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Re: CHAT: (no subject)

From:James W. <emindahken@...>
Date:Thursday, July 15, 2004, 2:10
On Jul 14, 2004, at 17:09, Jakob Kotas wrote:

> Hey all, I've been a member of this list for about a month now, and > I'm just > starting my own language. I am very much an amateur, as I only have > about a > week > of experience. Could anyone suggest any helpful/well-known books that > deal with > basic grammar, phonology, etc. of natural languages?... hopefully > something > common enough to find at my local library. Thanks in advance. > > By the way, if anyone is interested in seeing and critiqueing some of > my > prelimary work, let me know. > > -Jakob > >
Welcome to the list. You are encouraged to post conlang ideas, however preliminary! (Just don't feel too ignored if no one replies--you have probably noticed that discussions here can range over most topics.) As for books: My public library has the following (after doing a subject search for 'linguistics') The Cambridge encyclopedia of language, by David Crystal The language instinct, by Steven Pinker (subtitle is 'How the mind creates language') The origin of language: tracing the evolution of the mother tongue, by Merritt Ruhlen The story of language, by Mario Pei I have not read any of these. My main resource has been Describing Morphosyntax, by Thomas E. Payne (I bought it from Amazon for not too much) You could also search for specific natlangs you are interested in. Also, the web is a great resource for finding grammatical explanations of natlangs. My current interest is in Native American languages, and there are a few (not as many as I'd like) sites that give more than just a set of phrases, or basic courses. For lists of Native American language sites try: or Listen to web broadcasts in foreign languages; even (especially) ones you don't understand. One cool site I found is: They have 10 minute news readings in several different languages throughout the day (and works as a dial-up stream :) ) such as: Japanese, of course, Portuguese, Persian, Russian, Swahili, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Arabic, Italian, French, Swedish, German, Bengali, Urdu, Hindi, Indonesian, Burmese, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay. Anyway, don't be afraid of sounding ignorant. We all were at some point (some of us still are :)) -- speaking of myself and not my fellow list memebers). Ask questions, and you will likely receive several answers. Enjoy! James W.