Distaste and hostility was Re: a 12th century conlang
|From:||dunn patrick w <tb0pwd1@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, March 24, 1999, 2:24|
On Tue, 23 Mar 1999, Sally Caves wrote:
> Yes indeed. I mentioned her in my talk about all us guys, theone I gave in
> Florida a few days ago. She, or someone else,
> apparently collected a list of nouns, 1011 of them, in something
> called the _Lingua Ignota_. These range from God
> and His angels to the lowly cricket. She uses her invented
> words in her hymns, wherein she has adjectives, but the list
> has only nouns. There is a German edition of this, that I
> acquired through interlibrary loan: M.L. Portmann and A.
> Odermatt's _Worterbuch der unbekannten Sprache (Basel:
> Basler Hildegard-Gesellschaft, 1986). But the best study
> to date has been made by Jeffrey Schnapp, who has a good
> bibliography on other studies. This is his article called
> "Virgin Words: Hildegard of Bingen's Lingua Ignota and
> the Development of Imaginary Languages Ancient to Modern,"
> in _Exemplaria_ 3.2 October (1991): 267-298. I critiqued
> his "generalizations" about invented languages; he's too ready
> to modify his findings with words like "always" and "never": ex.
> "Every imaginary language is a _bricolage_." Or: "The result
> is almost always an 'impoverishment' of the natural languages
> in question: a language reduced to a limited set of open vowels,
> prone to syllabic reduplication and to excessive syntactical
> parallelism and symmetries." He talks a lot about the "infantilism"
> of invented languages, generally replicating and lauding Yaguello's
> cynical and over-generalized announcements. Hildegard, however,
> he holds up on a pedestal, and while he won't give us much about
> her language, he does show us the taxonomies, the categories,
> that her words fall into-- the Supernatural, the Human, the Church,
> the Secular, Time, the Socio-Economic, and the Natural World.
It would be interesting to read a psychological study of why people have
such an overtly hostile reaction to the idea of conlanging.