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Re: Just a Little Taste of Judean

From:Raymond A. Brown <raybrown@...>
Date:Sunday, April 11, 1999, 8:25
Please note that I'm _not_ knocking Steg in anything I say below.  I think
the idea of a 'Judean Romance-lang' is a great idea.  But as Edward Heil
says: "Cool changes, but you need a better Latin advisor, I'm afraid!"

The comments below are intended to be helpful.

At 8:58 pm -0500 10/4/99, Tom Wier wrote:
>Steg Belsky wrote: > >> "manus" (mani, manorum) >> mani >> MAN >> manorum >> manorm (accented on the second syllable, R = velar retroflex >> approximant) >> MANO:M > >You might want to watch out here: the final <-m> in <manorum> >and <manum>, etc., was quite likely simply the orthographic indicator >for nasalization on the preceding vowel, IIRC. So, you might actually >get [mano:~] there. Ray, you're our local classicist; do you have a >comment on this? :)
Thanks :) Indeed the final -m of *manorum was silent would've been silent if the word existed. But as Edward Heil correctly points out, the word is 4th declension, so the genitive plural is 'manuum'. However, to add to the confusion, the 4th declernsion clearly disappeared from _spoken_ Latin (which is what the Romance langs are descended from, not the Classical language), and here the surviving 4th decl. nouns were absorbed into the 2nd. However, the Latin genetives did not survive in the spoken language, except in certain set expressions (nouns of days, cf. the modern Spanish forms). But, back to the genitive plural, and let's take the correct 'puellarum'. That the final -m was silentis quite clear from the rules for scansion of verse as well as from inscriptions. More controversial is the pronunciation. It seems to me that by the end of the BC period it was simply silent, i.e. puellaru. Only monosyllables like 'rem' (--> Fr. 'rien'), 'quem' (--> Spanish 'quien') seem to have retained any nasality. It is possible that among the educated such final vowels in polysyllabic words were also nalasalize, i.e. /puella:ru~/, but we have no evidence one way or the other on this. What we do know is that in popular speak it was silent so that, e.g. the genitive plural '(il)lorum' gives the Italian 'loro' and French 'leur'. Therefore, I'm afraid, Steg's 'manorm' or 'mano:m' is a non-starter :=(
> >> "puella" (puellae, puellarum) >> puellae >> /pwElaj/ >> pwela >> pfela >> PELA >> puellarum >> /pwEl'aRm/ >> pfela:m >> PELA:M > >Ditto from the above -- [pEla:~]. Also, how do you reason the >change from [w] to [f]? I realize they're both labial, but why would >it devoice like that? For most cases of [pf] I've seen, if they change, >turn into fricatives, not stops.
/pf/ is not common, I agree - but I wouldn't rule it out as a peculiar region development. The /w/ was devoiced presumably because of the preceding /p/. A semi-vowel which developed between a consonant & vowel tended to be dropped altogether, but I wouldn't automatically rule out Steg's interesting development here.
> >Also, the normal change was [ai] --> [e:], IIRC... not that yours must >have that or anything. :)
probably [E:] rather than [e:] - but the monophthongization of the Classical {ae} and {oe} is quite clear. It happened right throughout the Roman world. (But the diphthong /au/ did survive into early proto-Romance). ----------------------------------------------------------------------- At 10:37 pm -0400 10/4/99, Nik Taylor wrote:
>Steg Belsky wrote: >> So far, i don't think it'll have cases. >> Nouns are descended from Latin's genitive case (like Spanish's are from >> the accusative). > >That seems unlikely to me. The genitive was lost very early on in Latin >evolution. Genitive is an oblique case. Typically, when cases are >lost, the core cases (that is, nominative and accusative or ergative and >absolutive, as the case may be) provide the remaining form. Most >probable would be either accusative remaining, as in French, Spanish, >Portuguese, etc., or nominative, as in Italian, Romanian, etc.
Even Italian & Romanian are now considered by most to have derived their modern forms from the _accusative_ like their sister langs. The development of the plural endings seems to have been roughly /as/ -> /aj/ -> /e/. This certainly makes more sense of the 3rd decl. development /es/ -> /ej/ -> /i/. It seems that in the case of the 2nd, the nom. plural /i/ may have had some influence in the development of /os/ -> /oj/ -> /i/. Indeed, the nom. does seem to have survived occasionaly here, e.g. Italian 'amiche' /amike/ (plural of 'amica') is from Latin 'ami:cas' (hence the retention of the hard /k/; 'ami:cae' would have given *ami:ce), but 'amici' /amitSi/ (plural of 'amico') must be derived from Latin 'ami:ci' ('ami:co:s' would have given *amichi).
>In fact, >I don't know of any examples, from any families, where a non-core case >was the last remaining.
No do I. Indeed, I essentially agree with Nik on this. Genitives do survive among the pronouns; but even here it is quite clear that the genitive & dative cases has fallen together. Nouns from genitive forms are IMHO non-starters in any con-Romance that wants to look like a plausible development (like Brithenig, e.g.). --------------------------------------------------------------------------- At 9:41 pm -0500 10/4/99, Edward Heil wrote:
>Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...> wrote: >> He gave me a few different nouns in Latin with their declensions, so here >> are the Judean evolutions: >> (i hope he didn't leave out marking the Latin long vowels) > >Bad news. He did leave out marking the long vowels, and got at least one word >in the wrong declension.
Indeed he did. And the long vowels are important since, except for /a/, the long & short vowels developed differently in Romance, especially in stressed syllables.
>> Latin Nominative (singular genitive, plural genitive) >> >> "manus" (mani, manorum) > >This is not a second declension noun, it's a fourth: > > "manus" (manu:s, manu:m)
4th it is. Gen. singular is (manu:s), but the plural was written 'manuum' and almost certainly pronounced as three syllables. Among the illiterate, of course, the word had already slipped into the 2nd decl :) [snip]
>> >> "pons" (pontis, pontum) > > "po:ns" (pontis, pontum)
Sorry - genitive plural is 'pontIum' /pontiu/ [snip]
> >> "pectus" (pecti, pectorum) > >This is third declension, not second. > > "pectus" (pectoris, pectorum)
Indeed it is!
>(it is a coincidence that "orum" was correct here. -orum is not the ending >for this declension, it's just -um. But the stem is pector-.)
...and the co-incidence is only in the _written_ form. The 'o' in the correct 3rd decl. form is short & the word is stressed on the _first_ syllable. If it were 2nd. decl. then the 'o' would've been long & the word stressed on the 2nd syllable. But to add to the fun - it is clear that in some areas the 3rd decl. neuters in -us (such as 'pectus') joined the second decl. neuters becoming, in effect *pectu(m), cf. Italian 'petto'.
> >Cool changes, but you need a better Latin advisor, I'm afraid!
>I wouldn't >mind someone checking up on my corrections, too, cause they're from memory and >intuition; I don't have my books handy to check myself, and there might be >some errors (a:rum sounds right to me but I'm not totally sure about it, for >example).
Correct :)
>It is a rule in Latin that vowels are always long before -ns or -nf, as in >"po:ns." (but not "pontis")
Also correct :)
>The rules for forming Latin genitives are quite easy, by the way, and the >dictionary form of the word usually gives the nominative and genitive singular >anyway. So buying yourself a cheap Latin dictionary and learning which >plurals go with which singulars will probably solve your problem right there. > >NOM SING GEN SING GEN PLUR > -a -ae -a:rum <--somebody check me on these long >-us/-er -i: -o:rum <--vowels, OK? > ? -is -um
Correct so far, except that quite a few 3rd have -ium rather than the more common -um...... but...
> -us -u:s -u:m <--and this ending?
Genitive plural is -uum.
> -e:s -ei: -um
Genitive plural was -erum /e:ru/. The 4th & 5th decl. were moribund & died out completely in _spoken_ Latin.
>Look at the stem used to make the gen sing (may be different from the one in >the nom sing, as in po:ns, pontis!) and use that for the gen plural too. > >That should get you through all the regular declensions. :)
But note what Nik says about using the gentive in any case. And if 'Judean' is intended to be a plausible Romance-lang then it should, I'm afraid, be descended from the spoken Latin of the ordinary people of the Empire - often called Vulgar Latin - and not from the literary conlang we know as Classical Latin. Ray.