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Stargate (was: Egyptian based Conlangs)

From:Didier Willis <dwillis@...>
Date:Wednesday, December 16, 1998, 18:26
taliesin the storyteller wrote:
>=20 > On Wed, 16 Dec 1998, Christophe Grandsire wrote: >=20 > >Somebody on this list talked about Stargate, the movie. It happens=20 > >that the language spoken on the planet of Ra is a real conlang. It > >was a command to a linguist to make a possible evolution of=20 > >Egyptian after millenia. But I don't know any webpage explaining=20 > >the structure of this conlang. >=20 > Sadly, this is the best I've found... > >=20 > If one were to contact the author/inventor of the lang, > though...
The author is Stuart Jason Smith, PhD in Archaelogy, UCLA, and he seems to be an expert in Egyptian matters. I have found his personnal web page, where he discusses some features of the language. There are also some pictures of him with the actors. As a matter of fact, he pretends that the language is actually ancient Egyptian, and that he only devised a pronunciation for it: "Recently I worked as a consultant on the hit Science Fiction epic movie Stargate. I reconstructed spoken ancient Egyptian for the=20 production (modern Egyptians speak Arabic), translating dialog and coaching the actors, including James Spader and Jaye Davidson. Although the work was a bit esoteric, the stars appreciated the fact=20 that they were actually speaking a real language instead of made up nonsense words. As a result, about half the movie's dialog is in=20 ancient Egyptian. The main conceit of the film, that Spader does=20 not recognize the language initially and yet is able to pick it up quicly later on, worked well, since Egyptologists ignore =20 pronunciation. For example, when Spader names the god 'Ra,' as any good Egyptologist would, the village elder just gives him a blank look. The orginal pronunciation was 'R=ED-'uw.'"=20 So perhaps this is not really what we would call a 'conlang'... Didier. -- -