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Thread: Some help with an email

  1. #1
    Почтенный гражданин Soft sign's Avatar
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    Some help with an email

    Hi everybody.
    I’m going to send an email to some English speaking people. But my English is quite poor so I’m not sure I would be understood.

    Is it the right place to post the text of my email to have it corrected by native (or experienced non-native) English speakers?

    (The email is about an artificial language I’ve made. I’m going to contact the organizers of a podcast, who need some phrases translated to different artificial languages created by their audience.)

    Please correct my English

  2. #2
    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Hi Soft sign and welcome to MR! From a business/American English standpoint I can help you out; however, from a technical point of view, others on the forum will have to make certain your getting your point across correctly. As long as you are not looking for a anything illegal or harassing someone... I'll take a stab at it
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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  3. #3
    Почтенный гражданин Soft sign's Avatar
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    The text of my email:


    Hi, Conlangery!

    I’ve recorded a greeting in my conlang for your podcast. The mp3 file is attached.
    __________________________________________________

    ‘Welcome to Conlangery, the podcast about constructed languages and the people who create them’
    [rʊ∙ɡe-ɨ-kɒnˈlænʤəɹɪ—ɡe–lɔl-mair∙tɔl—hʊd∙ɡait–zi–ʊ∙koi-mok–hɛ]
    __________________________________________________

    My conlang sketch is called The Language with Elements of Continuity or [fan∙ɡait]. Its main goal is to experiment with the continuous (analog) way of information transmission.

    All natural languages use the discrete (digital) way of transmitting information. As an example let’s consider such a semantic concept as the size of an object. The size is a continuous (non-discrete) value, i. e. there is an infinite number of different sizes, and the value can vary among them smoothly. But what do we do if we want to say something about the size in a natural language? First, we choose a proper word from a finite set of words such as ‘tiny’, ‘small’, ‘midsized’, ‘large’, ‘giant’ etc. Then we represent the word by a sequence of phonemes. The phonemes of a language also form a finite set. Finally, the phonemes are realized as sounds of speech. However, the human organs of speech are able to produce a continuum (an infinite non-discrete set) of different sounds. Most articulation parameters (such as height, backness, or length of a vowel, or place of articulation of a consonant) can vary smoothly.

    So the idea was to create a conlang that omits the two middle steps and represents a continuum of semantic values by a continuum of sounds of speech. My conlang uses both the discrete way of information transmission and the continuous one. Returning to our example, the idea of size is represented in it by phonemes, but the values of size are set to a correspondence with sounds of speech directly. There’s one more thing that is important: small changes of value cause small changes of sound. In math, this property is referred to as continuity.

    While consonants in my conlang always represent phonemes, vowels and pauses between words can also represent continuums of several types. The linear vowel continuum is the most common one. It consists of all front unrounded vowels from [i] to [a], all open vowels between [a] and [ɒ], and all back rounded vowels from [ɒ] to [u]. The direction toward the [i] sound means lower values and the direction toward the [u] means greater values. There are also a cyclic and two 3-dimensional vowel continuums — a spatial one and a color one.

    For example, the size-words in my conlang are of the form [ɡVl] where ‹ɡ-l› is the phonemic word root with the meaning ‘size’, and V is the argument — a vowel from the linear continuum with the meaning of size value:
    [ɡil]—[ɡɪl] ‘extremely tiny’
    [ɡɪl]—[ɡel] ‘tiny’
    [ɡel]—[ɡɛl] ‘small’
    [ɡɛl]—[ɡæl] ‘smaller than midsized’
    [ɡæl]—[ɡal] ‘midsized or slightly smaller’
    [ɡal]—[ɡɒl] ‘midsized or slightly larger’
    [ɡɒl]—[ɡɔl] ‘larger than midsized’
    [ɡɔl]—[ɡol] ‘large’
    [ɡol]—[ɡʊl] ‘huge’
    [ɡʊl]—[ɡul] ‘extremely huge’
    Once again: there are no discrete grades of value and no discrete vowels here; on the contrary, we have a continuous scale of values represented by a continuous scale of sounds.

    The conlang is an isolating one. It uses a simple grammar involving some elements of continuity. The alphabet of the language is also continuous. The secondary writing system is the IPA approximation.

    The description of the conlang is here:
    Экспериментальный конланг с непрерывными элементами
    Unfortunately, it’s in Russian

    The translation of the phrase ‘Welcome to Conlangery, the podcast about constructed languages and the people who create them’ into my conlang sounds like:
    [rʊ∙ɡe-ɨ-kɒnˈlænʤəɹɪ—ɡe–lɔl-mair∙tɔl—hʊd∙ɡait–zi–ʊ∙koi-mok–hɛ]
    It’s an IPA approximation with addition of the special symbols (∙, -, –, —) for pauses of different length. The phrase written in the original script is attached as an image.

    Each word (except proper names) consists of a root and an argument. Proper names can violate the phonetic system of the language and are said as is. The following table shows the roots and the arguments of all the words in the phrase:
    word root root meaning arg. type arg. arg. meaning word meaning
    [rʊ] ‹r-› imperative linear [ʊ] strong positive polite imperative
    [ɡe] ‹ɡ-› ‘in’—‘out’ linear [e] moderate negative ‘into’, ‘come in’, ‘enter’
    [ɨ] ‹-› proper name discrete ‹ɨ› proper name marker
    [kɒnˈlænʤəɹɪ] ‘Conlangery’
    [ɡe] ‹ɡ-› ‘in’—‘out’ linear [e] moderate negative ‘into’
    [lɔl] ‹l-l› phrase reference linear [ɔ] weak positive ‘the following’
    [mair] ‹m-r› ‘quiet’—‘loud’ linear ‹ai› abstract word ‘sound’, ‘acoustic’, ‘audio’
    [tɔl] ‹t-l› ‘communication facility’ linear [ɔ] weak positive ‘semi-mass media’
    [hʊd] ‹h-d› ‘natural’—‘artificial’ linear [ʊ] strong positive ‘artificial’, ‘homemade’
    [ɡait] ‹ɡ-t› ‘understanding’ linear ‹ai› abstract word ‘understanding’, ‘language’
    [zi] ‹z-› conjunction discrete ‹i› ‘and’
    [ʊ] ‹-› ergative linear [ʊ] strong positive ergative
    [koi] ‹k-› demonstrative pronoun linear ‹oi› known value ‘those who’
    [mok] ‹m-k› ‘destroy’—‘create’ linear [o] moderate positive ‘make’, ‘create’
    [hɛ] ‹h-› word reference linear [ɛ] weak negative ‘that’, ‘aforesaid’

    Shorter pauses between words correspond to closer relationship. Here is a per-phrase translation of the sentence:

    [rʊ∙ɡe] — ‘please come in’
    [ɨ-kɒnˈlænʤəɹɪ] — ‘Conlangery’ (proper name)
    [rʊ∙ɡe-ɨ-kɒnˈlænʤəɹɪ] — ‘please enter Conlangery’

    [mair∙tɔl] — ‘audio semi-mass media’, ‘podcast’
    [lɔl-mair∙tɔl] — ‘podcast of the following’, ‘podcast about the following’
    [ɡe–lɔl-mair∙tɔl] — ‘to the podcast about the following’

    [hʊd∙ɡait] — ‘artificial language(s)’
    [ʊ∙koi] — ‘those who’ (ergative)
    [ʊ∙koi-mok] — ‘made by those who’
    [ʊ∙koi-mok–hɛ] — ‘those who make it’
    [hʊd∙ɡait–zi–ʊ∙koi-mok–hɛ] — ‘artificial languages and those who make them’

    [rʊ∙ɡe-ɨ-kɒnˈlænʤəɹɪ—ɡe–lɔl-mair∙tɔl—hʊd∙ɡait–zi–ʊ∙koi-mok–hɛ] —
    ‘Please enter Conlangery, the podcast about artificial languages and those who make them.’
    Please correct my English

  4. #4
    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Bitpicker and Hanna... are you still around? ... I read this and I am lost... is this something one of you (or someone else who is technical and has great English skills) might be able to help with?

    Soft sign, it is not that you have used any incorrect English per se , it is just so darn technical it is way over my pay grade. You lost me at a natural language
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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  5. #5
    Властелин
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    The size is a continuous (non-discrete) value
    Все в мире квантуется.

  6. #6
    Почтенный гражданин Soft sign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Все в мире квантуется.

    С точки зрения той модели, которой мы пользуемcя в быту, — размер однозначно непрерывен. Именно бытовые представления отражаются в языке.

    (Кстати, что вы имеете в виду? Как квантуется размер?)
    Please correct my English

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