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Re: Average life of a conlang

From:deinx nxtxr <deinx.nxtxr@...>
Date:Monday, September 1, 2008, 2:25
> [] On Behalf Of Jim Henry > It would be interesting to collect the same information from
> of the CONLANG list and get a broader base of data on the
> Jörg and I have already posted about our conlangs on the ZBB
> but I'll copy my posts here as ZBB threads disappear into the
> bucket after a few months (or even weeks?) and CONLANG threads > get archived indefinitely:
My oldest project is Sasxsek (2003) unless you count Deini which I only recently started, but it's foundation started with ideas I had 25+ years ago for a language that I never really documented or finished, except some minimal vocabulary which has almost no resemblence to Deini in its current state. I have a lot of other projects for which I'm finally starting to publish something thanks to the the new website and the Mediawiki software which makes it much easier for me to produce content rather than wasting a lot of time on formatting an presentation.
> ... > Three of my other conlangs I've worked on for 1-3 years;
another dozen
> or so been sketchy projects that I've worked on for less than
a year,
> in some cases less than a week. One of those I worked on for
a couple
> of years I seriously intend to get back to working on
> another is still in progress, and the oldest has been
abandoned pretty
> much since I started seriously working on gzb in early 1998.
I too have a lot of these languages that I don't take much past the conceptual stage. Mainly because I just want to experiment with an idea. Once I'm done experimenting, I'm done developing too.
> ... > gjâ-zym-byn reached a usable level of stability in about 2000
or 2001,
> after two or three years of development. There have been many
> since then, but relatively little that's not backward
compatible with
> the existing corpus. (Except for archaicizing old words; there
> over 50 words in the dictionary marked as archaic, and some
older ones
> that have no dictionary entry.)
I wish I could have said that about Sasxsek. After 5 years, I think I now have the phonology and morphology stabilized. I'd say most of the currently vocabulary is stable, but I wouldn't want to lock in any particular lexicals just yet. As to backward compatibility, well, there really isn't any except for the most recent decision to drop <y> /j/ and <w> /w/ and merge them into /i/ and /u/. Before that were many phonological additions and loosening of the tight phonotactics, resulting in many lexical changes. If I could only sit and spend the time to fill in the lexical gaps, I could have a working language ready to be used very soon.
> ...
> And yet I don't regret the time I spent working on short-lived
> conlangs, either; most of them have a respectable corpus
relative to
> their short lifespan, they explored interesting linguistic
ideas, and
> I think the availability of those shorter-lived projects has
> my tinkering tendencies away from gzb and made it stable
enough to
> learn.
That's my prespective too. Some of my concepts are just that, *concepts*. Nihongurishi was thought up in a few minutes, and ready to go right away. Li?glis will be mainly just applying a set of phonological and grammatical shifts to English and it too will be a usable language, but I still have to sit and play with the ideas to see which work well and which don't. Auxlangs (most of my projects) though take a lot of time and research so many may never be fully developed.