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(1) I'm Back!!! (2) Thank You All!! (3) I Need Your Help!

From:David J. Peterson <thatbluecat@...>
Date:Friday, April 11, 2003, 18:06
Hi Everyone!

It's been awhile, but I'm back.   This is David Peterson (formerly   I created a new screenname just for Conlang because
digitalscream is getting over 100 spams a day, due to previous internet
excursions, and that plus conlang is too much to deal with.   So, now I have
this e-mail, and this Conlang is all it's for.   So, barring any unforeseen
circumstances in the future, I'm back for good--and, I have a new language,
who's phonology (*not* sound system--just for you, Dirk :) ) I will post
shortly.   First, I have another matter to attend to, so I shall proceed to
part 2 of my e-mail.

Some time last semester I decided to apply to grad. school in linguistics.
I applied to UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego, and was accepted to both, and
now have accepted UCSD, so I'm headed there in the fall.   To say that being
on the conlang list helped me out with linguistics, I think, is a gross
understatement.   I really don't think I'd be where I am now without the
conlang list, and I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my
heart.   Or, to say it in the only language of mine I know how to, poor
Megdevi, my large but ill-conceived, poorly constructed first language, ?oj
TaNaki ZojijIm.

Last, some exciting news.   Regarding UCSD, I receieved an e-mail four or
five days ago from a professor there who wants to start up a <get ready for
this> Conlang class.   (Beyond my wildest dreams...!)   What's more, he wants
me to suggest topics of study and assignments, and to help him teach it.
Unfortunately, the application for the grant he's writing is due in a little
more than a week, so I need to hurry.   I have tons and tons of ideas (and,
yes, I'm including conculture), but I'd love to hear any ideas anyone has.
I'll read them all and keep them in mind as I'm writing up my recommendation.
  Among the things I'd especially like to hear about:

1.) Are there any books we could use?   I can think of parts of many books
that'd be helpful to photocopy, but there's no real conlang textbook (yet).

2.) It looks good to the guys giving the grants if we can use
technology--especially web-based technology.   Unfortunately, I'm extremely
untalented in this area.   Can you suggest any technology (preferably
free...?) that we could use, any web-based resources (I know a few, but I'd
like a big list), and is there anyway to create web-based programs?   He
suggested making a font-creator over the internet...?   I'm really ignorant
about such matters.   I do know there was that one website where you could
draw squiggles with your mouse and it would automatically generate an
alphabet, adn that it would then create a font which you could download, so I
know it's possible, but something where *you* could actually do the designing
would be preferable.

3.) Anybody have any ideas for assignments?   The big one is to create a
language, of course, and I have idea for perameters (obviously it's not going
to be a full language, but one should be able to bring it to some point by
the end of a quarter, and the perameters I have in mind would be looking for
just that).   Some other ideas I've had: A relay (possible?); translating the
Babel Text (or some other text); analyzing real (or created) phonologies, and
commenting on them (are they natural?   why?   was that the goal?);
historical reconstructions, and the opposite (taking a phoneme and changing
it over time).   I have no ideas for syntax, though.   Also, I had a neat
idea.   A kind of puzzle set.   So, for example:

Change /kone/ to /tS2:n/ in 4 steps.

Possible answer:
1.) Umlaut *kone > k2ne
2.) Final vowel deletion: *k2ne > k2n
3.) Compensatory lengthening: *k2n > k2:n
4.) Palatalization: *k2:n > tS2:n

I just thought up one off the top of my head, and it's not that good (e.g.,
there'd probably be intermediary stages between [k] and [tS], and 4 can be
ordered anywhere, as long as it comes after 1, and 3 comes after 2), but I
thought it was kind of neat.

So, that's it.   A long e-mail, I know, and I appologize for making my first
in a while so long, but I thanks for reading this far (if you have), and I
look forward to any and all responses.

Have a pleasant day   :)



Jeffrey Henning <jeffrey@...>
Arthaey Angosii <arthaey@...>
Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Roger Mills <romilly@...>