Hello, everyone. My name
is Marty Rosenberg, and I'm new to the list. I'm also what one might
call a "newbie." I'm 15, and started conlanging (if, indeed, that is a
word) about two years ago. I don't know if anyone else here was that
young when they started, so I'm not entirely sure what to expect, but I
(usually) like surprises.
First of all, I would just like to say that I've heard great things
about this list, and over the past few days, during which I have been
skimming through the digests, the conversation has seemed interesting.
I've also heard that you all are very welcoming and helpful, and I do
hope that this is true.
Now that that's over with, on to my efforts - and I do mean "efforts,"
not "successes" - at conlanging. So far I've tried three things, each
one a failure, but teaching me a few things in that failure. My first
effort, Tuntarac, tought me that conlangs should not simply be codes,
not only of English, but of any language (most of the grammar was
directly copied from Spanish, as were the sounds overall); and that I
had to avoid being overly self-contradictory (I had just recently
learned of Esperanto, and "tried out" the part-of-speech-specific
suffixes, and I had already broken the rules with the name of the
My second, Denyedergeo*, taught me that an interesting orthography does
not make for an interesting language; and that I wasn't crazy for
attempting a semi-polysynthetic** language before I knew what
polysynthetic meant. (My friend, another amateur conlanger, who has
also joined the list but has not introduced himself yet, thought it
would be too difficult to understand.)
My third was an attempt at a transformation of English, AEngliar*. It
seems that I had to learn a second time that an interesting orthography
does not make for an interesting language. There was also the matter of
discovering why languages change the way they do. So I went right out
with my Barnes & Noble gift card and bout _The Power of Babel_ by
John McWhorter and _Words and Rules_ by Steven Pinker. Of course,
considering the work load from my school (a big, rich school, which
gives 5-6 hours of near-impossible homework every night - and, no, my
intent is not just to complain), I've gotten to chapter two of _The
Power of Babel_, and haven't even started on the other. That's about
where I stand.
Anyway... I look forward to meeting you all, and I look forward to any
assistance you may be able to provide in my conlanging efforts. And it
won't go to waste, as I plan to turn linguistics into a career path, if
"(Hittite in Forty Lessons - fluency guaranteed or your money back!)"
-The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language, by John McWhorter
P.S. And, yes, I already know not to get on a side of IALs here, and I
don't intend to anyway, as I know little to nothing about them except
for a few random words and bits of grammar in Esperanto.
* This is an approximation; I can't figure out how to properly
represent sounds in SAMPA, so I'm sticking with familiar
representations here. (AE representing English's short a, and eo
representing the e/o symbol represented by an o with a slash through
it, at least in _The Power of Babel_.)
** There were two words in a sentence: Adjectives and nouns and/or
pronouns in one word, and adverbs and verbs in the other. I hadn't yet
figured out how to handle compound sentences before I gave up on it, so
there was really no place for prepositions yet, and articles just
didn't fit right.