Revisions of conlangs (was Re: Art is when someone says 'Now' -- or is it?)
|From:||Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, August 12, 2008, 19:47|
On Mon, 11 Aug 2008 23:07:36 -0400, Herman Miller wrote:
> Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:
> > [earlier versions of Old Albic]
> I've done relay translations in a number of different versions of
> Tirelat and Minza. Lately I've been trying to bring some stability to
> these languages, deciding whether to keep older features or newer ones,
> and revising the existing texts to match. In the case of Tirelat, I've
> taken the original alphabet I developed for it (Vlika) and given it to a
> different language (Virelli), so I have to come up with a new alphabet
> (possibly something like Tharkania or Ljörr).
The biggest revisions in the history of the Albic project have
taken place quite a long time ago. Remember that it started as
"Nur-ellen", a descendant of Sindarin, in April 2000. About a
year later, I severed the connection to Tolkien's languages and
reinvented the language from scratch, carrying over a few features
of Nur-ellen, such as the active/stative morphosyntactic alignment
with degrees of volition. The name "Albic" was introduced early
in 2004, replacing the provisional designation "Q" which in turn
originally was an abbreviation of "Quendian", a name which I had
to drop when the language ceased to be a Tolkien derivative for
obvious reasons. Since then, several details in Old Albic have
been changed, such as most of the case endings, but the essence
of the language has been stable for about seven years now.
> > [stability of conlangs]
> Before Tirelat, I would decide on a word or a feature of grammar, and it
> would pretty much remain that way. One big difference is that I did
> everything with pencil and paper in the old days. I got carried away
> with revisions on different versions of Tirelat and ended up with a
> mess. You'd think I would've learned not to do that with Minza, but it's
> been through its share of revisions.
Yes, it is similar with Old Albic. While all the texts in existence
can easily be recognized to be in different versions of "the same
language", many details have changed, and no definite canon has been
established so far. I intend to canonize Old Albic by means of the
future web site - the Old Albic canon will be what appears on that
web site and nothing else, everything posted elsewhere will be work
Likewise, even the oldest versions of Old Albic (from after the
Great Redesign of 2001) are still recognizable as Albic; the overall
character of the language has not changed much during the last few
> > [conlangs and series]
> It can take a while to come up with a consistent "character" for a new
> language. The current version of Tirelat is much like the version in my
> translation of "Tegla Jlána" from 2001.
> Even the old page http://www.io.com/~hmiller/lang/Tirehlat-old.html
> still recognizable as Tirelat. But if I'd stuck with that version, some
> of the features that have become most characteristic of the language
> (like the verbal morphology with fused evidential+tense suffixes) might
> not have come about.
> By the sixth Conlang relay, I was starting to add genders to nouns.
> Ispa ttehaban mi naji mikvidu myn metta fał.
> ("mi" and "naji" agree with "mikvidu", "metta" agrees with "fał")
> But later I decided that I preferred the older version of the language
> without noun genders, and the current version of the language has gone
> back to genderless nouns.
> Ispa tətexaban my ñaĭ mikvidu myn metti fał.
> "All wells can indeed be cut into tiny pieces."
> As much as I remember Tirelat having lots of revisions, the relay texts
> actually aren't as far from the current version of the language as I'd
> thought they might be. The same is true for the Minza relay texts. Most
> of the crazy revisions must have gone on between relays.
There hasn't been much "to-and-fro" movement in the meta-history of
Old Albic, though there have been several changes which I considered
but turned down again without ever publishing them. Looking back at
the language's history, I can say that it gradually stabilized, with
changes now fewer and less pervasive than in earlier times.
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