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Kurt Schwitters: glossopoeist and didn't even know it

Kurt Schwitters is an artist known for his collages and, later on, his sound poetry capped off by his quintessential piece: URSONATE (you can listen to it here:

While getting a literature review ready for my thesis, I knew I'd need to cover this giant of sound poetry, recently explored by famed Dutch sound artist Jaap Blonk.

So, I purchase the book pppppp: Kurt Schwitters, a handy collection of his poetry and theory on his sound poetry. It's been quite the entertaining read.

This is such a cool book. If not for the awesome, nonsensical poems it contains, then for the little CONLANG DESCRIPTION on p. 226

It's not a completely functional conlang, to be sure. It actually kind of reminds me of Ro. Each sound represents a specific idea.

The vowels:

a be (have)

o will (desire)

i fear

u not be (not have)

e suspect

The consonants:

b I

d you

m he

n she

g it

p we

t you (pl.)

k they

Vowel length distinguishes meaning too. Vowels are long unless specifically marked as short by the letter c. However, it's not clear how exactly apart from a few specific examples:


uc=no, not

oc=desired, willed, wanted

sh represents emphasis. So:

bash I am very much

mosh he will/wants a lot

Anyway, just a cool nugget of conlang history, stretching back to the 20's and 30's.

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maghpub chu'

DaH cha' monmey cho'wI' vIqonchoH. wej paqwIj wa'DIch muchlu' 'e' vISov 'a vIqon vIneHqu'mo' jISey jay'! DaH 'oHvaD ngem mIv'a'mey vIpong 'a tuch chaq latlh pong vImaS; ghaytan ngem veS. ngemDaq qaS l


ramvam maHpIn'a' vI-livetweet. bo'DeghQInpat mab boghajchugh, QIn mIrvam yItlha'bej!: (malja' much neH vIrIchba'qoch!)

jaj chu'!

Qapbe'lu'DI', reH wa'leS tu'lu'taH! paQDI'norgh nap 'oH paQDI'norghvam'e' 'ach teH. wa'Hu' jIvumqu' 'ach jIvaQHa' 'e' vIDam. qay''a'? loQ! qay'chu''a'? ghobe'! wa'Hu' bel Qu'mey law' vIDIgh: jIlaD—jIq


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