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Re: CHAT: Hello

From:JS Bangs <jaspax@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 16, 2003, 17:54
Heather Fleming sikyal:

> Testing, testing... Let's see if I've actually figured out how to POST to this list...
Maybe . . . I got this message, but not sorted how I expected it to be. Anyway.
> Anyway, hi, my name is Heather and I'm new to the list. I'm an aspiring > fantasy author who ended up majoring in linguistics, with inevitable > results...
:). A wonderful way to start a conlang career. Welcome!
> Has anyone else done something like that for a lark - coming up with the > most unrealistic (at least for humans) language possible? Not fully > formed of course, but in sketch form anyway?
Such langs are colloquially known as "freaklangs". There's a few of them lying around here--Maggel is known for its orthography, and Ebisedan for its unusual case system (though Teoh will be quick to point out that he didn't *mean* for Ebisedan to be a freaklang). I'm sure there's others out there, but these are the only ones I can think of right now. I myself take the opposite approach--making languages that resemble real languages. In this I count myself in good company in this endeavor, with Tolkein, LeGuin, and a good portion of the list having similar goals.
> Now I'm working on coming up with languages for some fiction I've been > working on ever since I was a kid and finally worked the juvenile plot > holes out of. The really fun part is that there is a gap of about 1300 > years between one volume and the next, so I get to come up with Old and > Modern versions. I have some vague ideas about them, but they're still > very much in the air yet.
Diachronic language change is my favorite aspect of conlanging. Do bring your questions!
> I'm also helping my friend and co-author develop her conlang for her >> conspecies, whose language is completely pitch-based (they have >> incredible hearing and their vocal tracts can produce up to I think 6 >> tones at a time. Their planet is kind of isolationist because although >> their civilization and technology are very advanced, their culture is >> completely oral so they have no written form, and no one offworld can >> learn to understand or produce it because they lack the physical >> capacity, and it's bloody hard for them to get the hang of phonetic >> languages). > > Out of curiosity, anyone else have a non-phonetically-based conlang?
There are some of those, too. Just a while ago someone was talking about making a language based on bat sounds. Though, technically, both this and your friend's language are phonetic, as they involve sound. (And even non-vocal language can have "phonology", as I've read some fascinating articles on the phonology of American Sign Language.) -- Jesse S. Bangs Jesus asked them, "Who do you say that I am?" And they answered, "You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the kerygma in which we find the ultimate meaning of our interpersonal relationship." And Jesus said, "What?"


John Cowan <cowan@...>