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Re: Conlanging with constraints

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Sunday, February 17, 2008, 8:59
On 16.2.2008 Sai Emrys wrote:
 > How have you experienced your conlanging as being
 > influenced (for better or for worse) by constraints
 > imposed upon it, of whatever source? What constraints do
 > you have, and whence derived? Why have you imposed them?
 > What constraints have you considered trying?

The most pertinent example in my conlanging is the
constraint of "naturalism" I impose on my historical
conlanging: I want structures and the processes through
which they arise to be plausible for a natlang.

Against this practice may be argued that I only take bits
and pieces, and especially sound changes, that are attested
in natlangs and put them together in ways that may not be so
novel, and even repetitive.

In favor of the practice may be said that my historical
conlanging is in a sense explorative of what may happen in a
natlang, but is not necessarily attested, since "plausible"
not always means "attested": I may well introduce a sound
change which to me seems phonetically plausible although
I've never come across it in a natlang, or break some
universal if I can come up with some 'story' how it might
arise in a naturalistic way in a naturalistic language.

One example is the rather restrictive phonotactics and root
structure rules of Kijeb, which originally were an aesthetic
choice, but which I later felt I needed to come up with a
story to explain as naturalistically plausible. See




I still have no really satisfactory explanation for all the
root structure constraints, although dissimilation may
probably explain most.

/BP 8^)>
Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se
   "C'est en vain que nos Josués littéraires crient
   à la langue de s'arrêter; les langues ni le soleil
   ne s'arrêtent plus. Le jour où elles se *fixent*,
   c'est qu'elles meurent."           (Victor Hugo)