Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:07 PM
Speck Tater (10,618 posts)
Ask me anything -- 30 days of unbridled fun!
Inspired by NaNoWriMo, and just to prove how truly insane I am, beginning on January 1, 2013 and continuing for 30 days, I am going to create a complete new language from scratch.
My goal is to write 30 chapters, a chapter a day, in the form of a textbook for the language, and to post each daily chapter on the web. Between now and Jan. 1 I will prepare the web page template and css style sheet, but I won't do any actual language creation until the morning of the first. I have chosen as the basic outline of my textbook the book First Spanish Course by Hills and Ford, (Copp, Clark Co. Ltd., New York 1917), although since I am aiming for a grammar quite different from that of Spanish (or English) I will have to be flexible about the content of each chapter. ( PDF at http://archive.org/details/firstspanishcour00hilluoft -- Chapter One, for example, is less that 40 lines long, which seems like a reasonable amount of work for one day.)
Although phonology, morphology, orthography, and the alphabet might be the first things covered in a real textbook, I will postpone writing that chapter until after I've had time to discover what the phonology and orthography turn out to look like. In order to get as much done as possible in 30 days I will certainly avoid exotic phonologies or non-Roman alphabets.
Ask me anything. (Except why. Clearly, I'm just insane.) (Oh, and no details of the grammar. I don't know those yet, and deliberately won't know them until after launch day, except that it will definitely not be an SVO language because that's boring. Oh, and the lexicon will definitely not be inspired by Romance or Germanic or Slavic roots. Those are boring, too.)
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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #1)
Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:59 PM
Speck Tater (10,618 posts)
2. Now that it's New Years Eve
and the project is slated to begin tomorrow morning, I'm waffling about how to approach it.
The textbook approach outlined in my OP has drawbacks. For one thing, I'd have to know a lot about the grammar before I even got started.
I'm leaning toward translating a book, making up grammar and vocabulary as I need it, and interspersing grammatical explanations where needed. That way I'd have time to let the grammar unfold more gradually over the 30-day span. I'm thinking maybe using McGuffey's First Reader with 801 sentences. I'd have to translate 25-30 sentences per day for 30 days, making up the grammar and vocabulary needed for each day's translations. 30 sentences a day seems do-able.