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CONLANG  December 2009, Week 1

CONLANG December 2009, Week 1

Subject:

Re: Journal Writing in Underdeveloped Languages

From:

Jim Henry <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 4 Dec 2009 06:52:44 -0500

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On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 5:52 AM, Arthaey Angosii <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I know that some of you write journal entries to practice your conlang
> fluency and/or develop your conlang for real-world usage. Do you find
> that you have to severely restrict what you say, because the
> language's vocabulary and grammar just aren't up to the task yet?

Sometimes; more often in the past than recently, but it still happens
often enough.

>Even though I tried to write
> very simple English, I still had to cut out some clauses -- eg, "for 5
> hours" got removed from "I read at a caf" because I haven't decided
> how to handle such clauses yet.

I can't think of specific examples offhand, but there've definitely
been times when I left out some piece of information or nuance because
gj-zym-byn wasn't sufficient for talking about it, yet wasn't so
insufficient that I couldn't talk about the subject at hand at all
without major work.

> Despite how ridiculously limited the sentences are, I *still* ended up
> coining 8 words and 1 point of grammar! I can't decide whether this is
> a good thing or a bad thing. ;)

I don't think I've ever -- or at least, not in a long time -- written
journal entries that required that high a prorportion of their text to
be new-coined words -- when I was writing about something that
gj-zym-byn was that inadequate for talking about, as yet, I fell back
on English. Two or three new-coined words per page (i.e., per
~100-150 words) is about my limit in recent years.

I didn't start writing journal entries in gzb until I'd been working
on it for ~2 years, and it didn't become the language I wrote most of
my journal entries in until I'd been using it for 5 or 6 years.

--
Jim Henry
http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/

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