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Lunatic Survey (

From:R. Skrintha <srik@...>
Date:Sunday, October 4, 1998, 15:30
Hi, Sally & others,

Sorry for my delayed response, as am really busy these days. I apologize
to those whose private/public msgs i haven't yet been able to reply.

Try to stay awake as you read on!

Sally Caves wrote:-

> THE SURVEY: > 1) To what extent is your conlang an "intensely peersonal" > pursuit--one that you don't often reveal to people other than conlangers?
No, my attitude towards my conlangs Ln and Hambhukringki is not such that i wdn't want to reveal it to others. I don't often talk about it because it often happens that there are other things to talk about.
> 2) If so, to what extent do you feel that the listserv "Conlang" > has given you a _raison d'etre_ for > a) pursuing your invented language > b) making it public? >
As to (a): i shd have been conlanging even if i hadn't discovered CONLANG. But an urge to (try to) tidy up loose ends, and a general sense of urgency/seriousness set in after discovering the listserv. But importantly, my knowledge of formal linguistics, which was not much before joining the list, has improved. As to (b): Not exactly yes: but i always tend to mention CONLANG when i speak to anyone about my conlanging!
> 3) How many of you, in mentioning your conlang to an > acquaintance, received a belittling reply? Condescension? Disapproval?
Fortunately none so far!
> 4) How many of you are: > 4a) What is your profession, or your desired profession?
Just submitted my PhD thesis. Hope i get a profession (in Physics)! :)
> 5) How many of you have invented a language because > a) you are solely interested in language experiments > and linguistics? > i) for personal experiments... > b) you are interested in world-building > i) for fiction > ii) for role-playing and other social activities > iii) just for your own amusement?
Very much 5a! Ln is an experiment in humanly-possible compression of linguistic expression (fairly straighforward). Hambhukringki is an experiment, in a sense, of the mind. I would like to understand whether the conventional basic (the details need not be universal) worldview of humans of thinking of the world in terms of actors, actions, qualities, relations, as suggested by the structure of our languages, is a statement on the nature of physical Reality, or merely of human intuition. If the latter, then can intuition be trained to view the world in other ways, which can accordingly be reflected in a corresponding language? As to b), i) and ii): as crutches to justify an otherwise seemingly empty excercise. :)
> 5) How many of you take the time to learn another's conlang?
I am interested in phonologies and grammars, and do visit conlang URLs as time permits.
> 6) How many of you are women?
Hey, how did u find out that i am schizophrenic? :)
> 8) Which of you would give me permission to (or object to) my > mentioning your conlang and webpage (if any) at a convention, in an > academic article?
Sure, and thanks! Lin: ftp//: Hambhukringki: ftp//: The introductory URL is located at:
> 9) For how many of you is "exoticness" in your invented language > and absolute must? How many of you pursue more familiar models... and > why to both?
One project i had begun for the sake of exoticness, "Atlantika", was to have an ergative-trigger system. But i doubt that i will ever pursue it. Now i realize that it is important for me to have a specific design goal for a conlang. It is amazing what a smooth guiding principle it can be. For example, Lin/Ln is designed to maximize spatial compactness, even to the exclusion of aesthetic appeal! The end-result is a code-system that seems to be a bit exotic when analyzed with the usual linguistic terminology, a situation that led me to invent quite a few grammar words! Eg., "a cement" is a bi-valent morpheme, i.e, it binds to two words simultaneously; there's a "phonological ventriloquism"/"non-local phonology" whereby a letter at a given position can induce a sound at a position that does not spatially correspond to it.
> 9) FINALLY: what is the appeal of an invented language for you? > Wherein is its "sexiness"? Its spirituality? its sensuality? What keeps > you at it? How does it benefit you? Does it harm you? heal you?
Gosh, I think this is a very profound question, need to think about it! The simplest answer is that it allows me to immerse myself in a world of my own, a world that is not too physical to be disturbing, and might thus be a mild escape-mechanism from Real Life (and yet, come to think of it, this might not be the correct answer....) Regards, skrintha