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A slightly less forbidden experiment? (was Re: The Forbidden Experiment)

From:Paul Bennett <paul.bennett@...>
Date:Monday, November 29, 1999, 11:50
On Thu, 25 Nov 1999, Paul Bennett wrote:

> Please tell us more! Is it "real" conlanging?
I think so. They sing elaborate songs, reproduceable (they remember them for a day or so, and then forget them because they go on to do other things and can't write them down yet) and tell us "that's a song in my language". They make up words for things, not purely a relex, but things like "coat and shoes" (as a unit), or "to have an elephant" (and then "to have a large elephant" is a recognizably cognate word). <<<<<< I don't know how well they've grasped the fundamentals of reading/writing, but I've had an idea: An interesting parallel experiment might be to encourage them to con-script, (they write down the squiggles and provide a pronounciation, and you provide a romanisation) or to teach them characters or digraphs beyond those in Dutch (IPA symbols?) to express any phones that occur in their songs/words that are outside of junior-school Dutch. The former method might help them learn to read/write, while the latter could possibly slow them down, IMHO. Actually, do their songs/words contain phones that aren't part of Dutch? The con-scripting idea might actually be very, very interesting from all kinds of viewpoints, provided they have some idea of what writing is for, even if they're not fully adept at "real" writing yet. Is much known of the writing acquisition and usage in biscriptal(?) children? I recall that you posted to the list before about the "coat & shoes" thing. Wasn't it etymologised to a kind of compound of "shoe" and "coat"? I like the existence of a verb "to have an elephant", by the way, and may have to borrow it :-) ************************************************************* This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the sender. This footnote also confirms that this email message has been scanned for the presence of computer viruses. *************************************************************