Linguistic purism in conlangs

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Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by k1234567890y » 11 Oct 2016 01:48

Linguistic purism is an attitude where speakers think they should use native words rather than loanwords, and different linguistic communities can have very different attitudes towards linguistic purism, some communities don't really care the origin of words; while others see loanwords as a linguistic disease that should be eradicated as soon as possible.

What are the general attitudes towards loanwords and linguistic purism among your conpeoples?
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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by Nachtuil » 11 Oct 2016 02:30

I can only really speak for one conlang but my plan for my dwarves language will be that they'll take on words and break them into the regular grammatical structures happily but are charmingly indifferent to original pronunciation and spelling. They will approximate foreign sounds they don't have instead of adopting them. words from a nearby language with gender endings and definite prefixes will be incorporate the word as a whole and fit it into their normal grammar. Sometimes reanalysed to be normalised in the process. Kind of like english has with alcohol and algebra from Arabic. I can provide an example later but getting the ipa symbols right with my phone is quite tedious.

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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by Micamo » 11 Oct 2016 02:46

Mithe believe their language, Mithara, has a sacred, spiritual power. They believe this power is reduced if they use loan-words or code-switching with other languages with it, or if non-mithe hear the language or see it written down. Mithe consider it sacrilege for a non-Mithe to know their language, or for a Mithe to speak Mithara when they know an outsider can hear. They go to such lengths to avoid this, that they avoid telling outsiders even their true names, inventing rough translations in the outsider's tongue to be used instead.

For example, if a Mithe were to meet an English-speaker, they might introduce themselves like this: "Hello, I am called Heart-Of-Unbreakable-Ice. I am a Seeker-Of-Dreaming-Gods and I come from Where-The-River-Once-Ran-Yellow."
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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by Ahzoh » 11 Oct 2016 03:01

Vrkhazhians don't care a whole lot about loanwords, but they have to be vrkhazhianified first which can make the original word very different. They often use loanwords in their poetry when they can't find native words that rhyme.
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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by Axiem » 11 Oct 2016 03:46

This is something I've been giving some thought to lately.

The people of Entleis were certainly the first to figure out etherial manipulation, and so their language dominates as loan words amongst some of the more laid-back languages, such as Nairun and Situnyan—the latter being the lingua franca and therefore more prone to liberal borrowing.

Kuvian, however—Kuvia is a fairly insular nation, and inherently hostile to foreigners and foreign cultures/words. The Kuvian language also has a central authority that declares what is and is not acceptable, and that authority can and has forced that upon publishers etc. Loanwords are pretty rare, but if there's one place they would actually exist, it's in etherial manipulation because it has such an academic history. My suspicion is that they use corrupted (into Kuvian phonotactics) variants, but otherwise haven't changed them much. Other loanwords are pretty rare, unless it's of particular foods or other cultural artifacts that would be difficult to otherwise translate.

At least, that's what I think right now.
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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by MrKrov » 11 Oct 2016 03:54

I don't really have conpeoples to go with my conlangs. I just mostly avoid any loanwords to see what I could come up with instead.

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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by Iyionaku » 11 Oct 2016 18:27

Yélians don't really care about loanwords, there are hundreds of them, especially technical terms (u'transister, condensa, u'paládium, æ'grávito). However, there are some tendencies of purism, resulting in neologisms (æ'crapaû as a synonym for æ'grávito, literally "pull-power"). There are also mixtures with foreign stems combined with native suffixes, like æn'atomaû (nuclear energy), from atom (atom) and the suffix -aû (hidden, invisible force, magic).

In Caelian, loanwords are extremely rare because the class of quadriliteral roots is almost closed and only very seldom takes loan roots (exceptions including geographical terms like dy-rm-n, German, or -ngl-z, English).

My other languages are not as far developed so I cannot answer this question.
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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by Creyeditor » 11 Oct 2016 19:47

Omlueuet speakers are very puristic about their language, even though their language has a lot of loanwords from different languages such as Kobardon and they also have a lot of calques. Their whole numeral system is basically borrowed and in the later forms of the language they even borrow a new system. Omlueuet speakers don't realize this though.
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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by Egerius » 11 Oct 2016 20:48

The Rodentèrran languages (which are all Indo-European) possess relatively pure vocabularies (except for Latin and Greek loans) for the simple, extradiagetic reason of lacking in-world material to loan from.
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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by Hyolobrika » 26 Feb 2018 23:59

I sometimes like the idea of loaning entire inflectional paradigms at a time. They may not always fit without editing but such is true of phonology too.
Did German used to do this with Latin?

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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by Void » 27 Feb 2018 12:45

Insular Sarana maintains a strict position of absolutely no foreign influence in language or culture (basically an isolated solo conlang).

Mainland Sarana, or Symiric, however, loaned many basic words from the Sami, Finnic tribes, Balto-Slavics, and Indo-Iranians.
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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by Lambuzhao » 02 Mar 2018 18:11

My Germlang Sadraas is quite conservative, though it has over 30 years acquired about two handsful of Latin/Latinate loanwords, and about one handful of Rozwi loanwords. I have endavoured to loan-translate where possible, or come up with Germloan-translations/calques wherever possible.

Rozwi is a very kitchen-sninkish mixed bag. :roll:

It has a whole declensional pattern which is more or less based on PIE~Balto-Slavic, while also maintaining a parallel native declensional pattern,

Most verbs are conjugated in a native conjugational paradigm, but there are a small group of verbs which follow the 'Greek Conjugation', which doesn't really look much like Greek except that the PRS.1SG ending is /o/, and the 2SG /s/, 1PL /ome/, 2PL /ete/ and 3PL /esi/. Also, PRS.PTCP en in a Greekish-looking /os/ vs. expected /as/ or /is/ or /ek/.
A handful of loanwords from Greek-speaking and Latinate-speaking folks have trickled in. I think there might even be a loanword from Sadraas. Most loanwords, though, come from Kwijin, especially non-native flora, fauna, and merchandise.

Kwijin, for being the tongue of an utterly cosmopolitan people, is remarkably conservative. There is hardly a name or turn of phrase used by other peoples, that the Vdaons (Kwijin-speakers) haven't done in their own way. It is a Cogener to Rozwi, and though not mutually intelligible, has some glaring similarities in some core vocabulary.

Yauchuan is also a Cogener of Rozwi and Kwijin. It also has some clear cognates to both sisterlangs, but also has clear affinities to the Da Æwan Ansō Sprachbund. Like Kwijin, it is conservative, does not have a lot of word-loaning in either direction, due to its remoteness and isolationist/preservationist cultural attitude.

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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by Lambuzhao » 02 Mar 2018 18:19

I also have a :lat: lang Çedara and a :grc: langs Iveriki and Gavik. In a nutshell, there are so very many linguistic 'what ifs' to explore in :lat: and :grc: IMHO, that I haven't really bothered to consider lehnworter from my other langs, though some ought to exist. [:$]

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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » 02 Mar 2018 19:13

Oh, the Mantians are firecely nationalistic and ethnocentric. Mántes úreyes inàr (Mantians uber alles) and all that jazz. Lihmelinyan is both the conservative variety of Mantian spoken in the capital, used for religious ceremonies, and regarded by the elite as the purest highest form of the language, yet it is also the lingua franca used around the country, changing every day by incorporating loanwords, especially as traders from other kingdoms learn the language. Standard mid-9th century Lihmelinyan (the current year in Manter is 858) will probably always be preserved in religious and political texts, but it probably won't be able to withstand the winds of change.
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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by Reyzadren » 07 Mar 2018 23:46

Loan words are fine in griuskant, but the native speakers have enough words anyway as incidentally it is not solely represented by 1 country or culture.

If there isn't that specific word, they can just make their own word as an alternative to borrowing.
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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by Parlox » 08 Mar 2018 03:28

The Bàsups are accommodating of loanwords, but as they live in a desert only inhabited by them, they don't have many.

The Stellars weren't particularly fond of loanwords, and would often derive new words from compounding instead.

The Äshollkollvois are particularly against loanwords, having gone through occasional purges reflects this.

The Lozmians aren't against loanwords, though occasionally there are grumbles among the elders of the language becoming "impure".

The Lỏs typically don't loan words, but aren't against the thought.

The Honians have loaned many words from an as-of-yet undescribed language.

That's about all i can say as of the moment, i haven't gone very in-depth into the cultures of these languages.
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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by Lao Kou » 08 Mar 2018 07:56

If Japanese and English are on the 8, 9, 10 scale of things, and Chinese and Icelandic are on the 1, 2, 3 scale of things, I'd put Géarthnuns at about a high 2 to a mid 3. Far more likely to calque than loan outright, but there are loans. One that leaps to mind is bwats, from boîte (de nuit), which could range anywhere from an underground club where drag queens do Tallulah Bankhead impersonations to what in Japan is called a スナック(snakku). I kind of like this one.
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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by Evynova » 08 Mar 2018 10:55

The K'anerhtóh are fiercely nationalistic and will usually refuse to borrow words from other languages. They will do everything they can to create a neologism, whether by metaphor/analogy or compounding. If loan words do occur, they are systematically naturalised so as not to sound foreign. They aren't against learning foreign languages and studying other cultures, but they utterly despise "mixing" cultural elements, as much as they consider creoles and pidgins to be "bastardised speech".

The Urxa, on the other hand, have no problem using foreign terms. This was not always the case, especially not at the beginnings of the Empire, but they are much more liberal in this regard nowadays. Because their empire encompasses a number of different cultures and languages, allowing the "local languages" to influence the "national standard" is thought to be less oppressive to the local cultures, which should help prevent revolutions. As a result, a great many loan words are used in Urxan, and cannot be found in Aangiian, its closest relative.

As for Roderans, while informal, local speech is not regulated or controlled, the standards of formal speech are determined by a branch of the government whose function is similar to that of the Académie. Not using proper speech in a formal situation can have legal consequences, that range from fines to forced labour sentences, depending on several social factors. Addressing an aristocrat as a friend in private using a local dialect is acceptable, but in a public debate or hearing, not using formal speech will get one ousted without notice. In Formal Roderan, loan words aren't common but aren't a problem as long as they are legally registered.

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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by alynnidalar » 16 Mar 2018 02:11

Tirina has some pretty vocal "language purity" groups, mostly as a result of scads of xenophobia, but in actual practice, Tirina borrows words all the time (mostly from English these days--I swear, it makes sense in context, I'm not just doing it because it's easy!). So while many Tirina speakers would love to think of themselves as, say, 3 or 4 on Lao Kou's scale, it's really more of a 5 or 6.

Azen has a ton of historic loanwords from Tirina (not quite "French loanwords to English" scale, but still a lot), but in modern times is a bit more conservative than Tirina, preferring native coinages and calques. When it does borrow, it's from a mixture of Portuguese and English.

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Re: Linguistic purism in conlangs

Post by Pabappa » 16 Mar 2018 03:25

My conlangs are entirely a priori, and almost entirely without loans. Outside of names, there is only one loanword in Poswa out of ~4000 roots in its dictionary, and one loanword in Pabappa in its ~3000 word dictionary. There will be more, but they will all be cultural terms that did not exist in the culture adopting the word. For example, Pabappa's only loanword is pidup "iceberg", because Pabappa is spoken in a tropical climate but has contact with the wider world.

This is my personal preference and not due to the attitudes of the speakers ... in the past I explained the lack of loans by saying that all humans on this planet are isolated from each other to such extent that loans are infrequent, but I see now that I cant really use that explanation if there are wars and treaties and trading ships, so I'll either let it go or think of something else.

I have some conlangs that are supposed to heavy layers of loanwords, such as the Palli people who dumped most of their native vocabulary in favor of Andanese (but mostly retained their original grammar), but those areas are all blank spots on the map right now and it doesn't really matter because none of the loan-heavy cultures survive long enough to appear at the time of the climax of human civilization.
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