This project is largely a reaction to some comments made by one of the contributors to Interslavic, and also a reaction to Interslavic itself. Earlier on, I had tried making a Germanic IAL (like all new conlangers with an interest in Germanic langauges!), but nothing special or particularly professional. Not that I expect that to have changed, but I would like to try my hand at it again, exploring some new ideas that have popped into my head by seeing success in other areas of making IAL conlangs.
The 3 standards
- #1 (also #1a), the attempt to bridge things between the Anglo-Saxon and Netherlandic/German branches of Western Germanic. It does this by largely winding back the clock on certain changes in the languages till they are close enough to bridge easily.
- #1b, like the above but giving English more influence in terms of post-Proto-Germanic long A.
- #2 does not take into account the current state of sound changes in terms of vowels at least, and sends all vowels back to their Proto-Germanic values. Grammar is based on the most conservative form of the modern Germanic languages.
- #3 is like #1b, but is fundamentally differentiated in that it doesn't attempt to backtrack through sound changes at all to find compromises, instead instituting compromises based on the current value of sounds in English and Dutch/German. This results in a complete merger of *ai and *au, for example.
- #4's guiding principle is "majority (or the closest thing to one) wins; tradition be damned". *ai and open-syllable e(:) merge, *au and open-syllable a-mutation u merge, and so on.
- English, German and Dutch are the three principal design oriented sources with the Scandinavian languages being there for tie-breaking
- Long vowels (for that standard) are marked by circumflexes, e.g. â, ê, î, ô, û.
- F and V are distinguished in the orthography (Old-English and Norse don't have enough weight to skew this one).
- Ð is preferred over Þ, largely thanks to German and Dutch.
- W is often used separately to V, largely thanks to English and Dutch (ʋ).
- #1, #3 and #4 lose majority of inflectional endings, especially nominally.
|Proto-Germanic||IG#1||IG#3||IG#2||IG#4||Natlang Examples||IG Examples|
|u+a||o, ô||u||o, ô||*hupōną||hope||hoffen||hopen||*hoppa||hôp-||hôp-|
|eu||y||i, î||i, î, ju||eu||î||seukaz||sick||siech||ziek||sjuk||sîk||sîk|
|þ||ð||þ, -ð-||d (-t?)||thousand||tausend||duizend||tusen||ðausend||dausend|
|ŭC(:)a||o||u||o||slutą, kukkaz||*slot, cock||schloss, ??||slot||??, < kokkr||slot, cock||slot, cock|
|ŭC(:)-||u||munþaz||mouth||Mund||mond, muide||mun||munð, mauð||mund, maud|
|VnS > V:(n)S||freely||no||maybe|
Possible Future Considerations
- Should long vowels be marked at all beyond immediate syllabic environment?
- Should long vowels be marked with acute accents, macrons, circumflexes, h's, or doubling letters?
- Could long vowels be marked with colons?
- Do people find it easy enough to access the right keyboard layouts to use accent marks?
- æ and œ are harder to put accents on, as are ä and ö
- If umlauting is incorporated (as it almost will certainly be due to English, German and General Scandinavian), how should it be marked as far as o+i and u+i are concerned?
- How should the diphthongs be rendered? Like in IPA, German, English, or Dutch?
- Should IG#4's ê be ei?
- Should IG#4's î be ie?