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Re: A Practice Conlang - For Your Enjoyment & Critiques

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  • Patrick Dunn
    ... Maybe he will, but maybe not. Some languages get by with very few. My conlang Oasa has only one real preposition (although some other kinds of phrases
    Message 1 of 16 , Jan 20, 2013
      On Sun, Jan 20, 2013 at 3:40 PM, Roger Mills <romiltz@...> wrote:

      >
      > > PREPOSITIONS:
      > > la by
      > > hik for
      > ========================
      > You'll surely need many more than these, no?
      >
      >
      Maybe he will, but maybe not. Some languages get by with very few. My
      conlang Oasa has only one real preposition (although some other kinds of
      phrases can do some of the work of prepositions, especially the somewhat
      unnatural consecutive verb phrases).

      Still, "by" and "for" seem like two rather arbitrary definitions to give
      the two prepositions (I'd assume "near to" and "far from" would cover more
      ground). So maybe this is just a partial list.


      --
      Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
      order from Finishing Line
      Press<http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
      and
      Amazon<http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2>.
    • J. M. DeSantis
      ... Well, everyone may correct me if I m wrong, but I was under the impression that all names, the world over do have some meaning behind them, even if from
      Message 2 of 16 , Jan 21, 2013
        On 1/20/2013 8:33 PM, Rich Harrison wrote:
        >> Some of the language, to me, sounds very good to my ear, though, as
        >> usual with my conlangs, I find concentrating on the language first
        >> results in awkward names. Whereas, creating names first, makes the
        >> language difficult to build properly.
        > Do names have to mean something in your languages? Can't names just be
        > arbitrary, semi-random, pleasant sounding strings of phonemes?

        Well, everyone may correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the
        impression that all names, the world over do have some meaning behind
        them, even if from older forms, parent languages or borrowings from
        other languages. If there are exceptions to this rule, I'd certainly be
        willing to hear them.

        Oh, and I tried sending this message yesterday, but apparently I hit the
        limit of allotted posts for the day.

        Sincerely,
        J. M. DeSantis
        Writer - Illustrator

        Official Website: jmdesantis.com <http://www.jmdesantis.com>
      • James Kane
        It is true that most names meant something originally, even names that seem made-up or recent are often revivals of old names. But that doesn t mean they have
        Message 3 of 16 , Jan 21, 2013
          It is true that most names meant something originally, even names that
          seem made-up or recent are often revivals of old names. But that
          doesn't mean they have to have a transparent meaning. The single
          syllable name James doesn't readily mean anything, but according to
          Wikipedia it is derived from the three-syllable name Iacomus (Latin)
          from Iakobos (Greek) from Ya'akov (Hebrew). James is cognate to Hamish
          and Santiago, among others, which don't readily seem to be related.

          On 1/22/13, J. M. DeSantis <jmd@...> wrote:
          > On 1/20/2013 8:33 PM, Rich Harrison wrote:
          >>> Some of the language, to me, sounds very good to my ear, though, as
          >>> usual with my conlangs, I find concentrating on the language first
          >>> results in awkward names. Whereas, creating names first, makes the
          >>> language difficult to build properly.
          >> Do names have to mean something in your languages? Can't names just be
          >> arbitrary, semi-random, pleasant sounding strings of phonemes?
          >
          > Well, everyone may correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the
          > impression that all names, the world over do have some meaning behind
          > them, even if from older forms, parent languages or borrowings from
          > other languages. If there are exceptions to this rule, I'd certainly be
          > willing to hear them.
          >
          > Oh, and I tried sending this message yesterday, but apparently I hit the
          > limit of allotted posts for the day.
          >
          > Sincerely,
          > J. M. DeSantis
          > Writer - Illustrator
          >
          > Official Website: jmdesantis.com <http://www.jmdesantis.com>
          >


          --
          (This is my signature.)
        • Alex Fink
          ... That s certainly the norm. But, for instance, Black names in the US, for instance, often _are_ complete inventions. To me, this is a reasonably logical
          Message 4 of 16 , Jan 21, 2013
            On Mon, 21 Jan 2013 15:10:11 -0500, J. M. DeSantis <jmd@...> wrote:

            >On 1/20/2013 8:33 PM, Rich Harrison wrote:
            >>> Some of the language, to me, sounds very good to my ear, though, as
            >>> usual with my conlangs, I find concentrating on the language first
            >>> results in awkward names. Whereas, creating names first, makes the
            >>> language difficult to build properly.
            >> Do names have to mean something in your languages? Can't names just be
            >> arbitrary, semi-random, pleasant sounding strings of phonemes?
            >
            >Well, everyone may correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the
            >impression that all names, the world over do have some meaning behind
            >them, even if from older forms, parent languages or borrowings from
            >other languages. If there are exceptions to this rule, I'd certainly be
            >willing to hear them.

            That's certainly the norm. But, for instance, Black names in the US, for instance, often _are_ complete inventions. To me, this is a reasonably logical short step from the status quo of the surrounding culture, with so many of the sources being Biblical and of etymology completely unrecoverable to the unHebrewed layman, others Classical and nearly as unrecoverable, and so our names seem to have no non-onomastic meaning.

            But I don't think this could arise without some kind of culture-mixing disruption like this, or elseĀ at least a long long semantics-effacing history (if all your peers' children are named "Wind" or "Fortitude" or "God has smiled on us", are you really going to name yours "Shaniqua"?) And I think meaningless names are over-represented in artlangs, accordingly.

            Alex
          • J. M. DeSantis
            ... Sorry for the delayed response, but I ve gotten a little behind on e-mails. I can certainly see the validity in creating a string of pleasant sounding
            Message 5 of 16 , Jan 23, 2013
              On 1/21/2013 6:19 PM, Alex Fink wrote:
              > On Mon, 21 Jan 2013 15:10:11 -0500, J. M. DeSantis <jmd@...> wrote:
              >
              >> On 1/20/2013 8:33 PM, Rich Harrison wrote:
              >>>> Some of the language, to me, sounds very good to my ear, though, as
              >>>> usual with my conlangs, I find concentrating on the language first
              >>>> results in awkward names. Whereas, creating names first, makes the
              >>>> language difficult to build properly.
              >>> Do names have to mean something in your languages? Can't names just be
              >>> arbitrary, semi-random, pleasant sounding strings of phonemes?
              >> Well, everyone may correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the
              >> impression that all names, the world over do have some meaning behind
              >> them, even if from older forms, parent languages or borrowings from
              >> other languages. If there are exceptions to this rule, I'd certainly be
              >> willing to hear them.
              > That's certainly the norm. But, for instance, Black names in the US, for instance, often _are_ complete inventions. To me, this is a reasonably logical short step from the status quo of the surrounding culture, with so many of the sources being Biblical and of etymology completely unrecoverable to the unHebrewed layman, others Classical and nearly as unrecoverable, and so our names seem to have no non-onomastic meaning.
              >
              > But I don't think this could arise without some kind of culture-mixing disruption like this, or else at least a long long semantics-effacing history (if all your peers' children are named "Wind" or "Fortitude" or "God has smiled on us", are you really going to name yours "Shaniqua"?) And I think meaningless names are over-represented in artlangs, accordingly.
              >
              > Alex
              Sorry for the delayed response, but I've gotten a little behind on e-mails.

              I can certainly see the validity in creating a string of pleasant
              sounding phonemes to create names, however, Alex's does bring up some
              valid points.

              That said, it's not often that people in the US are named using English
              words and sentences (never sentences or phrases, in fact). Rather they
              take names from other languages or English names that have been changed
              over time (and even those often derived from other cultures); though
              sometimes these names still have recognisable meanings, especially in
              surnames such as Hillman and Johnson. In fact, the only time I can think
              of hearing names that are translated into English sentences or phrases
              are Native American names and that is, quite unfortunately, too often
              done for comedic value.

              For my own part, I do enjoy that my characters' names have meanings in
              my conlangs, no less than I sometimes try and find real world names with
              appropriate meanings attached to name characters in stories I write
              which have no connection to my invented world. That said, I can't see
              taking the time to go through the long process of developing an
              etymology around every name I use in my invented world.

              So, I suppose the question is really this: in ancient times, was it
              customary to name your children with recognisable words and sentences?
              Or would that have sounded silly (as it would now to turn to your friend
              and call him "Hand of God")?

              Sincerely,
              J. M. DeSantis
              Writer - Illustrator

              Official Website: jmdesantis.com <http://www.jmdesantis.com>
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