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New member with a few questions.

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  • John Schlembach
    Hello all. Let me preface the bulk of my by apologizing should I be going about this the wrong way. Where do I start? First of all, I m an aspiring novelist
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 1, 2005
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      Hello all.

      Let me preface the bulk of my by apologizing should I be going about this
      the wrong way.

      Where do I start?

      First of all, I'm an aspiring novelist who knows what I want out of the
      language my characters are to speak. However, I have no idea how to go
      about doing it.

      I'm looking to create an a priori language based around two sets of words.

      Empty words are words with an implied connotation. A word can seem to
      mean "light" but until it has the proper qualifier in the form of a suffix
      bound word it has no meaning.

      Bound words are just that: adjectives or nouns that allow function to be
      known and implemented.

      The difficult part is getting this language to be precise. I've created the
      bare necessities so far as they relate to several stories I'm working on,
      but I want more than just token words to provide an exotic feel.

      I've read interviews here and there, but information on the subject of
      conlangs is difficult to come across.

      Is there any advice you all would be kind enough to give?

      Thanks.

      -John
    • David J. Peterson
      Hi, John, welcome to the list! Let me skip down a ways first... John wrote:
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 1, 2005
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        Hi, John, welcome to the list!

        Let me skip down a ways first...

        John wrote:
        <<
        I've read interviews here and there, but information on the subject of
        conlangs is difficult to come across.
        >>

        This remains a very unfortunate issue. If you put the info on
        conlanging on the web onto a scroll, the scroll could probably
        wrap its way around the earth many times over. Why is it so
        hard to find?! What are we doing wrong? :*(

        One thing you did was you found the list. How did you find the
        list? And did you come across langmaker.com? The site hasn't
        been updated for a few months, due to technical problems, but
        when it's up, it's updated every day with tons of information
        about specific conlangs, and conlanging in general. If there's
        something on the web about conlangs, there should be a link
        to it on langmaker.com somewhere.

        Another board that I'm not a member of but which I understand
        is fairly large is the Zompist board. It can be
        found...uh...somewhere...
        Someone here has the link, I'm sure. I couldn't find it on zompist.com.
        Since we're there, though, this is also a useful resource:

        http://zompist.com/kit.html

        That's Mark Rosenfelder's language construction kit. Lots of good
        info there.

        Okay, now back to your actual language...

        John wrote:
        <<
        Empty words are words with an implied connotation. A word can seem to
        mean "light" but until it has the proper qualifier in the form of a
        suffix
        bound word it has no meaning.
        >>

        Do you mean something like noun classifiers applied to content-filled,
        but unusable bases? I.e., something like this:

        http://dedalvs.free.fr/zhyler/nclasses.html

        If so, sounds cool. :)

        Two questions come to mind:

        (1) You make the distinction between empty words and bound
        words, but I'm not sure I understand the distinction. Is it the
        case that you have nouns which just have a fixed meaning, but
        also nouns that need qualifiers/noun class markers, and the
        same with adjectives, or are empty words neither nouns nor
        adjectives?

        (2) You said the difficult part is getting the language to be precise.
        How so, specifically? Do you mean as far as you're getting words
        for "dog", "flower" and "man", but not "doberman", "violet" and
        "alchemist"? If that's the case, further affixation (or new bases)
        can be your friend. Or did you mean something different...?

        Also, when posting to the list, it always helps to show examples
        from your language, because (a) that makes the examples
        concrete, and (b) languages are kind of our thing; we like to
        look at them. ~:D

        Your project sounds interesting, and further details would be
        great. Welcome, again, to the list!

        -David
        *******************************************************************
        "sunly eleSkarez ygralleryf ydZZixelje je ox2mejze."
        "No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."

        -Jim Morrison

        http://dedalvs.free.fr/
      • Chris Bates
        ... It s at www.spinnoff.com/zompist if I remember the address correctly. I have it in the bar at the top of my browser so I don t need to type it. ... Forums,
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 1, 2005
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          >
          > Another board that I'm not a member of but which I understand
          > is fairly large is the Zompist board. It can be
          > found...uh...somewhere...
          > Someone here has the link, I'm sure. I couldn't find it on zompist.com.

          It's at www.spinnoff.com/zompist if I remember the address correctly. I
          have it in the bar at the top of my browser so I don't need to type it.
          :) There's are lot of random fluff in the Ephemera and None of the Above
          Forums, but if you look in the Languages and Linguistics and Conlanging
          forums you should find plenty of interesting stuff.
        • Chris Bates
          Oops! It s www.spinnoff.com/zbb , I made a mistake.
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 1, 2005
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            Oops! It's www.spinnoff.com/zbb , I made a mistake.

            >>
            >> Another board that I'm not a member of but which I understand
            >> is fairly large is the Zompist board. It can be
            >> found...uh...somewhere...
            >> Someone here has the link, I'm sure. I couldn't find it on zompist.com.
            >
            >
            > It's at www.spinnoff.com/zompist if I remember the address correctly.
            > I have it in the bar at the top of my browser so I don't need to type
            > it. :) There's are lot of random fluff in the Ephemera and None of the
            > Above Forums, but if you look in the Languages and Linguistics and
            > Conlanging forums you should find plenty of interesting stuff.
            >
            >
          • Henrik Theiling
            Hi! ... Welcome to the list! :-) ... Sounds interesting. I understand the bound words are not just classifiers, right? And they cannot be used on their
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 1, 2005
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              Hi!

              John Schlembach <bachalon@...> writes:
              > Hello all.

              Welcome to the list! :-)

              >...
              > I'm looking to create an a priori language based around two sets of words.
              >
              > Empty words are words with an implied connotation. A word can seem to
              > mean "light" but until it has the proper qualifier in the form of a suffix
              > bound word it has no meaning.
              >
              > Bound words are just that: adjectives or nouns that allow function to be
              > known and implemented.
              >...

              Sounds interesting. I understand the 'bound words' are not just
              classifiers, right? And they cannot be used on their own? Could you
              give examples of what you came up with? I have some difficulties
              'splitting', say, a 'table' into two concepts so that the split
              generally works for many nouns(?) in that language. An example will
              probably help.

              > ... The difficult part is getting this language to be precise. ...

              Well, you could lexicalise the empty word + bound word compound to
              assign a precise meaning instead of the logically derived vague
              meaning. This would be a bit how some polysynthetic languages work.
              E.g. in Kalaallisut, 'read-place' (atuaq + vik > atuarfik) is
              'school'.

              **Henrik
            • Larry Sulky
              Also, check out Ladekwa, which is a loglang (logical language) that uses the concept of quasi-semantic lexemes mated to explicit classifiers. For example,
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 1, 2005
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                Also, check out Ladekwa, which is a loglang (logical language) that
                uses the concept of quasi-semantic lexemes mated to explicit
                classifiers. For example, there's a lexeme (am I using that word
                right, folks?) that means, say, "yellow, heat, anger, the number 6,
                intensity, power, truth" and maybe some other stuff, and a classifier
                that means "colour of the visual spectrum". Put them together and you
                get "the colour yellow". This might be a bit similar to what you're
                thinking of, or partway down that road, anyway. Ladekwa is a creation
                of Rick Morneau and is serious stuff.

                --larry
              • Jörg Rhiemeier
                Hallo! ... Some fruitful advice, such as reading Mark Rosenfelder s Language Construction Kit (which I warmly recommend, too), has been given by others here.
                Message 7 of 9 , Nov 1, 2005
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                  Hallo!

                  John Schlembach wrote:

                  > Hello all.
                  >
                  > Let me preface the bulk of my by apologizing should I be going about this
                  > the wrong way.
                  >
                  > Where do I start?
                  >
                  > First of all, I'm an aspiring novelist who knows what I want out of the
                  > language my characters are to speak. However, I have no idea how to go
                  > about doing it.
                  >
                  > I'm looking to create an a priori language based around two sets of words.
                  >
                  > Empty words are words with an implied connotation. A word can seem to
                  > mean "light" but until it has the proper qualifier in the form of a suffix
                  > bound word it has no meaning.
                  >
                  > Bound words are just that: adjectives or nouns that allow function to be
                  > known and implemented.
                  >
                  > The difficult part is getting this language to be precise. I've created the
                  > bare necessities so far as they relate to several stories I'm working on,
                  > but I want more than just token words to provide an exotic feel.
                  >
                  > I've read interviews here and there, but information on the subject of
                  > conlangs is difficult to come across.
                  >
                  > Is there any advice you all would be kind enough to give?

                  Some fruitful advice, such as reading Mark Rosenfelder's Language
                  Construction Kit (which I warmly recommend, too), has been given
                  by others here.

                  One issue that ought to be added:

                  If you are about to design a fictional ethnic language, you should
                  look at real-world ethnic languages as models rather than "engineering"
                  a language to be logical, unambiguous, theoretically elegant, etc.
                  I don't know, however, what you are going to do with your language.

                  Greetings,

                  Jörg.
                • John Schlembach
                  Hello again, Ok. The language isn t necessarily an ethnic language or a logical but is a somewhat integral part of my creatures social identity. It s difficult
                  Message 8 of 9 , Nov 1, 2005
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                    Hello again,
                     
                    Ok.
                     
                    The language isn't necessarily an ethnic language or a logical but is a somewhat integral part of my creatures social identity.
                     
                    It's difficult to explain without being well versed in the history of my world.
                     
                    But as an example, take the name of a city: Bel-ani.
                     
                    "bel" being light or illimunation, "ani" is a directional word, meaning down or to descend. Thus bel-ani means "sunset." Another is example is the pronoun "jek" which can mean either friend, enemy, or stranger (not quite, but it's the closest English approximation, transliterated it would be "of unknown quality"). It takes one of three words (usually used as emotions) to make it something functional.
                     
                    I hope that helps.
                     
                    -John

                     
                    On 11/1/05, Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...> wrote:
                    Hallo!

                    John Schlembach wrote:

                    > Hello all.
                    >
                    > Let me preface the bulk of my by apologizing should I be going about this
                    > the wrong way.
                    >
                    > Where do I start?
                    >
                    > First of all, I'm an aspiring novelist who knows what I want out of the
                    > language my characters are to speak. However, I have no idea how to go
                    > about doing it.
                    >
                    > I'm looking to create an a priori language based around two sets of words.
                    >
                    > Empty words are words with an implied connotation. A word can seem to
                    > mean "light" but until it has the proper qualifier in the form of a suffix
                    > bound word it has no meaning.
                    >
                    > Bound words are just that: adjectives or nouns that allow function to be
                    > known and implemented.
                    >
                    > The difficult part is getting this language to be precise. I've created the
                    > bare necessities so far as they relate to several stories I'm working on,
                    > but I want more than just token words to provide an exotic feel.
                    >
                    > I've read interviews here and there, but information on the subject of
                    > conlangs is difficult to come across.
                    >
                    > Is there any advice you all would be kind enough to give?

                    Some fruitful advice, such as reading Mark Rosenfelder's Language
                    Construction Kit (which I warmly recommend, too), has been given
                    by others here.

                    One issue that ought to be added:

                    If you are about to design a fictional ethnic language, you should
                    look at real-world ethnic languages as models rather than "engineering"
                    a language to be logical, unambiguous, theoretically elegant, etc.
                    I don't know, however, what you are going to do with your language.

                    Greetings,

                    Jörg.

                  • Carsten Becker
                    On Tue, 01 Nov 2005, 09:53 CET, John Schlembach wrote: ... with your last name being pronounced / SlEm.b{k/ (/ˈʃlɛm.bæk/), I guess? ... Hello! Welcome to
                    Message 9 of 9 , Nov 3, 2005
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                      On Tue, 01 Nov 2005, 09:53 CET, John Schlembach wrote:

                      ... with your last name being pronounced /"SlEm.b{k/
                      (/ˈʃlɛm.bæk/), I guess?

                      > Hello all.

                      Hello! Welcome to the List!

                      As for your language: I agree with the others, have you got
                      examples laying around somewhere that you could post here to
                      illustrate what you mean?

                      The links to Langmaker and the ZBB have already been given.
                      Also have a look at Daniel Andréasson's page
                      myconlanglinks.tk. It's a page with links to useful sites
                      related to conlanging.

                      Yours,
                      Carsten

                      --
                      "Miranayam cepauarà naranoaris."
                      (Calvin nay Hobbes)
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