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Re: Bala-i-balan (wasRe: new to the list)

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Friday, May 19, 2006, 8:35
R A Brown skrev:
> Benct Philip Jonsson wrote: > [snip] > >> >> BTW if I'm not mistaken Balaibalan predates Hildegard, so >> the first conlangers on historical record were Muslims! > > > Does it? Hildegard is 12th century - but I thought Bala-i-balan was the > work of an unknown Sufic mystic in the 16th century.
I for some reason believed that Bala-i-Bailan was from Asia Minor and the 10th or 11th century -- i.e. Selcuk times. It seems I was wrong on all counts, as it was from Central Asia and the 16th century. I don't know where I got that from. Still IIRC Bausani connects the lang with Hurufism (for which see Wikipedia), "that was active in areas of western Persia, Turkey and Azerbaijan in later 14th - early 15th century" so the Central Asian location may be in doubt -- unless someone considers Persia and/or Azerbaijan part of Central Asia.
> But as I wrote about a week or so back, I suspect conlanging of some > sort or other has been going on for millennia.
Probably. However different cultures may have differed in the degree they were accepting or hostile towards conlanging. An uninformed guess is that the European culture, with the prestige and virtual sanctity ascribed to Latin, would have been hostile. OTOH in India where Sanskrit was both prestigeous and holy other 'degenerated' languages were not only accepted but expected, and there are many examples of religiously motivated word-play. In a way Bala-i-Balan is a strange occurrence in a culture which exalts one language, Arabic, so strongly as *the* language of religion and revelation. In the Norwegian Wikipedia page on B-i-B it is said that it may have been motivated by the idea that God created a new language for each new revelation: Abraham received his revelation in Hebrew, Jesus his in Aramaic, Muhammad his in Arabic, and B-i-B may be an expression of the expectation that a new revelation was imminent. I don't know where those who wrote the article got that idea, since they give no references. -- /BP 8^)> -- Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se "Maybe" is a strange word. When mum or dad says it it means "yes", but when my big brothers say it it means "no"! (Philip Jonsson jr, age 7)