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> Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2012 07:40:02 -0700
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Constructed sign languages
> To: [log in to unmask]
 
> --- On Sun, 10/28/12, Sam Stutter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
 
> > I did spend some time considering a
> > tactile conlang which might function as a secret language
> > for courtiers, etc. It was all based upon the way one kissed
> > another's hand - where the kiss was placed, its duration and
> > "quality" (i.e. stuff like tongue/no tongue, etc)
 
> > Beyond that, ::scrabbles through notes:: I never got any
> > further than calculating a potential 1,020 types of kiss
> > which would form basic syllables, perhaps like Chinese. Due
> > to the fact that I don't have the words to describe such a
> > language and the difficulties in transcribing it I don't
> > really have any more than that. Also, the physical logistics
> > of "speaking" such a language would be difficult, due to the
> > length of time needed to "say" even simple things and the
> > fact that everyone would be walking around with their hands
> > covered in saliva :D
 
> A fascinating language type! Though I would think that suspicions could
> easily arise if one courtier spends twenty minutes pecking kisses of a
> thousand kinds all over the Queen's hands -- all just to say "meet me in
> the old abandoned barn down by the orchard at ten. Bring some wine!"
 
> It might make some sense for a number of kiss types to be the equivalent
> of a whole thought or sentence. You know, things that might commonly have
> to be communicated, but that need be communicated on the sly. Other kisses
> could mean still other, less common words or phrases.

Indeed, if your deft swain can manage 1,020 kisses (who knew?), whole phrases would get you further than trying to Morse-code it on the Queen's hand. I don't know all the ins and outs of courtly love, but I doubt the Queen gets to reciprocate in kind, which makes for an awfully lopsided conversation. But if you overlaid the kisses onto the languages of flowers and fans already in place, it could get reasonably sophisticated,  I suppose.: Swain hands Queen a posy of violets: ("Why haven't you called me?! I've been frantic!")Queen snaps open fan and looks away to the left: ("Look, I've been busy! Okay?!")Queen extends right hand, pinky and index finger delicately raised: ("I'll ply the old sod with mead tonight. He'll be out like a light by 10.")Swain kisses ring finger uppermost knuckle: ("I'll be there to rock your world.")Queen says, "Riiise!": ("I'll leave the key behind that horrid tapestry of the boar hunt.")Queen closes fan and places it in her lap: ("And chew on some rosemary or something. Your breath smells like last week's offal.")Swain kisses own middle and index fingers, touches forehead, and extends in Queen's direction: ("You ain't exactly a bowl of rose water, yourself, my dove.")

Kou