Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Presenting a language?

From:Jim Grossmann <steven@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 13, 2000, 7:34

You can't present the whole language, but you can review a few salient
features in ten minutes.

1.    First of all, avoid technical language.   An adequate explanation of
what a phoneme is could take you ten minutes.    Also remember to explain
only a few basics;  merely allude to the rest.    Also remember that your
audience may be most eager to hear about what makes your language peculiar
or strange.

2.    Remember to use handouts.   Pass them out all at once in a stapled
format, so that you don't interrupt your talk with successive passings of
the handouts.  You can refer your audience to the appropriate points on the
appropriate pages during your talk.

When I say "handouts," I'm not talking about a state-of-the-union speech.
The handouts I'm proposing are very simple and easy to understand, as you
will see below.

3.    Speak first about your sounds and sound pattern.   Briefly mention
that languages differ, not only in the sound inventories they have, but also
in the manner in they combine these sounds.   Then distribute a handout that
has two things on it:   a list of the sounds in your conlang, and a sample
of fifty possible words in your language.   Mention that your sound pattern,
the rules for combining your sounds, generate words that look/sound like the
ones in your sample.

4.    If you use a non-roman script, have a handout that includes a sample
of your writing.   It'll take you less than ten seconds to say "Here's what
the writing looks like."

5.   List your word classes:    Describe any peculiarities that your word
classes have.   e.g.  If they have no endings, mention that.   If your nouns
have different endings according to whether their referents are hairy or
non-hairy, mention that.

6.    Describe your uniclausal sentence structures at the phrase level.
(NP, AP, AdvP, V, VP, etc.)    My Nu has only four basic clause patterns;
my guess is that a lot of conlangs have fewer than ten.   These can be
diagrammed on a handout or easel, and explained in five minutes or less.

7.    Allude to other things your grammar has:   ways of shortening
sentences, making compound and embedded sentences, details about things like
verbs tense, mood, prepositions, relationship changing rules, and more.
Hold up a copy of your grammar, and show people how thick it is.

8.    Practice giving your talk with an timer before attempting it in class.

Just my opinion,


----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert Hailman" <robert@...>
To: <CONLANG@...>
Sent: Saturday, June 10, 2000 6:08 PM
Subject: Presenting a language?

> Alright, some of you may know that I'm doing Ajuk as a project at > school, and part of the process is that we have to present our projects > to the class in a presentation of ten minutes or less. > > Does anyone have any ideas of how to present a language? We must assume > that the people have no knowledge of linguistics or any foreign language > besides a minimal amount of French, at best. > > Thanks in a advance! > > -- > Robert >