En réponse à Raymond Brown <[log in to unmask]>:

> A bit sandy in Arabia Felix (more or less modern Saudi Arabia).  It
> wasn't
> till the spread of Islam in the 6th cent. AD that Arabic spread outside
> of
> its homeland.  It's difficult to imagine why Romans might want to settle
> there 2000 years back unless, in some alternative history, Archimedes
> was
> not killed in the sack of Syracuse but settled in Roman & invented the
> internal combustion engine and then the Romans discovered gulf oil   :)

Well, that's why my idea is not that some Romans would want to settle there, but
rather that they had no other choice :) .

> Yes, a few years back someone (I forget whom) proposed an Arabo-Romance
> conlang, imagining Arab settlement IIRC in southern Provence after the
> Muslims were halted in their advance by Charles Martel.  I mentioned
> Mozarabic at that time; it appears to have been a Arab influenced
> Romancelang and IIRC was written in the Arabic script.

I would love to see the script. Even though my idea is a little different, it
would be interesting to see how a Romance lang was written in the Arabic script.

> >It sounds like you want something older.  In the
> >pre-Muslim period, Arabs traveled widely throughout the Middle East,
> but
> >their main contacts with unrelated lgs ould have been with Greek.
> It would indeed.

Good, I'm planning on adding a lot of Greek borrowings :) .

> >
> >AFAIK it was used for Arabic first;
> Yes, it was script used in Mecca in Muhammad's time and in which the
> Koran
> was written, which meant, of course, that it then replaced all other
> local
> variants.

Then to make it plausible to have my Arabo-Romance conlang written in the Arabic
script, I have to make Mecca an important place in my timeline too. What about
the stone of Mecca? When did it fall on Earth? Did it take this importance only
with Islam or did it have it before? Maybe I could make Mecca the capital of the
Roman settlement *there* (if only my geographical knowledge was not so sketchy
:) ).