Re: CHAT: (no subject)
|From:||Steven Williams <feurieaux@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, March 1, 2006, 17:43|
> 1) How did you get in to conlanging? What was your
Well, I was studying German, when I encountered the
accusative/dative prepositions, and thought about how
cool that was, and how alien it felt to me at the
I started imagining other distinctions that could be
made, and it was only a small leap from that to
actually _making_ something like that.
My first conlang was a hopeless ripoff of German,
Icelandic and Danish. I still have a great love for
the Germanic languages, since I'm now studying German
at the university level, with the intent of getting my
master's or doctorate one day in linguistics.
> 2) What is your purpose in creating languages? Is it
> a personal art, an anthropological experiment, a
All three, actually. The 'beauty' of my conlangs is a
peculiar one of its own, and it's very important to me
that my languages 'sound nice' on the surface, but are
also 'beautiful' at the deep level; i.e., I'm always
trying to think of an even _more_ elegant way to
express a basic concept.
I also use conlangs to illustrate linguistic
principles for myself. I figured out tripartite case
systems almost completely on my own through that, and
was shocked to discover that it's fairly common among
certain language families.
And conlanging is the number one eater-up of my free
time. In fact, I've often had to quit for a few weeks,
because it'd start encroaching on my work and studies.
I'm beginning to do it all in my head anyways, so time
and resources is becoming a moot point. :)
> 3) How have people reacted when you tell them about
I've told very few about it, but not out of shyness,
but rather, out of my perceiving no real interest on
the part of my friends and coworkers. But those who
ask, are told.
They all know I'm utterly passionate about
linguistics, and they all know I'm a hopeless
eccentric, and I just leave it at that. If I _do_ tell
them (and I don't tell it to very many people), either
they look at me funny, or just pin it up as yet
another one of my weird pasttimes.
My sister thinks it's cool, at least.
I'm pretty close to showing my linguistics professor
my notes on my most recent conlang, which has large
elements inspired by Hebrew --- he taught Hebrew once
or twice in his career, and he's very fond of throwing
Hebrew data at us in exercises (which I, of course,
delight at, but everyone else cringes).
> 4) Did conlanging lead you places you never expected
> it to take you?
I was gonna be a doctor, but I decided that happiness
was more important than wealth. I think I'll teach ESL
when I graduate, since conlanging has given me a great
love for my own native language. It's also led me into
cryptography and a host of other linguistics-related
sciences. Since I'm still in college, we'll just see
where all this leads me...
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