book rec

Apr. 8th, 2010 12:38 am
pauraque_bk: (Default)
In 1996, Zompist, whose real name is Mark Rosenfelder, started a web site about constructed languages and various other things. As a 14 year old just starting to check out the internet, I was also interested in making my own codes, ciphers, and perhaps even languages... but where to start? How was one to make a pretend language as realistic as, say, French (which I had just started learning at the time)?

Searching for information on perhaps Lycos or Infoseek, I ran into Zompist and the Language Construction Kit, a primer on basic linguistic principles that was not too hard to understand, yet still accurate and not dumbed-down. I distinctly remember being very excited, thinking this is exactly what I need, and printing it out to read and refer to.

Well, I'm twice as old now (yikes) and I know far more than twice as much about linguistics as I did then. It's amazing and wonderful how much you can learn about something without studying it formally, just via readily available books and academic publications, but what's often missing is the beginning part, the Ling 101 stuff. The internet has become excellent for that, and Zompist was one of the pioneers of it in the linguistic field. He really has done a lot over the years to educate and bring together conlangers and language afficionados, who in past decades would have been left to figure out all this stuff on their own.

My point in bringing this up? Dude has a book!

The Language Construction Kit (book!) is longer and better and stronger and faster than the web version. (Well, it's at least three of those things.) It's still an excellent stepping stone between "I loved Spanish class but I haven't studied linguistics" and being able to tackle academic works. It's still easy to read and sprinkled with Mark's deadpan humor. It's still not dumbed-down. But now it has way, way more detail, topics, and resources. And if you were to buy it or mention it to a language-loving friend, you'd be supporting a pretty cool guy that I've known half my life.

Excuse me while I go feel old now.

book rec

Apr. 8th, 2010 12:38 am
pauraque_bk: (Default)
In 1996, Zompist, whose real name is Mark Rosenfelder, started a web site about constructed languages and various other things. As a 14 year old just starting to check out the internet, I was also interested in making my own codes, ciphers, and perhaps even languages... but where to start? How was one to make a pretend language as realistic as, say, French (which I had just started learning at the time)?

Searching for information on perhaps Lycos or Infoseek, I ran into Zompist and the Language Construction Kit, a primer on basic linguistic principles that was not too hard to understand, yet still accurate and not dumbed-down. I distinctly remember being very excited, thinking this is exactly what I need, and printing it out to read and refer to.

Well, I'm twice as old now (yikes) and I know far more than twice as much about linguistics as I did then. It's amazing and wonderful how much you can learn about something without studying it formally, just via readily available books and academic publications, but what's often missing is the beginning part, the Ling 101 stuff. The internet has become excellent for that, and Zompist was one of the pioneers of it in the linguistic field. He really has done a lot over the years to educate and bring together conlangers and language afficionados, who in past decades would have been left to figure out all this stuff on their own.

My point in bringing this up? Dude has a book!

The Language Construction Kit (book!) is longer and better and stronger and faster than the web version. (Well, it's at least three of those things.) It's still an excellent stepping stone between "I loved Spanish class but I haven't studied linguistics" and being able to tackle academic works. It's still easy to read and sprinkled with Mark's deadpan humor. It's still not dumbed-down. But now it has way, way more detail, topics, and resources. And if you were to buy it or mention it to a language-loving friend, you'd be supporting a pretty cool guy that I've known half my life.

Excuse me while I go feel old now.

soon

Oct. 29th, 2009 12:07 pm
pauraque_bk: (Default)
My conlang thing is done and went over well, or at least no one threw rotten fruit at me, which means aaaaagh it's almost time for Nano to start. I was smart and wrote an outline already, though I can't imagine I'll end up following it.

TODAY: Chores.
TOMORROW: New Tales of Monkey Island!
SATURDAY: Trick or treating with stepkid.
SUNDAY: *flail*

Are the rest of you ready?

soon

Oct. 29th, 2009 12:07 pm
pauraque_bk: (Default)
My conlang thing is done and went over well, or at least no one threw rotten fruit at me, which means aaaaagh it's almost time for Nano to start. I was smart and wrote an outline already, though I can't imagine I'll end up following it.

TODAY: Chores.
TOMORROW: New Tales of Monkey Island!
SATURDAY: Trick or treating with stepkid.
SUNDAY: *flail*

Are the rest of you ready?
pauraque_bk: (Default)
I'm doing this collaborative conlang project dealie. The idea is that I take someone else's conlang and derive a daughter language from it (using plausible principles of historical linguistics, hopefully), and then someone derives a language from mine, and so on. Everyone gets two weeks to finish.

The details are of no possible interest to anyone who isn't a linguistics geek, but I did decide to kill two birds with one stone and make up an extra sample text. The person whose language I was assigned to work with had made up a very patriarchal farming culture to go with it, and suggested that some of their descendants would domesticate the horse and become nomadic, so I went with that.

I hope the unicode stuff doesn't just get wrecked for most people.

++

A raid on the garden people

English: The year I became a man, some of our sheep had died, and so my father wanted to raid the garden people )

Ingomo: Lo tɯká:zone:v no, ta œnó saŋ sí:bo: iŋomœ́ŋhɯː: ca áje:zo:, ky zɯ: cí:kejigo notɯnó ótabola:pol sœ:gɯsávu:kavogu:v sa )

And for any actual ling geeks, the interlinear gloss )
pauraque_bk: (Default)
I'm doing this collaborative conlang project dealie. The idea is that I take someone else's conlang and derive a daughter language from it (using plausible principles of historical linguistics, hopefully), and then someone derives a language from mine, and so on. Everyone gets two weeks to finish.

The details are of no possible interest to anyone who isn't a linguistics geek, but I did decide to kill two birds with one stone and make up an extra sample text. The person whose language I was assigned to work with had made up a very patriarchal farming culture to go with it, and suggested that some of their descendants would domesticate the horse and become nomadic, so I went with that.

I hope the unicode stuff doesn't just get wrecked for most people.

++

A raid on the garden people

English: The year I became a man, some of our sheep had died, and so my father wanted to raid the garden people )

Ingomo: Lo tɯká:zone:v no, ta œnó saŋ sí:bo: iŋomœ́ŋhɯː: ca áje:zo:, ky zɯ: cí:kejigo notɯnó ótabola:pol sœ:gɯsávu:kavogu:v sa )

And for any actual ling geeks, the interlinear gloss )
pauraque_bk: (Default)
In the writing project that only [livejournal.com profile] _hannelore is allowed to see, I was using France as a model for the homeland of the POV character, giving him a French-sounding name and so on. When I reached the point where he was going to be so ashamed of what he was writing in his diary that he would conceal it by writing in his native language, I had to stop and spend a day modeling it. Of course it's a cipher of French with various tweaks, and that was just fun.

Zavre a nu brun. Se brun gov nule mapo ku nu straven te nule rabul. Se brun sor te plum e plum, o pulbe su atandrebe. Fral skelen. "Su mapo kranas kilme," bu. "Vutibe su zavrebe te du."

traduction )

Listen to it. Forgive me, I have a cold. But yeah, HEY BONUS: That's what my voice sounds like now, kinda.


Then somehow the writing system needed to be modeled after Cyrillic, in that the letters look familiar, but if you tried to sound it out you wouldn't get it right at all. It's an abugida! I like those.

l'image )

Before I got into LJ fandom, I basically just hung out with conlangers. And that was fun, and I learned a lot, but sometimes the culture of it is sort of stifling, in that there's too much value placed on having a magnum opus conlang of maximal detail and realism that you've worked on for twenty years. Not that I decry these -- I have them too -- but I just don't think they're "better" than a cute little toy lang you make in five hours and then never touch again. This is a toy airplane, and this is one too, and so is this. They all succeed at modeling an airplane, but it's level of detail, zooming in and out.

To put it in fandom terms, you can write an epic novel, or a 2000 word story, or a 15-minute drabble, and I see no qualitative difference, they just are what they are.

It's hard to compare conlanging and fic writing, though, at least for me. I find writing very challenging, and most of my satisfaction comes from feedback. I don't know if a story is "good" until someone says they liked it. Conlanging just... gives me pleasure. It may take work and concentration, but it isn't hard or frustrating in the way that writing is, ever. It's nice if someone admires what I did, but it's a very distant concern, which is probably why I find it hard to motivate myself to post my stuff anywhere.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
In the writing project that only [livejournal.com profile] _hannelore is allowed to see, I was using France as a model for the homeland of the POV character, giving him a French-sounding name and so on. When I reached the point where he was going to be so ashamed of what he was writing in his diary that he would conceal it by writing in his native language, I had to stop and spend a day modeling it. Of course it's a cipher of French with various tweaks, and that was just fun.

Zavre a nu brun. Se brun gov nule mapo ku nu straven te nule rabul. Se brun sor te plum e plum, o pulbe su atandrebe. Fral skelen. "Su mapo kranas kilme," bu. "Vutibe su zavrebe te du."

traduction )

Listen to it. Forgive me, I have a cold. But yeah, HEY BONUS: That's what my voice sounds like now, kinda.


Then somehow the writing system needed to be modeled after Cyrillic, in that the letters look familiar, but if you tried to sound it out you wouldn't get it right at all. It's an abugida! I like those.

l'image )

Before I got into LJ fandom, I basically just hung out with conlangers. And that was fun, and I learned a lot, but sometimes the culture of it is sort of stifling, in that there's too much value placed on having a magnum opus conlang of maximal detail and realism that you've worked on for twenty years. Not that I decry these -- I have them too -- but I just don't think they're "better" than a cute little toy lang you make in five hours and then never touch again. This is a toy airplane, and this is one too, and so is this. They all succeed at modeling an airplane, but it's level of detail, zooming in and out.

To put it in fandom terms, you can write an epic novel, or a 2000 word story, or a 15-minute drabble, and I see no qualitative difference, they just are what they are.

It's hard to compare conlanging and fic writing, though, at least for me. I find writing very challenging, and most of my satisfaction comes from feedback. I don't know if a story is "good" until someone says they liked it. Conlanging just... gives me pleasure. It may take work and concentration, but it isn't hard or frustrating in the way that writing is, ever. It's nice if someone admires what I did, but it's a very distant concern, which is probably why I find it hard to motivate myself to post my stuff anywhere.

Profile

pauraque_bk: (Default)
pauraque_bk

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
23 4 5678
91011 12 13 1415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Aug. 21st, 2017 03:42 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios