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my conlangs, for the record...

From:Mia Soderquist <tuozine@...>
Date:Sunday, October 4, 1998, 2:55
Date:    Thu, 1 Oct 1998 00:18:21 -0400
From:    Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Subject: your conlang, please? (Rich Aunt gets hold of the Lunatic

...and how would you characterize it in fifty words more or less?
You've been overwhelming me with wonderful revelations.  For those of
who have answered at length but not divulged, it would help me to know:

                 11) what your conlang is called,
My *major* conlangs have been Muhilamanyani, ea-luna, Siidmak, and
Merahai. (I'm a great creator of half-done languages!)

                 12) what are its unique features, and

ea-luna has essentially interchangable parts of speech, with a pretty
rigid word order. Since the phonology is so limited, the same syllables
are used frequently, leading to a feature that I never really exploited,
but wrote into the "culture": By changing where the word divisions are,
the same set of syllables used in one sentence could be put together to
mean something completely unrelated. Imagine the poetry potential!
Other projects related to ea-luna are Proto-luna and Macai...

Siidmak has some cool prefixes for familial posession (ie, "wa'-" refers
to "father's" -- "wa'wiid", for example, means "father's dog"). Uh...I
can't think of any of its other interesting features on the fly, but it
is described in part on the web page below. The numbering system listed
is obsolete, though the number names shown remain the same.

Merahai is in development. More info coming. I may add it to the Siidmak
web page (below) or put it on my geocities language page. I will
probably put it with Siidmak, since they are being developed at the same
time, although completely unrelated.

                 13) whether you have a website.

Come on!  Just hit that return button!  A lot of this I know already,
can check on in Kennaway, but it would be a convenience.

                 14) Also: Mikhail Bakhtin wrote (in _Problems of
Dostoevsky's Poetics_):

        The life of the word is contained in its transfer from
        one mouth to another, from one context to another context,
        from one social collective to another, from one generation
        to another generation.

Of course this is precisely what we CAN'T say about "private languages."
Does that bother you that your language has a speaker of one?  Some of
you get together and learn each other's languages.  I'm thinking in
particular of Brithenig and Kernu (whose inventors have remained notably
silent!)  Is one of the appeals of a private invented language that you
alone know its secrets and control its development?

        What would happen if someone got hold of your conlang and
        vast numbers began using it and speaking it and changing it?
        Remember the "No Rich Aunt" scenario?  What if she made you
        a village?

I am not REALLY bothered by being the only speaker of my languages,
which I will confess I actually have very little proficieny in, except
ea-luna, which I was using a lot for a time. I will admit that I have a
fantasy about lots of other people learning and using my languages, and
the languages taking off with a life of their own. :) That, however,
seems unlikely. I'd settle for one or two people.

I do like the privacy aspect, but sometimes I wish I had someone else to
share my private thoughts with. It would be nice if I were sitting in a
cafe, people-watching, and could turn to my companion and say, "Wasn't
that a perfectly hideous skirt?", in the knowledge that the transmission
of that thought was secure.  :) But I wouldn't just use it to be
obnoxious! It would make Christmas easier around the kids if my husband
and I shared a private language. Also, I don't know if other bilingual
people experience this, but I feel differently about expressing things
in different languages. Some languages are more "cozy and intimate" or
"affectionate", and I would guess that I would feel that way about a
shared private language, which would be an emotional plus...

Ok, done ramblin'. Thank you, and good night!