Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

a 12th century conlang

From:sidonian <sidonian@...>
Date:Friday, March 19, 1999, 16:51
Hi you guys

(you guys =3D non-gender specific 2nd person plural pronoun ;-)

I always run into the "ask-a-linguist" archives whenever I'm
searching for arcane information on the 'net.  Anyway,  something
I read in one of these messages intrigued me.

"...the only other language constructed by a woman was the one
from Hildegard of Bingen..."
-- Suzette Haden Elgin (apparently)

Has anyone heard of this medieval conlang?  I'm a bit of a fan
of Hildegard Von Bingen and I had never heard of her
inventing a language before.  Does anyone have any idea
where I could find out more about it?  It would be fascinating
to see what it was like.  I've done a seach of the conlang
archives.  Hildegard von Bingen seems to have been
mentioned twice but I couldn't find any real discussion of
her conlang work.

Not wishing to quote anyone out of context, I have copied the
entire message below:


To: Ryan <cphillips@...>, Ask A Linguist <ask-ling@...>
     Subject: Re: L=B7adan , secret languages, the dominant gender
     From: (George Elgin, Suzette Haden Elgin)
     Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 07:57:55 -0500

> >From: Ryan <cphillips@...> > >In case you don't know, L=B7adan is a created language by an author to >express the world through the woman's eyes with a woman's language. It >(L=B7adan) also expresses everything peculiar or that which is seen as >peculiar to her (the Woman) because the Man has been the dominant one, >and lots of things are not named in most or all of the modern languages >around the world. My question is, Are there any other such languages? >and Were there any cultures in the world where the woman was dominant? >Were there ever any secret languages to express what the men (the >masculine, but submissive ones) saw, heard, or felt from their point of >view in these cultures? > Thanks, > A curious Man
I do know about Laadan, yes. So far as I know, the only other language constructed by a woman was the one from Hildegard of Bingen, and we know very little about that one. There have been hundreds of other constructed languages, however, constructed by men, with a multitude of different motivations and purposes. If you do an Internet search for "constructed languages" (or "artificial languages" or "auxiliary languages") it will take you to the "conlang" and "auxlang" lists, which are devoted specifically to this topic; you'll find material in abundance. Finally, t= he question of whether there have been cultures dominated by women is a matt= er of controversy -- but not a question for linguists. That one should be tried with historians, anthropologists, and feminists. Suzette Haden Elgin *** P.S. Hi, it's me again ;-) I hope our fellow listers will excuse the reference to Laadan as the *onl= y* other language constructed by a woman. This is obviously very untrue. I thought S.H. Elgin *was* the creator of Laadan? Funny that she would speak of it as if it was merely something that someone else had created and that she merely happened to know a little about it. smw