Re: How big
|From:||Roger Mills <romilly@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, June 12, 2002, 17:39|
Christopher Wright wrote:
>> How big is too big to change? Sturnan has 1100 words (thank
>> you, Aidan, because without you, it would be 150 words
>> lighter) and perhaps five pages of grammar when I condense
>> it. There are between twenty and thirty pages of text in
>> Sturnan, much of it horribly outdated. (I've probably done
>> forty pages, though not all survives.)
>> The three questions, therefore, are:
>> What is the ratio between size and morphability?
>> How large were your languages when you instituted the last
>> major change?
Given your statistics (1100 words, about 5 pp. grammar) it should still be
possible to make extensive changes. If you change the phonology, presumably
not every word will need revision-- changing the grammar will probably
require a lot of other changes, but in its "rudimentary" 5p. state that
shouldn't be a problem and could even lead to some interesting refinements.
I think a large grammar would be a lot harder to revise-- opening the
proverbial can of worms. I can't envision changing Kash grammar in any
significant way. Nor, at this point (2000 plus words, but one can easily
add/delete here and there) any wholesale changes in phonology, even though
as the language has developed I find things that weren't particularly well
thought out-- in particular (1) the inanimate plural /-S/ is overly frequent
since inanim. nouns are the majority, (2) overly frequent sequences of
/ya-yV.../, even /ya-yu-yV.../ in the verbal system, and (3) too many /ñ/.
(I don't dislike /S/ and /ñ/ at all, though the y-y-(y)- is rather
The only significant change, a while back, was purely orthographic--
changing s-acute /S/ to _ç_; a simple find-and-replace. One wordlist used
_sh_, also changed, which ended up with lots of Engliç words that needed
correcting, a minor annoyance.
But there is a way out: create another dialect/related language. In this
case, the plural /S/ could be eliminated in favor of a different development
of *-tsi; the 3s /ya-/ could be changed or dropped; some or all /ñ/'s could
revert to *N or develop differently. Original *y [j] could develop in some
other direction, perhaps > z or Z. It might even turn out that I'd like
that language even more than I like Kash (itself an irreg. deriv. < *kayi
'living, alive'...kazh? khàz [xæz]?).