[ExI] language lust

Anton Sherwood bronto at pobox.com
Thu Aug 27 21:33:22 UTC 2020

> On Aug 27, 2020, at 9:48 AM, Anton Sherwood wrote in part:
>> proto-Malayo-Polynesian, to avoid choosing among its descendants
>> the ancestor of some large New World family, such as Na-Dene or Algic
>> proto-Bantu
>> proto-Italo-Celtic
>> proto-Dravidian

(forgot Turkic; can't decide where to rank it)

On 2020-8-27 12:48, Dan TheBookMan via extropy-chat wrote:
> I was thinking Proto-<insert language or language family here>, but 
> looking over what’s believed to be PIE and Proto-Semitic, it probably 
> wouldn’t help much in learning those languages descendants... I imagine 
> the same is true for Precolumbian American languages, PAN, etc.

I list them to explore the range of possibility in syntax, morphology, 
phonology and so on, rather than to help learn their descendants -- 
though I'm more optimistic than you are; of course it depends on the 

Except Proto-Italo-Celtic.  My idea there is to make it the base for a 
group of languages in an alternate timeline.

In my youth I was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, 
which is organized in (i think) twenty kingdoms; fifty years ago there 
were two, and they split ....  I thought, wouldn't it be cool if each 
kingdom had its own ceremonial language, descended from that of its 
parent kingdom?  Once a year or so, each king decrees an incremental 
change to the language.

I've seen a couple of proposed binary trees of the major IE branches; 
each attempts to minimize the number of innovations that had to happen 
in two places in the tree.  One of them looks like this:

	+-- Anatolian (Hittite)
	|  +-- Tocharian
	|  |
	   |     +-- Celtic
	   |  +--+
	   |  |  +-- Italic
	      +-- everything else

So, for that game, the two founding kingdoms' languages could be 
proto-IC and proto-Other.

I don't know if any group has ever tried a LARP with diverging conlangs. 
  Seems unlikely.

*\\*  Anton Sherwood  *\\*  www.bendwavy.org

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