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A little entertainment

From:Adrian Morgan <morg0072@...>
Date:Sunday, March 19, 2000, 6:34
 <The entertainment promised in the header
  doesn't start for a couple of paragraphs yet ...
  be patient ...>

What with all the inspiration that comes from
discussing my language ideas with the group,
I've started working on it again, tidying up a
few details, changing things back and forth.

A couple of things: (1) Conjunctions - the model
I'm working on has different conjunctions
between adjectives, between nouns, and between
clauses. Is this a realistic idea or is it
overkill? (2) Relative clauses - I really want to
research this a bit more because it strikes me as
the hardest part of language building. All I
really know atm is what's in Mark R's construction
kit, and I definately need more info/ideas than
that. I have a basic model whereby the word that
introduces the subclause (a special class)
depends on whether it serves an adjective or
adverbial role, and whereby all words in the
inmost subclause start with capitals. But this
is very tentitive.

Now . . .

I've decided to share a few extracts from the
fantasy that I've used as a basis for some of
my language.


  The great wolf circled around him; teeth bare,
ears layed back. Ready to pounce. All the power
that Zerrakhi had held over the dead man, this
wolf now held over him.
  Trembling, Zerrakhi agreed to follow the
strange woman, knowing that his utmost priority
was to try and earn her trust. Her athletic form
was clothed in a skilfully tailored doeskin
costume, and most of her flesh was exposed to
the warm air. Yet more than anything his eyes
were drawn to the small, golden medallion she
wore around her neck. Looking at it with his
magic sight he could detect no dance of colours,
yet the inscription was in the ancient language
of the First Wizards. A language that had not
been used for centuries.


  Now he was here, in her home, not an
uncomfortable place in its way; cool, peaceful
and sheltered. He lay down. "Sharaki", the woman
had named her animal friend. It was a name
similar to his own - Zerrakhi, Explorer - but
perhaps this was not as surprising as it seemed.
Many things had told him that wizardry in some
form or other had often been tied up with the
affairs of this world. There was the raw
intensity of the magic, the shape of it
outlining the tragedies of the past. There was
the woman's medallion, it's etchings scribed in
the ancient language of his ancestors. Lastly
there was her reference to the "Magic Ones".
With all these influences, it was not
surprising that names on this world should
resemble those on his own. Yes, that seemed to
be the rational explanation.


  Every wizard knows that the correct response
to danger is caution, but for Zerrakhi, a single
ambition overpowered all of his other thoughts.
  In his journeys from place to place, world to
world, he frequently had cause to stand in awe
at reality's rich and varied wonders. But this
place, this was something more. The land in
which he now stood added a whole new dimension
to the concept of beauty. To stand back and look
in awe upon such a landscape could never be
enough when the very heart of it cried out from
within his mind. This was a beautiful land, but
it was also an injured one - and the wizard's
single desire was to play a part in its
  Oh that he might be given that opportunity!
To help rebuild a world whose beauty already
rose far beyond all his experience and to make
it twice as beautiful again! Behind the dull,
red glow lay a secret that might prove
invaluable on such a quest; Zerrakhi considered
it more than likely that this would be the case.
Thus he cast out his fear and walked toward the
cracks from which the strange, subterraneous
glow shone out, beckoning to him.
  What was that? Something pulling on his arm,
the one carrying the staff. Zerrakhi looked down
and saw nothing, but as he walked closer, the
uncanny force tugged all the more mightily,
stronger every moment, refusing to let go. With
both hands Zerrakhi gripped his staff, truing to
pull it away. His hands tightened all the more
as he fell off balance and his body was dragged
over the rough ground.
  His finger pushed into a sharp thorn. Yelping
with pain, the young wizard let go and watched
as his precious staff vanished into the depths
of the earth.

  In a second, the glow around the woman's
medallion became bright yellow, and then white,
and then it faded.


  "This is ... very good!", he exclaimed.
  Nainya nodded. "Aye, I found it thus myself in
times past. Now, traveller, thou must rest, but
otherwise thou mayst do as thou wilt."
  "I will ... tell you my thoughts", said
Zerrakhi, "She seems ... hesitant ... to allow me
to ... pursue the secrets of her medallion. The
language ... of its etchings is very old. It is
a language ... of my own world .. but few can
still speak it. I can recognise ... a few words
.. that is all. If I were to ... know ... the
inscription ... then I might ... find a clue ...
as to the solution of this ... land's condition.
There is ... a dictionary of that ancient
language ... it is on a shelf ... within my


And that's enough for now. Sequels by request.


  Many languages divide time into three parts -
  these being the present tense, the camping
  tents, and the very tense. Some controversy
  exists over whether these are all true tenses
  or whether some of them are moods. Special
  interjections usually indicate the last of
  the three.