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The country of Brasael, and language of Brasaelig

From:Keith Gaughan <kmgaughan@...>
Date:Thursday, July 29, 2004, 12:20
Seeing as I haven't posted anything non-IB related in quite a while, I
thought I'd mention an idea that's been kicking around my head for a
while that I started fiddling again with yesterday.

I've mentioned on this list and on CONLANG before that I've intended for
a while to create a descendant language of a hypothetical Old
Gaelic/Norse creole spoken by the descendants of Irish and Viking
settlers in what is here the NE US, part of Quebec, and Newfoundland.

I never really did anything about it seeing as I had difficulty sourcing
enough material on Old Norse at the time (though it recently occurred to
me that Icelandic would be close enough), but in a flash of inspiration
yesterday, I wrote down the following sentence:

     Iaan baeri     bo  sin  oog baerig    bo  so.
     John bring-3sg cow that but bring-1sg cow this.

And then out came some numbers:

     Cardinal  Ordinal
     Oon       Oonu
     Du        Otar
     Tri       Tridu
     Foor      Foordu  <- "f" is pronounced [v], "ff" = [f].
     Coig      Coigu
     Sig       Sigu
     Saegan    Saegandu
     Ogta      Ogtu
     Nin       Nindu
     Daen      Daendu

     According to the standardised orthography of 1836, [e] = "ae"
     everywhere but the end of a word, where it's written "e". In places
     other than the end of a word, "e" is pronounced [@]. "a" finally is
     [@], otherwise [a]. "aa" is [a:], "oo" is [o:], "r" is rolled.

And then some lines of the paternoster (until I wasn't happy with the

     Ffaar  Digan,  in aefan  bidu.
     Father GEN-1pl in heaven be-2sg

     Binif     bi     namadu.
     Made-holy be-3sg name-GEN-2sg    <- Inalienable posession.

     Mark    du      taari.
     Kingdom GEN-2sg come-3sg.

     Nif  bi     namadu       in dafin so   oon    in otar.
     Holy be-3sg name-GEN-3sg in world this as/and in next/other.

     Laa so,  baerdu          taclig araan digan
     Day this (may)-bring-2sg daily  bread GEN-1pl

     Oon maedu             aeran digan
     And (may)-forgive-2sg sins  GEN-1pl

Now I could figure out the personal pronouns and posessive adjectives:

     Pronouns   Poss. Adj.
     sg.  pl.   sg.  pl.
1   Ig   Igan  Dig  Digan
2   Du   Duan  Du   Duan
3   I    Isan  Di   Disan

The posessive adjectives are really just the pronouns and the
preposition 'de' falling together. Prepositional pronouns weren't going
to die away just because people stopped speaking Irish!

Another bit of inspiration came to me when I was thinking about what
people's names would be like:

     Iaanis bo = Iaan + 'is' (older version of 'i') bo = John's cow.

     Iaan big.    Iaan gola          Padarissen  bi namadig.
     John be-1sg. John in-service-of Peter's son be-3sg name-GEN-1sg.

The next thing to come to me was some verbs. The choices were educated
guesses. I was pretty sure that a similar-looking cognate of 'bi' (be)
and 'beir' (bear, bring, give birth, etc.: much like the identically
pronounced verb in English) would have existed in Old Norse, so I
thought I was safe with them.

The choices of 'maith' (forgive) and 'tar' (come) were partially
arbitrary. If they're not in Old Norse, then maybe they just came into
use when people started speaking the pidgen? I don't know. I'd prefer
something that both seed communities would recognise. The older subject
pronouns are still quite recognisable. Bi and Mae are slightly
irregular, but not terribly so.

     Bi      Baer        Mae         Taar

     Big     Baerig      Maig        Taarig
     Bidu    Baerdu      Maedu       Taardu
     Bi      Baeri       Mai         Taari
     Bigan   Baergan     Maegan      Taargan
     Buan    Baerdan     Maedan      Taardan
     Bisan   Baersan     Maesan      Taarsan

Next came surnames, and this is what I wrote:

Surnames come in several forms. First is the patronymic. Patronymics
follow the pattern of name of the father, followed by either -issen or
-ismag for males, and -istodar for females. Use of -issen or -ismag is
dependant on community, and what the father used. -issen is more common
amongst communities originally founded by norse settlers, whereas -ismag
is typically used in Gaelic. -istodar is used universally. Examples:

     Padarissen   or  Padarismag   and  Padaristodar
     Aenderissen  or  Aenderismag  and  Aenderistodar
     Aenrigissen  or  Aenrigismag  and  Aenrigistodar

Another is where a family has adopted the name of a benefactor or
leader. In this case, the joining preposition 'gola' (from the Irish
'giolla', meaning 'follower, servant') meaning 'in service of' is used.
Example: 'Iaan gola Padarissen' = 'John in-service-of Peter's son'. This
form is quite common, and does not imply thralldom.

Other than that, I don't have much of the culture. This is only the
first rough sketch of where I'm going with it, and I'd appreciate any
criticism. One problem with it straight off is that there's too much
influence from Irish in there as yet, and I don't have enough knowledge
of Old Norse to make anything more than educated guesses from the bits
of German and Old English I know. It's also lacking in influences from
the native languages of that area, and my knowledge of them is even more
lacking right now.

So? Any thoughts?



Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>