Sunday, November 10, 2013

Experiment and Rule Updates

So just as an experiment, I decided to translate, verbatim, the pater noster from the original gothic. Just the words, mind you, not actually fiddling around with the grammar, to see if any new ideas or questions might reveal themselves in the manipulation of the phonology.

The original, with my gloss (and we can argue that on another blog):


swa nū bidjáiþ jūs:
atta unsar þu in himinam,
weihnái namō þein.
qimái þiudinassus þeins.
waírþái wilja þeins,
swē in himina jah ana aírþái.
hlaif unsarana þana sinteinan gif uns himma daga.
jah aflēt uns þatei skulans sijáima,
swaswē jah weis aflētam þaim skulam unsaráim.
jah ni briggáis uns in fraistubnjái,
ak lausei uns af þamma ubilin;
untē þeina ist þiudangardi jah mahts
jah wulþus in aiwins. amēn.
untē jabái aflētiþ mannam missadēdins izē, aflētiþ jah izwis atta izwar sa ufar himinam.
iþ jabái ni aflētiþ mannam missadēdins izē, ni þau atta izwar aflētiþ missadēdins izwarōs.

Gothic Gloss:

swa nū bidjɛ̄þ jūs:
atta unsar þu in himinam,
wīhnɛ̄ namō þīn.
kwimɛ̄ þiuđinassus þīns.
wɛrþɛ̄ wilja þīns,
swē in himina jah ana ɛrþɛ̄.
hlɛ̄f unsarana þana sintīnan gif uns himma daǥa.
jah aflēt uns þatī skulans sijɛ̄ma,
swaswē jah wīs aflētam þɛm skulam unsarɛm.
jah ni briŋgɛs uns in frɛstuƀnjɛ̄,
ak lɔ̄sī uns af þamma uƀilin;
untē þīna ist þiuđangardi jah mahts
jah wulþus in ɛ̄wins. amēn.
untē jaƀɛ̄ aflētiþ mannam missađēđins izē, aflētiþ jah izwis atta izwar sa ufar himinam.
iþ jaƀɛ ni aflētiþ mannam missađēđins izē, ni þɔ̄ atta izwar aflētiþ missađēđins izwarōs.

Gytc Gloss:

swā nau bidʒeþ jaus:
atta unsra þau in himinma,
waihne namo þain.
kwime þȳðnassas þains.
werþe wili þains,
swī in himin jā an erðe.
hlēf unsran þan sintainan gif uns himdag.
jā aflīt uns þat ai skulans saijem,
swaswī jā wais aflītma þem skulma unsarem.
jā nai bringes uns in frestyvni,
ak lœ̄si uns af þam yvlan;
unte þaina ist þȳðnagarþ jā māts
jā wulþas in ēwins. amīn.
unte jave aflītiþ manma misðīðnas iʒe, aflītiþ jā iʒus atta iʒur sā uvra himinma.
iþ jave nai aflītiþ manma misðīðnas iʒe, nai þō atta iʒur aflītiþ misðīðnas iʒuros.


swā nū bidʒeþ jūs:
atta unsra þū in himinma,
wīhne namo þīn.
kwime þȳðnassas þīns.
werþe wili þīns,
swē in himin jā an erðe.
hlaif unsran þan sintīnan gif uns himdag.
jā aflēt uns þat ī skulans sījem,
swaswē jā wīs aflētma þem skulma unsarem.
jā nī bringes uns in frestyvni,
ak lœ̄si uns af þam yvlan;
unte þīna ist þȳðnagarþ jā māts
jā wulþas in aiwins. amēn.
unte jave aflētiþ manma misðēðnas iʒe, aflētiþ jā iʒus atta iʒur sā uvra himinma.
iþ jave nī aflētiþ manma misðēðnas iʒe, nī þau atta iʒur aflētiþ misðēðnas iʒuros.

Preliminary Thoughts:

Final –wa, –wi → u
Final –u → a
Final –ja → i… implications here for class 1 weak verbs, end in /–in/, not /–na/. Class 2, /–on/ > /–an/, Class 3 /–na/, Class 4 /–nan/.

Some specifics about vowel reduction: Short vowels are deleted in unstressed interior syllables, but that has to happen after vowel reduction in final syllables, and if a final syllable is reduced to a syllabic (which will later be expanded), the unstressed internal vowel cannot be deleted (e.g. himinam > himinm̩ > himinma, not himinam > himnam > himn̩m̩ > himnama) …or do I actually like that better?

It looks like I’m going to want to start separating the clitics before vowel raising and umlaut, or ‘þatei’ is going to become ‘þetē’ instead of ‘þat ī’.

I’m starting to like the idea of intervocalic /f/ and /þ/ becoming voiced; I think I’m going to make that an official rule, since too many years of studying Old Norse are making me constantly do it accidentally anyway. I don’t think I’ll extend it to /s/, though.

Interestingly enough, despite all of the sound changes I’ve implemented, the orthography I’ve proposed makes it all very similar to the original; I’d imagine that a Gytc speaker would be able to read Gothic, though brutally mispronounce it, much in the same way Icelandic speakers can read Old Norse. Or, well, for that matter, the way we spell English in, ostensibly, Late Middle English.

New rules:
  • [ij]V→īV (this can be stuck in just before long vowel raising, maybe as part of Final Short Vowel Lengthening… only no longer just final), and 
  • Ø → j / V[+stressed]____+v (this is a persistent rule from early on in Gothic). 
    • Hence, sija > sīja, ijōs > ījos, etc. Looks like this is going to tromp on my dreams of ija becoming iʒa, but that’s okay; that needed to be sorted out anyway. 
  • [f,þ] → [+voiced] / V_____S. (Any reason not to add this in as an extension of stop-to-fricative expansion?)
  • Clitic separation
    • –ei#, -u-, -uh# → #ei#, #u#, #uh# (ev. ī, ū, ō)
      • /ū/ precedes the primary verb.
  • Deus Ex Machina
    • A nice little persistent rule I made up that can contain non-locatable changes or things I just think would sound better (like mf# → m), but don’t feel like explaining or putting into historical context.
I've updated the rules list at, along with still-outstanding questions. Bulleted and numbered lists are a bear in any system, and forget about moving from MS Word to Google Sites, so please forgive any inconsistencies for the time being. Once they're a little more solidified I'll try to go through the actual HTML code and make sure they're polished up a little.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Revision of Rules, and Unanswered Questions

I’ve been trying to simplify and clarify the rules I’d created at, which were getting a little unwieldy. So far I’ve broken them down into 12 distinct stages, which may be able to be further reduced, but I want to be careful not to break anything (that I don’t want to break) as I manipulate them.

The rules are as follows:

  1. Expansion of Intervocalic Voiced Stop to Fricative
    1. [b],[d] → [v],[ð] / V____[+sonorant]
      • Intervocalic /b/ and /d/ become continuant (if this hadn’t already happened in Gothic by this point).
      • This does not affect /g/ at this time. OR, Gothic realization of intervocalic /g/ as [γ] reverts to [ɡ].
      • Gothic realization of intervocalic /b/ as [β] becomes [v].
      • Expands to include /b/ and /d/ before any sonorant (any vowel or l, r, n, m)
  2. Devoicing of Obstruent Clusters
    1. CC[+voice] → [-voice]
      • Voiced obstruent clusters become unvoiced.
      • [Must precede Rhotacism]
  3. Rhotacism
    1. z → ʒ
      • Rhotacism begins with all instances of /z/.
      • [Must follow Devoicing of Obstruent Clusters] 
  4. Final Short Vowel Lengthening
    1. V́# → V̄
      • A stressed final short vowel becomes long.
      • [Must precede vowel raising]
  5. Stressed Long Vowel Raising & Diphthong Contraxion
    1. V̄́[-low] → [+high] 
      • A stressed long vowel is raised.
        • /ī/ and /ū/ are raised to diphthongs /aj/ and /aw/, respectively.
        • /ē/ and /ō/ are raised to /ī/ and /ū/, respectively.
        • /ɛ̄/ and /ɔ̄/ are raised to /ē/ and /ō/, respectively.
        • /ā/ is not affected.
      • [Must follow Short Vowel Raising]
      • [Must precede h-Assimilation]
    2. VV → V̄
      • Dipthongs (i.e. ai, au, iu) become condensed into long vowels (ē, ō, ȳ, respectively).
      • Do you see how I cleverly averted all the controversy about the pronunciation of /ai/ and /au/ by making both /ɛ̄/,/ɔ̄/ and /ai/,/au/ end up as /ē/,/ō/, respectively? Please note, though, that the short forms remain short.
  6. [h]-Assimilation
    1. Vh → V̄Ø
      • /h/ is deleted after a short vowel, and the vowel becomes long.
      • [Must follow Stressed Long Vowel Raising]
  7. Umlaut
    1. V́[-front] → [+front] / ____(σ)/ī/,/j/
      • A stressed non-front vowel (i.e. a, ā, o, ō, u, ū) becomes fronted (i.e. e, ē, œ, œ̄, y, ȳ, respectively) when /ī/ or /j/ occurs in the following syllable. 
      • (Not affected by [i] at this time.)
  8. Assimilation of Final [s] After a Defricate*
    1. s# → Ø / [sp],[st],[sk]_____
      • /s/ is deleted word-finally after /st/ or /ʃ/.
      • [Concurrent with P&A?]
      • *Defricate is a completely made-up word. Is there a better (non-lengthy) term for what I’d consider the opposite of an affricate? At least in terms of [s]+stop?
  9. Palatalization & Affrication
    1. [sk] → [ʃ] / V[+front][+high] _____
      • /sk/ becomes palatalized (“/c/”) when it follows a high front vowel (i.e. e, ē, i, ī)
    2. [tj],[kj] → [ʧ] and [dj],[gj] → [ʤ]
      • /tj/,/kj/ and /dj/,/gj/ become affricates (/tc/ and /dʒ/, respectively).
  10. Vowel Reduction
    1. V̄[-stress] → V
      • Unstressed long vowels become short.
      • [ī,ē,ā,ō,ū,(ȳ) → i,e,a,o,u,(y)]
    2. V[-stress] → [+reduced]
      • Unstressed short vowels are deleted or reduced.
        • a → Ø
        • i,e,o,u → ə
      • [Must follow Umlaut, Palatalization, and Affrication]
      • [Must it? Maybe this needs to happen before Umlaut to make sense?]
  11. Final Obstruent Devoicing (persistent)
    1. C[+obstruent,+voice,+continuant)]# → [-voice]
      1. Word-final [v,ð,z] → [f,þ,s]
      2. [Is this even necessary, since it’s a persistent rule?]
  12. Syllabic Expansion
    1. S[+syllabic] → [-syllabic]ə
There are still a few unresolved issues I need to work out or work into this system.  Among them (complete with some of my scrawled unanswered questions):
  • Voicing of intervocalic fricatives: f,þ,s → +voice / V_____V/Son.? 
    • Is this necessary? 
    • Why do I want to do this? 
    • This would give us [ēði] (< aiþei) instead of [ēþi], but what about aiþþau? [ēþo]? [ēðo]? 
    • Would have to happen after rhotacism, or that could get ugly. 
  • g → Ø / ŋ____[+nasal] 
    • I just think it would sound better when you end up with words like gangna or gangma. 
    • What else is it going to impact? 
    • Where to put it? Can this be concurrent with any other rules? 
  • jj → ʒ 
    • Why? 
    • I kind of want /ija/ to become [iʒə], but at what cost? Maybe it should just end up as [ī]? 
    • How? 
  • Geminates? 
  • mf# → m, re: fimf > fim 
    • Expansion of ŋ-deletion to include Vmf → V̄f? 
      • No, that would result in fīf instead of fim. 
    • I hate the /f/ there! I want it gone! 
    • Could I live with [fīf] instead? 
      • No, way too Ingvaeonic. It’s got to come out [fim].
    • Some sort of [f/b] interaction after [m]? 
      • Does this violate Verner or the Prime Directive? 
      • Why not? English does it plenty (comb, climb, lamb...) 
      • Can I live with fimb? Maybe...
    • Hey, what if I did expand ŋ-deletion not only to f but also s and/or þ. It could do some cool things to plural endings, turning the into some nifty shapes.
      • Yeah, and also give you uns > ūs, fimf > fīf, and tanþus > tāþa.
        • Hello, north-germanic sea coast. No.
  • According to the rules above, “badja” would decline thus: 
    • sing: baða, beʤis, beʤ, baða 
    • pl: beʤ, beʤe, beʤma, beʤ 
    • Weird contrast between [ð] and [ʤ]. But cool weird? Dunno yet. 
  • Re: the h-assimilation rule, what about faíhu? 
    • [fēu > fēa] is weird and awkward, and I don’t want the vowels to get too uppity. 
    • Clarify the rule to only apply to [h] when it’s a coda to the short vowels nucleus? 
      • That would give us [feha], which is even more awkward-sounding. 
    • [fē]? 
      • No, that’s Old Norse. 
    • Still a conundrum.
    • For that matter, there are a lot of problems with vowels crashing into other vowels they shouldn't be associating with. kniu/kniwa? Not to mention faíhiwē... yuck.
  • Unstressed Short Vowel Reduction: 
    • The rule I wrote above I think just applies to word-final short vowels. Should it be complete deletion for non-final short vowels, e.g. gytc from gutisk, instead of gytac, as the rules would spit out? Need more examples. 
  • Clitics become separated from roots. 
    • –ei (relative) > ī [aj]. 
    • –u– (interrogative) > u > ū > ū [aw]. 
      • Has to occur before final short vowel lengthening. 
      • Where to put “ū”? Before the verb? 
    • –uh > ō [ū]. 
      • Frequent cases where it can still be clitic, but immune to unstressed vowel reduction? 
      • weizuh > wīʒū, or wīs ū? 
      • Remains clitic for pronouns and determiners only?