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LeGuin (was: a 12th century conlang)

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Thursday, March 25, 1999, 2:48
Sally Caves scripsit:

> Neither did she really ever construct a language the way we do. I readin an > article that she "faked it." In "Walking Away From Omelas," she > came up with the name of her invented world by spelling "Salem O!" > backwards. When asked if she did what Tolkien did, she said no.
I think this somewhat misrepresents UKL, who is too modest to associate her quite legitimate conlanging with JRRT's heroic lifelong efforts. (I can't give citations for what follows.) If many of her conlangs are primarily onomastic, what's wrong with that? We don't talk much here about onomastic conlangs (those whose vocabulary consists of names) but IMHO they are as legitimate as any other artlangs. Kesh exists as a phonology, a vocabulary (with some interesting lexicalizations), and a script: morphosyntax is lacking. Many other artlangs can say no more. UKL says somewhere that she was able to write a couple of short poems in Karhidish, but has forgotten most of the language now. I submit that a conlang you can use for poetry is a "real" conlang. And then there's Antish, which exists only in translation (i.e it is a semantics), and what a semantics it is. "Down with the queen"!
> I already described my encounter with novelist Brenda Clough > who expressed a similar distaste for this kind of passion.
I don't think there's a shred of evidence that UKL disdains the conlang passion, and some evidence that she actually possesses it. -- John Cowan e'osai ko sarji la lojban.