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CHAT: Conlang dreams revisited

From:The Gray Wizard <dbell@...>
Date:Friday, February 4, 2000, 14:11
Influenced no doubt by the recent thread on conlang related dreams, I had
last night my first ever such dream, least a snippet of a dream
least I think it was conlang related!

I clearly recall that this dream snippet consisted of the single word
'camrhi'.  Not, however, spoken nor written nor read, but spelled 'C A M R H

A quick check of my lexicon showed that this is not an attested amman iar
word.  However, it could be derived from the roots CAM, hand + IRHI, hour >
camirhi, 'hour-hand'!  Because of a common tendency in amman to delete
unstressed 'i's in the penult, this could have developed into camrhi.  I
have no knowledge of the state of nardhost watch making, but there is a word
for clock, asildir.  It seems I subconsciously coined a new amman iar word
in my dream!

Oh course this kind of root combining derivation is often productive (shades
of the Dublex Game), but this represents the first time such production was
performed whilst I was asleep.

Thought I would share that little tidbit.


David E. Bell
The Gray Wizard

‘Yes, I think I shall express the accusative case by a prefix!’

A memorable remark! …Just consider the splendour of the words!   ‘I shall
express the accusative case.’  Magnificent!  Not ‘it is expressed’ nor even
the more shambling ‘it is sometimes expressed’, nor the grim ‘you must learn
how it is expressed’.  What a pondering of alternatives within one’s choice
before the final decision in favour of the daring and unusual prefix, so
personal, so attractive; the final solution of some element in a design that
had hitherto proved refractory.  Here were no base considerations of the
‘practical’, the easiest for the ‘modern mind’, or for the million – only a
question of taste, a satisfaction of a personal pleasure, a private sense of

(from The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays - A Secret Vice,
by J.R.R. Tolkien [Houghton Mifflin Company 1984])