On 26/06/2013 05:06, Aodhán Aannestad wrote:
> And a further question ( :P ) - for people with IE-esque
> conlangs where case morphology is largely inalienable
> from nouns, are foreign names uninflectable or are they
> wedged somehow into the case system? (cf Latin vs.
> Ancient Greek - Latin tries to jam them in (hence
> 'Confucius', 'Gustavus', etc.), while Greek just leaves
> them alone (Ισραήλ and so on).)

Sorry - this is simply untrue.

Israel is _Israēl_ in Latin.  Some writers, it is true,
stick on 3rd declension endings for oblique forms, but
others leave it as an indeclinable noun.

Israel was originally a name given to Jacob, who is
indeclinable in both Greek (Ἰακώβ) and Latin (Iacōb) - no
"wedging" there.

The names _Confucius_ and Gustavus_ are *not* Classical
Latin, and making a comparison between 'modern' Latin and
ancient Greek is simply nonsense.  In any case, the later
Greek names, just like the later Latin names, are "wedged"
into the the case system: Κομφούκιος (Komphoúkios),
Γουσταῦος (Goustaûos - Katharevousa accentuation).

If Aodhan cares to read Herodotos, he will discover that
Persian names are being "wedged" into the case system all
over the place.  A few examples:
Dārayava(h)uš --> Δαρεῖος (Dareîos), gen. Δαρείου (Dareíou)
Xšayaṛšā  ---> Ξέρξης  (Xérxēs), gen.  Ξἐρξου (Xérxou)
Kambūǰiya --> Καμβύσης (Kambýsēs), gen. Καμβὐσου (Kambýsou)

The Greeks also did the same sort "wedging" with Egyptian
names, e.g.(with the Egyptian forms we know only
the consonants):
ḫwfw  -->  Χέοψ (Khéops); genitive: Χέοπος (Khéopos)

In the Old Testament we find names "wedged", such:
Moses is Μωυσής (gen. Μωυσῆ), Isaiah becomes Ἠσαΐας (gen.
Ἠσαΐου) and so on.   If you care to compare the Septuagint
and the Vulgate version of the Old Testament, you will find
more the less the _same_ names left indeclinable in the two
languages, and the same ones "wedged" into Greek or Latin.

I have known these two languages for more than half a
century and am not aware of any significant difference in
their treatment of foreign names.

An interesting name that cropped in another thread on this
list not so long ago is Joseph ~ Josephus.  Both Jacob's
11th son and, centuries later, the foster father of Jesus
are indeclinable in both languages: Ἰωσήφ, Iōsēph.

But the historian Joseph ben Matityahu, better known to us
as _Josephus_, always wrote his names as Ἰώσηπος (Iōsēpos)
in Greek. Why he chose to use pi rather phi before "wedging"
it into Greek with the nominative ending -os, I do not know.
  However, when this guy was given roman citizenship by the
Emperor Vespasian he came _Titus Flāvius Jōsēphus_.

This problem of whether to leave a noun indeclinable or to
"wedge" it into the language is one that any language with
declinable nouns has.  It interesting seeing how Zamenhof
himself dealt with this in his translation of the Jewish
Scriptures (No - he didn't just stick -o on the end of them
all!).   But I've written ling enough, methinks.

"language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
for individual beings and events."
[Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]