Sally Caves <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Vyko!  My apologies for imposing another survey on you!

    My apologies for taking so long to reply.
    Where I've deleted a "How many of you ..." question it's because the
answer is "not I".


    not applicable

> 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?

    There wasn't a direct inspiration, but when I first read LotR (in high
school, I believe) I thought that his language invention was a cool thing,
and that undoubtedly influenced my first attempts at conlanging not too many
years later.

> 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?)

    None of my constructed cultures/worlds have magic, or nonhuman

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

    Not I, as far as I can consciously remember -- which is odd, because it
seems to me that I thought of myself as doing something not too unusual,
which means that I probably had been exposed to some examples (even if they
were just a few words in some work of speculative fiction), but I can't
think of any.

> How many of you were inspired to invent a language because you heard of
> this listserv?

    It didn't inspire me to start inventing any, but it did inspire me to
keep at it.


> What is your name ...

    Dennis Paul Himes

> ... and what do you call your conlang?

    Gladilatian (one of the few conlangs whose English name is not the same
as or an Anglicization of its native name)

> So what is unappealing about the Indo-European model for conlanging?  Or
> Tolkien's Elvish?

    too human -- Gladilatian is an alien language.

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

    Unfortunately, the origins of my conlanging are lost in the mists of
history (i.e. I can't remember exactly).  They were always intended to be
ficlangs, though (i.e. languages to be used in fiction).

> Did you know about Tolkien's inventions?  Read the books, the appendices?
> etc.


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

    I had a Romance conlang in my younger days.  Gladilatian, by current and
most developed one, is not based on an existing language type, and, in fact,
to a certain extent is based on avoiding existing language types.

> How many of you invent a non-human language?

    That would be me.

> And if so, how alien are its sounds and constructions?

    I'm not even sure what its sounds are, except that they're difficult for
a human to pronounce.  I deal with a (conculturally standardized) mapping to
human phonemes.  The most alien aspect of its constructions is the lack of

> Do you prefer inventing an a posteriori language or an a priori language?

    a priori -- Although sometimes I envy a postiori conlangers in that it
must be easier to come up with vocabulary for translation exercises,
especially if their language is one which applies regular sound changes to
an existing natlang.

> 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?

    Gladilatian is very regular.  It's somewhat difficult though, but
because of its unusual grammar and how it divides up the semantic space.
> How many of you have invented non-Tolkienesque or non European concultures
> and what are they like?

    The gladifers are six limbed spacefaring creatures who go through three
stages in life, child, female, and male.  They live in families of about
20-80 individuals, moving from one family to another after changing from
female to male.

> How many of you started out by pulling words out of the air, originally?

    I basically pull words out of the air still.

> 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?

    My conlang is primarily in support of my fiction, but also for the
intellectual enjoyment.

> 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's a work of art.

> 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 have a sketch of Gladilatia, a rough map of Paradise in my head, and
a more detailed map of 23nd century North America partly just in my head
and partly on a map, along with a rough map of the Angelperch space station.
These are all associated with different works of fiction.

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

    I do.

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

    The standard mapping of gladifer to human phonemes comes with a way of
writing Gladilatian in the Roman alphabet.  The only letter which is some-
what unconventional is "x" for /S/, but that's not unknown in natlangs.

> 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?

    In my novella A Diamond Found on Paradise there is a fair amount of
dialog and other text in Gladilatian.  Most of that is actually presented as
English, with an indication that the speakers are really speaking
Gladilatian.  However, all of the Gladilatian, even that which appears as
English in the novella, was originally written in Gladilatian.

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

> 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 haven't advertized it, but it's not hard to find on my website, which
a lot of people I know have looked at.  I haven't gotten any really negative
reactions, although that might be due to politeness on the part of my

> What is your age


> What is your profession or your station in life

    I'm a programmer.  My college major was Mathematics.

> What is your gender?


> What is your nationality ...

    USA (Connecticut)

> ... and your native language?


> What natural languages do you speak or have studied?

    I've studied Spanish and Latin.  I could understand the Spanish versions
of the handouts my kids brought home from school, but spoken Spanish is too
rapid for me to follow.  I know enough Latin that I could help my kids with
their homework when they took it.

> What have you learned from conlanging?

    I've learned a bit about linguistics just reading this list, as well as
an appreciation for the great variety of human language.

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

    This is a sentence which does appear in Gladilatian in the novella:

Mnefmu fmu mzanapu fetrzot nvet.
mne........fmu fmu mza.........napu fet.............rzot    nvet
desired-by.I   I  with-respect-to.inquiry creator

Literally: I am desired by myself to be a creator of inquiries directed to
Less literally: I want to question you.

> Would you object to my mentioning your conlang/and or your name in my
> talk?

    Not at all.


                 Dennis Paul Himes    <>    [log in to unmask]
        Gladilatian page:

Disclaimer: "True, I talk of dreams; which are the children of an idle
brain, begot of nothing but vain fantasy; which is as thin of substance as
the air."                      - Romeo & Juliet, Act I Scene iv Verse 96-99