Reviving the conlang Schklorpya for the "Invent Your Own Culture" hack

I’m working on a new hack for *Mind Agility Hacks* called “Invent Your
Own Culture” or perhaps “Build a World”, For an example, I was
thinking about an artlang, or artistic constructed language, that I
put some time into when I was a kid in the 1970s and 1980s, and
haven’t looked at since the early 1990s. It was called Schklorpya and
was the language of a race of pessimistic, six-legged lizard people
who lived on a grey, rainforest planet (kind of like Seattle, where I
now live, but didn’t at the time).

 I wanted to use Schklorpya in my hack, and build a world around the
language, as Tolkien famously did, but locating my written notes on
Schklorpya would be hard. However, when I awoke this morning, I
realized that I had posted notes on it to the Conlang mailing list
many years ago. I googled the name of the language and found my post
here:

 http://www.glossopoeia.org/conlang/conl91.txt

 It’s a big archive, so I’m copying and pasting the Schklorpya part
below. Meanwhile, I’ve ordered *Language Universals and Linguistic
Typology: Syntax and Morphology* by Bernard Comrie from Amazon and
will be cracking it this weekend for a crash course on “real”
linguistics.

 Schklorpya doesn’t seem to me as embarrassing a botch as I’d feared it
might be after all this time — it even has some Whorfean effects such
as “zord” being the unmarked form of the word “cloud”, and “zord’y”,
meaning “sky”, being a marked form. That’s good, because unlike some
conlangs, which are constantly in flux so that no one can ever learn
them, I’d like later versions of Schklorpya to be
backwards-compatible. I’m actually more embarrassed by my ghastly
misspelling of the contraction “y’all” in the message below than I am
by my presentation of the language, however unripe. On the other hand,
I may grow more embarrassed the more I learn, but on the gripping
hand, I hope to always provide a plausible intramundane rationale for
my newbie mistakes. I guess that’s one of the benefits of constructing
a world along with the language.

 And then there’s plain fiat, which I expect to resort to when I
synchronize the calendars of our planet and theirs in some convenient
way… It’s fun to be a god.

 Ron

  
***** begin old email *****

 Date: Wed, 28 Aug 91 14:43 EDT
From: Ronald Hale-Evans
Subject: Schklorpya (retry)
To: conlang@buphy.bu.edu
X-Vms-To: CONLANG

 Here are some rough notes on a language I developed when I was a kid (middle
school through high school). They are far from complete, but I thought I’d let
ya’ll have a taste before I do much more work on it, seein’ how slow conlang
has been lately.

 Schklorpya is the language of a (science-fictional!) race of intelligent
six-legged reptiles known as the Shvorn. Their pessimistic worldview can be
seen reflected in their language; “zord” means “cloud”; “zord’y” (“not-cloud”)
means “sky”. (Pretty heavy cloud cover on their planet.) I had a few things in
mind when I created this language: English backwards through a tape recorder,
Russian, and the language the creature in the Mos Eisley Cantina speaks to Han
Solo (“Oota doota, Sooloo?”) Speak it as if it had tones. (It doesn’t. Try
accenting it like Swedish.)

 Following are some vocab and grammar notes and a few examples of Schklorpya as
She is Spoke.

  
Schklorpya
———-

 ADJECTIVAL VERBS
Bimini – to be tall or long
Bjjork – to go
Gnarp – to take
Kord – to be good
Kyorpnyn – to do, make; to be (exist)
Moyrgatroy – to be peculiar, to be flawed
Prentoll – to praise or love
Sclrump – to eat
Tnyet – to have
Viirt – huge
Yorll – to be long

 QUANTITATIVE NOUNS
bomuu – bowl, cup, container (of)
kordaluu – pleasure; enough (of)
korduu – good; goodly amount (of)
slavuu – piece (of)
tevuu – string (of)

 REGULAR NOUNS
bortta – money
hkomo – human (Homo sapiens)
klord – song
korl – rock
morb – word
moyo – tree
nvo – green, greenness
platya – paper
schklorpya – mouth; language
sclrumpsh – food
shvorn – Shvorn, person (human = hkomo)
yak – milk
zord – cloud
zord’y – sky

 BODY PARTS
kra – ped (hand = kra’yo; foot = kra’ko)
lejbij – joint (elbow = lejbij’yo; knee = lejbij’ko)
lomp – shoulder or hip (shoulder = lomp’yo; hip = lomp’ko)
tan – digit (finger = tan’yo; toe = tan’ko)

 bo – middle limb (which humans do not possess)

 body = yoboko ?
human body = yoko ?

 PARTS OF SPEECH
interrogative – hkai
exclamatory – orp
‘p – forward, future
‘d – backward, past
‘z – present
‘y, ya – negative

 byup – 1st p.
kank – 2nd p.
nord – 3rd p.

 ii- – masc.
el- – fem.

 To form plurals, double the root:

 bomuu-bomuu korl – bowls of rock
el-byup’byup – we (f.pl.)
bomuu korl-korl – a bowl of rocks

 PREPOSITIONS
nyni’p, o’p – toward
nyni’d, o’d – from

 NUMERALS
0
1 – slupp
2
3
4
5
6
7
8 – kor
9 – kor-slupp
10

  

 PRONUNCIATION:
hk – loCH
uu – fOOd
sclr – just like it looks!

  
SOME SCHKLORPYA TEXT:

 SCLRUMPSH MOYO TREE FOOD

 .slupp slavuu zord

One raindrop (lit. “piece of cloud”)
Shny’Yorll’z o’d might lengthen from
bomuu zord’y the bowl of the sky
o’p moyo nvo.

toward a tree of green.
!Sclrump!

Eat!

 ?Gnarp’d kordaluu bortta, hkai ii-kank’kank hkai?
Did you (m. pl.) have enough money?

 !orp ii-kank Moyrgatroy orp!
You (m.s.) are f*cked in the head!

 —–

 That’s it for now. Lots of unexplored territory here, stuff I haven’t looked at
in years. There are some regularities that just seemed to appear magically in
the language (e.g. the -uu words) that I would like to analyse and expand.
Sorry I haven’t given much in the way of grammar.

 Ron Hale-Evans

 ***** end old email *****

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