Monday, December 31, 2012

Reviving Amerysk - The Plan

Recently I discovered some old comments about my old Amerysk website that were from 2005. That shows I've been working a while to preserve our Amerysk language.

In that time I have not been able to find anyone with further Amerysk material. Since what I have is fragmentary, the only way to let Amerysk live again is to made additions to the language, especially in the area of vocabulary.

In 1978, Amerysk spread only through a tiny network of members of the Asatru (Norse Pagan) religion in the United States. Today, with the Internet, it can spread further. It can even serve as a means of communication between speakers of different languages, once I get the wordhord (dictionary) translated.

Amerysk as originally envisioned retained some of the excess complications of Germanic languages, such as a complicated case system, at least one irregular verb--- the verb 'to be', for which there is no conjugation given in the sources I have. These complications were suited for the time, in which the average person had no access to materials for learning Anglo-Saxon or Old Norse--- Amerysk could serve as a substitute.

But now with the availability of the Internet, one can learn those old languages rather than using Amerysk as a substitute. The role Amerysk can best play now is one of a Germanic-based auxiliary language. To fulfill that role, Amerysk needs to emphasize its simple side.

For that purpose, I am proposing some simplifications in the matter of grammar. Instead of having a wide variety of words for the modern English 'the', we will only have one. The pronouns will also be simplified, and the verb conjugations, and the plurals.... Affixes (prefixes and suffixes) in our linguistic source material (mostly Anglo-Saxon) will be dusted off and put to wider use.

The result will be a language which can express any idea we want to express, but which can be learned in a fraction of the time it takes to learn a natural language such as French.

Some of the forms will seem a bit odd, such is using the word 'ik', or 'I', to mean 'me' as well. But that will help people of other-than-Anglo-Saxon language background learn it more quickly.

The guiding principle I go by is that the words of Amerysk must be of Germanic origin. Loan-words from other languages should be replaced by Germanic words. Since modern English is the most widespread Germanic language, words which are similar to the English word should be preferred.

Once I finish posting the original Amerysk material on this blog, I will start with creating new materials and new words. The first step is to regularize the orthography, or writing system. The letter

ø is currently used. But special letters are not so good, though they are cool. I suggest replacing it with œ, which can very naturally be replaced with oe.

Another change to the orthography is the reorganizing of the vowels into long and short vowels, and giving the IPA and X-SAMPA symbols for each sound to show pronunciation. These are international symbols understood around the globe and will be helpful for people from other linguistic backgrounds.

I hope to have the revised orthography up soon. The next task after that is to revise the dictionary to reflect the changes.

If you are interested in Amerysk, please follow us on this blog and/or on Facebook.   Your suggestions and comments are welcome.

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