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195210Re: The evolution of Angosey: 5 Translations of the same poem across 11 years

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  • Herman Miller
    Feb 18, 2013
      On 2/16/2013 11:12 PM, Daniel Bowman wrote:
      > Hello All,
      > Last weekend Alex Fink, Herman Miller and I met over brunch and had a
      > great discussion about conlangs. I look forward to bringing up
      > several things we touched on during the conversation. The first is
      > the evolution of my conlang Angosey over the last eleven years. I
      > mentioned that I retranslate the same poem every so often, and I can
      > trace the changes that have occurred (both phonological,
      > orthographical, and grammatical) in Angosey via my past translations.
      > Alex mentioned that he'd be interested in hearing more about it, so
      > I've written a blog post that shows examples from this poem that
      > highlight the evolution of my language. Here's the link in case
      > other list members are curious:
      > https://glossarch.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/the-linguistic-and-creative-evolution-of-angosey/

      That's one nice thing about having the same language for 11 years. Since
      I haven't been developing Jarda continuously, I study the old texts for
      examples of "correct" grammar and vocabulary usage. So Jarda hasn't
      evolved in the same way. I can compare different translations from
      different time periods (Relay 3 and Relay 18), but I haven't got
      examples of retranslating the same text. I do have examples in Tirelat
      of texts that I edited to keep up to date with the language as it
      changed, but a retranslation would be more interesting.

      (Relay 3 has an interesting example of a postposition "śa" in Jarda, but
      this could be a result of poetic word order.)

      From the glossarch page:

      > The Angosey of Oct0ber 2002 (the first time I translated this poem)
      > had no sounds that English lacked. The word order was different, but
      > I was still stuck in the English/Romance language paradigm. There
      > was nothing truly new about it.

      That pretty much describes Olaetian in the early stages; it had definite
      Romance influences. The only non-English languages I knew much about at
      the time were French and Spanish, so that to me was just how "foreign"
      languages worked. Over time Olaetian acquired all sorts of foreign
      sounds and a few non-Romance features like noun cases, but it
      fundamentally still looks something like a Romance language.

      I was creating all sorts of sketchy languages back then, only a few as
      well developed as Olaetian, but it was nice to have a lot of languages
      to pick from when I discovered a new sound or a new grammatical feature.
      When I found out about ergativity, for example, I created a new ergative
      language, Kazvarad.

      > The Angosey of February 2013 does not sound like any version of
      > English I know of. Its phonetic repertoire spans Europe, Africa, and
      > Asia. The grammar is richer and reflects specific ontological
      > choices that suite my way of thinking, from the distinction between
      > emotive and non emotive speaking, to its noun categorization, to its
      > ergative/absolutive verb system.

      We were talking about how ergativity was a conlanging fad for a time,
      but in a number of ways it seems more convenient than the usual
      nominative-accusative system. I mentioned that Jarda had the same word
      for "fall" and "drop" but I must have been thinking of another language,
      since it appears to be a gap in the Jarda vocabulary! I'll need to fix
      that. But what it does have is a single word for "die" and "kill" (rav).

      > Angosey has also acquired six noun classes: “au ziramei” means “the
      > (physical object) ‘pearl.’”

      I tried that with Tirelat, but it didn't work out. Maybe it would be a
      good idea for a new Sangari language. Jarda has a set of various
      classifiers (like in Chinese or Japanese), so maybe some other member of
      the Jardic family has reduced these to a fixed set of noun classes.
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