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Re: Conlanging in Gullivers Travels- Jonathan Swift

From:Heather Rice <florarroz@...>
Date:Friday, January 4, 2002, 16:41
Hey, I'm just now reading that book!  I too noted the
conlangs, althought my commentary said that Swift just
invented the words in the book and no other elements
of a conlang, unlike Tolkien, i.e. no syntax,
phonology, etymology, etc.

> For starters, the language of Laputa (the flying > island) was said by Gulliver to sound a lot like > Italian. The island hovers over a continent near to > Japan, and its language focuses primarily on the > concrete.
I am right in the middle of this section. If I recall correctly, didn't Gulliver say he was glad he had the mathematical ability that he did because it made his language aquisition easier? I don't remember correctly and I don't have the book here with me. Regardless, the Laputians were obsessed with astronomy and music, so I doubt that they would tolerate many irregularities or broken rules in their language. Swift was no conlanger (in my opinion), nor was he a conculterer. The cultures he invented were satires on English politics at the time. Would this affect the language? Could you perhaps follow Swift's train of thought and make the Laputian conlang a satire on English? Just ideas. Heather Iofrus d'Gulivr = Gulliver's Travels __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Send your FREE holiday greetings online!