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Intro to Frankish, was Re: A Franco-Turkic a posteriori language

From:Doug Dee <amateurlinguist@...>
Date:Monday, January 10, 2005, 20:02
In a message dated 1/8/2005 9:46:36 AM Eastern Standard Time,
geoffhorswood@HOTMAIL.COM writes:

>Browsing through my dictionary the other day, thinking about perhaps trying >to blend Kazakh and English into a workable conlang, I suddenly noticed how >many English words were Old French in derivation.
>As I had no idea where in the world I could rationally place my Anglo- >Turkic speakers, this gave me something of an idea:
>What if one (or more) of the crusader kingdoms somehow came to terms with >the Seljuk Turks and managed to survive? What would their language look >like today?
Funny you should mention Old French-speaking Crusaders; I had been meaning to post about my own OF-derived Conlang, Frankish, which is spoken in an alternate history in which the Crusader kingdoms survived to the present day. (So that you don't think I'm copying you, let me say that I did mention Frankish on the list once before, and my notes on the subject go back to 2002.) (I know that the name "Frankish" is also used for a Germanic language, but since the Crusaders were generally called "Franks" by Middle Easterners, that seemed like the best name.) Frankish is still vaguely sketched, but the main things that will distinguish it from French are: 1. It retains the neat case system of OF, which had a lot on nouns that declined like ths: Nom. sg. = li voisins Obl. sg. = le voisin Nom. pl. = li voisin Obl. pl. = les voisins where there's only one non-zero ending, -s, but it manages to indicate both number & case. 2. The vowel system is considerably simplified from OF, as follows: /i , y / > /i/ /e, 2, E, 9/ > e /a/ > /a/ /@/ > /@/ /o, O/ > /o/ /u/ > /u/ (One might chalk this up partly to influence from Greek and Arabic, which, if I'm not mistaken, have much smaller vowel inventories than French.) 3. Frankish will aquire some vocabulary from Greek, Arabic, & Turkish, but grammatical influence will be negligible. I would appreciate it if people could recommend sources for Old French. I'm currently relying on _An Introduction to Old French_, by William Kibler. I don't have the conhistory worked out, but I figure the modern-day Crusader Kingdom will include roughly the following areas: Most of Sinai Israel/Palestine and adjacent parts of Jordan Lebanon and adjacent parts of Syria The bit of Turkey around Antioch The island of Cyprus Since the conhistory will take some work, I also intend to work out a slightly different version of Frankish (which I provisionally call "Frankish-B") which is spoken in a world much more similar to our own, in which the Crusades attracted a large number of settlers whose OF-derived language survives to the present day, but in which there was essentially no effect on political history, so that the only difference between *there* and *here* is that, *there*, Israel includes a small number of Frankish-speakers among its linguistic minorities. Frankish-B would have less influence from Greek, and more from Turkish and Hebrew, compared to the original Frankish-A. Suggestions for further development are appreciated. Doug