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Paul Bennett

Paul w bennett.jpg

Birth: July 12, 1976; Bletchley, England
Profession: Software Developer
Natural languages: English and German. I can read a bit of several others, kinda.
More information: Paul's Blog-like contraption

Who, What, Where, and When?

Originally from the UK, I have been living in North Carolina since 8/8/2000, first in Smithfield, and then on the Raleigh/Garner border.

I am differently-sane

I suffer from a cluster of incompletely-diagnosed mental symptoms, including some attention / focus problems, a set of motor and verbal tics, and some occasional ideas of reference and paranoia. I sometimes have depressive episodes, and very occasionally something that might be mild mania. I used to have incredibly severe anger-management issues, but I'm much better now, though I do still tend to get frustrated at my own failures. I consistently score exceptionally well on standardized IQ tests (including a 200, and an "off the chart", both in professionally-administered tests), and on exams in general, though I am terrible at completing homework / coursework / projects / etc. Most of my schooling was therefore carried out in "Special Education" for kids with problems in their behavior and in getting work done. I suspect it helped tremendously in making me more well-balanced emotionally, but I also suspect it held back my academic achievements significantly -- kids at that school were mainly expected to get just one or two GCSEs, or in American terms to only graduate with a passing grade in one or two subjects.

I'm a fat, hairy dwarf

I'm 5'8", with red hair down to my shoulder blades (which almost always stays in a pony tail), and a beard that varies in shape and length, usually seasonally, unless I get bored with it. As of March 2007, I'm sporting a full set, at around 3/4 of an inch long (though I keep the moustache trimmed enough that my mouth isn't obscured), having trimmed off the 3 inch winter growth when the weather started warming up. I am neither Lithuanian nor Left-Handed. I do not wear glasses, contacts, a monocle, or other sight aids.

Shh. Don't talk about the Cross & Crown. I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it.

My politics are of the Minarchist persuasion. I'm a middle-of-the-road Protestant, and an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church. I have followed a number of other faiths and philosophies in the past.


I have been a shameless computer geek since about the age of 4. I was typing before I could write, and indeed programming before I started school.

I'm an IT contractor by trade, and I've turned my hand to a fair selection of projects over the years. Right now, I'm on a contract for a major ISP/telco, doing Perl, SQL and Javascript development of a CRM and abuse-tracking application.

I also custom-build workstation-grade high-performance PCs for fun and profit. My personal machine is a Core2 Duo E6300 with 4GB of DDR2-800 and a pair of 320GB SATA hard drives. My next personal project is going to be a media center.

Correctness is defined by widespread usage

Linguistically, I'm a prescriptivist whose rulebook consists of statistics from Google for the usage in question.

My Hovercraft is full of Eels

I speak English and rusty German, and can read enough Danish, French and Spanish to fix most things that Babelfish breaks. I know enough about how several other languages work (including Russian, Latin, Greek) to be able to just about figure out some texts, provided I have the Internet available. Starting to learn languages is something of a hobby. Finishing learning them? Not so much. In the last year (as of January 2008), I have started learning Russian, Czech, Sumerian, Hittite, Armenian, Japanese, Inuktitut, and Ojibwe -- some of those not for the first time.

My long term goal is to be able to converse adequately in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Hindi, (Eastern) Arabic and Mandarin, plus any others that seem interesting.

My Projectses

I'm given to starting many projects and finishing few of them. On deck right now are a PIE reference book (to be published by, a set of additional glyphs for SIL Gentium (trying to find the right license to let anyone and everyone edit my source, but allow SIL to incorporate the new glyphs into the main font, which is SIL OFL), the Uínlītska language, and parts of an MMORPG engine.

My conlang projects, in approximate (and fuzzy) chronological order of being started, are:

  • Common - An attempt at a modern Germanic/Romance koine. About as naive and unsophisticated as an auxlang can be, in fact.
  • Polyparlisho - Another auxlang. I blame The Loom Of Language right on top of learning Esperanto for the horrifically stereotypical structure of this language.
  • Orkish had four phonemes. Nuff said.
  • Trollish existed only as a logographic writing system.
  • Bennett was a codelang created by me and my brother. It was almost purely a logographic script for English (with ideographs for case and prepositions), with a mixture of a substitution cypher of the IPA and ideographic determinatives for proper nouns and words for which there were no logograms. Years later, I kept a journal using what I remembered of the script.
  • Wenetaic
    • The first incarnation was pretty much utterly naive and a priori, and proved to be utterly untranslatable in the two relays it was entered in. I think this was because of the complex and large set of fusional "directionals", which combined aspect, deixis, case, gender and a number of other things, and sometimes had lexical meanings, though it also had two classes of reduplication thrown in. The vocab was pulled from a selection of languages based on essentially whatever struck me when I needed a new word.
    • The second incarnation had a stronger a postieriori basis for the vocabulary, and ditched the reduplication. It kept a smaller and more orthogonal set of directionals, though.
  • Meynian was a "Nostratic" (actually noodled-around-with IE) a posteriori language. It had ablaut, a more manageable case system, no gender marking on nouns, a huge pronoun set, a small and simple verbal morphology, and my first real derivational system.
  • Thagojian
    • The first incarnation had IIRC 288 consonants in a nice, orthogonal, 5-dimensional grid. It made extensive use of consonant mutation and Arabic-style vowel frame morphology. It proved unlearnable to the highest degree.
    • The second incarnation massively simplified the morphology and phonology, borrowed some concepts from the second version of Wenetaic, and became an IE language located in the Levant, with Coptic, Arabic, Turkish, and Hebrew adstrates, with vowel harmony. For all my efforts, it was essentially stillborn.
    • The third incarnation forked into two projects, Thag 3A and Thag 3B. The former is in the spirit of the second incarnation, but is on hiatus, and the latter became Terzemian.
  • mQlò was a toylang based on my discovery that I could simultaneously articulate a fully-nasal airstream with tone while producing clicks while producing phonation effects while controlling rounding. I scared *myself* with that one, and shelved it rapidly.
  • Lizardman is/was a project that I feel I didn't give a fair shake to. It was designed for a species without a vaulted palatte, and without prehensile lips. With a small, orthogonal phoneme set, and a large set of derivations, it should have gone far. I found it one of the easiest projects to translate into, in fact, but it has floundered.
  • Tsa'in is mostly an experiment, almost but not quite an engelang. I'm playing with phonology, and trying out some things I don't normally dabble in. It has a whiff of the Meso-American about it, as well as a dash of East Asia.
  • Br'ga is conlocated on a small, isolated tropical island. It has a bizarre phoneme set, a nonobvious gender and pronoun system, and very many derivational opperations, working much like Inuit or something. The verbs of motion worked by lexicallizing direction and deriving for manner, unlike European languages that generally lexicalize manner and derive or use adverbs for direction. Think "traverse quickly" instead of "run along". Morphology was via ablaut and suffixes. Some suffixes caused umlaut, and some harmonized. There was a suffix of /ː/...
  • Terzemian is an IE language, related to the Indo-Slavic metabranch, based on the western shore of the Caspian Sea. It has Turkic, Uralic, Kartvelian, Persian, and Russian influences, among others. I am working on Latin, UTA, Cyrillic and Arabic orthographies for it. It was my main project, but Uínlītska caught my eye during a low point.
  • Uínlītska is a Norse language, with influences from European and Native American languages. In theory it's part of a whole series of languages for an AU centered on the Norse Territory of Uínlīta, a modern continuation of the colonization of Vínland. Work tends to be sporadic, and deliberately so: I'm trying to concentrate on Terzemian, my book, and my sound change engine.
  • Hibernic will be situated in the same AU as Uínlītska, being the language of mostly-Celtic settlers who arrived a couple of generations later.
  • The conworld containing Uínlīta will be developed over time. Right now, I have a billion ideas, and no structure.
  • I'm building a guess at PIE Phonetics.
  • I doodle here from time to time.

Special Thanks

Userboxish thing taken from Joerg and BPJ.