|From:||Ivan Baines <kinetic_wab@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, February 27, 2005, 23:25|
I've been meaning to make this post since I joined. Sorry
about the delay!
This is basically an introduction to my language, "kontaxta".
First of all, an explanation of the name. "Taxta" means
"speech, language", and "kon" is quite simply a transliteration
of the prefix "con-" in "conlang". So "kontaxta" can be
thought of as meaning "'con' lang". :-)
This isn't just laziness on my part, though. There's a reason
for it. Now, I'm not really interested in the conculturing side
of things, but shortly after I began work on the (then unnamed)
language, I had the idea for a work of fiction, in which a
"conculture" is actually created as an (obviously illegal and
unethical) experiment - a micro-civilisation raised from infancy,
totally under the influence of its founders, speaking a conlang
and ignorant of the real world. (Someone's gonna tell me this
has been done before, aren't they. :-( )
Anyway, while it wasn't originally intended as such, kontaxta is
supposed to be the language spoken by this fictional artificial
conculture. As such, it's supposed to be *a fictional conlang*.
(A conconlang, if you like!)
The reason for taking the "kon" prefix from English rather than
using a native equivalent should be obvious: the speakers don't
realise that they're in a conculture. If the very name of their
language suggests "artificial" or "constructed", they're gonna
wonder why. However, to them, "kon" is nothing more than the
name identifying their civilisation. They speak kontaxta, they
write in konsakala, they are konteula.
Anyway, that's the justification for the name. The language
is mostly pretty independent of all that stuff though; it's not
something I really think about.
I've tried inventing languages on a number of occasions before,
with varying (but always low) degrees of success. This is because
I always wanted it to be perfect, elegant, ideal, or whatever.
However, since this always required a huge pile of work and
planning before the actual fun started, these langs pretty much
never got anywhere.
Then one evening roughly 6 months ago, I decided to do something
I'd not done before: an impromptu "translation" into a "language"
made up on the spot. I combined a couple of words from recent
conlanging efforts, mangled and vowel-modified some words nicked
from natlangs, and fitted them into some random kind of grammar
structure that happened to come to mind at the time. The result
was the first text in primitive kontaxta. Anyway, I don't know
why, but I did more and more of these little translations of
small passages, sentences, verses, etc., into this "language"
that didn't exist yet. Each one required the invention of new
vocabulary, and contained new English grammatical features that
needed equivalents (or alternatives, or workarounds). Most
significantly, each one tended to change something about the
rules or vocab already established, and thus previous texts all
became outdated. :-)
Right, that's about all I have to say. Sorry this post has been
so long! To round off, here's a recent attempt at the Babel text,
accompanied by a recording (though the recording will only be up
for a few days I'm afraid, due to various reasons).
Oh, and a couple of notes: "erða" is, for some reason, the word
I've always used for "Earth". I have no idea where it came from -
some IE natlang or my own imagination? - but I always liked it
enough for it not to have been replaced yet. The word "babel" I
decided to include based on how it was spelt rather than how
it was pronounced. It could equally be included as "beibøl",
but that doesn't look as nice, right? :-)
1. ama eki erðate eni taxta ya kasi þenoa laasala.
2. axtala, esi ta kateanui vareten menu xinar arkote sinøtaqe terøðe na, ya
3. ta "komutai vekite ya asteliu ðaoþe he" tai taxtala. kortau komutaiqe ya
4. taxtala, "kovai ya kÿvakona komuðe he, kÿvakonali hÿti keltai sekte.
telanou he, eki erðali þextesta apirkoyuven nøðeu."
5. ama ekaðami teulali italaxa akomði kovaiqe ya kÿvakonaqe ðenen nøðeu
6. ekaðami taxtala, "ila teulana eniuye ya eni taxta tele, niko, ta hita
velavai ka eki nÿlaqe himenunui tai aqeudooyale ma."
7. "ta tali taxta korakapayuve na nøðeu vaulete ya taxta koranoe he."
8. ama ekaðami taqe hivekonui eki erðali þextesta pirøkala. ta kovaiqe
9. ekaðami hiveko eki erðali taxta koranoala vona, "babel"-u akellanoyala.
taqe hivekonui eki erðali þextesta pirøkala.