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Re: Conlang fluency survey

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Monday, January 21, 2008, 17:01

Here is my reply on the survey:

> == Part A: Personal and demographic data. == > > 01. a. What is your name (or online handle)?
Jörg Rhiemeier, in some fora known as WeepingElf. [rest of Part A not disclosed to the list]
> == 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)?
Old Albic.
> 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?
Old Albic is the language of an imagined culture, a civilization in early Iron Age Britain. It is thus meant to be naturalistic. The speakers of Old Albic are human.
> 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?
A mix of a priori and a posteriori elements, mostly a priori, but designed to resemble a distant cousin of Indo-European.
> 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...?
VSO, prepositional, modifiers follow nouns, agglutinating with fusional tencendies, mostly suffixing, active (fluid-S) case system and verb agreement.
> 21. a. How extensive or complete do you consider your conlang to be (in > grammar and vocabulary)?
The grammar is quite advanced, but some details still need work; there are about 1000 words so far, with several semantic domains still in need of more 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?
Not yet complete enough, needs more development.
> 22. Does your conlang have features that might be expected to make it > especially difficult for speakers of your native language?
The case system and morphosyntactic alignment probably need to get used to.
> 23. Does your conlang have possibly unnatural features that might be > expected to make fluency difficult or impossible for humans?
> > == 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?
I intend to become fluent in Old Albic some day.
> b. If not, did you find yourself becoming fluent as an unexpected > result of developing and using it? > > 25. If you intend to become fluent in your conlang, what are your > goals or purposes for learning it?
In order to be better able to write texts and sing songs in it.
> 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? > g. Writing poetry or other literature? > h. Singing? > i. Writing the grammar or lexicon of the conlang itself? > j. Pretending in public that you are a native speaker > of your conlang? > k. Anything else?
g., h., i.
> 27. Can you write original text in your conlang, at least on some > subjects, without looking up words or grammatical structures?
Hardly. I am quite familiar with the grammar, but I still have to look up (and often *make* up) words.
> 28. Can you compose well-formed sentences in your conlang about as > fast as you can handwrite or type?
Not yet.
> 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?
Not yet.
> 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 one dream featured a scholarly paper about the family Old Albic is meant to be part of.
> 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?
Not really, but close.
> 34. Can you speak spontaneously in your conlang at conversational > speed? If native speakers of your conlang existed, could they > understand your pronunciation?
Not yet.
> 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 have no recordings yet.
> 36. If you are fluent in your conlang only when speaking or writing > about certain subjects, what are those subjects?
None so far.
> 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.
Not yet.
> 38. a. What methods have you used to study your conlang and improve your > fluency in it? > b. Which have you found most effective?
So far, I haven't made real attempts to learn Old Albic because I know that the language still needs more work, but much of it has engraved in my mind from my work on it.
> 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...?
It usually starts in my head, then to paper and pencil, then the computer.
> 40. Have you made significant changes in your conlang due to your > experience using it? In what way?
I have revised some words because I found them to sound bad or inappropriate/disharmonious to their meaning.
> 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?
Not yet.
> 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?
I change what feels wrong to me, but most of what I have today I feel so "well-established" that I don't feel like changing it. After all, I want my language to become something stable at some point.
> 43. Has your handwriting in your conlang changed as you became more > fluent in it? In what way?
The writing system I have developed for it has so far worked out well and is quite stable; I think it is unlikely that I will change it significantly some day.
> 44. Has your fluency in your conlang influenced the way you speak your > native language, or other languages you are fluent in?
Not much, but occasionally, some interference occurs.
> 45. Is there anything else you would like to add?
No. ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf +