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languages with soul

From:Edward Heil <edwardheil@...>
Date:Friday, March 26, 1999, 3:31
Hrum.  What I wrote struck Bryan as "stupid" (and my bud Pat jumped to my=

defense) and Sally, to whom I was replying, as completely offbases.  Let =
try to explain.

If I seemed to champion the touchy-feely over the theoretical, it's not
because I'm anti-intellectual but too intellectual; prone to analyze rath=
than *do*, to agonize over whether what I'm doing is technically right ra=
than learn by doing what actually works and what doesn't.

I'm prone to spend an hour boning up on my linguistics for fear of doing
something "wrong" for every five minutes I spend using what I've learned =
make up anything either beautiful or interesting.

I'm prone to detatchment and conservatism and rules-following over immers=
and experimentation and invention.  To theory over practice.  Not prone e=
to go my own way and trust my own intuition.

Constructing a language to pray in seemed to me to be something which was=

gorgeous and was exactly what I by following these unfortunate tendencies=
my nature would never have done -- because I was too busy trying to learn=
others the Right Way to make a language.

These are tendencies I have struggled with in other creative endeavors in=
life, such as in my drawing and in the writing of my master's thesis in L=
Literature, and they have raised their ugly heads in this hobby I am newl=
attracted to -- conlanging.

So, Bryan, if I was attacking anyone, it was supposed to be myself.

And, Sally, there's a difference between actually accomplishing the build=
of a language with an ergative, and working out the details of how that w=
in the life of the language, than a merely theoretical preoccupation with=
options like ergativity; and it was the latter that I was pooh-poohing (a=
even then it was only supposed to be pooh-poohed if it was carried too fa=

I've seen the Teonaht pages and I'm under no illusions that you would eve=
accept an anti-intellectualism in your conlanging.  (How could
anti-intellectualism and conlanging ever really survive together for long=
?) =

But Teonaht has what I meant by soul, in a big way.

Cheez, I gotta think before I gush around here.



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