On Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 2:55 PM, Gary Shannon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Olokai djuwala sasha ditelam mudji. Dju kaukau mudji patai. Di
> rakumadjau. Dju kaukau mudji surakumadjau patai. Asa dju dima raku
> baisubakai. Kinayabo. Wakinayabo.
> Design Goals
> I've often wondered what it would be like to evolve a conlang, either
> as an individual conlanger, or collaboratively on line with a group of
> conlangers (or interested language users for that matter).
> To that end I decided to create a proto-conlang, (hereinafter referred
> to interchangeably as "Kalau", "Ancient Kalau", or simply "AK") that
> could be used as a starting point for such a project. I want the
> simplest language I can imagine which will still be able to express
> the kind of thoughts that might come up in day-to-day conversation
> among casual acquaintances in social setting or a market square in
> some ancient society.
> Before such a protolang could be evolved through actual or simulated
> usage, it must be possible to write short descriptive narratives and
> scripts of brief typical conversations that might take place between
> two native speakers of the protolang. In order for that to happen
> anyone wishing to participate would need to be fluent in the protolang
> before attempting to extend or modify it. For this reason the grammar
> must be something that can be mastered in a matter of minutes so that,
> with a dictionary in hand, anyone could read and write sentences in
> the protolang almost immediately after first encountering it.
> The other advantage of having such a simple grammar is that at a later
> date, after the language has evolved into something more
> "sophisticated" it would still be possible for a newcomer to master
> the initial proto-grammar in a few minutes and then read the corpus in
> chronological order so as to learn the more advanced features of the
> language in the same way, and in the same order as they appeared in
> the first place.
> Details and glosses of the existing corpus at
> --gary

Very interesting idea!  A couple of questions:

1) If the conlang is meant to be evolved by a modern speaker or speakers,
why are you setting it up with ancient vocabulary?  Obviously part of the
point is to evolve new words as needed, but if a group of speakers get
together online and can only talk about cutting down trees in the wind etc,
then they're not going to have a lot to talk about.

2) Regarding the online aspect.  I admittedly don't understand linguistics
very much, so maybe I'm totally wrong, but don't a lot of interesting
linguistic changes primarily arise only through spoken language?  Or would
the speakers be intentionally playing with it to  force it to evolve, as
opposed to in a natural setting where (most of) the speakers would be
totally unaware of its evolution?