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On Thu, 21 Jan 1999 22:01:18 -0500 Don Blaheta <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>Quoth Steg Belsky:
>> The language would be able to be written in the Latin alphabet and
>>in the
>> Hebrew alphabet.  In general, right-handed people would primarily
>>use the
>> Latin alphabet, and left-handed people would use the Hebrew one (in
>>order
>> not to smudge the ink).  However, it would also be common to write
>>in the
>> Greek "boustrophedon" style, where each successive line is written
>> right>>left and then left>>right, except here it would be written in
>>a
>> different alphabet, and not just by flipping the letters around.

>This is _so_ cool.  I can't wait to see a written sample. ;)

Unfortunately, that may take a while until i actually make the language
and then can figure out a sentence long enough to need line-switching. :)

>There are five vowels, each of which can be short or long.  The length
>is actually a time thing in Republic times, but already by early
>Empire
>it was starting to become a distinction of quality as well; by about
>the
>fourth century CE certain mergers had occurred to reduce the system to
>seven vowels (/aeEioOu/, iirc).  The vowels are: AEIOV; once lower
>case
>started popped up you had AaEeIiOoVu---much later, when that last one
>was separated into vowel and consonant, you saw Uu and Vv.

The long vowels are the ones that are usually represented in writing with
macrons over them, right?  So originally the vowels were /a a: e e: i i:
o o: u u:/ ?  Or /E/s instead of the /e/s?

>The consonants were as follows: BCDFGHLMNPQRSTX.  They all have their
>obvious pronunciations; C = /k/, G = /g/, and X = /ks/.  In addition,
>there were a very few words with K (= /k/), and some borrowings from
>Greek with Y (early = /y/, late = /i/ or /I/).  Moving into Empire,
>it's
>thought that M after vowels merely indicated a nasalisation of the
>vowel, no actual /m/ sound.  Also, late in the Empire you start to see

I don't know that much about Roman history...the Empire began around the
time of Julius Caesar?

>Vu diverge into a vowel (/u/) and a consonant (/w/->/v/), as likewise
>Ii
>diverged into vowel Ii /i/ and consonant Jj /j/, the latter of which
>later palatalised in late Empire into /J/, thence to /Z/ and /dZ/.  I
>think it's early empire where C and G begin developing their hard/soft
>distinction (before EIY, soft, before AOU, hard), but of course that
>change continued long after the various languages broke apart, which
>is
>why there is such variation in the "soft" sounds.  Q was, as always, a
>letter which represented /k/ before *consonantal* /u/; thus the words
>QUI /kwi/ and CUI /ku.i/ or /kuj/ were kept distinct.  H may have been
>/x/ at some point, but I think it was mostly /h/.  I'm really not sure
>where Z entered in, although I'm pretty sure it wasn't originally in
>Latin.

So there aren't any real Latin words with a Z in them?  So then i
wouldn't be able to have a /z/ >> /Z/ shift....hrrmm...i guess a /s/ >>
/S/ shift could have an allophone of /Z/ in certain situations, like the
/w/ >> /f , v/ shift...

>> Also, in order to test out this system, i'd like to know how to say
>> "Judean" in Latin, so that i can mutate it into the name of the
>conlang
>> itself.

>Well, "of the Jews" was "Iudaeorum", so "Iudaeus/Iudaea" (Jew, Judean)
>would be what you're looking for.

How is Iudaea pronounced? /judaea/ ? /judaEa/ ?  Are any of the vowels
long?  Is the normal Latin suffix for language/nationality/etc.  _-a_?

>-=-Don
>[log in to unmask]<http://www.cs.brown.edu/~dpb/>-=-
>Isn't Disneyland a people trap operated by a mouse?


-Stephen (Steg)

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