Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

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Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by Jackk » 31 Jul 2015 13:02

I have recently started work on a Romance language spoken on the fictional island of (tentatively) Ílborail, located in the North Sea, north of Belgium. The conceit, as I've said in another thread, goes like this:
Jackk wrote:I imagine it would have been colonised shortly after Britain - as it is much smaller, pretty much everyone on the island was Romanised. Although there were frequent invasions throughout the rest of the first millenium, by the Angles and Saxons first, then by various Norse invaders, the islanders held out much better than the Britons. This was partly because the island was a less appealing colonisation target, being smaller, and partly because they had more cultural ties to Rome. The (yet unnamed) island had at this time a very strong literary tradition, owing to the many monasteries present. Like what happened to the Normans, any invaders tended to adopt the Romance language of the island, although there is at least as much Germanic influence on the language as there was on French.
I have a few main inspirations and goals for the language:
  • I am taking ideas from Norman French and other northeatern Gallic languages, like like keeping hard "c" before "a" - like mercat - and shifting stress codaless /o/ > /ou/ (> /u/) instead of French's /o/ > /ou/ > /øw/ > /ø/.
  • I kinda want Boralian to be even less typical of Romance languages than French is, seeing as it is located right on the edge of the Empire.
  • I would like the sound of the language to be quite different from the stereotypical "beautiful" French or Italian. This aesthetic is exemplified in the sentence jo t'aif deiç letr scrit. /d͡ʒoˈtef dɪt͡ʃ ˈlɛt skɾɪt/ "I have written ten letters to you."
So, an example sentence (bearing in mind anything is subject to change):

Pous-jo isignair ci ch'jo saib rei?
/ˈpust͡ʃo iˈzajne ˌt͡ʃɪk d͡ʒoˈzɛb ɾi/
pous jo isign ci ch' jo saib ri
can-1s.PRS 1s.NOM teach-INF that REL 1s.NOM know-1s.PRS NEG
Can I teach what I don't know?

This sentence illustrates a few grammatical and phonological points:
  • Boralian, like French and German, uses inversion to form questions. This strategy is about as common as the alternative, which is to use the construction Veir ch'jo pois, literally "True that I can", which however requires the subjunctive.
  • Boralian lost final /r/, lengthening the preceding vowel (e.g. veir /vi/), or just disappearing (e.g. vaðr /vaθ/). This I have found that this change alone makes many words sound completely unromantic, like aveir /a'vi/ "have".
  • Boralian never lenited palatised k/g/t/d as far as French did. Compare French chambre /ʃɑ̃bʀ/ to Boralian cam /kam/, and ciel /sjel/ to cel /t͡ʃɛl/.
  • Verbs are negated with the particle rei ( < L rem "thing"), in the same manner that spoken French has the word pas. There are a few exceptions, most notable the verb stair /ste/ "to be", whihch is special and its own thing and I am putting off trying to work it out. [:D]
What do you guys think? Any suggestions?

Ai reveðr!
/ɛj revɛθ/
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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by Jackk » 31 Jul 2015 14:44

Verbs
Verbs inflect for person and number, although in the singular the forms for most verbs are identical.
Boralian linguisticcs recognise two categories of verb form in the indicative: simple and compound. The simple verb forms are made up of pronoun + verb, while the compound forms are pronoun + auxiliary + participle.

-Regular -air verbs
--Indicative
---Present
  • The Simple Present
This tense is used to descibe states or habitual actions, much like the simple present tense in English.
j'aul ai lidour caç juir. "I walk to the beach every day."

A typical verb conjugates like this:
amair /a'me/ "like"
j'am /ˈd͡ʒam/
tu am /ti.ˈam/
i am /ˈjam/
nos amau /ˌnozaˈmo/
vos amait /ˌvozaˈmet/
il amn /iˈlan/
  • The Compound Present
This tense is used for continuous actions; things that are going on right now. It is formed from the simple present of stair "be" + a present participle, which comes after the direct object of the verb.
nos som i speidail bein amant. "We are really enjoying the performance."

A typical verb conjugates like this:
stair amant "be liking", "be enjoying"
jo su amant /ˌd͡ʒozjaˈmant/
tu st'amant /ˌtɪstaˈmant/
i st'amant /ˌɪstaˈmant/
nos som amant /noˌsomaˈmant/
vos eit amant /voˌzitaˈmant/
il son amant /ilˌsonaˈmant/

Next: Past tenses, imperfect and perfect, simple and compound!
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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by sangi39 » 31 Jul 2015 15:58

Jackk wrote:What do you guys think? Any suggestions?
Well first, I want to start off by saying that it really looks like you know what your plan is for this conlang, and I really like a diachronic posteriori conlangs, especially ones that fit in with their surroundings and yet still come off as interesting and well thought-out.

Two of my favourite ones are Novegradian, a "North Slavic" language and Alashian, a Semitic language spoken on Cyprus (by the same user who created Novegradian, Mecislau over on the ZBB). They both, from what I remember at least, try to take into account what the languages around them are and how they look (Alashian, for example, has a number of Greek loans, entering the language at different periods), which makes sense since, while conlangs, they are intended to be spoken in the real world and as such they have to have interacted with it at some point during their respective histories.

There's a lot of familiarity with Novegradian and Alashian, in the sense that, by looking at them, you can tell Novegradian is Slavic and Alashian is Semitic, but they're still quite different from their close real-world relatives, so you really get the sense that they could just kind of slot in nicely exactly where Mecislau wanted them.

I'm kind of hoping to see the same thing with your work as you go on, and from where you've started, you're more than likely headed in the right direction.



Now, as for suggestions, I don't really have any, but I was wondering if you might have a record of sound changes that might have occurred between Vulgar Latin (or from whatever stage it split) and Boralian and whether or not you can show us the phonology and orthography. I mean, we can see hints of the latter (phonology and orthography) in your sample sentences, but it would be nice to see an explanation of the relationship between the two for Brolian [:)]



Either way, good luck, and I hope yoou enjoy working on this [:)]
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by Jackk » 31 Jul 2015 16:15

sangi39 wrote:Well first, I want to start off by saying that it really looks like you know what your plan is for this conlang, and I really like a diachronic posteriori conlangs, especially ones that fit in with their surroundings and yet still come off as interesting and well thought-out.
Cheers! [:D]
sangi39 wrote:Now, as for suggestions, I don't really have any, but I was wondering if you might have a record of sound changes that might have occurred between Vulgar Latin (or from whatever stage it split) and Boralian and whether or not you can show us the phonology and orthography. I mean, we can see hints of the latter (phonology and orthography) in your sample sentences, but it would be nice to see an explanation of the relationship between the two for Brolian
I don't yet have any sort of Master Plan ready - I'm mostly doing the sound changes in my head and just trying to get a feel for how the language will look and feel. I'll go back and work properly on sound changes later. Nevertheless, the main theme for the change from Vulgar Latin to Old Boralian is the loss of like every final consonant pretty much immediately, like what happened in Middle French. Of course, this screws heavily with the declensions and conjugations, so yay!

Onto Phonology!

The phoneme inventory so far is this:

/p b t d k g/
/t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/
/f v θ ð s z/
/w l ɾ j/

/a e i o u/
/ɛ ɪ ɔ ʊ/ (only found in closed syllables)

Coming up: examples of how words change over time from VL to Modern Boralian - opportunity to work on those sound changes!
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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by Jackk » 31 Jul 2015 16:54

Verbs: Imperfect Tenses (Note: still only regular -air verbs!)
  • Simple Imperfect
This tense is used to indicate repeated or habitual actions in the past, or past states. Like English "used to", it carries the implicature that the action or state no londer holds.
nos vardavau meijour speidail. "We used to watch better shows."
A typical -air verb conjugates like this:
jo vardaif /ˌd͡ʒovaˈdːef/
tu vardaif /ˌtivaˈdːef/
i vardaif /ˌivaˈdːef/
nos vardavau /noˌvadːaˈvo/
vos vardavait /voˌvadːaˈvet/
il vardaun /ˌilvaˈdːon/
  • Compound Imperfect
This tense indicates ongoing or unfinished actions in the past. It mirrors the Compound Present except that the auxiliary stair is in the Simple Imperfect. (NB: The conjugation of stair here is different from how it conjugates alone.)
jo t'eir trei hour sperant! "I was waiting for you for three hours!
A typical verb conjugates like this:
j'eir sperant
t'eir sperant
i eir sperant
nos erau sperant
vos erait sperant
il ern sperant
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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by Adarain » 31 Jul 2015 17:01

I find it interesting that you turned -āre to -air, considering Romansh did that with -ēre (romansh keeps all four infinitives as ar/air/er/ir, but the conjugations are pretty much identical for all)
At kveldi skal dag lęyfa,
Konu es bręnnd es,
Mæki es ręyndr es,
Męy es gefin es,
Ís es yfir kømr,
Ǫl es drukkit es.

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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by Jackk » 31 Jul 2015 17:28

Adarain wrote: I find it interesting that you turned -āre to -air, considering Romansh did that with -ēre (romansh keeps all four infinitives as ar/air/er/ir, but the conjugations are pretty much identical for all)
Yeah, the regular derivatives of -āre/-ēre/-ere/-īre will be -air/-eir/-r/-ír, pronounced [e], , [], and [aj] respectively.
Examples:
pavlair /pavˈle/ "speak" (< *parabolare)
aveir /aˈvi/ "have" (< *habere)
vaðr /ˈvaθ/ "go" (< *vadere)
dormír /dɔˈmːaj/ "sleep" (< *dormire)
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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by shimobaatar » 31 Jul 2015 20:16

I really like how all of this looks! You've definitely succeeded in making a Romance language that doesn't sound like a "typical" Romance language, if you ask me. The non-sibilant dental fricatives in particular are a cool phonological feature. I agree that this seems very well thought-out so far, and I can't wait to see more!

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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by Jackk » 31 Jul 2015 20:40

Diachronics: In Examples
Let's consider the VL verb *abére "to have".
(words will be written phonetically, not according to the orthography)

ábio, abémus I have, we have
abébam, abebámus I was having, we were having
ábuit, abuémus I had, we had
abére ábio, abére abémus I have to have, we have to have

This describes the situation around 200-300 CE. To take us to Old Boralian (800-1000 CE), the following sound changes occur:
  • Final vowels reduce to schwa.
  • /b/ lenites to /β/ between vowels.
  • Consonants are lost word-finally in unstressed syllables.
  • /i u/ becomes /j w/ before vowels.
  • /m/ lenites to /w/ between vowels after a stressed syllable.
Now we have:
áβjə, aβéwo I have, we have
aβéβa, aβeβáwo I was having, we were having
áβwə, aβuéwo I had, we had
aβer‿áβjə, aβer‿aβéwo I must have, we must have

Now the changes up to Middle Boralian (1300-1500):
  • Schwas lost, then final vowels reduce to schwa.
  • /β/ shifts to /v/.
  • Final schwas disappear.
  • Final consonants devoice.
  • Vowel+semivowel become true diphthongs.
  • Subject pronouns become obligatory.
  • Other things that don't really affect these words.
Now we have:
d͡ʒo áif*, nos avéu I have, we have
d͡ʒo avéf, nos aveváu I was having, we were having
d͡ʒo áuf*, auvéu** I had, we had
d͡ʒo averáif, nos averavéu I will have, we will have

*Metathesis to avoid final semivowel after consonant.
**Irregular metathesis by analogy with singular form and to avoid clash with present tense.

This is the stage of the language the orthography is most based on, as it was standardised around this time.

The sound changes that take these words to the modern day (1900 - 200 CE):
  • /e o/ > /ɛ ɔ/ in closed syllables.
  • Subject pronouns become phonologically fused to their verbs.
  • Voiving of /s/ between vowels.
  • /ei eu au/ > /i aw o/.
  • Loss of /-av-/ syllable in future 1p form.
  • /ai/ > /e/ in closed syllables, > /ej/ in open syllables.
  • /d͡ʒo/ > /d͡ʒ/ before a vowel.
So we end up with:
/d͡ʒɛf , nozavaw/ j'aif, nos aveu I have, we have
/d͡ʒavɛf, nozavevo/ j'avef, nos avevau I was having, we were having
/d͡ʒof, nozovaw/ j'auf, nos auveu I had, we had
/d͡ʒaverɛf, nozaveraw/ j'averaif, nos avereu I have, we have
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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by Jackk » 31 Jul 2015 20:47

shimobaatar wrote:I really like how all of this looks! You've definitely succeeded in making a Romance language that doesn't sound like a "typical" Romance language, if you ask me. The non-sibilant dental fricatives in particular are a cool phonological feature. I agree that this seems very well thought-out so far, and I can't wait to see more!
Thanks! [:D]
I wanted the /θ ð/ since I saw that Old French had /ð/ for a short while when it was busy leniting everything, and wondered about a language that stopped right there. I figure Old Boralian monks picked up the <ð> usage through contact with monasteries in Britain at the time, and although the Norman Conquest got rid of the grapheme in England, well, the Normans never conquered Boralia... [B)]

Oh, now my brain's started wondering about Old English loanwords into the language...
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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by HoskhMatriarch » 31 Jul 2015 21:13

I like this, it sounds so different from most Romance languages with the lax/tense vowel distinction and lots of final consonant clusters. I would add an /ʃ/ to the language and probably an /x/, /ɣ/ and/or /ʍ/ though, and possibly allow syllabic consonants, just to make it even less Romance-like. (Yes, I'm aware French and Romanian have /ʃ/ but I mean /ʃ/ without /ʒ/ because /ʃ/ is a super common sound in West Germanic languages and /ʒ/ is virtually non-existent and it wouldn't even make a difference it English replaced it with /ʃ/ or /d͡ʒ/ tomorrow).
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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by Jackk » 31 Jul 2015 21:40

HoskhMatriarch wrote:I like this, it sounds so different from most Romance languages with the lax/tense vowel distinction and lots of final consonant clusters. I would add an /ʃ/ to the language and probably an /x/, /ɣ/ and/or /ʍ/ though, and possibly allow syllabic consonants, just to make it even less Romance-like.
Thank you! As for /ʃ/, I have it already as an allophone of /tʃ/ before consonants, if that makes you feel any better. I have debated adding esh and ezh from sj and sj between vowels but I worry the language will become too palatal. :)

Also, there were syllabic consonants in Middle Boralian - see il peðn "they ask", with a syllabic /n/, but right now those clusters are being simplified in the modern language. But I might change my mind yet!
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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by shimobaatar » 01 Aug 2015 01:40

Jackk wrote:As for /ʃ/, I have it already as an allophone of /tʃ/ before consonants, if that makes you feel any better. I have debated adding esh and ezh from sj and sj between vowels but I worry the language will become too palatal. :)
Just an idea, but if you want to add some post-alveolar fricatives without making the language sound too "palatal", perhaps you could carry out the intervocalic changes you mentioned, but then have the post-alveolar fricatives become velar or something similar when not before front vowels?

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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by Zythros Jubi » 01 Aug 2015 03:48

Will there be extensive Germanic and/or Celtic influence?

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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by All4Ɇn » 01 Aug 2015 05:11

I like this a lot! Particularly the use of <ð> and <ei> for /i/. Have you thought about adding [æ] as either an allophone or a phoneme into it? I think that would help push the vowels even farther away from Romance languages. Another phoneme I think might be interesting to consider is [h]. Hope to see more of this!

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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by Jackk » 01 Aug 2015 14:30

shimobaatar wrote: Just an idea, but if you want to add some post-alveolar fricatives without making the language sound too "palatal", perhaps you could carry out the intervocalic changes you mentioned, but then have the post-alveolar fricatives become velar or something similar when not before front vowels?
Hmmm... Interesting, I wonder how that would end up being romanised. Or I could go the proper Old English route and convert /sk/ to /ʃ/ (If I did this, probably also /st͡ʃ/ would become /ʃ/), in the Old Boralian Period. Then I can be like Spanish and do /ʃ/ > /x/ - maybe like you said, not before /i e/ - in the Late Middle period. I'm warming to the idea... [:)]

Let's see what happens to *scribere, shall we?
jo scrif /d͡ʒɔxˈɾɪf/
nos scrivm /nɔxˈɾivn̩/ (Okay fine, I was convinced to put in syllabic nasals.. [:P] )
i scrivraf /ˌɪxɾɪvˈɾaf/ "He will write"

Me like? Maybe. [:)] What does everyone think?
Zythros Jubi wrote:Will there be extensive Germanic and/or Celtic influence?
Certainly there will be quite a bit of Germanic influence - I'm thinking there were frequent invasions of Germanic tribes throughout the first millenium. Also, I'd like a few Old English borrowings around 700-900 CE, because that would just be cool (and totally historically accurate reasoning, of course [;)] ).

As for Celtic influence, I think the native Celtic people were completely overtaken when the Romans arrived. So unfrotunately, aside from a few place-names, there will likely be as little or less Celtic influence on Old Boralian as there was on Old English.
All4Ɇn wrote:I like this a lot! Particularly the use of <ð> and <ei> for /i/. Have you thought about adding [æ] as either an allophone or a phoneme into it? I think that would help push the vowels even farther away from Romance languages. Another phoneme I think might be interesting to consider is [h]. Hope to see more of this!
Thanks a lot! Personally, I've always disliked /æ/, so it won't be a phoneme, and I'm not sure where I'd add it as an allophone. Stressed /ɛ/ or something? Perhaps. I can always put it in some nonstandard rural dialect. [:D]

As for /h/, I can certainly imagine going the Picardy-Waloon route, retaing /h/ from Germanic loanwords, so /h/ is definitely a possibility...
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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by shimobaatar » 01 Aug 2015 18:03

Jackk wrote: Let's see what happens to *scribere, shall we?
jo scrif /d͡ʒɔxˈɾɪf/
nos scrivm /nɔxˈɾivn̩/ (Okay fine, I was convinced to put in syllabic nasals.. [:P] )
i scrivraf /ˌɪxɾɪvˈɾaf/ "He will write"

Me like? Maybe. [:)] What does everyone think?
I personally like the way this looks/sounds, but it's up to you in the end.
Jackk wrote:As for Celtic influence, I think the native Celtic people were completely overtaken when the Romans arrived. So unfrotunately, aside from a few place-names, there will likely be as little or less Celtic influence on Old Boralian as there was on Old English.
Ahh, so the pre-Roman inhabitants of the island were Celts?

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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by HoskhMatriarch » 01 Aug 2015 18:21

Jackk wrote: Let's see what happens to *scribere, shall we?
jo scrif /d͡ʒɔxˈɾɪf/
nos scrivm /nɔxˈɾivn̩/ (Okay fine, I was convinced to put in syllabic nasals.. [:P] )
i scrivraf /ˌɪxɾɪvˈɾaf/ "He will write"
Is the second one supposed to be a syllabic /m/ instead of /n/? Anyways, I like it, it's very not stereotypical Romance.
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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by Jackk » 01 Aug 2015 20:10

shimobaatar wrote:
Jackk wrote: Let's see what happens to *scribere, shall we?
jo scrif /d͡ʒɔxˈɾɪf/
nos scrivm /nɔxˈɾivn̩/ (Okay fine, I was convinced to put in syllabic nasals.. )
i scrivraf /ˌɪxɾɪvˈɾaf/ "He will write"
Me like? Maybe. What does everyone think?

I personally like the way this looks/sounds, but it's up to you in the end.
Is the second one supposed to be a syllabic /m/ instead of /n/? Anyways, I like it, it's very not stereotypical Romance.

Okay, you've persuaded me. [:D]

No, it's /n/, it dissimulates in places from the /v/ before (mainly because I couldn't pronounce it with /m/ haha).
shimobaatar wrote:
Jackk wrote:As for Celtic influence, I think the native Celtic people were completely overtaken when the Romans arrived. So unfrotunately, aside from a few place-names, there will likely be as little or less Celtic influence on Old Boralian as there was on Old English.
Ahh, so the pre-Roman inhabitants of the island were Celts?
Indeed. When the Romans invaded ca. 50 CE they were almost completley displaced - some fled to what is now Northern England.
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Re: Boralian, a North Sea romlang.

Post by sangi39 » 01 Aug 2015 20:34

HoskhMatriarch wrote:Anyways, I like it, it's very not stereotypical Romance.
The bit that I actually really like about this is that while Jackk is aiming for a level of Germanic influence (from Old English in particular), he hasn't gone down the bogolang route. There is a romlang our there (I forget the name, but it begins with a Thorn), which, in a similar manner to Brithenig and Wenedyk, applied a series of sound changes to Vulgar Latin to make it look like Old Norse (as opposed to Welsh and Polish).

This though, is quite nice, taking a few features from neighbouring languages (syllabic consonants, final consonant devoicing) without further forcing it down the route to a Germanic-esque language, fitting it in as part of an areal feature [:)] Definitely going as well as I was hoping it would [:)]
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