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Most Beautiful Langs (was: favorite aspects of conlanging)

From:Christian Thalmann <cinga@...>
Date:Thursday, June 28, 2001, 23:18
David Peterson wrote:

> French I've always loved (my favorite sound is [Z]), but Hawaiian is my > favorite in every way.
I like neither French nor Hawai'ian much, but I agree wholeheartedly that /Z/ is the single most beautiful phoneme there is. That's why it abounds in Obrenje. =) As for nice-sounding natlangs... that's a difficult one. Most languages have something about their sound that I dislike. Slavic langs, for instance, have some really cool-sounding features (that I plagiarized for Obrenje... such as in /ObrE"naja/, /"prazna/ and /HiskatE"rOj/), but also ugly consonant cluster abominations and the "anesthesized tongue syndrome" (all vowels schwaified). English has a sick degenerated vowel system and a retroflex approximand r. Nuff said. ;-) Arabic sounds like the result of a bottle of tabasco flushed down with a bottle of Stroh rum. Heh, I'll post that in the EssentiaList. Nordic languages sound kinda goofy with all their umlauts and the bumpy stressing. French is inarticulate... all words are the same. Also, its phonemic horizon is even more of a jealous father that the English one is -- have you ever heard a Frenchman speak a foreign language? ;-) Italian has very pure phonemics, but is spoken too fast to be pleasant. Spanish has less pure phonemics and is spoken even faster. =\ Although I really like the dramatic timbre of Spanish. Japanese allows its native speakers no more than a dozen phonemes and a CV(n) syllable structure, which is why nobody understands their English. ;-) Chinese is tonal, so I have not the slightest chance to pronounce or understand any of it. =\ Khoisian langs are made for the specific purpose of making fun of my phonemic horizon. Latin is... well... dead. Otherwise, it's really really cool. Latin is my favorite. Oh, I nearly forgot German. Contrary to what appears to be a universally accepted opinion, I actually find High German (not the B-movie German, or Austrian, or Swiss-German) to be of a unique elegance, style and beauty. It's an acquired taste that you only get by really understanding German, i.e. growing up with it. I might be biased, though. (Note that High German is not my native tongue. That would be Schwiizertüütsch.) -- Christian Thalmann