On Mon, 3 Mar 2008 23:43:18 -0800, Sai Emrys wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 3:32 AM, John Vertical <[log in to unmask]> 
> wrote: 
> >  >Certainly some conlangers want that and don't want any interaction
> >  >from others, or perhaps only a "ooh pretty" and nothing more
> >  >substantial - and where this is the case, it should by all means be
> >  >respected. But my suspicion is that more people want feedback than
> >  >don't.
> >
> >  Isn't *this list* for feedback?
> Absolutely.
> But it's not the *exclusive* place for that. Why not have these
> discussions *also* happen in a place where the reference material is
> right there on the next page, and all discussion is about the language
> at hand?

FrathWiki has discussion pages for exactly this purpose - however,
they are hardly used.

> >  >... which, btw, is why the "Purpose" page as I proposed it is crucial.
> >
> >  A suspicion of mine is that very very few conlangers have anything
> >  resembling a "purpose" to go with, beyond the basic artlang vs auxlang vs
> >  engelang division (and in some cases, like me, not even that.) It becomes
> >  clarified over time as the language itself progresses, it isn't something
> >  you begin with & keep around as a reference.
> Oh, certainly. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear.
> "Purpose" will most likely be, for artlangs, a fairly aesthetic
> statement. E.g. that they want it to have ___ feel, appropriate for
> ___ culture, etc.
> What I'd point to as an excellent example of this in my recent memory
> is Donald Boozer's talk about Drushek at LCC2. It had a very clear
> purpose, even if he didn't state it in quite such an overt way.
> *With* an understanding of the author's creative intent like that, you
> can have a conversation about how they might go about fulfilling it.
> Without it, you can't because it'd be too presumptuous.

Yes.  A presentation of a conlang ought to begin with a few sentences
outlining the "purpose" of the language.  For example, my FrathWiki
page on Old Albic begins thus:

] Old Albic (native name Elbirin 'Elvish') is the oldest Albic language
] attested in writing. The oldest surviving text fragments date back to
] the 7th century BCE. Old Albic was the language of the British Elves
] prior to the Tartessian War and the Celtic takeover in Britain.

Wherein the words "Albic", "British Elves" and "Tartessian War" link
to pages which tell the reader what they mean.  So the reader gets
the information that Old Albic is an artlang representing the native
language of a fictional human ethnic group with a culture inspired
by the Elves from _The Lord of the Rings_, etc.

With such information, the reader can value whether the language
lives up to what it is intended to be.

Without such information, the reader has no gauge to judge the conlang
against, and will think, "Oh, and what's the point of it all?"

> In any case, I see this as a semi? separate issue from the question of
> merging itself, since it's a question of how (or whether) to encourage
> editing of articles about a language by people other than the author.

Yes; this question is to be considered no matter whether Langmaker
and FrathWiki are to be merged or not.

> Whereas merging as such is a question of how to combine content
> without loss, ensure it's all accessible, etc.
> First, people could help each others' presentation. Not everyone has
> e.g. John Quijada's skill in that regard, yet they may well have just
> as much skill in conlanging per se. Why should their creations not get
> the same treatment, where possible, so that they have the attention
> they deserve?

True.  What we need is a stronger culture of discussion and assistance
among users of the various conlang-related wikis.  The way it is,
little use is made of the opportunities the wiki technology offers.

> Second, people could help categorize and standardize each others'
> content simply to make it, again, more accessible. Suppose you want to
> look up a (say) naturalistic artlang that has clicks and translation
> of the Babel text. Doing so now is difficult; you have to rely on
> someone knowing someone who's done it. If it were categorized well, it
> wouldn't be.


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