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At 1:38 pm -0600 22/3/02, William Annis wrote:
> >From: Raymond Brown <[log in to unmask]>
> >
> >Wot no Tolkien-langs?
> >
> >They appeared in neither the 'interesting list snipped', nor above.
> >Personally, Quenya must come high (if not at the top) of my list.
>
>        There is an esthetic appeal there, but the incompleteness of
>the languages is maddening.

But then, what conlang is complete?  Come to that, can any natlang be said
to be complete?

>All the ones on my list are still live,
>at least in the sense that I could pester an author with questions if
>I wanted to.

True - a valid point.
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At 3:26 pm -0500 22/3/02, Aidan Grey wrote:
>At 07:26 PM 3/22/2002 +0000, you wrote:
>
>>There's some, e.g. the four forms & the six cases.  I rate Kinya highly
>>also; I like its phonetics, and the fact that, unusually for conlangs, it
>>considers metrics and poetic forms.
>
>    Ah, that's true! I had forgotten the forms and cases. I too really,
>REALLY like that he is incorporating/has incorporated poetric forms and
>metrics.

Me too.

>I am doing the same with Taalennin, and already have some idea of
>standard epic poetry forms (3 line stanzas of either 6 syllables or 6 feet
>each - I'll have to wait til I start writing some epic poetry to decide
>whether 6 syllables is enough space).

Right - I must take a more serious look at Taalennin  :)

>   Speaking of which, does anyone understand what caesura and hemistychs
>are, and can you explain it to me? I think they'll be very important in the
>epic metrics.

Yes, I guess they are.  The caesura is a slight pause in the middle of a
'foot' about midway along the line.  In ancient Greek and Latin the meter
used for epic was the dactylic hexameter.  It consisted of six feet: the
first four could be dactyls or spondees; the fifth was a dactyl and the
final a spondeed.  One can think of the dactyl as a crotchet followed by
two quavers (a quarter note followed by two eighth notes) and a spondee as
two crotchets (two quarter notes).

The caesura normally came after the the first 'crotchet' in either the 3rd
or 4th foot; unusually it might come in the 2nd.  'Hemistychs' are what the
what the caesura splits the line into: i.e. one on each side of the caesura.

Vergil's Aeneid has some lines which are just the first hemistych and
nothing else.  Some maintain that they are a (brilliant) innovation of
Vergil's and are used to effect; others hold that they were just makeshifts
which Vergil would have resolved if he had lived to revise and complete the
Aeneid.  I hold the latter view.

a breal BTW which concides with the end of a foot is called a diaeresis;
these were avoided in epic meters, except for special effect.

>>Wot no Tolkien-langs?
>>
>>They appeared in neither the 'interesting list snipped', nor above.
>>Personally, Quenya must come high (if not at the top) of my list.
>
>    It used to be in the top 5, along with Sindarin. But as Andreas' recent
>mention of the "Is Quenya fictional?" issue on elfling attests, it has
>gotten extremely obtuse and weird. I got sick of the infighting, the
>pointless arguments (how many angels _can_ dance on the head of a pin?) ,

I can well understand that.  I had a feeling that all was not well in the
Tolkienlang world, which is one reason I've avoid Elfling/Tolklang type
lists.  Alas, it sounds like the infighting and pointless arguments I once
knew on Auxlang.  It has really turned me off conIALs (except BrSc  ;)
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At 12:11 am +0100 23/3/02, Christian Thalmann wrote:
>That's a very interesting but tough question...
>
>- Quenya certainly ranks highest on my list.  Tolkien tried hard to
>make it as beautiful as possible, and apart from the inexplicable
>omission of /Z/ he succeeded exceedingly well.

Nothing inexplicable - Tolkien kept ugly sounds like /Z/ for things like
Sauron's 'Black Tongue'   :)

>- Sindarin would also be quite high, though its mutation patterns freak
>me out.  =P

No more difficult AFAIK than Welsh (tho different), and easier than Cornish
or Breton, I think.

>- Klingon is dead ugly and uses an exceptionally stupid notation

But wasn't Klingon meant to be dead ugly and weird?

>- Esperanto should be commended for the noble idea and the general
>uplift of conlanging into public attention, but the lang itself
>doesn't do much for me.

But the idea was by no means new and conlanging had already been uplifted
into public attention.  The idea goes back at least to the 17th century -
tho the earlier conlang IALs attracted little or no public attention.  But
Volapük had appeared in 1980 and spread rapidly; by 1989 it had some 200
thousand adherents (mostly in Europe but some in the US), two dozen
publications and some 300 societies or clubs supporting it.  Unfortunately
for it, the decision was taken to hold the 1989 Paris Conference entirely
in Volapük (a logical idea, one would think) - it exposed the inherent
difficulties in the language.  It needed reform; its founder Father Martin
Schleyer (tes, he was Catholic priest) resisted reform & the reformers all
that their own ideas.  The language fell apart and Esperanto was fortunate
in being, as they say, "in the right place at the right time".

I find the language kludgy.


>As for conlangs from this list?  That's even more difficult, since I
>know most of them only from a casual glance on the grammar page...

I know the feeling.

[snip]
>
>- Tepa (by Dirk Elzinga) is one of the first conlangs I've seen on
>langmaker.com, and it thoroughly impressed me.

It thoroughly impressed me also when I first encountered it.

>The phonemically
>spartan but phonetically rich phonology is very cool, and the grammar
>is so outlandish I never had the heart to take an in-depth look.

It's worth another look.

[snip]
>
>I don't even quite know whether my own conlangs should belong on the list...

Why not?  One must surely like at least some of one's own creations  :)

>- Obrenje was supposed to be an a priori language which united
>efficiency, fluency and aesthetics in one smooth shell.  I have made
>many compromises since...

difficult not to, as I have found, if uniting different aims.

>......the aesthetics suffered for efficiency, and
>the grammar is often reminiscent of IE langs.  Still, it's my most
>complete lang, and I like it like an old friend.  Not brilliant, not
>gorgeous, but familiar, trusty and proven.

A trusty and proven friend seems to me good credentials for a language
being among one's favorites.

Ray.

=========================================
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
                     [J.G. Hamann 1760]
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