Monthly Archives: March 2011

Ghostlangs: It’s a continuum.

I’m going to try to use Algonquian languages to illustrate. The language at the top of the list are living languages. The middle ones stopped evolving as soon as they were written down. With scholarship and hard work, one theoretically … Continue reading

Posted in ghostlang, Virginian Algonquian | Comments Off

Ghostlang: What did we used to speak where I live now–Northern Virgina?

(I originally wrote this post on my other blog in 2009, and have since learned that what was spoken in Northern VA, i.e the suburbs of Washington DC was a dialect halfway between Delawarian and the dialect/language reconstructed for the … Continue reading

Posted in Virginian Algonquian | Comments Off

Draft for a Ghostlang Research Agenda

1) Memorize the attested words 2) Track down the corresponding words in related languages 3) Fill in lexical gaps with loans from related languages. Ditto for syntax gaps. Also check with proto-Algonquian with plausible mutations. 4) Work out the transliteration … Continue reading

Posted in ghostlang, Virginian Algonquian | Comments Off

Ghostlang: Virginan Algonquian

As is typical with conlangs, the first thing people do is work out a script of their own. To my amazement, there already is a script for reconstructed VA Algonquian, created by Ian Custlow (I believe), who is from the … Continue reading

Posted in ghostlang, Virginian Algonquian | Comments Off

Ghostlangs: Virginian Algonquian

A fake language isn’t worth studying unless it has a suitable word+lang portmanteau. I’m going to call all attempts to revive completely dead and incompletely attested languages ghostlangs. In this family, I’d place Dnghu (so-called Modern Proto-Indoeuropean) and certainly Virginian … Continue reading

Posted in ghostlang, Virginian Algonquian | Comments Off

To create a conculture or to not. That’s the Q.

First, lets identify the audience. If you enjoy writing fake ethnographic reports, the follow your joy. Ditto if you are writing a fictional novel and want a thoroughly developed setting. But, if you are writing a conlang and are wondering … Continue reading

Posted in conlang community building, conlang design | Comments Off

Chat Tools and conlang community building

Chat solves three problems for a conlanger: corpus building, proving your language design in a conversational context and tutoring the community. Most any chat tool works for the latter two issues. For corpus building, you really need to need to … Continue reading

Posted in conlang community building | Comments Off

Conlang Licensing

If you are a free spirit, anarchist, or mostly create personal or secret conlangs, then conlang licensing probably isn’t interesting. This article has a very specific audience. Conlang licensing is an important issue for conlang creators, fans and business people … Continue reading

Posted in conlang licensing | Comments Off

To grow a conlang community, weed your garden

This is the best statement I’ve read about online communities, from the Coding Horror blog: … It’s an ugly, thankless little thing, but it’s necessary. I scrutinize every comment, and I remove a tiny percentage of them: they might be … Continue reading

Posted in conlang community building | Comments Off

Secret languages and amateur linguistics

I wrote a post somewhere about personal conlangs, i.e. conlangs that are intended to be used and used by only one person. Thanks to a comment (albeit from a very angry elf), I started thinking about something not so different, … Continue reading

Posted in conlang, conlang design | Comments Off

What is a polysynthetic lanuage?

Well, it depends on which linguists is using the word today. So welcome to cafeteria linguistics and please choose your mystery meat: Option 1. It is a Chomskian style parameter which says, all verbs mark for subject and object, or … Continue reading

Posted in conlang design | Comments Off

Learning Curves and Languages

The learning curve charts your language learning results with your language learning efforts. In a linear learning curve, a unit of time or effort yields a unit of results. In a nonlinear learning curve, at times, great efforts yield nothing … Continue reading

Posted in conlang design | Comments Off

Publish a reference grammar or it didn’t happen

There is an internet meme, “pictures or it didn’t happen”, which is also a website for funny photos. The conlang world is in a similar situation. “Noyatowa” is supposed to be a conlang that is polysynthetic. It has 7 google … Continue reading

Posted in conlang community building, conlang design | 1 Comment

Lexicography for Conlangers- First Notes

So I’m trying to create a database schema for dictionary work with toki pona. I’d like it to be re-usable for other languages, so I’m think about what concepts in lexicography are useful and universal. Lemmatization. Picking the dictionary form … Continue reading

Posted in conlang design | Comments Off

Medical Conlangs

This isn’t exactly a new idea. ¬†What I think is new is trying to work out what sort of conlang has the most medical benefits and would be practical, i.e. not to big, not too hard, not too unlikely to … Continue reading

Posted in medical conlangs | Comments Off