Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

A Drawingboard Conlang

From:David Peterson <thatbluecat@...>
Date:Wednesday, April 21, 2004, 18:41
I came up with this idea yesterday, and I wanted to see what people thought
of it (or if anyone, in fact, had
already thought of it).

Most of probably have main languages that we work on extensively, but we all
come up with ideas that don't
really go anywhere--language sketches.   My language sketches have actually
given me ideas for my main
languages, and I find them very useful in that way.   So I came up with an
idea.   Basically, you have a "language"
where the "phonology" is every utterable sound.   Then, rather than designing
a grammar, you come up with
paradigms.   So, for example, for a noun, you have singular, paucal, dual,
trial and plural numbers, and any
number of cases you can think of.   Then what you do is you fill out the
paradigm for any word that comes to
mind in any way you can think of.   So if you wanted to fill out this
paradigm using English "dog" it'd look pretty
dull, but if you filled it out using Estonian "dog", it'd look rather full.
Anyway, the point would be for every
entry to be radically different from every other entry: Phonologically,
morphologically, the whole bit.   This
entails that you might not fill out every cell for every entry (e.g., you
wouldn't fill out the paucal for English,
unless you wanted to include paraphrastic expressions, like "a few dogs").
That's fine.   The point would be that
you'd have a log of every idea you ever came up with for noun paradigms, verb
paradigms, etc., but you
wouldn't have to devote the time to creating a language sketch that you might
not use (and which *seriously*
detract from your main languages, as I've found out).   Then, whenever you're
stuck, or have a case of writer's
block (conlanger's block?), you can open up your drawing board language and
kind of scroll through.   Some-
thing's bound to hit you.   And, what's more, they'll all be your ideas.

So that was my idea.   I haven't put it into effect yet (have a dozen things
I need to do first), but I thought it
might be neat.

"sunly eleSkarez ygralleryf ydZZixelje je ox2mejze."
"No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."

-Jim Morrison