Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

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 Sturnan, much of it horribly outdated.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 annoying.) 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]?).