> Chinese ... is the only example I can think of of a mutually
> intelligible written form between mutually unintelligible spoken
> languages. Any thoughts, anyone?
The use of written and spoken Latin as the language of intellectual and
clerical discourse in the middle ages, perhaps? This is the parallel I ha=
always used for the survival of the "Ancient Brithini Written Language" into the modern West. Sorcery is taught in "Brithini Latin"; sorcerers ar= e
fluent in it (just as Catholic priests, scientists and doctors were in th= e
Real World); great scientific and theological works are written in it; bu= t
the population at large speaks derived languages (like French, Spanish, Italian: the Gloranthan equivalents of Seshnegi, Loskalmi, Safelstran et al.), and even some of the wise couldn't hold a *conversation* in Brithin= i,
despite their familiarity with the written and liturgical forms.
NB: writing in "Romance" languages was IIRC rather a late development in the Real World: Dante was (I believe) the first author to write poetry in=
Italian rather than Latin. Before this jump in the mindset, writing the w=
people *actually talked* (rather than the way books had always been writt= en
since Classical Antiquity) would have been a sign of illiteracy and laziness, not sheer common sense and evolution over time. If the Westerne= rs
(a book-bound scriptural religion) had this attitude, too, it's possible there *is* no politely-useable form of "pig-Brithini" - that all written works of significance are in "the original Latin" -- that anyone trying t= o
"invent" an orthography for the way language is actually used would be treated like a James Joyce, "inventing" unnecessary changes to an already=
beautiful and perfected script.
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