(C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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lilimir
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by lilimir » 06 Dec 2010 17:16

reizoukin wrote:Honestly, I use the already-established culture, habits, stereotypes, setting, etc. and mash them together, or extrapolate. For example, I once thought up a culture which lived on the edge of the lake, and disposed of their dead by dropping the bodies into the lake with a weight to sink them. They came to the belief, over time, that their dead were then reborn as fish, and so the people refused to eat fish. When they first started dropping the bodies into the lake, they didn't have any preconceived notion about it; they simply saw the opportunity to dispose of the bodies in a handy way. Then their imagination kicked in.

So I guess what I'm saying is, give them habits and stereotypes and settings and a bit of culture, and extrapolate on THAT.
I really like your example, it seems highly believable. One feature that pops up in many scattered spiritual beliefs is that they can often link to observable health effects (... poor wording of my thought). As a rough example:

If people fall sick more often when they keep their dead in their dwellings for long periods, they might gain the belief that the spirits of the dead get angry from being confined (or any of hundreds of possible explanations) and take that out on the living (making them sick). This could lead to the practice of cremation, to free the spirits of the dead, or leaving them far from the homes of the living. The belief, without foundations in medical understanding, serves a distinct health service in reinforcing some standard of sanitation.

I don't know if it's a useful thought but thinking along those lines can develop a few beliefs and traditions, if you haven't considered it before.

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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by lordofthestrings » 02 Jan 2011 21:57

What's the best way to draw realistic landmasses for an earthlike planet? (Mine is only slightly different, gravity is 40% higher than earth's) I don't want to use a fractal generator.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » 02 Jan 2011 22:28

lordofthestrings wrote:What's the best way to draw realistic landmasses for an earthlike planet? (Mine is only slightly different, gravity is 40% higher than earth's) I don't want to use a fractal generator.
Sadly, artistic talent. I've been looking for an easy solution myself <.<
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by jseamus » 02 Jan 2011 23:53

For the geography part:

Creating an Earthlike Planet

Not much dedicated specifically to maps, but the stuff on climate, etc. should help.

For the drawing part:

How to draw nice maps
Making sinusoidal maps
This is the world.

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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by lordofthestrings » 03 Jan 2011 04:39

jseamus wrote:For the geography part:

Creating an Earthlike Planet
Well at least the MATH is right up my alley. (I am a physics major)
Micamo wrote:Sadly, artistic talent. I've been looking for an easy solution myself <.<
If only studying science improved my artistry. I think I'll be okay though.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by MyghternTighrijd » 09 Jan 2011 02:36

lordofthestrings wrote:
jseamus wrote:For the geography part:

Creating an Earthlike Planet
Well at least the MATH is right up my alley. (I am a physics major)
Micamo wrote:Sadly, artistic talent. I've been looking for an easy solution myself <.<
If only studying science improved my artistry. I think I'll be okay though.
I've always found that my science HAS helped my art, it allows me to solve problems more natural to the style of a physicist, and it allows a more full undertanding of the physical world that I am trying to represent through art. But I'm one of these weird people who believes science and art go together more naturally than anything else. :)

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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » 15 Jan 2011 18:09

What features to a landscape are indications that it will have more food available for big-game hunters who catch food by sweeping down on prey, similar to many species of predatory birds?

Obviously this depends on whatever their prey eats and does. I'm thinking aquatic-based prey for this species, but I'm more interested in general features that don't depend on prey-specific behaviors.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Avjunza » 25 Jan 2011 02:29

@Micamo: If there's plenty of food/vegetation for the prey, then there's probably plenty of prey to feed on the plenty of food.
If there are also less natural predators in the area in question, then there are definitely more prey species for any migrating predators. Think New Zealand before humans brought themselves and their dogs, cats, rats and ferrets; huge green forests, loads of native species without natural predators (except for the giant Haast Eagle, which preyed on the Moa)- this sounds like what you're after, except on land.

E.g. plains with lots of waterholes and rivers, without extreme temperatures, with loads of grass and vegetation around the water sources.
Or for a marine environment, a massive coral reef system to sustain smaller fish, which would in turn sustain bigger fish.


QQ: How is the indirect object handled in Ergative-Absolutive Langs? Is it always in the same case regardless of transitivity, and if not, what cases is it in?

I know that it depends on the natlang in question, but any answers/examples will be appreciated.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » 25 Jan 2011 02:37

From what I can gather, morphosyntactic alignment for transitive clauses doesn't correlate with alignment for ditransitive constructions. Indirect/Secondary typologies occur in Erg-Abs languages with the same frequency as any other alignment.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ashroot » 11 Feb 2011 06:40

Hy all. I am in a pickle and can't come up with 10 gods. I have Oak the all mighty, he has three children, those three children have, collectively, seven children. So seven grandchildren, three children, one creator.
Got tired of my old one.

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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Tanni » 11 Feb 2011 12:30

Ashroot wrote:Hy all. I am in a pickle and can't come up with 10 gods. I have Oak the all mighty, he has three children, those three children have, collectively, seven children. So seven grandchildren, three children, one creator.
You still need the evil!
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » 11 Feb 2011 15:22

Sounds like Oak's the evil one to me.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ashroot » 11 Feb 2011 19:16

How? You don't even know his personality.
Got tired of my old one.

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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » 11 Feb 2011 19:25

Oak's omnipotent, right?

So if Oak isn't a bastard, then I may assume your conworld is Eutopia?
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Thakowsaizmu » 11 Feb 2011 20:01

Micamo wrote:Oak's omnipotent, right?

So if Oak isn't a bastard, then I may assume your conworld is Eutopia?
That completely disregards the human factor.

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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore » 18 Feb 2011 21:53

Micamo wrote:From what I can gather, morphosyntactic alignment for transitive clauses doesn't correlate with alignment for ditransitive constructions. Indirect/Secondary typologies occur in Erg-Abs languages with the same frequency as any other alignment.
Interesting!
Reference?
URL?
Evidence?
Proof?

----------------

I have never heard the opposite either. That is, I've never heard that ditransitive-to-monotransitive alignment correlated statistically with monotransitive-to-intransitive alignment. Or, if I have, either the author(s) didn't think her/his(/their) evidence amounted to statistical significance, or I just forgot.

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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » 18 Feb 2011 22:14

I based my statement on this.

Out of the 51 languages in consideration here (indirect and secondary object, over nominative-accusative standard and ergative-absolutive), 84% of all of them use the indirect object construction. Meanwhile, 72% of Erg-Abs languages under consideration use indirect, and ~91% of Nominative-accusative languages use indirect. Both of which are different from what would be expected if they were independent, but the divergence is small (as is the sample size) so I'm more willing to attribute this to a quirk in sampling.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore » 19 Feb 2011 22:35

Micamo wrote:I based my statement on this.
Thanks!
Micamo wrote:Out of the 51 languages in consideration here (indirect and secondary object, over nominative-accusative standard and ergative-absolutive), 84% of all of them use the indirect object construction. Meanwhile, 72% of Erg-Abs languages under consideration use indirect, and ~91% of Nominative-accusative languages use indirect. Both of which are different from what would be expected if they were independent, but the divergence is small (as is the sample size) so I'm more willing to attribute this to a quirk in sampling.
The r-sub-phi correlation coefficient for this matrix is 0.25.
We could use a chi-squared value of chi-square = (0.25)^2 * 51 which is three-and-three-sixteenths or about 3.075184989. The degrees-of-freedom is one; (number of columns - 1)*(number of rows -1) = (2-1)*(2-1) = 1*1 = 1.

This value of chi-squared, for one degree of freedom, is not significant at the 5% level, but it is significant at the 10% level. That is, if the variables were really independent, we could expect to get a chi-squared this high or higher, just by chance, more than 5% of the time but less than 10% of the time.

(The 5% significance level is about 3.841. Then 10% significance level is about 2.706.)

(See also http://www.nyu.edu/its/statistics/Docs/correlate.html and/or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phi_coefficient if you want.)

So, I think that means, that the chances are at least 90%, but less than 95%, that these two features are not independent.

Secundative (i.e. dechticaetiative) languages are strangely unlikely to be Acc/Nom-Standard and strangely likely to be Erg/Abs.

Other than that, though, I don't think any predictions can be made from the value of one of these features to the value of the other.

Knowing the language is dative doesn't help us decide whether it's probably accusative or probably ergative.

And knowing the language's monotransitive alignment doesn't help us decide whether it's probably dative or probably dechticaetiative.

But if the we know the language is dechticaetiative, there's a statistically significant likelihood that it's also ergative.
Edit: : Sorry, it's significant at the 10% level, but not at the 5% level. The 5% level is the level usually used in psychology; in pharmacology 1% or less -- even 0.1% -- is typically used. I'm not sure about social sciences or linguistics; maybe 10% is significant enough for most, maybe it has to be significant at the 5% level to be taken seriously by most professional linguists. I don't know.


All-in-all, though, it does support that part of your post which was intended to answer the question to which you were responding, as I understand that question. Ergative languages, like accusative languages, are likelier to be dative than dechticaetiative, but may be either.

(But dechticaetiative languages, unlike dative languages, are likelier to be ergative than accusative, though they may be either.)

________________________________________________________________________

Did you also check out:

http://wals.info/feature/combined/105/99
and
http://wals.info/feature/combined/105/100
?

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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sirgryfang » 04 Mar 2011 01:11

Is it better (easier) to start a conlang then do constories in that language or do make the constories first then translate them into the native conlang they should be in?

On a similar note should a word like Fire and Water be named after the condiety or should the condiety be named after the word? I have several condieties all with English names right now, but that is a little too disappointing and I was really wondering if I should make of the words in the conlang first or if I should make up their names first the name of the condiety first and then the conlang uses that as it's word.

edit: fixed typo
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » 04 Mar 2011 01:16

Definitely easier to translate, unless you intend to develop the conlang to the point of you becoming fluent in it.

As for Deity names, two ways to go about this:

1. Use names derived from english words as placeholders, then translate the etymology.

2. Pick names based on coolness factor, then give meaning to them later. My preferred method, but can really bite you in the ass if you choose to revise parts of the conlang later.
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