My conlangs: Tikolmian, Fooblian and Sylvanian

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Re: My conlangs: Tikolmian, Fooblian and Sylvanian

Postby linguoboy » Thu 13 May 2010 5:41 am

Tikolm wrote:Oh, I know I used the cake metaphor a lot, but could we please stop comparing my conlang stuff to cakes? It isn't anything like a cookbook. A phonology isn't an ingredient list. A piece of translated text may be a snapshot, but a cookbook isn't quite comparable to conlanging.

Find a more fitting metaphor and I'll run with it. The point is a phoneme inventory (it's hardly a "phonology" if there's no information allophonic variation, phonotactics, and the like) tells you little or nothing what the final language will be like. German has almost the same phoneme inventory as Hungarian, but--trust me--you would never mistake one of these languages for the other.

Tikolm wrote:Well, you're on the Omniglot forum, so you must have something interesting to say other than criticism. What are you doing on the conlang threads if you aren't posting your own conlang?

Why does Roger Ebert write movie reviews if he's not interesting in directing his own films? Why does Christgau review records if he's not interesting in releasing one? Why do people who don't even play football spend endless hours on the radio discussing it?

People post conlangs here for comment because it's difficult to get others to pay any attention to them in real life.

That isn't true at all. People pay plenty of attention to me in real life. I am posting my conlangs here because I want to talk about them and because I think they will get interest.

I'm sorry, I just realised that sentence is ambiguous. "Them" refers back to "conlangs", not "people".

So, your real life friends listen to you talk about conlangs and give you useful feedback on them? In that case, never let them out of your sight! They are rarer than Yangtse river dolphins!

I'm not sure how new you are to conlanging

I have been conlanging for months, maybe years.

Um, yeah; my first attempt at a conlang was nearly thirty years ago. You are new to the game, soldier.

Everywhere I have mentioned it there has been interest. I am relatively new to Omniglot, but already I have gotten plenty of interest (not much from you, sad to say).

Um, hello? How many times have I posted in this thread? How many times has anyone else posted in this thread?

What prickly attitude toward criticism? I am just fine with it as long as it's constructive. Some of your criticism is constructive, but most of it appears not to be.

In my experience, when people say that criticism wasn't "constructive", what they really mean is that it wasn't unadulterated praise. Encouragement is fine and all, but by itself it won't make you a better conlanger.

No allomorphic variation?
I don't know what you mean by this

Then look it up. In every known natlang, inflectional morphemes vary in phonetic shape depending on the stems they are attached to. You don't have to have this in your conlang, but if you don't, it will sound very artificial, like Esperanto. Perhaps that's what you're going for? You tell me.

You mean the auxiliary verb "caqos"? The meaning of that is "will".

Historically, "will" meant "want", e.g. "Who wil the curnell of the nut must breake the shell" (16th cent.).

At least that's my literal translation of it. You may have a different system. I am not familiar with all the various cases there can be and I don't remember what the oblative is.

OBL = oblique


Well, you seemed to be more interested in criticizing my posts instead of being helpful.
...
Criticizing my posts and arguing with me isn't helpful.

You keep using the words "criticism" and "criticise" in curiously pejorative ways. On the contrary, there's nothing anyone can do for you more that's more helpful than criticising your work.


And, when I said "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", I was trying to tell you that you should be posting your own conlang stuff instead of picking on others' conlang stuff. If you want me to do my conlangs perfectly, then why don't you try?

What an odd thing to say? How will creating a conlang of my own make yours any better? Actually, am I proceeding on a false premise here? I mean, I'm only assuming you want to make them better. But maybe you don't? It would be odd--and odder still to post them in a public forum if that's how you feel--but I don't begin to claim to understand everything people do.

See, this is what I mean about having a "prickly attitude". There's nothing wrong with considering my advice and rejecting it because you have different ideas about what your conlang should be. But this notion that I don't even have the right to say a thing about it until I post a conlang of my own? That's not what I would call a healthy attitude toward forum participation. Maybe you should work on your own for a while longer until you're really ready to show your stuff to someone else.
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Re: My conlangs: Tikolmian, Fooblian and Sylvanian

Postby Tikolm » Thu 13 May 2010 4:57 pm

linguoboy wrote:Find a more fitting metaphor and I'll run with it. The point is a phoneme inventory (it's hardly a "phonology" if there's no information allophonic variation, phonotactics, and the like) tells you little or nothing what the final language will be like. German has almost the same phoneme inventory as Hungarian, but--trust me--you would never mistake one of these languages for the other.

There was supposed to be some allophonic variation. I don't know what phonotactics is. I suppose you're right, but what you said only goes to show that a phonology is not an ingredient list.

Why does Roger Ebert write movie reviews if he's not interesting in directing his own films? Why does Christgau review records if he's not interesting in releasing one? Why do people who don't even play football spend endless hours on the radio discussing it?

I'm just saying that if you really know how a conlang should be, you should be doing one yourself. If you think something should be one way, then you should do it that way. Follow the Golden Rule.

So, your real life friends listen to you talk about conlangs and give you useful feedback on them? In that case, never let them out of your sight! They are rarer than Yangtse river dolphins!

I don't see how they are "rare" - I think lots of real life people think the idea of a made-up language is interesting.

Um, yeah; my first attempt at a conlang was nearly thirty years ago. You are new to the game, soldier.

And you gave up conlanging because you didn't like the idea of making up languages? It's very obvious to me that you disagree with the very concept of a conlang and wish nobody would make one. In that case, what are you doing here? Why are you hanging around a conlang forum if you don't want anyone to conlang? Why don't you just get up and leave instead of giving us innocent conlangers undeserved grief?

Um, hello? How many times have I posted in this thread? How many times has anyone else posted in this thread?

"Interest" is not the same thing as "unconstructive criticism". You have not shown any real interest in my conlang or anyone else's conlang.

In my experience, when people say that criticism wasn't "constructive", what they really mean is that it wasn't unadulterated praise.

That's not true. Constructive criticism is just fine and I welcome it. Unconstructive criticism, which is what you give us, is a different story.

Then look it up. In every known natlang, inflectional morphemes vary in phonetic shape depending on the stems they are attached to. You don't have to have this in your conlang, but if you don't, it will sound very artificial, like Esperanto. Perhaps that's what you're going for? You tell me.

I think there will be allomorphic variation, but I haven't worked on the tense system in a while. It wasn't nice to assume that I was going for an artificial-sounding conlang just because it's incomplete.

Historically, "will" meant "want", e.g. "Who wil the curnell of the nut must breake the shell" (16th cent.).

Yes, but Tikolmian isn't just a copy of English.

OBL = oblique

Thanks. I don't have a complete case system yet.

You keep using the words "criticism" and "criticise" in curiously pejorative ways. On the contrary, there's nothing anyone can do for you more that's more helpful than criticising your work.

Constructive criticism is helpful. Unconstructive criticism is not.

What an odd thing to say? How will creating a conlang of my own make yours any better? Actually, am I proceeding on a false premise here? I mean, I'm only assuming you want to make them better. But maybe you don't? It would be odd--and odder still to post them in a public forum if that's how you feel--but I don't begin to claim to understand everything people do.

I never said creating a conlang of your own will make mine any better. I am only telling you to follow the Golden Rule. Of course I want to make my langs better, but complaining about them doesn't help.

See, this is what I mean about having a "prickly attitude". There's nothing wrong with considering my advice and rejecting it because you have different ideas about what your conlang should be. But this notion that I don't even have the right to say a thing about it until I post a conlang of my own? That's not what I would call a healthy attitude toward forum participation. Maybe you should work on your own for a while longer until you're really ready to show your stuff to someone else.

You have every right to say things about it, but you have no right to criticize everything I say and find fault in my every word for no good reason. It's not a healthy attitude to think that conlanging is just purely wrong and that everyone who conlangs should be constantly criticized. If you think I should work on my conlang for a while longer, why aren't you working on your own? If you think conlanging is wrong, why do you give "advice" to conlangers?
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Re: My conlangs: Tikolmian, Fooblian and Sylvanian

Postby Tikolm » Thu 13 May 2010 5:31 pm

Here are some pronouns. This is one of the few parts of Tikolmian that is complete.

I ro
me rod
we co
us cod
you/sing (subj) zo
you/sing (obj) zod
you/pl (subj) fo
you/pl (obj) fod
he wo
him wod
she tlo
her tlod
it lo
it (obj) lod
they fō
them fōd

Tikolmian word order in a regular sentence is subject-object-verb. I didn't want it to have English word order because it seemed unnatural for Tikolmian and because I didn't want it to be too much like English. I picked that particular word order because it seemed more natural and I had less trouble with it than, say, VSO. So, "the cat saw the mouse" would be "zo pum zo riel lōz" (the cat the mouse see-past).

In an imperative sentence, the subject is left out and the verb comes first. For example, "see the mouse" would be "lōa zo riel" (see-imp the mouse).

In a question, the word order is VSO. In English, the verb "do" is often used where it doesn't need to be, as in "did you see that". Without the verb "do", it would be more like "saw you that" which is the way it would be said in Tikolmian (lōz zo zum). The imperative and question word orders are obviously based on English. A lot of Tikolmian grammar is based on English grammar, but a lot of it is also made up out of thin air.

Adjectives follow the noun they are describing. "Green tree" would be "mekō vekōs" (tree green). There is sort of an ending for adjectives (-a), but I haven't figured out exactly where to use it. I use it sometimes to make an adjective out of a verb ("like (verb)" = "qapos" --> "like (adj)" = "qapa") but I haven't decided where to use it anywhere else. Colors, maybe, but probably not.

Possessives (-ol) can follow or precede the noun. That's because I couldn't decide which one to pick.
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Re: My conlangs: Tikolmian, Fooblian and Sylvanian

Postby linguoboy » Thu 13 May 2010 5:33 pm

Tikolm wrote:
linguoboy wrote:There was supposed to be some allophonic variation. I don't know what phonotactics is.

So look it up.

Tikolm wrote:I suppose you're right, but what you said only goes to show that a phonology is not an ingredient list.

I never compared a "phonology" to an ingredient list; I compared your post to an ingredient list. But your post is not a phonology (for the reasons explained), so this response of yours is completely nonsensical.

I'm just saying that if you really know how a conlang should be, you should be doing one yourself.

I know what you're saying, what I'm saying is that what you're saying doesn't make any sense. It's like you have absolutely no notion of the field of criticism and its role in educated discourse.

If you think something should be one way, then you should do it that way. Follow the Golden Rule.

1. I'm not saying I think that.
2. That's not what the Golden Rule says in any case.

So, your real life friends listen to you talk about conlangs and give you useful feedback on them? In that case, never let them out of your sight! They are rarer than Yangtse river dolphins!

I don't see how they are "rare" - I think lots of real life people think the idea of a made-up language is interesting.

"Thinking X is interesting" is not the same as "learning about X and offering useful feedback on it". A lot of people think it's "interesting" that I'm learning Irish, for instance. Not one of them, however, would be able to offer me any useful feedback on my Irish pronunciation or grammar.

So, what useful feedback have your friends offered you on your conlangs to date? What have you changed about them because of what they said to you about them?

And you gave up conlanging because you didn't like the idea of making up languages?

Holy leaps of logic! "My first attempt to use e-mail was over twenty years ago." Do you conclude from that statement that I gave up on using e-mail?

It's very obvious to me that you disagree with the very concept of a conlang and wish nobody would make one.

Now you've gone beyond leaps of logic and into straight on loonyland. Absolutely nothing I've said or done here could be construed as implying this.

"Interest" is not the same thing as "unconstructive criticism". You have not shown any real interest in my conlang or anyone else's conlang.

And how have you come to that conclusion?

That's not true. Constructive criticism is just fine and I welcome it. Unconstructive criticism, which is what you give us, is a different story.

Give me some examples of what you consider to be "constructive criticism". (I think this will prove my point that your definition of the term deviates from the accepted usage, but I'd be happy to find out otherwise.) For instance, is imbecilica's response "constructive criticism" or not? Why or why not?

I think there will be allomorphic variation, but I haven't worked on the tense system in a while. It wasn't nice to assume that I was going for an artificial-sounding conlang just because it's incomplete.

I never assumed that! REREAD WHAT I WROTE. I said "You don't have to have this in your conlang, but if you don't, it will sound very artificial, like Esperanto. Perhaps that's what you're going for? You tell me." That is, I stated outright that I didn't know what you were going for and asked you (very nicely) to tell me what it was. Why would I do that if--as you claim--I thought I already knew the answer?

Historically, "will" meant "want", e.g. "Who wil the curnell of the nut must breake the shell" (16th cent.).

Yes, but Tikolmian isn't just a copy of English.

Let me try another question: What does caq- mean as a non-auxiliary verb?

You keep using the words "criticism" and "criticise" in curiously pejorative ways. On the contrary, there's nothing anyone can do for you more that's more helpful than criticising your work.

Constructive criticism is helpful. Unconstructive criticism is not.[/quote]
How "helpful" criticism is depends on your ability to make could use of it. If you're not able to accept and interpret constructive criticism for what it is, that does not necessarily make it "unconstructive".

Of course I want to make my langs better, but complaining about them doesn't help.

Who's complaining? I'm ASKING YOU QUESTIONS. You've got some kind of short circuit in you brain that turns ordinary inquiries into "complaints". If someone asks you "Why the tie?" do you automatically assume that means that they hate Western male formal dress and want you to go around naked?

You have every right to say things about it, but you have no right to criticize everything I say and find fault in my every word for no good reason.

Show me where I "find fault" with what you've done.

It's not a healthy attitude to think that conlanging is just purely wrong and that everyone who conlangs should be constantly criticized. If you think I should work on my conlang for a while longer, why aren't you working on your own? If you think conlanging is wrong, why do you give "advice" to conlangers?

Again, you prove my point. Every thing I say you interpret as "criticism". You've created from whole cloth this absurd notion that I "hate conlanging". This is why I conclude that you just aren't yet ready to put your work into a public forum for comment. Not because your work isn't good enough (I think it's quite respectable for a fledgling attempt or, believe me, I wouldn't be commenting on it at all), but because you aren't emotionally ready to handle the responses.
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Re: My conlangs: Tikolmian, Fooblian and Sylvanian

Postby linguoboy » Thu 13 May 2010 5:42 pm

Tikolm wrote:Adjectives follow the noun they are describing. "Green tree" would be "mekō vekōs" (tree green). There is sort of an ending for adjectives (-a), but I haven't figured out exactly where to use it. I use it sometimes to make an adjective out of a verb ("like (verb)" = "qapos" --> "like (adj)" = "qapa") but I haven't decided where to use it anywhere else. Colors, maybe, but probably not.

One possibility is that it could be a relative marker. That is, let's say that silos is a verb which means "is white". Then zo riel silosa would mean "the mouse which is white".

This could be extended to action verbs as well, so zo riel lōza would mean "the mouse which was seen" (or "the mouse which saw", depending either on context or on how the rest of the grammar works).

[Disclaimer: This is NOT A COMPLAINT about how you've chosen to use -a or any other inflection in your conlang. This is a mere SUGGESTION. You've expressed indecision about how to use this morpheme, I've given you ONE POSSIBILITY which you could make use of IF YOU WANT TO. I honestly don't know how I could be any more clear about what my purpose is here, but I'm sure you'll find some way to misunderstand yet again everything I've just said.]
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Re: My conlangs: Tikolmian, Fooblian and Sylvanian

Postby Tikolm » Thu 13 May 2010 6:07 pm

linguoboy wrote:One possibility is that it could be a relative marker. That is, let's say that silos is a verb which means "is white". Then zo riel silosa would mean "the mouse which is white".

This could be extended to action verbs as well, so zo riel lōza would mean "the mouse which was seen" (or "the mouse which saw", depending either on context or on how the rest of the grammar works).

[Disclaimer: This is NOT A COMPLAINT about how you've chosen to use -a or any other inflection in your conlang. This is a mere SUGGESTION. You've expressed indecision about how to use this morpheme, I've given you ONE POSSIBILITY which you could make use of IF YOU WANT TO. I honestly don't know how I could be any more clear about what my purpose is here, but I'm sure you'll find some way to misunderstand yet again everything I've just said.]

Relax, I am not going to misunderstand what you said. If you noticed one of my other posts, I said that most of your criticism was unconstructive, not all of it. Some of what you say is just innocent advice, but most of it is unhelpful. I thank you for making a respectful and helpful post.

Okay, okay, maybe I was wrong. I guess I was making leaps of logic. What you said was basically that you gave up conlanging ("but my hobbies are more mainstream") because you didn't understand it, or something like that. You seem to be unable to identify with the idea of making conlangs. But, you also seem to be very interested in telling conlangers that this, that and the other thing is wrong with what they say. Just about everything I have said you have disagreed with - you can't argue with that. And, from what I have seen of you, you also find fault in most of what other conlangers say too. I have almost never seen you be agreeable on these forums. Yes, I didn't exactly quote the Golden Rule, but what it says is close enough. You were telling others not to do to you as you did to them (telling them to do conlangs a certain way when you weren't conlanging at all, telling them never to criticize you when you criticize them all over the place) so you were breaking the Rule.
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Re: My conlangs: Tikolmian, Fooblian and Sylvanian

Postby linguoboy » Thu 13 May 2010 6:36 pm

Tikolm wrote:Relax, I am not going to misunderstand what you said. If you noticed one of my other posts, I said that most of your criticism was unconstructive, not all of it.

Dude, you're the one that needs to relax. In case you've already forgotten saying "You have every right to say things about it, but you have no right to criticize everything I say and find fault in my every word for no good reason," it's right at the top of the page for everyone to see.

Tikolm wrote:Okay, okay, maybe I was wrong. I guess I was making leaps of logic. What you said was basically that you gave up conlanging ("but my hobbies are more mainstream") because you didn't understand it, or something like that.

Um, no, that's not what I said at all. All I'm saying that creating conlangs isn't currently one of my hobbies. That doesn't mean I've given it up, and it certainly doesn't tell you anything about why it isn't currently a hobby of mine. ALL of that is you reading into my remarks what isn't actually there.

Just about everything I have said you have disagreed with - you can't argue with that.

Actually, I can and I will. You say I "find fault in [your] every word", I said "Prove it". You haven't. You just keep asserting and asserting without every providing any proof. It's bad argumentation style and you should unlearn it.

And, from what I have seen of you, you also find fault in most of what other conlangers say too. I have almost never seen you be agreeable on these forums.

On top of everything else, we must have different definitions of "agreeable". To me (and the OED), it means "pleasant". It does not mean "agreeing with everything the other person says". That's not "agreeable", that's "toadying".

Yes, I didn't exactly quote the Golden Rule, but what it says is close enough. You were telling others not to do to you as you did to them (telling them to do conlangs a certain way when you weren't conlanging at all, telling them never to criticize you when you criticize them all over the place) so you were breaking the Rule.

There you go again, claiming I said things I never said! It's not enough to make an assertion, you have to BACK IT UP. Find where I tell people not to criticise me. [Hint: You can't, because I didn't say that. You made it up.]

And, seriously, if you're going to invoke something as well-known as the Golden Rule over and over, make sure you understand it first. Once and for all, here's what it says:

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

I've bolded the word "would" because this seems to be the part that's giving you the most trouble. In English, "would" is a marker of the conditional mood. This means it refers to "a hypothetical state of affairs, or an uncertain event that is contingent on another set of circumstances." In this case the hypothetical is, "If I had a conlang and I posted about it here, what kind of feedback would I like to see?" I DO NOT HAVE TO POST A CONLANG HERE IN ORDER FOR THE RULE TO APPLY. I would only be violating this rule if I were not giving you the kind of feedback that I myself would like to receive in the same circumstances. But I am, and for you to claim otherwise is to assert that you know better what I would like than I do myself!

Now, if you're quite finished with all this tiresome metacommentary, let me ask: What did you think of the concrete suggestion I just made--the one that even you characterise as "helpful" and "constructive"? It seems to me that you're more interested in fighting about what I'm allowed to say about your language than in actually talking about your language, and that's kind of messed up.
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Re: My conlangs: Tikolmian, Fooblian and Sylvanian

Postby Tikolm » Thu 13 May 2010 8:15 pm

linguoboy, I will no longer respond to your blind attacks on my posts no matter how insistent they are. As Eliza Reed said to her sister Georgiana in Jane Eyre (have you read Jane Eyre?), "Take this advice: the first and last I shall offer you. ... Neglect it - go on as heretofore...and suffer the results of your idiocy, however bad and insufferable they may be. I tell you this plainly; and listen: for though I shall no more repeat what I am about to say, I shall steadily act on it."

Here is my last advice to you: Look at what you believe from time to time and ask yourself if it is wrong. You must question all your beliefs, never follow through on them blindly, or you will be led astray. I question what I believe from time to time, as you can see, and I am now following a path to good things. You do not question your beliefs, and you have been led astray. If you want to follow the right path, then you must question even your most deeply held beliefs from time to time. This applies to everything, not just conlanging.

(This may not be my first advice to you, but it will certainly be my last.)
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Re: My conlangs: Tikolmian, Fooblian and Sylvanian

Postby linguoboy » Thu 13 May 2010 8:52 pm

Tikolm wrote:(This may not be my first advice to you, but it will certainly be my last.)

My father once told me not to bother giving unsolicited advice, since if someone didn't ask for it, then chances are they won't be willing to follow it. It's especially unwise to give advice that you have already demonstrated yourself incapable of following.

I wish you the best of luck with your conlangs.
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Re: My conlangs: Tikolmian, Fooblian and Sylvanian

Postby Tikolm » Thu 13 May 2010 8:58 pm

Okay, I have a few last things to say to you. After this, I'm done trying to talk to you.

Sometimes we need a little unsolicited advice. That's why I give unsolicited advice. And, also, I am perfectly capable of following that advice. I follow it all the time. When you say something to me, I think back to what I said and wonder if it is wrong. Believe me, I do.
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