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Mystical poll, a few other matters.

From:Matt M. <matt_mcl@...>
Date:Monday, April 30, 2001, 15:03
> > 1) How many of you old- and new-comers started inventing a language > > in isolation from the list?
I began Lyanjen, and its conculture Shrislyaria, in isolation from the list. > 1a) If so, how old were you? 18 (I'm 19 now).
> > 1b) Was it a project with friends or a solitary project?
All by my lonesome!
> > 1b) Did your invented language have some kind of private
> > esoteric? erotic? religious or mystical?
No. Actually, the idea of LEARNING a relatively out-of-the-way language (like Latin or Gaelic) as a medium of worship has occured to me from time to time, but I've never had the urge to con one. Speaking another language can often be a mystical experience for me; the other day in the metro I felt like worshipping so I recited the self-blessing that begins "bless me Mother, for I am Thy child" in English, French, Spanish, Esperanto, and Italian.
> > 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.
Yea, I did this a lot. Months for example, for all but four of them I made up the month and then came up with an explanation later. Place names too (I came up with the capital's name, Klesenja, and invented a history to match - it comes from kléis Osenjas, "capital of Osenja," the explorer who founded it.) And I came up with most of the words like this before I found an aleatoric progran to write some for me. Personal names, too.
> > 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?
I wanted words to be sound-and-sense compatible, often. (One example was "mañe", mother, which I did risking a feeling of derivation; that's because one of the coolest linguistic theories I've ever heard is that so many words for "mother" have an "m" in them because it represents the sound of a child nursing.)
> > 5) How many of you invented words to express concepts that could not be > > expressed in your native language?
I have. I decided that these people believe in "shri" (cri), an impersonal deity/ies Who exist(s) in everything in the universe, akin to the Japanese notion of kami or the Celtic one of sidhe, or of certain neo-Pagan conceptions of Deity. The choppy pluralizing in the first sentence, by the way, is due to the fact that cri is one of a very few nouns in Lyanjen that has no plural/singular distinction. I also came up with six "mindskills" (siur'tespaja); they are natural reason, logic, and skepticism (ðeug); memory of the past to inform present decisions (bren); an ethical realization that the effects of one's actions on others are important (pruïnd); common sense, a keen grasp of the obvious (nuid); intuition, instincts, empathy (zaund); creativity, not being stuck in doing something because it's always been done like that (nart). The Shrislia believe that it's necessary to keep these in balance in order to be wise. And of course, I've invented various cultural specialities of the Shrislia for which we have no words in English.
> > 6) How many of you used it for prayer? For secrecy?
> > 7) For how many of you was it an intellectual exercise?
> > 8) A language for a conculture?
This too, although the conculture succeeded (in short order) the language.
> > 10) What is your definition of a mystical language? Would any of you > > characterize your conlang as such?
All languages can be mystical, to me. There's just something that gives me delirious, holy joy in letting a beautiful sentence in another language roll off my tongue. It's really how you write, not what the language is, although some languages can have mystical feeling for historical reasons (Latin, for example).
>>>(I'm going to have to come up with a "proper" reason why the place names
don't tally with the language spelling
> Maybe they're English (or other language) versions of the native names?
Second the motion. Shrislyaria isn't in Lyanjen orthography, but English; that would be Crislária (I hope, but doubt, that you can see the slash on the l).
> The UN declaration of human rights is translated to the languages of all > the member nations, + quite a few minority languages so this might be > the winner?
It's listed as such by Guinness. Matt