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On Sat, 30 Sep 2000, The Gray Wizard wrote:

> > From: Anthony M. Miles
> >
> > These daily translations made me realize that a hadn't thought
> > sufficiently
> > about Lahabic syntax. Here is the (almost) completed system. It owes some
> > influence to the discussions on Nur-Ellen and Boreanasian.
> > Lahabic is VSO, prepositional, nominative/accusative.
>
> Anthony, absolutely!!

<wry g>  I *know* I haven't thought sufficiently about syntax...but since
Chevraqis is less than a year old, there are Lots of Things I'm still
working out.  This list is really instructive in that regard.  :-p

> Nothing beats translations to prove out the syntax of your conlang.  Even
> the simple Aesopean Morals that I have been doing can reveal subtle holes.
> I recommend that everyone do as much translation as possible.  Even if your
> lexicon is not up to the challenge, use English morpheme place-holders.

Huh.  I've been looking at the translation exercises and trying to find
ones where I don't have to create every morpheme in the saying (the
"losing the substance" was one where I could figure out something that
worked, happily, and all I needed to create was the verb form
forget/lose).  If over 50% of the translation would need English
placeholders I generally feel too cheap to bother.

> While lexis is tedious and time consuming (although requiring a creative
> mind), syntax is the real difficult part of conlanging, IMNSHO.  Coming up

I actually like lexis.  =^)  It gives me a chance to express how the
culture thinks about the world...but it *is* awfully time-consuming.  I
can say a fair amount about how Chevraqis-speaking cultures work.  I know
far, far less about syntax, so sentences right now tend to be rather
simple.  :-(

> for me.  Nothing proves whether your syntactic systems work better than
> exercising them through translation.  Try expressing predicate adjectives
> and nominals, various genitive/possessive constructions, subordinate clause
> including subject and object complements as well as relative clauses,
> attributive clauses, locative clauses, possessive clauses, existential
> clauses, et.al.  There's more to syntax than simple sentences.  Translate,
> translate, translate and when you're done, translate some more.  Your
> conlang will improve with every translation.

<gulity look>  I'm not even sure what half those phrases mean.  I'm going
to have to go back and read _Introduction to Linguistics_ again.  I liked
Morneau's essay on Syntax (http://www.srv.net/~ram/essays.html) but I
found it hard going.

Ah well--it'll happen when it happens.  Half the point of conlanging, for
me, is to learn what all this stuff is!

YHL