On Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 11:42 PM, Matthew Boutilier <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>  or collaboratively on line with a group of
>> conlangers (or interested language users for that matter).
> i've also always thought it would be cool if (maybe as a parallel project or
> something) a whole group could start with one great mutual proto-language,
> but then everyone involved evolve the language in a different direction (not
> out of natural usage, as you suggest, though).  whoever were running this
> project could make one initial split like the centum-satem dialects ....

That's an exciting idea. The proto-conlang I'm working on is so
primitive that it's not much good at expressing anything beyond the
most basic ideas, so if anyone picked it up (after I get to the 800 or
1000 word "canonical Ancient Kalau" stage), then just about anything a
person did to make the language more usable would probably create an
instant split from what someone else might do from the same starting
point, so the need to introduce a split artificially might not be

What would be interesting then is to try to merge two or more daughter
languages back together. That might result in blending two or three
different verb conjugation systems into a single language with
multiple conjugations. Likewise with multiple noun declension systems.

Letting the language branch out and then fusing the branches back
together might result in an interesting naturalistic mash-up. Or it
might just be a confusing mess, like trying to reconcile Spanish and
Italian back into a single language.