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OT: [CONLANG] Re: Re: What makes a good conlang? (was Re: Super OT: Re: CHAT: JRRT)

From:And Rosta <a.rosta@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 10, 2004, 0:41
David P:
> Joerg wrote: > <<People who follow their intuition often create better and more > realistic art than people who try to be exact.>> > > The only caveat I'd add to this is that, with visual art, for example, > there's little chance of someone being influenced by anything other > than their own intuitions if they choose to follow simply their own > intuitions. In conlanging you run the risk of emulating your L1, or > any other language you know. So I'd say it's important to draw a > distinction between the instinct of what sounds right/makes sense, > and what sounds right/makes sense *within* the framework of the > language one's inventing. After all, I think we've all probably > seen examples (and, indeed, I've *been* an example) of someone doing > something because they think it sounds/feels right, and what they do > ends up emulating English, or some other known languages, almost exactly.
As words of advice to a novice conlanger that all makes sense, as does Teoh's rejoinder that anti-L1ism can result in gratuitious and grotesque ("frankenlang") exoticism (-- I remember the time when 98% of the artlangs on this list were ergative...). But advice to novice conlangers apart, I think that similarity to one's L1 (or other well-known language) is an irrelevance (to What Makes a Compelling Conlang). The important thing is to think out, and feel out, one's conlang thoroughly. Similarity to L1 is a risk not because similarity to L1 is a bad thing, but because it can let you lapse into not thinking and feeling out your conlang thoroughly. But there are also many other ways in which you can lapse into not thinking and feeling out your conlang thoroughly. (I believe I practise what I preach here, and I delight in discovering congruences between English and my conlang. I also rely heavily on my English intuitions during the design process.) --And.