Brithenig

Brithenig
Created by Andrew Smith
Date 1996
Setting and usage A thought experiment in alternate history, Ill Bethisad, if Latin had replaced the Brittonic languages
Purpose
Sources a posteriori Romance language[1] constructed from Celtic languages
Language codes
ISO 639-3 bzt
bzt
Glottolog None

Brithenig is an invented language, or constructed language ("conlang"). It was created as a hobby in 1996 by Andrew Smith from New Zealand, who also invented the alternate history of Ill Bethisad to "explain" it.

Brithenig was not developed to be used in the real world, like Esperanto or Interlingua, nor to provide detail to a work of fiction, like Klingon from the Star Trek scenarios. Rather, Brithenig started as a thought experiment to create a Romance language that might have evolved if Latin had displaced the native Celtic language as the spoken language of the people in Great Britain.

The result is an artificial sister language to French, Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Occitan and Italian which differs from them by having sound-changes similar to those that affected the Welsh language, and words that are borrowed from the Brittonic languages and from English throughout its pseudo-history. One important distinction between Brithenig and Welsh is that while Welsh is P-Celtic, Latin was a Q-Italic language (as opposed to P-Italic, like Oscan), and this trait was passed onto Brithenig.

Similar efforts to extrapolate Romance languages are Breathanach (influenced by the other branch of Celtic), Judajca (influenced by Hebrew), Þrjótrunn (a non-Ill Bethisad language influenced by Icelandic), Wenedyk (influenced by Polish), and Xliponian (which experienced a Grimm's law-like sound shift). It has also inspired Wessisc, a hypothetical Germanic language influenced by contact with Old Celtic.

Brithenig was granted the code BZT as part of ISO 639-3.

Andrew Smith was one of the conlangers featured in the exhibit "Esperanto, Elvish, and Beyond: The World of Constructed Languages" displayed at the Cleveland Public Library from May through August 2008.[2] Smith's creation of Brithenig was cited as the reason for his inclusion in the exhibit (which also included the Babel Text[3] in Smith's language).

Vocabulary

Most of Brithenig's vocabulary is distinctively Romance, even though it is disguised as Welsh. The following list of 30 words gives an impression of what Brithenig looks like in comparison to nine other Romance languages including Wenedyk, and to Welsh. The similarity of about one-quarter of the Welsh words to Brithenig words (indicated by not being bracketed) is due to their common Indo-European background, although a few others, such as ysgol, were borrowings from Latin into Welsh.

Brithenig compared with Romance and Welsh
EnglishBrithenigLatinPortugueseGalicianSpanishCatalanOccitanFrenchItalianRhaeto-RomanceFriulianRomanianWenedykWelsh
armbreichbrachiumbraçobrazobrazobraçbraçbrasbracciobratschbraçbraţbroczbraich
blacknîrnĭger, nĭgrumnegronegronegronegrenegrenoirneronairnerinegruniegry(du)
city, townciwdadcīvĭtās, cīvĭtātemcidadecidadeciudadciutatciutatcitécittàcitadcitâtoraş, cetateczytać(dinas)
deathmorthmŏrs, mŏrtemmortemortemuertemortmòrtmortmortemortmuartmoartemroć(marwolaeth)
dogcancaniscão, cachorrocanperro, cangos, cagos, canchiencanechauncjancâinekań(ci)
earoriglauris, aurĭcŭlaorelhaorellaorejaorellaaurelhaoreilleorecchiouregliaoreleurecheurzykła(clust)
eggewovumovoovohuevoouuòuœufuovoovûfouówwy
eyeoglŏcŭlusolhoolloojoulluèlhœilocchioeglvoliochiokieł(llygad)
fatherpadrpater, patrempaipaipadreparepairepèrepadrebabparitatăpoterz(tad)
fireffogignis, fŏcusfogolume, fogofuegofocfuòcfeufuocofieufûcfocfok(tân)
fishpiscpĭscispeixepeixepez, pescadopeixpeispoissonpescepeschpespeştepieszczpysgodyn
footpeddpĕs, pĕdempiepeupiedpiedepepîtpiciorpiedź(troed)
friendefigamīcusamigoamigoamigoamicamicamiamicoamiamìamicomik(cyfaill)
greengwirddvĭrĭdisverdeverdeverdeverdverdvertverdeverdvertverdewierdzigwyrdd
horsecafallĕquus, cabălluscavalocabalocaballocavallcavalchevalcavallochavalcjavalcalkawałceffyl
Ieoĕgoeueuyojoieujeiojaujoeujo(mi)
islandyslīnsŭlailhaillaislaillaisclaîleisolainslaisuleinsulăizła(ynys)
language, tonguellinghedig, llingwlĭngualíngualingualenguallengualengalanguelingualinguatg, lieungalenghelimbălęgwa(iaith)
lifegwidvītavidavidavidavidavidavievitavitaviteviaţăwita(bywyd)
milkllaethlac, lactisleiteleitelechelletlachlaitlattelatglatlaptełocllaeth
namenônnōmennomenomenombrenomnomnomnomenumnonnumenumię(enw)
nightnoethnŏx, nŏctemnoitenoitenochenitnuèchnuitnottenotggnotnoaptenoc(nos)
oldgweglvĕtus, vĕtŭlusvelhovelloviejovellvièlhvieuxvecchioveglvielivechiwiekły(hen)
schoolyscolschŏlaescolaescolaescuelaescolaescòlaécolescuolascolascueleşcoalăszkołaysgol
skycelcaelumcéuceocielocelcèlcielcielotschielcîlcerczał(awyr)
starystuilstēllaestrelaestrelaestrellaestelestelaétoilestellastailastelesteaścioła(seren)
toothdentdēns, dĕntemdentedentedientedentdentdentdentedentdintdintedzięćdant
voicegwgvōx, vōcemvozvozvozveuvotzvoixvocevuschvôsvocewucz(llais)
wateragaquaáguaaugaaguaaiguaaigaeauacquaauaagheapăjekwa(dŵr)
windgwentvĕntusventoventovientoventventventventoventvintvântwiętgwynt

Example

The Lord's Prayer:

Nustr Padr, ke sia i llo gel:
sia senghid tew nôn:
gwein tew rheon:
sia ffaeth tew wolont,
syrs lla der sig i llo gel.
Dun nustr pan diwrnal a nu h-eidd;
e pharddun llo nustr phechad a nu,
si nu pharddunan llo nustr phechadur.
E ngheidd rhen di nu in ill temp di drial,
mai llifr nu di'll mal.
Per ill rheon, ill cofaeth e lla leir es ill tew,
per segl e segl. Amen.

Notes

  1. Higley, Sarah L. (March 2000). "Audience, Uglossia, and CONLANG: Inventing Languages on the Internet". M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture. 3 (1). para. 18.
  2. "Esperanto, Elvish, and Beyond". Flickr. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  3. "Babel Text Introduction". Langmarker. Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2009-09-07.

References

  • Geolinguistics. American Society of Geolinguistics. 25–26: 255. 1999. ISSN 0190-4671.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Havliš, Jan (March 2008). "Výlet do Conlangey" (PDF). Interkom (in Czech). 243: 17–21. 
  • Frawley, William J., ed. (2003). International Encyclopedia of Linguistics. Oxford University Press. p. 154. 
  • Parkvall, Mikael (2008). Limits of Language: Almost Everything You Didn't Know You Didn't Know about Language and Languages. Wilsonville: Battlebridge Publications. pp. 91–93, 131. OCLC 70894631. 


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