Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ    Attic   

OT: Evolution of dialects (was Re: Tirelat and related dialects)

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 20:29

On Tue, 23 Sep 2008 14:05:22 -0400, Alex Fink wrote:

> Well, as I see it there're two different things going on here, and one of > them IME runs the other way than you've suggested: > > - per the usual dictum in historical and socio- linguistics, the more > culturally central / active / populated areas of the speech community are > those most likely to breed new innovations. If rural or outlying varieties > are markedly different it's more likely that they're _conservative_, that > they haven't drifted the way everyone else has. (Of course, that says > nothing about the extra-fictional direction of the design process; but you > did refer to "the original[ly]".) > > - your "'higher' sides of life" are the areas where speakers are going to > have more social motivation to adhere to a formal standard language, if such > a thing exists, and this does retard innovations.
Indeed. Rural dialects tend to be more conservative than urban ones, as Alex has said; however, if there is something like a standard language, it is the upper classes that tend to adhere most closely to it, and standard varieties are often oriented at a corpus of "classical" texts which are often in an older version of the language. Thus, the urban upper classes may be just as conservative in their language habits as the countryside dwellers but for different reasons, or their language is conservative in other regards than the rural dialects. I am working with these assumptions in working out the dialectal divisions of Old Albic. There is a standard variety (which is by far the most developed so far) which is used primarily by the urban upper classes, and based on the classical texts, and there are several regional dialects (for which there are as for now just lists of sound changes starting from Proto-Albic). These dialects are in some respects more innovative than Classical Old Albic, but the northern dialects are more conservative than the southern ones (the most prosperous and densely populated part of the country is in the south). Dialects, of course, are what daughter languages are starting at. I am planning to evolve a number of daughter languages from them. ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf


Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>
Herman Miller <hmiller@...>