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Wenedyk - Master (?) Plan

From:Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Date:Friday, August 16, 2002, 21:52
Dear friends,

After spending a few days on studying Vulgar Latin and brainstorming about my
Slavo-Romance conlang Slovanik, I have finally come to some to some

First of all, the orthography. It will be entirely based on Polish. I have been
seriously considering the possibility of a Czech/Croat orthography, and even
generated a number of words, but came to the conclusion that Polish suits me
(and the language) better.

Second, I have decided to change the name of the language to Wenedyk, derived
from the name the Romans used for the Slavs (later for the West Slavs), Venedi.
I still genuinely like the old name "Slavonik", but somehow it seems a bit
tasteless to me; it might have survived if I would wipe out the whole Slavic
community from my alternate timeline, but that's absolutely not what I want to

The purpose of Wenedyk is to show what a Romance language with a West Slavic
substratum would look like. The idea is obviously stolen from, sorry, inspired
by languages like Brithenig, Breathanach, and Kerno. Nevertheless, I think it
could be interesting enough, and that's why I want to make a real effort to
make it succeed.

To keep as close to reality as possible, I try to limit my history bending to a
minimum, but since the Slavs lived not even near Roman territory, my backstory
will have to move a bit further away from the truth than was the case for the
above-mentioned languages.

It will be something like this: the Roman Empire was a bit stronger than it
actually was in reality, and encompassed some small territories on the other
side of the Danube as well. Let's say part of what is now called the Czech
Republic. Those territories were inhabited by some small West-Slavic tribes,
who were known to the Romans as Venedi and called themselves Slov'eni. The
Romans brought them not only their language, that become more and more locally
flavoured with the centuries, but also a technical advantage to their fellow
Slavs more to the East, which allowed them to maintain both their language and
their sovereignty.
Later, when threatened by invasions of Huns, Avars and Magyars, they moved a
bit North, to more quiet regions, into the Southern part of contemporary
Poland, Silesia. From that time on, their development took place together with
that of the (real) Poles, who were their Northern neighbours. When the Wenedzi
started to develop a written language, they did this following Polish
Since the Wenedzi live on Polish territory and almost every speaker of Wenedyk
is at least bilingual, the language has been under strong Polish influence for

Okay, since it seems to be common practice that Celto-Romance languages work
with a Grand Master Plan for derivation from Vulgar Latin, I added one to the
collection myself; I sent it to Conlang earlier. However, some studying of
Vulgar Latin showed me that it was more of an Amateur Plan. Hence I made some
modifications, and here is my second version:


/a/      [A]
/e/      when initial: [jE]
         when long: [E], but after /v/ or /d/ causes palatalization of the
           preceding consonant
         when short: [j] (disappears, but causes palatalization of the
           preceding consonant(s); the empty space can eventually be
           filled up with [I] or [E])
/i/      when long: [i]
         when short: /y/ [I] or /e/ [E]
         when followed by another vowel (hiatus): [j] or palatalization of
           preceding consonant(s)
/o/      [O]
         when after a stressed syllable: [u]
/u/      when long: [u]
         when short: [O]
         when followed by /a/ or /o/: [v]
         when followed by /e/: [j] or palatalization of preceding
         when followed by /i/: disappears with palatalization of preceding


/ae/     like /e/
/oe/     like /e/
/au/     [Av]
/eu/     [jEv]


Remain as they are, with the following exceptions:
/p/      before short /e/ for /i/ > [p'] (= [p_j])
/b/      idem > [b']
/f/      idem > [f']
/v/      idem > [v']
/t/      before short /e/ > [ts]
         before /i/ > [ts']
/d/      before short /e/ > [dz] (when initial: [z])
         before /i/ > [dz'] (when initial: [z']
         /s/ before short /e/ or /i/ > [S]
         when medial > [z]
         when final: disappears or [s]
/c/      before /a/, /o/, /u/ > /k/ [k]
         before long /e/ > [k']
         before short /e/ or /i/ > [tS]
/g/      before short /e/ or /i/ > [dZ] (when initial: [Z]
/h/      before /a/, /o/, /u/, long /e/ > /ch/ [x]
         before short /e/ > [j]
         before /i/: disappears
/qu/     before /a/ > [kv]
         before /o/ or /u/ > [k]
         before long /e/ or /ae/ > [k']
         before /i/ or short /e/ > [tS]
/x/      when medial > [tS]
         when final > [S]
/r/      when final > [r] or [j]
/l/      before /a/, /o/, /u/, long /e/ > [L\], [5] (perhaps Polish [w])
         before short /e/ or /i/ > [l']
/m/      before short /e/ or /i/ > [m']
         when final: disappears in most cases
/n/      before short /e/ or /i/ > [n']


/tre/    when at the end of a word: [ts']
/cte/    [ts]
/cti/    [ts']
/cs/     [S]
/rr/     when double > [rj] (in the language becomes Polish-based, this
           would become /rz/ [Z]
/Vns/    [V~s]
/mn/     [n']
/VmpV/   [V~pV]
/VmptV/, /VntV/ and /VnctV/
         when second vowel = /a/, /o/, /u/, long /e/ > [V~tV]
         when second vowel = short /e/ > [V~ts]
         when second vowel = /i/ > [V~ts'i]
/st/, /sp/, /sc/
         when initial: in rare cases preceded by [jE] due to Western

Nasalization of the preceding vowel leads (like in Russian and other Slavic
languages, but unlike in Polish) lead to the following changes:
[a~]     [u]
[e~]     [a]

The endings /us/ and /um/ disappear; when preceded by /e/ they are replaced
with [j].

That's it. I'll be working on the grammar soon.

Comments/Critique/Whatever else you could think of are very solicited!


P.S. I will send this message to both Conlang, RomanceConlang, and
SlaviConlang, so if some of you receive it twice (or even thrice), please
accept my apologies for the inconvenience and don’t hesitate to use the
Delete-key at least once :)

"Originality is the art of concealing your source." - Franklin P. Jones

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