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Re: Conlang Guilt

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Thursday, May 20, 1999, 8:07
Joe Mondello wrote:

> in a project I began yesterday, Purified Nzva, I feel it necessary to make > the genitive singular ending and the plural endings -s/-z/-es and -s/-z/-ez > respectively (varying as english does. After realizing that this is > painfully similar to their English correlaries and felt an almost > irresistable urge to change it to something more *exotic*. Have any of you > felt this need to intentionally steer away from the convention in natlangs > familiar to you? > > pacs precs
I'm four days behind, also four hundred messages behind, and I've been reading what others have said with interest. Teonaht has so much in its early development that was taken right out of either English or Spanish that I have become resigned to it. Yes, of course, I've deliberately tried to develop it away from common European models, but these developments have to be true to the language. What Teonaht looks like, to me, observing it as objectively as I can, is a reconstruction of the weirder aspects of English and German and Welsh. It has a lot of sort of "angular" sounds that I've combined with liquids: _telemak_, _trimbak_, _tekivar_, _tritarem_, very heavy on the initial or pen-penultimate stress. I don't know what I was self-consciously imitating. But certain unconscious resemblances to other well-known languages emerge and surprise me: Teonim. Meaning the people who inhabit Teon, and speak Teonaht. This seems to be an unconscious borrowing from Hebrew "seraphim," etc. Tekivar. "Hunter." the -yvar/ivar ending designates the agent of an action, but it sounds to me now like Kosovar. Altho' the T. would probably say _Kosovim_. Heljent. Adjective made from -ndi verb _heljjendi_, "be happy." It sounds latinate to me. Likewise, the nominalization: heljjendo, "a rejoicing," obviously influenced by the sound of that lovely construction in Latin: Carthago delenda est. While it might not copy the *meaning*, it copies the sound of languages I've studied and liked. S.C.