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Proto-Language Reconstruction Ring

From:jesse stephen bangs <jaspax@...>
Date:Saturday, June 2, 2001, 20:27
Ok, so far we have five takers for the proto-lang reconstruction group:
Me, Elliot Lash, Roger Mills, David Peterson, and Andreas Johansson.

I don't think that the lang needs to be proto-langed yet--part of the
fun can be seeing the proto-lang that another conlanger would come up
with given your data.  However, to allow an accurate reconstruction I
think each person should be able to supply at least three different
daughter languages from which the parent may be reconstructed.  The
more languages, the better obviously.  We might be able to get by with two
for Andreas.  In the case of Kash I'm not sure--if you have three
different related languages to work with it's fine even if you don't have
the proto-language yet, but going backwards from one would be impossible.

But if Roger doesn't mind, we could form a chain and put him at the end
of it so that each person gets the data from the person in front of them,
and passes their own data to the person behind them:
Elliot > Me > David > Andreas > Roger
The disadvantage is that someone (Elliot as I've drawn it here) gives
their language but doesn't do any reconstructing themself.  The other
option is that we just form individual pairs and trade langs separately.
Any additional ideas.

I've already been talking about this with Elliot, and here's the general rules
that we've agreed upon:

"We each make up a list of cognate words in each of the three
languages, with about 100 entries, if that's not too many.  We should try
to cover the majority of various possibilities that would come up, so that
the reconstructions are accurate.  Then maybe give some basic noun and
verb conjugations--Yivríndil and the related languages are agglutinative,
though, so the full conjugations would be pretty large.  Silindion is the
same way, is it not?  In that case we probably wouldn't give the full
inflections, but just the most important forms.

Then each person can give back to the other the list of 100 words with the
reconstructed proto-forms, and a morphological sketch of the parent

Jesse S. Bangs

"If you look at a thing nine hundred and ninety-nine times, you are
perfectly safe; if you look at it the thousandth time, you are in
frightful danger of seeing it for the first time."
--G.K. Chesterton