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(one copy for the List, one copy for Sally) Re: Language and "mysticism," whatever that is.

From:Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
Date:Sunday, April 29, 2001, 2:24
On Sat, 28 Apr 2001 10:33:36 -0700 Sally Caves <scaves@...>
> Vyko, Conlangers! I've taken a long long holiday (which > essentially amounts to doing my dayjob at the university). > I hope you haven't forgotten Teonaht!
- Hi! Welcome back! Yay!
> 1) How many of you old- and new-comers started inventing a language > in isolation from the list? > 1a) If so, how old were you?
- I was in 9th grade (first year of highschool), so around 14 or 15.
> 1b) Was it a project with friends or a solitary project?
- It was a project with my brother.
> 1b) Did your invented language have some kind of private > purpose? esoteric? erotic? religious or mystical?
- Before discovering conlanging, we were in the habit of creating codes, so i seem to remember it originally being a "better code" - a secret language.
> Since the topic of my panel is "the language of > mysticism," I'm especially interested in this last.
- Naaa... ool-Nuziiferoi (that conlang) only survived a few months before being abandoned, and none of my other conlangs have been for specificly real-life mystical purposes.
> 3) How many of you, when you were starting out on this on your own, > did this kind of thing: you have a list of words you want to invent > new ones for, so you drew di-and polysyllabic words out of the air. > This is > what I did when I was new at this and a teenager. Many of these > still > remain vocabulary words in Teonaht, but I've since then learned to > build up through word roots.
- For ool-Nuziiferoi me and my brother did this, although it was slightly more complicated since each verbal root had to have a CVCVC pattern (with diphthongs classified as V). For Rokbeigalmki, my major conlang, i started out this way, although the words (even if not directly borrowed or modeled) showed an influence from natural languages that i know. For Gabwe, (the language i invented for reciting spells in my Live Action Role Playing group) most of the words are based directly off of words in natlangs - since i'm not creating it for it's artistic merits, but for use, it's easier to base words on things that i associate with the concept.
> 4) If so, how important was it that the new word sound "exotic," > "beautiful," or > "suggestive" in some personal way of the word you wanted it to stand > for?
- Very important - for instance, the ool-Nuziiferoi word for "pour" was _bobuht_ /bobVt/, based in the sound of liquid pouring out of a bottle. In Rokbeigalmki, it takes so long for me to create words because i don't want to set them down until they sound just right.
> 5) How many of you invented words to express concepts that could > not be > expressed in your native language?
- I did.
> 6) How many of you used it for prayer? For secrecy?
- ool-Nuziiferoi was inveted as a secret language, but never grew useful enough to actually be used. I have translated short prayers and religious songs into Rokbeigalmki, but i've never actually prayed in it.
> 7) For how many of you was it an intellectual exercise?
- All creation is an intellectual exercise, although it's more than just that.
> 8) A language for a conculture?
- Rokbeigalmki (for my MUSH character). Judajca (for an alternate history). Gabwe (for a culture in my LARP group). Mother Language, which only exists as two phrases in an unfinished short story i wrote in 10th grade, was based in a conculture as well. So pretty much all of my conlangs except ool-Nuziiferoi have been based on, or associated with, concultures.
> 10) What is your definition of a mystical language? Would any of > you characterize your conlang as such?
- I would define as "mystical language" as a language used not just for religious or spiritual uses such as prayer or study, but also for trying to relate to the Transcendent - whether used to create terms that can describe such things, or used to try and effect them. -Stephen (Steg) "do not separate yourself from the community; and do not believe in yourself until the day of your death; and do not judge your friend until you have reached their place; and do not say something that cannot be heard, for it will be; and do not say 'when i have free time i'll learn,' for you may never have free time." ~ Hileil
> Yry poy poy firrimby, talk to you soon! > Sally Caves
> Niffodyr tweluenrem lis teuim an. > "The gods have retractible claws." > from _The Gospel of Bastet_ > ============================================================
- PS: Yay! i love that quote! :-)