I'm new!  I have been lurking for a few days.  I have a BA in Linguistics
and Cognitive Psych and an MA in Linguistics (emphasis on Oceanic languages)
and am interested in language in general and Polynesian languages in
particular.  I write futurist fiction (as yet unpublished).  I have no
pressing need to develop a conlang at the moment, and, perhaps quixotically,
feel rather confident about doing it if I ever need to.  (And it will
probably be based on Hawaiian, Maori and other EP languages.)  I am more
interested in abstract discussions than the issues of constructing a
particular language.

However I met some of your extremely interesting list members at Worldcon
and thought it would be cool to see what y'all are writing about online.

I may have missed some of this discussion on person, but regarding
second-person stories:  Pam Houston has had at least one excellent
second-person narrative short story published: "How to Talk to a Hunter."
The Best American Short Stories 1990. Boston: Houghton, 1990. 98-104.

Also, check out this article: Why you can't speak: second-person narration,
voice, and a new model for understanding narrative by Matt DelConte in the
Summer, 2003 issue of Style
He gives several examples.

Regarding third and fourth person, what does anyone think of that old
Beatles song, "This Boy," which compares "this boy" and "that boy," and how
each might treat the addressed female?  I think it's first person and third
person grammatically masquerading as third person close and third person

It would be cool to have a language where the Dead are fourth person...or
gods or whoever on another plane.


Carol Anne Buckley
Warwick, RI


----- Original Message -----
From: "H. S. Teoh" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, September 24, 2004 12:57 PM
Subject: Re: 1st, 2nd, 3rd - 4th person POV??

> On Fri, Sep 24, 2004 at 12:24:41PM -0400, Roger Mills wrote:
> [...]
> > In the various creative writing classes I took waaaaay back when (with a
> > deliciously bitchy teacher) we had to do exercises in all these methods;
> > Pers. is the hardest, rather weird, and uncommon in Engl. prose probably
> > good reason.
> Back in my highschool days, I had an English teacher who was convinced
> it was impossible to write a story in the 2nd person. I proved her
> wrong by writing precisely such a thing, and she absolutely loved it
> (she says she likes its melodramatic tone). Unfortunately, I've lost
> my only copy of it, and I don't think I'd be able to reproduce it
> anytime soon.
> Anyway, it's something crudely along these lines: the opening
> paragraph begins with a hypothetical (thus making it easier to use the
> 2nd person from the start), and then proceeds to develop what happens
> in the hypothetical scenario. In this case, it's describing how you
> walk up to the bank machine and stand in line, with the person in
> front of you taking his sweeeeet time and the person behind you
> getting really impatient. Eventually, this person in front of you
> finally gets his stuff together and leaves, and so you walk up to the
> machine and start looking for your bank card, which unfortunately you
> have misplaced. So on you search, flipping through your wallet,
> scavenging through your trouser pockets, and dropping your comb, loose
> change, and bits of paper on the floor, etc., until you made a
> thorough fool of yourself while the person behind you frowns and
> grumbles at you like an angry impatient bear.
> (Notice how the use of the 2nd person doesn't actually hit you until
> you look twice. :-P)  The closing paragraph then summarizes the moral
> of the story, basically taking a poke at today's age of plastic money
> and endless cards that fill up your wallet to bursting point. The
> original story, of course, was more elaborate than this, but you get
> the idea.
> T
> --
> If you want to solve a problem, you need to address its root cause, not
> its symptoms. Otherwise it's like treating cancer with Tylenol...