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Re: Sally's Survey

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Thursday, March 20, 2003, 14:13
> PART I. FOR CELTIC CONLANGERS: > > Have you based your conlang(s) wholly or partially on a Celtic language?
My Elvish languages are indeed influenced by Celtic. The project started as a "modern-day Sindarin", thus being indirectly influenced by Welsh. Later in the process, the idea of an "Insular language area" arose which consists of the Insular Celtic languages, Elvish, and Brithenig. The modern Elvish language has Welsh-style mutations. Germanech, in contrast, is not based on Celtic. It is based on Romance and German.
> What is youer name and what do you call your conlang(s)?
My name is Jörg Rhiemeier. The names of the Elvish languages are not fixed yet. Germanech is a Romance language of Germany.
> When did you start it/them?
The Elvish project started in the spring of 2000 as a language of modern-day Tolkienian Elves, but quickly took a different direction. Germanech started in 2001.
> Are you still working with it/them or you abandoned it or them?
Still working on Elvish; not doing much about Germanech.
> What Celtic features have you borrowed? What is the structure of your > language? Be specific.
Initial mutations, genitive construction, VSO syntax, conjugated prepositions all occur in Modern Elvish, though partly altered from the Celtic model.
> What innovations did you introduce? (new constructions, perhaps a new > script, etc.)
The Elvish languages add an "active" argument marking pattern to a basically IE-ish framework that undergoes Celtic-like transformations. They also have i-umlaut as in Germanic. I am planning to invent a feature-based alphabet for Elvish, and considering a writing system based on latticework ornaments (I know Sylvia Sotomayor did that, too).
> PART II: INSPIRATION BY TOLKIEN (...): > > How many of you have a constructed world, and, if so, > does it include some of the races we associate with Celtic > or Scandinavian mythology (...) ?
My conworld is a variation of the real world, just as different as necessary to have my languages in it. It does not include any non-human sapient races (the Elves are actually perfectly normal humans, though with a culture similar to Tolkien's elves).
> How many of you were inspired to examine Welsh, > Hebrew or Finnish because of your examination of Tolkien?
Me, especially Welsh; Hebrew and Finnish to a lesser degree.
> For how many of you is beauty and/or efficiency a factor in your > language? Or elegance? How would you define these terms?
With Elvish, I wish to create a language that expresses my personal linguistic taste.
> For how many of you is the "exotic" a desired feature of your invented language?
I like a balanced mix of the familiar and the exotic.
> How many of you have fashioned your language on a particular type > (Ergative, Accusative, Trigger, etc.)?
I have fashioned Elvish on the active type.
> To what degree is difficulty and irregularity of language important to you > in your conlang?
Some irregularity is nice, but not too much.
> [...] how have you gone about setting up the framework for your words > and your grammar?
Phonology first, then morphology and syntax, and finally words. The phonological developments of Elvish are already rather clear and stable; the grammar slowly takes shape; words are still scarce.
> PART III: THE LUNATIC SURVEY REVISITED > > Why do you conlang? Who will speak it? Read it? What's the point?
I do it just for fun and because I wish to create a virtual culture I can feel at home in, though I am considering using my languages in a book or a role-playing game somewhen.
> To what would you compare a conlang?
It is a way to explore the mindset of a virtual culture.
> How many of you have a special script in your conlang?
I have none yet. In the beginning of my Elvish project, I fancied that the Elves use Tolkien's Tengwar, but as the project detached from Tolkien's languages, I dropped that. Designing a native Elvish script of my own is still in the pipeline. So far, I do everything in Roman transcription.
> If you use Roman script, how recognizably "phonetic" is your writing system? > In other words, do you use unconventional letters to represent sounds? > Why?
The Roman transcription system I use for Elvish is vaguely influenced by Celtic spelling conventions, but simpler and strictly phonemic.
> How many of you started conlanging when you were a teenager > and have stuck to the language over many years? Why?
I started conlanging as a teenager, but the projects of that time are long since abandoned.
> For how many of you does your language function as a spiritual instrument?
My Elvish languages and culture are meant to reflect my philosophy.
> How many of you have put up websites where your language can be showcased?
Not yet.
> PART IV: GENERAL DEMOGRAPHICS: > > What is your age (...)?
> What is your profession or your station in life (...)?
> What is your gender?
> What is your nationality and your native language?
> What natural languages do you speak or have studied?
I am quite fluent in English; I know a bit of Latin and French, and a smattering of Japanese. The languages of which I have looked at sketches etc. are too numerous to mention.
> What have you learned from conlanging?
Quite a lot about linguistics.
> What texts on language and linguistics have you consulted to help invent your language?
Too many to remember.
> Can you give me a short sample of your language with interlinear description > and translation.
Elvish is still too much in flux to give an example, but here is one in Germanch: En la örgen Djau creä le cel e la tzer. In the beginning God created the sky and the earth.
> Would you object to my mentioning your conlang and/or your name in my talk?
Be my guest and go ahead! Jörg. ______________________________________________________________________________ Keine Zeit für Firlefanz? Blitz-SMS von WEB.DE FreeMail! Die SMS, die direkt auf's Display kommt!