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Data and Musings...

From:Alfred Wallace <alfredhw@...>
Date:Saturday, September 29, 2001, 19:45
I was poring through my book collection the other day, and I was kind of
surprised how many foreign language books I had amassed:


(Includes grammars, dictionaries, and literature)

Ancient languages:
--Ancient Greek:  3
--Latin (Classical):  3
Medieval languages:
--Old English:  7
--Old Irish:  5
--Old French:  2  (Looking for some Chritien de Troyes)
--Old Norse:  2  (Includes modern Icelandic)
--Mid. English:  2
--Mid. Welsh:  1 (plus some printouts)
--Gothic:  1
Modern Languages:
--French:  37
--Lithuanian:  4
--Russian:  4
--Japanese:  4
--Tajiki:  2
--Greek:  1
--Spanish:  1

...and I thought I had really pared down. Last year, I liquidated about 15 French and
3 ancient Greek books, and got rid of my collections for Assyrian, Linear B,
and Ancient Egyptian. (I couldn't bring everything home from college.)

New this year will probably be Chinese, Persian, and more Russian and medieval.
I'm especially looking for a good collection of Dafydd ap Gwilym in the

(He's good. I discovered him via studying translation theory and Gerard Manley
Hopkins, of all people.)

Anyway, ob-conlang: I hadn't thought of it before, but now I'm wondering what my
language-learning choices have to do with my conlanging. (Thanks again to Tom
for this seed of contemplation.) There's only one non-IE language on there
(Japanese, so as to aid in learning Go); most of my "serious" conlangs beg,
borrow and steal liberally from IE languages. (I actually feel sort of guilty
about it.) Do most Conlangers borrow freely from the languages they know, or
try mightily to separate them?

Last Good Book Read:  _Mass Culture in Soviet Russia_, ed. James von Geldern and Richard Sites

AIM screen name:  alfredhw

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