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What to call Rhodrese/Borgonzay and Borgonze

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <conlang@...>
Date:Saturday, September 22, 2007, 7:17
(I'm crossposting this, since some interested people may
be only on Romconlang or only on Conlang)

I'm mulling over what my 'R#3' ought to be called, given its
concultural situation:

(See wiki version at

The modern name of the language as a whole should be
something like Borgonzay < *Burgundiense (i.e. the Romance
language of Burgundia, parallel to Français for the Romance
language of Francia) with two main dialect groups Rhodray
along the Rhodre (Rhône) and Saugonay along the Saugone
(Saône). The problem is that in the ATL there was also a
Germanic language Borgonzc < *burgundiska which survived
long enough to become a written language in books with Latin
letters. In contradistinction to this language the Romance
language of Borgonze was of course called Romanz or some
variation thereof and any derivative of *Burgund would be
inappropriate, but Romanz would be equally inappropriate in
contradistinction to Français/Frantxay (or perhaps
Francien/Frantxiá), not to speak of the Rumantsch and
Romand[^1] of Switzerland.

The likely situation is that they all be
Romant/Romanz/Romand/Romantx as a group compared to
*Franconais/Borgonzc[^2]/Allemand, but by other,
geographical names, and so Rhodray is still a plausible
name, based on the fact that it is spoken along the Rhuodre-
Saugone (Rhône-Saône) valley. Nothing like Borgonzay,
Borgonzá < *Burgundianum or Borgongá < *Burgundicanum
seems me enough differendiated from Borgonzc/Borgondesc <
*Burgundiska or Borgonzong < *Burgundionicum, nor as

Saugonay for the language as a whole isn't appealing to me
either; perhaps the Rhuodre part of the valley has always
been dominant? To the extent that I've worked out the
differences between the northern and southern dialects the
standard language slants towards the southern dialects,
similar to Italian and Provençal rather than towards the
Northern, more French-like dialects. The one feature where
the standard goes with the north is the outcome of labial +
j and labial + liquid which are u(n)dg/un(j), ul, ur /udZ/,
/ul/, /ur/ in the north but labial + -e, -o, -re /I, U, 4I/
in the south[^3]. rather than being consciously cross-
dialectal the standard builds on the actual situation in
central dialects around Lojú (Lyon).

I'm not sure how big the Borgonze where Rhodrese is spoken
is. It does extend further south than the French region
called Bourgogne in OTL, including Loju/Lyon and further
south along the Rhuodre/Rhone, but not including
Provence nor extending east into OTL Switzerland. I
don't know how far west or north it extends, although it
does not include Paris. It's probably not landlocked but
includes Picard and Calais. This means it does not
directly correspond to the Burgundia of the Dark Ages,
having lost Provence but expanded northward. Due to the
existence of Borgonze France and Germany have no common
border, and Alsace and Lorraine are German. Still
Borgonze was probably part of the realm of Charlemagne
and its reemergence is later. It may even be part of an
in that case less centralist France.

Walloon would BTW be a separate language or a dialect of R/B
too, or perhaps more likely all of Belgium would be Germanic-
speaking -- not necessarily Dutch-speaking of course!

See <> for an
attempt at a map.

The OTL where Borgonze exists may be Lucus, my old ATL where
the Arabs never conquered Persia but discovered America
instead, the Harold Hardrada of Norway rather than William
of Normandy conquered England and the Norse actually
colonized Vinland.


[^1] I wonder what Rumantsch and Romand would be called in
the ATL. Romand would most probably be something like
Helvetxan < *HELVETICANUM, notwithstanding its spread over a
larger area than Roman Helvetia. Compared to the map
opposite <> (WP) it would in any
case extend further east but not as far west as Franco-
Provençal does in OTL, since the western part of the Franco-
Provençal area will be R/B in the ATL, and so F-P/Romand
will in the ATL more specifically be the language of western
Switzerland, which may well comprise Savoy and Val d'Aosta
in the ATL, so Helvetxan will be a more appropriate name in
the ATL than it may be in OTL.

Rumantsch would possibly be Rumantsch in the ATL too if it
need define itself primarily in contradistinction to
Allemannic German there too, although its status and spread
would probably be stronger in the ATL. If so it might well
be *Raeticanum. It would be spelled Retxan since in that
case I'd also expect its orthography to be Italian and R/B-
influenced rather than German-influenced and use tx instead
of tsch and x for /S/ and perhaps sg(i) for /Z/ instead of
sch for both. I imagine international words with x would
have got pronounced with /S/ or written with xh /ks/
analogous with ch and gh for unpalatalized /k/ and /g/
before e or i. Some orthographic difference from R/B would
be likely and healthy given the four-way differentiation
/ts--ts\--tS--j/ where R/B only has three-way /ts--tS--k/

and the intervening Romand/Helvetxan. I'd expect the same
confusion over the spelling of /Z/ arise as in R/B. If I had
designed Rumantx Grixun (See
Wikipedia:<> I would have used
these spellings and also probably accent marks to
differentiate /e/ é and è /E/ from /@/ e and /o/ ù from
/O/ o. I would definitely have used ç for /ts\/ rather than
tg, which looks daft word initially -- compare tgirar and
çirar! -- but çh in those words where /ts\/ is in
dialectal variation with /k/, which would leave ch
unambiguous for /X/ in those cases where all dialects have
that sound. In the ATL this latter would then be a late
differentiation from an earlier situation with variation
between c and ç/cz. See the pronunciation guide in the
grammar at <> (PDF) and the
comparative table of dialect forms in the Rumantsch
Wikipedia <>.

[^2] Borgonzc as a Romance form may be a haplology of
*Burgundioniscum -- perhaps Borgondesc or Borgonzonesc are
more likely.

[^3]  Examples:

     * CAPIO

           > northern txautx
           > southern cope/cobe
           > standard cautx


           > northern etaul
           > southern estavo
           > standard estaul

	Standard orthography normally doesn't reflect
	l-vocalization, which is lacking in the southern
	dialects, but is reflected in medieval manuscripts
	from the central area, where postvocalic ''l'' was
	reintroduced as a prestige social variant under
	southern influence, and as a conscious distancing
	from "Frantxay".
     * CAPRUM

           > northern txaur
           > southern cabre
           > standard caur

     * N.B. EXIMIUS

           > northern sceundg
           > southern esceme (plural escime)
           > standard esceundg.