Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Conlang fluency survey

From:Jeffrey Jones <jsjonesmiami@...>
Date:Sunday, January 20, 2008, 19:38
== Part A: Personal and demographic data.  ==

> 01. a. What is your name (or online handle)?
Jeff Jones (qiihoskeh)
> b. May I quote you by name or handle in an article or talk about
conlang fluency? yes
> c. If not, may I quote you anonymously?
> 02. a. What is your preferred email address (if not the address you
are sending the survey response from)? see above
> b. May I contact you with follow-up questions?
> 03. Do you have a website relating to your constructed language(s)? > If so, what is its URL?
> 04. a. How old are you?
> b. How old were you when you first started creating languages?
upper teens?
> c. How old were you when you first attained significant fluency > in (one of) your constructed language(s)?
not yet
> 05. Are you male or female?
> 06. a. What is your nationality?
> b. Where do you live now?
South Florida
> c. Where were your ancestors from?
Eastern US/colonies; more remotely, Britain and nearby places (probably not Lithuania)
> 07. What is/are your native language(s)?
> 08. What natural languages other than your native one(s) have you > studied? What degree of fluency have you attained in them?
in class: Spanish, German, Latin, Japanese I also have TY books for Farsi, Dano-norwegian, Polish, and Irish Gaelic and a book on Homeric Greek; no fluency in any of these
> 09. What constructed languages created by other people have you > studied? What degree of fluency have you attained in them?
LAadan, maybe Tokana; no fluency
> 10. What is your level of education? What is/was/will be your major > or specialization?
B.M. Music Composition, B.S. Computer Science
> 11. What is (was/probably will be) your trade or profession?
assembly language/real-time embedded systems product development
> 12. Do you work part time? full time? Are you a student or retired?
> 13. a. What is your (approximate) income?
> b. What was your family's approximate income when you were a > child?
> 14. Are you single, married, divorced, widowed, remarried...?
> 15. a. What is your religion, if any?
it doesn't have a name; I'm still constructing it
> b. What was your religious upbringing, if any?
agnostic (non-practicing)
> 16. Are there other facts about yourself that you think might be > relevant?
I'm bearded, but not gay or left-handed. == Part B: The nature of your conlang. == If you have devised more than one conlang, please focus in these questions on those you are most (nearly) fluent in.
> 17. What is the name of your primary conlang (the one you have > invested the most effort in or are most fluent in)?
This is hard to answer. I feel that 'Yemls is my primary language, but I haven't worked on it in a long time, or on Vallese and have mostly forgotten Naisek (but like the others, I had some facility with it while I was working on it), so I should use MNCL5 -- but that doesn't have an actual name yet!
> 18. What are the basic purpose(s) and design goals of your conlang? Is > it associated with an imagined world or culture? If so, are the > speakers human?
MNCL5: originally made to try out some things; currently a fictional auxlang used by people who are physically but not mentally human 'Yemls: originally designed to fit 52 character syllabary; personal or postapocalyptic (human) Vallese: alternate history fiction (human); supposed to be realistic Naisek: European isolate that nobody's been aware of until now
> 19. Is your conlang a priori (devised from scratch) or a posteriori > (based on a specific natural language or language family), or a mix > of a priori and a posteriori elements?
MNCL5: grammar completely a priori, but current vocabulary mostly a posteriori 'Yemls: a priori with a few words from natlangs Vallese: a posteriori (from Vulgar Latin) Naisek: a priori
> 20. Describe the typology of your conlang - what is its primary word > order (SVO, SOV, VSO...; pre- or postpositional; etc.)? Is it > isolating, agglutinating, fusional, polysynthetic? Is its case or > word order system primarily accusative, ergative, active, > other...?
MNCL5: pragmatic word order, but genitives precede; agglutinating with some fusion; active with enhancements 'Yemls: SVO, prepositional, agglutinating, accusative with complications Vallese: SVO, prepositional, fusional, accusative (typical romance) Naisek: pragmatic word order, prepositional; ergative (more or less)
> 21. a. How extensive or complete do you consider your conlang to be (in > grammar and vocabulary)?
MNCL5/'Yemls/Vallese/Naisek: basic structure complete, but a number of details need to be filled in; vocabulary < 200 words
> b. If you are not yet fluent in it, do you consider the language > complete enough for fluency to be attainable, or would it need > considerably more development for that to be possible?
MNCL5/'Yemls/Vallese/Naisek: more development
> 22. Does your conlang have features that might be expected to make it > especially difficult for speakers of your native language?
phonology: depends on what other languages they speak and what type of native accent divalent nouns/inversion: MNCL5, 'Yemls cases: Naisek, MNCL5 gender: Vallese maybe agreement: Naisek, Vallese
> 23. Does your conlang have possibly unnatural features that might be > expected to make fluency difficult or impossible for humans?
MNCL5: maybe embedding, lack of lexicalizable compounds? 'Yemls/Vallese/Naisek: no == Part C: Fluency in your conlang. ==
> 24. a. Do you intend to become fluent in your conlang, or did you when > you started creating it? > b. If not, did you find yourself becoming fluent as an unexpected > result of developing and using it?
I'd like to become fluent in at least one of my conlangs: Vallese, and one other for personal use. However, in most cases, fluency wasn't one of the original goals.
> 25. If you intend to become fluent in your conlang, what are your > goals or purposes for learning it?
Vallese: it would enhance my use of other romlangs; also see (26)
> 26. What do you use (or intend to use) your conlang for? > a. Prayer? > b. Meditation? > c. Thinking? > d. Taking notes in the course of study? > e. Writing notes to yourself (grocery lists, etc.)? > f. Writing a diary?
I wrote an LJ entry entirely in MNCL5, but it was a very short entry.
> g. Writing poetry or other literature?
I hope to write a series of stories in Vallese (if only I could write fiction!) to be published with a mini-grammar and vocabulary, fake introduction, etc.
> h. Singing? > i. Writing the grammar or lexicon of the conlang itself?
I'd like to do that (but grammars only) for each of my major conlangs. I already have a few grammatical terms in Vallese.
> j. Pretending in public that you are a native speaker > of your conlang?
not anymore
> k. Anything else?
cussing and anything else that might tend to get me in trouble
> 27. Can you write original text in your conlang, at least on some > subjects, without looking up words or grammatical structures?
I might be able to in MNCL5, which borrows words on the fly, if I had anything original to say.
> 28. Can you compose well-formed sentences in your conlang about as > fast as you can handwrite or type?
MNCL5: not quite. Of course, I write and type slowly!
> 29. Can you read text you wrote some time ago in your conlang without > looking up words in the lexicon or pausing to consciously parse or > translate it?
MNCL5: no texts 'Yemls: no Vallese: almost! Naisek: no
> 30. a. Do you find yourself thinking spontaneously in your conlang?
> b. Are such thoughts often full sentences rather than single > words or short phrases? > c. Are they usually grammatical (as you intend your conlang to > work)?
> 31. a. Can you think in your conlang, without deliberately constructing > sentences word by word?
> b. Are such thoughts usually grammatical (as you intend your > conlang to work)?
> 32. a. Have you ever dreamed in your conlang?
no, but I've dreamed of working on a conlang (always a completely new one!)
> b. Did the speech or writing in your conlang from the dream turn out, > when remembered on waking, to be grammatical and/or meaningful?
> 33. Can you read aloud at conversational speed from text written in > your conlang?
yes -- I read a whole Naisek text at LCC2
> 34. Can you speak spontaneously in your conlang at conversational > speed?
no (except for things like "yes" and "no")
> If native speakers of your conlang existed, could they > understand your pronunciation?
> 35. If you have recorded speech in your conlang, have you been able to > understand it in real time when played back a considerable time > after you spoke and recorded it?
I haven't tried this.
> 36. If you are fluent in your conlang only when speaking or writing > about certain subjects, what are those subjects?
> 37. Have you found anyone willing to learn your conlang and speak it > with you, or correspond with you in it? If so, please describe > the experience.
> 38. a. What methods have you used to study your conlang and improve your > fluency in it? > b. Which have you found most effective?
writing a lot of sample sentences and reading them out loud; occasional expansion drills
> 39. How do you do most of the primary work on your conlang? In your > head, writing stuff down later if at all, or on paper with > pencil/pen, or with a voice recording/playback system, or at a > computer, or...?
I try to write down (pen and paper) any unresolved issues I can think of. Then I come up with possibly solutions. After something has been decided, it gets documented in a computer file (usually HTML).
> 40. Have you made significant changes in your conlang due to your > experience using it? In what way?
The original version of MNCL was CV with 25 consonants. I found that I had to speak as if every syllable were long, because otherwise, my mind refused to distinguish unstressed vowels. So I changed it (a few times) trying out various clusters and diphthongs, making remaining VC sequences either VC: or V:C, and eliminated the most troublesome consonants. All this caused changes to the morphology and vocabulary. I also made some common morphemes either short (with harmonizing vowels) or fusional (adding final consonants) in order to reduce word length.
> 41. Has your more or less fluent use of the language changed its > phonology, grammar or semantics in ways you did not consciously > intend? Have you, for instance, changed the description of the > language's grammar based on the way you've noticed that you > actually use it, or changed a word's lexicon entry when you > realized you were using it in a different sense than the way you > originally defined it?
> 42. Has your developing fluency in your conlang slowed down its rate > of change?
> Have you refrained from making changes in the language > that you would otherwise make because they would require > re-learning words or structures you already use fluently?
No, but this does affect my choice of alternative solutions.
> 43. Has your handwriting in your conlang changed as you became more > fluent in it? In what way?
> 44. Has your fluency in your conlang influenced the way you speak your > native language, or other languages you are fluent in?
maybe in subtle ways
> 45. Is there anything else you would like to add?