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"Usefull languages"

From:Florian Rivoal <florian.rivoal@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 12, 2002, 21:53
Hi every one

When it comes to conlanguing, I think it is very usefull to have a large knowledge
about natlangs. It woudl like to know what language you think is usefull to
know. Not if it is spoken by many people or any thing like this. I
mean Languages that are exotic enough to make you think about features that tdo not
exist in your mother language, and that could be usefull for conlaging. I will
start with my own list of languages I know, and what i like
them ofr

*Japanese for :
 sound symbolism the phonology of a word has an influence on its meaning,
therefore, this language is incredibly rich in onomatopoeia
 sentence-final particles some small words placed at the en of the sentence can
give a special conotation (assertion, interogation, demand of confirmation,
virility/feminity ...)
 degrees of politness the japaese languages has many different levels of
politness expressed as welll with lexical devicees as with gramatical ones
 the writting system though it is a bit hard and very long to learn, once you
can handle it, it prooves VERY efficient.

*Vietnamese for:
 A very unusual (at least for me) phonetic system. I didn't know so many
different sound existed! There are tones too.
 The pronoum system is mixed with the words for Mr. Miss... as well as with
mother father brother grand-mother.... makning very interestng things when
trying to adress peple "hello you" "Hello Mr." and "hello
brother" being the same sentence.

*Chinese for:
 ambivalence of word, being sometimes verbs, noums or anything else according
to the position in the sentence
        writting system which is the best exemple of (nearly) pure ideographic system.
        the very-simple-but-still-efficient-grammar.

        does not bring much to a french speaker, the too languages are too close

        well, you all know about this one

        powerfull wordbuilding
        well, i don't like german too much.

        Wonders of a complex orthograph  :)
        I can not tell much about what unusual in french, since it sounds usual to me.

I probably missed features I found iteresting when I came across them, but
that's all I can think of know (I could talk for hours about the wonders of the
japanese language, but that is an other story). If some of you have
question about things I mentionned above, I can give further details.

Please tell me what you think interstng in nat langs you know.



Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Aidan Grey <grey@...>
Herman Miller <hmiller@...>