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Hallo conlangers!

On Monday 18 July 2011 20:51:18, Gary Shannon wrote:

> As I play with the Ancient Kalau proto-conlang I am ending up with
> some not very good coinages that I would like to change. This means
> doing a lot of search and replace in the text and html files I'm
> using.

I know that problem.  My text corpus of Old Albic is not large
yet, but still I sometimes find myself searching and replacing
words in it which since I wrote the texts have turned out to be
"wrong".
 
> So I hit upon this idea. I'm going to try writing my Kalau
> translations as English glosses, but using only the grammar of Kalau.
> Then I can write a computer program to read in the glosses and relex
> them from my Kalau dictionary. That way, if I wanted to, I could scrap
> the entire Kalau dictionary and start over with all new coinages and
> at the click of a mouse have all my texts translated to the new
> lexicon.
> 
> It seems like just about any conlang (or natlang) could be written as
> an English gloss and then machine translated from a dictionary file.
> Since I am usually more interested in the grammar than the lexicon
> anyway, this would be a good way to experiment with grammars without
> the burden of memorizing a large lexicon. Then, after the grammar is
> all worked out, the lexicon could be tackled, and the suitability of
> the lexicon could be assessed quickly by reading through a large
> corpus of auto-translated works.

This should work in principle, but only with a highly regular,
agglutinating or isolating language.  Most natlangs, and
therefore also good naturalistic conlangs, have some degree of
morphophonological alternations which depend on the language's
phonology and make things more difficult (though mild levels
of such alternations, as in Turkish or Quechua, should be
manageable, but still require accounting for them).  Many
languages also have words that are just plain irregular, and
those are usually among those that are used most.

The bottom line: natlangs and naturalistic conlangs are damn
HARD to treat by computers.

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