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Just a Little Taste of Judean (Part 2)

From:Raymond A. Brown <raybrown@...>
Date:Sunday, April 11, 1999, 14:01
At 3:24 am -0400 11/4/99, Steg Belsky wrote:
>On Sat, 10 Apr 1999 20:58:57 -0500 Tom Wier <artabanos@...> >writes:
>>You might want to watch out here: the final <-m> in <manorum> >>and <manum>, etc., was quite likely simply the orthographic indicator >>for nasalization on the preceding vowel, IIRC. So, you might actually >>get [mano:~] there. Ray, you're our local classicist; do you have a >>comment on this? :)
I have :)
>Well, i don't like nazalized vowels, and it's my conlang, so there :-P >;-)
>Back to Real Rationalization :) , i'd explain this because the Judeans >weren't native speakers of Latin, so the Latin that Judean evolved from >was placed over a Semitic (and maybe Greek?)
Yeah - the major (gentile) influence in that part of the world was Greek. I put gentile in parentheses since in fact some Jewish groups, e.g. in Alexandria, were Greek speaking at the time I assume 'Judean' was developing. And one must, I think, allow some Greek as well as Semitic coloring to your 'Judean-Romance'. (Thought: it might be interesting for some conlanger to "discover" a surviving Greek-based Jewish language :)
>substrate (i think that's >the word), where there are no nasalized vowels.
But there was almost certainly no nasalized vowel in the spoken Latin form either! So there's no question of nasal vowels in 'Judean' in any case. What you'd have to do if you insist on the final -m is to explain why Judeans who aren't, as you say, native Latin speakers, have restored a sound long lost to the spoken language.
>So just like i often use >an English R when speaking Spanish, they might hypercorrect and pronounce >the M instead of nasalizing the vowel.
That just won't work, I'm afraid. There'd be nothing in the spoken Latin to hypercorrect! If you want the -m then it can only come about if we imagine that for some reason a group of Aramaic (or Aramaic & Greek) speaking Judeans decide to learn Classical Latin from written form only and then, for some strange reason, they or their descendants actually start speaking it. I'm finding that a difficult scenario to envisage.
>>...... Also, how do you reason the >>change from [w] to [f]? I realize they're both labial, but why would >>it devoice like that? For most cases of [pf] I've seen, if they >>change, >>turn into fricatives, not stops. > >In Judean, all /w/s turned into either [v] or [f], depending on the >environment.
Fine - that I'll buy :) --------------------------------------------------------------------------- At 3:00 am -0400 11/4/99, Steg Belsky wrote:
>On Sat, 10 Apr 1999 22:37:33 -0400 Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...> writes:
>>I don't know of any examples, from any families, where a non-core case >>was the last remaining. > >Well, this is my Fat-Chance Rationalization: > >Judean is a Latin-based language placed over a Semitic substrate. In >Hebrew and Aramaic, there's a _construct state_, which is the opposite of >the genitive case. > >Hebrew: (garden-of) (animals) >Latin: (garden) (of-animals) > >So, in Hebrew, the form of the word which is used in the second part of a >construct case is the *normal* form. So, by another >substrate/second-language mix up, the genitive case becomes equated to >the second part of the construct case, and through that, to the "normal >word". > >RL Reason: i wanted to be different :)
I appreciate the RL :) But I would advise trying to keep within plausible developments. Let's see. This would be an eastern Romance, therefore more like Romanian. Now we could imagine that the Latin declension had given way to possibly just three cases: nom., Acc. & GenDat (a blend of the old genitive & dative - Romanian would suggest this). This is in line also with Greek development. In the 1st declension we know that the Nom. & Acc. had fallen together in speech probably as early as the 1st cent. AD., thus: puella, puellas. There was certainly a tendency for this to happen elsewhere. Thus we could well have had a two case system common in the spoken Latin of this area: SING. PLURAL NomAcc. puella puella:s GenDat. puelle puella:ru Now, if I've understood correctly, the first noun in the construct state tends to be shortened, and the second noun appears in full in the 'absolute state'. Right the GenDat plural is certainly longer than the NomAcc so it _might_ be that spoken by peoples whose underlying language habits are Semitic, the NomAcc comes to be regarded as the 'construct form' (i.e. first part of the construct state) and the GenDat comes to be regarded as the absolute form. Also in eastern Romance we know that final -s did not survive; it either disappeared or changed to some voiced palatal sound. So the NomAcc plural would likely to be /puellaZ/ or /puellaj/ - but maybe under the influence of 'puellaru' we find 'puellar' :) Also in some Greek dialects final -s regularly became -r. It's known among scholars as 'rhotacism' and we could imagine it occuring in 'proto-Judean'. It would also give added reason to 'puellaru' becoming the normal, i.e. absolute, form: it no longer carried the old genitive-dative function but was felt to be the full form of 'puellar'! Only three declensions survived in spoken Latin, so with the effect of analogy etc. we could end up with a system like this ('manus' certainly survived & joined the 2nd declension). So we could have something like this (stress on penultimate syllable): 1st decl. SING. PLURAL construct pela pelar absolute pele pelaru (I rather liked pfela ;) 2nd decl. SING. PLURAL construct manu manor absolute mani manoru 3rd decl. SING. PLURAL construct ponte ponter absolute ponti ponteru Which is certainly different :) (Analogy might also continue to work to make the singulars a bit more 'regular' in the way the plurals are.) Ray.