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From:Marty Rosenberg <theflamingdrake@...>
Date:Saturday, January 10, 2004, 6:21
   Hello, everyone. My name is Marty Rosenberg, and I'm new to the list. I'm
   also what one might call a "newbie." I'm 15, and started conlanging (if,
   indeed, that is a word) about two years ago. I don't know if anyone else
   here was that young when they started, so I'm not entirely sure what to
   expect, but I (usually) like surprises.
   First of all, I would just like to say that I've heard great things about
   this list, and over the past few days, during which I have been skimming
   through the digests, the conversation has seemed interesting. I've also
   heard that you all are very welcoming and helpful, and I do hope that this
   is true.
   Now that that's over with, on to my efforts - and I do mean "efforts," not
   "successes" - at conlanging. So far I've tried three things, each one a
   failure, but teaching me a few things in that failure. My first effort,
   Tuntarac, tought me that conlangs should not simply be codes, not only of
   English, but of any language (most of the grammar was directly copied from
   Spanish, as were the sounds overall); and that I had to avoid being overly
   self-contradictory (I had just recently learned of Esperanto, and "tried
   out" the part-of-speech-specific suffixes, and I had already broken the
   rules with the name of the language).
   My second, Denyedergeo*, taught me that an interesting orthography does not
   make for an interesting language; and that I wasn't crazy for attempting a
   semi-polysynthetic** language before I knew what polysynthetic meant. (My
   friend, another amateur conlanger, who has also joined the list but has not
   introduced himself yet, thought it would be too difficult to understand.)
   My third was an attempt at a transformation of English, AEngliar*. It seems
   that I had to learn a second time that an interesting orthography does not
   make for an interesting language. There was also the matter of discovering
   why languages change the way they do. So I went right out with my Barnes &
   Noble gift card and bout _The Power of Babel_ by John McWhorter and _Words
   and Rules_ by Steven Pinker. Of course, considering the work load from my
   school (a big, rich school, which gives 5-6 hours of near-impossible
   homework every night - and, no, my intent is not just to complain), I've
   gotten to chapter two of _The Power of Babel_, and haven't even started on
   the other. That's about where I stand.
   Anyway... I look forward to meeting you all, and I look forward to any
   assistance you may be able to provide in my conlanging efforts. And it won't
   go to waste, as I plan to turn linguistics into a career path, if possible.
   Marty Rosenberg
   "(Hittite in Forty Lessons - fluency guaranteed or your money back!)"
   -The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language, by John McWhorter
   P.S. And, yes, I already know not to get on a side of IALs here, and I don't
   intend to anyway, as I know little to nothing about them except for a few
   random words and bits of grammar in Esperanto.
   * This is an approximation; I can't figure out how to properly represent
   sounds in SAMPA, so I'm sticking with familiar representations here. (AE
   representing English's short a, and eo representing the e/o symbol
   represented by an o with a slash through it, at least in _The Power of
   ** There were two words in a sentence: Adjectives and nouns and/or pronouns
   in one word, and adverbs and verbs in the other. I hadn't yet figured out
   how to handle compound sentences before I gave up on it, so there was really
   no place for prepositions yet, and articles just didn't fit right.


Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>