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Seems I made it to the list at last, must have put the wind up the ghost in
the machine. OK, OK, just perfectly normal paranoia, I take it all back!
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This was recently posted to the celticonlang list, but should
perhaps have been sent here. About half the grammar can now be
seen at :

http://home.clara.net/carrot/saprutum/grammar.html

Any comments or reactions would be appreciated.

Keith


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                            S A P R U T U M

Saprutum (meaning "language" or "discourse") is the classical speech
of those Atlantic islands that "aren't there". Quite how many, how
big, and just exactly where it is that they're not is still to be
discovered. While most people out there speak various Celtic
languages (influenced by Saprutum rather than Latin or English etc)
it's rumoured that there are a few groups that speak modern languages
derived from Saprutum, although it has evolved greatly over the
centuries with it's grammar and phonology being influenced by its
Celtic neighbours. The classical language has long been cultivated as
a lingua franca and scholarly tongue long after it ceased to be
anyone's native speech. In one sense it was probably always
something of a conlang, having it's origins in the jargons that
developed on the western seabord of Iberia between the native
Iberians and a mixture of Mediterrainian traders, most of whom had some
variety of Semitic speech, "proto-Phoenicians" if you like, later reinforced
by a diaspora of historical phoenicians after the Punic wars and the
final destruction of Carthage. Needless to say they've got certain
strong views about "Romans". The Carthaginan influx seems to have
reinforced the Semitic element in Saprutum, but may also have
threatened to disrupt the uniformity that had developed in the
language. Certainly this is the period when the classical form was
codified by native grammarians. Given its origins, it's not surprising
that it's very regular, I think "orthogonal" is the word, although
superficially quite complex. Below is a transcription of the Babel
story, which they see as a cautionary tale. The vocabulary shows a
remarkable resemblance to the Hebrew original  ;-) and should not be
taken as typical of even the classical language. The letters have
their usual "continental" values apart from the following :

     <x> is /S/ the sh in "ship"
     <j> is /Z/ as in "azure", this is a very marginal sound and
          as in English, some speakers seem to manage without it.
     <?> is a voiceless glottal or pharyngeal stop, distinctly
          pronounced.
     <q> is the voiced equivalent of the above, a sort of
          strangled "g"
     <#> which should really by a barred-"h" is a voiced [h] sound,
          and
     <h> is it's voiceless, but clearly pronounced, equivalent.

Note: the sound /e/ is a full vowel, although the way that it comes
and goes as additional syllables are added to the beginning of a word
shows that it must have developed from a schwa sound at a earlier
stage of the language.


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                            Megdulu-Bablim

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                The  Babel  Text  in  "Saprutum"

         Sapru-Bablim bedabriyi-niyim, beysapri.pawsitim

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1.  Wexhiya beykulli-?ardim sapra.mey#idatam  wedabra.mey#ida?am.

2.  Wewhiyuwu    benasqi.me?adimi-wiyim,  wewmesa?a?a   bey?ardi-
    Xinqarim meptu#am, wewwexiba?a xammim.

3.  Wew?emara?a,   ?il.raqhi-wim   ?inxum,   "tetlam,   nelbaniyi
    labnatam    wenxerapiyi.lexrapi.zatam,"    wexhiya    lewiyim
    le?ubniti zelabnatam, wel#umri ze#imram xehiya.wiyim.

4.  Wew?emara?a,   "tetlam,  nebnayiyi.niyi   qayram   wemgedulam
    wera?su.zi  beyxema?yitim,  wenqesawiyi.niyi  xemmam  lemaqni
    la?.nepwusiyi qal.pani yekulli-?ardim."

5.  Wewyerida   ler?ayi.ziyi   Yahwayum  tezqayrim  wetzemgedulim
    webnayuwu.za?a webnuwu-?admim.

6.  Wew?emara  Yahwayum,  "?adi.witim,  xehiyu  qamma.mew#idatam,
    wesapra.mey#idata  lekulli-wiyim, wew?e#illuwu leqsawi zedim,
    weqatti la?.xebsuri.wiyim xekulla weyzamiyi leqsawi-xim."

7.  "Tetlam, neyridiyim wenwebaliyi  sapra-wiyi  xammim,  lemaqni
    la?.wexmaqiyi ?inxum yesapra-raqhi-wim."

8.  Wewpewusa?a   mexammim  leYahwayim  qal.pani  yekulli-?ardim,
    wew#edala?a lebnayi-zeqayrim.

9.  Qal.kayni  ze?ra?a  xemmu-zim   Bablam,   kay   xammi-wewbala
    Yahwayum      yesaprata-kulli-?ardim,      wemxammi-wepwusa?a
    leYahwayim qal.pani yekulli-?ardim.

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