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> From:    Christophe Grandsire <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Great Moments in Con/Auxlang Filmmaking
>
> I saw an extract of the movie, and I must say the actors really spoke a
> very good (without accent) Esperanto.

What _is_ the 'canonical accent' of Esperanto?

> From:    Kristian Jensen <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: WARNING: Virus Alert (and this one's for real)
>
> VBS/LoveLetter.worm also attempts to download and install an
> executable file called WIN-BUGSFIX.EXE, a password stealing
> program that will email any cached passwords it finds to the
> mail address [log in to unmask]
> >>>>>
>
> I don't know if that email address just given is a real one or
> not. But what would happen if we all crashed into that mailme
> address? Perhaps it is possible to get back at that little
> devil for ever creating such a monster.

Well, .ph is the Philippines [just pretend I spelled that right]... I don't
get a response from such an address at the moment, but whether that's
because the machine is down or because it doesn't exist I can't say.

> From:    Christophe Grandsire <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Conlang Presentation (all participants of the Starling's Song
Relay
>          concerned)
>
> What I would like is to use
> the Starling's Song Relay as an example of what is done on the list, and
> thus I ask for permission of all conlangers that participated to it to use
> their texts in my presentation.

Is that on the web anywhere? (other than the list archives of course)

> From:    [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: R:      Re: Baby Babble Early Human Language?
>
> On Fri, 5 May 2000, Dan Sulani wrote:
>
> > And then pretty soon they drive you nuts with:
> > "Can I have the car tonight?"  :-)
>
> At least I can legitimately go "Ask your mother.", since I don't drive.

Sure, but then _I_ can ask "Who _ARE_ you?", since I don't have children.

> From:    [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Religion, Philosophy & Politics
>
> On Fri, 5 May 2000, Carlos Eugenio Thompson (EDC) wrote:
>
> > in how food is comming to you.  If an ancient nomade hunter-gathering
tribe
> > had come to a plantation of a primitive agricultural village and eat
from
> > the plantation, they don't stop being hunter-gatherers.  If we can bring
the
>
> That depends upon whether one considers raider-thieves to be
> hunter-gatherers...

That ain't necessarily so.  Weren't there some culture somewhere that
allowed (or required) leaving part of the farm produce for people like that?

> From:    John Cowan <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Religion, Philosophy & Politics
>
> > Can an organism that is "fit" fail to survive?  That is, is it possible
> > for organisms to fail to reproduce due to circumstances that have
nothing
> > at all to do with a "design"?
>
> Certainly, as when an asteroid falls on them.

I thought "fitness" would involve some sort of being able to sense large
objects falling out of the sky at you. ;)

> From:    Peter Clark <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Lojban program and conlang software ideas
>
>         Next order of business: has anyone considered starting up a Open
> Source/Free Software (take your pick of terms) line of conlang software
> and tools? How many programmers do we have on the list? I really wish that
> a.) I had more time and b.) knew a decent programming language (I am still
> teaching myself C in my officially non-existant free time), because I
> would try to whip up something for others to work off of. I am aware of
> Kura, Boudewijn's language database program/Shoebox replacement,

Hoo, where can I find this?

> but it
> would be interesting to see a truly cross-platform set of tools be
> developed.

I'm working on writing one.  That's not to say that it'll ever be usable,
much less finished--just something to fritter away the time with in Java.

>Here just a wee little wish list...
> o Random word generator - I have found several on the web, but aside from
> LangMake, these are primitive at best. Of course, I do my word generation
> the old fashion way (just today I decided that the number for 24 should be
> "cits" /kits/. Enamyn is base-8, in case you are wondering why 24 gets its
> own name.) Still, it would be nice (should I ever need a quick-and-dirty
> list of words) to feed in phonemes and syllable structure and frequency
> tables and get a reasonable list back. Jeffrey Henning's LangMake program
> comes to mind as the closest to reach an ideal so far (I love the
> transformation feature), but why not take a good thing and make it better?

Mine had plans to do exactly that, except for the frequency tables (which I
had forgotten about...)

> o Dictionary program - something where the user could type in the word and
> the translation, and the program would insert generate a Conlang<->Natlang
> dictionary. It would definitely have to handle multiple meanings; grabbing
> an example from Russian, if I type in "jazyk" for the Russian word and
> "tongue" and "language" for the English definitions, I should be able to
> find "jazyk" under both "tongue" and "language" in the English section. It
> should also work the other way as well; if I type in "probovat'" and later
> "starat'sja", I should find both under "try." It should also be able to
> indicate special forms, like "djen'gi" becoming "djenjeg" in the genitive
> plural.

Mmhmm...

>         Plus, it should have an Export To HTML feature, for that web page
> that I keep meaning to create... :)

Of course ;)

> o Transformer (I can't think of a better name--it's getting late) - this
> would apply regular sound changes across the board.

I found a (nother) tool to do this just today, at zompist.com --a different
system than langmaker's, it lets you define sets to apply changes to...

That is, in Langmaker (so far as I know) every change has to be done
explicitly:
p > b
k > g
t > d
etc...

this 'sounds' utility can set up variables to do sets of changes:
S=pktc
Z=bgdj

S/Z/_
(change these unvoiced 'S' to the voiced 'Z' counterpart in all cases)

S/Z/V_V
(change only intervocalically, assuming you set V=aeiou@)

etc..

> o Grammar generator - This would be incredibly cool if someone could
> actually manage to pull it off. The program would run through a list of
> different grammar options (nominative/ergative/active/mixed; SVO, SOV,
> VSO, etc.; isolating/agglutinating/fusional/polysynthetic; and so on) and
> spit out a grammar. Of course, listing all the millions of different
> variables would be a nightmare...

Eeek!  I couldn't wrap my head around such a thing.

> o Simulator - Since I am now officially dreaming, imagine a simulator
> where the computer takes two or more languages and builds a simulation of
> how they would change and interact with each other. How close would the
> computer come to Brethenig? What would have happened if Alexander the
> Great had conquered Japan and left a significant speakers of Greek (or
> Macedonian--is there a difference?) in Kyoto?

Ooo, an automatic pidginizer.  EVIL.

>         Mmm...just think about piping a list of syllable structures and
> phonemes into a word generator, which pipes its output to a dictionary
> program which randomly assigns meanings to words, then proceeds to pipe
> the resulting dictionary to a transformer which creates half a dozen
> daughter languages.

Doesn't Langmaker have a wizard to do exactly that? ;)  (Well, except maybe
the daughter languages)

>         Well, if anyone wants to spearhead such a project, I volunteer to
> beta-test, which is about as much good as I am worth. :( Anyone else have
> a good idea for a conlangish program that they would like to see?

You forgot to add:

o Rules Checker
Take a word and verify it matches a language's phonotactics (izzat the
word?) and if it doesn't, find the nearest/most likely form the language
would 'borrow'.  [You could test it against something like all the
English -> Japanese loans...]

o Con-script editor
Set up a specific font, a keyboard mapping (useful if you have "normal"
characters from different areas of Unicode), and a mapping to something like
the IPA, so that phonemic transcriptions can be produced at will.

o Reader :)
Given the kind of information from the above con-script editor, do
text-to-speech on a conlang corpus.

o Interlinearizer (like Shoebox's, or better)

And you can keep going on from there...

> From:    Ed Heil <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Lojban program and conlang software ideas
>
> On Sat, May 06, 2000 at 12:01:44AM +0400, Peter Clark wrote:
> >
> > o Grammar generator - This would be incredibly cool if someone could
> > actually manage to pull it off. The program would run through a list of
> > different grammar options (nominative/ergative/active/mixed; SVO, SOV,
> > VSO, etc.; isolating/agglutinating/fusional/polysynthetic; and so on)
and
> > spit out a grammar. Of course, listing all the millions of different
> > variables would be a nightmare...
>
> So you'd get to make choices at each step of the way?  That'd be
> fascinating, especially if it applied typological universals for
> defaults...  e.g...
>
> "Does the language have a dual number?  YES"
> "Does the language have a plural number [default due to typological
> universals: YES]"

Hmm... a kind of wizard setup to create a kind of default grammar and
something to start with... [sound of grinding gears turning inside a skull]

> From:    The Gray Wizard <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Lojban program and conlang software ideas
>
> > From: Peter Clark
> > o Dictionary program - something where the user could type in the word
and
> > the translation, and the program would insert generate a
Conlang<->Natlang
> > dictionary. It would definitely have to handle multiple meanings;
grabbing
> > an example from Russian, if I type in "jazyk" for the Russian word and
> > "tongue" and "language" for the English definitions, I should be able to
> > find "jazyk" under both "tongue" and "language" in the English section.
It
> > should also work the other way as well; if I type in "probovat'" and
later
> > "starat'sja", I should find both under "try." It should also be able to
> > indicate special forms, like "djen'gi" becoming "djenjeg" in the
genitive
> > plural.
> >         Plus, it should have an Export To HTML feature, for that web
page
> > that I keep meaning to create... :)
>
> I took a stab at developing one of these some time back to help manage the
> expanding vocabulary of amman iar.  I found that simple polysemy was only
a
> small part of the problem.  Many words in amman iar (most?) have no simple
> one-word english gloss.  I had to be able to enter one or more sentences
to
> properly define them.  This made generating an amman iar/english
dictionary
> trivial, but how to parse the english definitions to get an english/amman
> iar equivalent defeated me and I've been programming for 35 years.

Ah, but that's not how it works ;p

English-X X-English dictionaries can (or must) have two different sets of
data entirely:  one, the Xish words, with English definitions (be they
one-word or phrasal) and vice versa!  _Especially_ if Xish words don't have
a 1:1 correspondence, you have two different dictionaries.

hypothetical Spanish <-> English 3:2 correspondence
be [am, is, was, were, are]
    1 ser: soy de Argentina _I am from Argentina_  2 estar: esta
    bién _It is all right_  3 tener <calidad/emoción>:  tengo
    hambre _I am hungry_
have [has, had]
    1 tener <cosa>: tengo unas manzanas _I have some apples_
    ~
estar (estoy, estas, esta, estamos, estan...)
    to be, used when [...]
ser (soy, eres, es, somos, son...)
    to be, used when [...]
tener (tengo, tienes, tiene, tenemos, tienen...)
    1 to have, possess: tengo diez dolares _I have ten dollars_
    2 to feel (with nouns of emotion): tengo miedo _I am afraid_

> From:    Herman Miller <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: CHAT: Reformed Latin-script writing for natlangs
>
> On Thu, 4 May 2000 10:03:23 -0400, John Cowan <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> >Note, however, that these are only necessary for backward compatibility
> >with 8-bit character sets and fonts.  The True Unicode Way uses the
> >combining characters in the U+0300 block with appropriate Vietnamese
> >fonts that ligature things correctly (i.e. acute+circumflex is rendered
> >side-by-side, not one above the other).
>
> Unfortunately, TrueType under Windows doesn't have that capability, so
> going to 16-bit character sets doesn't help. Yet another short-sighted
> implementation on Microsoft's part. But the point was that Vietnamese
> requires a lot of extra characters (whether they're specifically assigned
> codes in the character set or defined as ligatures doesn't matter; they
all
> have to be accounted for at some point in the system).


Then John Cowan said:
> Try this.  Download the CODE2000 Unicode font
> from http://http://home.att.net/~jameskass/CODE2000.ZIP and install it.
> Make it your Unicode font in Netscape.  Then visit
> http://www.unicode.org/unicode/reports/tr15/NormalizerChart.html ,
> which displays composed and decomposed characters side-by-side in
> columns 2 and 3.  On my Windows NT 4.0 system, they are identical in
> form, showing that the decomposed sequence is converted by the font
> engine to the correct glyph.

Yes, but that's a function of the browser.
TrueType fonts themselves don't have the technology to perform those
substitutions automatically _nor_ typographically well--the combining
diacritics must be something like zero-width with the contour on the 'wrong'
side of the glyph, and in a proportional font it's hit-and-miss, especially
on very thin or very wide letters.  (I think OpenType has this kind of
problem fixed somewhat?)

For example, your example page very well shows the æ (ae-ligature) with an
acute accent dead in the middle where it ought to be.  If I try to make
ae-ligature with accent using composed glyphs the accent ends up on the e.

Here's a screenshot:
http://ns.southern.edu/~alrivera//ae.gif

(One could say that MS Word isn't doing it properly, but it's equally true
that TrueType isn't _either_.)

     *Muke!

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