Lexicon of Conlangs

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Plusquamperfekt
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Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by Plusquamperfekt » 27 Jan 2015 17:14

Hey people,

recently I had an idea for a group project and I am not sure if something like that has already been done before:
Imagine we published a book in which we dedicate one chapter (25 pages) to each conlang:

1 page: Typological profile
20 pages: A broad outline of your conlang's grammar and its most characteristic features
4 pages: A translation of a sample text with an IPA transcription and a glossing

Requirements for participation:

1. The grammar of your conlang needs to be "almost complete", that is to say, you should be able to translate almost anything and there should be no big "gaps" which still need to be developped.
2. Your conlang should have several thousand words (absolute minimum: 1,000).

Who'd be in? My idea would be to finish the chapters until 31 OCT 2015, to proof-read them in November and to publish the book on Christmas 2015. What do you think? ;)
Last edited by Plusquamperfekt on 27 Jan 2015 17:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by Ahzoh » 27 Jan 2015 17:20

My grammar is almost complete, and I have 800 lexemes (411 non-verbs and 386 verbs)
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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by Plusquamperfekt » 27 Jan 2015 17:31

Ahzoh wrote:My grammar is almost complete, and I have 800 lexemes (411 non-verbs and 386 verbs)
I think 9 months are much more time than you would need to create the missing 203 lexemes. ;)

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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by Serena » 27 Jan 2015 17:47

I would be in. However, I have to say that this is basically a conlang wiki fit into a book.

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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by k1234567890y » 27 Jan 2015 17:49

I'd like be in,and I now have at least 4 conlangs with more than 1,000 words(two with 2,000+ words, two with 1,000~2,000 words), two of them are a priori, two of them are a posterior, but I need to make grammatical descriptions of my conlangs in English, and probably I need to check the grammars of my conlangs.
I prefer to not be referred to with masculine pronouns and nouns such as “he/him/his”.

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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by Plusquamperfekt » 27 Jan 2015 17:58

Serena wrote:I would be in. However, I have to say that this is basically a conlang wiki fit into a book.
Well, there are some differences:

(1) Anyone can create a Wikipedia article, even though most conlang projects never get finished. Therefore it is hard to find the good articles between the rest, because most articles are about ideas for conlangs and not about conlangs that actually deserve the name "conlang".

(2) The articles which you can find on FrathWiki and Conlang.Wikia.Com are not homogenous at all. For instance, some articles have huge sections about phonology, but almost no details about grammar. Other articles have much information about grammar, but no sample text and so on. So the chapters in the book would be much more standardized, it would be easier to draw comparisons between conlangs and there would no trash in the book as all presented conlangs would be fairly well-developed.

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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by Serena » 27 Jan 2015 18:02

Plusquamperfekt wrote:Well, there are some differences:

(1) Anyone can create a Wikipedia article, even though most conlang projects never get finished. Therefore it is hard to find the good articles between the rest, because most articles are about ideas for conlangs and not about conlangs that actually deserve the name "conlang".

(2) The articles which you can find on FrathWiki and Conlang.Wikia.Com are not homogenous at all. For instance, some articles have huge sections about phonology, but almost no details about grammar. Other articles have much information about grammar, but no sample text and so on. So the chapters in the book would be much more standardized, it would be easier to draw comparisons between conlangs and there would no trash in the book as all presented conlangs would be fairly well-developed.
This makes sense. Count me in.

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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by Plusquamperfekt » 27 Jan 2015 18:13

Very good.

Here you can find a facebook group as this is not going to be an internal issue of this forum...

http://www.facebook.com/groups/696437337143400/

Later I'll probably post this in Zompist's forum, too. Do you know any other places where we could recruit participants? (Even though I like the CBB more, the users seem to be nicer here [B)] )

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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by Serena » 27 Jan 2015 18:46

Plusquamperfekt wrote: Here you can find a facebook group as this is not going to be an internal issue of this forum...

http://www.facebook.com/groups/696437337143400/
Unfortunately, I am not on Facebook. Will it be possible to follow the whole project from this forum?

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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by Plusquamperfekt » 27 Jan 2015 19:06

Serena wrote:
Plusquamperfekt wrote: Here you can find a facebook group as this is not going to be an internal issue of this forum...

http://www.facebook.com/groups/696437337143400/
Unfortunately, I am not on Facebook. Will it be possible to follow the whole project from this forum?
Yes of course, I will post relevant information into this thread.

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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by Plusquamperfekt » 28 Jan 2015 19:40

Update: Guidelines:

Please submit your papers until Oct 30, 2015. The papers should be composed of the following parts:

__________________________

1 page: Introduction

- Which type of conlang have you created? (a priori, a posteriori, artlang, auxlang, philosophical conlang, personal languages etc.)
- What were your reasons for creating your conlang?
- When did you start creating your conlang?
- Is your conlang connected to a fictional world? If yes, describe it in a few sentences.
- Which natlangs served as inspirations for your conlang's grammar and phonology?
- What are the most significant typological features of your conlang? (morpheme-per-word ratio; degree of fusion; word order; morpho-syntactic alignment; head vs. dependant marking; head direction etc.)

__________________________

20 pages: Short summary of your grammar

- phonology
- nominal morphology
- verbal morphology
- derivational morphology

__________________________

5 pages: Conscript (optional)

__________________________

4 pages: Sample text

- Translation of a sample text
- Glossing
- IPA transcription
- Additional explanations

__________________________

Appendix (optional): Lexicon (max. 1000 words), links to online ressources

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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by elemtilas » 28 Jan 2015 19:47

Plusquamperfekt wrote:Hey people,

recently I had an idea for a group project and I am not sure if something like that has already been done before:
Imagine we published a book in which we dedicate one chapter (25 pages) to each conlang:

1 page: Typological profile
20 pages: A broad outline of your conlang's grammar and its most characteristic features
4 pages: A translation of a sample text with an IPA transcription and a glossing

Requirements for participation:

1. The grammar of your conlang needs to be "almost complete", that is to say, you should be able to translate almost anything and there should be no big "gaps" which still need to be developped.
2. Your conlang should have several thousand words (absolute minimum: 1,000).

Who'd be in? My idea would be to finish the chapters until 31 OCT 2015, to proof-read them in November and to publish the book on Christmas 2015. What do you think? ;)
I am interested in contributing to this project. You answered most of my questions, but a few issues still remain:

Is there a standard format you're looking for? Will you be providing an example if yes, and how strictly must we follow it? Take a look at the "contents of your conlang grammar" thread to see how different we organize our grammars. You might consider one standard format so readers won't have to deal with 20 different formats! Oh, and what file format(s) can you handle? I have all my grammars nicely formatted in Word Perfect, though I can easily make my submission(s) into PDFs. How about page formatting -- what page size, margins, etc.? And lastly, how many submissions can any one conlanger make?

Is there a standard text you're looking for, or can we provide a text that is culturally / historically appropriate to the language? Is there a space limitation on the text itself?

And, of course, the obligatory fine print:

Copyright issues? Purpose of book? How published? Royalties from sales? Etc.?

I would suggest that if this project gets published, that you provide a copy of the book to the L.C.S. Lending Library!

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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by Plusquamperfekt » 28 Jan 2015 20:44

elemtilas wrote: Is there a standard format you're looking for? Will you be providing an example if yes, and how strictly must we follow it? Take a look at the "contents of your conlang grammar" thread to see how different we organize our grammars. You might consider one standard format so readers won't have to deal with 20 different formats! Oh, and what file format(s) can you handle? I have all my grammars nicely formatted in Word Perfect, though I can easily make my submission(s) into PDFs. And lastly, how many submissions can any one conlanger make?
I think it would be better to have a standard format, but I don't want to be the one who makes all decisions. This is a collaborative project and therefore we should discuss that issue together until we reach an agreement concerning the format. However, as for me I would like to use Google Drive, because this way we could give feedback, help each other and make our articles become more uniform. Furthermore I'd say that everyone should submit as many articles as he/she wishes, the important thing is that all articles have more or less the same length. Of course it would be no problem if someone's text were two pages longer or shorter than the rest, but the range should not be much wider.
Is there a standard text you're looking for, or can we provide a text that is culturally / historically appropriate to the language? Is there a space limitation on the text itself?
Well, my idea is that each conlanger should have about 20 pages to present his/her conlang. Of course, 20 pages is not enough at all to publish every detail of your grammar, but that's not the purpose of the project. Instead, you are supposed to outline the most basic information about your conlang(s), or in other words, what would you like others to know about your conlang? For example, if your conlang is connected to a conworld, then you can mention that of course and describe the "background" of your conlang. But the linguistic part should play the leading role in your article, i.e. there should be a typological profile and people should know more or less how your grammar works - not every detail, but for example which grammatical categories you have and whether there are some unusual or very characteristic features that make your conlang unique.
And, of course, the obligatory fine print:

Copyright issues? Purpose of book? How published? Royalties from sales? Etc.?

I would suggest that if this project gets published, that you provide a copy of the book to the L.C.S. Lending Library!

Image
I never planned to make any money out of my conlang, the only reason why I created it was to give expression to my personal sense of aesthetics and to my creativity. So my conlang is not a product which I want to sell to anyone, but a little piece of art (sorry if that sounds slightly arrogant, but I don't know how else I could describe that feeling), which I want to share with everyone who is interested in what I do. However, I can only speak for myself...

Furthermore: I'm not even sure if we'd find a publisher who would be willing to publish a book about conlangs, so it could happen that the outcome will be nothing but a pdf which everyone can download for free. Or another possiblity is that there will be different versions of the book... One version which everyone can access online and another copyrighted version, for which people would have to pay. It really depends on who is going to submit one or more articles, but I won't make any decisions alone and I won't enter into any binding contracts without your permission, as I don't want to get sued by anyone. :mrgreen:
Last edited by Plusquamperfekt on 28 Jan 2015 20:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by Plusquamperfekt » 28 Jan 2015 20:50


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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by Iyionaku » 28 Jan 2015 21:16

I'm in too. My conlang has about 2,100 lexemes and an almost complete grammar; it's still a bit cramped in long, adademic articles, but works perfectly in everyday life.
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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by Prinsessa » 28 Jan 2015 21:27

Can't join in on this, but I just want to urge you to go through everything when everyone has given you their submissions, making sure everything has the same formatting, identically styled tables and so on. It would really add a lot. Also please put numbers on chapters and subnumbers on subsections and finally add a table of contents at the beginning and maybe some sort of index at the end. And don't forget credits to those who want it. c;

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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by cedh » 28 Jan 2015 23:09

Plusquamperfekt wrote:20 pages: Short summary of your grammar

- phonology
- nominal morphology
- verbal morphology
- derivational morphology
Syntax is missing here. Should be an important of the description for all "reasonably complete" languages, and an absolutely crucial part of the description for all languages that do not express everything as affixes on the verb.

As an example of how much weight syntax can have, here's a breakdown of the Google Drive version of my grammar of Ronc Tyu:

- phonology 3 pages
- verbal morphology 4 pages
- nominal morphology 3 pages
- pronouns/numbers/prepositions 6 pages
- derivation 5 pages
- syntax 53 pages (more than twice the length of everything else together!)

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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by Ahzoh » 29 Jan 2015 00:08

I don't think I can write 20 pages of anything; my "descriptability" is just subpar...
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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by elemtilas » 29 Jan 2015 01:06

Plusquamperfekt wrote:
elemtilas wrote: Is there a standard format you're looking for?
I think it would be better to have a standard format, but I don't want to be the one who makes all decisions. This is a collaborative project and therefore we should discuss that issue together until we reach an agreement concerning the format. However, as for me I would like to use Google Drive, because this way we could give feedback, help each other and make our articles become more uniform. Furthermore I'd say that everyone should submit as many articles as he/she wishes, the important thing is that all articles have more or less the same length. Of course it would be no problem if someone's text were two pages longer or shorter than the rest, but the range should not be much wider.
Dunno what Google Drive is. I get that this is a collaborative project, and I'm not suggesting you set yourself up as Dread Editorial Lord but -- and this is just my own opinion on the matter -- but a project of this sort really does need a leader and the leader really does need to host discussion, set some of these sorts of parameters where consensus may be lacking and of course, keep the project moving along. I don't know if you are that leader or not, but you did kind of stick your head up above the crowd and say isn't this a great idea! Who's in? [:D]

Perhaps you could entertain some discussion as to formatting and specific contents before calling for submissions. As I read the above, I'm thinking that the process is going to become a lot more work than is necessary. Obviously, everyone who has expressed interest in participating has one or more conlangs which they believe are "done enough" to warrant inclusion in this (rather fantastic!) project. But why should I write my article using my own format, and a dozen other people write a dozen or two dozen of their own articles in their own formats, and then go through round after round of -- kindly excuse -- pointless revision? This is really where the Editor ought to step in, having discussed matters of contents and format already, and say: "okay folks, here's the basic format and the contents we're looking for -- now get busy sorting your data out on your own!"

At thát point in time, with all the articles written in the same format, if further editing / cleaning up / minor formatting issues / etc need to be addressed, it can be done much more easily at that time. The job of editor will also be much easier if everyone is offering submissions in an already determined format and including already hashed out contents. This also makes my job as article writer much easier: knowing up front how you want everything to be done simplifies my task because all I really should have to do is extract from my conlang's grammar the salient points I want to make and the appropriate tables, rearrange them according to the Plan and pull together example text, writing sample, lexicon and so forth. Much better if I only have to do that once and tweak later!
Plusquamperfekt wrote:
Is there a standard text you're looking for?
Well, my idea is that each conlanger should have about 20 pages to present his/her conlang. Of course, 20 pages is not enough at all to publish every detail of your grammar, but that's not the purpose of the project. Instead, you are supposed to outline the most basic information about your conlang(s), or in other words, what would you like others to know about your conlang? For example, if your conlang is connected to a conworld, then you can mention that of course and describe the "background" of your conlang. But the linguistic part should play the leading role in your article, i.e. there should be a typological profile and people should know more or less how your grammar works - not every detail, but for example which grammatical categories you have and whether there are some unusual or very characteristic features that make your conlang unique.
Good. That's clear.
Plusquamperfekt wrote:
And, of course, the obligatory fine print: Copyright issues? Purpose of book? How published? Royalties from sales? Etc.? I would suggest that if this project gets published, that you provide a copy of the book to the L.C.S. Lending Library!
I never planned to make any money out of my conlang, the only reason why I created it was to give expression to my personal sense of aesthetics and to my creativity. So my conlang is not a product which I want to sell to anyone, but a little piece of art (sorry if that sounds slightly arrogant, but I don't know how else I could describe that feeling), which I want to share with everyone who is interested in what I do. However, I can only speak for myself...

Furthermore: I'm not even sure if we'd find a publisher who would be willing to publish a book about conlangs, so it could happen that the outcome will be nothing but a pdf which everyone can download for free. Or another possiblity is that there will be different versions of the book... One version which everyone can access online and another copyrighted version, for which people would have to pay. It really depends on who is going to submit one or more articles, but I won't make any decisions alone and I won't enter into any binding contracts without your permission, as I don't want to get sued by anyone. :mrgreen:
I have long been an advocate of conlangery as art -- it is an art that is composed of the very substances of human communication -- so I get where you're coming from. I don't find what you say arrogant in the least! In fact, I am in complete agreement on that issue! However, some of us already have or perhaps aspire to bring that art out into the public consciousness; some of us have been paid to conlang, others might want to give that a try some time! I think you're on the right track with a freely offered PDF or similar -- and if that's the eventual route, I would just want to make sure every participant is on the same page as far as the twiddly legal bits are concerned. I also would be terribly miffed if I later discovered that someone took that "freely offered PDF" and published it on their own and for their own profit... You see how tangled this sort of project can become!

As for a publisher, I was rather thinking you were going to do this via the self-publishing route! Once you've got a completed PDF, it's trivially easy to set it up and release it for public consumption -- even on Amazon or similar places. (And people do buy conlanging related books! -- if this is done well, you might even find it generates some revenue, which is why I asked the questions I asked!) Some food for thought anyway.

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Re: Lexicon of Conlangs

Post by Serena » 01 Feb 2015 13:28

A few questions:
  1. (I know this has been asked before, but I didn't quite get the answer) For the sample text, are we going to translate the same piece or are we choosing our own text? I would suggest doing both. For example: everyone does a translation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and then adds an optional second text, which will be different for each of us.
  2. Are we planning to print physical copies when the project is finished and edited?

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