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yet another romance conlang

From:Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 4, 2000, 23:41
now that i finally took out a book from my college library about romance
languages, (_the romance languages_ by rebecca posner; the others were
too technical for me), i started working a little bit on my Judean
Romancelang, which is now called (in full spelling, {:}=macron,
{,}=cedilla) JU:D,AJCA.  [juw'zajka].

Ju:dajca is spoken in an alternate-history conearth where the Romans
didn't succeed in wiping Judea off the map.  a bit nicer than the romans
in RL, these con-romans' plan for stopping judean revolts was to attempt
to swamp the country with imperial colonists.  contrary to their plans,
instead of the jews assimilating into the colonists, the colonists
assimilated into the judeans.  however, the romans won out linguistically
as the acculturated colonists continued to speak their own dialect of
Romance, which eventually displaced Aramaic as the vernacular of Judea.
of course, many people resented this "linguistic imperialism" and refused
to speak the developing language, which was still derogatorilly called
something along the lines of "soldier-speak" until the standardizing
developments (including orthography) and political changes somewhere
around 1400-1700.

that's enough conculture stuff, here's the language:

simple stops:  / p t k b d g /  ~  { p t c b d g }

stops' allophones:  [ P s x B z G ]  ~  (marked in 'full writing' with
cedillas), according to Hebrew "beged-kefet" rules, only staying hard at
the beginning of a word, after a syllable-ending consonant, and between
two vowels where the first is 'small', some other exceptions.  does
anyone understand the pattern of the Hebrew word [kEvEs], how come it's

independent fricatives:  / f v S Z h /  ~  { f v s y h }

approximants:  / j l /  ~  { j l }

tap:  / r /  ~  { r }

nasals:  / m n /  ~  { m n }, with labiodental {m}, velar {n}, and uvular
{n} allophones.

emphatics:  / t<A> s<A> k<A>|q /  ~  { x z q }

'small' vowels:  / a E i o u /  ~  { a e i o u }

'big' vowels:  / A<r> e ij ow uw /  ~  { a: e: i: o: u: }, {:} = macron.

Ju:dajca is commonly written in boustrophedon style, with alternating
lines of latin (left-to-right) and hebrew (right-to-left) scripts.

Hebraic Orthography:
{ p t c b d g } = { pei tav kaf bet dalet gimel }, with 'rafeh' mark
(macron) to mark soft and 'dagesh' (dot) for hard.
{ f v s y h } = { vav* vav shin shin* hei }, {*} being a
{ j l r m n } = { yud lamed reish mem nun }
{ x z q } = { ttet tzadi quf }
{ a e i o u } = { patahh segol hhiriq-hhaseir hholam-hhaseir qubutz }
{ a: e: i: o: u: } = { qamatz tzeireh hhiriq-malei hholam-malei shuruq }
{ alef } for word-initial vowels

(note that using a _hholam hhaseir_ for a 'small' /o/ is incorrect
according to Hebrew orthography)

"Full writing" uses all distinguishing marks.
"Defective writing" marks vowel distinctions in Latin script and
consonant distinctions in Hebrew script, as well as using "mothers of
writing" (consnantal carriers) to mark vowels:

{ v f } use doubled _vav_
{ j } uses doubled _yud_
{ i } uses _yud_ like { i: }
{ o u } use _vav_ like { o: u: }
word-final { a a: } use _alef_
word-final { e e: } use _hei_

in "full spelling" all word-final vowels that don't have a consonantal
carrier use _alef_.

Noun Declensions:

there are two cases, oblique (derived from genitive) and construct
(derived from nominative).  this is due to the hebrew/aramaic
sub/ad/super-strate influence re-interpreting the construction
(noun) (of noun)  ~  nominative genitive
(noun of) (noun)  ~  construct oblique

Sound Shifts:
/f/ merges into /p/.
/i/ next to another vowel becomes /j/.
/l/ at the end of syllables becomes /w/ and then either /v/ if surrounded
by voiced sounds or /f/ otherwise.
/m/ and /n/ at the end of syllables assimilate to the place of the
following consonant.
/kw/ becomes /q/
/r/ at the end of syllables becomes /l/
/s/ becomes /S/ or /Z/ similar to /w/ becoming /v/ and /f/.
/w/ becomes /v/ and /f/, but merges with /o:/ and /u:/, and makes /o/ and
/u/ their 'big' counterparts.
/ks/ becomes {x} and {z} - {z} if followed by 'low' vowels / E a A<r> /
or at end of word.  {x} followed by /i/ and another vowel loses the /i/
but remains {x}.
/y/ becomes /i/

Generally, "extraneous" word-final sounds in endings are lost (i'm not
sure exactly about that yet).


(final E is lost, and R becomes L)
-a:re >> -a:l
-e:re, ere >> -e:l
-i:re >> -i:l

I don't know all the conjugations yet, but the verb MACTARE, conjugated
in the first person singular indicative present becomes:

MACTA:L  [max'tAl] (/A/ = /A<r>/)  ~  macto:  [maxtow]


monosyllabic VC words which lose the consonant, the vowels become their
"big" counterparts:

et >> _e:_  "and"
ad >> _ad_ [az] "to"; also _a:-_ direct object marker, similar to the use
of Aramaic _l@-_ and Spanish "a personal" to mark direct objects.
attached to the word (with a hyphen), and causes beged-kefet softening in
initial simple stops.
"even (though)" = _fi:lu:_, from Hebrew _afilu_.
_havaj_ similar to Spanish "ojala'", based on Hebrew _halvay_.
titles _mar_ and _marat_ [ma'ras] from Aramaic.
Verb-initial word order.
Collapse of neuter gender.....definite article(s) (and 3rd person
pronouns?) based on forms of _hic_.
Loanwords from Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew, Arabic, Yiddish (davina:l?)...
Conservation of the passive conjugations...
Lack of the Celtic/Germanic influences that affected European

That's as much as i can think of at the moment....any gaping huge
problems to deal with?

-Stephen (Steg)
En el mundo es importante que
siempre recordemos -
tu' no puedes mirar el futuro.  Y
e'so me da miedo.
Be'salas a las horas que pasan,
antes que te abandonen -
ni aqui' ni alla', en la oscuridad.