Dropping Q and C (was: Some isolating verb patterns)
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, January 16, 2005, 17:50|
On Saturday, January 15, 2005, at 11:09 , Gary Shannon wrote:
> Pascal also noted: "Besides, if it's Latin-based, you
> should use q for kw."
> Just to be curmudgeonly I was planning on dropping Q
> and C from my alphabet and using "KW", "K" and "S" to
> replace them.
..and why not? It seems sensible to me - not curmudgeonly ;)
Just because a language is Latin *based*, it does not mean it has to use
Latin spelling conventions. One might just as well, using that logic, tell
Gary: "if it's Latin-based, your language should be flexional, not
Frater which, like Gary's conlang, is isolating and takes the bulk of its
vocabulary from Latin & Greek, certainly does not adhere to Latin spelling.
It uses "K" or "S" for Latin C (it doesn't have semivowels, so Latin QV
is rendered simply as "K").
Indeed, being Latin based does not even mean a language has to be written
in Roman script! From tht 16th century until 1860, Romanian was written in
the Cyrillic alphabet; Ladino (derived from medieval Spanish) is written
in Hebrew script, and the medieval variety of spanish, known as Mozarabic,
was written in Arabic script.
In fact |qu| (upper case |QV|) only really makes sense in a system in
which /w/ and /u/ are both written with the same letter, as in Roman
spelling of Latin. It enabled the Romans, for example, to distinguish
between _qui_ /k_wi:/ (nom) and _cui_ /kuj/ (dat). Indeed, even through
the middle ages, |u| did duty for both a vowel and a consonant (usually
I guess that by the time the Italian humanists hit on th idea of having
two separate letters |v| and |u|, the habit of writing |qu| was too
ingrained. Of the Romance languages, only Spanish has really been
innovative, writing [kw] as |cu| and reservibg |qu| solely for /k/ before
front vowels. So in Spanish:
cuando <-- Latin: quando
cuatro <-- VL: *quattro (CL quattuor)
cuestión <-- Latin: questione(m)
cuota <-- Latin: quota
Natlangs show there is no obligation for a Latin-based language to spell
/kw/ as |qu| - so IMO Gary is not being at all curmudgeonly.
> Thus "succorro" in Latin becomes "sukura" (help, come to the aid of)
_succurro_ actually - it's a compound: sub+curro = I run under. It was
occasionally used literally. But it came to mean 'I runt to someone's
assistance', 'I help' - and the person to whose assistance you ran was
expressed by the dative case, as iwas normal with compound verbs.
> in Mutande Palu,
> or whatever the heck the name of the language is going
> to be.
_sukura_ looks fine to me :)
"If /ni/ can change into /A/, then practically anything
can change into anything"
Yuen Ren Chao, 'Language and Symbolic Systems"