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It’s just George and Bianca this week, as Will ended up dealing with the spontaneous combustion of a server.  We do our best to stumble through some some recommendations for new conlangers and later take a look at an interesting little Germanic conlang.

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Featured Conlang: Jameld

12 Responses to “Conlangery #04: Getting Started”

  1. Peter

    Suggestions for word generation: singing. I’ve found that different melodies lead to different results; classical music works best for me. You do need to have a good grasp of your language’s phonology, and it takes practice to not to end up relexing your native language’s phonology, but it’s a little more intimate and personal than running a random word generator.

    +1 on linguistics classes and Wikipedia. Definitely agree that you should use IPA; in this day and age, with good support for IPA in fonts, I have to go with Bianca and say skip X-SAMPA.

    Describing Morphosyntax by Thomas Payne has a scary title, but is a goldmine for the conlanger. It is full of good ideas for unusual features not commonly found in your standard Indo-European languages. Numerous examples from many different languages are included and many topics are explored in depth without the sometimes overwhelming attention to detail that can lose the amateur linguist. Additionally, it has a very comprehensive list of questions that make you really think about how a language works.

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  2. Ossicone

    Just as a quick note: I like using Describing Morphosyntax to write my grammars. It helps me to remember to include a lot of details I normally forget.

    And maybe I should switch my forum signature back to ‘Every time you use X-SAMPA, I have to slap a Swedish whore.’ XD

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    • Aidan

      Why the hate on for X-SAMPA? I understand it’s a weak version of IPA, but not all of us have uber cool computers that can handle any of this stuff, nor can we afford it. Myself, for example, I was only able to afford a computer newer than 15 years old fairly recently, and X-SAMPA was so much easier to use than trying to find a kludge that would let me work with IPA easily online.

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      • admin

        As long as you have the relevant fonts, this works quite well: http://weston.ruter.net/projects/ipa-chart/view/keyboard/ SIL has a bunch of Unicode fonts here: http://www.sil.org/computing/catalog/show_software_catalog.asp?by=cat&name=font

        If the only computer that you can get is that ancient, perhaps one of the lower end tablets like the Kindle Fire would be a good buy. They can essentially do anything that computer could do, especially if you could find a way to get an external keyboard for it (though those can be expensive for an add-on).

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        • Aidan

          Thanks George! There was a time when X-SAMPA or adding a symbol in word (which got old REALLY FAST) were my only options. It’s not now, but X-SAMPA still doesn’t deserve the hate on – there are PLENTY of worse things one could do … “like English” for example. Of course, Bianca’s anti-x-sampa-ness-osity is no longer an issue, is it? 🙂

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  3. gacorley

    I only just recently took a look at my copy of Describing Morphosyntax (I know, I am a slacker, only bought it a few months ago). You’ll hear my thoughts on it in a future podcast, but for now I’ll say it looks good for beginners and veterans alike as a reference for writing grammars, but one should keep in mind that it is written for field linguists, so some things might be irrelevant to your language, or you may want to develop some things in a different order.

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  4. Kraamlep

    Thanks for the review of Jameld. As you will have gathered, I’m an amateur with no formal linguistics training, hence the layout of the grammar – although, as you correctly surmised, it’s more written from the point of view of a casual learner rather than a linguistics expert. It also has its tongue in his cheek occasionally, hence “I shall” 🙂

    I’m currently hard at work on a much-revised new edition of the dictionary, after which the next job is rewriting the grammar. I will definitely be taking your comments into account!

    I’m particularly glad that you both agreed that Jameld has its own character and feel.

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  5. Gary Shelden

    PAY ATTENTION PLEASE PLEASE to the acoustics of what you’re doing. I’m listening to #4, and it is sooooo distracting hearing you guys thump the table and doodle and lean in and out of the mikes and gods only know what other noises overwhelm the content.

    The content is great, but the ambient noise is horrid.

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    • admin

      Yeah, unfortunately that was a bit unavoidable in the early episodes. However when you get to Episode 7 you should hear a marked improvement after Bianca got a headset. Before that point she had been using the internal mic on her laptop, which is where most of the noise came from.

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    • Waahlis

      I agree completely with “Pá mamūnám ontā́ bán”. The form “shall” might seem archaic in the US, but at least in the Germanic Europe, including Sweden and the UK, the form is vivid indeed.

      It is possible that the form has stayed extant in the Germanic Europe because of the verb’s many analogies: “skola”, “sollen”, “zullen”.

      Reply

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