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history of conlanging

From:Jeffrey Henning <jeffrey@...>
Date:Sunday, November 21, 1999, 5:09
On Sun, 18 Jul 1999, Jay Bowks wrote:
?? where is the 18th of July a Sunday?
> I wonder what motivated the love for conlanging in other list > members... are there similar threads that we can identify as > positive influences and I'm interested in knowing if we got hooked > to our secret vice at similar or different ages.
I was probably 11 or 12 and read in _Dragon Magazine_ (a magazine published by TSR, makers of Dungeons & Dragons) two articles on inventing your own language. Having loved the runes in _The Hobbit_, having loved ERB's Barsoomian language (, having loved the Elvish glossary in the Silmarillion, having loved reading dictionaries (English and foreign languages), having loved BASIC and FORTRAN IV and PILOT and LISP, having loved overused parallelism, once I saw two authors write about how to invent your own language, I just had to do it myself. My first language was Karkrak, the language of goblins, and I failed utterly to make it sound harsh. It just used a subset of English phonology, with -r- favored. Most of the words were borrowed from etymons I liked in English etymologies, so I had a coding scheme where ON (Old Nardic) was actually Old Norse or Norman French (can't remember which), OA (Old Alvish) was Old English, MA (Middle Alvish) was Middle English, etc. I kept the whole thing on index cards, with each word lexed on two cards, one card for Karkrak-English and one card for English-Karkrak. Knowing my inability to throw anything way, the index box is probably in my basement somewhere, even though its now 20 years and 10 residences later. Best regards, Jeffrey Henning - Invent Your Own Language - Win $100 in the DublexGame contest! "If Bill Gates had a nickel for every time Windows crashed.... Oh, wait, he does!"