Archive for the ‘resources’ Category

Chemical Calligraphy

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Mattthew M. DeBlock received a BA in Chinese from Beijing Language and Culture University as an adult student. Before university, he worked as a Unix software developer, and afterwards as a business consultant in mainland China. He is obsessed with devising codes, data formats, and constructed scripts. A a jack-of-all-trades and “Mad Scientist” at heart, he loves inventing commercially worthless devices to challenge standards and seek strange synergies.

Abstract

Chemical Calligraphy is a way of drawing organic compounds. This method is NOT meant to replace standard notation; rather it is primarily meant as a mnemonic device and art form. It attempts to simplify the memorization of the large complex molecules and structures in organic chemistry and make the learning process more fun and engaging. In this document the amino acids are shown in standard notation and in some basic forms, as well as some playful artistic forms. The “function” of the artistic form is:

  1. Art Form: An art form that encodes chemical structures (“to bring science into art or vice-versa”).
  2. Creative Engagement: Even though creating such “ridiculous” structures might not have any direct relation to the molecules, the simple act of choosing a structure and “playing with it” helps make study more fun.

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A Conlanger’s Thesaurus

Monday, September 1st, 2014

By day, William S. Annis is a mild-mannered Unix system administrator. By night (and most weekends) he is, by turns, a not
very mild-mannered banjo player, a hobbyist language creator, a paid language creator, a reader of science fiction novels and linguistics papers, a terrible gardener, and an ok cook. He is one of the hosts of the Conlangery Podcast. He lives in
Madison, Wisconsin.

Abstract

A Conlanger’s Thesaurus is a basic wordlist which has been annotated with notes on common paths of grammaticalization, cross-linguistic polysemy and other information mostly from the work of lexical and semantic typologists. The collection itself isn’t innovative in any way, but rather collects this information in a convenient format. Its intended use is to act as a guard against relexing your native tongue in your conlang.

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An Itlani Wedding Blessing

Friday, August 1st, 2014

James E. Hopkins received a BA in French from Hofstra University in 1974 and an MS in Metaphysics from the American Institute of Holistic Theology in 1998. He is a published poet, Eden’s Day (2008), and has a novel which features five of his conlangs, Circle of the Lantern, with the publisher as of this writing. He has been involved in language construction since 1995 with the birth of his first conlang, Itlani (then known as Druni). Although Itlani is his first and foremost love, since that time he has been developing Semerian (Pomolito), Djiran (Ijira), Djanari (Nordsh) and Lastulani (Lastig Klendum), the other languages spoken on the planet Itlán. One further language project, Kreshem (Losi e Kreshem), is also under development. His primary interest in language construction is from an aesthetic and artistic perspective.

Abstract

Itlani wedding poems are composed according to traditional Itlani poetic forms. They consist of four stanzas and are personalized in the last stanza using the names and outstanding characteristics of the newly-wed couple. Like all Itlani poetry, wedding poems are loosely accentual in nature and rely more on alliteration and rhythm than on rhyme although rhyme may be present. Traditionally, a close family member will compose the poem and read it at the kenatún ta zarenifa or “great feast of the coupling”. Itlani wedding poems are considered among the class of burakhenú or “blessings” and are customarily called Burakhenunú or “Great Blessings” reserved for the central passages of life.

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The Great List of Sound Changes (Index Diachronica)

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

I’d like to recommend all those who have yet to discover the marvelous Index Diachronica to give it a try. It’s a document put together by some kind souls specifically for conlangers interested in historical sound change in natural languages. Personally, I’ve found it to be quite the resource!

Austronesian languages (revised edition) by R. Blust

Monday, July 14th, 2014

The excellent online resource “The Austronesian languages” by R. Blust contains an incredibly detailed description of all the Austronesian languages, their origins, the proto-languages, language contact, a tidbit about culture, differences in registers, code-switching, and much, much more. It’s a wonderful book to explore for any conlanger just from the depth of exploration undertaken within.

It can be found at http://pacling.anu.edu.au/materials/Blust2013Austronesian.pdf completely free of charge.

Credits to William S. Annis for first alerting us to this gem.

Dscript 2D Notation

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Mattthew M. DeBlock received a BA in Chinese from Beijing Language and Culture University as an adult student. Before university, he worked as a Unix software developer, and afterwards as a business consultant in mainland China. He is obsessed with devising codes, data formats, and constructed scripts. A a jack-of-all-trades and “Mad Scientist” at heart, he loves inventing commercially worthless devices to challenge standards and seek strange synergies.

Abstract

Dscript 2D Notation extends the Dscript 2D Alphabetical Writing System. While Dscript Alphabetical only allows “strings of letters” degrees of freedom in 2D, there is no “2D meaning”. Dscript Notation attempts to employ the 2D value as meaning. Using these flexible “strings of of letters”, current notation systems are assimilated. The main goal is to find possible alternative 2D notation methods and potential 2D linguistic applications.

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Victoria Fromkinʼs Reform-Pakuni of 1995

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Thomas Alexander has been interested in languages since his youth. He has a minor in German, spoke Esperanto as a home language for a number of years, and has dabbled in well over a dozen other languages. His conlanging interest is primarily in historical auxlangs, including Volapük and the Zamenhof reform Esperanto of 1894, but with fond memories of Saturday morning television, he also enjoys Pakuni from Land of the Lost.

Abstract

Victoria Fromkin’s Pakuni language was released to the world through the 1974 TV series Land Of The Lost but it wasn’t till more than 20 years later that she released a lexicon and grammatical description of the language. This description was not widely distributed and contains a number of self-described ‘corrections’ to the language as it appeared in the show. It also contains a surprising number of typos and internal inconsistencies. This article discusses those errors and contrasts the language Fromkin described in 1995 to the language seen in the show, and puts Fromkin’s later description in the context of what insight it can give to fans of the show.

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NailScript: Text as Tuff as Nails…Literally!

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Mattthew M. DeBlock received a BA in Chinese from Beijing Language and Culture University as an adult student. Before university, he worked as a Unix software developer, and afterwards as a business consultant in mainland China. He is obsessed with devising codes, data formats, and constructed scripts. A a jack-of-all-trades and “Mad Scientist” at heart, he loves inventing commercially worthless devices to challenge standards and seek strange synergies.

Abstract

Inspired by shoddy carpentry and cuneiform, NailScript is an attempt to devise the simplest most efficient way to write alphabetical text with a hammer and nails. Like cuneiform the nail heads allow directional distinction of lines. Unlike cuneiform, nails can also be laid down in layers upon each other with layer depth preserved and distinguishable. These aspects, along with the ability to fully set the nail leaving only the head visible as a “dot” provide some interesting possibilities.

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Afrihili: An African Interlanguage

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

By day, William S. Annis is a mild-mannered Unix system administrator. By night (and most weekends) he is, by turns, a not
very mild-mannered banjo player, a hobbyist language creator, a paid language creator, a reader of science fiction novels and linguistics papers, a terrible gardener, and an ok cook. He is one of the hosts of the Conlangery Podcast. He lives in
Madison, Wisconsin.

Abstract

Historically, the creation of IALs has been a European preoccupation. Afrihili is an African zonal IAL created by Ghanaian civil engineer K. A. Kumi Attobrah in the late 1960s. After a brief discussion of Afrihili’s relationship to Pan-Africanism, I move on to a survey description of the language based on the single published description of the language, Ni Afrihili Oluga. I identify the source languages for vocabulary and particular constructions where I have been able to locate them.

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Down with Morphemes: The Pitfalls of Concatenative Morphology

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

David J. Peterson received a BA in English and Linguistics from UC Berkeley in 2003 and an MA in Linguistics from UC San Diego in 2005. He created the Dothraki and Valyrian languages for HBO’s Game of Thrones, the Castithan, Irathient and Indojisnen languages for Syfy’s Defiance, the Sondiv language for the CW’s Star-Crossed, the Lishepus language for Syfy’s Dominion, and the Shiväisith language for Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World. He’s been creating languages since 2000.

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between an adherence to the main tenets of concatenative theories of morphology and the creation of less than realistic languages. The paper was written in 2009 and is based in part on the LCC1 talk “Down with Morphemes! What Word and Paradigm Morphology Can Teach Us about Language Creation”.

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