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Diachronic conlanging

From:Mark Jones <markjjones@...>
Date:Thursday, November 16, 2006, 8:22
Subject: Re: Diachronic conlanging; linguistics forums

On Tue, 14 Nov 2006 18:24:33 -0600, Eric Christopherson <rakko@...>
>Actually, I think it'd be really cool to "reverse engineer" a natlang >(or natural protolang) to create a conlang which could be its >parent. Has anyone attempted that?
Many times by many famous people. For instance, what else do you think "Proto-Indo-European" is? ******** Eldin is quite right that Proto-Indo-European (and any other Proto Language, for that matter) is essentially a bit of reverse engineering, via the techniques of comparative and internal reconstruction, though with a Conlang you would have complete control over the extent and quality of the data, so the challenges would be similiar in kind, but not in degree. And you don't have esteemed colleagues telling you you're wrong for perfectly good (but differently weighted) reasons. I think it's true to say that Tolkien's Sindarin was both constructed at least partly by deriving roots from 'Quenya' originals, though there were a number of other Gnomish languages in the mix (like Noldorin), and it probably wasn't a one way street, so that 'derived' Sindarin words may have caused occasional revision of the original root, and hence of any Quenya cognates. No doubt someone better versed in Tolkien lore than I am can put us right on that. If only comparative and internal reconstruction were as straightforward! Mark Mark J. Jones Department of Linguistics University of Cambridge _________________________________________________________________ Be the first to hear what's new at MSN - sign up to our free newsletters!


R A Brown <ray@...>