A Thing What Might Prove Useful

So in addition to the Java book, I have now downloaded RunRev’s LiveCode, Which should help me understand programmey things.

The link is here: http://www.runrev.com/

Currently I don’t really know what to do with it but there are exercises and stuff in the Java book and I will attempt to do them in both LiveCode and Java, if that seems doable.

Tomorrow might get swallowed up by university work or I might post some assorted thoughts about English as a Lingua Franca, or the results of the first exercise. Either way, exciting things abound? Hopefully.


Why Hello

So this is the mission statement post. Here I will lay out the plans.

The purpose of this project is to have created a language rich enough to  write in, to translate, say, Kallocain in. The end goal is a manuscript of roughly 70,000 words which shall be at least two, hopefully all three, of these things: coherent, entertaining, pretty. The method I will use is explained in the quote below, as told on my other blawg: http://zombiesintelligently.com/2013/03/18/methods-and-morphology-of-conlanging/

This is the fun method. Credit for this idea goes to my good friend @kerastion (Rob Mitchelmore) who is full of various and great ideas, as you can tell from his contributions to the Glossary.

What you do is that you define a morphology. I probably need to learn some coding to do this but that’s fine. We can get the morphology in a few steps, and for simplicity’s sake we’ll do this with Latin letters. First we generate some syllables and double-syllables that we think are nice. Say, 150 of them or so, for a modest number. These are our base words or something. It is important to not give them any meaning. Then we define a few rules for gluing the words together, for putting words after each nother, and for morphing the words – adding and removing sounds, changing sounds and so. We do a test run of generating these words, say a hundred words, and read it aloud to make sure it sounds like something that could be an actual language.

When that is done, we generate about a book’s length of these and start interpreting what they mean, wildly. Have you made a tourist guidebook to a foreign planet? Have you written a compelling romance novel? A monster manual? We don’t know until we start picking it apart. And, in picking it apart, we create a language that is probably not complete but there can be communication in it.

I’ve no idea how long such a project would take, but I am thinking of starting one and seeing where it leads me.

So, in order to accomplish this I will need to start somewhere very close to scratch. There are questions like “will I use Latin characters?” and “what rules will govern the morphology” but we can’t talk about those things yet.

In order to create a language I must first learn a language (is there some poetry in that? Probably). Because I need to learn coding to generate huge portions of made-up words that can later be picked at. Currently the most codey thing I know is how to add tags to WordPress and maybe, uh, write something in LaTeX. Thankfully, Rob gave me this book in addition to some great ideas:


With it, I shall learn Java and then decide whether Java is good enough to generate stuff with, or if I need to learn another coding language after this. This will be known as Objective One: learn enough Java to decide whether another code language is needed or not.

In past times when I’ve tried to learn coding I have become easily frustrated. “Teaching you how to code” stuff is usually geared toward, written, proofread, recommended, etc, by people who have been coding since they grew teeth. So there are huge gaps in knowledge. I spent an entire evening once trying to embed an image of Jesus riding a dinosaur into a LaTeX paper and all the advice just said “just embed it, yo”. Turns out that you have to put stuff in the same folder? That is not obvious.

Anyway. So here we are. This book is geared toward my people and I will read it and it will teach me stuff! I will post my progress on this here blog, woo!