Tuesday 30 October 2012

Khangaþyagon on the Conlangery Podcast

Conlangery #73: Khangaþyagon Conlangery Podcast The Conlangery Podcast has just released an episode featuring Khangaþyagon. Unfortunately, timezones meant that I couldn't contribute in person, but George, Mike and David seemed to enjoy talking about my language, even if towards the beginning they went off at more tangents than Tristram Shandy. Mike, in particular, seemed to have enjoyed diving into the depths of the grammar to fish up interesting things to talk about. As Khangaþyagon is a magical language, Harry Potter was inevitably mentioned, which is ironic as dissatisfaction with JK Rowling's "Point your wand and shout Canis Latinitas" magic system was part of the reason I created Khangaþyagon in the first place. There was some amusement that my phonology section specifically points out that there is no schwa. I wrote that bit quite early on. Since I'd based Khangaþyagon's phonology on familiar Germanic models, I thought that might lead people to expect vowel reduction. This brings up my favourite quote from the episode. "Pronounce it like you're really looking forward to chomping down on that apple." Mike noted that 2 dipthongs, æ and œ, are written with ligatures, and David correctly surmized that I would have written them all that way had it been possible. They're all written with ligatures in the Bukhstav. On the subject of the Bukhstav, David's Bukhstav font can be seen in action here and here. mœzawana shuþa ya Davidye. George mentioned that the URL for Khangaþyagon was hard to type, as it had a non-ascii character in it. Surely everyone knows that þ encodes as %7E? What, only people as geeky as me? OK, I've made a redirect. George was interested in the fact that while Khangaþyagon numbers are base 10, multiples of 12 are counted as dozens. This is because 12 has important magical symbolism, and so merits special treatment. I got a bit of kudos for consistently referring to affixes as "segunakar". Anyone who knows David can imagine how pleased I was when he said "They're not morphemes." Khangaþyagon has a very regular, agglutinating morphology, so it's nice to feel that I've avoided some of the potential pitfalls of that. On the subject of affixes, I wonder what the three prefixes the team claim to have discovered are? One of Khangaþyagon's more unusual features, adverbs agreeing with verbs, attracted attention. The team wondered if it would be possible to drop the verb and use the adverb as a verb. That's a brilliant idea, I wish I'd thought of it. If it happened in a descendent, it might lead to the segunak wan being reanalysed as a verb meaning "do something in a given manner." The word yagaazh does have a vowel hiatus in it. That's something that I can imagine changing in descendents. I'll end with the thing that surprised me most about the episode. David, George and Mike managed to talk about Khangaþyagon for an hour without mentioning its noun system. I don't think I could manage that.

Thursday 18 October 2012

Khangaþyagon documentation updated

Khangaþyagon - FrathWiki
When I first started to publish Khangaþyagon's grammar, I did so in a series of blog posts on the now defunct artlangs.com site. I eventually ported this material over to FrathWiki, and later added a dictionary. However, for one reason or another, I recently decided that the documentation needed a proper revision, and I've just completed that.

I've incorporated some of the insights I've got from other conlangers over the years. I've put in lots of new examples - the morphology section now has examples for every segunak, and an interesting sample of combinations. I've cross referenced the sections, so that you can see how morphology and syntax relate to each other. I've put more depth into things I'd glossed over, added some things that I'd always known but never mentioned, and even made some new discoveries. Please take a look and feel free to leave comments on the talk page.

As a final note, my top tip for documenting your conlang is to do it breadth first. I won't name names, because there are too many, but a lot of conlangers try to document everything in depth from the outset, and never finish. If you've got all the basics covered, it's a lot easier to come back and add the details. This update took me a lot less time than I thought it would.