Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

New Conlang: Terkunan

From:Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Date:Friday, March 2, 2007, 17:14

I would like to announce my new romlang Terkunan [tErku'nan] or
'Tarragonian'.  It was designed to be what I feel is an elegant
romlang derived from Vulgar Latin.  In contrast to Þrjótrunn, there is
not one strict set of sound changes taken from another existing
natlang, but a set compiled by my personal preferences.  (Are there
names to distinguish these two types of conlangs?)

Some sound changes:

   - drop of initial unstressed i-:   imperium  > mperi
   - drop of final vowels:            panem     > pan
   - no palatalisation:               caelum    > kel
   - l > r shifts:                    blancum   > branke
   - syncope:                         hominem   > ombre
   - r..r dissimilation:              regnum    > ringle
   - epenthesis:                      insula    > istre

The idea that started this conlang was a vowel shift, namely the
collapse of the Vulgar Latin seven vowel system of /a e E i o O u/
into /a e i o u/.  The collapsed happened in several steps:

In Vulgar Roman times, the seven vowel system acquired a new
non-phonemic length in open syllables.  This length distinction then
influenced how the seven phonemic vowels collapsed into five: /e:/ and
/E:/ both collapsed into /e:/ = [e:] (and /o:/ and /O:/ into /o:/ = [o:]).
And both /i/ and /e/ collapsed into /i/ = [I] (and /u/ and /o/ into
/u/ = [U]).  The pronunciation of the phones today is just like in
Classical Latin again, only length is now non-phonemically selected by
openness of the syllable:

    /e:/          [e:]
    /e/           [E]
    /i:/          [i:]
    /i/           [I]

This leads to the following modern words (it's all about the first
vowel in each word here):

   fe:mina   > fimbre [fImbre]  classical [e:] in closed syl. => modern 'i'
   fe:li:cem > felike [felike]  classical [e:] is open   syl. => modern 'e'
   sexa      > ses    [sEs]     classical [E]  in closed syl. => modern 'e'
   decem     > deke   [deke]    classical [E]  in open   syl. => modern 'e'

Because of this, some words will probably have irregular i-e or u-o
alterations in derivations or in the plural (but I have no examples
yet) when the openness of syllables changes.

A first sketch is here (including grammar which I neglected in this

And here's the first text:

   Mis Patre                          [mIs 'patre]

   Mis patre, k'es n'kels,            [mIs 'patre 'kes N=kEls]
   Es bendika tu nombre.              ['es bEn'dika tu 'nOmbre]
   Vena tu ringle.                    ['vena tu 'rINgle]
   Es fika tu volat,                  ['es 'fika tu vo'lat]
   Komu n'kel si n'ter.               ['komuN kEl sin tEr]
   Odiu dar a mis le mis pan          ['odju da ra mIs le mIs pan
       pe katu di.                        pe 'katu di]
   I perdonar a mis le mis devats,    [i pEr'dona ra mIs le mIs de'vats]
   Si komu mis perdonar ils a         [si 'komu mIs pEr'dona rIl sa
       mis devators.                      mIs de'vatOrs]
   I no nduka mis n'tentasion,        [i nOn 'duka mIs n=tEnta'sjOn]
   Ma libera mis de mal.              [ma li'bera mIs de mal]
   Ka de tu es ringle i pot i glori,  [ka de tu es 'rINgle i pOt i 'glori]
   In eterne,                         [In e'tErne]
   Amin.                              [a'mIn]

What do you think?



Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Dirk Elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Christian Köttl <christian.koettl@...>
Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>