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Peter Bleackley wrote:
> What was the thing that first opened your mind to the exciting
> possibilities of language? For me, it was studying Latin, which had a basic
> word order different from English, and also a great deal of freedom to vary
> that word order because of its inflecting morphology. It showed me, in a
> way that French never had, that it was possible for a language to work in a
> significantly different way from my own (I had been studying French at
> school for one year before I started Latin, and the course was more
> oriented towards basic communication than grammar). It was shortly after
> that that I created Lingu Scribem, my first attempt at a conlang (The
> Inevitable Euroclone).
>
> Pete

I don't think I can narrow it down to a single thing. My interest in
languages started with hearing "Canta una canción" on Sesame Street, but
it wasn't until many years later that I really started exploring other
languages. The TV miniseries "Shogun" got me interested in Japanese.
Somewhere around the same time I found out about Esperanto, and borrowed
books on Esperanto and Japanese from the local public library. I was
also starting my collection of Teach Yourself books around that time. I
tried unsuccessfully to learn Irish from one of those books, and had a
bit more success with Serbo-Croat(ian). The use of languages in movies
like _Star Wars_ and _The Dark Crystal_ was an inspiration for my own
alien languages. Later I ran across R.M.W. Dixon's books on Australian
languages in the Michigan State University library, with their exotic
phoneme inventories and grammatical features like ergativity. Somewhere
between the Australian languages and Japanese is probably where I
started to realize just how exotic other languages could be.