Print

Print


Gary, could you provide a small example? I don't understand what you're
getting at.

stevo

On Sat, Jul 29, 2017 at 10:33 PM, Gary Shannon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> For many of us, myself included, our first conlang was nothing more than a
> relexification of our native language. My own first conlang was inspired by
> Pig Latin, and was every bit as simplistic. Its grammar was English
> grammar, and its vocabulary mapped one-to-one with English vocabulary. It
> was, in other words, an English "code" and not a "conlang" at all!
>
> But how can one create a real conlang, with all the intricacies and
> idiosyncrasies of a real language by doing only relexification? It turns
> out it might be fairly easy to do. Simply start out to relex some language
> you know nothing about. For example, I know nothing at all about Māori, so
> that might be a good candidate for me to use.
>
> Since I know nothing about the language to begin with, the process of
> replacing native words with my own newly coined words, and of constructing
> sentences with those words, gives me, due to my incomplete understanding of
> Māori grammar, many opportunities to make "mistakes". But instead of
> thinking of these as mistakes, I can think of them as "mutations" from the
> grammar of the ancestral tongue. As a result, my translations will be
> something very different from English, and, at the same time, quite
> different from Māori, due to the many grammatical mutations unintentionally
> introduced in the process.
>
> It's very important that you pick a language that you know virtually
> nothing about, so that you give yourself more latitude for creative
> mutations sprouting from your limited understanding of the actual grammar
> of your source language.
>
> Just for fun, you could use Google translate (if available for your
> language) knowing that this imperfect translation software will introduce
> even more "creative mutations" for you, which might well be errors in the
> actual language, but could be adopted as features of your relex. In other
> words, just stipulate that whatever Google Translate says will be, once you
> relexify it word by word, the ultimate, canonical, right and proper
> translation for your new conlang. You just need to adjust your grammar and
> vocabulary to make that translation "correct".
>
> --gary
>