Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Peer reviews

From:Almaran Dungeonmaster <dungeonmaster@...>
Date:Sunday, March 24, 2002, 9:40
Hi everybody,

I follow the threads here regularly, but since I am a bust guy, I don't
nearly respond as often as I would like.
Lately, however, I have found some of the (old-time) members becoming
frustrated, and some even leaving, because of the lack of critique on their
languages. Some even say the list is all full of babble these days.

PURPOSE: Soem hints and tips for psoting languages so to increase the chance
for response.
Remark: Nothing you will everput in your e-mail can guarantee that you get a
response. However, there are some ways to make it easier for people to
quickly reply.

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)
d) Some posts on complete grammars are reasonably large and high on

I think that problem a) cannot be solved, except by trying to change
someones' tastes and preferences. Since that is very hard, I will not go
into it. However, the other three problems can be partially solved, in my
opinion. In my experience, people are much more prone to answer direct and
simple questions, than general ones such as "please critique". So if you
want real feedback on your language, I suggest the following:

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".


"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

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

- 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?

- 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?

- Does anyone have any other remarks or ideas about the language?

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.

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.

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.



Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>Quotes & Peer reviews