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New 30-day conlang project - prep work

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  • Gary Shannon
    Prior to beginning my next 30-day conlang project on January 1, I went to my favorite used book store and came back with 5 dictionaries to use as inspiration
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 27, 2012
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      Prior to beginning my next 30-day conlang project on January 1, I went to
      my favorite used book store and came back with 5 dictionaries to use as
      inspiration for the conlang lexicon. they are:

      Bonda (Remo) - Southern subgroup of the Munda branch of the
      Austro-Asiatic family
      Maylay - Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian family
      Marathi - Southern Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people
      Pali - Middle Indo-Aryan literary language
      Swahili - Bantu sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages

      When I need a word for the conlang I will borrow and adapt from those
      sources, starting with the first (Bonda) and working through the others in
      the order given until I discover at an ear-pleasing conlang word somewhat
      inspired by whichever source provides the nicest raw material for a given
      word.

      The primary source will be Bonda, and I will try to base most of my words
      on that language, although I will feel free to shift vowels, swap syllables
      into a different order, or replace consonants with something I like better.
      And as a sixth, backup language, in case I don't discover a good enough
      word from those five source, I will keep my Hawaiian dictionary handy.

      I've just begun working on the outline for the 30-chapters of the 30-day
      textbook. What I have so far is:

      1. Basics
      A. Alphabet and letter names
      B. Phonology
      C. Morphology
      D. Stress
      E. Word origins
      F. Basic sentence structure (SVO, SOV, ...)
      2. Nouns
      A. Gender/Class
      B. Number
      C. Case
      D. Diminutives and Augmentatives
      3. Determiners
      A. Definite article
      B. Indefinite article
      C. Demonstrative adjectives
      D. Quantitative adjectives (some, many, most...)
      4. Verbs
      A. Copula and copular verbs
      B. Verb roots, infinitives
      C. Tense, Aspect, Mood, and conjugation patterns
      1. Auxiliary verbs and tense particles
      2. Gerunds and participles (if used)
      D. Negation
      5. Adjectives
      A. Order & position
      B. Agreement
      C. Comparative
      D. Relative Superlative
      E. Absolute Superlative
      F. Possessive
      6. Pronouns
      A. Gender
      B. Number
      C. Case
      D. Possessive and possessive adjectives (my & mine)
      E. Demonstrative pronouns
      F. Indefinite and impersonal (one, somebody,...)
      G. Reflexive
      7. Objects, direct and indirect
      8. Interrogative constructions
      A. Yes/No questions
      B. Interrogative pronouns (who, what, where...)
      9. Adverbs
      A. Position
      B. Adverbs of quantity and frequency
      C. Adverbs of time and place
      10. Dependent clauses
      A. Adverbial clauses and prepositional phrases
      B. Adjectival (relative) clauses
      11. Conjunctions other compound constructions
      A. And, or, neither, nor
      B. When, if
      12. Time
      A. Clock time
      B. Days of the week
      C. Months
      D. Seasons
      13. Numbers
      A. Cardinal
      B. Ordinal
      C. Other use of numerical forms (once, primary, ...)
      14. Roots and Affixes
      A. Common prefixes and their use
      B. Common suffixes and their use.
      15. Vocative, direct and indirect discourse
      A. Vocative forms
      B. Direct quotation
      C. Indirect quotation
      16. Contractions (if any)

      Although phonology/morphology/orthography is the first chapter, I probably
      won't actually write that chapter until later after I discover enough words
      to know what the language is going to sound like. I will probably start out
      Jan. 1 with the chapter on nouns, (Gender/class, number, case...)

      I won't start the web page until Jan 1 when I write the first chapter.
      Until then I'm deliberately not thinking about details like whether it will
      be SVO, SOV, ... or even how inflected it will be. I do know, since I have
      only 30 days to complete the grammar, that the grammatical rules will be
      absolutely regular. Verbs will all conjugate in exactly the same way, nouns
      (and adjectives, if it turns out they must agree) will all inflect for case
      in the identical way, and so on. I may have differences based on
      gender/class, but those will be regular within each gender/class.

      --gary
    • MorphemeAddict
      ... stevo
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 27, 2012
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        On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 5:14 PM, Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...> wrote:

        > Prior to beginning my next 30-day conlang project on January 1, I went to
        > my favorite used book store and came back with 5 dictionaries to use as
        > inspiration for the conlang lexicon. they are:
        >
        > Bonda (Remo) - Southern subgroup of the Munda branch of the
        > Austro-Asiatic family
        > Maylay - Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian family
        > Marathi - Southern Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people
        > Pali - Middle Indo-Aryan literary language
        > Swahili - Bantu sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages
        >
        > I wish *my *local used-book stores had books like these.

        stevo


        > When I need a word for the conlang I will borrow and adapt from those
        > sources, starting with the first (Bonda) and working through the others in
        > the order given until I discover at an ear-pleasing conlang word somewhat
        > inspired by whichever source provides the nicest raw material for a given
        > word.
        >
        > The primary source will be Bonda, and I will try to base most of my words
        > on that language, although I will feel free to shift vowels, swap syllables
        > into a different order, or replace consonants with something I like better.
        > And as a sixth, backup language, in case I don't discover a good enough
        > word from those five source, I will keep my Hawaiian dictionary handy.
        >
        > I've just begun working on the outline for the 30-chapters of the 30-day
        > textbook. What I have so far is:
        >
        > 1. Basics
        > A. Alphabet and letter names
        > B. Phonology
        > C. Morphology
        > D. Stress
        > E. Word origins
        > F. Basic sentence structure (SVO, SOV, ...)
        > 2. Nouns
        > A. Gender/Class
        > B. Number
        > C. Case
        > D. Diminutives and Augmentatives
        > 3. Determiners
        > A. Definite article
        > B. Indefinite article
        > C. Demonstrative adjectives
        > D. Quantitative adjectives (some, many, most...)
        > 4. Verbs
        > A. Copula and copular verbs
        > B. Verb roots, infinitives
        > C. Tense, Aspect, Mood, and conjugation patterns
        > 1. Auxiliary verbs and tense particles
        > 2. Gerunds and participles (if used)
        > D. Negation
        > 5. Adjectives
        > A. Order & position
        > B. Agreement
        > C. Comparative
        > D. Relative Superlative
        > E. Absolute Superlative
        > F. Possessive
        > 6. Pronouns
        > A. Gender
        > B. Number
        > C. Case
        > D. Possessive and possessive adjectives (my & mine)
        > E. Demonstrative pronouns
        > F. Indefinite and impersonal (one, somebody,...)
        > G. Reflexive
        > 7. Objects, direct and indirect
        > 8. Interrogative constructions
        > A. Yes/No questions
        > B. Interrogative pronouns (who, what, where...)
        > 9. Adverbs
        > A. Position
        > B. Adverbs of quantity and frequency
        > C. Adverbs of time and place
        > 10. Dependent clauses
        > A. Adverbial clauses and prepositional phrases
        > B. Adjectival (relative) clauses
        > 11. Conjunctions other compound constructions
        > A. And, or, neither, nor
        > B. When, if
        > 12. Time
        > A. Clock time
        > B. Days of the week
        > C. Months
        > D. Seasons
        > 13. Numbers
        > A. Cardinal
        > B. Ordinal
        > C. Other use of numerical forms (once, primary, ...)
        > 14. Roots and Affixes
        > A. Common prefixes and their use
        > B. Common suffixes and their use.
        > 15. Vocative, direct and indirect discourse
        > A. Vocative forms
        > B. Direct quotation
        > C. Indirect quotation
        > 16. Contractions (if any)
        >
        > Although phonology/morphology/orthography is the first chapter, I probably
        > won't actually write that chapter until later after I discover enough words
        > to know what the language is going to sound like. I will probably start out
        > Jan. 1 with the chapter on nouns, (Gender/class, number, case...)
        >
        > I won't start the web page until Jan 1 when I write the first chapter.
        > Until then I'm deliberately not thinking about details like whether it will
        > be SVO, SOV, ... or even how inflected it will be. I do know, since I have
        > only 30 days to complete the grammar, that the grammatical rules will be
        > absolutely regular. Verbs will all conjugate in exactly the same way, nouns
        > (and adjectives, if it turns out they must agree) will all inflect for case
        > in the identical way, and so on. I may have differences based on
        > gender/class, but those will be regular within each gender/class.
        >
        > --gary
        >
      • nichole andrews
        What s this project? ... From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:CONLANG@LISTSERV.BROWN.EDU] On Behalf Of MorphemeAddict Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 27, 2012
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          What's this project?

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:CONLANG@...] On Behalf Of MorphemeAddict
          Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 5:52 PM
          To: CONLANG@...
          Subject: Re: New 30-day conlang project - prep work

          On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 5:14 PM, Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...> wrote:

          > Prior to beginning my next 30-day conlang project on January 1, I went
          > to my favorite used book store and came back with 5 dictionaries to
          > use as inspiration for the conlang lexicon. they are:
          >
          > Bonda (Remo) - Southern subgroup of the Munda branch of the
          > Austro-Asiatic family
          > Maylay - Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian family
          > Marathi - Southern Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people
          > Pali - Middle Indo-Aryan literary language
          > Swahili - Bantu sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages
          >
          > I wish *my *local used-book stores had books like these.

          stevo


          > When I need a word for the conlang I will borrow and adapt from those
          > sources, starting with the first (Bonda) and working through the
          > others in the order given until I discover at an ear-pleasing conlang
          > word somewhat inspired by whichever source provides the nicest raw
          > material for a given word.
          >
          > The primary source will be Bonda, and I will try to base most of my
          > words on that language, although I will feel free to shift vowels,
          > swap syllables into a different order, or replace consonants with something I like better.
          > And as a sixth, backup language, in case I don't discover a good
          > enough word from those five source, I will keep my Hawaiian dictionary handy.
          >
          > I've just begun working on the outline for the 30-chapters of the
          > 30-day textbook. What I have so far is:
          >
          > 1. Basics
          > A. Alphabet and letter names
          > B. Phonology
          > C. Morphology
          > D. Stress
          > E. Word origins
          > F. Basic sentence structure (SVO, SOV, ...) 2. Nouns
          > A. Gender/Class
          > B. Number
          > C. Case
          > D. Diminutives and Augmentatives
          > 3. Determiners
          > A. Definite article
          > B. Indefinite article
          > C. Demonstrative adjectives
          > D. Quantitative adjectives (some, many, most...) 4. Verbs
          > A. Copula and copular verbs
          > B. Verb roots, infinitives
          > C. Tense, Aspect, Mood, and conjugation patterns
          > 1. Auxiliary verbs and tense particles
          > 2. Gerunds and participles (if used)
          > D. Negation
          > 5. Adjectives
          > A. Order & position
          > B. Agreement
          > C. Comparative
          > D. Relative Superlative
          > E. Absolute Superlative
          > F. Possessive
          > 6. Pronouns
          > A. Gender
          > B. Number
          > C. Case
          > D. Possessive and possessive adjectives (my & mine)
          > E. Demonstrative pronouns
          > F. Indefinite and impersonal (one, somebody,...)
          > G. Reflexive
          > 7. Objects, direct and indirect
          > 8. Interrogative constructions
          > A. Yes/No questions
          > B. Interrogative pronouns (who, what, where...) 9. Adverbs
          > A. Position
          > B. Adverbs of quantity and frequency
          > C. Adverbs of time and place
          > 10. Dependent clauses
          > A. Adverbial clauses and prepositional phrases
          > B. Adjectival (relative) clauses
          > 11. Conjunctions other compound constructions
          > A. And, or, neither, nor
          > B. When, if
          > 12. Time
          > A. Clock time
          > B. Days of the week
          > C. Months
          > D. Seasons
          > 13. Numbers
          > A. Cardinal
          > B. Ordinal
          > C. Other use of numerical forms (once, primary, ...) 14. Roots and
          > Affixes
          > A. Common prefixes and their use
          > B. Common suffixes and their use.
          > 15. Vocative, direct and indirect discourse
          > A. Vocative forms
          > B. Direct quotation
          > C. Indirect quotation
          > 16. Contractions (if any)
          >
          > Although phonology/morphology/orthography is the first chapter, I
          > probably won't actually write that chapter until later after I
          > discover enough words to know what the language is going to sound
          > like. I will probably start out Jan. 1 with the chapter on nouns,
          > (Gender/class, number, case...)
          >
          > I won't start the web page until Jan 1 when I write the first chapter.
          > Until then I'm deliberately not thinking about details like whether it
          > will be SVO, SOV, ... or even how inflected it will be. I do know,
          > since I have only 30 days to complete the grammar, that the
          > grammatical rules will be absolutely regular. Verbs will all conjugate
          > in exactly the same way, nouns (and adjectives, if it turns out they
          > must agree) will all inflect for case in the identical way, and so on.
          > I may have differences based on gender/class, but those will be regular within each gender/class.
          >
          > --gary
          >
        • Gary Shannon
          ... I have the advantage that this local used bookstore is on the edge of the campus of the University of Oregon, so they have a lot of very interesting stuff.
          Message 4 of 6 , Dec 27, 2012
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            On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 2:52 PM, MorphemeAddict <lytlesw@...> wrote:

            > On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 5:14 PM, Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...> wrote:
            >
            > > Prior to beginning my next 30-day conlang project on January 1, I went to
            > > my favorite used book store and came back with 5 dictionaries to use as
            > > inspiration for the conlang lexicon. they are:
            > >
            > > Bonda (Remo) - Southern subgroup of the Munda branch of the
            > > Austro-Asiatic family
            > > Maylay - Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian family
            > > Marathi - Southern Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people
            > > Pali - Middle Indo-Aryan literary language
            > > Swahili - Bantu sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages
            > >
            > > I wish *my *local used-book stores had books like these.
            >
            > stevo
            >

            I have the advantage that this local used bookstore is on the edge of the
            campus of the University of Oregon, so they have a lot of very interesting
            stuff.

            --gary
          • Padraic Brown
            ... Same with my local. All sorts of interesting language dictionaries and so forth. Even some very interesting English dictionaries come around from time to
            Message 5 of 6 , Dec 27, 2012
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              --- On Thu, 12/27/12, Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...> wrote:

              > From: Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>
              > Subject: Re: [CONLANG] New 30-day conlang project - prep work
              > To: CONLANG@...
              > Date: Thursday, December 27, 2012, 9:23 PM
              > On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 2:52 PM,
              > MorphemeAddict <lytlesw@...>
              > wrote:
              >
              > > On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 5:14 PM, Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > > Prior to beginning my next 30-day conlang project
              > on January 1, I went to
              > > > my favorite used book store and came back with 5
              > dictionaries to use as
              > > > inspiration for the conlang lexicon. they are:
              > > >
              > > >     Bonda (Remo) - Southern
              > subgroup of the Munda branch of the
              > > > Austro-Asiatic family
              > > >     Maylay - Malayo-Polynesian
              > branch of the Austronesian family
              > > >     Marathi - Southern
              > Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people
              > > >     Pali - Middle Indo-Aryan
              > literary language
              > > >     Swahili - Bantu sub-branch
              > of the Niger–Congo languages
              > > >
              > > > I wish *my *local used-book stores had books like
              > these.
              > >
              > > stevo
              > >
              >
              > I have the advantage that this local used bookstore is on
              > the edge of the
              > campus of the University of Oregon, so they have a lot of
              > very interesting stuff.

              Same with my local. All sorts of interesting language dictionaries and
              so forth. Even some very interesting English dictionaries come around
              from time to time! (Dialect dictionaries, generally.)

              > --gary

              Padraic
            • Gary Shannon
              I m finding it impossible NOT to think about what I want to do with my 30-day conlang come New Years Day. I distracted myself for a little while by building 30
              Message 6 of 6 , Dec 30, 2012
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                I'm finding it impossible NOT to think about what I want to do with my
                30-day conlang come New Years Day. I distracted myself for a little
                while by building 30 empty lesson pages, and then writing and
                debugging a dictionary creation program that will take my (as yet
                non-existent) lexical database and turn it into two HTML dictionary
                pages. (English to conlag-X and conlang-X to English)

                The only thing I can do to avoid cheating by starting early is to
                balance each new idea with an opposing idea so that I don't settle on
                any one thing before it's time to start the project in earnest. So I'm
                thinking SOV, VSO, pro-drop, non-pro-drop, conjugated verbs vs tense
                particles, noun genders or classes, yes or no? resumptive pronouns in
                relative clauses? yes or no? Adjectives before or after the nouns they
                modify? Case endings on nouns vs role marking with particles, etc.,
                etc.

                So I'm bouncing all the alternatives around in my head without
                allowing myself to settle on anything. But even so, that first day,
                New Years Day, won't quite be a blank slate. I'm going to hit the
                ground running by making each of those choices, even if I have to flip
                a coin.

                It's going to be an exciting 30 days! I have no idea what sort of
                language will emerge, but I can't way to see what it looks like!

                --gary
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