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Gripping language mini-documentary

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  • Sai
    In 2010, Jake Sollins shot this mini documentary about the gripping language +Alex Fink & I made (000024.org/conlang/gripping.html); it s just now online:
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 2, 2013
      In 2010, Jake Sollins shot this mini documentary about the gripping
      language +Alex Fink & I made (000024.org/conlang/gripping.html); it's
      just now online:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqiBHRJUAkg

      It's kinda sappy, more about the coupley-ness of the project than its
      linguistics, but still cute. (He caught some footage of my reaction to
      skritching… >.>)

      FWIW, we never really got the language into a fully usable state; we
      got distracted by UNLWS (saizai.com/nlws) instead, which is the main
      language we've worked on for the last couple years (and something we
      can actually use for real-time communication in to some extent, unlike
      gripping). Anyway, enjoy.

      - Sai
    • Sai
      PS See http://goo.gl/9PzS8 for explanation of the holiday greeting card. See also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DRnXASa1VM for a translation challenge story,
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 2, 2013
        PS See http://goo.gl/9PzS8 for explanation of the holiday greeting card.

        See also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DRnXASa1VM for a translation
        challenge story, and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtO5wSmQZdE for
        our LCC3 presentation on the griping language phonology.

        - Sai

        On Sat, Feb 2, 2013 at 10:34 PM, Sai <sai@...> wrote:
        > In 2010, Jake Sollins shot this mini documentary about the gripping
        > language +Alex Fink & I made (000024.org/conlang/gripping.html); it's
        > just now online:
        >
        > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqiBHRJUAkg
        >
        > It's kinda sappy, more about the coupley-ness of the project than its
        > linguistics, but still cute. (He caught some footage of my reaction to
        > skritching… >.>)
        >
        > FWIW, we never really got the language into a fully usable state; we
        > got distracted by UNLWS (saizai.com/nlws) instead, which is the main
        > language we've worked on for the last couple years (and something we
        > can actually use for real-time communication in to some extent, unlike
        > gripping). Anyway, enjoy.
        >
        > - Sai
      • Arnt Richard Johansen
        ... That s adorable! This might be a FAQ, but I m wondering how successful you were in the goal of making the GL a “covert” language. From looking at the
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 3, 2013
          On Sat, Feb 02, 2013 at 10:34:43PM -0800, Sai wrote:
          > In 2010, Jake Sollins shot this mini documentary about the gripping
          > language +Alex Fink & I made (000024.org/conlang/gripping.html); it's
          > just now online:
          >
          > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqiBHRJUAkg
          >
          > It's kinda sappy, more about the coupley-ness of the project than its
          > linguistics, but still cute. (He caught some footage of my reaction to
          > skritching… >.>)

          That's adorable!

          This might be a FAQ, but I'm wondering how successful you were in the goal of making the GL a “covert” language. From looking at the footage, it seems obvious that you are doing *something* with your hands, but perhaps a naive onlooker would just dismiss it as nervous fidgeting and not some kind of communication.

          Suppose there were someone else in the world who were completely fluent in the GL. Would such a person be able to train themself to eavesdrop on GL conversations, visually, or would enough of the conversation be hidden from view to make that impossible?

          --
          Arnt Richard Johansen http://arj.nvg.org/
          I think it's fair to say that a lot of Hikawa's popularity is due to the
          novelty factor of his youth; most male enka singers look like they've been
          driving trucks up and down the Tomei Highway for 20 years while living on a
          diet of ramen, shochu and shabu (speed). -Steve McClure
        • Alex Fink
          ... Aww, thanks. ... I don t think we actually got ourselves to the stage where this is testable. The perceptual discrimination on the back of the hand
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 3, 2013
            On Sun, 3 Feb 2013 14:10:19 +0100, Arnt Richard Johansen <arj@...> wrote:

            >That's adorable!

            Aww, thanks.

            >This might be a FAQ, but I'm wondering how successful you were in the goal of making the GL a “covert” language. From looking at the footage, it seems obvious that you are doing *something* with your hands, but perhaps a naive onlooker would just dismiss it as nervous fidgeting and not some kind of communication.
            >
            >Suppose there were someone else in the world who were completely fluent in the GL. Would such a person be able to train themself to eavesdrop on GL conversations, visually, or would enough of the conversation be hidden from view to make that impossible?

            I don't think we actually got ourselves to the stage where this is testable. The perceptual discrimination on the back of the hand required to carry the receiving side of a gripping conversation is not something that comes naturally (to us, at least), so in our conversations we sit there raising our tactile voices at each other like a loutish tourist to make ourselves understood. We hypothesise that a more sensitive perception is learnable, so that the motions could be subtler, but we're not there yet.

            It ought to be possible to read the gripping language visually, if you know what you're doing and are concentrating, especially if you had a good perspective and could see all the fingers (as opposed to say looking on from the thumb side, so the fingers are all behind each other). None of the important motion actually takes place between the palms or anything.
            Of course, being fluent in conversation in the ordinary sense wouldn't be enough; this would be a skill akin to knowing what someone's typing by watching their hand motions, or interpreting spectrograms.

            Alex
          • MorphemeAddict
            In the videos, it s emphasized that the gripping language is an exactly-two-person communication scheme, but it occurs to me that more people could participate
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 3, 2013
              In the videos, it's emphasized that the gripping language is an
              exactly-two-person communication scheme, but it occurs to me that more
              people could participate together, with hands held in a chain or circle.
              Has this been explored at all?

              stevo

              On Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 1:34 AM, Sai <sai@...> wrote:

              > In 2010, Jake Sollins shot this mini documentary about the gripping
              > language +Alex Fink & I made (000024.org/conlang/gripping.html); it's
              > just now online:
              >
              > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqiBHRJUAkg
              >
              > It's kinda sappy, more about the coupley-ness of the project than its
              > linguistics, but still cute. (He caught some footage of my reaction to
              > skritching… >.>)
              >
              > FWIW, we never really got the language into a fully usable state; we
              > got distracted by UNLWS (saizai.com/nlws) instead, which is the main
              > language we've worked on for the last couple years (and something we
              > can actually use for real-time communication in to some extent, unlike
              > gripping). Anyway, enjoy.
              >
              > - Sai
              >
            • Sai
              Interesting point. It hasn t come up. FWIW though, I think it d still be true that any particular communication *would* still be pair based; it just means that
              Message 6 of 7 , Feb 3, 2013
                Interesting point. It hasn't come up. FWIW though, I think it'd still
                be true that any particular communication *would* still be pair based;
                it just means that any person can have two parallel conversations (if
                they're good enough).

                Also FWIW, we found that perception is overall a much harder skill
                than production. It's why we eliminated various other potential
                movements that could've expanded the phoneme range; they just weren't
                reliably distinguishable enough. Plus the experience is different as
                sub or dom (yes yes, snicker), again more for the recipient than the
                producer.

                - Sai

                On Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 8:32 AM, MorphemeAddict <lytlesw@...> wrote:
                > In the videos, it's emphasized that the gripping language is an
                > exactly-two-person communication scheme, but it occurs to me that more
                > people could participate together, with hands held in a chain or circle.
                > Has this been explored at all?
                >
                > stevo
                >
                > On Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 1:34 AM, Sai <sai@...> wrote:
                >
                >> In 2010, Jake Sollins shot this mini documentary about the gripping
                >> language +Alex Fink & I made (000024.org/conlang/gripping.html); it's
                >> just now online:
                >>
                >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqiBHRJUAkg
                >>
                >> It's kinda sappy, more about the coupley-ness of the project than its
                >> linguistics, but still cute. (He caught some footage of my reaction to
                >> skritching… >.>)
                >>
                >> FWIW, we never really got the language into a fully usable state; we
                >> got distracted by UNLWS (saizai.com/nlws) instead, which is the main
                >> language we've worked on for the last couple years (and something we
                >> can actually use for real-time communication in to some extent, unlike
                >> gripping). Anyway, enjoy.
                >>
                >> - Sai
                >>
              • Alex Fink
                ... I thought it had come up. Given you say it hadn t, I wonder if I was talking about it with Parker instead. We spent a little bit of time thinking about
                Message 7 of 7 , Feb 3, 2013
                  On Sun, 3 Feb 2013 11:03:45 -0800, Sai <sai@...> wrote:
                  >On Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 8:32 AM, MorphemeAddict <lytlesw@...> wrote:
                  >> In the videos, it's emphasized that the gripping language is an
                  >> exactly-two-person communication scheme, but it occurs to me that more
                  >> people could participate together, with hands held in a chain or circle.
                  >> Has this been explored at all?
                  >>
                  >> stevo
                  >
                  >Interesting point. It hasn't come up. FWIW though, I think it'd still
                  >be true that any particular communication *would* still be pair based;
                  >it just means that any person can have two parallel conversations (if
                  >they're good enough).

                  I thought it had come up. Given you say it hadn't, I wonder if I was talking about it with Parker instead. We spent a little bit of time thinking about it in as a potential gripping-native performance art. In the chain of people clasping hands, let one be a storyteller talking to the people next to them, taking generous breaks between sentence-ish chunks for the recipient to convey each chunk along down the line. The interesting artistic potential then arises in what successive people do with the story: it could be passed on as verbatim as capable, human microphone style; or with silliness preferred to fidelity, Chinese whispers style; or sticking to the main thread of the story but allowing various sorts of rephrasing or re-connoting or re-perspectivising or allusional recasting.

                  As for genuine conversations with multiple parties speaking, three people in a triangle should be completely unproblematic (if they're all linguistically ambidextrous). More people would need passing-along mechanics again; I guess you could avoid collisions if you used a circular arrangement and directed all the communication to flow one way round the circle.

                  Alex
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