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I think that since I came up with the present Unicode-avoiding kludge I might be forgiven for suggesting that in 2012 the 'philological' transcription of the protolanguage can suffer an update to something less weird, more elegant and more credible in the Central European setting, with a perhaps not so typographically correct but simple ad hoc alternative when Unicode isn't available (showing the old transcriptions with 'strikeout'):

Consonants (partial)

Alveolar Postalveolar
- voiceless *c *ts *č (c^/C) *tc
- voiced *dz *dž (dz^/Z) *dx
- aspirated *ch *tsh *čh (ch^/Ch) *tch
- voiceless *s *š (s^/S) *c
- voiced *z *ž (z^/Z) *x

Capitalization to indicate postalveolarity will generally be OK, since 'normal' capitalization won't occur!

I am not fond of capitalization, but the haček-based orthography is perfect. WeepingElf 09:56, 10 September 2012 (PDT)


Vowels are a bit harder, since they ought to take markings for both length and stress, but I think circumflex or colon as alternative to macron for length mark and a perhaps post-posed acute accent (which exists in Latin-1) for stress will suffice. Thus 'human being' may be written in the following essentially equivalent (though not equielegant) ways:

  • *šṓphē
  • *šō´phē
  • *šô´phê
  • *s^ô´phê
  • *s^ó:phe:
  • *Sô´phê
  • *Só:phe:

If we're meticulous with marking emphasis it should be clear what is ordinary punctuation and not.

BPJ 08:32, 10 September 2012 (PDT)

Along with consonants you might consider having capital vowel letters for long/stressed ones. tlhIngan Hol rlZ! MilyAMD 09:14, 10 September 2012 (PDT)
No capitalization, rather grave accent for long vowels, acute accent for stressed vowels, and circumflex accent for stressed long vowels. WeepingElf 09:58, 10 September 2012 (PDT)

Semantic spaces

(Paul Bennett)

Do we need to discuss the partitioning of semantic space? It is obvious that the Noric people were subjected to and survived several waves of outside dominant cultures (by my eye Italo-Celtic, Italic, Germanic, Ugric and/or Turkic and Germanic again, more or less). That cultural overlay is going to lead to loan-words and the loaning of which things are culturally significant enough to have special terms for them. For instance, Noric people are likely to have grown wheat and barley, driven goats or sheep, drunk wine and mead --knowledge of both probably came with IE speakers (wine in turn probably came from Caucasian people (something like /ɣwinja/ IIRC)), and beer came later (around 1AD?) from the Romans (Latin cerevisia), who got it from the Egyptians. They would have known about horses but probably not donkeys (knowledge of the horse (PIE *ek^uo) probably came with IE speakers), and had a concept of a home consisting of an entrance area and an inner area with a hearth. They would probably have had separate words for a village and a town (actually, the PIE word for "town" (cf. Greek polis) was apparently borrowed from an unknown source -- might be worth thinking about). Plausibly, they traded in slaves (with a word for "slave" distinct to "man", and a word for "buy/sell slave(s)" distinct from the general "buy/sell"). Plausibly they would draw a line between a libation and a "regular" drink, and maybe between sacrificial killing, killing in battle/"slaying", and "regular" killing.

Would they really have "towns" as opposed to "villages". BTW Greek polis may well be from Pelasgian -- that would be my first hypothesis lacking other evidence. BPJ 13:35, 2 Jun 2005 (PDT)
At some point, yes they would. I'm not sure of the age of the polis words, but we're talking about a culture from the Copper or Bronze age all the way through to modern times. At some point, I suspect they'd have need of a distinction. Pb 08:25, 3 Jun 2005 (PDT)
Wouldn't they take up whatever word the dominant culture used, be it civitas, Stadt or város or whatever? BPJ 12:55, 3 Jun 2005 (PDT)
Possibly. Probably, in fact. However, the question is going to be at what point in time did the borrowing occur, and what was the dominant language at that time? Would there have been a *bherg^h-/polis term as well as something in the Stadt range? I beleive *bherg^hs developed somewhere between villages and true cities, and indeed that's what they are. I think Stadt would make a perfectly servicable borrowing c. X to XV century (ish), when true cities became a reality. I think *bherg^h- would be borrowed to describe, well, a *bherg^h- Pb 15:02, 3 Jun 2005 (PDT)
Agree. Real towns would come only with the Romans, probably. BPJ 00:03, 4 Jun 2005 (PDT)