Forum:Global and regional issues/Relationship between Gaermanic Languages in West and East Uletha
I've been thinking about this for a while, and with the Ingerland collab project getting underway I think it's a good time to talk about this. Anonymous21 (talk) 23:43, 5 May 2023 (UTC)
Gaermanic Languages in West Uletha
As the "Europe" of OGF, there are a lot of Gaermanic (RW Germanic) languages in West Uletha. I've highlighted some of them on this map. Most of these are essentially equivalent to modern, currently existing languages.
|OGF Language||RW Equivalent||RW Language Branch||Mapped In...||Color on Map|
|New Scandic/Svennish||Swedish||North Germanic||???||N/A|
|Norric||Danish?||North Germanic?||Norrick (Nordrige)||Orange|
Gaermanic Languages in East Uletha
Many of the languages in East Uletha have plausibly Gaermanic roots, especially in the areas around the Darcodian Sea. Unlike in West Uletha, many of these are conlangs based on RW Germanic languages. Here are some of the key languages in the area (see index of languages for most of the named languages). Languages connected to English are in yellow, German or Dutch in red, and Nordic languages in blue. Languages without a clear name are listed with the name of the country in parentheses.
|OGF Language||Connection to RW Languages||Mapped In...||Color on Map|
|Eshen||Connected to English and German||Eshein||Orange|
|Karska||Connected to Swedish||Kara||Blue|
|Mergan||East Ulethan variety of Kalmish, connected to German, some Nordic influence||Mergania||Red|
|Ree||Connected to German and Dutch||Reelant||Red|
|Älvedic||Germanic, potentially connected to German and Nordic languages?||Älved||Purple|
|(Østermark)||Apparently connected to Swedish and some Danish||Østermark||Blue|
|(Helvetianien)||Apparently connected to German and Dutch||Helvetianien||Red|
|Blönnish Kalmish||German as an official language; two vernacular standards in the two Constituent Countries||Blönland||Red|
|(Madische Union)||Apparently German||Madische Union||Red|
Based off of the distribution of Gaermanic languages in the area, it is clear that the Darcodian Sea area has a heavy Gaermanic influence. What is not clear, however, is how that came to be. Some countries (Madische Union, Luthesien, Remsfalen, Reelant, and Blönland, for example) seem to be essentially Kalmish, which would imply a fairly recent colonization or settling by Kalmish peoples. Other countries (such as Eshein, Mergania, Kara, and Älved, for example) have languages related to but distinct from West Ulethan languages, which would imply that Gaermanic-speaking peoples have been in the area for some time, allowing for the divergence of these East Ulethan languages from their West Ulethan relatives.
Because there seems to be a mix of more postcolonially Gaermanic languages and historically Gaermanic languages. A couple of hypothetical explanations might be:
- Gaermanic languages have been in the area for centuries and have more recently reconnected with Kalmish in some areas
- Gaermanic languages have been in the area for centuries, and some of these Gaermanic-speaking areas were colonized by Kalm and now use Kalmish
- Gaermanic languages came to the area fairly recently through colonization
Each of these has pros and cons, but it might be a good idea to clarify some of this stuff as some of West Uletha (potentially the colonizing or parent countries) is being redesigned, especially with the removal of countries like Scandmark and others.
Given that the Kalm is the canonical homeland of the Germanic cultures in OGF, the best interpretation of the East Ulethan territories with Kalmish influences is the third one: "Gaermanic languages came to the area fairly recently through colonization." The diversity of the East Uletha Kalmish languages can be explained much in the same way that we see similar diversity of Germanic and Romance languages in the Americas--these languages are dialects, creoles, or patois of the Kalmish language which arrived with or were created by the Kalmish communities that migrated eastward. Chazeltine (talk) 14:22, 6 May 2023 (UTC)
- One minor correction I'd give is that Kalm is the home of the German languages, not necessarily the origins of all Germanic languages. It is certainly feasible for things to spread in multiple phases as well. Some could have arrived in east Uletha through overland migration 1500 years before OGF-present, and some could have arrived in the same area later. — Alessa (talk) 21:15, 6 May 2023 (UTC)
Thank you for this nice overview! While I am sure some more territories in EU could be added to the list, I think it already illustrates the current situation quite well. As regional admin, I've so far operated with the third interpretation in mind as well, for the same reasons as laid out by Chazeltine. I would also add that this interpretion allows for a wider variance not only in linguistic features, but also culture, history etc. The only unsatisfactory aspect is that there really is no convenient sea route from Kalm to these territories, which would necessitate some historical anomalies to justify. On the other hand, if the UK managed to colonize Australia and New Zealand - literally on the opposite side of earth - why wouldn't Kalm have been able to do the same to those East Ulethan nations :) Leowezy (talk) 14:52, 6 May 2023 (UTC)
- Good ideas - Anonymous21 (talk) 20:40, 6 May 2023 (UTC)
- I'll also note that while more rare in the last two centuries, wholesale migrations of people even over land weren't uncommon in the past. All it takes is a few hundred people and some favorable conditions for a lot to happen. In the end we're talking about a distance similar to central Mongolia to Iraq. — Alessa (talk) 21:15, 6 May 2023 (UTC)
Based on the countries, languages and the coherent part of the history in the oly wiki, Kalmish came already at the beginning of the 12th century to the east, more details are given here. There must have been strong relations between the Western and Eastern Hemisphere since then because the modern cultures and language are still very similar. Mergan is a variety of Kalmish, so I do not see the two different groups as listed above.--Mstr (talk) (talk) 13:10, 13 May 2023 (UTC)
One of the reasons I brought this up is that the recent Ingerland expansion absorbed what was Scandmark, home to Svennish or New Scandic, which is equivalent to Swedish. At some point, Scandmark was supposedly the homeland of the language, but obviously it doesn't exist anymore. With that gone, the only place I can find is a single state of Ruoguovvás, which is landlocked and fairly small and so I doubt it would be a good candidate for a colonizing power. Other than that, you have Norðurland speaking Icelandic and Nordrige speaking Danish, both of which are related to Swedish but have significant differences as well. In addition, neither of these countries seem to be very powerful on a global stage, and so I think the recent colonialism hypothesis (which implies lots of military strength and economic resources) has some obvious weak points there.
One idea would be to have Kara and Alved areas settled by Norðurlandish or Norric peoples somewhere in the 8th-12th centuries, which would give languages more time to diverge and mix with preexisting languages. - Anonymous21 (talk) 20:40, 6 May 2023 (UTC)
- For clarification, Scandmark was not the homeland for Swedish (there is not one defined on OGF right now, and we may end up with a regional situation). Scandmark used a Scandinavian-inspired conlang that was distinct in its own right. — Alessa (talk) 21:15, 6 May 2023 (UTC)
Blönland and Linguistic Separatism
I have always considered Blönland to be speaking German since the Middle Ages, and to be part of a single linguistic continuum with Remsfalen and Luthesien. The official Blönnish standard of German only has a few Blönn-isms, just like Austrian and Swiss Standard German have a few unique words but largely follow the same grammar and spelling rules (except for the lack of the letter ß in Switzerland).
Some examples of typical Blönnish words are
- Usage of Deputierter ("Deputy") instead of "Abgeordneter" for members of elected bodies
- Chaussee for any kind of important but not grade-separated road, usually for trunk roads leading out of cities, used in real life in Northeastern Germany but not officially and only evident in old street names
- Kronanwalt ("Crown Attorney") instead of "Staatsanwalt" for prosecutors, owing to Blönland's political system
- Saucis (from French saucisse) instead of "Wurst" for any type of sausage served warm, Grillsaucis for grilled sausages instead of "Bratwurst", mainly in the capital
- Kotelett nach Plevierart ("Plevian-style Cutlet") instead of "Schnitzel" for meat in bread crumbs, often shortened to Kotelett
- Unterbürgermeister ("Lesser Mayor") for mayors of small villages and of individual city districts
- Usage of Verschaffung for many types of transportation, especially for moving furniture when relocating to a different city, but also for large postal package; correspondingly, companies that would be called Umzugsdienst are called Verschaffungsdienst in Blönland
- Hinrichter instead of "Scharfrichter" or "Henker" for executioners; this is the official term used in law as Blönland still uses the death penalty. The official explanation is that while "Scharfrichter" implies execution by the sword ("sharp judge") and "Henker" implies execution by hanging, Hinrichter is a neutral term that denotes a person qualified to carry out various execution methods. Blönland uses hanging and shooting, the guillotine remains on the statute books but was last used in 1982, and there are proposals to introduce lethal injection.
- Zuchthaus for a prison, deprecated in German in real life
- Staying in the field of justice, Ordonnanz instead of "Verordnung" for typically local ordnances that are passed by executive organs and don't have the status of laws, for example the traffic code used to be called Verkehrs-Ordonnanz (VO) until the Traffic Law (Verkehrsgesetz) was passed in 2005.
There are also false friends with other varieties of German, especially when it comes to renting:
- rentieren for "to rent" instead of "mieten" (has a different meaning in standard German); Rentwohnung for "rented appartment" instead of "Mietwohnung", Rente for rent instead of "Miete" (means "pension" in other varieties of German)
- Correspondingly, for "pension", only the word Pension is used; in other varieties of German it is used only for pensions paid by the state to former state employees but in Blönland it also encompasses retirement payments for those who worked in the private sector
I think that dialects are a much more important topic to discuss. In real life, German is a big dialect continuum together with Dutch, and the whole area is criss-crossed with various isoglosses. When you travel from Amsterdam to Vienna, the language will usually change gradually, except for a few linguistic borders that lie along natural barriers. The dialects at their extremes are not mutually intelligible, especially Swiss German.
Blönland has such a natural barrier, a central east-west mountain range that peaks at about 1400 meters and separates the Kingdom of Great Blönland into its two constituent countries, the Kingdom of Blönland (Blönland proper) and the Grand Duchy of Remsfalen-Lüningen. Blönland proper is Catholic and speaks dialects similar to real-life Austro-Bavarian. Remsfalen-Lüningen is Protestant, was once part of Blönland's western neighbor as its name suggests, was merged into the Blönnish crown in the 19th century and speaks Low German dialects. While Blönnish Standard German is spoken and understood throughout the whole country and it's the language learnt in primary school, two old villagers, say, from near Collenburg in the north and near Pyhritz in the south will have difficulties understanding eachother in their own respective dialects. The difference in dialects is reflected in the place names, as some might already have noticed. The area around Pülckau, north of Lake Sainam, divided between Blönland proper, Remsfalen-Lüningen, and Saikyel, has its own set of dialects similar to those of real-life Lusatia and Silesia, heavily influenced by Saikyel's language which I have deduced to be vaguely Slavic. And finally, there is some interaction between German and Japanese in some remote mountain valleys, with one or two forms of patois emerging, but generally, interaction is low because of a long cold war, mistrust and racism on both sides.
Dialects can have a varying level of prestige. In most parts of Germany, the educated classes frown upon them. In Switzerland, the Schwyzerdütsch dialects, while not standardized, are used in TV and radio, and Germans moving to Switzerland are expected to learn them. Luxembourgish was split off from German and became its own standardized language due to political reasons, with its own spelling that is officially taught in school. Swiss nationalists have attempted to do the same multiple times, unifying the various Swiss German dialects into a written language. This should be explored in OGF, and this might be how some "not-quite-German" languages of East Uletha have emerged. They are products of linguistic separatism, based on Standard German but with input from native substrates and perhaps older divergent German dialects spoken by colonists.
I imagine that if Remsfalen didn't use standard German as an official language but were also ruled by linguistic separatists, Blönland would also have two separate languages, Remsfalian-style standardized Low German in the north, and either Standard German or a standardized Bavarian variety in the south...18:42, 12 May 2023 (UTC)CaribbeanIslandMapper (talk).
- Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I personally like the idea of using dialect continua as a realistic way to explain the linguistic diversity, and it's honestly more realistic than arbitrary language lines, and I think you really capture the complexities of languages in the real world, especially in places where dialects have had time to "ferment" and become distinct. Good reminder for me too — I sometimes forget about the wide varieties of dialects and "sibling languages" since I'm used to my native language (English) being largely uniform throughout the world (at least not here in the United States).
- Anyway, it seems like we might be looking at the area on the south of the Darcodian Sea being a large Kalmish dialect continuum. As far as Älved and Kåra, I think we could look at something similar but with a Svennish influence although probably to a bit of a lesser extent since non-Gaermanic languages have more influence in the area. - Anonymous21 (talk) 04:54, 13 May 2023 (UTC)
How did Ingerish end up here?
So if we're talking about Kalmish having gotten in the area around the 12th century, how do we explain the Ingerish used in Neberly? Obviously, there was colonization of some sort there, but do we want to place it at a similar time frame as the Kalmish colonization or at a later date? Personally I would lean towards Neberly having been colonized later on because it seems to have diverged from Ingerlandic Ingerish a little less than the East Ulethan Kalmish-based languages have diverged from Kalmish Kalmish. Thoughts? - Anonymous21 (talk) 20:11, 13 May 2023 (UTC)