Re: CHAT: I'm back!
|From:||J Matthew Pearson <pearson@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, July 11, 2000, 22:07|
daniel andreasson wrote:
> Matt Pearson wrote:
> > For those of you who are new to the list(s): My name is Matt Pearson,
> > and I've been on Conlang since 1993. I have a couple of minor projects
> > to my name (including an alien language for the short-lived--and very
> > bad--TV show "Dark Skies"),
> Hey! Was that you? I thought it was a very competent alien lang for such
> a tv show. (total x-files ripoff). You wouldn't mind sending some info on
> it to the list? Or did you already, and I missed it? Or perhaps there is
> a website somewhere out there?
No website--at least, not on the language. I posted quite a bit about it
when I was working on it back in the fall/winter of 1996, so there may be
something in the archives about it. A couple tidbits: The name of the
language was Thht-Maa (where the "hh" is a syllabic voiceless velar
fricative), although the producers and writers just called it "Hivespeak"
(the aliens were a Borg-like collectivity called the "Hive"). The root _maa_
meant "us (inclusive)" or "collectivity", while _thht_ was a classifier
prefix used for 'matrices', or interconnected systems of
knowledge/representation, including neural networks, hypertext documents,
circuits, and languages. Thus _thht-maa_ means "the matrix/network/language
of the Collective".
Some unusual features of the language included: syllabic fricatives and
trills, the absence of a noun/verb distinction, a high degree of
centre-embedding, an elaborate noun-classifier system (about 40 noun classes,
each with a separate agreement prefix), and an extensive system of 'light
verb' suffixes (with meanings like "exist", "become", "go to", "use", etc.)
for forming complex predicates from roots..
Here's a small sample of words and phrases from my original notes. The
morpheme-by-morpheme glosses are only educated guesses, as I've forgotten
quite a bit about how the language works. (Note that COLL = collective
plural [all together] and DIST = distributive plural [one at a time]. CL
stands for "classifier", so CL:time is the classifier/agreement marker for
"the time of merger is now"
"the human enemies must be destroyed"
"get rid of that weapon!"
"return to headquarters!"
"do they know about the existence of the Hive?"
"what have you done about the threat?"
"it is only a child"
Of course, the snippets of Thht-Maa that made it into the show were 'mangled'
rather severely by the sound editors, who processed and filtered the dialogue
to make it sound more 'alien'.