On Fri, 29 May 2009 11:40:36 -0400, Jim Henry wrote:

> On further thought, it seems as though the lexicon
> and semantics is another thing that would need to
> be tweaked as much as the deadlines permit to fit
> the particular fictional context.   The grammar,
> however, could indeed be worked out in advance,
> along with most of the basic lexicon, leaving certain
> decisions about phonology and semantics to be
> postponed until information is available about the
> client's particular worldbuilding needs; there's
> nothing inherently nomadic about polysynthesis
> or high-tech about active-stative alignment.

Well, to some degree grammar *does* influence the "flavour"
of the language.  For instance, if the producer says, "They
are like North American Indians, so build a language in that
style", and you come up with an isolating language with
monosyllabic words, anybody who knows anything about real
indigenous languages of North America will raise an eyebrow
- because he'd expect a polysynthethic language, not an
isolating one.

But indeed, as Kelvin and Alex have said, having a number
of grammars of different types at disposal which can be
filled with whatever phonology the client wants is a good
idea.  And today, it isn't all that difficult to find a
grammar sketch of a language typical of, e.g., Aboriginal
Australia, or North America, or whatever.

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