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Slovanik, my new romlang

From:Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 30, 2002, 9:03
Dear friends!

While working on Megza last week, I found my interest drifting away in a
slightly different direction. And since we are free people, I decided to let it
happen. The result are some ideas about a Romance conlang with Slavic
substratum, that would be a Slavic equivalent of languages like Brithenig,
Kernu, Germanech, and Judajca. Consider it my contribution to those RomLangs
that are derived straightly from Vulgar Latin and based on the question: what
would have happened, if ...

There are a few thoughts I want to share with you/questions I'd like to ask

The name of the language?
First, I thought about calling it "Slavonik", but after "Slovanik" seemed to
sound better in my ears. Still I believe that both names are a bit dull. Right
now, I am considering to call it either after some Slavonic tribe or after the
region where it would be spoken. Any thoughts?

Historical plausibility?
We all know, that the Slavs have never even been near the borders of the Roman
Empire; their homeland must have been located somewhere on the territory of
contemporary Poland. So, how could this language have emerged?
Okay, all languages of this type are based on the idea of "history bending". In
the case of Brithenig, that's easy: the Romans never left Britannia. But in
this case? One could argue that, if the Romans were strong enough to keep
Britannia, they were probably strong enough to move a bit further eastward,
too. Or, on the other hand, couldn't the Slavs have moved a bit to the
Southwest, just for my convenience?

Where is it spoken?
Probably on Polish-Czech territory, let's say in Lower Silesia, Moravia, and/or
Bohemia. Perhaps a bit further South. Looking at the map of the Roman Empire,
that would be directly North or East of Pannonia, on the other side of the

This is my major concern right now. The script of Slovanik will definitely be
Latin; Cyrillic is out of the question, though it would fit the language well.
But I have difficulty choosing between "common Slavic" orthography (more or
less Czech and Croat, with haczeks and the like) and Polish orthography. The
latter makes me feel much more comfortable, but I'm in doubt whether that is
really what I want.

Grand Master Plan
Since all major Celto-Romance conlangs seem to work with a Grand Master Plan
(GMP), I thought I could not stay behind with my Slavo-Romance language. So,
here is a first draft:

/a/     [A]
/e/     when initial [jE]
        when short: dissappears, but causes palatalization of the preceding
        when long: [E]
/i/     when long [i]
        when short /y/ [I]
/o/     [O]
        when after a stressed syllable: [u]
/u/     [u]
        when followed by /a/ or /o/: [v]
        when followed by /e/: [j] (= palatalization of preceding consonant(s))
        when followed by /i/: disappears with palatalization of preceding

/ae/    [Aj]
/oe/    [Oj], perhaps [jev]
/ie/    [jE]
/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]
        before /i/ > [dz']
/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]
/h/     before /a/, /o/, /u/, long /e/ > /ch/ [x]
        before short /e/ > [j]
        before /i/: disappears
/qu/    before /a/, /o/, /u/ > [kv]
        before long /e/ or /ae/ > [k']
        before /i/ or short /e/ > [tS]
/x/     medial > [tS]
        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']
/n/     before short /e/ or /i/ > [n']


/tre/   when at the end of a word: [ts']
/cte/   [ts]
/cti/   [ts']
/rr/    when double > [rj] (in the language becomes Polish-based, this would
          become /rz/ [Z]
/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]

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

Does all this make sense? Did I forget something? Etc. Comments sollicited.

Thanks in advance,

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

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