Blog entry

nushu

song of the day: senses workin' overtime / XTC
word of the day: anthrophobia / fear of humans

freaky. last night while doing research on the web for my constructed language IS, i ran across this language called Nushu, which is a sort of constructed language in its own right- sort of. Nushu was invented by women, FOR women only, and for 400 years in a province of China, Nushu was used exclusively by women. it's the only such language known in all extent and deceased tongues. it seems that because the women of this region were not allowed to learn to read and wright, they invented this script as a valve for self expression. this tongue was especially employed as a way for them to express their profound sadness. young girls of this region used make very special, profound friendships of a special depth and order with each other. i forgot what it was called, but basically young girls made soul-level friendships with each other, and these relationships were more important and closer than even their familial relations. the sad part came when girls reached a certain age, they were sent away to arranged marriages with total strangers, and from then on they did not see their soul sisters anymore, they pretty much labored and toiled in extremely difficult circumstances. the pain of these austerities was compounded by the profound grief they experienced at being cut off from their soul sisters. over time, they invented a script- Nushu- which distinctly different than the local language, and knowledge of this language was passed on from mothers to their daughters so that they might communicate with each other after the seperation of arranged marriage occured. much of the content of the langauge is songs and poems sewn into cloth items which were sent back and forth between mothers and daughters, and between "soul" sisters. the poems and songs are the expression of forlorn loss, acute sadness. the last fluent speaker of the language died in the 1990's and since then it's basically become a museum language, the Chinese government has made some efforts to revive and preserve it, but we've all seen how well such efforts tend to go. totally blows my mind. nushu is a phonetic language, unlike Chinese. this means its components represent phonemes, each symbol represents a sound, whereas chines symbols have content, the symbols represent something in addition to the phonetic sound of the word. this placed Nushu in a different category. the sounds it represented were of a local dialect no longer spoken, an indigenous tongue from way back (not Mandarin or any of the other major Chinese languages).

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