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[Re: languages with soul]

From:Edward Heil <edwardheil@...>
Date:Friday, March 26, 1999, 19:44
Sally Caves <scaves@...> wrote:
Oh... I jumped to your defense, too.

--you sure did.  I hadn't read that yet when I responded.  Thanks. :)

Yes, I realize this, Edward; it's just that we had a *terrible* brouhaha =
toomany months ago about whether you could call the projects some of us w=
only exploring "languages."  I don't want to revisit that site of contest=

let's not anybody pursue it.

--Darn, that sounds like an interesting question!  How in the world would=
argue that?  Ah, I guess I'll have to read the archives on egroups.

Gosh, that's one of the nicest compliments anyone has ever given me. =

oooooold.  It goes back to my grammar school days, and I've given it a ch=
to percolate.  Edward, keep pursuing that other side of you that you want=
emerge.  I'm sure it has, and you haven't given it credit yet.  Tell me a=
your inventions.

--Well, I just got started with all this.  I put together a little chunk =
something for fun which I called Voorish (a word I stole from Lovecraft).=
was about an evening's work, but I didn't really want to continue it, I w=
to start again from scratch.  It was agglutinative, had four persons (1st=
2nd, 3rd proximate, and 3rd distal), and made consonant clusters with "f"=
way English does with "s".  A friend of mine looked at it and came up wit=
h a
really clever analysis of its historical linguistics.

The most interesting thing I've done in conlanging so far involved a publ=
fantasy roleplaying game called Talislanta (cf.  The=

designer of Tal, Stephen Michael Sechi, encourages fan contributions to h=
world in a big way.  Anyway, Tal has had virtually no conlanging done wit=
h it,
which is fine, because I am convinced that the main language of Talislant=
Talislan, is (and must be) English.  This is because there are a lot of
allusions, puns, and plays on English and other real-world words in
Talislanta, and it would just be silly if they weren't "really" there but=

arose only via the "assumed translation" of Talislan to English.

However, there is one language group that is mentioned in the description=
Talislanta which is obviously not English; it's Chana, spoken by a group =
jungle and island dwellers in the southeast corner of the continent.  I t=
ook a
dozen or so names in the Chana language and decided that they belonged to=

about four Chanan dialects, and decided that the "ba" in the name of the =
of "Batre" was the same as the "pa" in the isle of "Pana-Ku," and meant
"island," the "tre" in "Batre" was the same as the "dre" in "Mondre Khan"=
meant "folk," the "na" in "Nagra," "Pana-Ku," and "Chana" all meant "spir=
the "khan" in "Mondre Khan" was the same as the "Chan" in "Chana" and mea=
"fierce," and so on.  It was amazing how much significance I could mine o=
ut of
a series of names which I am sure were just made up out of whole cloth!  =
educational -- I'll never look at a dicey linguistic reconstruction quite=
same way...

The linguistics of these onomastic languages were improbable in the extre=
in retrospect -- Chanan has no fricatives, except for one of its dalects,=

Sawila, from the island of Fahn (the "fa" in "Fahn" is the same as the "p=
from "Batre" and "Pana-Ku") -- where all of the stops have changed comple=
into fricatives!

But then, Talislanta is full of improbable things, and the Sawila are suc=
h an
unusual folk that if anyone in the world was going to have a stop-free
language, it would be them.

So, that's what I've done so far. :)  I want to make up another language,=

"atlantean," or something like that, but I haven't really been able to ge=
started.  I keep trying to make up the phonology and not being pleased wi=
what I've got.  I want to get a copy of Comrie's _The World's Major Langu=
and look at a bunch of different arrays of phonemes so I have something t=
start from, but I can't afford it right now and probably won't be able to=
some time.


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