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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 isolating." 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 pronounced [v]). 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 etc. 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 :) Ray ======================================================= ======================================================= "If /ni/ can change into /A/, then practically anything can change into anything" Yuen Ren Chao, 'Language and Symbolic Systems"


Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>
Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>