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Re: Peer reviews

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Monday, March 25, 2002, 8:05
En réponse à Almaran Dungeonmaster <dungeonmaster@...>:

> > So let's analyze the problem, and see if we can come up with a solution. > The > first question is: Why do people not answer e-mail fro critiquing a > language. Some possible answers (this list is not exclusive, of > course): > > a) Some people don't like to critique languages > b) Some people have no time to go through an entire language > c) Some people believe themselves not to be proficient enough to > critique > languages (I am on, for instance)
Me too! I always read absolutely every post that ever passes by on this list (I know I'm a rare thing :)) ). But I answer only when I think that I really have something interesting to say, or add to the discussion (or when I *have* to answer in a compulsive manner :)) ). If not, I prefer to stay quiet. The traffic on the list is already very high, and it's one of the main reasons people go to nomail. I don't want to add too much to this traffic with semantically empty messages :)) . Each time I read a grammar post, I'm tempted to answer, if at least to say "Hey, I've read your post. Great, but I don't have anything to say right now about it". It would probably cheer up the posters, showing them that at least someone is reading their posts, but it would probably annoy most people and I'm afraid that by doing that I would hit fast the list's limit. So I refrain from it, and may give the impression that I ignore some posts. Also, when I open my mailbox, usually something like 40 messages are waiting for me. I read them all first before answering any, because usually somebody else already gave the answer I would have given, and usually in a better way. That's also another reason why I don't answer to some posts. So I enjoy this post to make it clear to people: I read all your messages!! I never delete a message before having first read it through, and for long messages, grammar posts, and other messages I can potentially answer to, I often read them twice (this very message is an example :)) ). So don't be afraid to post. Nothing from this list stays unnoticed. I at least will notice it :)) . But don't except me to always answer. I'm just an amateur whose linguistic knowledge mostly comes from the list itself! :)) And I also have a real life which takes some time during the day :)) . So when I have nothing to say, I prefer to shut up. But my eyes stay open.
> > 1) Start your post with a short introductory paragraph at the most (nor > more > than 3 or 4 lines), in which you explain the most important facts about > your > language. My example is strongly conculture related, but if ou are more > into > conlanging pur sang, you would write whatever you feel defines your > language > most. I call this "the apetizer". >
OK, let's start with your language then :)) .
> Example: > > "Moeric is a language spoken by humans in my conlang world of Almaran. > It > developed among the settlers of the new continent of Oriënia during > and > after the War for Magic. It is mostly agglutinating, and has a phonology > of > 8 vowels and 14 consonants, with no distinction between voiced and > unvoiced > consonants." >
8 vowels? /a/, /e/, /E/, /i/, /o/, /O/, /u/, /@/? Or another inventory?
> 2) Follow this short introduction by a list of well posted questions. It > is > much easier to critique a language this way, as this automatically gives > the > reviewer a clue as to what parts of the language you are most interested > in > having reviewd (phonology, grammar, words etc.). For instance, for my > own > language: >
Very good idea!
> - Moeric does not distinguish between voiced and unvoiced consonants > (see > section X on phonology). In some positions, such as word-final, and > syllable-final when the next syllable starts with a vowel, consonants > are > pronounced unvoiced, and in other positions they become voiced. However, > in > some cases, I end up with words that sound strange such as <insert list > of > words>. Does anyone have an idea for addtional phonological rules that > make > the words sound mlore fluent? >
Well, give the list, and I'll see what I can do :)) . Are word-initial consonants voiced or voiceless?
> - Moeric currently has no stress rules yet. I have been playing around > with > some options, but haven't found the golden egg yet. Anyone have any > suggestions on a stress pattern I could use? >
Why not a Latin-like stress pattern? It's easy to use, but not bland like a fixed stress. Or do an inverted Latin-like stress pattern, counting from the first syllable instead of the last. That could add some nice exotic touch, and the pattern would still sound nice.
> - Does anyone have any other remarks or ideas about the language? >
Not yet, I don't know enough about it :)) .
> 3) Last but not least, you should include the language (phonology, > grammar) > in a clear and consistent way. I often skip reading about a language, > because it is just too time-consuming to figure out the lay-out of the > text. > A link to a clearly laid out webpage is also a good idea. >
Yep. But if it's not possible, at least include in the post something about the relevant parts of the grammar you need a critique of.
> 4) If you include a long text in your mail, do not post any important > info > after that, like questions you want to ask etc. Most people will not > read > the entire page through to the end to find your questions or remarks. >
I do! But I'm probably the only one... :((
> Conclusion: > Start your post with an apetizer and the core of your request, and add > additional information either in a link or at the bottom of the post > after > some seperator. And make sure that your phonology/grammar outline is > clear > enough so it can be read easily. >
Good advice Maarten! I'll try to follow it. I think it's a good way to trigger a little more replies than the usual "all comments welcome" :)) . Christophe. Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.


Almaran Dungeonmaster <dungeonmaster@...>Moeric phonology (was: Peer reviews)