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CONLANG Digest - 14 Mar 2000 to 15 Mar 2000 (#2000-74)

From:Muke Tever <alrivera@...>
Date:Friday, March 17, 2000, 0:52
>Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2000 08:50:35 -0800 >From: Keolah Kedaire <keolah@...> >Subject: Re: CHAT: Zed (was: CHAT: "have a nice day") >
>For the most part, I'm content knowing >the difference between a noun and a verb, and occasionally being able to >follow what their talking about. I tend to describe what something does >then let someone else come up with a long word for it. But IMO that's how >it should be, that is, described after it is already in place, rather than >letting preconcieved notions of what long words colour it.. (Did that even >make any sense?)
Yep, that makes sense--I have seen that process in Jadúno; I had all these translations with "myself"-ish constructs when there was no 'object' in the sentence. Turns out my lang went ergative-absolutive on me. The same thing with all the vowel changes; I was writing in response to Eric's post on the vowel changes in Jadúno, [later in this message] and thought "this can't be relevant; he wanted to know about ablaut, but this is vowel change based on stress rules in the old form of the language"--but then I looked up 'ablaut' and that's exactly what it said it *was*.
>Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2000 19:02:24 -0800 >From: Sally Caves <scaves@...> >Subject: Re: Correction, I hope, of M/C URL > >John Cowan wrote: >> >> Jeffrey Henning wrote: >> >> > [W]hat are the space limits of an electronic journal? >> >> The reader's boredom-tolerance level. > >Why would that be any different for a print-journal, John?
IMHO one is more likely to come back and tackle a difficult print publication than a difficult website. (It comes into my head that this is because people generally take _one_ book at a time, but websurfing is more capricious[?]--if one finds something difficult, one searches for a better; if one is not found, the subject is abandoned.)
>From: Ty Power <ty@...> >There is the navigation of a large text, for example, >because people *do* stop scrolling after a while (it's documented >that the average Web user scrolls 1.5 screen lengths and then >stops).
Why do I get an idea that this is an average between the people who skim the first screen and stop, and the people who read the whole way through? ;)
>The alternative to scrolling is to offer the "next page" >hyperlink, as in the Media/Culture journal article. The problem with >this is that (like scrolling) it requires the users to draw their >attention away from the text and go through the physical motions >of "point and click"...
Gah. I don't understand why people point-and-click to *scroll*. I've seen people do it, and I feel like beating them. [Well, sometimes.] The arrow keys and the space bar work just fine; they don't distract your eyes, you don't have to move your hands across the desk, etc... ;p
>From: Eric Christopherson <raccoon@...> >Subject: THEORY: Evolution of infixes/ablaut? > >Hi. I'm wondering if anyone has any information or even ideas about how >languages develop alternation inside of morphemes? That is to say, where >morphemes can be inflected or otherwise modified by changing, adding, or >deleting elements _inside_ the morphemes themselves, such as with infixes >and ablaut (vowel alternation).
>The point of this is that I'd like to use infixes and/or vowel alternation >in a conlang, but I'd like to be able to demonstrate that they evolved >(intra-conlang) somehow from an earlier form without internal alternation.
I think I've told you a little about how this developed in Jadúno a while ago?, that was someone else, nevermind. Anyway, ablaut in Jadúno developed from its parent's stress rules, which weakened the vowels in syllables adjacent to the stressed. Now, many if not most Jadúno words have two forms; a normal form (where stress was unchanged from root-final-syllable) and an ablaut form (where stress changed to root-initial-syllable). From the old (Kaðuhan) word "fehur", fire, our two forms are normal "fur-" for ERG-ABS-S.ESS-S.LAT-VOC cases; where the old stress rule removed the 'e' and ablaut "feor-" for INST-GEN-L.ESS-L.LAT-DAT cases; where the old stress rule weakened the 'u' to 'o'. (See, I sat down last night and sought out what form went with which case, for regular words! I've been declining nouns with confidence all day. ;) Ain't I easily amused?)
>From: Brad Coon <bcoon@...> >Subject: E-Journals, was Re: Correction, I hope, of M/C URL > >> In addition, what I find most disturbing with long texts online and >> which has been documented as one of the biggest problems with >> the Web, is the sense of unlimited information. This can really > >I totally agree but I think for different reasons. As a reference >librarian, the web is almost (the key word is ALMOST) always the >very last place I will look for information. In my library instruction >classes I make a point of leading people down the path of comparing >how many books are online, how many issues of how many journals, how >many pages are personal vanity pages, .com pages and so on. Then I >tell them that far from 'everything being available on the web' >almost nothing is available compared to even a modest library.
I suppose that depends on how modest is modest ;) Our university library may be thick in religious/denominational literature, but I'm very sure it's not what other people think of when talk about the quality of a "university library". On the other hand, if I can wangle stuff like Dumas' "Count of Monte Cristo", Montaigne's "Essays", and Lewis Carroll's "Sylvie and Bruno Concluded" off the Internet, then I've already got both my local library and my university library beat. is a great help.
>I think part of the problem is a continued evolution of reality >perception. For many of my generation, things were more real >if they were on television. For many younger people, they are more >real on a computer screen.
>From: Ty Power <ty@...> >Subject: Re: E-Journals, was Re: Correction, I hope, of M/C URL > >I agree completely that this "sense of unlimited information" is >bogus, though.
There's less a "sense" of it than an expectation of it. People *expect* to be able to do anything with the web. (I know, I work in a computer lab.) For newcomers it's a giant insurmountable inscrutable brictus--where to begin? And a great many people go through life without ever being disappointed by it. [But, that may be because usually people tend to blame themselves if they can't find something, rather than concluding it's not there. I'm pretty sure that's right... either that, or it's totally wrong. I forget.] *Muke! -- ICQ: 1936556 AIM: MukeTurtle "No one's ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much imagined anything quite like it-- What God has arranged for those who love him."