As this is the first real post on this blog, I am compelled to introduce myself and this blog. Perhaps I’ll create a separate page in the future for this, but this will do for now.
My name goes by the handle “Ælfwine” on the CBB (Conlang Bulletin Board) and ZBB (Zompist Bulletin Board), however, I am fine being called by my real name, Lex. As the title of this blog suggests, this is a blog dedicated to my conlangs (short for “constructed language”). My current focus nearly exclusively on my romance conlang (“rom”lang for short) which I am tentatively calling *Castellianu, the name derived from the city it is spoken in, Castellum, or modern-day Keszthely in western Hungary. The reason for this project is singlefold: to create a plausible descendent of the language that may have been spoken by a continuation of Keszthely culture in Romanized Pannonia.
Before I get started, I’d like to offer some thanks to both Salmoneus and Dewrad of the CBB and ZBB respectively for assisting me in this project, as well as Isfendil who brow beated me to not giving up on it. My next blog post will probably concern some brief historical background of the language before getting into the linguistic nitty gritty.
(Note: this blog post was originally supposed to be much larger. However, due to time constraints [read: procrastination] I’ve mostly limited it in scope to the 9th and 10th centuries for now; had I attempted to develop a full history, I would have never got around to actually developing the language proper. A more extensive history will be created as the language develops further along, otherwise I start from the idea that this alternative timeline develops for the most part quite like our own.)
The initial history behind the Romanized inhabitants of Pannonia is divided into roughly two halves: the first half is the time roughly extending from Pannonia’s initial colonization until its collapse during the end of the Imperial Age. The second half is the time immediately after its collapse, from the arrival of the Avars in the region leading up to the invasion of the Magyars in 907 CE. For our purposes, we are mostly concerned with the second half. Specifically, we are concerned about the reasons behind the disappearance of the Pannonians and their language. Since the survival of the Romanized Pannonians is intrinsicly linked to the Avars, preserving the Avars (but not necessarily the Khaganate itself) would go a long way to keeping the language in tact.
While Wikipedia states that Frankish invasions caused the death of the Pannonian Romance culture, I am disinclined to believe that the Frankish invasions had upset anything at all, given the resulting changes were mostly political in nature instead of demographical. Instead, I think the final nail in the coffin were the Magyar invasions, whom quickly assimilated the Slavic speakers, and likewise the Roman descendants of Castellum. So, instead of preventing the Franks from conquering the weaker Khaganate as some might think, it may make more sense to strengthen Frankish hold onto Pannonia in order to prevent the Hungarians from completely overrunning the Carpathian Basin. To achieve this, I’ve decided that the Battle of Pressburg resulted in a East Francian victory instead of defeat. After a few more battles, the Hungarians make a peace treaty with the East Francian empire and are given territory east of the Tisa river.
Eventually, the Slavs of the Carpathian Basin, under the rule of Braslav, would have unified into a kingdom independent of Frankish rule. They speak a “Central Slavic” language that lends itself as the superstrate to my Pannonian Romance language. However enticing a “Central Slavic” language might be, that is another project for another day. The main idea is keeping the Romanized population of Castellum alive until the modern day, similar to how Istriot and Vegliot survived in modern Croatia.
That is a brief idea on how the Pannonian Romance language will be preserved. My next blog post will cover some preliminary considerations, like the ethnography and potential influences on the Pannonian Romance language. Unlike this post, it will not delve into alternative history or any “what ifs,” but solely on what we do know.