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Re: For Sally: Ursula LeGuin's conlang Kesh

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Thursday, April 17, 2003, 2:57
----- Original Message -----
From: "Amanda Babcock" <langs@...>

> > I wonder if the lack of a "complete" grammar indicates that she made up
> > enough to fulfill her purposes for the novel, which was I guess my
> > obnoxious question! <G>. Mea culpa! > > Heh :) Well, I can't answer that. But she did make up as much as many > folks on here do, so it becomes a question of whether her motive was
pure -
> and then you have to ask, if somebody makes up a conlang for a
> game (but actually does include some grammar, I don't mean just names) > does that count? If you make it up for TV? For use as an IAL? ;)
THIS time, I wasn't talking about it "counting" as a conlang. Of course it counts as a conlang. I just wonder if there is a categorical distinction between those who conlang for the thing itself and those who conlang to serve some other artistic purpose (a novel, a film, a role-playing game). God knows, we've divided conlanging into so many other divisions--a priori, a posteriori, engelang, artlang, auxlang, what have you. Marc Okrand was conlanging when he invented Klingon, but I don't think he's pursuing it now. BTW, at the Celtic Conference I attended last week in Berkeley, Kathryn Klar told me that she knew him in one of her classes, and how he got involved in the Paramount business. More when I'm less exhausted. The paper went over pretty well. I'll give you all a report.
> For what it's worth, I'm in awe of your creation - if there are conlang > "levels", you're on the top, as far as fleshed-out goes.
You are an sweetheart! Thanks! I'm definitely of the obsessive-compulsive do it for the conlanging conlanger.
> > But then, Teonaht doesn't have a > > "complete" posted grammar, either. Or a "complete" posted lexicon. > > That's what I understood her to mean, that it wasn't all written up. > > > I wonder to what extent we are conlangers first and novelists second, or > > novelists first and conlangers second. I wonder if my conlanging is a > > sublimation of my ignored need to write and publish novels. Sigh. > > An interesting question, for those to whom it applies. I'm not a
> Conlanging is more a compulsive act of organization for me.
Yup... see above. Except that my Teonaht doesn't seem organized. It feels like a world that calls out to be filled in, and that I am a thrall to it. I'm also a thrall to my fiction, but something has to give. It's interesting that it was the fiction this past three years.
> > Ailly, hemykkranya hterme rybbadon. :-( > > tölíö tëtércip'da? ka'símöp'a :( > ("What did you write? I don't understand.")
"Alas, hemicrania again I endure (non-volitionally)." This time for three effing days. It might have been more interesting to say: "Ailly, hemykkranya, o:l ai krefma." Alas, hemicrania grips me. Illness and fear grips, sleep ensnares, thought surrounds, etc. But ignore my whining. More later, Sal