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Re: Caryatic

From:J Matthew Pearson <pearson@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 18, 2001, 19:33
Justin Mansfield wrote:

> Matthais î gagarfa-ga: > > > I know Andrew Sihler somewhat, having taught at the University of > Wisconsin > > for a year. Although he was retired by that point, he took me out to > dinner > > a couple times. I found him very warm and thoroughly charming. Were > you a > > student and/or friend of his? Did he ever respond to your postcard? > > If he was retired it must have been relatively recently. Too bad I > had no idea who you were at the time ;) > I was at the University of Wisconsin-Madison classics department > from 96 to 98, at which point I got my M.A.
I taught in the linguistics department during the 1999-2000 school year. Summer of 1999 was the end of Andrew's tenure as department chair, at which point he more or less retired. I was actually hired specifically to teach his Historical Linguistics class--in spite of the fact that I knew very little about historical linguistics at the time (I still don't know all that much).
> I wrote him this postcard after taking one of his comparative IE > classes. And no, he never really responded to that one. I did eventually > provide him with the translation, but I never wrote up a report on it (I > had planned to write an analysis in the style of his own handouts). > Although Sihler's _New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin_ is a > wonderful resource for conlangers, he himself is not into constructed > languages. I once mentioned to him that someone I knew (specifically our > own Contrarian Conlanger Rakko) was constructing a new Romance Language, > he replied "Tell him to stop: we have too many already!" Consequently he > much prefered the next postcard I wrote him, which was in Old > Persian--he actually made an attempt at decyphering that one, but got > frustrated with the writing system and gave up.
He knew that I was a conlanger (I 'came out' to him about it at one of our dinners)--but, like most people, he expressed no particular interest in the details. Neither did he discourage me, though. There are plenty of conlangers in the linguistics field, most of them flying just below the radar.
> Anyway, if I had known abotu you I might have invited you to the > Mad Linguists' party I threw last summer. Professor Sihler did show, as > did Rakko (who was also the recipient of the second postcard in the > _Corupus Epistularum Caryaticarum_... I'll eventually post that too). I > served hors d'oeuvres made from genuine Ancient Roman recipes... no one > wanted to touch them ;)
Sounds interesting... Matt.


Thomas R. Wier <artabanos@...>"Coming out" about conlanging to people in Academia [was Re: Caryatic]