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Re: Conlang fluency survey

Date:Sunday, January 20, 2008, 2:55
> 01. a. What is your name (or online handle)?
Dana Nutter ("deinx nxtxr" in Sasxsek or romanized Deini)
> b. May I quote you by name or handle in an article or talk
> conlang fluency?
Please ask first.
> 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)? > b. May I contact you with follow-up questions?
> 03. Do you have a website relating to your constructed
> If so, what is its URL?
Yes, a few.
> > 04. a. How old are you?
> b. How old were you when you first started creating
languages? About 18 when I first started toying with the idea.
> c. How old were you when you first attained significant
> in (one of) your constructed language(s)?
Never really fluent. I'd have to actually finish one of them first.
> 05. Are you male or female?
> 06. a. What is your nationality?
> b. Where do you live now?
E. Tennessee. Originally from Southern California (LA/Orange counties)
> c. Where were your ancestors from?
All over, ultimately European.
> 07. What is/are your native language(s)?
> 08. What natural languages other than your native one(s) have
> studied? What degree of fluency have you attained in
them? German, Russian, French, Spanish, Greek, and others. No fluency, but can read and write with the help of reference materials.
> 09. What constructed languages created by other people have
> studied? What degree of fluency have you attained in
them? Basic working knowledge of the more popular ones like Esperanto, Ido, Interlingua, LFN. Not fluent in any, but can read and write with the help of a dictionary.
> 10. What is your level of education? What is/was/will be your
> or specialization?
Tested out of high school early. Self educated since then.
> 11. What is (was/probably will be) your trade or profession?
I.T. Maybe someday I'll find something I actually like that I can make money at.
> 12. Do you work part time? full time? Are you a student or
retired? Full time.
> 13. a. What is your (approximate) income?
When I'm working, generally above average.
> b. What was your family's approximate income when you were
> child?
Upper-middle class.
> 14. Are you single, married, divorced, widowed, remarried...?
Four-F member.
> 15. a. What is your religion, if any?
Born again atheist.
> b. What was your religious upbringing, if any?
A little bit of church and/or sunday school.
> 16. Are there other facts about yourself that you think might
> relevant?
> == Part B: The nature of your conlang. == > > If you have devised more than one conlang, please focus in
> 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)?
Sasxsek /sas.@.sek/
> 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?
World auxiliary language / International auxiliary language. So, yes all the intended speakers are human.
> 19. Is your conlang a priori (devised from scratch) or a
> (based on a specific natural language or language > family), or a mix > of a priori and a posteriori elements?
Lexically a posteriori (from major world languages), but grammatically more of a mix.
> > 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...?
SVO prepositional (nom. and acc. markers omitted for standard order) mostly isolating, but a set of derivational suffixes for word-building nominative-accusative alignment
> 21. a. How extensive or complete do you consider your conlang > to be (in > grammar and vocabulary)?
Hard to say because changes have been frequent up until recently. Grammatically, it's pretty stable. Phonologically and morphologically its also pretty stable. Still needs a lot of lexical development.
> b. If you are not yet fluent in it, do you consider the
> complete enough for fluency to be attainable, or would it
> considerably more development for that to be possible?
It's somewhat usable, but too many holes in the vocabulary to be complete.
> 22. Does your conlang have features that might be expected to
make it
> especially difficult for speakers of your native language? > > 23. Does your conlang have possibly unnatural features that
might be
> expected to make fluency difficult or impossible for
humans? It's an auxlang so difficulties are intentionally avoided. It is however designed to be as neutral as possible so I do expect even English speakers will have to work at some aspects of the language.
> == 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?
Yes, I learn it as I create it.
> b. If not, did you find yourself becoming fluent as an
> result of developing and using it?
It's hard not to absorb some during the process.
> 25. If you intend to become fluent in your conlang, what are
> goals or purposes for learning it?
It's mainly just a mental exercise, but it would be fun to build a user community too.
> 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?
I like to use in on Yahoo Games to make chatty people think I don't know their language.
> 27. Can you write original text in your conlang, at least on
> subjects, without looking up words or grammatical
structures? There are still cases where I have to consult the dictionary, usually because I tend to lose track of all the shifts and changes made over time.
> 28. Can you compose well-formed sentences in your conlang
about as
> fast as you can handwrite or type?
Almost. At least until I encounter one of those lexical holes that I have yet to fill.
> 29. Can you read text you wrote some time ago in your conlang
> looking up words in the lexicon or pausing to consciously
parse or
> translate it?
Don't know of anyone else actually learning it yet. There has been some interest.
> 30. a. Do you find yourself thinking spontaneously in your
conlang? Yes, it's been known to happen. I've also been known to use it (or some of my others) with the cats)
> b. Are such thoughts often full sentences rather than
> words or short phrases?
Sometimes. But I've had the same happen with natlangs that I've studied.
> 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?
Not 100% fluent by not word-by-word either.
> b. Are such thoughts usually grammatical (as you intend
> conlang to work)?
Yes, usually. Sometimes I work out the order.
> 32. a. Have you ever dreamed in your conlang?
No. But for some reason I sometimes dream in German though I'm really not fluent.
> b. Did the speech or writing in your conlang from the > dream turn out, > when remembered on waking, to be grammatical and/or
> > 33. Can you read aloud at conversational speed from text
written in
> your conlang?
> 34. Can you speak spontaneously in your conlang at
> speed? If native speakers of your conlang existed, could
> understand your pronunciation?
Except for the lexical shortcomings, I am fairly fluent.
> 35. If you have recorded speech in your conlang, have you been
able to
> understand it in real time when played back a considerable
> after you spoke and recorded it?
No audio recordings yet. I'd like to make some audio lessions but would prefer to get someone with a more presentable speaking voice.
> 36. If you are fluent in your conlang only when speaking or
> 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
> the experience.
A couple of members of the Yahoo group have mentioned an interest in learning it though I'm still advising people that it's incomplete and subject to changes.
> 38. a. What methods have you used to study your conlang and > improve your > fluency in it? > b. Which have you found most effective?
Mainly stopping and trying to think in the language throughout daily activities to see how well certain constructions work.
> 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...?
Computers have always been an important tool for conlang development. I can track the lexicon, easily apply orthographic changes or phonological shifts. It also provides a way of toying with scripts.
> 40. Have you made significant changes in your conlang due to
> experience using it? In what way?
Sasxsek has undergone many changes since it was first published in 2003.
> 41. Has your more or less fluent use of the language changed
> phonology, grammar or semantics in ways you did not
> intend? Have you, for instance, changed the description
of the
> language's grammar based on the way you've noticed that
> actually use it, or changed a word's lexicon entry when
> 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
> that you would otherwise make because they would require > re-learning words or structures you already use fluently?
Developing materials has slowed down changes. Changes require that the reference materials be updated so I'm becoming more reluctant to change anything. Relearning is also a factor in wanting to baseline the language.
> > 43. Has your handwriting in your conlang changed as you became
> fluent in it? In what way?
My handwriting is and always has been terrible. Another reason I use a computer. Even for my personal language which uses a custom script.
> 44. Has your fluency in your conlang influenced the way you
speak your
> native language, or other languages you are fluent in?
Studying too many other languages has definitely influenced my English, but I can't say that my conlangs have.
> 45. Is there anything else you would like to add?