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1  Organization and General Discussions / Newbie Information, Joining Requests and Recruitment / Re: Sarim is coming to town on: 27 May 2008, 22:57:33
You mad conmen leave Mermish alone!  It's SUPPOSED to be fragmentary and incomplete - has anyone ever created a gorilla grammary?   

No, but Gorillas have created sign-language grammar. So nothing is impossible.

In fact, what's on the site was probably 'over-interpreted' by human researchers, possibly even anthropomorphised in the same way that we think we know what our cats and dogs are 'saying' with their whimpers, whines, snarls, hisses, mews, and barks.

That is a very good point. Of course, if we are dealing with a primitive, language-less lot, then there is no point, I suppose, in detailing their speech.

Don't let this lot intimidate you; we usually keep THEM in fetters so they don't eat the guests....

Nice to see that you got working security here.
2  Organization and General Discussions / Newbie Information, Joining Requests and Recruitment / Re: Sarim is coming to town on: 27 May 2008, 06:11:32
I'm not sure if pure mer has grammar.. its a song-language after all.. humans can't
even detect a lot of the sounds involved.

Well, there's only one way I can think of right now for a language to do without a grammar; if it has a specific word for every possible concept (even concepts we normal humans would need entire books to express) then there will be no need for grammar. However, that is highly implausible.

Wow, thanks.  So far I've mostly depended on Google, which seldom produces very useful results. 

Google is not exactly the best library service you can find, I must admit. I am glad to be of assistance, anyway.

'Moderate agglutination', assuming that means something like Finnish grammar, is about as much as I know, which might be why I find polysynthesis and things close to it to be interesting. 

I'd say that Finnish is a good example, but it is important to notice that just like that word you mentioned--'polysynthesis'--the term 'moderately agglutinative' is not very well-defined. Level of synthesis is relative; most languages are more synthetic than English, but less synthetic than Inuit. Nevertheless, you are correct.

Stuff you already know tend not to look as interesting. 

I already knew languages were definately not a talent of mine, but this paragraph brings it home.

I'm always happy to show off, self-centered as I am.

Well, I can feel with you, Smee... That's why I always try to remind Anwulf to talk in non-linguistic language as good as possible, because regular mortals have their problems with getting the picture

I'll try not to be too technical, in that case. I'll make a habit of explaining all grammatical terms that pop up when I write about language.
3  Organization and General Discussions / Newbie Information, Joining Requests and Recruitment / Re: Sarim is coming to town on: 27 May 2008, 04:38:48
Hello and welcome from me as well, Sarim!

Thank you very much.

Just read that word "conworld" - very intersting. So that makes me a conman then or what?

That's quite amusing. I am going to call myself a conman henceforth, when people ask what I do for a hobby.

Anyway, I read that English is not your primary language - so where are you from then?

I come from Sweden.

I'm lucky if I can even decide on a phoneme inventory.  Being perfectionist and indecisive is not fun.   

Well, I guess it depends on preferences. Me, I like open syllables and few consonant clusters (but I love exotic consonants and my langs are ripe with retroflexes, ejectives, implosives, uvulars, and pharyngals and sounds like that). My main problem with phonology is that I am not very good at it. I am more of a grammar person and do not like spending time pouring over descriptions of Yawelmani phonology and whatnot.

I tend to gravitate towards making very synthetic languages too, though good references seem to be hard to find.

Synthesis is a favourite trait of mine, though I am less of a polysynthesis fetishist than I used to be. Nowadays, the ideal is 'moderate agglutination' as far as I am concerned. References, you said? Let's see if I can produce a few:

http://repositories.cdlib.org/ucpress/ucpl/ ~ Here you can find (free) grammars of Wappo, Cupeņo and Proto-Wintu (all of them Amerindian, though not related to one another)

http://scholarship.rice.edu/search ~ Search for 'grammar' and you'll turn up some very detailed descriptions of Matses, Warihiyo, Trumai, Khanty, and two more languages I cannot remember at the moment.

http://www.lotpublications.nl/index3.html ~ A good deal of free grammars can be found here (click 'Contents' to access the articles).

There are plenty more, but tracking them down would take hours.

Do you know of anywhere online I can find information about Georgian? 

The best one is http://www.armazi.demon.co.uk/.

Tharoc appears again, facing the wrong way on Valkree's back, with a pair of extra-large female undergarments around his head, flapping wildy as they flee*

Thank you for the information -- I'll be sure to remember to never hitch a ride with Tharoc, then.

I don't think we can actually develop Mermish by the way.... it's... inhuman in far to many ways. Maybe the pidgin of mer-tharian, but not actual mermish.

Oh, but producing languages very far off the human norm is not as hard as you might think. All you need is some really freakish idea to base the grammar on (e.g. the stack rather than tree-based syntax in Jeffrey Henning's alien lang Fith, for example).
4  Organization and General Discussions / Newbie Information, Joining Requests and Recruitment / Re: Sarim is coming to town on: 27 May 2008, 02:52:28
*Walks in dragging a heavy ball-and-chain as well as wristcuffs, anklecuffs, collars, walking chains, feeding bowls...*

Nah, I'm not into chains and that sort of things.

Oh, no  link to your old world?    

Sadly, there is none. I am working on it though; I have to translate the material into English before I can put it out on the intarwebz.

Hello Sarim.  I've dabbled in conlanging myself, and still do.  Unfortunately, all I've produced so far are a bunch of half-completed conlangs, which I've mostly forgotten because I'm bad at making notes.  

Same here. Most of my conlangs don't get anywhere, except for a few lucky ones that develop into relatively complete languages. It depends on whether I am inspired when I start working on the conlang or not, I think. My most detailed conlang--Tinzirean, one of the main lingua francas of my conworld--is quite complete.

If I remember correctly, the only languages we have so far are Styrash (elves in general) and Thergerim (dwarves in general), and only the gnomes, Kavogerim dwarves, and Volkek-oshra orcs are having languages developed for them at the moment, so there's quite a few groups for you to choose from if you want to create languages here.

I shall see if I can find any group to work on, in that case. I have some nifty ideas of a relatively complex agglutinative-borderline-fusional lang with noun classes, tones, glottalized consonants, and object marking in verbs. Georgian, of course, is a major source of inspiration.

Edit again: And Browniin (Brownies) and Mermish (merfolk), both of which are really old and not very developed and probably in need of a revision.  The other two could probably use more details too, come to think of it.

I'll look them over and see if I can come up with anything.

Thanks for the input, everyone!

*Sniff*  "Alright?"

Sarim looked at the stranger, his face twisted with shock and anger. He rose slowly, staring at the newcomer. "Those were meant for me," he stuttered, trying to sound as fierce and dangerous as possible.
5  Organization and General Discussions / Newbie Information, Joining Requests and Recruitment / Re: Sarim is coming to town on: 27 May 2008, 00:18:04
Thanks for the responses, everyone.

Anyway, sounds like you have lots of ideas and skills, no doubt you'll be most useful here. Best advice I can give (given that I only arrived last week) is be prepared for a lot of reading. And then some more. With delicious reading for desert.

Ah, yes. I thought about joining earlier (a year ago or so), but the sheer amount of information scared me away. Do not fear, though, this time I am prepared.

Some applause for you!

Merci, merci.

Seems more work is coming this way for me with someone interested in religion, but that's nice. But maybe you can help me in return with language things which is the thing I know how to deal with least of all.

I can do just about anything related to linguistics -- just ask. I'm no linguist, but I have (if I am allowed to brag like this) quite some expertise within the field, as I've been making up languages of my own for years. If you would like to help me get started on the religion stuff, I will be eternally thankful.

And usually we don't applaud until you've done an entry, so get craking! 

Just wait and see. I've got some amusing linguistic escapades planned, and I am going to look at the unfinished religions in your link and see if there's any I could work on.

There are no less than 4 religions (and one religious point of view) which have yet to be fully developed.  And if one of them takes your fancy I can probably point you towards other entries for background reading too .

I shall have a look, and then I'll contact you.

Ohhh...a language expert! My friend, you've come to the right place! There will be alot of requests for your services around here.

That's nice to hear. For a moment I was afraid you had too many conlangers here. Is there any people/tribe/group in need of a language?

Start reading, as Smee said, and talk religion with Talia, our religion/cosmology expert. Leave comments on anything you see that interests you.

Thank you for the advise. I shall run over the religion section and see if anything strikes my fancy (I realise I sound terribly arrogant, but I hope no one minds).

tell funny stories

Ah, indeed. There was once a man from Alaska who wanted to-- well, nevermind.
6  Organization and General Discussions / Newbie Information, Joining Requests and Recruitment / Sarim is coming to town on: 26 May 2008, 17:37:16
... and here I am!


No applause? That's a shame. I guess I will have to live with that.

Perhaps a more proper introduction would be in order. I am Sarim--that's not my real name, but I thought it sounded fancy--and I joined this project spontaneously, just like that. Santharia is a conworld and I love conworlding (I've worked on one of my own for several years), simply put. My autobiography might not be of interest to you, but nevertheless I think I ought to mention exactly what I am interested in, and what I could help developing. While I have many interests, linguistics is definitely my main forte, and I have some expertise in language development, a hobby I've pursued for five years or so. Another interest is philosophy (especially Buddhist), mysticism and religion, so I guess I could do some work on esoteric stuff and religion and all that, if no one minds.

So ... well, that's really all I have to say. I hope I do not sound too self-centered (I mean, most of the above sentences start with the first person pronoun in some permutation).
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