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Detailed Hyper-realities: The Conlang Instinct

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Sunday, December 12, 1999, 20:06
Gerald Koenig wrote:
> > >From: Sally Caves' <scaves@...>' > >Subject: Re: The Conlang Instinct > > > > > > >As for synaesthesia: I display it, too, with colors and personalities > (thoughtful post deleted) > > > >As for whether any of these creative and burdensome gifts are components > >in conlanging, I simply don't know, but it's an interesting question. > > Well, since these creative and burdensome gifts seem so prevalent on > Conlang, way beyond their incidence in the general population, why > don't you collect some data and include it in your work with the > Lunatic Survey? No one else seems to be championing our cause, and one > thing seems clear, being synesthetic or dyslexic or hyperlogical or a > collector of words and languages doesn't make one crazy. In fact we may > just be in touch with some hidden realities.
Hi Jerry... an interesting thought, but I'd want to steer clear of those kinds of generalizations. There are over two hundred people on conlang, and only a handful... seven or eight?... who've contributed to this thread. How can I possibly surmise about the incidence of these quirks even in the list itself? Much less the general population. I think it's a mistake to declare that the general population as a whole does not exhibit many of these traits. My mother isn't a conlanger, but she has a lot of "synaesthesia." So do my sisters. Besides, my study is bent on explaining the normalcy of this pursuit, its place in any artistic endeavor, and it argues against lunacy or madness or the USUAL tags we've been burdened with by outsiders. I do agree with you about hidden realities, but I want to steer clear of using terms like dyslexia, hyperlogicality, obsessive compulsive disorder, or the like. I'm doing a linguistics and cultural studies report, and I do mention issues surrounding gender that have been raised on the list. But some of these other issues are just too personal to raise, and don't prove anything substantial. Your observation would make an interesting footnote, though, and I thank you. Yes, there are all sorts of interesting conceptualizations surrounding our experience with words, reading, speaking, music. What would interest me is how many of you are also involved in music, either playing an instrument, composing, sampling. I know Herman and Irina are, and And. And the world building is crucial, too. Detailed hyper-realities. I've been reading your Conlang Instinct threads with interest, since it replicates a lot of the discussion I was trying to raise last year in my Lunatic Survey. Sally Is it true that Paul Auster in _New York Trilogy_ has a character who goes mad making up a language? I'm reading it in snatches, but I haven't run across this yet. If it's there, it's one more example of popular conceptions about language inventors. I don't know where I came across this bit of news. Probably the IAFA listserv (International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts). Anybody ever read _Lampiere's Dictionary_? A novel set in the seventeenth century, I think. ======================================================= SALLY CAVES (bragpage) (T. homepage) (all else) ===================================================================== Niffodyr tweluenrem lis teuim an. "The gods have retractible claws." from _The Gospel of Bastet_ ============================================================