Re: Basque & Katzner's Languages of the World
|From:||Boudewijn Rempt <boud@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, November 14, 2001, 22:37|
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 :-).
> It's an interesting, *very* breezy survey of world languages, probably not
> really useful linguistically (the author works for the U.S. federal gov't)
> . 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.
> 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
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...
Boudewijn Rempt | http://www.valdyas.org