Re: CHAT: Hello
|From:||H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, September 16, 2003, 17:22|
On Tue, Sep 16, 2003 at 09:30:30AM -0700, Heather Fleming wrote:
> Testing, testing... Let's see if I've actually figured out how to POST
> to this list...
> 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
Welcome to the list!
> I guess my first "conlang" was for a linguistic typology class I took at
> the U of A (A for Alberta) two years ago.
Oooh! Another conlanger in Canada! ;-)
> Our final assignment was to write up a sketch of the most typologically
> unlikely language we could come up with.[snip]
Most typologically unlikely? <shameless plug> Have you looked at the
grammatical structure of Ebisedian, my infamous conlang? For a brief
overview, check out this intro:
> 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?
Well, I never intended Ebisedian to be as bizarre as it turned out; I
actually tried to make it as naturalistic as possible. It wasn't supposed
to be unrealistic, but just radically pathological.
> 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.
That rings a bell... Ebisedian came out of the need for language in my
con-world which it can call its own. I have a lot of fragments of
storylines and such that constitute about 6 or 7 eras of the Ferochromon
universe. Only problem is, I still haven't gotten to weeding out the
juvenile plot holes yet...
> 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.
Ferochromon history has 7 eras and 3 separate sub-universes, which gives
me lots of room to work with. Only problem is, it's taken me so long just
to get Ebisedian to a non-trivial state, that working on an
ancestor/descendent lang would never get beyond sketches.
> 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
My challenges come from a slightly different source: the Ebisedi, the
speakers of Ebisedian, are more or less human, and therefore the language
has to be naturalistic (OK, stop that giggling back there), but they live
in an alternate universe which is radically different from the Terran
universe, complete with different physics and a very foreign world
structure. Certainly, their everyday vocabulary would have to reflect
this; and it hasn't been easy coming up with this vocabulary.
> Out of curiosity, anyone else have a non-phonetically-based conlang?[snip]
Not really... although at one point I *did* have the idea of an amorphous
language consisting of grunts and groans and other odd sounds (not
necessarily vocal), which instead of building up verbal and grammatical
structure, paints an overall "impression" of the intended meaning. I
didn't get very far with this, but one feature is that the understood
meaning of an utterance depends almost entirely on who/what heard it, and
on the circumstantial context in which it is uttered. E.g., an utterance X
may be uttered in the presence of different groups of beings; the worker
group may react by reinforcing the walls, the guardian group may react by
taking up defensive posts, the warrior group may prepare for battle, etc..
The precise actions may also vary based on the situation: if there is an
approaching enemy, these may be the actions taken; if there is a captive
enemy, the warrior group may understand it as an order to destroy the
captive, and the other groups may ignore the order.
Airplanes stall. Computers just hang in the air...