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CHAT: a conlang of my very own :) (was: Re: unsubscribing)

From:Stephen DeGrace <stevedegrace@...>
Date:Friday, May 31, 2002, 5:58
--- In conlang@y..., Dan Jones <dan@F...> wrote:
> Dear all, > > Since I subscribed two years ago, conlang has become
more and more
> concentrated on odd natlang features and phonetic
thoery. Since neither of
> these really interest me and the load of messages
has become nearly
> unmanageable, I'm going to unsubscribe. If for any
reason anyone needs or
> wants to contact me my adress is dan@f...
I wanted to make a comment on this... what you say about traffic resonates with me, I don't have the time and energy to read conlang myself, so I skim it and follow threads I find interesting or useful. In order for me to follow Conlang _completley_ it would need to be my only list. I get the digest, and I scan it on the Yahoo site. Being a new person myself, I can't say as I ever got the chance to know you, but I know what it's like to move on from lists. Good luck, and hopefully you'll find your way back here some time :). At the same time, the natlang and phonology discussions are tremendously interesting and useful, _I_ think. To _me_ they have direct bearing on conlanging, critical bearing in many senses, because they expand your horizons, and give you an idea of what is reasonable for a human language, based on the sort of things that exist and how frequent they are and how they are usually instantiated, and also give you ideas for where you might explore divergences. I can and do get a fair bit from books, but it's walways interesting to see what people have to say. It's just my view, but I think a study of natural languages is essential in this art, and that conversely part of the point of this art is as a means to study natural languages from a new perspective! Still, as some little currents seem to suggest, maybe some kinds of traffic will get siphoned off elsewhere... the natural history of mailing lists in an environment of nearly infinite "resources" (because Yahoo and Topica and whatnot is giving it away from free) is a very interesting study :). I'm pondering starting a new conlang. I'd be writing it strictly to fit in, of course, to be part of the "in" crowd, to be accepted by the "cool" people (can I hang out with you guys!? huh!? can I!? lol) you know how that goes... ;) but since I seem to need a "reason", however preposterously flimsy, to maintain my interest in any project, that will do :P. I've batted around a couple ideas. One project I thought of an rejected would be code-named "Perversian". The idea would be to think carefully on what features people find most risible and offensive and unnatural in languages, what attracts the most scorn and frustration directed at natlangs (and con-IALs) and try to incorporate as many as possible of them into the language, to create a conlang designed to be universally offensive and grate on people's nerves. It would need to be fairly English, "English native-speaker bias" always seems to get people's backs up somehow. One would have to be careful to promote it using irritatingly chipper superlatives and and tout its most hideous design flaws as genius. For example, like when Esperantists go on about "viro/virino", "patro/patrino" and the supersigned letters, as _selling points_ of the language, instead of the embarrassing and even grating flaws that they are in terms of con-IALitude. *shudder*... like fingernails on a chalk board. But then I said "nah", better not go there, although I might wind up putting some Perversian features in unintentionally. The main reason is that I kinda suspect it's nearly impossible to design a really offensive language unless you try and sell it as an IAL, in which case it becomes very generally Perverse no matter what you do ;). *No* thank you, con-IALs are fun to discuss as an exercise in intellectual masturbation (isn't that what we're doing anyway? And what's wrong with masturbation hehe...), I had a rather enjoyable run over in the Auxlang list recently, and I'm actually learning some Esperanto, but you'd never catch me selling one of the things. _Making_ one for fun, yes, especially if it was intended to be a fictional interlang or to explore ideas, but _selling_ one, no. The market's just not there. So, anyway, that leads me back to square one. I'm not going to try and instantiate Talíwàn (dammit, now how would I do the subsigns for stress in ASCII anyway? :) ), I still don't know enough to be able to do it, I only know things _about_ the language, and a few vocab items, mainly from place names ("kad" is forest, "sen" is lake, "slár" is river, "baln" is sea, "at" is sun, "dáká" is something like "salty", "um" unstresed is a magnifying suffix, "an" as a stressed suffix means "new", prefix "aí-" indicates clan affiliation, prefix "vo-" means daughter-of followed by your mother's given name, prefix "va-" means "son-of", also followed by your mother's given name, "das" means "to rest", "og" is a root with a meaning something like "govern"... "ogaírà", emphasis on second syllable, is province, only I don't know _exactly_ what it's component parts mean!! and on it goes like that...). It might start getting put together some day, but I won't start unless and until I _know_ it's ready to come out right. I got an idea tonight for a feature I _will_ try and build in and explore in my please-won't-you-let-me-play-with-you-huh-guys-can-I?!? lang. That is I notice, or think I notice, that people seem to have a preference for sensible orthographies. I want to make a language that is not conducive to a sensible phonemic spelling system and is more easily represented by one that does funky irregular shit. Every other language I've worked on in one way or another had phonemic-y alphabets. I have an idea that some languages, say German, are well-ish suited to those, but some, like Gaelic, or French (?) have a natural affinity to crazed orthographies. Obviously this is a flagrant and gross generalisation - I'm not sure about it, it's just a thought. I'm turing over in my head reviving a past experiment that took steps down those lines... Like millions of others, I have my pet revised English orthography, mine based on the most perfect dialect of English, that spoken by educated speakers in the Maritime provinces of Canada ::ducks:: ;). This was based on a couple prejudices of mine... one is that I figure it's a sin we don't have a more phonemic alphabet, and another is that I think we need a whole pile of new letters. Hër Aë røët (not ðe Kænädëæn vauwel räzing :) ) søm tekst in maë prsønæl orþagræfë... ðe coëßes øv letrs mäk no kläms tu inhärent supërëoritë øv enë sort ænd ar æ kambinäxøn "artistik" ventyur ænd øltimætlë _orþogræfikæl_ (if ðæt emfæsis mäks senß - søm dësizhøns an speling wr mäd an haëlë flipænt kraëtërëæ...) reprëzentäxøn øv maë nätiv daëælekt, ðe most prfekt form øv Inglix ðæt hæz evr egzisted ;) ;). I rot al maë prsønæl læb nots ðis wäy :). Aend hyr iz soem riten in dhe daygraefikael vaariaent oev dhe skript... :P Anyway, I want to try swinging in a different direction somehow, or maybe at the same time take some of the ideas in my crazed little spelling scheme for English farther... I want to know how the lang is really pronounced but _write_ it to work with what its speakers _think_ about it as opposed to the way it really behaves. That may sound like a really superficial consideration, but it's actually what I feel intuitively is my "in" for a more comprehensive project. If I ever start putting something concrete together, I'll definitely get back to ye :). Thanks for putting up with my musings :). Stephen ______________________________________________________________________ Find, Connect, Date!


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