Archive for October, 2019

Detail #383: Gender, First Person Pronouns and Reported Speech

Monday, October 21st, 2019
Let's consider a language where even the first person singular pronoun is marked for gender. Now, this can provide an interesting situation with regards to reported speech.

Obviously, a person can report speech from a person of the same gender, or of the other gender. With the other gender, one could keep using the first person pronoun - but alter the gender marking - and still be entirely clear who one is speaking about.

With the same gender, however, one might be expected to replace first person pronouns with third person pronouns of the same gender.

Thus "She told me(masc) she doesn't like roses" comes out as "She told me(masc) I(fem) don't like roses", but "He told me he doesn't like her" comes out as "He told me he doesn't like her". 

Of course, one could permit for the ambiguous system where first person is used in both. One could of course also consider a system where first person in embedded contexts can be "restored" by reduplication:
a) he told me I-I don't know what I-I am talking about vs.
b) he told me I don't know what I am talking about
Where in a), it's me not knowing what I am talking about and in b) it's he who doesn't know.

Conlangery 143: Music of Aeniith

Monday, October 7th, 2019
Margaret Ransdell-Green and Eric Barker come on to talk about the music they created for Margaret’s concultures in the world of Aeniith, which they performed at LCC8. Top of Show Greeting: Muipidan

Qaʃn̩ħeoħelə awo Nħeoħelə: A Grammar and a Cultural Reference for the People of Ħelə

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Ariel Robinson is an analyst out of Boston, MA. Since graduating from Wellesley College with a degree in Cognitive Science and Linguistics, she’s leveraged her ability to “translate” complex concepts from one domain into another, including how geopolitics affect businesses and end-users’ emotions affect hackers and cybercrime.


This paper describes a culture, language, partial lexicon, and creation myth Robinson originally created as a student at Wellesley College. Of note are the close ties between the spiritual underpinnings of the People of ĦelÉ™ and the phonetic inventory, where each vowel represents one of the four elements and the characteristics with which it is associated. The language is highly morphemic—rooted in Robinson’s study of Semitic languages—which was helpful in word formation in the beginning but posed a larger challenge during the second revision and expansion of the content. Though she wasn’t completely sure as a college student how she might use her creation in the future, Robinson has been percolating and has plans to incorporate the language and culture into a future novel.

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