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Montrei History (a little) (was Re: Semitic languages & Cultures)

From:Barry Garcia <barry_garcia@...>
Date:Saturday, May 18, 2002, 6:11
Balazs Sudar wrote:
> > >Do you have any created cultures? I saw you wrote about calendars, but >have >you invented creatures, history, places?
I do not prefer the "fantasy" type constructed worlds (meaning, the type with elves, orcs, trolls, faeries/fairies, witches and wizards, etc). They are cool to read about, but for me, i place mine on Earth, but a slightly alternate Earth. One culture is on a small island out near Indonesia and the Philippines, somewhere near the spratly islands. The other, Montrei is a fomer colony of Spain (colonization was opened up in their most north western territory -- Alta California much earlier than in our time). It exists in the universe of Ill Bethisad. Here most citizens speak the language "Montreiano", although Castillian is spoken by a great majority (as the country is surrounded by the Independent nation of Alta California, where Castillian is spoken). Montreiano started out as a kind of thought experiment and a way to get my *own* romance language that was a lot like Portuguese and Spanish, but distinct. I decided that in Ill Bethisad that Montreianos started colonizing the areas from San Francisco to Ventura in our timeline's California. Eventually so many had moved to escape Spanish persecution (most had Moor or Jewish blood), as well as a place of "their own", that The majority of speakers in this region spoke Montreiano. The language took off fairly quickly evolving into the Montreiano of today. Montrei gained independence from Alta California when they revolted from Alta California shortly after former Spanish colonies' war of Independence from Spain. The Alta Californios decided that giving up that small, seemingly useless part of the coast was better than fighting a battle they couldnt afford financially (it was later discovered that that useless swampy valley near the capital was some of the richest farmland on the coast (in our world it is the Salinas Valley, Salad Bowl of the US) :)). So, Montrei and Alta California exist in a tennuous friendship, with a few border skirmishes every year or so (minor, and last a few days). Most of the skirmishes are over water rights, since a lot of the eastern border is high desert. Officially relations are good, and they do offer financial and material support when Tejanos try to start border skirmishes along AC's and Tejas' border (these are usually more serious). Montrei is a very beautiful place. Tourism is a major industry, As is fishing, agriculture, viticulture (some of the best wines in Ill Bethisad are produced here. There's a saying: "Âi dos cosas mais importánt en Montrei, la coseça i eu ambént" - "There are two things most important in Montrei, the harvest and the atmosphere". Which means for Montreianos it's all about the harvest as well as their friendly attitude, and the rather middle of the road climate. Montrei also has a lot of unspoiled beauty as well.
> >And how have you invented names? Do you take all possible words and choose >the ones you like? I don't think so ;-) If there's someone who prefers >taking
>from other sources, what are they? >
For Saalangal (one of my languages), I make up words as I need them. Some here dont do it that way, wating for the word to show itself so to speak. I usually try to pick words I like and apply them to the word so it "feels right". For instance, "mayaw" wouldnt sound right for the word "crack", but "gantak" does (I admit, there's some influence from the English word, but it's not derived from it :)). I guess i'm working on a kind of onomatopoeic level when i pick saalangal words. As for Montrei, it's mostly finding the Vulgar Latin words common to Spanish and Portuguese, or doing some comparison with the two by using dictionaries. I'll sometimes even look to French and Italian for inspiration. Most of the looking at other Romance Languages is to see if there's an agreement, or what sound changes there are, so i can get a decent guess as to the Vulgar Latin root. Usually Spanish wins out most of the time, but Portuguese gets a fair shake every once in a while.