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Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 03:10
by wakeagainstthefall
Hey everybody. It's been a long time. Glad to be back.

Now, I posted about this a few years ago: How do I make a somewhat believable creole out of classical Hebrew and Koine Greek? Somewhat disregarding history, of course. Believable more on the linguistics side of things, a good blend to make sure I don't just hack the two languages up and make a Semitic-Hellenic Frankenstein's monster of biblical proportions (pun intended.) I gave up for a little bit (or put it on hold,) but now that I've developed a couple of my conlangs, learned a bit more about foreign languages, and know a little more about linguistics, I want to try it again. So, what would be belieavable phonologically? Grammatically? And so on and so forth. I have a small amount of work done on it, but I don't really want to move forward until I know I have something good.

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 05:29
by Keenir
wakeagainstthefall wrote:Hey everybody. It's been a long time. Glad to be back.

Now, I posted about this a few years ago: How do I make a somewhat believable creole out of classical Hebrew and Koine Greek? Somewhat disregarding history, of course.
actually, you wouldn't really have to disregard history -- I'm a little surprised there were no creoles appearing from the time of Alexander the Macedonian to the fall of the Second Temple, during which the area was pretty well overrun with Greek speakers. (and even when Persia ran the area, I can't imagine there were no Grecophone traders doing business in the south around there)

so yeah, history's no problem.
Believable more on the linguistics side of things, a good blend to make sure I don't just hack the two languages up and make a Semitic-Hellenic Frankenstein's monster of biblical proportions (pun intended.) I gave up for a little bit (or put it on hold,) but now that I've developed a couple of my conlangs, learned a bit more about foreign languages, and know a little more about linguistics, I want to try it again. So, what would be belieavable phonologically? Grammatically? And so on and so forth. I have a small amount of work done on it, but I don't really want to move forward until I know I have something good.
hm, no idea, sadly; sorry. looking forward to what you do.

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 09:14
by Tanni
wakeagainstthefall wrote:So, what would be belieavable phonologically? Grammatically? And so on and so forth. I have a small amount of work done on it, but I don't really want to move forward until I know I have something good.
Since creoles are the second stage after the pidgin, I think you should first make a Greek/Hebrew pidgin and develop it into the creole.

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 10:04
by cntrational
Well, I guess Hellenolangs are coming in now

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 10:59
by Thrice Xandvii
cntrational wrote:Well, I guess Hellenolangs are coming in now
Quick, wish for something else! [:)]

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 11:10
by Egerius
cntrational wrote:Well, I guess Hellenolangs are coming in now
If I can get my hands on a Doric Greek - English dictionary, I'll follow sooner than later.

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 11:25
by cntrational
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/res ... irect=true Attic by default, but can handle other dialects.

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 17:53
by Squall
Hebrew uses triconsonantal roots and only the consonants are written. Old Hebrew vowels are not known with accuracy. Then, you should use Greek vowels.
It will be very difficult to create a grammar for systems too different. Hebrew has triconsonantal roots and Greek has declensions and conjugations.

Hebrew has more fricatives. Greek aspirated consonants may be turned into fricatives.
Hebrew emphatic consonants may become simple.
Hebrew has /ʃ/, but Greek and Latin do not and they used /s/. You should keep /ʃ/, because it is a notable Hebrew phoneme.
Hebrew has /ħ/, you could merge it with /h/, but uvular sounds are notable in Hebrew.

A possible consonant inventory is:
/m n/ <μ ν>
/p b t d k g/ <π β τ δ κ γ>
/s z f θ x/ <σ ζ φ θ χ>
/ʃ ħ h/ <. . .>
/l r/ <λ ρ>
/w j/

You will need letters for /ʃ ħ h/.

/v ð ɣ/ are phonemes that Hebrew gained. If you do not have enough Greek letters, you may remove them from the language and use the unvoiced counterpart or the old pronunciation (/w/ for /v/).

You do not need the letters ψ ξ, because they are confusing with triconsonantal roots.

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 18:21
by wakeagainstthefall
Thrice Xandvii wrote:
cntrational wrote:Well, I guess Hellenolangs are coming in now
Quick, wish for something else! [:)]
Hey, 1. Greek is really cool. 2. I've been attempting this for years. 3. I've been away from the conlanger community for awhile, so I would have no idea what the trends are now or even what they were a year ago.

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 18:24
by wakeagainstthefall
Tanni wrote:
wakeagainstthefall wrote:So, what would be belieavable phonologically? Grammatically? And so on and so forth. I have a small amount of work done on it, but I don't really want to move forward until I know I have something good.
Since creoles are the second stage after the pidgin, I think you should first make a Greek/Hebrew pidgin and develop it into the creole.
I honestly wouldn't even know how to make a believable pidgin, either. Where would I even start?

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 18:31
by wakeagainstthefall
Squall wrote:Hebrew uses triconsonantal roots and only the consonants are written. Old Hebrew vowels are not known with accuracy. Then, you should use Greek vowels.
It will be very difficult to create a grammar for systems too different. Hebrew has triconsonantal roots and Greek has declensions and conjugations.
That's exactly the issue. The phonology would be relatively easy to figure out, but how would two languages that are so different grammatically come together?

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 19:02
by Keenir
wakeagainstthefall wrote:
Squall wrote:Hebrew uses triconsonantal roots and only the consonants are written. Old Hebrew vowels are not known with accuracy. Then, you should use Greek vowels.
It will be very difficult to create a grammar for systems too different. Hebrew has triconsonantal roots and Greek has declensions and conjugations.
That's exactly the issue. The phonology would be relatively easy to figure out, but how would two languages that are so different grammatically come together?
cut away all the parts that are the MOST different, and start working with the parts that are left: the bits that are a little like one another.

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 19:14
by cntrational
A Greek-Hebrew creole would probably use a simplified Greek grammar, with most/all inflection stripped away. Phonology and vocab would be a mixture of the two.

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 19:21
by Birdlang
Squall wrote:Hebrew uses triconsonantal roots and only the consonants are written. Old Hebrew vowels are not known with accuracy. Then, you should use Greek vowels.
It will be very difficult to create a grammar for systems too different. Hebrew has triconsonantal roots and Greek has declensions and conjugations.

Hebrew has more fricatives. Greek aspirated consonants may be turned into fricatives.
Hebrew emphatic consonants may become simple.
Hebrew has /ʃ/, but Greek and Latin do not and they used /s/. You should keep /ʃ/, because it is a notable Hebrew phoneme.
Hebrew has /ħ/, you could merge it with /h/, but uvular sounds are notable in Hebrew.

A possible consonant inventory is:
/m n/ <μ ν>
/p b t d k g/ <π β τ δ κ γ>
/s z f θ x/ <σ ζ φ θ χ>
/ʃ ħ h/ <. . .>
/l r/ <λ ρ>
/w j/

You will need letters for /ʃ ħ h/.

/v ð ɣ/ are phonemes that Hebrew gained. If you do not have enough Greek letters, you may remove them from the language and use the unvoiced counterpart or the old pronunciation (/w/ for /v/).

You do not need the letters ψ ξ, because they are confusing with triconsonantal roots.
For the three without letters, use Coptic or archaic Greek letters in the Greek Unicode block.
The grammar could have triconsonantal roots like Hebrew, but have an alphabet based off of Greek, and the romanization would look like a Semitic-style romanization. That is my idea to go along.

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 19:23
by Davush
This sounds like an interesting project. I think we could use Yiddish and/or Modern Hebrew as a good example to work from. Jewish communities who spoke primarily a dialect of German, but also had a good knowledge of Hebrew - this led to the introduction of a large amount of Hebrew words and 'Hebraicisms' into their German dialect, subsequently becoming Yiddish. In your conlang, we can imagine Greek-speaking Jewish communities, who for some reason decide to introduce large amounts of Hebrew, or come into contact with Hebrew L1-speakers (using alt-history where Hebrew survives intact to this period) creating this pidgin or creole.

As pidgins and creoles tend to morphologically less complex systems, I think the case system of Greek would be greatly reduced and levelled. The Hebrew triconsonantal root system doesn't strike me as very pidgin-friendly, so would probably be greatly simplified or just changed completely.

Although kind of controversial, some people consider Modern Hebrew to be a semi-creole or a re-lexification of Yiddish/Slavic languages which were spoken by the majority of European Jews. The tense/aspect system of Biblical Hebrew was greatly simplified, more European-like syntax was introduced and other non-semitic influences.

A good way may be to use a similar model, perhaps a re-lexification of Greek or largely Hebrew lexicon, but with simplified Greek-ish grammar with some Semitic influence.

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 19:25
by sestir
Greek koine dual often (a-stem) ended in -α/-αιν while Hebrew has -aim which is hard to tell apart from the plural ending -im in for example shamaim (heaven). So you could let dual -ain and plural -im for masculine nouns. If you use Greek letters heaven could be for example N: σζμαια A: σζμαιαν D/G: σζμαιν and plural N: σζμαιναι...

Aramaic is often a bit in-between Hebrew and Greek so perhaps you should just study some Christian Palestinian Aramaic, Old Syriac or other dialect of Aramaic and rediscover the wheel.

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 19:51
by wakeagainstthefall
I was afraid of simplification. I love the case system and conjugation of Greek. I would want to simplify a bit, but it would be hard for me to let go of them altogether. Is there any conceivable way in which I could maintain some of the complexeties of Greek while making something plausible?

Another idea I had was the introduction of the status constructus mixed with the genitive (sort of like classical Arabic,) for example: θάλασσα (sea,) status constructus ιαν (from Hebrew ים,) so ιαν λυκων (this phrase is just an example with an unchanged Greek word and declension) "sea of wolves." Good or unlikely?

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 20:06
by Davush
wakeagainstthefall wrote:I was afraid of simplification. I love the case system and conjugation of Greek. I would want to simplify a bit, but it would be hard for me to let go of them altogether. Is there any conceivable way in which I could maintain some of the complexeties of Greek while making something plausible?

Another idea I had was the introduction of the status constructus mixed with the genitive (sort of like classical Arabic,) for example: θάλασσα (sea,) status constructus ιαν (from Hebrew ים,) so ιαν λυκων (this phrase is just an example with an unchanged Greek word and declension) "sea of wolves." Good or unlikely?
You could probably get away with keeping some sort of case/declension system if the majority of speakers were L1 Greek to begin with, however I would expect it to be greatly simplified and made more regular. As Hebrew doesn't have case (apart from some very archaic traces of it), I don't think it would be likely to survive. Foreign loan-words also tend to make case/declension behave weirdly as they don't always fit the system. Maybe just have a basic nom/acc distinction which isn't too irregular? That wouldn't be too implausible if the Hebrew speakers in the alt-history already had Greek as an L2.

As for the construct state, as it's not very morphologically complex and quite productive, it'd be one of the first features to keep, in my opinion. I'm not sure how likely it would combine with a Greek genitive though. Pidgins tend toward simplification, really. Also, I don't know why the Greek word thalassa would be used for non-construct, and the Hebrew for the construct.

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 22:34
by shimobaatar
wakeagainstthefall wrote:
Thrice Xandvii wrote:
cntrational wrote:Well, I guess Hellenolangs are coming in now
Quick, wish for something else! [:)]
Hey, 1. Greek is really cool. 2. I've been attempting this for years. 3. I've been away from the conlanger community for awhile, so I would have no idea what the trends are now or even what they were a year ago.
I'm pretty sure nothing negative was meant. I actually interpreted what you've quoted as positive. Languages based on Greek have never been a trend, as far as I know, and cntrational said something about the relative lack of them (especially compared to romlangs) quite recently. Thrice Xandvii seems to me to be jokingly attributing the presence of a conlang based on Greek to cntrational's earlier comment, and asking him to make other "wishes" so that people present ideas for other kinds of relatively uncommon conlangs as well as those based on Greek. As far as I can tell, they're expressing a positive reaction to seeing a conlanag based on Greek, and simultaneously expressing the hope that they'll also see other kinds of relatively uncommon conlangs popping up soon.

That's just how I personally interpreted those comments when I first read them, though.

Re: Greek/Hebrew creole (attempt #2)

Posted: 02 Sep 2015 23:05
by wakeagainstthefall
shimobaatar wrote:
wakeagainstthefall wrote:
Thrice Xandvii wrote:
cntrational wrote:Well, I guess Hellenolangs are coming in now
Quick, wish for something else! [:)]
Hey, 1. Greek is really cool. 2. I've been attempting this for years. 3. I've been away from the conlanger community for awhile, so I would have no idea what the trends are now or even what they were a year ago.
I'm pretty sure nothing negative was meant. I actually interpreted what you've quoted as positive. Languages based on Greek have never been a trend, as far as I know, and cntrational said something about the relative lack of them (especially compared to romlangs) quite recently. Thrice Xandvii seems to me to be jokingly attributing the presence of a conlang based on Greek to cntrational's earlier comment, and asking him to make other "wishes" so that people present ideas for other kinds of relatively uncommon conlangs as well as those based on Greek. As far as I can tell, they're expressing a positive reaction to seeing a conlanag based on Greek, and simultaneously expressing the hope that they'll also see other kinds of relatively uncommon conlangs popping up soon.

That's just how I personally interpreted those comments when I first read them, though.
HEY GUY, I DON'T KNOW WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE BUT no just kidding. It wasn't meant to be as defensive as it came off, I guess. I misread that. Sorry, guys.That's pretty good. I've been interested in the Greek of the Septuagint because of its Hebraicisms, but I'd like to go much further than that. Basically, my goal is to have a language that has a good mix of Greek and Hebrew vocabulary and phonology while maintaining a lot of the complexities of Greek grammar and some of the neat features of Hebrew like the consonantal roots and status constructus. Am I asking for too much? Maybe I am.