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From:Brian Betty <bbetty@...>
Date:Monday, March 8, 1999, 16:22
On 3/8/99, you wrote: "Plautus' play "Poenulus," or "The Little
Carthaginian," contains several lines of gobbledygook which is supposed to
be Carthaginian speech, or Punic."

T'aint gobbledygook! See Robert Hetzron, Ed. 1997: The Semitic Languages,
Routlege Press, chapter 10: Phoenician and the Eastern Canaanite Languages,
by Stanislav Stegert.

p. 174 "The Roman playwright Plautus inserted a Punic conversation, in
Latin script, in his play "Poenulus" (about 200 BCE)." Segert then uses the
conversation and words from it in his analysis of Phoenician, showing
clearly that while the transliteration was shaky, the conversation was real
Canaanite. This is a real, respectable publication, by the by - no cranks
in it.

"While researching the Poenulus, our director ran across a fascinating
[read: crackpot] article by a 19th century linguist who claimed that Punic
was actually an ancient Celtic dialect.  He broke the gobbledygook apart
into words (there were no spaces in the original, of course), interpreted
them very imaginatively as old Celtic roots, making sentences whose
meanings made sense in the context of the play."

Cool! I love cranks. That's why I'm on the net so much.  ;-)

And why my favorite Xfiles are the ones like last night's, ones about cults
lurking beneath 'normal' towns (the California Rich White Suburbia cult,
the Kentucky (?) Cannibal cult, the Midwestern snake-demon woshippers,
etc.) ... It's always the 'normal' people that make me uneasy - you *know*
what's up with freaks like me, 'cause it's all out in the open. "Normal"
people are always hiding something ... until they let their secret conlang
desires free, that is, and become truly normal like the rest of us ...


I'm a kinky, queer, bisexual genderfucker. And they say, "write what you
know." -Cecilia Tan, 'Writing  Sex,' OutWrite 1999
You need to have a magpie mind. I think you need to like shiny things.
-Samuel R. Delaney on what it takes to be a scifi writer, OutWrite 1999
Only 298  shopping days left before the end of the world.