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Hressa-Hlab (was: Re: Martian conlangs?)

From:Muke Tever <mktvr@...>
Date:Friday, March 7, 2003, 18:14
From: "Joseph Fatula" <fatula3@...>
> It's certainly not in the same style as many other Martian concultures, but > C. S. Lewis wrote a book set on Mars, entitled "Out of the Silent Planet". > There were three different races living there, each with its own language, > as we are told. The main character is a philologist, so we get to hear a > few of his thoughts on the common tongue of the region, as well as a few of > the words. It looks like he put some real thought into this. The > alternation between (for example) "sorn" and "séroni" really interested me > upon reading it. He throws in a little more in the next two books, > "Perelandra" (whose title is in Hressa-Hlab) and "That Hideous Strength", > but he never really gets into the linguistic details. My guess is that he, > like most of us, assumed everyone wouldn't be interested.
Ah, I loved this book :x) The alternation appears to occur in several plurals: hnakra ~ hnéraki "dangerous fish" Oyarsa ~ Oyéresu "planetary ruler" sorn ~ séroni (a certain sapient species) The weak plural appears to be in -a (they borrow the English word "man" as <hma:n>, pl. <hma:na>), with other examples <eldil>/<eldila> "immaterial creature" and <hross>/<hrossa> (the creatures whose language this is, in the first book). (Incidentally the feminine plural of <hross> is <hressni>.) The suffix <-punt> "-slayer" pluralizes in <-punti>, like <pfifltrigg> (a different sapient species). The word <hnau> "sapient creature" has a zero plural. In any case the whole thing looks nicely maggelitous, especially the intercalation. (I'm betting that <honodraskrud> is a compound related to <handra> somehow.) I suspect there is a schwa phoneme that isnt represented in the spelling (hence variations like Perelandra/Parelandra, which incidentally might make some of those alternations less mystifying). I noded up all the vocabulary I could find awhile back: Incidentally, "hnau" is the most useful word ever.
> On a side note, we've remarked on similar traits shared by many members of > this list before. I'd bet that C. S. Lewis would have fit in quite nicely > here, not only was he interested in conlanging and conculturing, I think he > was also a synaesthete. In one of his books he refers to a "purple sort of > smell", and from what people tell me, most people would never associate a > color and a smell. Anyway, just something I found interesting.
Hmm, people often look at me funny when I associate colors with tastes. *Muke! --


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