Phoening it in

One of my interests is linguistics and constructed language. It could be argued that modern-day revivals of ancient languages, most notably Hebrew, are constructed.

The people behind Modern Hebrew had a very European mindset and preferred the SVO syntax of their Yiddish and German linguistic backgrounds as opposed to the VSO of the Biblical tongue. In other words, they grafted the skin of Biblical Hebrew onto the skeleton of Yiddish. Due to this syntax and other constructions unique to the modern language, if a modern-day Israeli went back in time and talked to Moses, Moses would barely be able to understand sem.

So why not apply a similar technique to the closely-related Phoencian language? The major pitfall is that linguists can only guess at how words were pronounced due to the lack of vowel markers, but if Moses would not be able to understand the modern Israeli, this point seems moot. One could apply the same vowel pointers used in both Biblical and Modern Hebrew to help the reader. Plus, it would provide a tool to those interested in the roots of their language and/or alphabet.

So today I announce my intention to help revive the Phoenican language using the same techniques that the revivalists of Hebrew did. Please note that this is a hobby from an amateur conlanger and I do not expect anybody to start speaking it in everyday discourse. I have another language in the pipeline which I seek to use as a worldwide lingua franca and this isn’t it.

Languages should never die but they can and sometimes must evolve.





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