Conlangery 135 medallion

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Joey Windsor and Christophe Grandsire-Koevets join George to discuss what tools we can get from more advanced linguistics theoretical frameworks. What tools do they provide the conlanger, and where do you have to be careful about applying them.

Top of Show Greeting: Gidurguyt [ɡɪ-ərdɡuː-jɪt]

LCC Presentations:

  • Doug Ball’s Talk
  • Unfortunately, the video of Joey’s talk is incomprehensible. I also cannot find video for William’s talk. Please forgive the inconvenience.

Academic Sources and Textbooks:

  • Mihalic̆ek, V., & Wilson, C. (2011). Language Files: Materials for an Introduction to Language and Linguistics. Ohio State University Press.

  • Dresher, B. E. (2009). The contrastive hierarchy in phonology (Vol. 121). Cambridge University Press.
  • O’Grady, W., & Archibald, J. (2015). Contemporary linguistic analysis: An introduction. Pearson Canada.
  • Kager, R. (1999). Optimality theory. Cambridge University Press.
  • Gussenhoven, C., & Jacobs, H. (2013). Understanding phonology. Routledge.
  • Trask, R. L. (2004). A dictionary of phonetics and phonology. Routledge.

8 Responses to “Conlangery #135: Using Linguistic Theory for Conlanging”

  1. wm.annis

    Just to be a bit contrary, I want to speak in defense of the potential value of both 1) theories that turn out to be garbage and 2) working from a faulty understanding of this or that theory. My counterexample here is from the visual arts: Pointilism. Some of the visual theory that Pointilism is based on turns out to be bunk. But the resulting art is still compelling.

    This is not to say every misinterpretation of data or a theory is going to be a winning conlang idea, but encountering anything that knocks you off your old habits of thought is potentially valuable.

    • admin

      Some of those Pointilist paintings make me twitch, but still, it’s a good point.

      I think in general we should be trying to understand whatever theoretical framework we use for conlanging as much as we can, but having a somewhat simplified understanding will not necessarily be fatal. From my point of view, most conlangers work from a somewhat simplified idea of phonemes, but it doesn’t stop them from making cool languages.

  2. Ben P

    Just to let you know, the podcast feed for this episode seems to be broken. I’ve downloaded it manually from here, but when I tried on my podcast player, it fails to download.

    • admin

      What do you use? Overcast tried to download it three times and succeeded twice. This may be because of the stupid Blubrry bug that made me have to manually fix the episode URL.

      • Ben P

        I use Podcast Addict. I tried this morning and it worked. Not sure what was going on because before that, I’d tried several times with no successes.

  3. RoyceMcNaughtan

    Nonetheless, ideophones have played an important role in stress-testing theories of phonology and morphosyntax, and today they contribute to a renaissance of the study of iconicity and multimodality in natural language.

  4. /sɑɪ̯f ɑsɑd ɑˈsːətjə/

    Doesn’t Pāṇinian Sanskrit stress count to 4? iirc, it works the same as in Latin, except stress is not limited to the antepenult and can fall on the 4th syllable from the end.


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