On Sun, 11 Jun 2000, Robert Hailman wrote:

> Patrick Dunn wrote:
> >
> > Woof!  A language in ten minutes.
> >
> > As a teacher, I'd say throw up the assignment and I can give you clearer
> > advice.  AFter all, if your teacher wants a *complete* description fo the
> > project (unlikely, I'd guess, since he/she allowed you to do a language
> > knowing that he/she would only provide ten minutes for the presentation)
> > I'd advise different things than if your teacher wants a synopsis.
> >
> To clarify, this is for my "Independent Enrichment Study", where we are
> allowed to do whatever we want provided we have something to show for it
> at the end of the year. Part of our mark is for a presentation (three
> marks out of thirty-five), and the project is worth a quarter of the
> year in my Gifted Interdisciplinary Studies course. The rest of the
> marks, for my project specifically, are based on a detailed outline of
> the language, more a grammar reference guide than a textbook; and from
> that, a few marks for the consistency and completeness of the grammar.
> Some marks to prove that the languages works, I'm going to provide some
> written examples and an explanation of them with my grammar outline.
> Also some marks for some criteria that are only known by the creator of
> the Independent Enrichment Study program, who is no longer at the
> school. Most teachers give very high marks for these, because the
> critera are unknown. The presentation is more to tell the other students
> what I've been doing for the project rather than tell the teacher,
> because he knows.

The criteria are a mystery?  Oy vey.  I'm glad I teach college.  None of
*my* grading criteria are 33 degree masonic secrets.

> I was thinking of doing something like that. I'm going to explain what a
> conlang is, why I did one, and then provide examples of the language and
> how it works. I'm also going to talk to my German teacher, and ask her
> how she'd present German to monolingual English speakers in 10 minutes.

Good plan!  If you have any musical talent, you might do a song in your
language, too.  You could also make a little phrasebook to hand out, like
those Berlitz things.  Just some ideas.  (I wish I'd had such a cool
assignment in school!)

> I might run into trouble with the velar fricatives, because some people
> in the class won't know how to make them, but other than that I'm aware
> that 10 minutes isn't enough to describe a language that's taken since
> February to make.

Tell them to make a /k/ sound, then drop their tongue very slowly until
the air hisses out.

> I'm not sure he understands the full scope of the project, but I know
> he's learned other languages in the past, so he should have some
> appreciation for how much is involved in a language.

I'm surprised he thought it was even possible.  :)  I remember being told
as a child that no one could ever invent an entire language.  Of course,
having had a problem with authority my whole life, I immediately tried!
And failed, but that didn't stop me.

                Living your life is a task so difficult,
                it has never been attempted before.