Letters to the Editor SpecGram Vol CXLIX, No 2 Contents The Biological Basis Of Universal Grammar--Maiya Sershen

Introducing Hawelshi'ian

New Language Brings Sense of Acceptance To Speakers

Honolulu, Hawai'i--In a bold move sure to have language mavens everywhere either clucking "tsk-tsk" in disapproval or gasping "oooo" in admiration, a mixed group of Hawai'ian and Welsh speakers have come together to merge their two languages into one, the result of which they hope will be, in their words, "less of a laughing stock."

"Hawai'ian is made fun of all the time for being 'nothing but vowels'," said A'ia'e Ia'e'iia--a native speaker of Hawai'ian--as she made angry air quotes.

"And Welsh is ridiculed for having nothing but consonants," continued her brother-in-linguistic-arms and native Welsh speaker, Llwyd Wydnstk.

"Together, as a merged language, we can finally have a more normal distribution of letters and sounds. Then speakers of other languages will give us the respect we deserve," concluded Mishi Mashu. Ms. Mashu is a Japanese speaker, but as a resident of Hawai'i, she is nonetheless an ardent supporter of the cause.

While the phonology and orthography of the new language have been worked out in some detail, matters concerning other major components of the language, such as morphology and syntax, have not yet been completely finalized.

Rumor has it that some of these squabbles are threatening to tear the movement apart. Ia'e'iia and Wydnstk downplay such rumors. "We're committed to seeing this through," Ia'e'iia said. "I need a language to be proud of, regardless of the details of the syntax," Wydnstk agreed.

Mashu was more guarded in her enthusiasm. "We'll see if the movement can hold itself together long enough to get through the syntax debates. If we make it through that, then the morphology debates will be a piece of cake. But if we get any more bogged down on syntax, the movement could fall apart. That would be sad."

Nonetheless, most Hawelshi'ian activists remain optimistic.

Despite any internal problems in the language design committees, Hawelshi'ian has received warm international support from other language-oriented protest groups around the world, including Basque speakers in Europe, French-speaking Quebecois, and speakers of vowel-starved Caucasian languages of the former Soviet Union.

Upon hearing news of Hawelshi'ian, a Georgian-speaking man commented, "Ltsk svrntg qxzfb jkmg phtfx psmxldjf!"; at that point he sprained his tongue, and was taken home to rest.

Some observers fear that if the movement ever really takes off, there will be a backlash from government. "There are already laws making their way through Congress to outlaw speaking Klingon in public," a Washington insider told a SpecGram reporter. "This abomination, if not stillborn, will be strangled in its crib," the unnamed source concluded.

Representatives of the US government, the UK government, and the LSA's Special Forces Unit declined comment.

This story was prepared by SpecGram staff writer Pidge N. Kriolio, from field reports provided by H. Muggenheimer-Butterworth and Selma Pelsma.

Letters to the Editor
The Biological Basis Of Universal Grammar--Maiya Sershen
SpecGram Vol CXLIX, No 2 Contents