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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 > 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... Boudewijn Rempt |


Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>