Boredom can make you do strange things.
|From:||Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, April 5, 2009, 5:48|
So I felt like doing some conlanging this afternoon, but I didn't feel like
working on any of my existing projects. On the other hand, starting a new project
from scratch just felt like too much work. So I hit on a wacky idea for taking the
grammar of one language and using it with the vocabulary from a different
language. For example, Italian vocabulary with Sanskrit grammar, or Greek
vocabulary with Swahili grammar.
I thought I might take an introductory textbook for one language, and a dictionary
for the other language, and then just start translating (relexing) the textbook
from the other dictionary, and voila! Not only could I create a conlang in double
quick time, but I'd end up with a nicely organized textbook that anyone else could
use to learn the language.
So I checked the Project Gutenberg bookshelf and grabbed a downloadable,
out-of-copyright textbook for Esperanto, grabbed a Pali dictionary off my shelf,
and started translating the textbook, chapter by chapter by relexing the Esparanto
vocab lists and practice sentences via the Pali dictionary, with suitable
modifications to the Pali words to accomodate Esperanto's word endings.
After a couple of pleasant hours playing around I had three chapters of a textbook
for a new language, along with a dictionary of just over a hundred words. At that
point I went back and changed the word endings to make them different from
Esperanto endings, streamlined the spelling rules, and adjusted some of the roots
that didn't roll off the tongue as nicely as they could have.
I also discovered a few little tidbits like this new language (unnamed as yet) has
two different words for "uncle" depending on whether it refers to a maternal or
paternal uncle, and that the word for "new" in Pali (nava) is almost identical to
the Esperanto word for "new" (nova). Small world, ain't it. ;-)
I figure that this just marginally counts as a conlang, so I thought I might whip
through the textbook to give myself a fairly complete language that could then
become the ancient progenitor of a family of descendent languages by applying
various mutations and evolutionary changes to the original.
Anyway, it just sounds like fun. :)