--- In [log in to unmask], Peter Clark <peter-
clark@B...> wrote:

>         Three questions: one, Sally mentioned that you
were fluent in "Hermetic"
> (what's the "native" name of the language again?)--is
this true?

In Hermetic, Hermetic is called "mna Vanantha." ("The
name of the language is..." "The name of the language is
called..." Yikes! Shades of Lewis Carroll :)

I'm fluent in Hermetic in the sense that I can speak it
at a moderate conversational speed, occasionally halting
or stumbling. Beer seems to lessen slips of the tongue.
If I use a subordinate verb (used in subordinate verb
clauses), that increases the likelihood of a stumble.

The high water mark of my fluency in Hermetic was in my
early 20s (now 25 years ago), when I could speak
Hermetic just about as rapidly and fluently as English.
But I began to back off a little when I noticed subtle
Hermeticisms creeping into my English syntax (in
subordinate clauses, as you might guess)-- rather

But if I'm going to say something simple like, "Gaimoz
it omfoghravos ocho panw'omchonalzisor" ("What am I
going to write in response to this person?")... that
comes pretty readily.

>         Two, does your conlang have a script? Looking
at the picture of "The
> Celestial Labors," it looks like it has a unique
script. Details, please.

Yes, the "native" script of Hermetic is called "mna
Thiposo." Visible on my website so far only in those
pictures. Alphabetic portion of 17 letters, called "mna
Jondir-Aosthilo." Plus various syllabic signs,
ligatures, diacritical marks. And not terribly phonetic.

>         Three, how many words does your language have?
Would you say that it is
> "related" to any other natural language? And of
course, we would love details
> on the phonology, morphology, syntax, etc.

How many words? No idea. I did a word list back around
1974 which had hundreds of words on it, and a few very
fragmentary supplemental word lists in college. But by
and large, I carry the vocabulary in my head. My best
guess, and it's just a wild guess, is at least 1000 word
roots. With various words being formed off each root. I
dunno, that could be off.

I borrowed word roots, often with random phonetic
mutations, from whatever came to hand-- usual from Indo-
European languages, sometimes from other languages such
as Hebrew or whatever. Some of the word roots in
Hermetic I simply coined out of thin air. But the
Hermetic language as a whole is not "related" to any
natural language-- the grammar, I cobbled together one
detail at a time, again from whatever bright ideas or
sources came to hand.

Details on the rest? Forthcoming in good time, I hope!

Paul Burgess

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