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-----Original Message-----
From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On
Behalf Of Jan van Steenbergen
Sent: Friday, March 15, 2002 2:26 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: proposed conlang database & my classification

[SNIP]
>It does not mean that it will be more work to enter the classification. :-b
>My problem with your classification is, that our languages will be divided
>mainly between "descendent of natural language" and "a priori, non-
>categorical". So, that's why I propose to make a few subdivisions.

i'm sure there are plenty of other languages out on the net to fill in the
other categories. Those types happen to be the ones people concentrate on
here.

>By the way, I fully agree with your distinction in classification between
>the Prime Vocabulary Source and the Design Motivation.

i thought it was a good distinction :)

>Before giving my own classification, I would like some more remarks:
>1. "Date added" and "Date modified" could best be automatized.

yeah they will be. i just had them in there to show what data will be
shown/stored.

>2. Three categories of estimated users seems to much to me (I'd prefer
two).

that's more of an internal thing and shouldn't concern people who are merely
searching the database.

>3. The categories "Cases used", "Aspects used" and "Tenses" dig a big too
>deeply. I think this is really too much information for one database entry.

are there general recurring patterns over natural languages that use certain
combinations of these? Looking at this, i can see aspects and tenses prolly
wouldn't be of too much use. Cases seems interesting to me... maybe they
could just say whether it's a nom/acc system or erg/abs system, and give a
number for how many cases are used (instead of specifying each one).

>4. To the category "Design motivation" it could be useful to add: Fictional
>naming languages (for RPG's and the like) in the category "Artistic" and
>Stealth languages in the category "Personal".

what other types of personal languages are there (to contrast with
stealth/secret languages)?

>Now, here's my classification:
>
>-------------------------------------------------------
>1. Modifications of existing languages
>   1.1. Latin
>   1.2. English
>        1.2.1. Simplifications
>        1.2.2. Spelling reforms
>        1.2.3. Superset
>        (* these subdivision can also be applied elsewhere)
>   1.3. German
>   1.4. French
>   1.5. Spanish
>   1.6. Other
>   1.7. Combinations of two or more existing languages
>
>2. A posteriori
>   2.1. Romance-based
>        2.1.1. Romance-based languages (proper)
>        2.1.2. Esperanto and relatives
>   2.2. Germanic-based
>   2.3. Baltic- and Slavonic-based
>        2.3.1. Slavonic-based languages (proper)
>        2.3.2. North-Slavonic languages
>        2.3.3. Baltic-based
>   2.4. Celtic-based
>        2.4.1. Celtic-based languages (proper)
>        2.4.2. Celto-Romance languages
>        2.4.3. Celto-Germanic languages
>   2.5. Other (existing) Indo-European branches
>        2.5.1. Indo-Iranian-based languages
>        2.5.2. Greek-, Armenian-, Albanian- and Illyrian-based languages
>        2.5.3. Hettite- and Tocharian-based languages
>   2.6. Fictional Indo-European branches
>   2.7. Non-Indo-European languages
>        2.7.1. Uralic-based languages
>        2.7.2. Afro-Asiatic-based languages
>        2.7.3. Languages based on other Asiatic or Austronesian languages
>        2.7.4. Languages based on other African languages
>        2.7.5. Languages based on Native American languages
>
>3. Mixed a priori/a posteriori
>
>4. A priori
>   4.1. Categorical (philosophical languages)
>   4.2. Non-categorical languages
>   4.3. Pasigraphies (picture languages)
>   4.4. Number languages
>   4.5. Pasimologies (sign/gesture languages)
>   4.6. Musical languages

your system reminds me of the one i found at
http://www.invisiblelighthouse.com/langlab/l-types.html (mostly because of
how comprehensive it is and the fact that a number system is used). I
basically made a simpler version of it. So you used this system in your own
database? Did the languages spread across the classification evenly?

>I must add here, that especially point 4.2. will need some elaboration in
>the form of subdivisions, since it will cover a very large number of
>languages. However, I consider myself unable to do this. Other people know
>their way much better in this province in Conlang Land than I do.
>I've never really understood the point of 3 (mixed-type languages).
>Sometimes I get the impression that this category is some sort of garbage
>can for everything that couldn't be placed elsewhere.
>
>Hope this message got thru somehow.
>
>With kind regards,
>Jan

I'll be thinking on this vocab categorization thing and on how best to do
it. It would be nice if other people gave their input too :)

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