Re: A (Long) First Text in Costanice
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, April 13, 2005, 18:03|
On Wednesday, April 13, 2005, at 03:15 , JS Bangs wrote:
> Thanks to everyone's welcome and compliments! It's good to be back,
> and I'm finding the list less chatty than it was last time I was here,
> which is good. And gmail makes reading the list a breeze... by far the
> best e-mail program I've ever used.
But not for those of us who _reply_ to gmails posted to Conlang :(
>> Certainly interesting - from what I can see, Costanice seems to contain
>> some archaic features lost over the other side of the Med in Greece &
>> neighboring dialects, e.g. the preposition _en_ survives (replaced by
>> elsewhere) and, indeed, final -n obviously survived better here :)
> Most of those final n's are actually epenthetic. Final /n/ was lost in
> Costanice, just as in *here*'s Greek, but Costanice abhors hiatus at
> word-boundaries and so kept the n's where the following word begins
> with a vowel. Then that /n/ was generalized to words that originally
> had no /n/ at all, becoming a general epenthetic consonant.
> I want to finish the text I'm translating right now, and then I'll get
> around to posting some phonology and grammar to the list
I hope the text is finished soon - I'm looking forward to seeing a
description of the phonology & grammar ;)
>> I must confess I haven't tried to pick apart the grammar in detail, but
>> seems to retain present participle with adjectival endings unlike modern
>> Greek, where it has become an indeclinable gerund. Interesting.
> Absolutely. There are active and passive particles, used adjectivally
> and in constructing the perfect tenses.
The passives still survive, of course, in Greek *here* - but the perfect
tenses are formed quite differently, as i guess you know. I suppose over
in the Iberian peninsular, the development of perfect tenses in Romance
would've affected Constanice.
>> It seems that eta survives as |e| in Costanice; it was [e:] at the end of
>> the Republic & in the early Empire, but appears to have changed to [i]
>> sometime between the 2nd & 3rd centuries CE in mainstream Koine. I guess
>> the Greek speaking enclave in Spain got separated from their eastern
>> cousins relatively early on.
> Eta actually does merge with /i/ in final positions, but later changes
> turned those i's back into e's.
Just those, or final /i/ generally?
> It is true, however, that eta remained
> distinct for longer, and didn't otherwise develop the way Greek eta
> did *here*.
I guess the con-history of IB will explain why (I must confess, I have
quite lost my way through the IB con-history).
>> I assume one should read the letters in the Castilian manner (e.g. z =
>> ) so I was bit surprised by Xristos. Is the initial |x| to be pronounced
> |x| is indeed [x]. After waffling several times, I decided to go back
> to my original idea and make |x|, not |j|, the default spelling for
> /x/, so the first line should be (for example) _ten arxe_ rather than
> _ten arje_. The reasons have to do with the history of Nea Illenicia
> in IB, which I don't wish to go into here.
Right - I wondered if it was kept just for the spelling of Xristos (I must
confess Jristos would really look weird), especially as saw _arje_ in the
> The only exception to the
> rule of pronouncing like Spanish is |c|, which becomes [tS], not [T],
> before a front vowel. Pronounced this way, the text begins to sound
> more Italian... which is fine. On the other hand, I'm not happy with
> so many [tSe]s (spelled |ce|, from Grk _kai_)
Why not? It does actually occur in spoken Greek *here*, for example in
Cretan Greek (where palatalization is rife ).
> and I'm trying to think of a reason to steal the Spanish conjunction _y_.
...which is from Vulgar Latin _e_ of course :)
Personally, I have no problem with [tSe], which would presumably elide to
[tS] before a vowel, especially as it actually occurs in varieties of
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]