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Re: imagining language(s)

From:Jonathan Chang <zhang2323@...>
Date:Sunday, May 7, 2000, 7:18
In a message dated 2000/05/07 05:51:47 AM, Ray Brown continues with my idea
of an alternative militantly democratic Greco-Hellenic world:

>Would the Federation have left it at that or gone on into Persia to smash >the Empire at its heart? >
_Anabasis_ on a large scale, eh? Harbinging shades of the Gulf War, hehe?
>>>Now if the Carthaginians had won the 'Punic Wars', things would have _very_ >>>different. Latin would have developed no literary form and fallen into >>>oblivion together with the Roman alphabet. <SNIP> Would the Phoenicians/ >>>Carthaginians have had the same high regard for the Greeks as the Romans >>did? >I think it less likely. >> >> And what if the hearts, minds & military might of Rome had backed Greece >>(in another words, after Greece took over Rome, the Romans became "equal >>partners" in spreading a Greco-Roman democracy)? > >I can't see any way this would happen. When the Romans began their >life-and-death struggles with the Carthaginians, they were merely the >masters of Italy & still had a Republican government. It was not till they >started defeating the Carthaginians that they became an imperial power, by >which time they'd probably see the Hellenic Federation as a threat also. > >But if, as I imagined above, the Hellenic Federation included the Greeks of >southern Italy, then Rome would not have become masters of Italy. The >small, fledging republic of Rome would've been brought into the Federation >& become hellenized; maybe, as a republic, it would join willingly as >protection against the Etruscans to the north, whom the Federation would >defeat & also hellenize. Thus, Latin never be developed as literary >language. The struggle for supremacy in the Med would then be between the >Hellenic Federation and the Carthaginians. > >If the Federation defeated the Carthaginians, then we'd get the Greek >language & alphabet spread around the Mediterranean & the Levant. We'd >have no Romance languages - but we might have separate languages >descended
from ancient (Athenian) Greek.
> >Whether the Federation could maintain its democratic polity after becoming >the imperial power in the Med, is IMO questionable. Certainly the Roman >republic constitution proved woefully inadequate and degenerated into civil >war before the system of Emperors with powerful centralized government >emerged. But that's another matter. > >Such a Hellenic Federation, it would seem to me, would be less likely to be >interested in northern Gaul or Britain than the Romans were, so Gallic >could've survived in northern Gaul (tho I think the English model would >suggest that it eventually the Frankish German dialect would've established >itself there). >
WoWzA... kinda what I was thinking but didn't articulate.
><ok, I am making this as >>though Greece was like some weird proto-USA> ;) > >Maybe. > >> Just imagining... > >Why not? That's exactly what Andrew did as he created Brithenig - and many >others have done & do the same. It's one way of creating a scenario for a >conlang. What language(s), e.g., would be spoken in modern Spain if it had >once been part of the Hellenic Democratic Federation?
A Greco-Celtiberian language? "glossa Greco-Celtiberi"? That would be interesting to see if someone(s) can come up with conlang based on this intriguing premise!!! zHANg