Re: CONLANG Digest - 4 Oct 1998 to 5 Oct 1998
|From:||Sally Caves <scaves@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, October 8, 1998, 5:15|
> On Tue, 6 Oct 1998 13:17:46 -0500, "Sheets, Jeff" <JSheets@...>
> > Surveys have
> >run rampant recently, here's a three question survey. Would you
> >consider the term "Bizarre" as a reasonable adjective to describe the
> >pastime of conlanging? Would you describe your conlang as bizarre?
> >What would you translate bizarre as in your language(s)?
I think that there are other pursuits that I would be more willing to call
"bizarre." I think spending years trying to make it into Guiness World
Records to be the fastest person to eat the most bananas, or the person
who can balance the tallest stack of drinking glasses on his chin for the
longest period of time and without protective eye goggles as bizarre
bordering on dangerous. There was a woman in Rochester who made it on the
local news as setting her cap for the Guiness World Records: she could
make the longest peel from one apple by keeping it thread thin. They
interviewed her. She's practiced for years. When I think of the time
that she has given to that when she could be painting or making
miniatures, or learning a new language, or visiting Stonehenge, I'm just
baffled, and what we do here seems less and less bizarre and more and more
in keeping with other artistic or intellectual pursuits.
No, my conlang is not bizarre. It's involved, though, and it has no one
to speak it save myself. An outsider might consider this to be as bizarre
as spending years of my life peeling ever thinner pieces of unbroken apple
core, but for me it has a life of its own as vivid as making a model
village. In fact, I attribute my great interest in miniatures to the same
impulse. I think it has to do as well with my fascination for robots,
automata, moving statues: I am fascinated with the simulacrum. The false
village, the false language, the false human, that tell us verities. And
if I have simulated a village or a language and put my own stamp of
originality on it, then that's an achievement. As for Teonaht? It's no
more bizarre than Welsh. To me, that is.
The word for "bizarre" could be rendered in Teonaht as _nyehra_,
"strange," _to dorifanrem_, "frightening," _gohheandyt_ "from the
wilderness," or _vovikkandyt_, "not from home."
These are epithets I would apply to anyone who calls me a lunatic
for inventing a language instead of balancing forks on my chin.
Rin euab ouarjo vopy vytssema tohda uo zef:
ar al aippara brottwav; ad kemban aril yllefo
brotwav fenom; vybbrysan brotwav an; he ad
edirmerem brotwav kronom.
"A cat and a man are not all that different.
Both are on my bed; both lay their head on their
arm; both have mustaches; both purr when they