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Re: Tell your conlang story!

From:James W. <emindahken@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 22:16
On Feb 27, 2006, at 3:53 PM, Monica Byrne wrote:
> > > Here are a few questions to get you thinking: > > 1) How did you get in to conlanging? What was your inspiration? >
Like a lot of others, I was first interested in languages: I took German in High School, spent 2 years in Honduras and Belize and learned Spanish and a small amount of Belizean Creole, took 2 semesters of Russian during a summer, and 2 semesters of French as part of my Doctorate degree. Different alphabets have always been interesting, perhaps fueled by a couple of books my parents had that were in the Deseret Alphabet (which I could read at one point). I had read Tolkien as a youth, and was aware of his languages, but it was Esperanto that got me really interested in creating languages. Once I started my own first language, I left Esperanto behind.
> 2) What is your purpose in creating languages? Is it a personal > art, an anthropological experiment, a pasttime...?
The first language I worked on, Orêlynna, was a personalang, intended to have a "pleasant" phonology conducive to singing. (I'm a composer by training and avocation.) I haven't done anything with it for a long time. My second language, emíndahken, is currently on hold, due to Real Life, but it is for a conculture who may eventually find their way into a story idea I have.
> > 3) How have people reacted when you tell them about it?
My wife and kids are the only ones who know. My wife chalks it up to "another creative idea" that I have (too many of...). My oldest son, age 8, has played with creating a language also, with his 5 year old brother. Other than that, I don't tell anyone.
> > 4) Did conlanging lead you places you never expected it to take you?
A lot more understanding about linguistics than I would have otherwise. It has also helped shape the conculture of the story I want to write: emíndahken is very much influenced by Native American languages-- particularly Navajo-- and that has led me to "adopt" and "adapt" ideas from Native American cultures as well. All of that I would never have learned without the language creation.
> > > If you have any stories for me in these veins, please let me know! > You can contact me at, or (919) 445-9245. I'm > really looking forward to hearing from you!
Good luck with the radio show! I'd be interested to hear it (online-- I'm in Texas :) ) James Worlton


Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>