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CONLANG  January 2003, Week 2

CONLANG January 2003, Week 2

Subject:

Re: New Survey: Celtic Conlangs (and other lunatic pursuits)

From:

Josh Roth <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 8 Jan 2003 04:05:56 EST

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text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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In a message dated 1/5/03 3:06:06 PM, [log in to unmask] writes:

>PART I.  FOR CELTIC CONLANGERS:
>
>Have you based your conlang(s) wholly or partially on a Celtic language?
>If so, on which?  or combined with which?

I haven't. Except for, I suppose, mutations in Kar Marinam, which are
somewhat different than those in the Celtic languages.

>What is your name and what do you call your conlang(s)?

Josh Roth. My main ones are Eloshtan and Kar Marinam. There are a number of
smaller ones.

>When did you start it/them?

Eloshtan must have formed around 1997, Kar Marinam around 1998.

>Are you still working with it/them or have you abandoned it or them?

Still working with them, and others. Or they're still working with me. They
take turns.

>What Celtic features have you borrowed?  What is the structure of your
>language?  Be specific.

Only the mutations as I said above. Otherwise, the structures are quite
different from anything Celtic, any similarities being coincidental.

>What features of Celtic languages (or a particular Celtic language)
>initially inspired or intrigued you?  For example, Tolkien, as he described
>it in "Welsh and English" was impressed by the beauty of a Welsh inscription
>he saw on a building: Adeiladwyd 1887 ('built 1887').  He loved words like
>wybren, so much more "mellifluous" than our borrowed word "sky."  He was
>likewise enthralled by Finnish and Hebrew.  So he deliberately set out
>to
>make his Elvish languages beautiful.   Was this a draw for you as well
>in
>choosing Celtic as a model? (I understand that T's Elvish languages are
>not
>exclusively "Celtic."  He has described them, however, as being
>"European-like.")

Mutations - they're quirky and appealing. They felt right for KM.

>How many of you are also scholars of Celtic languages?   Scholars of other
>languages?

I wouldn't call myself a scholar of any language, but I do read a lot about
languages. Celtic languages I haven't read too much about. I've read about a
bit, and they're very nice. I just haven't had much exposure - no one I know
speaks a Celtic language, they don't teach them around here. Often if I
attempt to read about them I am turned off because I don't know how to
pronounce them.

>How were you introduced to them?

I think I was introduced to most languages through my brother's copy of
Kenneth Katzner's _The Languages of the World_, a neat book that doesn't tell
you much about any language, but just makes your mouth water with short
samples and descriptions.

>PART II:  INSPIRATION BY TOLKIEN (tangential to the questions on inspiration
>by Celtic languages):
>
>How many of you were inspired to invent a language because of your exposure
>to Tolkien?
>
>How many of you based your conlang on one of Tolkien's languages, or your
>conculture in Middle Earth?

Not I, for either.

>How many of you have a constructed world, and, if so, does it include some
>of the races we associate with Celtic or Scandinavian mythology? (Elves,
>Dwarves, medieval societies of humans, Faeries or Fays?  Selkies?  Wizards?)

I have a (semi-)constructed world, but there's no relation to any of those.
I'm fairly ignorant of them.

>How many of you were inspired to examine Welsh, Hebrew, or Finnish because
>of your examination of Tolkien?

Not I.

>How many of you were inspired to invent a conlang or a conculture because
>of
>some influence OTHER than Tolkien?

That would be Esperanto. I first encountered it in the book mentioned above,
and was very impressed. I may have been conlanging before a bit, but that
certainly gave me a boost.

>How many of you were inspired to invent a language because you engage in
>Roll-Playing Games?
>
>How many of you were inspired to invent a language because you heard of
>this
>listserv?
>
>How many of you are members of the Mythopoeic Society, or the Society for
>Creative Anachronism, or other High Fantasy Groups?

Not I for all three. Except, I should say that while this listserv did not
introduce me to the concept or give the impetus to start, it (along with
related web pages) did show me just to what extent conlanging could be taken,
and I have learned lots of linguistics from it, so much that a great deal of
what I was taught in college (and still am being) is redundant.

>PART III:  NON-CELTIC CONLANGERS:
>
>In the discussions I've witnessed on Conlang in almost five years, I've
>observed that many conlangers have deliberately avoided "Tolkienesque"
>languages, and even Indo-European languages as models for conlangs, and
>especially the "Celtic."  Why?  Boring?  Overdone?  Trite?  Too pretty?
>Too Western?  Or none of the above--just more interested in something else?
><G>  I don't want to give the impression that I think we conlang only
>because of Tolkien, and that anything we invent has to be INSPIRED BY or
>a
>DEPARTURE from the "Great One"; but in this question I'm eager to see some
>eschewal of or at least indifference towards the Tolkien, the "Celtic,"
>and/or even the Indo-European model.
>
>So what is unappealing about the Indo-European model for conlanging?  Or
>Tolkien's Elvish?

I have no fundamental opposition to Celtic or Tolkien's langs, but I don't
know much about them. That said, even if I did, say, know Quenya really well,
it would feel weird to base my own language on it. It's someone else's very
personal creation, and it wouldn't seem right for me or him to base my own
personal creation on it.

I have no problem with natlang influence in general, but with most of my
languages I try to do something more original and unique. This desire has
grown along with my knowledge of linguistics and general growth as a person.
When I started conlanging, I was trying to mush together Spanish and English
and Hebrew and whatever else I knew to create something that would have all
the good qualities of those, and also be better than the sum of its parts. It
hadn't quite occured to me yet to be original.

Some things, such as Romance conlangs, could be called overdone. They're
still irresistible though. One reason I haven't done more historically-based,
plausible conlanging is simply the difficulty in starting from something
(Latin, Proto-Indo-European, Scythian) that I'm not so familiar with.

>How did you start conlanging?  What was your initial inspiration?

Hebrew and Spanish were my initial inspirations, along with Esperanto when I
discovered it, though I didn't actually take any material from the latter.

>Did you know about Tolkien's inventions?  Read the books, the appendices?
>etc.  Or not?

No I didn't. I had picked up The Hobbit once when I was very young but didn't
get past the first few pages. I was completely unware of Tolkien's conlangery
until later. Even since I've learned about him, I haven't read his books
(though I saw the the first LOTR movie). Oh wait, I did actually read his
Secret Vice essay a couple of years ago - I couldn't say it influenced me
though.

>What language types have you modeled your language(s) after?

A few of my languages are Indo-European based - there's a Romance one,
Rhumoi, and a mush of mostly Armenian and Ukrainian plus original material,
Thralanian. Another language is somewhat Germanic-influenced (in an
impressionistic sense), Myntaic. Yaffi is the mix of Hebrew and Spanish and
English that I mentioned earlier. Eloshtan is somewhat influenced by those
and Hungarian, along with my discover of "the 4th person" in various
Amerindian languages. Kar Marinam is more eclectic, though the actual
infuences (Hebrew, Georgian, Malagasy, Tagalog, Tamil, Hua, Yimas, and
Ponapean) are less direct - there are no borrowed morphemes or paradigms,
just general ideas.

>What features of these languages or language types appeal to you?

Hungarian - vowel harmony, and the general sound. Word-initial stress. The
/k/s. The all in one conjunctive/subjunctive/imperative verb form.
Hebrew - the simultaneous neatness and irregularity. The /x/s. The construct
state of nouns, including change of the word shape. Conjugated prepositions
(of course Celtic has these too, but that is not where I discovered them).
The connections between different words. Also, the general conciseness of
Biblical Hebrew.
Georgian - the sounds and beauty of the words. The agreement of verbs with
subjects, direct objects, and indirect objects. More that I can't remember.
Romance - it's, for me, the most accessible example of how one language can
change into so many new languages over time, which are so similar and so
different. I particularly like the sound of Spanish, and Romanian, different
as the are, and most especially the look of Romanian on the printed page.
Tagalog - triggers.
Malagasy - the sound and the look of it. The word order. The way the
constraints of word order and subject-only relativization interact with verb
voices and noun raising.

>Some of you, and I'm thinking in particular of a conversation I had with
>And
>Rosta, are not interested in producing a language that is
> "mellifluous"--that "mellifluousness" is a thing to be avoided in your
>conlang and especially as it is associated with Tolkien's Elvish or copiers
>of Elvish.   Is this so?  Why?

It's not necessarily to be avoided - see below. Certainly not because of
Tolkien's langs, as those are not really relevant for me when I create a
language.

>For how many of you, though, is beauty and/or efficiency a factor in your
>language?  Or elegance?  How would you define these terms?

Really, every language seems to have its unique needs. One thing is beatiful
in Kar Marinam, and not in Eloshtan, and something that is beautiful in
Eloshtan is terrible in Kar Marinam. Even with individual sounds: voiced
stops, for example, are quite lovely in KM, but are just dirty in Eloshtan -
there is only one, /g/, and the more progressive dialects have spirantized
it. To a large extent anyway, I can't say that any particular sequence of
sounds, or aspect of grammar is beautiful on its own. It depends on the
context. It's like this a little - a particular red shirt may look good on a
particular person and not on another, but by itself it's just a piece of
colored cloth and harder to evaluate.

>For how many of you is the "exotic" a desired feature of your invented
>language?

It is almost always for me (even when I steal from natlangs).

>How many of you invent a non-human language?  And if so, how alien are
>its
>sounds and constructions?

I don't really, though I had a language, Hoxan, spoken by rather skeletal
creatures (I don't known if they're human). It's sounds were only alien in
that they are all produced ingressively, that is, while breathing in, and
there were more tonal distinctions than would exist in a natural language. (I
use the past tense because I haven't worked on it in a long time.) It is not
quite impossible for a human to pronounce, but difficult and unnatural.
Someone once asked to hear some, and I told them I couldn't remember any,
when I really just thought it would sound too strange and jarring.

>Do you prefer inventing an a posteriori language or an a priori language?
>In other words, how many of you invent a language wherein you base it
>closely on a natural language (Arabic, Tagalog) or a combination of
>languages, and how many others of you invent a language from, well, scratch?
>(if that can be done.)

I think I more or less answered this already. I've gone more towards a
priori. Influences (in terms of grammatical structures and such, as opposed
to actual words) though, are always there at some level.

>How many of you invent a language based on a particular type (Ergative,
>Accusative, Trigger, etc.)?

This happens sometimes. Kar Marinam was based on the Active type (though
fluid-S is probably a better name). It was supposed to be a trigger language
as well, though the system has come to be different than trigger systems as
I've read about them. Often after I came across a new idea, or rather several
new ideas, I'd make a new language in which to express them, if I couldn't
incorporate them into an existing one.

>To what degree is difficulty and irregularity of language important to
>you
>in your conlang?  what natural language eccentricities (or efficiencies)
>do
>you like and try to reproduce?

It really depends on the language. Eloshtan really is meant to be regular. It
still has a personality, just a clean and neat one. Kar Marinam has some
irregularity, but more importantly, the regular stuff is fairly complex
enough on its own. It is meant to have much of the eccentricity that natlangs
have and Eloshtans lacks. Some of those eccentricities are: multiple
paradigms for verbal conjugation (as opposed to Eloshtan's one); conciseness
- which also leads to multiple interpretation possibilities (I'm thinking of
Yimas' [a Papuan language] 'oblique case', which can mark just about anything
- though KM isn't quite this open); marking where you would not expect it
rather than where you would (as in French number marking on the article
rather than the noun itself); marking for things you might not expect or want
to bother with (such as specificity, dynamicity) at the price of ignoring
things you would expect (number, future tense). There is also the Fuscian
language (whence cometh my e-mail address), intended to be extremely
complicated and irregular. I can't say more than that though, cause I didn't
get too far with it.

>To what degree is accessibility, efficiency, and regularity important to
>your conlang?  What natural language "faults" are you correcting?

Accessibility - in the sense of others being able to learn it - is not so
important. If someone wanted to learn a conlang of mine, I could find them an
easy one. I'm not going to hamper my efforts though for such an unlikely
situation. I do go for efficiency somewhat. Not in the sense of trying to
create the most condensed and quickly-spoken language in the world,
certainly. Only in that I am bothered if it takes much longer to say
something in one of my conlangs than in a natlang I know. Kar Marinam, as I
stated before, is meant to be somewhat concise (though, not *efficient*
really, as there is unnecessary agreement and such), but if some sentences
are longer than their English equivalents, I'm not going to chop away at them
to much. Efficiency, or rather conciseness is not the point of the language,
only something to go for when I can.

>How many of you invent logical languages?

I don't feel qualified to. I'd want to take another course or two in symbolic
logic first.

>How many of you invent IALs?

I can only mention Yaffi, which was intended to be a superior language in a
sense, but not one that would replace other languages, or be efficient, or
extremely easy, or bring world peace. I wouldn't call it an IAL, but it's the
closest I've come.

>How many of you have invented non-Tolkienesque or non European concultures
>and what are they like?

I have rather vague concepts of my concultures, so I can't say too much.

>How many of you started out by pulling words out of the air, originally?
>How many of you have chosen a more methodic form of vocabulary building?
>I.e., how have you gone about setting up the framework for your words and
>your grammar?
>(I started out pulling words out of the air.)

I started by pulling words from other languages, and modifying them. A bit
later I began pulling them out of the air. I have never used any sort of
computer program to create vocabulary, as they are all, AFAIK, made for PCs
and I have a Mac. If I could use one though, I hope I would resist the
temptation.

When I start a language, a small collection of ideas - the language name,
several representative words, some important grammar points, as well as the
all-important flavor/feel/personality aspect - all usually come out together,
and I go from there. (Or just leave it in a drawer somewhere.) Usually
conlang quite consciously, that is, I dictate what I want it to be. With Kar
Marinam though, it has been largely a listening-and-recording process. I
don't claim to be recieving the language from God or anything. I merely take
it slower, and see what "feels right." If I am unsure of how to do something
in the language, I'll often put it aside until the answer becomes apparent,
whenever that may be. This method has worked quite well. In one particular
example, I realized early on that there were two constructions for marking
possession, one for use with animate possessed nouns and one for inanimates.
Why, I didn't know - until I later I discovered that there was in fact a very
different and appopriate use for the noun with the "wrong" possessive marker,
having to do with causatives. That is, a structure I created later on was
able to fit only because of a quirk I had felt compelled to introduce earlier.

>PART IV:  THE LUNATIC SURVEY REVISITED (because we are all "fous du
>langage," according to Yaguello and other French critics.
>
>Why do you conlang?  Who will speak it?  Read it?  What's the point?  What's
>the beauty?  what's the intellectual draw?

It is fun. I would love it someone wanted to learn a conlang of mine, but I
don't expect it or require it. It is to me a form of art, created with sounds
and letters. It is also an exercise in constructing something whose finite
individual parts work together to produce the infinite. Making it work, and
making it aesthetically pleasing (in whatever form that is for the particular
language) are the draws. Having a finished product that is beautiful and
powerful and flexible - something I made that I enjoy and express myself with.

>To what would you compare a conlang?  Is it a miniature?  Is it a model?
> Is
>it a tapestry?  Is it an act of obsession and madness? <G>  Or is it a
>communicable language?

It is a tapestry, and a machine. It is certainly an act of obsession and
madness - if not, it ends up one of those one-page abandoned sketches - to
build a working language you must be obsessed, even if the mood comes and
goes.
I don't quite agree with the terms miniature or model - though the machinery
at the core of a conlang is certainly smaller than that of any natlang, if
you look at any one part - a text, a themed word list, an element of grammar
- you might never know the difference, and that is the point. Conlangs do not
aspire do be miniature or incomplete - it is only our human limitations that
make that so.

>If it is a communicable language, to whom do you speak it?

One language, Swassaggi, I use to speak to my sister, to ask how many
(imitation) sausages she wanted. It was more or less a small mishmash of
Italian and Spanish that she managed to understand because of the context.
That's about it.

>To what extent is the opacity or "alterity" of your language something
>that
>pleases you?  In other words, the sounds and the script have, even for
>you,
>a quality of being foreign, and this delights.
>Comment?  (I know that when I make maps of cities, and imagine myself in
>them, they delight me because they are both familiar and foreign at the
>same
>time.)

To a great extent. Creating morphemes and rules is one thing, but I love also
to have a sizable text (and if it's not long enough, you can increase the
size of the font!) that I can look at as a whole, and pretend like it's
another page in Katzner's book. I like writing things out in the appropriate
script too, to see how it should really look. Having the feeling that this is
a legitimate piece of language, alien and complex as any other. At the same
time though, it bothers me that I can't always read and transparently
understand it when I want to, even though I may know all the morphemes and
rules.

>This is a difficult question:  how is it that a word sounds "right" to
>you?
>We recently discussed this.  To what extent are you finding righter, better
>words for the world in your conlang?  (Perhaps unanswerable).

Words just feel right. But only for a given language. 'hbu' /Cbu/ is not
'shadow' in any absolute sense, nor should it be, nor is it a good English
word, but in KM it fits. Sometimes I think of a concept and let sounds roll
around in my mind until I find the right sequence to express it. Other times
I think of a word, write it down, and then try to find the meaning. If I
don't find it, I'll erase the word.

>How many of you are fictive map-makers, designers of fictive floor plans,
>fictive yachts, fictive star-ships, world-builders, calligraphers,
>cartoonists, etc.?  (These pursuits have been associated with conlanging.
> I
>'ve done most of them.)

I've made maps, floor plans, panoramic landscapes full of stick figures doing
everything under the sun, and strange diagrams of two-dimensional
intra-mountain dwellings with secret entrances and exits, living quarters,
and storage areas (inspired by a math textbook (!) which had a brief
discussion of what it would be like to live in a two dimensional world and a
couple of example illustrations of how homes and furniture, IIRC, would have
to be). I definitely see these as products of the same urge that results in
conlanging. They all go together. I could add doodling, painting, and poetry
too. Some of course, have more of an engineering aspect, and some less.

>How many of you have a special script in your conlang?

I think I was making scripts before languages. I have lots of them, and
in-between scripts, and scripts that I can't remember what language they go
with, and different versions of scripts, and adaptations of the same scripts
for multiple languages. There are though, some langs without a script, and
some scripts without a language. My scripts have been almost exclusively
alphabetic, some more Hebrew/Indic style with vowels indicated around the
consonants. I also created a sign language alphabet for Eloshtan.

>If you use Roman script, how recognizably "phonetic" is your writing system?
>In other words, do you use unconventional letters to represent sounds?
>Why?

I think every conlang of mine has a Roman representation, and they are fairly
"phonetic". The main exception is Fuscian, one of the earlier ones, which had
some "maggelity," though in its own way. It used about every diactric I could
find, and had loads of silent letters. Still though, 'e' would not be /u/ and
'g' would not be /m/. That reminds me, in Grittishc, there were a couple of
different things; 'mg' for /k/ for example (along with 'c' and 'k'). Getting
back to Fuscian, there was one additional letter, an 'h' and 'm' combined,
that is, with one long vertical and two humps. It represented a glottal stop.
When I have used unconventional spellings, it is usually just to give the
script some additional flavor. With Fuscian, the idea was to have an
extremely complex language, and I felt a complex orthography had to go with
it.

>This is a question Heather asked, but I also asked it four years ago:
>how
>many of you write in your language?  What do you write?

I have written poetry occasionally in Eloshtan. Other than that, it's mostly
translations.

>How many of you sing in your language and have invented songs for that
>purpose?

I would, but I'm not a good composer.

>How many of you started conlanging when you were a teenager and have stuck
>to the same language over many years?   Why?

I've stuck to some of the same languages, others I haven't work on in a long
time, though I may pick them up again one day. Why? Why not? They held my
interest. The more one develops, the more you can do with it, and the more it
cries out for you to develop it more.

>How many of you change conlangs regularly, developing structures for many
>languages but not sticking with any one for very long?  Why?

I suppose I should answer this too, because I have created many (partial)
languages. I like my big languages, but I still want to explore other ideas
and create new creatures. If I feel right now like working with ergativity
and polysythesis, I can't exactly incorporate that into Eloshtan or anything
else, because they've already established quite different systems. As for why
I should stop working on a language, that's a harder question. Perhaps some
are more momentary interests that pass. Perhaps there's just too much to work
on everything.

>For how many of you does your language function as a spiritual instrument?
>This is a deeply personal question--let me give you an example.  When I
>first started inventing "Tayonian" in my early teens, what I wrote were
>spells and prayers.  They had a talismanic quality.  Does that ring a bell
>for anybody?

I haven't really used them for that, though the speakers of Kar Marinam have
a separate language (with a phoneme of silence) that they use for similar
purposes.

Come to think of it though, I did do this a couple of times. It is a Jewish
custom to stick notes with prayers into cracks in the Western Wall in
Jerusalem, and when I did this about 5 and a half years ago, I wrote mine in
Fuscian (I mean, I wouldn't want someone to pluck it out and read it! It's
personal! ) - in a spur of the moment form, which I probably wouldn't
understand if I saw it today, but I was and am sure that God could understand
it perfectly. I also sent one in through a web site once, written in Eloshtan.

>For how many of you was your language at least at one stage of its making
>meant to fool others, or to write secret diaries? (Me, waving my hand).

It probably was never the main purpose, but that has certainly happened. I
mean, sometimes, you want real privacy - how else can you get it? Locks can
be broken, notebooks can be opened, but to translate an unknown language is
not a simple thing. There is also an element of fun and pride in occasionally
seeing other peoples' frustration.

>How many of you can speak your language, at least to yourself and your
>pet?
>child?  spouse?  <G>  To what extent?

When I go through a period when I do a bit of translation and work on
Eloshtan, I start to remember words and am able to compose a fair bit in it
without checking the dictionary. Other times I forget words (I've pretty much
gotten the grammar down). I don't have anyone else to speak it to though.

>How many of you have put up websites where your language can be showcased?
>If so, what is the website address?

<http://members.aol.com/fuscian/home.html>
Eloshtan is up there, Kar Marinam isn't quite yet, but maybe soon.

>How many of you have made soundbytes of your language so the rest of us
>can
>hear it?  If so, give the site.

I don't, but maybe someday.

>How many of you are comfortable talking to your boss, your professors,
>your
>family members about this pursuit?   How many of you have received
>condescending or other negative responses to your disclosure?  (I have.)
> Or
>even been called "pathological"?

I've mentioned it to some friends and family, and a psychologist. Guess who
was the only one who was the least bit interested (the last one). But really,
no one cares, even people with some interest in linguistics. If, say, a
professor or someone came upon my webpage and asked me about it, I wouldn't
be too uncomfortable discussing it. People may think it's weird or stupid,
but no one's been rude enough to say anything.

>If this attitude is changing, to what do you attribute the change?  (On
>New
>Year's Eve, a delightful, elderly gentleman could not understand why I
>would
>be interested in this pursuit.  What purpose could it serve?)

NA. I've really only encountered a lack of attitude, which hasn't changed.

>For how many of you is the damning statement "better to learn real languages
>than invent private ones" a criticism you have encountered?  What would
>be
>your response to such a remark?

I would point out that you could say similar things in any creative field -
why paint when there are museums full of masterpieces (or, deteriorating
paintings in Italian chapels that need your help, if they tell you that you
should be documenting dying languages)? Why write a book when there are so
many great works already to read? Etc. If they agree with those too, which is
not likely, then they'd have a point. I would explain to them that part of
being human is, for some people anyway, having the desire to create and not
just appreciate what's already been created.
I would also point out that I do both learn real languages and invent ones
anyway, as do most conlangers (AFAIK).

>PART V:  GENERAL DEMOGRAPHICS:
>
>What is your age (optional--and can be general: 30-40, for instance).

20.5

>What is your profession or your station in life (i.e., if you are a student,
>what is your MAJOR; if a middle or high-school student, what is your
>intended major)?

Junior in college, majoring in linguistics.

>What is your gender?

Male.

>What is your nationality and your native language?

USA, English.

>What natural languages do you speak or have studied?

I am only fluent in English, but I've taken classes in Spanish, French,
Hebrew, Mandarin, Hindi, Italian, ASL, and a class on the structure of
Arabic. I've read about various others - Catalan, Hungarian, Malagasy, Yimas,
Tagalog, etc.

>How many of you have chosen a profession in linguistics because of your
>interest in inventing languages?  Or plan a profession in linguistics?

I am studying linguistics, but my future career is uncertain. As for why I am
studying it, is because I am interested in languages. My interest in
*inventing* languages is also (partially) a result of my interest in
languages, not vice versa.

>What have you learned from conlanging?

So much about the nature of language and linguistics. It's infinitely more
educational to create an X type of language than to merely read about it in a
book. Also, I've learned that languages are incredibly huge and complicated
things, and creating a full one - especially a REALISTIC one - is not
realistic, though if you're really good and dedicated, you can fake it. Also,
and this seems like a no-brainer, but how much orthography can affect one's
impression of a language. If I spell the same language like it's Welsh, or
like it's Basque, people, myself included, will react to it differently.

>What texts on language and linguistics have you consulted to help invent
>your language?

For some good inspiration I would recommend _The World's Major Languages_ by
Comrie. There's also a book by Payne that gets mentioned around here, which
I've looked over and is very good, though I haven't personally used it to
create a language. For a reference to phonetics I use _The Sounds of the
World's Languages_ by Ladefoged and Maddieson. Other than that I've looked at
lots of grammar books for indivudal languages, and linguistics books and web
pages.

>Do you know of anyone who has not connected with the Internet or the List
>who has invented a language? (I'm firmly convinced that "conlanging" has
>been a private pursuit for many people long before the list started, but
>that the list has increased its visibility as an art).

I may know of one.

>Can you give me a short sample of your language with interlinear description
>and translation?

I've translated into Eloshtan and Kar Marinam:
'The two women sang loudly as they prepared the goat's eyes and sweet rice
dumplings.'

Eloshtan:

kalok qiljekel mirecket zqopcockotov farala hyege tef mafaglak hevek
grraquskajjakol vi fecket.
kalo-k qilje-k-el mire-c-k-et zqopco-c-k-ot-ov farala hyege te-f mafagla-k
heve-k grraquskajja-k-ol vi fe-c-k-et
['kAlVk 'xIlZEkEl 'mI4EskEt 'zxVpsVskVtVv 'fA4AlA 'hjEgE tEf 'mAfAglAk 'hEvEk
'gK\AxUSkAz`AkVl vI fEskEt]
two.PL woman.PL.MOD sing.3.PL.PST be.loud-3-PL-PST-CONJ while goat POSS.4
eye.PL sweet-PL rice.dumpling-PL-MOD and make.3.PL.PST

MOD = a marker for nouns modified by an adjective
CONJ = conjunctive form of the verb

Kar Marinam:

mrel mfadry dhga mr mwksemydpu shil nhddhres gmpepstshdomp .
mr-(e)l (NM)fadr dhga mr mwk-t-mydpu shil nh-dr-dhs
g()-mp(e)-ps-tshdomp
['mE4El 'mfad4I\ 'Daga im'4i mv\EksEmi'dipu Sil nCu'doD4Es gEmpEpsE'tsaSdOmp]
['me4El 'mfVdz4_j 'T_-AgA im'4i mv\EksemI\'dip Sil nhjU\'dU\T_-4Es
gEmpEpse'tVSdU\mp]
two-GEN:AS woman loudly sing.NF/S eye-CONS2:S-goat sweet1
TD:G-rice.dumpling-sweet2 DO:IP-S:AP-WHILE-prepare.F/D/P

The two phonetic transcriptions are for the two dialects of the language.
The accents represent tones (unmarked=low, dieresis=high, acute=rising,
grave=falling).
[U\] and [I\] are lax high central vowels. [T_-] is basically a non-sibilant
[s].
NM = nasal mutation
GEN:AS = genitive for animate, specific nouns
NF/S = non-finite and static
CONS2:S = the second construct case marker, for specific nouns
TD:G = trigger case marker for general nouns (which, incidently, doesn't
happen to trigger anything here)
DO:IP = direct object is inanimate plural
S:AP = subject is animate plural
F/D/P = finite, dynamic, and past

>Would you object to my mentioning your conlang/and or your name in my talk?
>I will be discreet about some of the more personal questions you answered.

You may if you like.

>Ev send poto, yry poy poy firrimby!

Hey, I think I understand two words of that. Not bad, eh? :-)

>Sally Caves
>[log in to unmask]
>Eskkoat ol ai sendran, rohsan nuehra celyil takrem bomai nakuo.
>"My shadow follows me, putting strange, new roses into the world."
>http://www.media-culture.org.au/0003/languages.html


Josh

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