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Re: Parseltongue

From:Erich Rickheit KSC <rickheit-cnl@...>
Date:Monday, December 9, 2002, 20:12
Jeffrey Henning wrote:
> Does anybody have any information on Parseltongue, the snake language from > Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets?
In the books, at least, Parseltongue is not a language but a magical facility. Harry perceives the communications as English, and is surprised that people around him hear nothing at all. People do hear Harry when he's 'speaking' Parseltongue, and recognize it as something other than a spell (which are typically dog Latin), but it's clear that Harry is just vocalizing for the sake of focus. For magical languages in kid's books, I'd like to learn the Language of Making from Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea books. Of course, we don't get more than a couple dozen words, and a small handful of utterances, not really enough to make up a grammar. Mostly, it begs the question: how does a culture go from speaking the language of Creation to a mundane language? Surely the fact that incorrect utterances are not effective to the natural world a great barrier to language change. Perhaps change comes from people trying to speak to each other in such a way that the universe doesn't pay attention to them; say, by using elaborate circumlocutions, or just by speaking as incorrectly as possible. Hmm, that's giving me some ideas. Erich


John Cowan <jcowan@...>Language of the Making (was: Parseltongue)