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Jul 8

New Additions to the Library (Finally)

Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 in Books, Library Additions, Online Resources

I have finally made some long overdue additions, corrections, and overall housekeeping to The Conlanger’s Library. You can see the primary ones on the “Most Recent Updates” block on the homepage. I have a number of other things I’d like to do to the Library’s overall look, etc., but we gotta start somewhere.

You’ll also notice that the countdown to St. Hildegard’s Day is at 70 days. I had made a St. Hildegard’s resolution last year, so we’ll see if I can fulfill that. I do have a new Kryslan blog that I can use for information on Dritok. We’ll see if the Fates are kind.

Happy conlanging!

May 13

Barsoomian, Revisited

Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2012 in Conlanging, Online Resources

I realize it’s been awhile since I posted the first foray into Barsoomian on the blog here and have been remiss in not following up. By now, everyone knows that the John Carter movie was not the blockbuster success which was hoped for. (Sigh) The visuals were well done, but the story seemed overly (and unnecessarily) complicated. However, we still have the books which started it all. That’s the important part.

The reason for this post (in addition to simply getting back on a regular posting schedule) is to acknowledge and begin to thank Fredrik Ekman’s wonderful in-depth replies to my previous posts. Fredrik has great insights into the language of the Red Planet, has written extensively elsewhere on them, and interviewed Paul Frommer about his version of Barsoomian. The fact that he took the time to respond to my musings is very humbling.

His comments were posted on Conlang-L which is why you don’t see them here for now. I posted a message on that listserv that I had written up some ideas and provided the links to my Barsoomian “theories”. Fredrik then responded, and I have not had the opportunity to respond yet. Yes, I know it’s been months. Yes, I’m a little embarrassed by that time lag. So, now I begin to attempt to make amends.

What I plan to do is post links to the comments here as a start. I may not be delving deeper into Barsoomian right away, but for those who are interested, Fredrik’s comments provide an excellent alternative viewpoint:

I believe that’s all of them. Of course, these aren’t the only postings at Conlang-L that have to do with Barsoomian and ERB. Feel free to check out their Archives, too. Hope you enjoy the links to the discussion above. I know I did!

Dec 17

Fun with the Ngram Viewer

Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010 in Online Resources

I just found the new Ngram Viewer from Google Labs. This new tool allows for searches of specific words in Google Books and displays them as a graph. Playing around with some conlang-related terms, I found:

  • Poor conlang doesn’t even register.
  • Esperanto shows a peak around the 1930s.
  • Klingon peaks in 2001.
  • Volapuk (yes, sans umlaut) had it’s highest occurrence between 1880 and 2008 in 1898, with a steady decline since then.

One has to remember that two words typed in the search box without quotes can occur across sentence boundaries as well as in contexts other than the one intended. I tried the phrase constructed language and while it does have a number of occurrences pertaining to our favorite craft, it also has occurrences like “Certainly every science should seek for a well constructed language ; but it were to take the effect for the cause, to suppose that there are well established sciences, because there are well formed languages” (Elements of Psychology, 1834).

In any case, it’s an interesting tool and just plain fun to play around with.