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An arabo-romance conlang?

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Thursday, January 25, 2001, 16:52
Hi everyone,

For a few days I've been toying with the idea of an Romance conlang with Arabic
substratum, that's to say the equilavent to Arabic of Brithenig to Welsh and
Jûdajca to Hebrew. However, a few things refrain me from beginning to work on
that (not counting Narbonósc and real life :) ):
- I'm wondering about the historical plausibility of it. The fact is that I
don't know anithing about the history of Arabic. Where does it come from? What
did it look like 2000 years ago? Is it plausible to have Roman settling in an
Arabic-speaking place of 2000 years ago?
- My only resource for Arabic is a "Teach Yourself Arabic" which teaches the
Modern Litteral Arabic (not the dialects), with some insight on the Classical
Litteral Arabic. How far is Litteral Arabic from the Arabic language of 2000
years ago? AFAIK, Litteral Arabic is mainly a written language, so it shouldn't
have evolved so much, especially since sacred books like the Koran are
vocalised. Are there any web resources about Arabic and its history (I'm
specially interested in some online grammar of Classical Litteral Arabic, and in
a table of sound changes that led from Arabic spoken 2000 years ago to Arabic
- How old is the Arabic alphabet? I suppose it's a sister alphabet of the Hebrew
one, but did it already exist 2000 years ago, or was it devised later? Was it
always used for the Arabic language or did they take it from another language?
The reason for those questions is that I'd love to see a Romance language
written in Arabic script (IMHO one of the most beautiful of the world, along
with the Tibetan script and the devanagari), but I'm wondering if it's possible.

If someone could answer all those questions, it would be really kind of them, as
it would help me a lot on devising this Arabo-Romance conlang. The idea is
seducing: imagine a Romance lang, with lots of back consonnants, emphatic
consonnants, keeping distinction between long and short vowels (like Arabic), a
prefixed article (maybe derived from ille -> il very plausible since present
Arabic al-), some features of Arabic like nominal sentences, a conjugated
negation, all that written in Arabic script. I even like the idea of the
diglossia that most Arabic speakers have to deal with, between Litteral Arabic
and their dialect. Unfortunately, I have no idea of the plausibility of such a
thing, so I really need your help and insight on that. Thank you in advance!