface of two extinct languages: Andalusian Arabic, and Mozarabic. Since they both survive only in a small number of written attestations, we don't exactly how they sounded.

Apparently, it's common in Mozarabic to write Latin geminate or initial voiceless stops as non-emphatic, and other voiceless stops as emphatic. We don't know why this is. AIUI, there are three theories:
- Mozarabic intervocalic voiceless stops had, like northern Iberian stops, lenited and become phonemically voiced. Andalusian Arabic emphatics were voiced, so these were the obvious letters to use.
- The same, only Andalusian Arabic emphatics were not voiced. But the voiced Arabic letters were seen as inappropriate for some unknown reason, so the emphatics were the only spare letters to use.
- Mozarabic intervocalic voiceless stops had not regularly lenited. However, they were allophonically unaspirated. The scribes thought this allophony was important to distinguish in writing, and the emphatic stops were also unaspirated, so they were the natural letters to use. [particularly if deaspiration had become the primary feature of the emphatics in Andalusia].


La Ziunga actually assumes that its voiceless stops did NOT lenite originally; lenition here is a much later phenomenon. So one thing I'm toying with is having non-emphatics in loanwords, which would have been aspirated, fail to lenite.
Does this language have the pharyngeal ع? I’d be interested in knowing how that sound arose given how distinctive it is.
Not currently, although it might end up with it, presumably deriving from some dorsal fricative or rhotic by influence from Arabic.
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Davush » Sun 08 Apr 2018, 15:02

That's interesting about the spelling of stops in Mozarabic. My comment was also based on the current Spanish realisation of /t/ which is dental and unaspirated as I know some Arabic speakers perceive Spanish as full of emphatic /t/. I'd be inclined towards the third theory as Arabic emphatics in general are unaspirated in comparison to their plain counterparts. I think this is common across most dialects. I.e. I have a feeling that /k/ > /q/ might have also been motivated by a similar thing, as in, /k/ was perceived as closer to /g~q/ (again assuming Andalusian Spanish unvoiced stops were also unaspirated).
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Ælfwine » Sun 08 Apr 2018, 18:47

One thing I did try to do was introduce emphatics; but I couldn't really think of a good, reasonable way. [kt clusters are already eliminated, after all].
I don't think it to be too implausible to introduce emphatics through /kt/, /ks/ for example, Proto-Romance treated these clusters differently. I could see Mozarabic kt, ks -> ht hs -> tˤ sˤ quite easily, for example.
- Mozarabic intervocalic voiceless stops had not regularly lenited. However, they were allophonically unaspirated. The scribes thought this allophony was important to distinguish in writing, and the emphatic stops were also unaspirated, so they were the natural letters to use. [particularly if deaspiration had become the primary feature of the emphatics in Andalusia].
I am most partial to this idea as well.
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Salmoneus » Sun 15 Apr 2018, 23:15

So, a revised version! Going back to that wordlist

the land - il teṛa
the home - il zaṛi
Christmas - La Intfṭád (or Intefṭád? not sure yet...)
the key - la wavi
the hand - il meu
the cause - la qau’a
the light - il zumi
the castle - il cxtel
the frog - la ṛá
the penknife - la invaza
the tile - la tiza
the mouth - la boca
the tongue/language - la ziunga
the root - la urdhíg
the louse - il bzizu
the heart - il qṛçoi
the tooth - il denti
the eye - il ozu
the flame - la lama
the fire - il fuec
the reed - la cana
the clay - la riela
the cheese - il cayu
the son - il wizu
the night - il nusi
the liver - il qfat
the pear - la faira
the woman - la muzri
the sand - la ṛeya
the apple - la umçá
the celery - il efsu
the tear - la zagria
solid - hoḷ
rational - ṛaçuai
new - nwev
many - musu
dead - mrot
old - vel
general - zṇrai
to listen - óqltar
to hear - ódhir
to eat - cmiadhri
to sleep - drmir
to cry, to shout - wáwar
to talk, to speak - waular
to fly - vwear
to shake - tsélar
to have - tsér
to do - wakṛi
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Ælfwine » Mon 16 Apr 2018, 03:55

How did the syllabic consonants come about?
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Lambuzhao » Mon 16 Apr 2018, 04:14

M'kay.

Pronouns?

What do verbs do:

Conjugate?
Pronominal Agentive Prefixes/Suffixes?

How do you ask "Who makes the best tajine?" ??
Hungry tourists want to know!
[:P]
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Creyeditor » Mon 16 Apr 2018, 16:35

Wow, this looks much more Arabic-like [:)]
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Salmoneus » Wed 18 Apr 2018, 18:02

OK, so I've been working on a little translation (a few changes from the last version - notably merger of unstressed short /i/ and /a/). Aaandd.... well, maybe I've gone too far now? It certainly doesn't look like Spanish to me. Thoughts?

Bizme ma’abze il-Dzu, ed bizme iḷ-ḷase nwêtṛ umṭai
In_the_name_of love-CS DEF-God, and in_the_name_of DEF-salvation our mutual
By the love of God, and by our common salvation,

dh-lexr di la-za aqîte, infant il-Dzu um-dou mi il-hafṛ ed il-fodṛ

to-leave.INF from DEF-day this, inasmuch_as DEF-God me-give.3sg DEF-know.INF and DEF-be_able.INF
from this day forward, as God gives me the wisdom and power,

ya vaḍh is-il-yâmṛ aḥudhe meic aqîte, il-Carlú, fiṭ azoud ed î qô’e ctua

I go.1sg him-DEF-protect.INF brother-CS my this, DEF-Carl, as_regards aid and in matters each
I shall protect this brother of mine, Carl, by assistance and in all matters,

cou ome il-deift fer dziṭ il-xteyeṛ aḥudhe hon, asiqe ilis um-wicret mi uḷtri’e
as man it-ought by right it-support.INF brother-CS his, that he me-do.FSUBJ me likewise
as one ought by right to support one’s brother, so that (/so long as) he shall do the same for me.

Ed con Louther ya nô-qiqṛodṛ-is-ei âd ua iḷqua qe fer vḷiṇtâdzi meic hobre aḥudhe meic aqîte, il-Carlú, dam iḷqua is-inflisret
And with Luther I not-make-him-1sg.FUT treaty one any that by will-CS my upon brother-CS my this, DEF-Carl, harm any he-inflict.FSUBJ
And with Luther I shall make no covenant that, by my will, would do any harm to this brother of mine, Carl.
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Re: La Ziunga: a taste of a romlang

Post by Creyeditor » Wed 18 Apr 2018, 20:55

It still has a unique flavour and some Romance nuance.
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