On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 22:28:14 -0400, Herman Miller <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>I've decided to go back to languages associated with concultures, and I
>think I've figured out how to get started. Instead of trying to build up a
>complex history of inter-related Zireen languages, I came up with the idea
>of a Zireen conlang. The idea is that this is a sort of "Zireen Esperanto",
>a simplified and idealized form of language that borrows from a number of
>related Zireen languages, but without all the complications and irregular-
>ities of a real natlang. At the same time, I'd like to try to get a sense
>of the overall structure of Zireen languages and how they differ from human
>languages in terms of typological parameters. For instance, VOS languages
>are fairly common among Zireen languages, but rare for human languages. The
>new Zireen conlang, or "Zircon" for short, has a structure typical of
>Zireen languages: basic VOS word order, ergative case marking on noun
>phrases, and more fricatives than stops.

Can you give the phoneme inventory yet, or is that still in the works? I've
noticed some interesting features in a few of the Kolagian languages, such
as the alternation between /r/ (a tap) and /K/ (a voiceless lateral
fricative) in Jirit (which I realize is Mizarian and not one of the Zireen

>Certainly, Zireen languages have a lot in common with human languages, and
>it's not my intention to come up with a truly "alien" set of languages.
>Zireen are physically very similar to humans, at least superficially, and
>their cultures are not so different that they're incomprehensible to us.

I wonder if anyone could develop a truly 'alien' language, since in order to
think about it, it would have to be at least somewhat comprehensible to the
human mind... but perhaps that is a discussion for another day & time.