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Romlang Experiment

From:Christian Thalmann <cinga@...>
Date:Sunday, December 9, 2001, 13:52
Hi everyone,

I've been turning this idea around in my head for a while, and it
doesn't appear to be coming to an end soon, so I might as well post it,
although I have no conculture for it.  =P

It's an idea for a romlang (romance conlang (yeah, as if we didn't have
enough of those already)) that explores a new direction of phonemic
evolution, and keeps some grammatical structures from Classical Latin
(e.g. cases and absence of articles (don't ask me to explain this conculturally)).

In this sense, it's a thought experiment rather than a true project.

Being an amateur, I don't have an actual masterplan either, only very
general guidelines:



Stressed long vowels:
a /a:/, e /e:/, i /i:/, o /o:/, u /u:/, y /y:/.

Stressed short vowels:
a /a/, e /e/, i /i/, o /A/, u /y/, y /y/.

Unstressed short vowels:
a /@/, e /@/, i /i/, o /A/, u /y/, y /i/.  Final e and u are mute (but
influence syllabification).

Stressed diphtongs:
ae /@j/, oe /Aj/, au /aw/, ou /ow/.

Unstressed diphtongs:
ae /e/, oe /e/, au /o/, ou /u/.

Stress is distributed as in Latin, except where marked otherwise by a
grave or a circumflex accent.  A vowel is considered long when it's
stressed and in an open syllable, or marked with a circumflex accent.
A diphtong is accented with a circumflex that spans both vowels.  It
can be written as áù, âu or a^u in ASCII.


c:    /C/  before e, i, y or before t; /k/ otherwise.
sc:   /S/  before e, i, y; /sk/ otherwise.
g:    /j/  before e, i, y; /g/ otherwise.
ng:   /nj/ before e, i, y; /Ng/ otherwise.
ç:    /C/
j:    /j/
qu:   /k/  before e, i, y; /kw/ otherwise.
gu:   /g/  before e, i, y; /g/ + {u} otherwise.
h:    /h/
s, z: /z/  intervocally or next to voiced consonant; /s/ otherwise.
           Z is used after after t and d, or where derived from other


Short stressed {e} and {o} become {i} and {u}: noctes -> nuctz
/"nyCts/, bellum -> billen /"bil:@n/.

Intervocal consonant clusters tend to become voiced: canto -> cando
/"kandA/, monstrare -> mondrare /mAn"dra:r/; but sanctus -> santu
/sant/ remains unvoiced because of the vanished c.

Two unstressed final syllables tend to collapse into one: generis ->
genris /"jenris/, dominus -> doemu /dAjm/, carmina -> caerma /"k@jrm@/.

Noun declinations are reduced to three types.  Nominative forms can be
irregular, and irregular nominative plurals ending -s can cause the
same irregularities in accusative plurals, but apart from that all
other cases are built regularly.

Ia.  doemu "master": doemu, doemen, doemo, doemi; doemi, doemos,
     doemis, doemon.
     pulger "pretty": pulger, pulren, pulro, pulri; pulri, pulros,
     pulris, pulron.
Ib.  caelen "sky": caelen, caelen, caelo, caeli; caela, caelos, caelis,
     auer "gold": auer, auren, auro, auri; aura, auros, auris, auron.
     Notice how even the neuter nouns form the accusative plural with
II.  cena "dinner": cena, cenan, cenae, cenae; cenae, cenas, cenis,
III. genner "gender": genner, genren, genri, genris; genners, genners,
     genrys, genron.
     mari "sea": mari, marjen, marji, marjis; marja, marja, marjys,
     pader "father": pader, padren, padri, padris; paders, paders,
     padrys, padron.

I haven't given the verbs much thought yet, apart from the fact that
they're going to keep their irregular perfect stems.  =P  Here's what a
typical present indicative conjugation would look like:

candare "to sing": cando, candas, cant; candáù, candáè, candan.
/k@n"da:r, "kandA, "kand@s, "kant; k@n"daw, k@n"d@j, "kand@n/
ydere "to see": ydjo, ydes, yt; ydáù, ydáè, yden.
/y"de:r, "y:djo, "y:d@s, yt; y"daw, y"d@j, "y:d@n/
dicer "to say": diço, dices, diç; diçáù, diçáè, dicen.
/"di:C@r, "di:CA, "di:C@s, "diC; di"Caw, di"C@j, "di:C@n/

That's all I have so far... any comments?  (Apart from "it looks too
much like Germanech" ;-)

-- Christian Thalmann


Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>