Digest Number 1216 -Re: Latin versus *Proto-Romance

From: John L. Berry
Message: 18422
Date: 2003-02-04

I'm new on this list. I wonder if Miguel Carrasquer could send me off list the
key to his phonetic symbols? Also, what's Kartvelian?

Re Italian being fairly innovative compared with some other Romance languages: I
have just been using Buck on Osco-Umbrian (for other purposes), but it struck me
then that there seems to be a fair bit of Umbrian, particularly, in modern
Italian (more in pronunciation than lexicon). Unfortunately I didn't make notes
and I've had to return the book.

The whole topic of dialects, how they form, and how daughter languages relate to
them, is of great interest and puzzlement to me whether we're talking about
dialects of PIE, Latin, or English. Even with the enormous amount of work that
has been done, it is not clear to me that anyone has a very exact idea of the
origins of the various American or Australian dialects of English (other than
that Ulster made a huge contribution to the midwestern dialect). And one might
(perhaps) ask whether English is a daughter language of some form of Norse
rather than having merely borrowed hugely from it. Also, why are the dialects
of southern England so close to each other, although some historically are in
Saxon-Briton areas and others Saxon-Norse areas, whereas Scots is almost a
separate language, even though SW Scotland was a British-Saxon area and SE
Scotland a Saxon-Norse area? There must have been reams of work done on these
issues that I don't know about. But I am sure that Latin was a lot like modern
English in that there were all these different Italic dialects with influence in
some cases from Etruscan and in other cases from Greek or Celtic(?), and that as
Piotr says, one particular form associated with the dominant city became the
literary standard and differentiated from anything actually spoken. However,
the administrators and soldiers of the Empire carried some form of the standard
language to the four corners, that form depending to some extent on where the
troops were raised. So some Romance dialects could have been analogous to
mid-western American - descendants of a dialect of Latin spoken in a remote
corner of Italy that happened to supply the majority of recruits for Legio XY.

An interesting side question to all this would be, do we have any Roman
analogues of languages like Pizin (Pidgin), Fanakalo (in southern Africa), or
Haitian Creole? Or even of varieties of Latin as divergent from the mother
language as some of the spoken versions of English in, say, Zimbabwe or Zambia
("Gott, jong, but I'd better hamba lapa kunganda kamina now now or the mfasi
will be mubi sterik at me!"- Translation: "Gosh, I'd better go home right now or
my wife'll kill me!") a few years ago. Early Welsh, maybe?

On another subject, does anyone know of an "attested" (or reconstructible)
variant "spelH3-" of the root *pelH3 (Pokorny 798 - the one that gives rise to
polis and Pur (Skt)?

Also, where does the root *terp- (Pokorny 1077 - "to give pleasure" as in Greek
Euterpe) occur other than in Greek, and does anyone know whether there has been
work done on any possible earlier forms of this root?

----- Original Message -----
From: <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
To: <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 3:40 AM
Subject: [tied] Digest Number 1216

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