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Subdivisions of Engadinesia

February 19th, 2009

I’ve been thinking about where I want Engadinese to be spoken… obviously, the Engadine valley, but I thought I’d also extend it to Valposchiavo (since that’s part of Graubünden, too), and then I wanted to include Livigno as well, since it sort of fits into the corner between Lower Engadine and Valposchiavo, and also becaue it drains into the Inn/Danube/Black Sea rather than the Po.

So I had a look at a bunch of topographical maps (Google Maps’s Terrain view), to see where the mountains are and where “logical” boundaries might be, and also had a look at Roman provinces to see whether any interesting names presented themselves, and what their boundaries were.

I also thought about what kind of administrative subdivisions I’d want and what to call them.

So far, I’m toying with roughly three options.

From the smallest to the largest, these are:

  1. Just the Engadine valley (Upper and Lower Engadine).
  2. The Engadine valley, Livigno, Val Poschiavo, Val Müstair, Val Bregaglia, and Valchiavenna (a valley I had not initially considered but which was apparently a popular conquest of the Three Leagues, and is a semi-natural extension of Val Bregaglia).
  3. All of the above, plus Valtellina, part or all of the Vinschgau (plus the small portion just north of it around Nauders which is part of Austria), the Bormio region, plus Bivio. (I think this would include all of the modern-day Italian Province of Sondrio, for example, so that could give me an idea of where to draw the borders.) Also based on historical extent of the influence of the Three Leagues.

Option 3 also has the attraction that the area would have the Reschen and Spluga passes, while Option 1 is a bit more geographically faithful; Val Poschiavo and Val Müstair really “belong” to the Valtellina and Vinschgau, respectively, and drawing the country border at the end of the valley mouth is not quite obvious. (Though one would have to do that if including Valchiavenna and Valtellina, I suppose.)

As for what to call it, the Roman empire is not much help; it’s just the eastern and southern parts of Raetia, and I’ve already used that name.

So perhaps I could go with West and East Raetia (but for separate countries which probably were not united at any point, this doesn’t make as much sense). Or maybe Haitia and Raetia, or whatever the respective dialect forms end up being, sort of like Slovakia/Slovenia?

As for administrative subdivisions, I think I might go with νομούς (“provinces”) subdivided into επαρχίας (“districts”); the provinces would probably be something like “Inn; Adda; Adige” while the districts might be something like “Upper Engadine; Lower Engadine; Val Müstair; Val Poschiavo; Val Bregaglia; Valchiavenna; Valtellina; Livigno; Bormio; Vinschgau” (names are placeholders only). Or maybe call them by city names—Province of Mals, Province of Vicosoprano, or whatever.

I’ll obviously have to think about nomenclature more should I decide to flesh this out.

Especially the name of the country and the language; having a placeholder name gets old after a while. I’m not sure what the people would call themselves, though.

Categories: Engadinese Tags: ,

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  1. February 22nd, 2009 at 00:13 | #1

    As far as a common international language is concerned, may I make a plea for Esperanto?

    If you have time please check the Esperanto website on http://www.lernu.net

    • February 22nd, 2009 at 14:05 | #2

      I’m quite aware of Esperanto, thank you very much.

      And the point of my various conlangs is not to serve as international auxiliary languages — they’re purely artistic languages which I create for my amusement, and I don’t harbour the conception that anyone else is every going to learn them (and I’m fine with that).

      Perhaps a comparison to Tolkien’s languages such as Quenya and Sindarin is appropriate: as I understand it, he created them for his enjoyment, and while people do now learn them for pleasure, I don’t think that was his goal or something he hoped would happen. (You wouldn’t suggest that he re-write the Lord of the Rings with all the poems in Esperanto rather than Quenya and Sindarin, would you?)

      Out of curiosity, what brought you to my little blog?

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