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New conlang: Callistic

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Monday, April 26, 1999, 19:39
Hey don't go ballistic, it's just Callistic!  This is an old conlang=20
project I had called Fynalk, then Ullavian or something.  I changed=20
the base of it a lot, but I decided to settle on something based on=20
Proto-Indo-European.  (Gee, how original.)

The Callistan people, named after the founder of their republic=20
_Demokratija Kallistika_ in the 5th century, St. Callistus (not Pope=20
Callistus III or Calista Flockhart), are a European race that=20
probably originated in Central Europe somewhere, or maybe northern=20
Italy.  They are tall, fair-skinned, with blond or red hair and blue=20
or green eyes.  The small island that is their home, which was=20
settled around 2500 years ago, is located in the eastern=20
Mediterranean between Greece and the southern tip of Italy.

Callistan culture is a mix of those of their neighbores: Rome and her=20
daughters, Greece, North Africa and Egypt, and has close ties with=20
another nearby small island nation, Malta.  The native people are=20
almost entirely Roman Catholic (along with the small immigrant=20
Italian community), with Greek Orthodoxy practiced among the ethnic=20
Greeks and Islam among the Albanians.  The people (numbering about=20
50,000) are mostly agricultural (sheep, goats, grapes, dates, olives,=20
herbs), with some fishing and industry (mostly shipbuilding), and a=20
lot of trade, service, and tourism.  Their main trading partner (75%)=20
is the European Union, especially the Italians, the French, and the=20
Greeks.  The monetary unit is the _d=EAnari_, which is worth about 800=20
to the US dollar as of circa 2000.  The national flag is the same as=20
the French flag except for a gold Greek cross in the middle.

(Did I mention they make the best pizza in the world?)

Now on to the language.  Callistic is written in Roman characters. =20
I'm still working on the orthographic/diacritical conventions, but=20
here's the phonology in brief, compared to PIE, given with a=20
rudimentary alphabet:

PIE  Callistic
p    ph (voiceless aspirated stop)
b    p (voiceless ejective stop)
bh   b
t    th
d    t
dh   d
k^   ch (/ts/ or /tS/)
g^   c
g^h  z (/dz/ or /dZ/)
k    kh
g    k
gh   g
kw   qh (/kw/ or /q/)
gw   q
gwh  ng (/gw/, /G/ or /N/)
s    s (/s/, /S/, or /T/), z (/z/, /Z/, or /D/)
h_   h, ' (/?/)
r    r
l    l
m    m
n    n
w    v (/w/ or /v/)
j    j (/j/)
(ks  x (/ks/ or /kS/)
(gn  gn (/n~/)

a    a (IPA short vowels are often lost in Callistic)
e    e (/E/)
i    i
o    o (/O/)
u    u
@    no letter (epenthetic schwa)
a:   a (can be marked with a macron for length)
e:   e
i:   i
o:   o
u:   u=20
(y   y /y/ or /y:/)
ai   ae (/&:/, IPA ash)
ei   ei (/e:/)
oi   oe (/6:/, IPA o-slash)
au   au (/au/)
eu   eu (/eu/)
ou   ou (/o:/)

As you can tell, there's a "Grimm's Law"-like shift in the stops. =20
The language is a centum language, so a few words turn out to be a=20
lot like their Germanic cognates.  Also, the survival of laryngeals=20
suggest Hittite parallels.  It comprises it's own independent branch=20
of Indo-European.

The grammar is very complex, with the eight noun cases of Sanskrit,=20
as well as the numerous verbal forms of Classical Greek.  Grammatical=20
ablaut (usually of the e-a-o type for low vowels) is very common as=20

The reason for this conlang: to practice a lot of the ideas I want to=20
use for Tech, and also to get a conlang out there to use on the list.

Wish me good luck kids!


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