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On Wed, Oct 30, 2002 at 11:07:12PM +0000, Mat McVeagh wrote:
> Hi - name's Mat, I rediscovered conlangs about a week ago from Mark
> Rosenfelder's website (zompist.com) and have been amazed to find this huge
> Net community of conlangers.

Welcome to CONLANG! :-)

> I say REdiscovered because I invented several
> languages in my early teenage years. I recorded it all in several exercise
> books, often among school work and BASIC programming plans. I drifted away
> from it after a few years and mostly forgot about it. Now, having read about
> all these amazing languages everybody's being creating, I have been inspired
> to get involved again.

Good for you. :-)

> Here is what I can find from my school-time notebooks:
[snip]
> 6) "Tipikyero" - so-called because it was going to be a 'typical' East Asian
> language. There is no such thing of course; what I wanted was a break away
> from European styles of language towards a Malayo-Polynesian type like
> Indonesian, which I had been looking at at that time. It was to be on a
> fictional island somewhere near the Philippines. I think I was going to
> design a syllabary or something.

Though you should be aware that "East Asian" is a very broad category,
with language families that are very different from each other.
Malay/Indonesian certainly does not have the syllabic structure the
Chinese languages have, for instance.

But of course, trigger languages are very cool. You should create one. :-)

[snip]
> language in which logical structure is so prominent. My studies in both
> Linguistics and Philosophy, as well as esoteric areas, have taught me very
> clearly that language involves expression of a whole load of other things -
> emotion? will? bias? experience? spirit? Can you really express emotion thru
> any loglang for instance, and if you can't, why should we (only) want to use
> a loglang?

Why not? It's not inconceivable that a language can be simultaneously
precise logically, and also emotionally expressive.

[snip]
> 10) Similarly, on a grammatical level, I would like to design one that broke
> out of a few common constraints of both natural and artificial languages.
> Something that broke down the verb/noun/adjective etc. hegemony, or
> isolating/inflecting/agglutinative.

<shameless plug>
Ohhhhh... now you really want to take a look at my conlang, Ebisedian. It
may still have nouns/verbs, etc., but its grammar is unlike any natlang I
know. Others on the list can attest to this. :-)
</shameless plug>

You might also want to look at Gladilation, which has no verbs.

> How about this for a suggestion: a
> language that doesn't clearly have the categories "word", "phrase",
> "sentence". Instead it has other levels of grammatical scale and structure,
> which don't match up to those three.

Well, "word", "phrase", and "sentence" aren't really fixed concepts. They
are just convenient abstractions of how native speakers of a language
think of their own language. For example, you have polysynthetic languages
which can represent a paragraph in a single "word". And then you have the
Chinese languages where you have syllables (which the native speakers
regard as "words") and combinations thereof (which are sorta in-between
words and phrases). A "Chinese word" is a rather ambiguous term.

Also, what constitutes a "phrase" is very different from language to
language.

As for sentences... Ebisedian is pretty tame in this regard, except for
its "nominator" sentences and the associated topic-comment structures.
Many things that other languages, say English, would say in one sentence,
Ebisedian would break up into a "nominator" (nominator sentences consist
of a single noun-phrase) followed by a series of "comments" (sentences
with the back-referencing particle). It's hard to say whether they are
individual "sentences" (Ebisedian grammarians claim so) or whether the
entire topic/comment structure is really a single unit. Even L1 speakers
do give less pause between topic/comment "sentences" than between
"regular" sentences.

[snip]
> I think I am going to enjoy being on this list, :)

I think so too. :-)


T

--
My program has no bugs! Only undocumented features...