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Daniel Bowman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


 
> It is subjective, of course, but I think it is possible to have a fair
> *impression* of the quality simply on the thoughtfulness of the creator.
> How rich was the creative process behind the conlang? Did she sit down one
> day, relex English, then post to the list claiming to have an a priori
> language? Or did she spend time contemplating the purpose, the essence,
> really what made the thing tick? 

Agreed. I guess the only thing to watch for here would be the vagaries of
individual processes: sometimes we have bad days or presented ill conceived
languages.

> That's what makes being on the list so
> interesting for me - not so much individual languages, their structure,
> their idiosyncrasies, etc - but the minds behind them. What matters to the
> creator of the conlang? How deeply have they thought about it, and how is
> it expressed in their language(s)? How is this reflected in their
> presentation of the grammar, vocabulary, phonology, and writing system?
> 
> For example, I am not fluent in Old Albic, but I am very interested every
> time Jrg discusses it, because it is clear that he has thought long and
> carefully in its construction - and it is very interesting to see his
> creativity at work. Likewise with John Quijada's Ithkuil. Other 
> peoples'
> minds are fascinating, and what better way to understand the workings of
> really interesting minds than to learn about the languages that spring from
> them?

Yes. I've long enjoyed hearing about Joerg's works. ( He culd talk more
about them, mind! ;))) )

For me, Sally's Teonaht is all-time favorite; but I've also highly enjoyed
hearing from Chrysaor Jordan and Puey McCleary and of course Ray 
Brown.

> On the other hand: We are all of us, to a greater or lesser extent,
> amateurs at this, and it is not right to judge anyone's language harshly,
> even when it does seem simplistic or hastily done. As a small and
> relatively unknown group, it behoves us to keep open and accepting minds.
> So in the end, I think that we can all agree that judging a conlang is
> difficult and subjective, and that is probably the right attitude for our
> community.

Right. I don't think anyone has suggested that we ought to judge harshly.
There's a place for that (e.g., whoever is hiring for a conlang job at LCS's
jobs board has the right to judge harshly, just as the conlanger has the
obligation to put best work and fullest effort forward), but this place isn't
it. Some people have asked in the past for strong criticism, and I don't
think we need to avoid asking for it or fear giving it when asked. When
it's given in a dispassionate, rational and well thought out manner, I don't
think that would count as needless harshness anyway.

> On a different subject, I find emil's description of the calculus very apt
> in my own language creation endeavours. My conlang, Angosey, is not really
> an attempt to explore certain linguistic structures or shed light on
> possible cultures. Rather it is akin to a notation, in the sense that I
> felt like I needed to say things that did not translate well into English.
> The essence existed, but the available notation was not ideal. So rather
> than search for methods that seemed always imperfect, I instead created a
> notation that fit the subject matter exactly. The irony is, of course,
> that the more specific something is, the less useful or comprehensible it
> is to the world beyond the user.

In a sense, it s an attempt to shed light on your own inner culture! You clearly
have ideas that need expressing but want for a means of expression. A fits that
bill.

> Thus I feel that the stated goals of notation (and encryption) are met in
> Angosey. The hoped-for euphony is harder for me to judge, since I've never
> heard the language spoken! (I am putting together a YouTube video of the
> alphabet and example words, so this may change soon). My initial goal of
> concision is hopelessly squandered, since Angosey takes more morphemes and
> more graphemes to say something than English does. It is hard for me to
> say what others thing of Angosey, particularly since I am pretty
> lackadaisical at putting information about it on the Internet.

Padraic

> Off the soap box, and perhaps to bed-
> 
> Danny