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Standard Nordic

From:Oskar Gudlaugsson <hr_oskar@...>
Date:Thursday, August 31, 2000, 3:15
>From: BP Jonsson <bpj@...> >Subject: Re Re: Swedish/Norwegian/Danish 2 >Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 14:33:31 +0200
>BTW: one project of mine is to make available on the net nordic classics in >original language with glosses rather than in translation!
Are those actually not available? They are in Iceland (the ancient texts are accessible in varying degrees of translation vs glosses), which you probably knew.
>I channel at sundry times and places. Generally speaking the further you >get from 642 CE the more different Lucus gets from Here, and the more >confusing to me! I think that some time in the 20th century the Emperor of >the Romans is Gallianos Kalomeros, son of the ruling Basilissa Theodora III >and the Prince Consort Louis-Jerome Bonaparte, which has caused some >political ruccus in France. Most of my "contemporary" contacts are with >Vinlanders. I have as yet not forayed into the post-2000 CE period of >Lucus, and I don't think it is quite possible.
<confused>: So there are Romans, with names retaining the -os ending, but also some kind of French (not Gauls) with real-world French names...At which point does your alternate timeline depart from that of ours, and in which specific way (and why)?
>> >It is commonly said in Lucus (or _Véheimr_ /vjeimür/) that the only >>respect >> >in which most Vinlanders live up to the standard but Icelanders don't is >> >that they pronounce _hv_ as [x]:
Not as [xv]?
>>We have the "variable auxlang" tactic in common, then. I like to >>make auxlangs that achieve compromise by using original root- >>phonemes, which the languages share, but allowing different >>versions for each, representing the modern reflexes of those >>phonemes. > >Would you like to expand on how you might do that in practice?
Let's say we'd make an auxlang for two languages, whose root-language had a phoneme /t/, which in one lang became [ts], but remained [t] in the other. The auxlang could, as long as the phonemic structure of both allowed so, have a phoneme /t/ which could be pronounced either [t] or [ts], placating speakers of both the languages. Just a random example. What I mean is, since panlangs like these need to mediate a lot, it can help to avoid absolute values, and instead try to accommodate the different sound changes as much as possible. Am I clear enough?
>You have a point there. In my experience the v/kv variation is one big >problem in communication, and _gv_ spellings would be a paedagogic device >to make people used to the variation. My own native dialect has a >distinction _v > v_ but _hv > w_, so I'm used to keeping _hv_ distinct. >I also just happen to like the /gv/ sound sequence ever since I saw the >Icelandic word _gvass_ = 'gouache', and find it far too infrequent.
Hmm...I have no idea what 'gvass' means ;) 'gv', on the whole, is very infrequent in Icelandic. I can think of only 'guð' (pronounced [kv}T]), plus all the names derived therefrom (including 'Gvendur'). The question in this discussion is; should a New Norse have the same phonemes as Old Norse, only with more modern ways to pronounce them? I think not. I'd execute extensive merging. Including /hv/ + /v/ -> /v/.
>>Also, I wouldn't use 'ð' in my orthography, ever. I'm wholly >>against this superfluous letter in my own language, and would never >>support its superfluous use in a conlang like "Nordic". > >I agree it is superfluous **in Icelandic** -- altho I like it for aesthetic >reasons --, but it is **not** superfluous in Norðmál, since a three-way >distinction obtains there. Moreover the preferred form in Norðmál is an >ordinary straight "d" with a cross-bar:
Wow. How would you get that three-way distinction? Isn't that adding a _fourth_ obstruent set to the original proto-Germanic root system? Which would be kind of weird, I think.
>Which you can think of as a "d" with the cross-bar of a "t", rather than as >an Old English/Icelandic "ð"!
Which of course was merely a "d" with a cross-bar, only written in Gothic style! Which Rask seems to have overlooked.
>The problem is that öy/oy exists in all of Icl Far Nor, but represents >three ON entities: > >Icl /öy/ < ON /au/ >Far /oy/ < ON /ey/ >Nor /öy/ < ON /ey/
Whatever, it's all been merged in Scandinavian anyway. Make all of 'em [öy]/[oy], that's what I'd vote for.
>And to make things worse /æu/ is _au_ in Nor but _ú_ in Far. >Moreover ON _œ_ > /ö/ everywhere except in Icl, where it merges with _æ_ as >/ai/, but in Far /ai/ < _ei_... > >On second thought I also think that NM should have /ai/ for _æ_! Many >dialects of southern Sweden and Norway have this development also.
So that 'kærlighet' and 'være' would be pronounced with /ai/? Why, why not let 'æ' = [E], and let [ai] be a free variant of [ei], coming from ON /ei/? That's the "normal" scheme, I'd think...
>>Using ON to justify these would be practical, as I think >>that language holds respect among educated Scandinavians. Danish, >>for example, often seem to have respect for Icelandic, as they have >>the misconception that it represents an older form of their own >>language. > >It is very widespread in Sweden and Norway too, and not wholly misconceived >(esp. not in Norway!)
It's misconceived that Modern Icelandic = Old Danish/Swedish/Norwegian. That's what I mean. But some Scandinavians seem to think so.
>>Er. Don't know what to say about this system. Seems like an >>overcomplification. What about the Danish way: if the singular ends >>in -e, the plural is -er; if the sing is -, the plural is -e. > >The problem is that all Danish non-neuters with plural in -e have -r in Nor >and Swe, plus that all three have a large neuter class with no plural >marker. In that sense my system is a compromise: non-neuter = -er, neuter >in consonant = -e, neuter in vowel = -r.
Ah yeah, forgot about this. Danish sort of re-interpreted the whole system (to the better, I feel). That's how we got "et hus, to huse", which doesn't correspond to the old "eitt hús, tvö hús" system. By now, I'm confused. It seems your system is almost that of Danish, only non-neuters would always have -er in plural; so it'd be "en dreng, to drenger", but yet "et skip, to skipe". Ok, that's a compromise.
>>So agents in plurals, for example, would be -ere, as I've always >>perceived as "good Scandinavian". But then I'm heavily influenced >>by Danish, I'll admit. > >And I'm influenced by Icl -ari/-arar, and NNor which also has -ar/-arar >without blinking. My peeve is that in Swedish words like _fiskare_ have no >distinct plural, and _fiskarna_ may be both the hunters and the >hunted! (Older usage, like my late grandmother's would distinguish the >hunters as _fiskarna_ vs. the hunted _fiskarne_, however.)
Weird Swedish again. But -er/-erer is fine to me then, if I view it from an Icelandic point of view.
>>And about the Swedish -n plurals: that's weird, cause I heard those >>for the first time in my life _today_. And now you mention them. I >>was very puzzled at being asked for "tvo stucken frimarken". >>Sounded German to me. What's the story with that, I mean, that's >>certainly not standard Swedish, is it? > >It is standard Swedish! Historically it is the definite ending (as in >treen < tree-in) which got reinterpreted as a plural **indefinite** >ending. German may have played a rôle in establishing acceptance as >standarnd, I think! > >Do you live in Sweden? Where?
No, not at all. I haven't even been there, practically.
>>Would there be problems defining gender? Or are they pretty much >>the same throughout the continuum, given a system of neuter vs >>common gender? > >No, some words differ in gender betweeen the standards and between >dialects, so I would leave that choice to each writer/speaker.
But there'd still have to be a "preferred gender" for each word, no matter how we dodge it. The "credibility" of the language must not be compromised, which is what too much variability could easily do to it.
>Yet we'll have to live with those Anglicisms, and _emailsen_ is much better >than such things as **emailsarna** <revulsion warning!>
That is just highly revolting. I wouldn't do that even in Danish.
>>I agree on the last point. But I don't agree with your liberty in >>the assignment of umlaut, genders, inflections, etc. These things, >>unfortunately, have to be decided, because else it wouldn't be >>possible to teach the language. If we want a standard, it's got to >>be fixed at some point, otherwise we're back to the situation of >>today. Forstår du meg? > >Yes. There would be a standard (based on ON) for foreign learners, but >individual writers should have the right to break rules in these matters, a >bit like in the Nor standards, with _hovedformer_ and _sideformer_.
That's smart. Though the standard media and official documents would have to restrict themselves to _hovedformer_, for the reason I outlined above.
>>For practical reasons, I'm all for using the Greco-Latin >>and German vocab already present. No need to "clean up" there. It >>would also be good for the "Common Nordic"'s image in the >>international field. More "international" recognizability would >>make it a more popular language, which is a concern of mine (BTW, >>how do you feel about that issue?). > >In prionciple I agree, but when different Nordic languages use different >Germanisms, to hell with thwem all and use Icelandisms! I love Icelandic >and (aesthetically) dislike German.
I guess I'd agree there. But half-hearted use of Icelandicism could be potentially very damaging. The Icelandic word-construction system has become utterly foreign to Scandinavian. The prepositions, for the first, are not the same. "å" is no preposition in Scandinavian. So should "ålykte" be changed to "pålykte"? Now we're getting silly. There's no tradition for the use of "på" as a prefix. Furthermore, Scandinavian doesn't use umlauts for these purposes in the way Icelandic does. So I think that there's no chance for Icelandic influence in SN/NM. Unless it were large-scale. Let's say a minimum of 500-1000 words were needed for it to support itself, if you see what I'm saying.
>No, it has "státtur" /stawhtYr/, just as Icelandic Here has "nattúra"!
"náttúra", to be correct :)
>My point is that many of the arguments Icelandic purists give against >foreign words are false: -ion words could e.g. be adapted to the >inflectuion of Icelandic feminines in -un: > >vísjunin vísjanirnar >vísjunina vísjanirnar >vísjuninni vísjununum >vísjunarinnar vísjananna
That's an excellent point. And this particular word would be beautiful. Especially because it looks meaningful, because the root involved is an PIE root common to both Germanic and Romance; "vís" in Icl means "wise" (which is again the same root), and combined with -jun, we get the same effect as Romance "vis" + "-ion". The difference in meaning is then only the semantic difference between the root in the two families, namely "see" vs "know". Wonderful :) But while "vísjun" is ok, it's the longer words that the purists can more rightfully oppose; with stress always on the first syllable, they'd hardly work. Except if we treat them as the composed words that they are, originally, which makes them more manageable. So, "násjun, konversisjun, rédúksjun, traðisjun, aksjun, dílösjun, o.s.frv." Hehe ;)
>Mjög gott! >
Þakkir, þakkir :) Perhaps I should try a petite text in SN, as I'd (quickly) propose it: "I heile Norden skulle då skolebörn fra forskellige språkbakgrunner läre Nordmålet så snart dei kunne läse; heime kunne dei så se alle slags fjernsyns-materjal fra andre deiler av den nordiske verden." Approximate pronunciation: [i heil@ nOrd@n skYl@ dO skol@börn fra fOrSelij@ sprOkbakrYn@r lEr@ nOrmOl@t sO snart dei kYn@ lEs@. heim@ kYn@ dei sO se alslaks fjernsynsmater'jal fra andr@ deil@r ad@n nordiSe verd@n] Oskar _________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at