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Re: The difficulties of being more regular than Teonaht

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 1, 2004, 18:33
----- Original Message -----
From: "Christophe Grandsire" <christophe.grandsire@...>

I think the idea of limiting members to five posts a day is a good one, and
I wish we had adopted that policy earlier, especially as I look back on the
many times CONLANG crashed because it exceeded its daily limit.  It will
also force us to discriminate in our messages, I hope.

As for a critique of the seventeenth-century language philosophers, I had
actually intended this fantasy as a means of examining what an early
eighteenth-century Teonivar would find good or bad in his native language,
or what he might admire in other languages (perhaps even other "conlangs.")
:)   I'd be most interested in seeing that discussion you refer to about how
grammatical functions could be shown by changing the order of phonemes.  Who
came up with that idea?  Because that is precisely what Tisekifar was
intending to do with his language:  CVC would indicate nominalizations
whereas VCC or CCV would indicate other functions (he's not yet clear on
this).  The consonant group would unite related ideas, wherein the vowel
would be the changing factor.  Example:  FYP could mean "God"; PYF "God's
utterance."  YFP could be "God does" and YPF "God says.  FPY could be "in
Godly manner" and PFY "in Godly utterance."  FEP, then, could be "servant of
God":  PEF could be "homily"; EFP would be "interpret God's word" or
"preach"; etc.  God, as they say, is in the details, but its the concept,
rather than the details, that intrigues me.  I'm actually more interested in
producing "Menarilihs," a dialect of Teonaht.  But Teonaht is still so vast,
and so unfinished, that my major obsessions, perforce, remain with it.

Christophe elo krespr:
> > Interesting system. IIRC we were talking not too long ago about
> functions showed by changing the order of phonemes. You may want to look
> the archives... > > > > Similarly: pyf, fyp, yfp, pfy, fpy, ypf. etc. And of higher status
> > syt, etc., because labial. > > Our Ardran finds the lips superior to the tongue?
Definitely. But the tip of the tongue is superior to the epiglottis.
> > But there are groups of syllables that are "imperfect" because their > > consonants cannot be reversed in all cases: > > > > lyr, ryl ylr (bad-- requires a schwa between "l" and "r" or
> > lry, rly (bad), yrl. > > > > They require a schwa, which disrupts the "threeness" of the word:
> > or ylri; rily > > > > Even worse is "m" and "p": > > > > myt, tym, ymt, tmy, mty (bad), ytm (bad). > > Hehe, Arabic (with words like "ibn") would disagree, as I do ;)) . But I > see the point :) .
It tells you how the Teonaht regard consonant clusters. They are quite happy with most affricates and will tolerate them in initial positions (in ways that English won't: bva, pfa, tsa, , etc.,) and very closely related sounds (kfa, ksa, hla), but they consider the slightest movement between other places of articulation as indicative of an intervening schwa, so bn, pn, tn, bm, km, tm etc. are unacceptable initial or final clusters. But they argue over this, for after all there is sm in initial position. They would regard our word "spasm" as trisyllabic. But not "task." The "sp" consonant cluster is much argued over. Si- indicates a Nenddeylyt plural prefix, so pavar ("clam") is sippavar ("clams"). This is often spelled, though, as spavar in some circles. In other circles, Tisekify's name would be truncated to Tsekfy. But that sounds odd to him. He likes the four syllables.
> > This, of course, is a project I have no intention of pursuing in any
> > but I thought it funny!!! > > It would make a very interesting story for sure, and a nice critique of
> Universal Language movement of the 18th century ;))) .
Actually the dregs of the seventeenth century. I think by the early eighteenth, Sanskrit was described in detail by that Welsh scholar whose name I can NEVER remember because it's so bland (John Williams, William Jones, John Evans, William Evans, Evan Jones), along with his suggestion that languages developed from a common source instead of proceeding linearly.
> > I'm also working on a longish story (that I wrote when I was a kid)
about a
> > Teonaht werewolf. > > Interesting. I wonder if the fascination the Teonim have for cats will
> any influence on their behaviour with someone who transforms into
> related to dogs ;)) .
There is a strong wolf-cult (not surprising) among the Teonaht, as there is in so many cultures. The Lord of Wolves is the undisciplined god of battle. His counterpart, the Lady of Strategies is well-thought-out war. The Lady of Cats is the principle of common sense.
> > I'm getting more and more interested in web publishing > > and hyper- and intertexts, which work well for my on-line conlang stuff.
> > don't know when I'll have time for any of this, but it excites me. :)
> > thinking of getting a domain name and a site. Any suggestions? :) > > What would be the main theme of such a site? Or would it be general?
My Teonaht writings. I need a domain name, something to do with caves. "Teonaht" is too exotic and meaningless to most non conlang viewers.
> Anyway, please stay as long as possible, I rejoice in having you > participate again :) .
Why thank you, Christophe! Likewise! Sally