Category Archives: Al-Andalus Conworld

Xpanī – Moorish Spanish

I’ve finally decided to implement the ‘Spanish‘ language of the alternative world I introduced in the previous post. History has been a bit different in that conworld; Spain was not united under the rule of the Kingdom of Castille but the Muslim kingdom of Al-Andalus and the main language of the peninsula is not based in old Castillian but the Mozarabic language (a Romance language with lots of Arabic loanwords).

Naturally, the language came to be known in that world simply as ‘Spanish‘ (despite being different from our world’s Spanish) but it’s native name is much stranger: Xpanī (pronounced /ʃpaˈniː/, shpah-nee), which also means Spanish (in fact, it comes from Xpan, which descends from actual Mozarabic Span ‘Spain’).

What follows is a Xpanī text:

رُمَنط سُنَمبول
برد هد كرُتْ برد
برد بنتُ ، برد فَرحَش
ال فِلوُغ سور ال رمار
يال كَبالّ نال مونتَنَّ
كونال ديِل نال طينتورَ
ييَ سُنَّ ان سو بَرَندَ
برد كَرن ، برد بال
كون عُلِّ د روق جلَتَ
برد هد كرُتْ برد
سُبال لوُنَ رُمَنَّ
طَثِ سونلا مِرَندُ
هِ ييَ نُ قُت مِرَرلَش
برد هد كرُتْ برد
غْرَند سْتلِّ د رُسَدَ
بنن كونال قش د ديِل
هد فَتَ ال سِرات د البَ
ال فِغَير حَكَ سو بنتُ
كونال لِشَ د سوش فَرحَش
يال بُش هد اِ ون غَتُ مورِ
اِسِتَ سوش قِتَش اغرَش
مَ كن بنْرا؟ ي دعُب؟
ييَ دامَ ان سو بَرَندَ
برد كَرن ، برد بال
سُنَّندُ نال مار امَرَ

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Re-thinking the world

JRR Tolkien once said that he constructed the world of his books (most importantly the Lord of the Rings trilogy) in order to give his own languages a background. The fact is that many conlangers (specially those who make artistic languages) consider that conworlding (this is, the creation of ‘constructed worlds’) is intrinsically related to conlangs. “No world will ever feel real if it doesn’t have a language spoken by its inhabitants” some say, while others claim that “a conlang arises almost naturally from every fictional world“.

To say the truth, I don’t fully agree with them. When I make a conlang, chances are that I will never create such a thing as a conworld. Does that make them less authentic? Maybe, but I don’t really mind those things. And, definitely, there’s neither a good reason to force all world creators (a colorful group which ranges from highly imaginative kids to top fantasy and science-fiction writers) to get involved in such a arduous task (for somebody not really into linguistics) as composing a whole language.

I’m a conlanger, not a conworlder. However, this kind of things may change 🙂 This week, I had an idea for an alternative world which was so interesting that I simply couldn’t let it go.

Just as some of my conlangs, this idea came to me as a question: “What would the world and it’s language’s have been if Spanish Reconquista hadn’t been successful?”. This led me to do a  little research about this historical epoch (I’ll give you a short explanation about what it was) and write some historical fiction. Many of the events in this conworld were based in actual events, while others are completely imaginary. I hope nobody is offended in any way.

Historical map of (actual) Spain during Reconquista. [image from Wikipedia]

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