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Book on constructive linguistics

From:Sai Emrys <sai@...>
Date:Monday, September 25, 2006, 5:55
Inspired by and my
previous musing on the subject...

Who here would be willing to contribute to a book on this subject?

The basic idea:

Teach language - all aspects of it - from a constructive POV, rather
than descriptive or prescriptive. Every chapter should read like a
pallette, a huge number of seed ideas that try to give the reader an
idea of what language is or may be capable of, and give them the tools
with which to create their own.

We would avoid most of the purely descriptivist things that are
present in usual ling 101 texts - i.e., minimal description of merely
how things are done in previous languages, etc. - but still cover all
the usual topics. Instead of the humdrum examples and exercises
present in normal texts, there should be three examples of radically
different conlangs being created through the course of the book, and
the exercises would prompt and guide the reader to create their own in

Basically: a Conlanger's Bible, written by conlangers for conlangers
(whether they call themselves that yet or not), to introduce them to
the subject, inspire creativity, teach basic linguistics, and (above
all) to hook them. Something usable for a Ling 101 Via Conlanging
class, a creative writing class, or related classes - but also
self-contained enough for someone to pick up and learn from by

I'm willing to serve as coordinator / editor for this, and possibly
contribute myself as well.

If this sounds interesting, please respond and let me know what you
could write about, people who could be persuaded to contribute,
relevant resources, etc. Ideas for how to structure it (e.g. an
outline, of the book as a whole or of particular chapters) would also
be helpful.


 - Sai


Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>
Sai Emrys <sai@...>