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Re: Basque & Katzner's Languages of the World

From:Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 14, 2001, 22:44
On Wednesday, November 14, 2001, at 02:36 , Boudewijn Rempt wrote:

> On Wed, 14 Nov 2001, Yoon Ha Lee wrote: > >> I picked up _Languages of the World_ by Kenneth Katzner a few weeks ago. > > I know that book - it's an excellent source for conlangs, since that's > about how accurate it is :-). >
<laugh> I was afraid of that. But it's perfect for the conlanging purposes for which I picked it up.
>> . In particular, I wish his phonological descriptions (which are very >> anglocentric, perhaps not surprisingly) had used IPA instead of fuzzy >> things like "There is both a soft r and a hard r" in Basque. Which >> brings >> me to my question: for those who know (something about) Basque, what the >> heck is he talking about? Trilled and non-trilled? Trilled vs. >> approximant? Meep? > > You should ask Rob Nierse - I think he's nomail now - since he has done > a stretch of Basque in Leyden. >
Would it be presumptuous if I attempted to email him privately? (I don't remember him--perhaps it was before I joined the list?)
>> The other thing I like about this book, and the real reason I picked it >> up >> even though I'm sort of skeptical of its academic usefulness, is the >> samples of text that he includes. Some are pretty uninteresting (yet >> another biblical translation into whatever non-Indo-European language), >> but there are some lovely poems/passages/script samples, including my >> favourite Korean poem, Kim Seowol's "Chindallae" (azaleas), with >> translations. > > I remember that a few of his texts were hilariously wrong, but I don't > know which, since I haven't got the book myself - I once borrowed a > conlanging friend's copy. The friend soon after acquired Comries > multi-volume series on the same topic...
<chuckle> Yeah, I eyed the Comrie, but couldn't justify the expense at the time, though it's on my wishlist of books. :-) I remember a couple statements in there seemed sort of odd when I browsed it, though I can't remember which either. It claims Korean "is the only true alphabet native to the Far East," which I don't know if that's true, though the rest seems okay. 'Course, he doesn't say a whole lot either. ^_^ Yoon Ha Lee [] The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.--Tom Clancy


John Cowan <jcowan@...>