Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

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dva_arla
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Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by dva_arla »

Meanwhile let's do a "Gothlang" because why not. Let's see which, of Tocharian and this language, takes off, and which, if not both, gets stuck in the mud and back into the shelf.

Background

Modern Danubian or Dobrogean Gothic (dunviska gutska) is a language spoken in the country of Dobruja (Dobredzia), centred in the city of Tomes / Tomgerd (before 1952 : Kostecia) by the Danubian Goths. The ethnogenesis and ultimate origins of the Danubian Goths remain a point of contention among scholars. It is, though, widely agreed upon that their descendants are more affiliated with the Ostrogoths of old than the Visigoths.

Relations with the Crimean Goths and Goths of Olbia have remained... cordial, though the Danubian Goths tend to see themselves to be the purer of the Goths and deride their cousins across the Black Sea as being more "Saxonised" in food, language, dress, and other facets of their way of life (never mind the Ottoman ciesmas centring the squares of virtually every town and village in Dobruja!

On to the language -- the chief... hurdle that I predict may be faced in making the language are matters of lexicology -- lexical innovations and borrowings. Sound changes and morphology triffle in comparison; I have even sketched out some details of both in mind. Busbecq's Letters show us that Crimean Gothic has borrowed and innovated a great deal of its vocabulary. Of the latter it may be said that lexical changes to words deriving from "Ulfilan" or Bible Gothic or another form thereof can get quite... quirky sometimes. Crim. Fers 'man, vir' is cognate with Ulfilan fairhwus 'world' (Stearns, 1978 -- also all following etymologies posited). And knauen 'good' cognate with some forms in Old Norse meaning 'capable, to know how'. Words for things and concepts pertaining to various spheres of society's lays are borrowed. It is noteworthy that even the word for 'soldier', cadariou (misspelt for *cadarion // Dan. kanderia?) was borrowed, either from Latin centurion or catervarius, notwithstanding the military prowess of the Goths, while some words of Germanic provenance that are not attested in Ulfilan did turn up in Busbecq's little lexicon: Stega for 20 and the kilems 'drink up, gulp?' of the Kilemschkop. Also Gadeltha 'pretty' purported to connect with several cognates in West Germanic languages meaning 'fitting', etc.

This 'sneak-peak' of the lexicon of Crimean Gothic means that Danubian Gothic, its sibling, will have to innovate, alter, restructure its semantics and borrow its words.. on a scale much more drastic than did Romanian. Greek will be the primary contributor (as the Letters show, more than the glossa did in Romanian) and also Turkish, the Slavic languages, some Dacian substrate, etc. This would require many sources (on Gothic, on surrounding languages), and, more essentially, the fullest of one's creative faculties.

Having demanded the hassle of attention on so long an introduction...

... here's some views of Dobrogea. Being in the process of creating an alternate language, and therefore alternate history, I retain alt-historic license-- the license to alter history-- time, peoples, and places-- as I see fit.

A typical bazaar found in many towns and villages of Dobruja:
https://i2.wp.com/www.skytrip.ro/images ... 095846.jpg

The casino -- this pops up much in Google. Quite a stately building, I must say:
https://storage0.dms.mpinteractiv.ro/me ... ?width=600

Bird's-eye view of the Danubian Delta. Ah, the refreshing scents and sounds of the snevs. Strauss must've gone here, hasn't he?
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/80/11/3c ... 0ec8d9.jpg
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Re: Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by Pāṇini »

Man, this excites me. Will Danubian Gothic be a part of the Balkan sprachbund?
/aɪ kænʔ r̼̊ ʌnəɹstʲænd r̼̊ jəɹ æksɪnt r̼̊/
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Re: Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by dva_arla »

Pāṇini wrote: 18 Jan 2021 13:33 Man, this excites me. Will Danubian Gothic be a part of the Balkan sprachbund?
Why of course! Though I don't know how much Balkan-y Dobrogean shall be.

I fancy that the Sprachbund might have radiated from the _westernmore_ part of the Balkans (viz. ca. the modern borders straddling Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and N. Macedonia and thence somewhat southernmore to Kosovo and the Epirus), since all languages in the sprachbund radiate thence (Romanian is known to have originated from the southwesternmost fringes of what is presently its sprachraum i.e. Oltenia, radiating therefrom to the fuller parts of Dacia then Transylvania and Moldavia)c-- thereby placing Dobrogean in the Sprachbund's peripheries. Personal hunches though... a single word from any literature of repute may refute me here.

Anyways, potential sources listing -- those that would be found most helpful and perfect Dobrogean :

- descriptions of Ulfilan Gothic : Wikipedia and the UTexas course does fine for the morphology, but I'd need some 'hard stuff' to familiarise myself with the syntax.
- descriptions of Crimean Gothic : Stearns Analysis the best there is; also sources cited therein
- would need to look at Gothic borrowings in Spanish and Slavic
- a grip on Mariupol Greek, i.e a basic description/grammar and a dictionary (got my hands on some Russian ones)
- stuff on lexical innovation, borrowing, changes, etc.

You might perhaps give me something to start with the Balkan sprachbund? Besides Wikipedia, that is.

NB: from now on I shall make it a point to call the language Dobrogean (self-appellation pending fixing).
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Re: Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by Ælfwine »

As many here know I toyed a Crimean Gothic descendant and also briefly considered a gothic language in the Dobruja region with heavy influence from the Balkan Sprachbund (it is still a project I wish to do.) Notably, the definite articles were apprehended much like in Romanian, with -ta (masculine) -to (feminine) and -at (neuter), very similar to the Bulgarian articles (except the masculine and feminine were switched). I like this idea and want to come back to it. Perhaps you can influence me?

Of course I can also help with the Gothic, I've read every page of Stearn's analysis on Crimean Gothic. There is also one analysis by Otto Grønvik, though it is in German which I cannot read. Though from what I've read elsewhere Stearn's analysis is the superior one and Grønvik was grasping at straws to make Crimean Gothic a West Germanic descendant. There is one final recent analysis I found in Russian, that seems pretty comprehensive, but again I cannot read without mass Google translating the book. However from what I've read of it it goes into detail comparing the language to the mountain Tatar languages. Finally, i also have the Oxford Gothic Grammar on hand, which is one of the few English sources that goes into Biblical Gothic syntax as well.
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Re: Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by dva_arla »

Ælfwine wrote: 19 Jan 2021 07:59 As many here know I toyed a Crimean Gothic descendant and also briefly considered a gothic language in the Dobruja region with heavy influence from the Balkan Sprachbund (it is still a project I wish to do.) Notably, the definite articles were apprehended much like in Romanian, with -ta (masculine) -to (feminine) and -at (neuter), very similar to the Bulgarian articles (except the masculine and feminine were switched). I like this idea and want to come back to it. Perhaps you can influence me?
Most welcomed! If you're up to it, let's make this project a collab! To be honest this project is merely one of my little 'getaways'; my magnum inceptum --one that will be the source of my pride and spring me out of obscurity (if I may state so without sounding in the slightest way haughty) after all is Modern Khotanese; one whose inception is still woefully stuck due to some decisions I can't set right.



What is your take on Stearn's conjecture (hypothesis? suggestion?) on the outcomes of P.Gmc /θ/? Believe him?
"In medial position, in initial position before *r, and initially in the unaccented articles, PGmc *ð merges with *d as NCG */d/, a lenis dental stop (cf. 7.2.2.2): CG Bruder, furdethien, tria, thunetria, treithyen, tho, the, -thata in malthata and Varthata/Vvarthata (both for *Warthata). Elsewhere PGmc *θ is preserved as an interdental spirant, NCG */θ/: CG Tzo, Goltz, Statz."

(Loewe (l903:4) also explains the divergent devel0pment of initial PGmc *l) in the CG articles as a result of reduced stress.
The deveIopment of PGmc *b in these positions in NCG has a parallel in Old High German. As I have noted above (5. in. 32), these positions were among those in which OHG [d] for/θ/ PGmc *1) first appeared (cf. Penzl l971:§18.3b).
While his explanation is in most parts plausible, it blatantly fails to explain the facts in one respect; that is, the treatment of the final dentals. Crimean Gothic shows outcomes of /θ/ for some words but /t/ for some others:

Goltz Statz vs. VVingart Alt Plut Rintsch Borrotsch [w]urt

This words may be compared to their PGmc and Ulfilan Gothic outcomes (all extracted from Wiktionary), where a discrepancy may be readily seen:

*gulþą *stadiz *gardaz *aldaz *blōþą *rindǭ *wurdī

gulþ staþs gards alþeis blōþ - gabaurjōþs waurþi

The outcomes in the two Gothic languages may be thus summed:

PGmc Ulf Crim

lþ lþ ltz
d þ tz
rd rd rt
d þ t
nd - nt
rd rþ rt

It may be conjectured that the ortographical outcome in Ulfilan Gothic rests on the preceeding consonant, with r and n affecting occlusivising of the following affricate, but Stearns have failed to explain the differing outcomes, stemming from same PGmc circumstances, to stadiz > statz and blōþą > plut. One of my few grievances on the whole tome.

To explain the apparent discrepancies between Ulfilan Gothic and Crimean (phonology, isoglosses, etc), some sources (forgot which ones) propose Western Germanic influence on Gothic (kinda how like Ottoman Turkish, an Oghuz language, influences Kipchak Crimean Tatar-- to the point of influencing phonetic outcomes of many words and displacing some others). I too might have adhered to this theory for some while.. Your take?

By the way, care to share links for the Oxford grammar and the analysis in Russian?
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Re: Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by Ælfwine »

Most welcomed! If you're up to it, let's make this project a collab! To be honest this project is merely one of my little 'getaways'; my magnum inceptum --one that will be the source of my pride and spring me out of obscurity (if I may state so without sounding in the slightest way haughty) after all is Modern Khotanese; one whose inception is still woefully stuck due to some decisions I can't set right.
Haha, sure thing. A collab I could go for. I haven't seriously conlanged in a while though, so I'm a bit rusty at the wheels. Here's a quick link to my reconstruction of Crimean Gothic: I mostly took Stearn's word to the letter here, agreeing with his interpretation of the -thata in malthata etc. as clitic object pronouns and the definite article being one of allomorphy. I also have a brief lexicon.
While his explanation is in most parts plausible, it blatantly fails to explain the facts in one respect; that is, the treatment of the final dentals. Crimean Gothic shows outcomes of /θ/ for some words but /t/ for some others:

Goltz Statz vs. VVingart Alt Plut Rintsch Borrotsch [w]urt

This words may be compared to their PGmc and Ulfilan Gothic outcomes (all extracted from Wiktionary), where a discrepancy may be readily seen:

*gulþą *stadiz *gardaz *aldaz *blōþą *rindǭ *wurdī

gulþ staþs gards alþeis blōþ - gabaurjōþs waurþi
I'm honestly not sure why he thinks *stadiz had a reflex with /θ/, unless perhaps there was some earlier merger of /ð/ to /θ/ (such as word finally), then yes it could work. But then plut should be plutz. The situation is indeed confusing but perhaps a solution can be found.

(Btw rintsch should have never had a dental in it, I've reconstructed this word as *remdaz. Supposedly the only other cognate is in some dialectal Norwegian, that could be a good starting point.)

I am generally weary to assume any "West" Germanic influence, or use that term very broadly... the only contact with "West" Germanic peoples would have been relatively early, perhaps between 200 AD and 300 AD, around the time the sound [ð] became [d]... and of course there is nothing to suppose Crimean Gothic "convergently evolved" like West Germanic. Of course the supposedly similarity and mutual intelligibility of the Gothic language to West Germanic languages is interesting by itself (although... Old Norse was indeed intelligible with Old English too, despite coming from different branches of the same family.)

I cannot give you the Oxford book, as I have it only in hard copy, and the link to Ganina's pdf file no longer works anymore. The only source I can find is this: https://www.prlib.ru/en/node/341929?fie ... nid=393935

Edit: finally, something else of interest: https://forum.wordreference.com/threads ... s.3515401/
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Re: Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by dva_arla »

Ælfwine wrote: 19 Jan 2021 11:14 I am generally weary to assume any "West" Germanic influence, or use that term very broadly... the only contact with "West" Germanic peoples would have been relatively early, perhaps between 200 AD and 300 AD, around the time the sound [ð] became [d]... and of course there is nothing to suppose Crimean Gothic "convergently evolved" like West Germanic. Of course the supposedly similarity and mutual intelligibility of the Gothic language to West Germanic languages is interesting by itself (although... Old Norse was indeed intelligible with Old English too, despite coming from different branches of the same family.)
The same sources posit Saxon settlers posted in Crimea in the Middle Ages as the source for the "Western Germanisms" found in Crimean Gothic. Busbecq did after all doubt--in passing--that the Crimean Goths he met are truly descendants of the famed Goths, instead of just being another scion of the Saxon settlers who had set shop in Transylvania etc.

Not to say that I believe them though... can't make up my mind there. Anyways, wouldn't matter too requisitely to the scheme of our fictional (but still as realistic as can be possibly made) language...

Found the Oxford grammar! https://books.google.co.jp/books/about/ ... &q&f=false
and the link to Ganina's pdf file no longer works anymore
The title then, if it'd not be too vexing for you?
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Re: Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by Ælfwine »

Be aware that the "Goths" were generally not always a homogenous group, they picked up many other Germanic tribes and called themselves "Goths." I think Vasiliev's account is the best we have at the moment for the history of the Crimean Goths, so digging through that could be useful.

One possibility could be intermingling between the Saxon settlers of Medieval New England during the 11th century. According to legend, many Englishmen (and some others of Dutch or German ancestry), fleeing the Norman invasion of England or simply looking for opportunity as Varangians, pledged allegiance to the Basileus of Constantinople. In return they gained some land across the black sea in modern day Crimea. This land could have overlapped with the land of the Crimean Goths. This is the only possibility we have of West Germanic settlers in the Crimea, while German settlers from Transylvania could also be a possibility, there at least is no historical data to back it up (although to be honest, there isn't a lot of historical data to back up this either.)

Finally, although this was past Busbecq's time, another infusion of Saxon/Low German settlers could have happened during during the reign of Catharine the Great when thousands of Germans had migrated to the Black Sea area and the Crimea. Additionally, we can assume the Crimean Goths of old did not die out but rather merged into these population groups.

Of course, this all assumes we want to recreate Crimean Gothic instead of the original idea of Gothic in the Dobruja, which needs not to be influenced by German at all, and could be directly sourced from Biblical Gothic if we want. Of course fortifying the Goths with German settlers from the west could be as well as possibility here. I think the first order of priority is getting a list of sound changes down. This source has actually been helpful on that end.

I don't have the name of Ganina's book, I reckon though it is cited and sourced by the Oxford Grammar which I can check later.
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Re: Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by dva_arla »

Just loaded Wilhelm's, Wright's and Miller's grammars! I've just managed to take peeks at Miller's (the cream of its cake indeed!) but will do at others given the... will to do so.

Fine website you've made there, I must say. How did you manage to create it?

Now on to business---

Established sound changes so far

No umlauts!
e: > i
o: > u
Word-final devoicing
Still got no idea on what to do with the dental-affricates..

Declensions

Note: An (intentional) quirk in Dobrogean ortography: the schwa is written a only at the absolute end of a word; elsewhere it is written e.

Strong (m-n-f)
levs 'bread' (brod refers to the fancy croissants that the "Saxons" eat)
jadd 'egg'
buka 'book'

Nom: levs leves // jadd jadda // buka bukes
Acc: lev levens // jadd jadda // buka bukes
Gen: levs levi // jadds jaddi // bukes* buki
Dat: leva levemma // jadda jademma // buki bukemma

All nouns of the -u and -i declensions merged into any one of the above based on their genders. Feminines of the latter declensions in particular may either append an -a or shift their gender (in order to match the patterns established).

luva 'glove'
oga 'eye'
mira 'ant'

Weak (m-n-f)

Nom: luva luvens // oga ogena // mira mirens
Acc: luven luvens // oga ogena // miren mirens
Gen: luvens luveni // ogens ogeni // mirens mireni
Dat: luven luvemma // ogen ogemma // miren miremma

(These could use some mergers, replacements, innovations, &c.)

*buks (in analogy with the gen.sgs of the other genders) or bukes (analysed buka-s)?
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Re: Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by Ælfwine »

dva_arla wrote: 20 Jan 2021 09:59 Just loaded Wilhelm's, Wright's and Miller's grammars! I've just managed to take peeks at Miller's (the cream of its cake indeed!) but will do at others given the... will to do so.

Fine website you've made there, I must say. How did you manage to create it?
You can request Miraheze for your own wiki.
Now on to business---

Established sound changes so far

No umlauts!
e: > i
o: > u
Word-final devoicing
Still got no idea on what to do with the dental-affricates..
Paraphrasing Stearns...

In final position and before voiceless consonants PGmc *đ merges with *t. Elsewhere *đ becomes *d. These changes can be summed up as:

ð > t / _#
ð > t / _C[-voice]
ð > d (some early θ also becomes ð > d in unstressed positions)

Again this does not explain why *stađiz turns up as <statz>, unless <tz> here represents an actual affricate (but then why is not written <statsch>?) S apparently reconstructs this word with a voiceless fricative instead of a voiced one.
Declensions

Note: An (intentional) quirk in Dobrogean ortography: the schwa is written a only at the absolute end of a word; elsewhere it is written e.

Strong (m-n-f)
levs 'bread' (brod refers to the fancy croissants that the "Saxons" eat)
jadd 'egg'
buka 'book'

Nom: levs leves // jadd jadda // buka bukes
Acc: lev levens // jadd jadda // buka bukes
Gen: levs levi // jadds jaddi // bukes* buki
Dat: leva levemma // jadda jademma // buki bukemma

All nouns of the -u and -i declensions merged into any one of the above based on their genders. Feminines of the latter declensions in particular may either append an -a or shift their gender (in order to match the patterns established).

luva 'glove'
oga 'eye'
mira 'ant'

Weak (m-n-f)

Nom: luva luvens // oga ogena // mira mirens
Acc: luven luvens // oga ogena // miren mirens
Gen: luvens luveni // ogens ogeni // mirens mireni
Dat: luven luvemma // ogen ogemma // miren miremma

(These could use some mergers, replacements, innovations, &c.)

*buks (in analogy with the gen.sgs of the other genders) or bukes (analysed buka-s)?
I really like the orthographical quirk you've included here. I might use it for my own romanization of CrG if you don't mind.

The form "jadd" for egg (CrG *ada*) also interests me. Wouldn't it be jaddi (c.f. *addi < possibly earlier *addją)

Personally, I'd make an exception here and go with bukas to differentiate it from the accusative and nominative bukes. Assuming it is analyzed as two components buka and the clitic s.

(As for me, I ended up merging the nominative and accusative into a general "nominative" case and the genitive and dative into a "oblique" case.)
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Re: Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by dva_arla »

Ælfwine wrote: 21 Jan 2021 21:48
Again this does not explain why *stađiz turns up as <statz>, unless <tz> here represents an actual affricate (but then why is not written <statsch>?) S apparently reconstructs this word with a voiceless fricative instead of a voiced one.
Perhaps <statz> did turn out to end in an affricate. There are many more glaring idiosyncracies in Busbecq's Letters. Blame poor 16th century manuscripting..
I really like the orthographical quirk you've included here. I might use it for my own romanization of CrG if you don't mind.
Sure. If you'd not sooner-or-later find it overwhelming...

The form "jadd" for egg (CrG *ada*) also interests me. Wouldn't it be jaddi (c.f. *addi < possibly earlier *addją)
<ada> and <fyder> tells me that <d>s (and by extension, all stops) followed by glides become geminated, with the glide then eliding. I wanna make eating 'maccien' though...
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Re: Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by dva_arla »

I have decided to stick to Stern on the dentals; save that θr > tr (breaking with Crimean θr > dr)

Numbers:

1 itėn
2 tva
3 trija
4 fidder
5 finf
6 sejs
7 siven
8 ata
9 nina
10 tina
11 tinitėn 12 tinetva 13 tinetrija &c.
20 stiga
30 tritina
40 fiddertina (coll: fittina / tvast'en) &c.
100 sunta ( < Thracian) / kate ( < Mariupoli) ?
1000 illa / scilla ?
myriad / 'gazillion' : tintend

Another note on orthography: PGmc. *sk > Dobrogean <sc>, which may be realised /ɕk~ɕt~ɕ/ depending on topolect.
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Re: Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by dva_arla »

I've been thinking of shifting the nom.pl of the strong masculine declension from -es > -ens, thereby merging it with the accusative. Reasons (and justifications) for doing so are:

- The strong masculine is the only declension that distinguishes the nominative and accusative in the plural.
- Inserting a nasal 'infix' into the plural (-s > -ns) is as simple a step as a habit can afford.

What do you think?

Or insert the same nasal onto the fem acc.pl instead (-s > -ns), so as to bring the masculine and feminine declensions into more symmetry with each other? Hmm..
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Re: Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by Ælfwine »

What i did was remove the -ns element from the accusative plural entirely to differentiate the two.

C.f.. "fers" man:

Nom: fers feres
Acc: fer fera
Gen: feras fera
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Re: Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by Zythros Jubi »

Long time no see! Recently I'm going to make a Sinosphere Altaic language (perhaps Mongolic or Para-Mongolic, geographic position or history uncertain).
Lostlang plans: Oghur Turkic, Gallaecian Celtic, Palaeo-Balkanic
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Re: Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by dva_arla »

Maybe somewhere in Shaanxi? You could try to 'revive' Tangut, while you're at it.
Zythros Jubi wrote: 01 Feb 2021 08:50 Long time no see!
Trying to set my mind right-- I hope sloth and binge don't get the better of me!

I have decided that the latter option would be the more likely of the two, since it would bring about a 'widening' of expression (wtf am I trying to say?) by bridging in further between the nominative and accusative cases.
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Re: Modern Danubian Gothic Scratchpad

Post by dva_arla »

On to verbs:

The conjugation in Crimean Gothic has somewhat simplified from its predecessors, the endings of its personal desinence having been lost in all three persons of the singular (ich maltatha, tzo/ies varthata, iel vvurt; but kilemschkop?); a curious development for a language surrounded by languages that do have well-developed by person (Romanian, Greek, the Slavic languages). Either this was indeed the truest state of affairs in the Crimean Gothic or Busbecq times, or that the Greek he had chance to interview hadn't good command of the language he was supposed to attest for the records. Anyway Danubian Gothic being an entirely different language (a hypothetical one, to wit) we are at liberty to ascribe any features to it we will. But... I do still hold my reserve and would like to know what you think.
CG Kilemschkop is glossed as a 2nd pers. imperative, but could represent a 1st pers. pl. form. Final -emsch in CG *Kilemsch might be connected with the 1st pers. p1. endings OHG -ames, -emes found in the present indicative, optative, and imperative...
but how did the extension -es came to be attached to the inherited -em- though? A clitic of some kind? This form, if it indeed turns out to be a 1st pl., could attest that some form of personal desinence did indeed persist in Crimean, albeit to a much more limited scope.

As goes tense and aspect: I can fix for Dobrogean two of the former (present and past) and two of the latter (infinitive and subjunctive). The subjunctive in Dobrogean is tenseless and derives from the preterite subjunctive of 'Old' Gothic. The future tense is formed from either wi'n or gan + the subjunctive, a feature drawn over from the Balkan sprachbund. I still have reserves on whether to carry thence as well the 'have' perfective.
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