Letters to the Editor SpecGram Vol CLII, No 2 Contents “Weee!”—The First/Second Singular/Plural—Christopher Wood

Moundsbar Connections

On the isle of Dolop,
Mu hõljuk on
angerjaid täis
— Estonian
off the coast of Gwap, lies the tiny community of Pif. However, we know nothing about it.

Turning to Moundsbar, there are at least three languages related to it, Aro, Sorno and Koro. Aro is spoken by a few hundred souls in an enclave in the “Fan” district of Richmond, Virginia; Sorno has been extinct since the third century but was spoken on Guam and Saipan in the last years of the Roman Empire, though you would never know it from Roman history; no speakers of Koro have been located but a Koro language must be hypothesized to account for certain telegrams received through the years by the Moundsbarians which they were unable to read.

Moundsbar /kp/ corresponds to /p/ in Aro, /k/ in Sorno, and /h/ in Koro. As we know, anything can become /h/, and /h/ can become nothing; thus *h becomes nothing in Aro, /s/ after a glottal stop in Koro (or maybe the other way around), and /5/ everywhere in
— Mandarin
Moundsbar. Moundsbar /N/ surfaces as /m/ after another consonant except /p/ in Koro, either /n/ or /m/ in Aro other than before a non-nasal consonant where it becomes mere prenasalization, except in a stressed syllable, and a ticket to Pasadena in Sorno. As for vowels, they are poorly understood.

Since Aro has a movement rule, we set it up for the proto-language. It is easier for three languages to lose the same thing, than for a single language to acquire a marked feature at the expense of a family universal.

Naturally the Sorno evidence has special importance, since it is the oldest attested member of the family. However, everything we know about it comes from Higgins, who believed that Sorno was the language of the Voynich manuscript; Higgins also believed that
Mae fy hofrenfad yn
llawn o lyswennod
— Welsh
the Apostle Paul reached Guam, so there are limits to what you can do with Higgins.

This is all I know about the genetic relationships of Moundsbar to date. Needless to say, the Moundsbarians will have none of it, insisting that their language was given to them by Hercules as a punishment for making clothing out of two different kinds of yarn. In these seas of ignorance, science splashes on.


Letters to the Editor
“Weee!”—The First/Second Singular/Plural—Christopher Wood
SpecGram Vol CLII, No 2 Contents