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CHAT: An introduction

From:Ian Spackman <ianspackman@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 4, 2003, 13:56
I thought it was about time I introduced myself (I've been lurking here a
few months, on and off), but now I find that summarising myself in a few
paragraphs is not an easy task. :)

I'm English by birth, but lived most of my life in Canada (in Quebec, other
than going to university in Ontario); I've been back in England for nine
years now.  I've had an interest in language for as long as I can remember,
despite the best efforts of the education system to kill it (though I must
admit, school left me with a dislike of French, alone among
languages).  For a long time I thought I was hopeless at languages, but
that proved to be simply because the French they taught me in school was no
use at all for understanding Quebecois.  (In truth, though, I am not very
good at oral/aural language: though apparently the person who marked my
written French high school leaving exam thought I must be a native speaker,
I can barely use in in conversation; this may have more to do with shyness
than linguistic ability, however.)

My first degree was in Language and Linguistics (Queen's U at Kingston); I
now also have an MA in lexicography from the U of Exeter, and almost earn a
living as a lexicographer.

My first Conlang I invented at the age of 7, and unsurprisingly was just a
coded English (and it didn't help that the language was intended to be
unusable - it was spoken by the natives of "Twisty-Wisty", who, as one
might suppose, did not generally do things in a practical way).  There
followed Imsian (from my initials) when I was 11, which didn't get very far
(I recall nothing of it but that its nouns had four cases).  Contact with
the works of Tolkien the next year raised my enthusiasm and my standards,
and a couple of years later, when I started writing a fantasy novel, I also
devised several languages to at least a limited degree.

Unfortunately, growing self-doubt and depression put and end to both my
novel and my languages (and indeed almost everything else in my life).  It
took me years to get out of the hole (indeed, at 35 I am still
climbing!).  But gradually I am returning to the things I used to love so
much; and I am writing a new novel (allegedly, at least) for which I am
devising new languages.

Well, actually, only one language exists yet, and that is still at an early
stage, but others are planned.  I'll introduce "Holic" (a working name:
I  need to do more work on it before I can even work out what it should
really be called) at some later time.



Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Ian Spackman <ianspackman@...>Holic and other languages