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Re: A spoken-only conlang

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  • Parker Glynn-Adey
    One thing I think that merits mentioning is that although the internet is a great medium and we could do a lot of this through voice / video chat - I feel the
    Message 1 of 47 , Jul 31, 2009
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      One thing I think that merits mentioning is that although the internet
      is a great medium and we could do a lot of this through voice / video
      chat - I feel the most natural and productive environment would be a
      week long immersion (exmersion?) camp somewhere where conlangers could
      do this.

      > What I've
      > long thought of, if you want to just force people into a place where
      > they need to create language, is to give them a medium-- one I've
      > thought of is whistling-- where they have few established symbols and
      > it's difficult to transfer things.

      Hmm - I like this point. Lately I've been thinking about how my
      intuition regarding vocal glossolalia differs from my intuition about
      signed glossolalia. I can make up a bunch of words that I think
      _sound_ like Anglo Saxon, but I can't make up a bunch of word that
      _look_ like ASL. (Even though I've studied ASL.) Similarly, I don't
      know what I'd start 'looking for' when coining whistled words.

      > On the contrary, I believe it's our mode of conlanging here that's
      > impractical!  Making up languages by becoming amateur linguists,
      > speaking in strange jargon and symbols.  Hardly anyone is able to make
      > it out here to these games.

      I don't really know where I stand on this. I think that to describe a
      language accurately you need the kind of technical vocabulary that
      linguistics uses. But generally, we don't need to describe languages
      accurately, and to use a language we almost never need to describe it.
      So - It's unfortunate that two things are as they are: a) more people
      aren't using conlangs daily in their everyday lives, as a form of
      intricate personal art that they talk about like it was natural and b)
      that there ain't no better way to write about language.
    • Richard Wordingham
      ... The special codepoint, ZWSP, is for line breaking when the writer doesn t know how wide the lines will be. It s in very few Thai 8-bit codes, and you very
      Message 47 of 47 , Aug 9, 2009
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        --- In conlang@yahoogroups.com, "<deinx nxtxr>" <deinx.nxtxr@...> wrote:
        >
        > Larry Sulky wrote:
        > > But it would be fair game to denote prosody, right? Which would sometimes
        > > mean de facto word-boundary marking, etc.
        > >
        > > And I wonder if doing something like Kalusa without spaces to mark word
        > > boundaries would lead to self-segregating morphotactics. Maybe not, if Thai,
        > > as pointed out by Dana, is an example.
        >
        > Written Thai doesn't show word boundaries. There is a special
        > codepoint used between words even though it doesn't display
        > anything. It may have something to do with how the script is displayed.

        The special codepoint, ZWSP, is for line breaking when the writer doesn't know how wide the lines will be. It's in very few Thai 8-bit codes, and you very rarely encounter it. Some (most?) software ignores ZWSP and WJ (word joiner), which is very annoying when the dictionary-based line-breaker gets it wrong.

        Educated written Thai doesn't show word boundaries, but I've seen a vacillation between marking syllable and marking word boundaries in less educated Thai, which is a hangover from when Thai children start to write. There's also a New Testament translation into Thai that (visibly) marks word boundaries - presumably because it's easier to read that way!
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