Conlang Standard Languages v. Dialects
|From:||Thomas R. Wier <artabanos@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, August 23, 2000, 7:37|
Muke Tever wrote:
[Ditto John's points about this nonsense.]
> > Well, most schools don't use the old pronunciation that acts as if
> > Greek went through the Great Vowel Shift (where <nous> = /n&us/).
> > Most today use either the Erasmean system or the newly reconstructed
> > one with a distinction between aspirated and unaspirated stops.
> Which brings me a question: In your conlangs do yall have 'standard'
> pronunciations for ancient words/texts?
Yes, actually. I've been working on Phaleran some recently, and made
a Ethnologue-type entry for the beginning of my workbook:
PHALERAN (Phaler-Aidu, KweiNoitli, Phalitlai, K'oi-Phala, Önopales,
Sikastra, Nessubim, Græksi). ca. 45,570,000 speakers according to the
latest procuratorial census (1203 P.C.)*; 82% live in the domains of Greater
K'eþnaia. Also: Loriom, Effeisa, Trans-Alideru, Tharri. Language of official
imperial administration, public education, and international political, intellectual
and religious discourse. Not inherently intelligible with Acropedial Phaleran,
Tic|'oNga, Walsi, or P'orræs. Relations with other colonists in system minimal;
reduced to occasional radio transmissions.
For all the domains of Greater K'eþnaia, there is only one official language
in which materials may be published, called Phaleran, which is based on the
dialect of Twolyeo, the capital. It is actually based on the court-language,
which features many conscious archaisms going back to Tlaspi, the protolanguage.
These include, for example, the existence of the voiceless lateral alveodental fricative
(transliterated <hl>), voiceless alveodental trill (<hr>), a voiced uvular trill (<r|>,
and voiceless semivowels <hw> and <hy> to match their voiced counterparts.
Phaleran syntax and morphology radically diverges from Tlaspi in almost every
area, since Phaleran has grammaticalized most of the free-standing grammatical
particles that Tlaspi had. It has not gone so far as some dialects, however, which
verge on the polysynthetic. Standard Phaleran has no noun incorporation, which
some dialects do have:
STANDARD: Pûwo athero gethasyonti.
boy-DAT father.ABS see-TRANS-3SgPf-SEN
'The boy has seen (his) father.'
DIALECTAL Pûwo gætatherâsyonati.
(Önopales) boy-DAT see-father-TRANS-3SgPf-SEN
There are some interesting features to note here. Like Standard Phaleran, the
dialect of the Önopales region has its own version of Grassman's Law, which
states that given two closely situated aspirated consonants, the first one will
deaspirate. What constitutes 'closely situated' is dependent on dialect. This
leads to allomorphy in this example, where Önopales has gæth- and gæt-,
dependent on suffixation. Also like the standard language, there is apocope
of the /o/ in the incorporated form of 'athero', which in normal conditions leads
to lengthening of the following vowel if it may be lengthened (mid vowels like
/e/ and /o/ have only allophonic lengthening). The result of all this is that, even
though the two dialects have very similar phonological rules that govern them,
the way they are instantiated, because of the differing morphology, leads to
a significantly different result overall. Önopales, though, as may be seen above,
is more resistant to consonant clusters, which is why we see an epenthetic /a/
in the personal suffix -nt-. This is an example of how the standard retains one
of the earlier features of the Late Trader Tlaspi grammaticalization of person.
* (Anybody who's anyone knows the language, but in truth there are few who
actually speak it on a daily basis or proficiently enough to pass the Imperial
Examination system. The census figure listed above is thus quite misleading.)
Tom Wier | "Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero."