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Re: Esthetics

From:Joseph a.k.a Buck <zhosh@...>
Date:Sunday, January 30, 2005, 23:57
>How do you all determine the aesthetics of your conlangs? Do you have a >formal system of rules governing combinations of vowels, consonants, >diphthongs, etc. etc.? Or do you just go by "feel"?
For me, it depends on several things: If I'm trying to develop a descendant from a living or extinct nat-lang (I've done this only twice: one from Re n Kamt and one from Pali) I read as much as I can find about both formal and colloquial versions of the nat-lang, and try to apply natural phonetic and grammatical drifts. If I'm trying to develop a "unique" con-lang, I decide the physiology of those who would speak it as a nat-lang (lips, teeth, tongue, mouth-shape, etc. etc.), and catalogue the sounds they're most likely to make easily. I trim this catalogue guided by how difficult or easy I wish the language to be phonetically (e.g. if the language is capable of bilabial plosives, does it have just /p/ or /p/, /p_h/, and /p_>/) . Grammar further affects my choices in the phonetics of a con-lang. Finally, I worry about graphing it. Where I to rely solely on those sounds which are most sonorous to me, all of my con-langs would be agglutinating with /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/, /p/, /p\/, /k/, /K\/, /l/, /m/, /n/, /N/, /h/, /X/, /q/, /r/, /s/, /S/, /t/, /T/, /ts/, /tS/, /w/, /W/, /j/, /?/. Ultimately, is any of this totally void of my own inner aesthetics? I doubt it.