I'm sure I read an early discussion that mentioned LF's provenance in the North Sea and its use today. So far I haven't found it in the Wiki or in the Conculture Archives. It may have been in the Sessiwn Archives, which are still available via Wayback but not searchable as far as I know. I'd appreciate any help if anyone knows more. Benkarnell 09:00, 8 May 2020 (PDT)
Lingua Franca in Cyprus
This was a great idea to make a page for something so important to not only our world but to IB even more so. I was thinking that Lingua Franca/Sabir would have multiple evolutions in Cyprus. The first is when after 1099 AD and the first Crusaders lay the seeds for what becomes Sabir (which from that point until Richard the Lionheart's brutal conquest of the island in I believe 1143 may or may not pop up in Cypriot ports), and then over the centuries of Crusader rule up until the Venetian conquest, Sabir makes that jump from a pidgin/patois to a creole, which is what would become Zipriota. That name can only come into play, I reckon, after the beleaguered and humiliated Crusaders sell their crown to Venice, which now that I think about it since the Crusaders held Jerusalem until the 1500's, Venice can't have it until after Jerusalem's final fall, not before.
If Crusader rule was from 1099-15something in IB, Crusader rule would most likely last way longer and the Venetians wouldn't have to come in for awhile. That's precisely why I have a much, much smaller Muslim community in my notes. The Ottomans might not get their mitts on Cyprus until 1671 or Hell even 1771 as opposed to real life's 1571 date, and they lose it again by 1878 just as they did in real life. No one really explained why militant Catholicism stayed winning for so much longer than real life, but either way, that's settled and unchangeable and a longer crusader-occupied Jerusalem means a longer Crusader-occupied Cyprus so no bankrupt Crusaders need to sell it to Venice in 1489 (but by no means am I saying that they don't need to ever sell it at all. They'll have to sell it to Venice to keep Mediterranean history moving smoothly).
Right, so the Venetians eventually buy the island from the Crusaders (TBD when), and then the Catholic mercantile class is expected to communicate with their new overlords in Venetian. This will be why that as of yet unnamed creole gets a Venetian name. I imagine a lot of the gaps left in the creole can be filled using the rules of Venetian. The new Zipriota might be more like a disparate, wayward, whacky form of Venetian than a completely separate language. If that's the path we go down, we might need to take Zipriota off the template under "Lingua Franca" and move it under Venetian and come up with a new name for the creole that existed before the Venetian takeover subsumed it into their own language.
Now, after the Ottoman takeover, I want to have as many Catholics stay on the island as I can and they use Zipriota to speak to each other in private (in the fields they till as property of the ghazi martial class and the harems they raise children in for the same martial class), but more importantly it's what they use to speak to their children who are raised Muslim by their fathers and society. Not many groups stay crypto-anything for more than two or three generations. Christian bishops of all denominations knew that in Ottoman history. So now Sabir/Zipriota takes two path. On the one side, it fundamentally changes the way the already extremely Hellenized and Persianized Anatolian Turkish is spoken so that the Turkish of Cyprus becomes unintelligible to the mainland varieties in a short time. I want linguists in IB to fight over whether Cypriot Turkish is a Romance language with too many Turkic (and Greek+Persian) features to be Romance anymore, or if it's a Turkic language that's too Italian to really even classified as Turkic anymore. The other path'll Zipriota will go will be as a cant, a secret language spoken by cyrpto-Catholics to evade detection by Sunni religious authorities who have the power to execute them for apostasy. The good thing about the Ottoman Empire was that it wasn't concerned with internal orthodoxy of a person's mind or soul and what converts did in the privacy of their own homes. The actual execution rate for people coming out of the woodwork to say "hey, I'm Catholic (or Orthodox)! Either make me a martyr or let me go to church in public" will be quite low, just as it was in the rest of the Christian lands occupied by the Ottomans. I found that example of the real-life crypto-Christians calling pigs "my mother-in-law" so they could talk about eating pork amongst themselves in public with impunity. Stuff like that is precisely what I think the cant will be used for. It might initially produce some good poetry that covers Catholic themes and the shame of keeping the faith alive only in secret, but I imagine though that by 1878, it wouldn't even be considered a language. Grammar and syntax I figure would get thrown out the window and before you know it, when the cant gets out in the open, it'll be pitiably simple and devoid of expressing more complex thoughts of the last speakers. Since I'm by no means a student of linguistics, can that happen in the span of a century or two no?
I'm excited to hear your thoughts. I'm considering leaving to focus on my own alternate history, but I can't stay away from all this wiki activity.
The Hanseatic League/Hansa's page might be where you were remember some mention of a Romance language being the language of trade from, although off the top of my head that article might be talking about Wenedyk, not Lingua Franca/Sabir. Misterxeight 20:05, 8 May 2020 (PDT)
Judajca might be way more Sabir than anyone in 1996 could have realized when it was thought up. This is the problem to IB. Creating one thing has ramifications to many other things that can't be ignored.
- It seems to me that there are other ways to "correct" the history (by which I mean make it somewhat convergent and avoid unexplainable Butterflies). It would be perfectly possible for those sneaky Venetians to come to power in Cyprus earlier than that under slightly different circumstances. At a certain point, both *here* and presumably *there*, they and other Italian cities were effectively in control of trade between the Latin East and the West; I think that from that position there would be several paths to power in Cyprus. Maybe *there*, the takeover was gradual, port by port and fief by fief, as the Crusader states went ever deeper into debt... The Crusades were always a money drain, even in their heyday.
- And a Sabir-based secret language has a very strong precedent *here*! If you haven't, check out Polari, which is lingua franca as used by traveling entertainers in England. From there it entered theater lexicon and became the secret language of English gay culture, where it survived well into the latter part of the 20th century, for reasons not at all unlike what you're describing with the crypto-Catholics. By that point Polari was basically a relexified English, or English with a whole lot of cryptic Italian- and Roma-derived terms. But its very long life, I think, could argue for the plausibility of an even more independent cant among people who would presumably start learning it from an earlier age than Polari. As an aside, Polari is the reason Parra is called what it is.
- That's certainly a logical thing to surmise about Judajca, though of course Steg could weigh in on that. He is still around and is part of the Facebook group. I don't know where more detailed descriptions and examples of Judajca are to be found. The wiki has so little.
- As for "northern Lingua Franca," I really think I'm remembering a discussion that involved Britanno-Romance speaking sailors up around the British Isles. I wish there was a simple way to rescue the Sessiwn Archives. Hunting manually through 1,107 messages is just not realistic for anybody.
- Benkarnell 11:14, 9 May 2020 (PDT)
That's a good point. The best way I can think of to sort of meet halfway between these two points is that a longer Crusader presence means a bigger money sink for the participants. In 1489 (the real life date), maybe the Kingdom of Jerusalem decides to sell Cyprus to protect the core like James Franco did in that one movie. It's like giving up your arm to save the rest of you. Venice is flush with cash and can buy the whole island outright. Then their reign of terror can begin. In this scenario, I bet they could even start calling the shots in Jerusalem like when Joe Exotic brought in that one douchey guy to save his park but then his new benefactor started calling the shots and took over, Jeff. Boy, all my analogies here are going to look super outdated and lame someday. If this wiki page is still around in 2035, 2045, or beyond that, I hope someday a 13 year old will find this project and ask "who the heck are Joe Exotic and James Franco?" Who's even paying to keep the lights on around here? Websites aren't cheap to maintain.
Anyway, what you proposed for Cyprus I think would also happen by the end of Jerusalem's Crusader history. The Venetians would set both commercial and fiscal policy for the kingdom. They would treat the KoJ like they treated the Byzantine Empire. Not well. Ironically enough, much like in Constantinople, there would probably be Venetian Jews in the port cities of Acre & Ascalona/Ἀσκάλων/عَسْقَلَان with a higher social standing than Catholic commoners. That would no doubt piss off the papacy and ruling elite to no end. As long as Venetian Jewish merchants raked in the cash for Ła Serenìsima, they can stick around and keep doing their thing. Those Judæo-Venetian merchants might be instrumental in setting Judea back up as a secular state in 15whatever once the Catholics get massacred and pushed into the sea. They could very, very easily become the new elite of the independent, Jewish state, even if they burned their bridges with all of Western Europe. Hey, they didn't burn bridges with the Ottomans or Persians. They'll find plenty of people who want to do business with them.
I figure that you and the rest of the old guard would want the Crusader states to end their tenures as crusader states, but I could see them in their final days ending as being directly run by Venice. The compromise is that they're colonies-in-all-but-name and there's still a king of Jerusalem.
I have heard about Polari, and I've done some amateur research on Kaliarntá because it vexes me that both secret-languages started off with the Roma community and made the jump to the community of men who pursued same sex relations in the UK & Greece. What's the connection? Why has no one else noticed this phenomenon? Turkish as its own versions of Turkish/Roma. One is spoken by the Roma of Turkey, northern Greece, and the tiny, moribund Turkish community of the Gazi neighborhood in Athens (I'll explain later because it's an interesting story). The other is spoken by gay men to evade nosey neighbors and the police. Are Roma men who had sexual relations with non-Roma men the intersection that got Roma words into the lexicons of non-Roma? Even now, in the 2010's, I made several Romany people in Greece uncomfortable when I'd ask them about their language. A lot of them don't even speak it anymore, they just speak Greek with their own accent. Not everyone is just a history nerd who can't read the room. "Do you speak Tsingánika?" probably comes off as hostile fishing by rightwing thugs. Like one maitre-d' at a restaurant was deeply uncomfortable when I asked her what «μπαλαμός» literally means ("everyone in Greece knows it means "non-Roma" because it shows up in songs and it gets glossed over as "white man" if you look it up in English online). I guess I'll never know.
I did not know at all that Polari has Lingua Franca influences. Wow, if you'd help me, I think you and I could pretty much just copy how Polari works except replace everything Romani with just more Sabir (or Arabic for the Maronites or Greek if we have to, but Turks knew Greek back then so they wouldn't be secretive at all) and call it a day. That's the first time real life has worked out in my favor in AH and made my job easier. Can "Cypriot Turkish" just be a relexified Italian? In what I propose for Cypriot history, it seems like we'd have moreso Italians learning Turkish badly and applying their own mother tongue's grammar onto Turkish than Turkish grammar with a ton of Italian loanwords. If it was like a Turkic population conquered by Venice, then yeah it would probably be Turkic grammar with ever-increasing amounts of Italian vocabulary. I defer to you on that. Alt-Cypriot Turkish even being classified as a dialect of a Turkic language would be a total joke, completely politicized, and disputed by like the rest of the linguist community not residing in the Ottoman Empire, Turkestan, & Azerbaijan. It makes Turkey look pigheaded. I love it. The question is though if this wholly Venetian forced-convert and half ghazi/half Italian slave girl generation of Italo-Turks can assimilate the Turkmen nomads and other colonists who end up washing up on Cyprus' shores during the century or two of Ottoman occupation. My gut says yes. Maybe it's more realistic that there are two Kıbrısça's: one is actually Italian masquerading as Turkish, one is more close to real life's Cypriot Turkish in that its progenitor is Yörük Turkish, which is probably way less Greek & Persian than the fancy vernacular of the elite and the book-larnin' Osmanlıca. I kind of want to just "pull and English" but our historical conditions are not identical.
I absolutely agree. No one should have to manually skim a thousand anything's online. That's like how in the 1930's, policemen had to manually compare thumbprints found at crime-scenes with a pile of cards of the recently convicted felons on file. That's basically futile. Misterxeight 16:15, 9 May 2020 (PDT)
- Well first, the Judean history stuff seems eminently plausible to me - that the Crusader states were de facto Italian colonies by the end. And it fits with Mr Belsky's very brief comments on the history. But as he's still active, at least in the Facebook group if not on the Wiki, I think that would be a good place to discuss the question. Since the existing history is written from the Judean perspective, it would understandably not distinguish between the Crusaders proper and the Italian merchants who supplied them.
- In England, the connection was very likely Roma > traveling entertainers and fairs > theatre culture > gay culture. I don't know if those associations would also hold in Greece, but I can see how they might. But an even more basic link is that both the Roma and gay communities historically had a need and a use for a secret language. It would make sense for the two to borrow from one another because of the sheer usefulness of the language.
- So following the language ideas, it sounds like we're talking about 3 Cypriot languages, correct me if I'm wrong:
- Zipriota, a creolized form of Sabir
- Cypriot Turkish, which actually has heavy influence from Italian and Sabir
- Cypriot Cant, a secret language that makes heavy use of Sabir and a melange of other vocab sources
- Benkarnell 07:29, 10 May 2020 (PDT)
I'll also ask him how and why he thinks Judajca came to be. My headcanon is that movements of parallel conversions of ethnic Greeks and whatever soldiers Rome sends there who like accepted one God but maybe didn't get circumcised (the Hypsistarians come to mind, but there were other groups who did the same. There's John 12:20 (« Ησαν δε εκεί κατά τας ημέρας εκείνας μερικοί προσήλυτοι Ελληνες, οι οποίοι είχαν ανεβή εις τα Ιεροσόλυμα, δια να προσκυνήσουν κατά την εορτήν του Πασχα.», which means Greek proselytes who came up to Jerusalem in order to bow down according to the holiday of Pascha/Jewish Passover.) that sticks out in my mind. Aelia Capitolina wins, but Judaism survives and bounces back with a vengeance to be the majority of the Holy Land throughout history, from 70 AD onward. Everyone brought in as a colonist for some reason converted to Judaism but doubly for someone reason chose rabbinical Judaism instead of joining the messianic movement. If it were me writing this, I'd have all the Judajca speakers be Christians, but it's not. Maybe Christians were the majority in the Holy Land, but Catholicism did such a bad job as administrators, that the Jewish revolters killed all Christians of all denominations off. Then why wouldn't Muslims become the majority? Because Judaism had a mass wave of conversation by the colonists of Aelia Capitolina, I can see Jews in the diaspora who fled not respecting the remaining ones in the Levant for not being "truly" Jewish and more Greek/Roman than Israelite. That can be why Jews still mourn the loss of Jerusalem. They don't consider the Judajcans true Jews on account to their bringing in and marriage of ethnic Greeks, Latins, other Semites, etc.
You're spot on with what I want to accomplish. If you think making a Turkic language as Romance as it can be is unrealistic, then I might add a fourth. The timeline I reckon would go for Zipriota that its roots are laid in 1143 or around then when Richard the Lionheart allows Italians to settle there, but by the time that it has to go underground sometime between like 1572-1771 whenever we can agree when the Turkish takeover happens, it all but dies out to give rise to Cypriot Ottoman (Turkish) & the cant, which would have a brief history only from the day the Ottoman takeover started to the day England stole it without a fight back. I wonder what the Catholics of the island would speak in the present day? My headcanon was that they spoke the Ottoman Cypriot tongue but maybe relexified with terms from the secret cant that might not necessarily have had the same meaning brtwren 1143-1571/1671/1771. Misterxeight 22:33, 10 May 2020 (PDT)
Hey, Ben, I had "Zivrioti" on Cyprus' page as one of many demonyms for people on the island. I can't remember why, but for some unknown reason I had "v," not "p." I think Venetian just had like a bunch of versions on how to write "Cyprus" & "Cypriot" in its language, and I chose the most different. Do you mind if I change Zipriota here to "Zivriota?" Could that be a sound change in that language, for Greek Π's to become V's? I know a lot of people have a hard time saying F and change it to P, but I'm not sure if what I'm proposing is the same phenomenon and it's realistic for the speakers of a language to change all their P's into V's. Shit at this point I might as well just start teaching myself linguistics so I don't have to always seek your expertise out. It would make both our lives easier. Misterxeight 10:14, 13 May 2020 (PDT)