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Vandalic - UniLang

Vandalic

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Viridzen
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Vandalic

Postby Viridzen » 2014-07-29, 2:25

Cwim thich gwil! This is a thread for the old language of the Vandals. It was spoken until the 5th century, and we only know what it looks like from a few fragments and personal names. However, I've taken it upon myself to reconstruct, mdernise, and revive it, by observing phonological developments from Proto-Germanic to Vandalic, then common ones in Germanic languages, for the modern form. Any discussion should probably take place here, as we follow my magical adventure through the language, as well as any discussion you want to bring up.
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Re: Vandalic

Postby Viridzen » 2014-07-29, 2:28

I have been having a conversation with someone elsewhere (here) about Vandalic, so I'm going to continue it here--but don't let it hinder any other discussion.

GothicSp wrote:Wouldn't it be better if you would help me to revive Gothic? As I 'm currently trying to gather people which want to help me in translating the most important writings.

Of course I’d love to help. You remember I said I want to see the East Germanic languages reborn. I’ll also help with translations.
This is why I don't want Gothic to have paganism as a primary intention, I would rather see Gothic to be used, not only for paganism (but I wouldn't mind if people did as long as they don't associate paganism with political ideologies) but also for modern language.

I agree only associating Gothic with paganism would hinder its modernisation. It could (and should) still be used in some pagan settings, but certainly it shouldn’t be reserved for that. Likewise, I’ll translate many things into Vandalic, not just the religious story. It’s just one idea I had (considering I also want more people to at least know what pagans truly were, rather than a race of mythical devil-worshippers).

You could get somewhere if you are sure about the meanings of the names, so you need the Latin equivalent of all the names you use too to be 100% sure that you have the right Vandalic word. If you would do that, it would be more convincing to me.

We know what the names mean because of comparing the elements with proto-Germanic and other Germanic languages. (Still, it would have been nice if the Romans would have documented the language, at least a little more.)

Anyway, we simply aren't sure. There is a Dutch historian, von Straten which had an alternative theory and he claimed that if the Ashkenazi Jews were originally from Germany, that their number should be very low at the end of the middle ages, he says that a low number in 1500 should have the consequence that there was a huge increase between 1500 and 1900. His theory is not that the Ashkenazi jews aren't jews but Khazars, but that the Ashkenazi jews were jews which lived before the year 0 in Southern Russia and Ukraine, they would have mixed a lot with the Slavs and South-Russians in the area and up to a lesser extent with the Khazars, but as we can't genetically identify the descendants of the Khazars we know nothing about the number of Khazars among Ashkenazi Jews. So you are right about there being 0% proof, there are only theories. Anyway, I think that this theory is with regards to Hebrew very interesting as some people claim that those people actually kept speaking Hebrew as a daily language in Southern Russia, I don't know about the proof for that though, but if there would be remains of it we might get some insight of spoken Hebrew as a conversational daily language after 0 AD.

I’m sure there were Jews in that area, but they must’ve mixed with the Ashkenazi Jews coming in from the west. There were also Jews in Poland and the Czech Republic that spoke Knaanic, or Judeo-Slavic, ad merged with the Ashkenazi Jews, so that explains why the population just grew. Also, they tended to (at least in the early stages) marry non-Jews, and raise their children as Jews. So, there is a large part of Ashenazi Jewry that isn’t genetically Jewish, but they became Jews by marriage.
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Re: Vandalic

Postby GothicSp » 2014-07-29, 12:56

Viridzen wrote:Cwim thich gwil! This is a thread for the old language of the Vandals. It was spoken until the 5th century, and we only know what it looks like from a few fragments and personal names. However, I've taken it upon myself to reconstruct, mdernise, and revive it, by observing phonological developments from Proto-Germanic to Vandalic, then common ones in Germanic languages, for the modern form. Any discussion should probably take place here, as we follow my magical adventure through the language, as well as any discussion you want to bring up.


I can only say that I wish you success. I think it will be really hard to revive Vandalic, but I 'll be interested in your efforts and your results.

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Re: Vandalic

Postby GothicSp » 2014-07-29, 13:00

Viridzen wrote:I have been having a conversation with someone elsewhere (here) about Vandalic, so I'm going to continue it here--but don't let it hinder any other discussion.

GothicSp wrote:Wouldn't it be better if you would help me to revive Gothic? As I 'm currently trying to gather people which want to help me in translating the most important writings.

Of course I’d love to help. You remember I said I want to see the East Germanic languages reborn. I’ll also help with translations.
This is why I don't want Gothic to have paganism as a primary intention, I would rather see Gothic to be used, not only for paganism (but I wouldn't mind if people did as long as they don't associate paganism with political ideologies) but also for modern language.

I agree only associating Gothic with paganism would hinder its modernisation. It could (and should) still be used in some pagan settings, but certainly it shouldn’t be reserved for that. Likewise, I’ll translate many things into Vandalic, not just the religious story. It’s just one idea I had (considering I also want more people to at least know what pagans truly were, rather than a race of mythical devil-worshippers).

You could get somewhere if you are sure about the meanings of the names, so you need the Latin equivalent of all the names you use too to be 100% sure that you have the right Vandalic word. If you would do that, it would be more convincing to me.

We know what the names mean because of comparing the elements with proto-Germanic and other Germanic languages. (Still, it would have been nice if the Romans would have documented the language, at least a little more.)

Anyway, we simply aren't sure. There is a Dutch historian, von Straten which had an alternative theory and he claimed that if the Ashkenazi Jews were originally from Germany, that their number should be very low at the end of the middle ages, he says that a low number in 1500 should have the consequence that there was a huge increase between 1500 and 1900. His theory is not that the Ashkenazi jews aren't jews but Khazars, but that the Ashkenazi jews were jews which lived before the year 0 in Southern Russia and Ukraine, they would have mixed a lot with the Slavs and South-Russians in the area and up to a lesser extent with the Khazars, but as we can't genetically identify the descendants of the Khazars we know nothing about the number of Khazars among Ashkenazi Jews. So you are right about there being 0% proof, there are only theories. Anyway, I think that this theory is with regards to Hebrew very interesting as some people claim that those people actually kept speaking Hebrew as a daily language in Southern Russia, I don't know about the proof for that though, but if there would be remains of it we might get some insight of spoken Hebrew as a conversational daily language after 0 AD.

I’m sure there were Jews in that area, but they must’ve mixed with the Ashkenazi Jews coming in from the west. There were also Jews in Poland and the Czech Republic that spoke Knaanic, or Judeo-Slavic, ad merged with the Ashkenazi Jews, so that explains why the population just grew. Also, they tended to (at least in the early stages) marry non-Jews, and raise their children as Jews. So, there is a large part of Ashenazi Jewry that isn’t genetically Jewish, but they became Jews by marriage.


I agree. I didn't know about Judeo-Slavic, what was it like? Did it still contain a lot elements of the Kanaaic language?

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Re: Vandalic

Postby Viridzen » 2014-07-29, 21:08

GothicSp wrote:I can only say that I wish you success. I think it will be really hard to revive Vandalic, but I 'll be interested in your efforts and your results.

I don't quite anticipate a rush to learn Vandalic, either, but I'm at least interested in seeing that it would still exist in a way that someone could look at a writing of mine in Vandalic and say "that's Vandalic, an East Germanic language."

GothicSp wrote:I agree. I didn't know about Judeo-Slavic, what was it like?

The problem about what it was like is that we mostly don't know. It wasn't written with vowels and we only know a little of it. Some Slavic words in Yiddish, as far as I'm willing to believe, may come from Knaanic.

Did it still contain a lot elements of the Kanaaic language?

If you mean the original language of Canaan, then no, as far as anyone knows. It wasn't called "Knaanic" because of any relation to the Canaanites, it was because the Slavs were treated like slaves when the Jews came over, and basically equated them with the Canaanites, since they, too, were treated like slaves. They called their language "Knaanic", and it stuck.
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Re: Vandalic

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-29, 21:53

Viridzen wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Viridzen wrote:Germanic names often take the dative or genitive as the form for the first element: Beremut uses the genitive of bers (neo-Vandalic ber) to make “courage of a bear”; Euageis (n.-V. Øegís) uses the genitive of ews (n.-V. ø) for “horse’s spear” (eua may be a typo, though in Proto-Germanic, -as and –is were both interchangeable forms of the genitive of –az nouns).

Except that Proto-Germanic *berô is an an-stem, so the genitive should be a reflex of *biriniz. Cf. OHG bero, gen. berin/beren (e.g. berinwurz "fennel" [lit. "bear's root"]). Similarly, the genitive of *ehwaz is, as you say, *ehwas or *ehwis. So if, as you say, the name incorporates the genitive, why is it Euageis rather than *Euasgeis?

These elements don't look like "genitives" or "datives" to me; they look like stem forms.

Shoot, you're right... I always figured the forms deteriorated to simply -a, -e, and -i. Yeah, it seems pretty unlikely that they're genitives now that I think of it, but I'll consider them datives;

As I said, I wouldn't consider them datives either. The PIE dative suffix is *ey which yields PGmc *i. This vowel is lost in Gothic a-stems like ehws, so the dative ends up coinciding with the bare stem form (i.e. ehwa). But it is retained in other declensions, e.g. giba (an ō-stem noun), dat. gibai. (The ō of the stem reappears in other forms, e.g. gen. gibōs.) I don't think *berô is attested for Gothic, but if it were, it would be an an-stem with nom. *bera, gen. *berins, and dat. *berin.

It's evident from Vandalic (and Ostrogothic) names that nominative suffixes were likely in the process of being lost, thus Beremut rather than *Beremuþs. (Though I wouldn't want to assume too much on the basis of a Latinised form.) That leaves you with a couple of options for the dative form. I think -i is unlikely unless you're considering a scenario under which the ō-stem suffix -ai passes to -i by means of -ei (a change attested elsewhere for Vandalic, e.g. eils for hails) and is then generalised to the a-stems. This is plausible enough, and would be reinforced by the weak noun declensions (particularly if the final nasal is lost, e.g. *berin > *beri).
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Re: Vandalic

Postby GothicSp » 2014-07-29, 22:14

Viridzen wrote:
GothicSp wrote:I can only say that I wish you success. I think it will be really hard to revive Vandalic, but I 'll be interested in your efforts and your results.

I don't quite anticipate a rush to learn Vandalic, either, but I'm at least interested in seeing that it would still exist in a way that someone could look at a writing of mine in Vandalic and say "that's Vandalic, an East Germanic language."

GothicSp wrote:I agree. I didn't know about Judeo-Slavic, what was it like?

The problem about what it was like is that we mostly don't know. It wasn't written with vowels and we only know a little of it. Some Slavic words in Yiddish, as far as I'm willing to believe, may come from Knaanic.

Did it still contain a lot elements of the Kanaaic language?

If you mean the original language of Canaan, then no, as far as anyone knows. It wasn't called "Knaanic" because of any relation to the Canaanites, it was because the Slavs were treated like slaves when the Jews came over, and basically equated them with the Canaanites, since they, too, were treated like slaves. They called their language "Knaanic", and it stuck.


Well, I think too few people know Vandalic for that. I also think that this is an interesting linguistic experiment, but the only East-Germanic language in which we can really translate or speak without making up too much things ourselves but actually basing ourselves on Goths themselves is the Gothic language, all other East-Germanic languages, just like Vandalic can only be reconstructed, so you wouldn't actually speak Vandalic if you would give lessons in it like here but just a reconstructed form based on even less words then the modern revivers of Prussian use.

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Re: Vandalic

Postby Viridzen » 2014-07-30, 13:42

linguoboy wrote:As I said, I wouldn't consider them datives either. The PIE dative suffix is *ey which yields PGmc *i. This vowel is lost in Gothic a-stems like ehws, so the dative ends up coinciding with the bare stem form (i.e. ehwa). But it is retained in other declensions, e.g. giba (an ō-stem noun), dat. gibai. (The ō of the stem reappears in other forms, e.g. gen. gibōs.) I don't think *berô is attested for Gothic, but if it were, it would be an an-stem with nom. *bera, gen. *berins, and dat. *berin.

Well, if the dat. of ehws was ehwa, why wouldn't eua also be dative? Maybe the same thing happened.

It's evident from Vandalic (and Ostrogothic) names that nominative suffixes were likely in the process of being lost, thus Beremut rather than *Beremuþs. (Though I wouldn't want to assume too much on the basis of a Latinised form.) That leaves you with a couple of options for the dative form. I think -i is unlikely unless you're considering a scenario under which the ō-stem suffix -ai passes to -i by means of -ei (a change attested elsewhere for Vandalic, e.g. eils for hails) and is then generalised to the a-stems. This is plausible enough, and would be reinforced by the weak noun declensions (particularly if the final nasal is lost, e.g. *berin > *beri).

Well, in Old English, the dative of strong nouns was always -e, and Old Norse had -i. Also, PG *ai does change to ei, then i , so it all makes sense. Maybe unstressed ei changed when stressed didn't?
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Re: Vandalic

Postby Viridzen » 2014-07-30, 13:44

GothicSp wrote:Well, I think too few people know Vandalic for that. I also think that this is an interesting linguistic experiment, but the only East-Germanic language in which we can really translate or speak without making up too much things ourselves but actually basing ourselves on Goths themselves is the Gothic language, all other East-Germanic languages, just like Vandalic can only be reconstructed, so you wouldn't actually speak Vandalic if you would give lessons in it like here but just a reconstructed form based on even less words then the modern revivers of Prussian use.

Well, of course it would be reconstructed. Reconstructed Prussian seems to work for the Prussians just fine, either way. So it should for Vandalic, too. At least it will exist. I don't intend even to have a large group of speakers, like some "Vandalic Gaeltacht", just out of interest and experimentation, and reviving the culture if that should happen (fingers crossed!).
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Re: Vandalic

Postby GothicSp » 2014-07-30, 13:47

Viridzen wrote:
GothicSp wrote:Well, I think too few people know Vandalic for that. I also think that this is an interesting linguistic experiment, but the only East-Germanic language in which we can really translate or speak without making up too much things ourselves but actually basing ourselves on Goths themselves is the Gothic language, all other East-Germanic languages, just like Vandalic can only be reconstructed, so you wouldn't actually speak Vandalic if you would give lessons in it like here but just a reconstructed form based on even less words then the modern revivers of Prussian use.

Well, of course it would be reconstructed. Reconstructed Prussian seems to work for the Prussians just fine, either way. So it should for Vandalic, too. At least it will exist. I don't intend even to have a large group of speakers, like some "Vandalic Gaeltacht", just out of interest and experimentation, and reviving the culture if that should happen (fingers crossed!).


Hmm, I will continue my translations in Gothic, I 'm happy that I can fall back on a huge amount of sources to use for my translations in Gothic, with some neologisms here and there and an old Germanic word order, but it works.

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Re: Vandalic

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-30, 15:41

Viridzen wrote:
linguoboy wrote:As I said, I wouldn't consider them datives either. The PIE dative suffix is *ey which yields PGmc *i. This vowel is lost in Gothic a-stems like ehws, so the dative ends up coinciding with the bare stem form (i.e. ehwa). But it is retained in other declensions, e.g. giba (an ō-stem noun), dat. gibai. (The ō of the stem reappears in other forms, e.g. gen. gibōs.) I don't think *berô is attested for Gothic, but if it were, it would be an an-stem with nom. *bera, gen. *berins, and dat. *berin.

Well, if the dat. of ehws was ehwa, why wouldn't eua also be dative?

I'm not sure what exactly you're asking. I'm not disputing that *eua is a plausible reconstruction of the dative singular for Vandalic. But I don't see any evidence at all for analysing this as a dative form within the compound Euageis.

Don't confuse form with function. Because of the way sound changes work in Germanic, it's not unusual for different paradigmatic forms to coincide. Just look at modern Standard German, for instance: 7 distinct forms of the definite article spread over 16 functional categories. (Der, for instance, serves as nom. masc. sing., dat. & gen. fem. sing., and gen. pl.)

There's no reason to consider eua a dative rather than a stem form in this context. This kind of composition goes back to Proto-Indo-European. What you see in the descendent languages is either a generic linking vowel (e.g. -o- in Greek, -i- in Latin) or a stem vowel. The latter is what we find in the oldest forms of Germanic. Compositiva featuring a genitive (like berinwurz, above) are of more recent vintage.
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Re: Vandalic

Postby Viridzen » 2014-07-31, 15:37

GothicSp wrote:Hmm, I will continue my translations in Gothic, I 'm happy that I can fall back on a huge amount of sources to use for my translations in Gothic, with some neologisms here and there and an old Germanic word order, but it works.

Not all is lost, I suppose.
Fine, then let's call Vandalic, Prussian, Cornish etc. "reconlangs", because so much had to be reconstructed. But, they're still real languages, just uncovering the parts that were lost. To what degree the language was preserved does not matter, even having twenty words left, if you can reconstruct it, it is a perfectly valuable, viable, non-fictional language.
And, when are you going to continue the Gothic course?

linguoboy wrote:I'm not sure what exactly you're asking. I'm not disputing that *eua is a plausible reconstruction of the dative singular for Vandalic. But I don't see any evidence at all for analysing this as a dative form within the compound Euageis.

There's no reason to consider eua a dative rather than a stem form in this context. This kind of composition goes back to Proto-Indo-European. What you see in the descendent languages is either a generic linking vowel (e.g. -o- in Greek, -i- in Latin) or a stem vowel. The latter is what we find in the oldest forms of Germanic. Compositiva featuring a genitive (like berinwurz, above) are of more recent vintage.

You're right. I just remember hearing somewhere that the dative or genitive is often used as the first element in a Germanic name.
I have a feeling I shouldn't be working on Vandalic alone...
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Re: Vandalic

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-31, 16:17

Viridzen wrote:I have a feeling I shouldn't be working on Vandalic alone...

As others have pointed out, given how poorly attested it is, it'd be a real job of work to shape it into a usable conlang. Seems to me you should just piggyback on efforts to revive Gothic by making appropriate changes based on what little we know of Vandalic (e.g. the vowel shifts).
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Re: Vandalic

Postby Viridzen » 2014-07-31, 17:57

linguoboy wrote:
Viridzen wrote:I have a feeling I shouldn't be working on Vandalic alone...

As others have pointed out, given how poorly attested it is, it'd be a real job of work to shape it into a usable conlang. Seems to me you should just piggyback on efforts to revive Gothic by making appropriate changes based on what little we know of Vandalic (e.g. the vowel shifts).


This was technically what I was going to do, was going to just use sound changes from Gothic to Vandalic, but then I still feel other things should be added. I still think I should make Vandalic grow into its own thing, with sentence structure, grammar and suchlike from Gothic. It's going to have two forms: Old (attested) and neo-Vandalic (my modernisation that I've described). (Also, it's a reconlang-see above.)
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Re: Vandalic

Postby GothicSp » 2014-07-31, 21:21

linguoboy wrote:
Viridzen wrote:I have a feeling I shouldn't be working on Vandalic alone...

As others have pointed out, given how poorly attested it is, it'd be a real job of work to shape it into a usable conlang. Seems to me you should just piggyback on efforts to revive Gothic by making appropriate changes based on what little we know of Vandalic (e.g. the vowel shifts).


What do you define as a conlang? I agree with you that Vandalic would be a conlang, as we know so little that most things would be made up based on other languages, but would it be a conlang if I would revive Gothic, in which I 'm actually making some progress currently by translating? If Gothic would be a conlang, that means that modern Cornish and Hebrew are conlangs too, as they also have a lot of neologisms, while not everyone agrees on that.

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Re: Vandalic

Postby Viridzen » 2014-08-01, 13:59

GothicSp wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Viridzen wrote:I have a feeling I shouldn't be working on Vandalic alone...

As others have pointed out, given how poorly attested it is, it'd be a real job of work to shape it into a usable conlang. Seems to me you should just piggyback on efforts to revive Gothic by making appropriate changes based on what little we know of Vandalic (e.g. the vowel shifts).


What do you define as a conlang? I agree with you that Vandalic would be a conlang, as we know so little that most things would be made up based on other languages, but would it be a conlang if I would revive Gothic, in which I 'm actually making some progress currently by translating? If Gothic would be a conlang, that means that modern Cornish and Hebrew are conlangs too, as they also have a lot of neologisms, while not everyone agrees on that.

I know this wasn't directed at me, but I'm going to give an opinion:
I said earlier that Vandalic, Gothic, Hebrew, Cornish, Prussian, Burgundian, and other once-dead languages now being revived would be "reconlangs", so half natlangs and half conlangs. A conlang itself is entirely invented, not a reconstruction based on any surviving--scanty or not--bits of a language.
(Sorry to be a pester, but when will you continue the Gothic course?)
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Re: Vandalic

Postby linguoboy » 2014-08-01, 14:26

Viridzen wrote:I said earlier that Vandalic, Gothic, Hebrew, Cornish, Prussian, Burgundian, and other once-dead languages now being revived would be "reconlangs", so half natlangs and half conlangs. A conlang itself is entirely invented, not a reconstruction based on any surviving--scanty or not--bits of a language.

No conlang is "entirely invented". They all, of necessity, incorporate features which are derived from existing natlangs. On the basis of lexicon, they are divided into a priori and a posteriori conlangs according to whether the lexicon is invented (a priori) or derived from an existing language or languages (a posteriori). You could, if you wanted, make the same distinction on the basis of morphosyntax or phonology as well.

All standard languages are, to some extent, conlangs. The language Luther translated the Bible into was not spoken by anyone, though written forms very close to it were in use in Saxony. But it gradually acquired speakers and now we have millions of people whose native language is Standard German (or a variety very close to it). Hebrew has reached this stage as well; Cornish is not quite there yet.
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Re: Vandalic

Postby Viridzen » 2014-08-01, 14:46

Here, let's get some opinions on the words. Here are some colour words, with comparisons:






Anglo-SaxonGermanIcelandicGothicO.Vandalicn.-V.
hwītweisshvíturƕeitswít(s)wít
rēadrotrauðurrauþsraut(s)rót
blāwblaublárblēwsblew(s)blø
grēnegruengrænngrōneisgrun(es)grún
geolugelbgulurgilwsgul(us)gul
Last edited by Viridzen on 2014-08-02, 14:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vandalic

Postby Viridzen » 2014-08-01, 15:02

linguoboy wrote:
Viridzen wrote:I said earlier that Vandalic, Gothic, Hebrew, Cornish, Prussian, Burgundian, and other once-dead languages now being revived would be "reconlangs", so half natlangs and half conlangs. A conlang itself is entirely invented, not a reconstruction based on any surviving--scanty or not--bits of a language.

No conlang is "entirely invented". They all, of necessity, incorporate features which are derived from existing natlangs. On the basis of lexicon, they are divided into a priori and a posteriori conlangs according to whether the lexicon is invented (a priori) or derived from an existing language or languages (a posteriori). You could, if you wanted, make the same distinction on the basis of morphosyntax or phonology as well.

All standard languages are, to some extent, conlangs. The language Luther translated the Bible into was not spoken by anyone, though written forms very close to it were in use in Saxony. But it gradually acquired speakers and now we have millions of people whose native language is Standard German (or a variety very close to it). Hebrew has reached this stage as well; Cornish is not quite there yet.

Well what I meant was that its lexicon isn't an expansion of any surviving words from a dead and poorly attested natlang; if you come up with all the words and/or sound changes from its basis language on your own without referring to even two words of a dead natlang, then it is a conlang, as far as I'm concerned. This goes for grammatical aspects, too, though just because something attested lacks them completely doesn't mean its reconstruction is a conlang.

(By the way, I never knew that about standard German before. Is that why it's so more inflectional than some of its dialects and sister languages, like Pennsylvania German and Yiddish?)
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Re: Vandalic

Postby linguoboy » 2014-08-01, 15:11

Viridzen wrote:(By the way, I never knew that about standard German before. Is that why it's so more inflectional than some of its dialects and sister languages, like Pennsylvania German and Yiddish?)

Pretty much. The dative inflection -e (as well as the final shwa in other words like müde) is colloquially called the "Lutherisches e" in southern Germany because the dialects there dispensed with it long ago. I don't know the details of why Luther decided to retain a distinct accusative masculine singular inflectional category when every German dialect I'm familiar with lacks that, too.

I understand the distinctions you're making with the category of "reconlangs", but in a traditional bipartite classification I would consider them a subclass of (a posteriori) conlangs rather than natlangs.
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