The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by shimobaatar » 11 Apr 2018 18:50

Intonation, possibly. However, it's also possible that a hypothetical person who speaks English fluently, but is somehow completely oblivious to the cultural context in which the language is spoken, wouldn't have been able to know for certain.

Natural languages are full of ambiguity, but they are still fully functional communication systems. This is possible in part because things like context and so-called "encyclopedic knowledge" exist.

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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by eldin raigmore » 11 Apr 2018 23:39

Thanks for the answer. It might be right for all I know.

I was thinking of a listener who didn’t know how unlikely it was Meyers might have two wives.

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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by shimobaatar » 12 Apr 2018 00:06

eldin raigmore wrote:
11 Apr 2018 23:39
I was thinking of a listener who didn’t know how unlikely it was Meyers might have two wives.
Right. Part of my point was how very unlikely I think it is that such a person could exist. Languages and cultures are so inherently tied, that I think it would be almost impossible for someone to speak English at the level we're talking about, yet not know that mainstream American culture only allows for monogamous marriage, both in terms of the law and social norms, which is also true for all, I think, of the most well-known Anglophone cultures internationally.

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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by eldin raigmore » 12 Apr 2018 00:15

IIANM there’s an Anglophone Christian tribe in Africa whose chief is expected to be polygamous (though other men are not) , but I doubt their chief is named Seth Meyers. OTOH maybe Seth could be Mormon.

(Though that’s a bit far fetched, I admit. )
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by Dormouse559 » 12 Apr 2018 00:23

I think the main disambiguator for English is, like shimo said, intonation. For the non-restrictive meaning that Colbert intended, I would have given "beautiful" and "wife" roughly equal stress, but for a restrictive meaning, I would have put more stress on "beautiful".

As a side note, one of the conlang ideas floating around in my head happens to be a language that declines adjectives for restrictiveness.

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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by eldin raigmore » 12 Apr 2018 00:28

I think you’re right, dormouse. So I guess I think Shimo is right too.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by shimobaatar » 12 Apr 2018 00:31

eldin raigmore wrote:
12 Apr 2018 00:15
IIANM there’s an Anglophone Christian tribe in Africa whose chief is expected to be polygamous (though other men are not) , but I doubt their chief is named Seth Meyers. OTOH maybe Seth could be Mormon.
But even if their chief is polygamous, I'm sure they know that Americans aren't.

Mainstream Mormonism abandoned polygamy in the late 1800s, I believe. There are still some fringe sects that haven't done so, but it's still technically illegal for them. What I'm trying to say is that, even if he belonged to a group that still practiced polygamy, those groups make up such a small percent of Americans, that the logical assumption would still be that he only has one wife.

Also, if Seth Meyers were illegally practicing polygamy, and Colbert knew about it, I don't think Colbert would acknowledge it on national TV.

Anyway, there's really no point to this discussion. What Dormouse559 and I have said about intonation is a much better, clearer answer to your question.

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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by Parlox » 12 Apr 2018 02:29

Are there any active collaborative world building projects?
  • :con: Cajun, a descendant of French spoken in Louisiana.
  • :con: Bàsupan, loosely inspired by Amharic.
  • :con: Oddúhath Claire, a fusion of Welsh and Arabic.

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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by Creyeditor » 12 Apr 2018 07:54

shimobaatar wrote:
12 Apr 2018 00:31
eldin raigmore wrote:
12 Apr 2018 00:15
IIANM there’s an Anglophone Christian tribe in Africa whose chief is expected to be polygamous (though other men are not) , but I doubt their chief is named Seth Meyers. OTOH maybe Seth could be Mormon.
But even if their chief is polygamous, I'm sure they know that Americans aren't.

Mainstream Mormonism abandoned polygamy in the late 1800s, I believe. There are still some fringe sects that haven't done so, but it's still technically illegal for them. What I'm trying to say is that, even if he belonged to a group that still practiced polygamy, those groups make up such a small percent of Americans, that the logical assumption would still be that he only has one wife.

Also, if Seth Meyers were illegally practicing polygamy, and Colbert knew about it, I don't think Colbert would acknowledge it on national TV.

Anyway, there's really no point to this discussion. What Dormouse559 and I have said about intonation is a much better, clearer answer to your question.
Just as an interesting side point maybe. In Indonesia there is polygamy (that is polygyny) and I often have a hard time distinguishing the two interpretation, as a non-native speaker. This might be because they use different intonational cues than what I am used to.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by eldin raigmore » 12 Apr 2018 12:25

in my opinion that is indeed interesting! Thanks.

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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by shimobaatar » 12 Apr 2018 15:16

Creyeditor wrote:
12 Apr 2018 07:54
Just as an interesting side point maybe. In Indonesia there is polygamy (that is polygyny) and I often have a hard time distinguishing the two interpretation, as a non-native speaker. This might be because they use different intonational cues than what I am used to.
Definitely interesting. I was thinking just about English.

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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas » 13 Apr 2018 00:52

Parlox wrote:
12 Apr 2018 02:29
Are there any active collaborative world building projects?
Ill Bethisad is now going on 20 years of active collaborative worldbuilding.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by k1234567890y » 13 Apr 2018 01:02

elemtilas wrote:
13 Apr 2018 00:52
Parlox wrote:
12 Apr 2018 02:29
Are there any active collaborative world building projects?
Ill Bethisad is now going on 20 years of active collaborative worldbuilding.
wow that's quite old let's say
...

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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by Creyeditor » 15 Apr 2018 15:34

I really like the new conlangery short.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by k1234567890y » 15 Apr 2018 16:30

Creyeditor wrote:
15 Apr 2018 15:34
I really like the new conlangery short.
how so?
...

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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by Creyeditor » 15 Apr 2018 16:39

I often feel conlangers are more dependent on terminology and standardization than actual linguistics, even though description is always more important than phoneme inventories, schemata or the like.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » 15 Apr 2018 17:07

Finally subscribed to them on Twitter earlier this year. Just listened to the new short. I thought they made a lot of good points.

When I look up a language's phonology on Wikipedia, reading the notes and descriptions beneath is always more helpful than just looking at a chart of sounds, even if they're narrowly transcribed.

The biggest issue for me in my conlanging has come with case and tense/aspect labels. I've ported these labels and descriptions from IE tradition, but I also recognize than some uses of the cases or tenses in my conlang are not necessarily standard and don't correspond directly to Latin or Ancient Greek or other languagues where the labels originated. But that's what the descriptions are for: clarifying all that [:)]
Creyeditor wrote:
15 Apr 2018 16:39
I often feel conlangers are more dependent on terminology and standardization than actual linguistics, even though description is always more important than phoneme inventories, schemata or the like.
Sometimes it does seem that some conlangers never really get past their complex and unusual phoneme inventory. I think a lot of conlangers are also the type of people who like to label and categorize things, not just within conlangs, but the world at large. I know I'm like that. But that only gets one so far. It's the subjective stuff that's often more interesting and that which allows your conlang to actually be learned and understood.
Don't live to conlang; conlang to live.

My conlang: Image Lihmelinyan

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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by k1234567890y » 15 Apr 2018 21:08

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:
15 Apr 2018 17:07

Sometimes it does seem that some conlangers never really get past their complex and unusual phoneme inventory. I think a lot of conlangers are also the type of people who like to label and categorize things, not just within conlangs, but the world at large. I know I'm like that. But that only gets one so far. It's the subjective stuff that's often more interesting and that which allows your conlang to actually be learned and understood.
maybe it is due to that conlangers often have Asperger's syndrome or something like, or at least are more a systemizer?
...

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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by Khemehekis » 15 Apr 2018 22:44

k1234567890y wrote:
15 Apr 2018 21:08
maybe it is due to that conlangers often have Asperger's syndrome or something like, or at least are more a systemizer?
She's referring to this, of course.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas » 16 Apr 2018 01:07

k1234567890y wrote:
15 Apr 2018 21:08
KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:
15 Apr 2018 17:07

Sometimes it does seem that some conlangers never really get past their complex and unusual phoneme inventory. I think a lot of conlangers are also the type of people who like to label and categorize things, not just within conlangs, but the world at large. I know I'm like that. But that only gets one so far. It's the subjective stuff that's often more interesting and that which allows your conlang to actually be learned and understood.
maybe it is due to that conlangers often have Asperger's syndrome or something like, or at least are more a systemizer?
Actually I don't think so. I've known many glossopoets with aspergers that have no issue moving beyond the "first stage".

One thing I have noticed is that many (not all, obviously) who can't get by the phonology stage are younger, high school / college kids of the present generation(s). Not a scientific theory or anything, but honestly I chalk it up to information overload. Perhaps kids have too much instant access to everything! I wonder if all that raw input doesn't kind of fry the old circuits a bit and some folks just get stuck in this "I want to make it right, I want to make it perfect, I'm afraid not to make it as naturalistic and diachronic as possible". Perhaps they just can't get away from the expectations.
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