Results of a preliminary experiment
|From:||Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, December 15, 2004, 16:56|
Here are the first results of a preliminary experiment
in conlang creation using an early childhood reader.
The sentences are from the online etext of McGuffey's
first reader from Project Gutenberg:
The experimental protocal was as follows:
It was decided that a new conlang would be created
from scratch with the following parameters:
1. Vocabluary would be based on root words taken
directly from English and possibly modified or altered
slightly whenever I felt like it.
2. Verbs would be conjugated by standardized endings
belonging one or several classes of verbs. Personal
pronouns would be dropped in almost every case.
3. Nouns would be declined using a PREFIX for the case
marker just to be curmudgeonly. The definite and
indefinite article would become suffixes to the noun
they belonged to.
4. Nothing else was pre-defined about the conlang to
5. The first 30 sentences from McGuffey's reader were
translated by inventing whatever grammar and
vocabulary were needed on the spot.
6. After the first 30 sentences were completed the
grammar, as it had been discovered so far, was
summarized and put at the head of the document for
reference. Note that verbs are conjugated in the
singular only because no plural conjugations were
necesary in the first 30 sentences. Plural
conjugations will be discovered as needed when
translating later sentences.
There is nothing very original or unusual in the
resulting conlang, but for the purposes of this
experiment that doesn't really matter.
The entire process from start to finish took about 90
minutes. Compared to past conlang projects it seems to
me that I accomplished an aweful lot of conlanging in
only 90 minutes! The sentences are very rudamentary
but the grammar, what there is of it, seems pretty
solid and hangs together well for something tossed
together in 90 minutes. The fact that each new
sentence directed my attention to some small but
specific problem that required solution kept the
effort sharply focused and each sentence completed
moved the project along. This experience of continuous
progress made the exercise quite enjoyable.
Here is the conlang that resulted from that 90 minute