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CONLANG  April 2005, Week 1

CONLANG April 2005, Week 1

Subject:

Re: Ayeri: Menan Coyalayamoena ena McGuffey

From:

Roger Mills <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 6 Apr 2005 17:40:58 -0400

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Tim May and others have written:
> David J. Peterson wrote at 2005-04-06 11:33:58 (-0700)
>  > Carsten wrote:
>  >
>  > > I began translating the first McGuffey Reader today, but I found
>  > > that Ayeri's syntax is way more difficult than the English one.
>  >
> [...]
>  >
>  > Since no one's ventured a reply yet, I'll give you my thoughts.
>  > First, though the words are longer and more morphologically
>  > complex, they don't look all that tough.  I mean:
>  >
>  > Veneyin ang manimpiyà.
>  >
>  > That's a sentence with three elements.  That's not too bad.  Plus,
>  > you're comparing Ayeri to an essentially *isolating* language,
>  > English.  There's just no way to compare.  I mean, how can you beat
>  > "He ran home"?  Three syllables, yet an entire sentence.  So I
>  > think it should be natural that English sentences are shorter and
>  > less morphologically complex than Ayeri, and that I think you
>  > shouldn't worry about.  I *certainly* don't think you should
>  > simplify the language.  Consider a real world.  Would you want to
>  > teach children an entirely different form of the language?  They'd
>  > end up learning too languages: Real Ayeri at home and on the
>  > playground, and Simplified Ayeri in school.
>  >
>
>
>
> It's probably true that Carsten is overestimating the problems
> presented by Ayeri here.  Whatever language is suitable for Ayeri
> children in speech is probably going to be acceptable in text.*
>
> What might be useful is to look at real-world evidence - children's
> books in languages with more complex morphology than English.  One
> might start with the International Children's Digital Library:
>
> http://www.icdlbooks.org/

A very good idea; haven't looked yet, but will...
>
>
> * Although even in English, the language in such works is simplified
>   to the point of sounding distinctly unnatural.  "See Spot run", for
>   example.  I'm not sure that keeping the grammar simple for children
>   is actually the main reason for this, but it does suggest that
>   children can learn to read a simplified subset of the language and
>   go on to more natural texts without any particular trouble.

Without examining all the material in the first few lessons, I suspect one
aim is to limit the number of variant spellings of vowel sounds the learner
is exposed to.  "Cee(C)#" is always /i/ "long e", CoC# always /a/ "short o",
CaC# always /&/ "short a" and so on for most of the words used. I seem to
recall being introduced to reading in such a way (we didn't use McGuffey,
however).  Later on, we got to the "long vowels", first in words with
"silent (final) e" and so on.  It was a long time, I'm sure, before we got
into "enough, cough, through, thorough".  I can recall being flummoxed by
"fiend", assuming it was pronounced like "friend".........

Earlier today, there was a msg. on Ideolengua, decrying the failure of
Spanish (and French) kids to use the accents correctly if at all. The writer
blamed it on increasing use of messaging on mobile phones. Well, that's as
may be....
>

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