My 1936 AH Europe: linguistic map

It's really hard to say without knowing which language, or at least general language family, the different colors represent. a few educated guesses -

- Occitan remained a separate language from northern "French"
- The Anglo-Saxons weren't quite as successful in Britain, and so several Celtic languages survived in OTL Cornwall, Wales, and the northernmost part of England
- The Baltic languages were more successful - Prussian survives as a separate language, while Lithuanian and Latvian extend much further east than in OTL
- a couple of the western Slavic languages survived rather than being replaced by German
- Brittany and Burgundy both kept distinct local languages - the former would be Celtic while the latter might be a sort of mixed Germanic/Romance language. Between this and the survival of Occitan, it seems more likely that France was never unified under a strong central monarchy.
- Possibly the Byzantine Empire survived into modern times - that would explain why the same language is spoken in most of Greece and in the western part of Asia Minor.
- It looks like more regional languages survived - is it possible that this means that most parts of Europe remained more politically decentralized and didn't develop strong central governments that would tend to promote and favor one language or dialect over others?
 
Explanations: part 1

Hmm...
Let's go ordely, by geographic area, with some explanation.

British Isles

The British Isles... are more British, or at least more Celtic than now.
The white patch in northern Scotalnd represents Pictish, which has survived b/c Kenneth MacAlpin's treason failed, leading after some years to a pact of dynastical union between the Pict and the Scot royal families. So the double crown of Scotland and Alba went to the Cruithne/MacAlpin dynasty.
The Pictish languge is formed by a base of non-Indoeuropean language of the Iberian stock heavily influencing a Brythonic Celt language, subsequently heavily influecend by DalRiada Gaelic (Gaelic Scots). By 1936 in this world, it is spoken by a million speakers and protected by both Scottish and British law, so though everyone understands English, it doesn't risk extinction; the last attempts to impose (English) Scots on it were foiled by the Celtic Renaissance during the 18th Century.
90% of Ireland a sizable chunk of Scotland see a clear majority, when not a totality, of Gaelic speakers. Thanks to the early independence of Ireland (except Ulster) under James II Stuart in 1690, the Gaelic tongue has been proudly defended as a national banner, and conserves its glorious and ancient literary tradition. Gaelic Scots is the same spoken in Ireland with only little differences; confessional diversity renders however enemies Gaelic Scots and Irish (the Irish, like the Picts and many Welshmen and Cornish, are Catholic).
All in all, let's say Gaelic has 5 million speakers.
Scotland/Alba has THREE national languages: Pictish, Gaelic, but the most spoken is Scots, an own dialect of English gone astray in the centuries, spoken in the Lowlands and Cumberland (which in this timeline is part of Scotland historical borders) and influenced by Gaelic for "low" terminoolgy and by French for "high" terminology.
The resulting speech sounds something capable of having Shakespear spin in it's own grave, but the Scots are very proud of it and created a rich literature internationally appreciated. About 2.5 million speakers.
Welsh has survive d strongly despite a dark period under English domination between 1574 and 1715, and subsequent attempts to eradicate it. The survival of a strong Catholic presence and the eraly translation of the Bible, like in Ireland, have preserved the language with 2.5 million speakers.
The survival of Cornish, just as the survival of Manx, is surprising. For a country with no indipendence till 1064, the tenacity of the local pepole in retaing their Brythonic speech was really great, maybe aided by the nearby Bretons who spoke nearly the same language, only influenced/pressed by French instead of English. Cornish has some 500,000 speakers.
Manx, a Brythonic Celt language like Welsh, Cornish and Breton, has survived in the Isle of Man b/c of the isolation and autonomy enjoyed by the island, and the strong ties woith other Celtic-speaking lands.
Though reduced to a dialect, it seems on the way to survive indefinitely and has some 20,000 speakers.
Northern Irish is a language, or it isn't? It's a matter of debate in my 1936 world. Northern Ireland (great part of Ulster) is part of Great Britain since the Irish independence in the late 17th century (it is to be noted that both Ireland and Britain share the same royal dynasty, the Stuarts, but a Catholic branch of a family reigns in Dublin, while an Anglican one reigns in London, and Ireland, though tied economically to Britain, is a sovereign nation).
The Scots and English immigrants brought there by Cromwell's ruthless campaigns have developed with time a strange mixed language, clearly English in structure but very heavily intermixed with Gaelic, which is looked at with the utmost horror by both Galeic and English speakers elsewhere but seems like a final summary of the British Isles' complex linguistical history of this timeline. This Northern Irish, largely spoken even by the Catholic Irish of Ulster, who hate, passionately reciprocated, the Anglican-Calvinist Northern Irish, has some 500,000 speakers and is the subject of endless battles on education and media use instead of standard English.
Last, but not least, English is the real master of the British Isles, the official language #1 of the United Kingdom and the British Empire and Commonwealth (besides USA, CSA, Pacifica and Australia and a sizable minority in South Africa but we're focusing on Europe), the international lingua franca of trade & business and a renowned literary world power. Just imagine English as in OTL, only with a little number more of Celtic words inside.
 
Explanations: part 2

Iberic Peninsula

The Iberic Peninsula has seen a major change from OTL: no Arab invasion. So the languages spoken are quite different in vocabulary from OTL.

Let's start with Galician, a Neo-Latin language with a heavy, definite Celtic influence, both Brythonic (Welsh-Cornish-Breton colonization wave in the 5th-6th centuries) and Gaelic (Irish second wave mainly in the 9th century), and a certain numeber of Germanic words from the Suebian-Visigoth domination. Ties with Celitic countries were never severed in time, and many Catholic fugitives and rebels settled down in Galicia till the 17th century, though the language spoken had decidedly been Neo-Latin since about AD 900. Galician has a renowned iddle Age poetry corpus, and till the 14th century was the favourite Iberic poetry language, thence declined. In this AH 1936 it has still almost a million speakers, and tends to intermingle with standard Spanish.
Portuguese is the consequence of the fusion of an own Lusitanian version of Latin and Late Middle Ages Galician, with a lesser presence of Gemnaic elements, more clear Liguiran pre-Indoeuropean sublayer and many words borrowed by Berber Maurian (the southern half of the country was dominated by the Maurians between 1037 and 1252). The result is easily inter comprehensible with Galician, but decidedly different.
The birth of an own State then perfectioned the unification and standardization of the of the language, and launched its appreciated literature (expecially poetry). About 8 million speakers (apart from Brazil, colonies)
Asturian is a complex question. Just imagine OTL Spanish and deprive it of any Arab borrowed word, replacing it with a Latin or Basque word. That's Asturian in this TL. It's a regional language, with some 1.5 million speakers, strongly defended as a regional banner against attempts to swallow it by standard Spanish.
Standard Spanish (known as Castellano) was not born in Cantabria-Asturia during an Arab invasion as in OTL.
No. It's a direct descendant of the Latin spoken in the cities of the Hispanic center-south in the Late Antiquity. With time, the speech of the Mesetas, Castellano, imposed itself over the Andalusian one, Leonese and Aragonese, becoming the standard national language, vastly spread through the world by the conquistadores and the Spanish Catholic Church. Differently from Asturian, it shows no sign of Basque influence (therefore no names like Perez, Gonzalez, Sanchez, Gomez) but has a certain Maurian influence (same discourse as for Portuguese) which becomes very very strong in the southern Andalusian dialects (Granada remained under a Maurian dynasty till the Glorious Reunification of 1492) As to a comparison with OTL, you should imagine something similar to Mozarabic, the Neo-Latin spoken in Islamic Spain, deprived of the Aab influence. Spanish has about 15 million spakers in Spain (apart Latin America) and enjoys immense literary prestige since the Modern Age.
Català is very similar to OTL Catalan, only it shows no traces at all of Arab influence, only Maurian influence in the two southern dialects, Valencian and Balearic. Català proper, spoken around Barcelona and on the low Ebro, shows clear influences from Occitan and Italian. The Spanish government in Madrid usually had no love for Català since unification, but little or no success at all was achieved in absorbing it, evn b/c Catalunya is by far the ricchest and most modern region of Spain. Català has some 6 million speakers.
Basque, well... Basque is Basque, the pre-Indoeuropean agglutinating nightmare we know, only it is not called "euskera" (which is an OTL 19th century term). Its area is wider. and its state of health decidedly better. It is proudly spoken from the Cantabria to Lourdes, and from the Landes (which have another Basque bname in this TL) south of Bordeaux to all of Navarre. Both the French and Spanish governments have tried in the last centuries to eradicate it as a menace to national unity, but with no success: the only result is that the Basque people are often bilingual, and always fiercely autonomistic and nationalist. Basque retains a good 1.5 million speakers throughout the Western Pyrenaic region, and is in eternal quarrel with Ligurian and Pictish for the title of most ancient tongue in Europe.
 
Judging from the two orange patches in Anatolia, it looks like (to me, anyway), that most of Greater Armenia, as well as Cilicia, remain in Armenian hands. Though I honestly have no idea how that could happen, as Cilicia isn't a part of the Armenian homeland, and was only settled after the collapse of the last Armenian state.

As for that green underneath Armenia: is that the same as the Greek green? Or is it supposed to be some sort of Kurdish state? If it's Greek, that would mean either Alexander's empire was more successful (and succeeded in Hellenizing the region) or the Byzantine Empire itself was somehow divided?
 
Knight Of Armenia said:
Judging from the two orange patches in Anatolia, it looks like (to me, anyway), that most of Greater Armenia, as well as Cilicia, remain in Armenian hands. Though I honestly have no idea how that could happen, as Cilicia isn't a part of the Armenian homeland, and was only settled after the collapse of the last Armenian state.

As for that green underneath Armenia: is that the same as the Greek green? Or is it supposed to be some sort of Kurdish state? If it's Greek, that would mean either Alexander's empire was more successful (and succeeded in Hellenizing the region) or the Byzantine Empire itself was somehow divided?
You're right, Armenian speakers are the majority in the two orange patches you said, though Armenia doesn't exist as a state; it's mostly part of the Byzantine Empire in my 936, with its easternmost part (OTL "Armenia") as a republic in the Union of Peoples (a strange Red&White condominium followed to the Russian Revolutionary Civil War of 1917-1922).
SArmenianas are majority in Cilicia b/c Greater Armenia was run by Turkoman states from about 1060 to 1514, so the Kingdom of Lesser Armenia was founded by Rupen as OTL and fell to the resurgent Byzantines in 1374 to have protection against the powerful Mameluks.
The green underneath the Armenians are the Kurds. I made a mistake in the colors. The Kurds are a stateless nations as OTL, torn between the Byzantines (with whom they have the same relation than with the Turks OTL), Iraq and Mazdeist-Shiite Persia. They are less than OTL b/c a sizable part of Northen Iraq and Northern Siria (the white stretch) speaks White Turkish - the same you see in Azerbaigian and East Caucasus.
The violet spot in Anatolia, then, is Batiturkish (or West Turkish), a deviant dialect of Turk heavily intermixed with Greek in the centuries, spoken by the descendandts of the successive waves of Turkish invasion of that region, defeated and partly converted to Orthodoxy by the Byzantines.
Just to fulfill your curiosity, the blue area in Syria is Syriac, the direct descendant of Jesus' native speech, Aramaic, which was saved from being swallowed by Arab thanks to the Byzantines rule on its homeland between 1516 and 1840.
No Armenian Genocide in this TL.
 
Italia

One thing I note with interest is that you have Italian as a cohesive language covering the whole of OTL Italy whereas everywhere else (eg France, Germany, Spain, UK) is far more fragmented. To me this implies an earlier and successful Italian state otherwise one would imagine that Naples and Milan would speak differently. Was it the case in OTL that although fragmented Italy spoke the same language all over, with only dialectic differences ? If so, from when ?

Grey Wolf
 
Grey Wolf said:
One thing I note with interest is that you have Italian as a cohesive language covering the whole of OTL Italy whereas everywhere else (eg France, Germany, Spain, UK) is far more fragmented. To me this implies an earlier and successful Italian state otherwise one would imagine that Naples and Milan would speak differently. Was it the case in OTL that although fragmented Italy spoke the same language all over, with only dialectic differences ? If so, from when ?

Grey Wolf
I must confess I still haven't "done" Italy in my TL (for now, I have finished Iran/Persia and varius revisions to Anatolian and Central Asian history, at the price of a nervous breakdown by the strain on Friday). However, for now it doesn't change so much about unification: it is achieved in 1860, I still am thinking if adopting the monarchic federal system as seen in Randy McDonald's Tripartite Alliance Earth or as a Mazzinian republic overthrowing the old regime. As for now the only major differences I'v stated are: the pre-Indoeuropean Ligurian language, a bit mixed with local Celtic and heavily influenced by latin first and Italian thenceon, holds hard in the Alps and Appennines south of Piedmont and Emilia, and is still quite largely spoken in my 1936. In 548-568 Italy is unified by Belisarius AND Totila reigning jointly (not as homosexual royal couple, however!:D ). When they die, the Langobards and the Byzantines fight on the ruins of Italy reestablishing the main TL harmonic.
Then I have in mind to have the Canossa family survive the death of Matilde, and remaining a major power between Tuscany and the Po Valley.
Then in 1480 southern Italy is invaded by the byzantine emperor George II Kastrioti, but he's defeated at Capua and has to retire after a couple years.
The rest should be sinilar, maybe avoiding the extinction of some other noble Italian family, such as the Este, an Italy keeping Nice/Nizza in the 1860 accord with France.
By the way, the fact that a huge are aof France doesn't speak standard French menas little. France IS the centralized state we know despite this, the only exception is the high degree of autonomy enjpyed by Bretagne after the Civil War of 1873-1875, which saw the final annihilation of the Bourbon attempt to gain back the throne with Henry V.
As to why many minority languuages have survived, I'm thinking to introduce the figure of a great Irish saint of Carolingian times, let's call it Cassian (its true name doesn't count, imagine him as a member of a collateral branch of the O'Neill clan), a prodigious polyglot fluent in Gaelic, Welsh, Breton, Old English, Latin, Greek, Hebraic, "Italian", "French", "German", Old Church Slavonic. This character should play a crucial role imposing himself as the latest Father of the Catholic Church not by merit of any theological depth, but by the extent of his predication throughout Carolingian Europe and hs stress on the respect and autonomy of the languages, every language being word that proceeds from the mouth of God. So actively persecuting a language becomes a blasphemy in later times, and it's practically impossible till the Church holds its grip on the states' structures. This doesn't hamper, however, the effort to diffuse the public use of the centralized states' main languages (Parisian French, Mercian/London English, Castellano Spanish, High German etc.) as a mean of administrative unification. Latin, obvously, holds a little longer in public documents, let's say till the 16th century, and in science is in use till the Enlightenment, when it's replaced first, briefly, by French, then powerfully by German.
Coming back to Italy, the linguistical unification is a fact flllowing the political unification, just like OTL; first the language was a way of cultural unification, than the dialects are slowly replaced by standard Italian, except non-Indoeuropean Ligurian which attracts the interest of linguists, and whose speakers consider themselves Italian without problems (no Basque-like question).
I the north-east of Italy Trentino-Sudtirol , Cadore and Friuli (except the Veneticized coast) speak Ladinian dialects but have no distinct national spirit; the Ladinian speakers can feel themselves Swiss, Austrians or Italians as well as Ladinians, and there's no Ladinian standard language, but 3 distinct dialect areas: Eastern Switzerland (Romontsch), Central Alps (Ladin), Friuli (Furlan).
What more? Valle d'Aosta speaks a Franco-Provencal patois, and almost all Piedomontese western valleys speak either Franco-Provencal or Occitanian dialects, though the Piedmontese plain is firmly Italian.
So te language unity of Italy is the result of century-long efforts by scholars and the recent mass education in Italian; and this Italian is very very similar to OTL one, if not identical.
 
Basileus:
GREAT thread!
Could you maybe mention how these languages compare to OTL equivalents?
Would speakers from OTL and the ATL be able to understand each other?
 
tom said:
Basileus:
GREAT thread!
Could you maybe mention how these languages compare to OTL equivalents?
Would speakers from OTL and the ATL be able to understand each other?
I'm very happy someone likes the idea :)
It's all part of my monster timeline, which is a work in the fashion of Penelope's web.
I have already made extensive comparison between the "alternate" languages and ours, though only for the British Isles, the Iberic Peninsula and Italy.
As a whole, a speaker from this TL should have no particulra problems in adating to this TL. For an English speaker, differences would be minimal, just some Celtic borrowing more and that's all.
French is largely identical to OTL. Spanish is quite different, as i exposed in one of my pots: Asturian would be the closer comparison for a Spaniard from OTL, while Castellano Spanish of this TL would seem a little strange, but somewhat comprehensible, to him; the problem is that vocabularuy and onomastic would be deprived of Arab and Basque influence, b/C of the lack of an Arab invasion (a later, briefer Berber Maurian (Christian) one) and the language not being born in former Basque Cantabria mountains, but in the major cities of Spain. It would be far closer to Italian than it is today; in this TL Spaniards and Italians can speach each in its own mothertongue understanding each other quite well.
Italian is de facto identical to OTL, only its are a is slightly smaller, though absorbing the eastern half of Corsica.
Greek would be interesting. Being based on an ancient tongue not modified by events in this TL, it would be the same language as Katharevousa, the official imperial language close to ancient Greek, but the Dimothikì, the language of the people, would be a mess. One should try to imagine wht the Constantinopolitan dialect would have developed into, keeping in mind the large presence of Armenians, Slavs and Batiturks (West Turks) in the city with their possible influence, and same thing for all the Greek Anatolian dialects (I imagine something like a division between Pontic-Paflagonian, inner Anatolian/Angorene, Nicene/Bythinian, Smirnean/Lydian, Lycian). The are of Greek in Greece proper is much reduced b/c of the MASSIVE Albanian and Morlakian (OTL Valakian) infiltration/immigration from the late 13th century onwards, a steady process who continued till all the 17th century Illyricizing Thessalia and Epirus, while the Greek strongholds of Athen and Thessalonica hampered further expansion and attracted numbers of immigrants.
A spot of Slavic presence remains in southern Peloponnese; they are the Veletians, last heirs of the great wave of Slavs that ovverun the entire Balkan peninsula (which in this TL is not known as Balkan, a Turkish word AFAIK).
The Morlakian I nominated before are like the Valakians of OTL Middle Ages Balkans, i.e. groups of nomadic Neo-Latin speaking shepherds, sorts of "white tzigans" (no Indian-originated Gypsies beyond Persia and Central Asia in this timeline) not liked o much by their neighbours, and scattered irregularly from Istria to Bosnia, with a particular concentration around the city of Vidin on the Danube. They would be the descendants of the Romans emperor Aurelianus brought back when he abandoned Dacia to the Goths around AD 270.
Albanian is somewhat diferent. Never written in Arabic characters like in OTL, it didn't absorb any Turkic word and was instead heavily influenced by both Greek and Italian.
Dalmatia retains its native Neo-Latin speech, Dalmatic, in a diglossy with Serbo-Croatian, which is more affected by Greek influence (maybe it may acquire the article, absent in the Slavic mothertongue, just like Bulgarian did)
Bulgarian would be an intensely Grecized Slavic tongue, even moore than today.
The violet spots on the Back Sea cost between Bulgaria and Moldova are settled by Batiturks deported there by the Byzantines. Local Batiturkic dialects are influenced by both Greek, Old Church Slavonic and Romanian, which on the contrary is almost indistinguishable from OTL
Hungarian is the nightmare we well know and perfectly comprehensible to the crosstime Hungaran traveller. Slovenian has a wider expansion, but it's Germanizing as to technical terms due to longer Austrian domination.
Slovakian and Czech are identical to OTL, as are German, Dutch and the Scandinavian languages. Frisian is well alive and spoken throughout East and West Frisia (both Dutch territory) and the Frisian islands between Denmark eand Germany. Isolated pocket of Slavic languages survive in East Germany; Polabian, along the Elbe (imagine a bilingual Martin Luther which tranlsates the Bible in POlabian too, preserving the language); Vendic, in the coastal region of Mecklemburg; Sorabian, between the Oder and Bohemia. Kashubian has prevented German from expanding beyond the coastal cities in Pomerania. while Prussian resisted the German pressure, though Germanizing massively to a curious mix to whom the linguists gave the name of Baltogermanic.
Lithuanian and Latvian, largely identical to OTL but far more strong, thrive despite the long Russian domination.
Polish is identical to OTL. Byelorussian is more Lithuanized than in OTL, Ukrainian preserves some traces of the Altaic tongues of successive invaders
and shows a clear Greek influence, though it's Russifying at an alarming rate.
Russian is more influenced by a Finnish substrate, and in Russia proper a number of Finnish tongues survive in major or lesser pockets, Ingrian (near St. Petersburg), Vepsic and Ludic (near Novgorod and in the Valdai), Mordvinian and Komi (on the medium-High Volga).
Sami (Lapponian) still dominates the northern scarcely inhabited parts of Scandinavia with a variety of dialects. Samoyed Nenec is spoken by nomadic shepherds on the Arctic shores of Russia.
Tatar is a powerful reality west of the Urals, were it has still some millions speakers.
More south, Oirat Mongolian Kalmykh is spoken south of Astrakhan as OTL.
The Caucasus region is a mess as OTL, BUT in the east there's the solid block of White Turkish (just as nowadays Azerbaijani Turkish).
North Africa is very different from OTL. In Egypt there's a diglossy between Coptic, spoken by the strong Christian minority (30%), and Arab. In Lybia an own version of Arab is influenced by Berber dialects. Tunisia is called Punia in this TL, is Christian and speaks a Neo-Latin language which shows clear traces of Punic (Semitic) and Berber influence, besides being very strongly influenced by Sicilian and Genoese.
Algeria is called Numidia, and speaks a Berber tongue heavily relexified with Latin during the Renaissance.
Morocco (Mauria in this TL) speaks a Berber tongue deeply influenced by this TL's Spanish.
Uff! ;)
 
Woah, I found this rather super great thread. Is this language map based on the interference TL? Is that little spot in the crimea Gothic?
 
This is an amazing thread, Basileus. I am very impressed. Very few people put this much thought and detail into a TL, especially in such a creative way.

I look forward to seeing the rest of this TL.
 
Woah, I found this rather super great thread. Is this language map based on the interference TL? Is that little spot in the crimea Gothic?
Well, actually it was the Interference TL in its infancy. Now it has diverged somewhat, I bet when it'll come to 1936 (IF it'll ever come, I fear dying of old age before:D) the world will be unrecognizable with this.
 
Yeah, it does seem though, that spain and England are similar to the tl. So..what about that gothic spot in the crimea?;)
It's from OTL, for unbelievable it may seem, Gothic there remained spoken in some enclaves till the 16th century, as reported by a de Bousbecque, a Western ambassador and traveller.
 

Thande

Donor
It's from OTL, for unbelievable it may seem, Gothic there remained spoken in some enclaves till the 16th century, as reported by a de Bousbecque, a Western ambassador and traveller.
I remember reading about Crimean Gothic, I think Tolkien put together a vocabulary for it at one point.
 
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