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Re: Calling all Conlangers!

From:Elliott Belser <renyard@...>
Date:Monday, January 21, 2002, 2:43
>Why study natlangs, other than for severely practical reasons, >after all? (Why study Latin nowadays, e.g., when it can >neither help you buy cattle in Rome nor get you into the >civil service?) For two reasons, I believe: to gain access >to a literature, and to learn something about a people, >specifically about the way they saw themselves and their environment. > >Now the second consideration can hardly apply to any conlang, >art- or aux-, and the first can apply only to a tiny minority. >There is no doubt E-o poetry that one must study E-o to understand, >and if one learns Sindarin, there are a dozen or so works of >JRRTs that become open to one. But neither of these are to be >compared to what one gains access to by learning Apache or >Navajo or Hixkaryana.
True... on the other hand, an artlang created for a race MUST by definition describe the worldview of that race. For example, English has no words for female sexuality that aren't insults, and too many words for it that ARE to count. Ng'anda has one insult of that kind specifically for women (Gainag) and anya'sarha is roughly 'sexy' but you can only say that to a woman. The male equivalent is arhar'sarha. Granted that Sindarin, and Quenya, and D'ni and Klingon and what have you are not as deep as a 'real' language. But they are worthy of serious study too. If nothing else D'ni should be studied for how well it emulates a very, VERY old language - I mean, the D'ni letters have been WARPED from their first incarnations as numbers. Atlantean from the Disney movie is supposed to be the precursor to Latin and SOUNDS like it! Klingon is a celebration of really weird, alien grammar. Sindarin and Quenya are meant to be aethetically beautiful, and so on. They aren't 'real' languages but they certianly reflect the author and a hell of a lot of lingustic talent. Mi'am'fakar'sofii.


John Cowan <cowan@...>
Chris Palmer <cecibean@...>