Nav par ko :)

It's pretty hard to find decent information on history of Latvian even here, in Latvia. Most of the web-based 
information is highly biased, emphasizing the similarities between Latvian and Sanskrit to sometimes even 
ridiculous degree while ignoring other IE languages altogether.

I sometimes surprises me how many Germanic loanwords Latvian has, when I come to a realization that some 
basic vocabulary unit is actually a loan. I think it's a little bit sad, too, though I'm not in any way opposed to 
borrowing, especially if the borrowing language doesn't have an appropriate word. Anyway, the awesome amount of 
German loans (I'm for from competent in Germanic linguistics, but I believe the source language of most of the 
loans to be Middle Low German) in Latvian (as well as French loans in English) inspired me to do a loan-ful 
conlang, Beringian.

Beringian has appeared in the list once or twice, I remember once mentioning it because I was pretty proud of how I 
made it sound and look like French, though the similarity has waned a little bit since.

So, I don't know if it's been already discussed here on the list, but have those of you who have conworlds (I think it's 
necessary for this one :D ) ever put some work into making languages borrow from each other? What are the 
causes for borrowing? Higher prestige of the source language or simply the borrowing culture is more backwards 
and doesn't have the words for some concepts? How likely is it that the institutions governing language have new 
learned borrowings undergo some historical sound changes in order to make them feel more natural?

Citējot "Nikolay Ivankov" <[log in to unmask]>:
> Liels paldies.
> I really love how Latvian sounds, but being by no means native, I know
> nothing about the history of your language. And I really find it very sad
> that such a beautiful and archaic language is spoiled with loanwords.
> On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 3:24 PM, Toms Deimonds Barvidis
> <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> This issue seams to be already solved before I, a native Latvian speaker,
>> had seen the thread :D
>> Anyway, "ārā" is indeed a locative from an earlier "ārs", meaning "the
>> outdoors", most definitely related to "āre", an
>> open, cultivated land, thus probably also with "art" (to plough) and
>> "arkls" (a plough), as well as Latin "arō" and
>> English "ear" (not the body part, of course), I suppose.
>> Nowadays it's usually perceived as an adverb, not a declined form of any
>> noun, since "ārs" has fallen out of usage
>> in this meaning; "ārs" is now used to mean an are, 100 square meters.
>> "Laukā" is also a locative from "lauks", a field.
>> The opposite concept "inside" is usually "iekšā"; seems like another
>> locative. Some related words are "iekšas"
>> (intestine) and "iekš", an archaic preposition meaning "in", usually used
>> mocking the way Baltic Germans spoke
>> Latvian and more increasingly with loaned words that can't be declined,
>> though I find this rather ugly.
>> Citējot "Nikolay Ivankov" <[log in to unmask]>:
>>> On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 4:04 PM, MorphemeAddict <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>>> On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 9:43 AM, Nikolay Ivankov <[log in to unmask]
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>> In Russian one uses "na ulitse" (on the street) or "na dvore" (in the
>>>> yard)
>>>>> for outdoors, sometimes also "za oknom" (beyond the window). In Latvian
>>>> it
>>>>> is either arā (outside) or laukā "in the field".
>>>> "Arā" looks like a locative. What is the nominative and what does it
>> mean?
>>> For me too, but I'm no champion it Latvian. There is no "aris" or "arus"
>>> in the dictionalry, and the only meaning of "ars" is 100m2. Thuogh there
>>> are particles "ar"="with" and "arī"="too". I can fancy that *arus may be
>>> cognate with "agros", since "lauks" should be of the same origin as
>> Russian
>>> "lug" - "meadow".
>>> stevo
>>>>> On Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 9:15 PM, Charlie Brickner <
>>>>> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>>> It's 60° here in the Blue Ridge Mountains today and, as I was visiting
>>>>> our
>>>>>> shut-
>>>>>> ins, I was enjoying the winter outdoors.
>>>>>> The thought occurred to me that you can't say "outdoors" unless your
>>>>>> culture
>>>>>> has doors!  If your conculture is so primitive as not to have doors,
>>>> how
>>>>>> do you
>>>>>> express the concept of "outdoors" in your conlang?
>>>>>> Charlie