I’m excited to announce that I’m going to be a guest in the first half of Episode 50 of the Conlangery Podcast, which will be released on May 14, 2012 – that is, next Monday, if the regular schedule is followed. Thanks again to George and William for having me as a guest!
When I read in the comments to Episode 47 that there was going to be a scripts-related episode soon, I decided to ask whether they’d be OK with having me as a guest. Script-related things like writing systems and typography are a topic I’m interested in and fascinated by (you guess where my perfectionist obsession with my con-scripts stems from), so I was curious to join the discussion. Who would have thought it was up for recording the very Sunday (late) night of that week! However, it’s not actually about writing systems themselves, but mainly about prerequisites and tools for writing and literacy. Very interesting!
NB: I haven’t heard the edited episode yet myself, so I’m just as curious for it.
2. My turn of the LCC4 relay See the video on Youtube. You can find the full text with morphologic breakdown etc. on the “Media” page, or by clicking this link, which will lead you straight to the PDF file.
The videos from LCC4 are now available from the LCS’s Youtube channel, so I don’t need to host the video of my talk myself anymore.
I updated the broken link to the PDF file of the Relay text. It should work again now.
OK, so at the time of writing this I’ve not yet quite made it home, but I’m still sitting on the train, now in the 9th hour of my travel … I am pretty much exhausted and desperately want to be home in my own bed. I’ve almost made it, though, I’ve just left Frankfurt, and now it’s only about an hour to go. The train ride has so far been rather uneventful and smooth – not quite as smooth as on my way to Groningen, but still rather good: If my connecting train in Frankfurt hadn’t been itself 10 minutes late, I would’ve missed it because my train from Cologne to Frankfurt was about 10 minutes late as well.
So how was LCC4 in my impression? First off, I already said it, it’s seemed like an incredibly geeky thing to do. Says Henrik Theiling: “It’s pretty nice having a drink with people who like fricatives!” — Me: “I’ve had a beer with someone who knows about fricatives before.” — He: “Well, but how often do you do that with twenty people?” Indeed. On the first evening, we had a welcome dinner in Groningen’s inner city in a restaurant called De Gulzige Kater, which was very tasty and very saturating. Saturday evening for me also featured hunting for not-too-fast food with Jan and Tam and after having pizza and beer, meeting up with the group (ca. 30 20 25 people) re-assembled again in a very quaintly decorated pub near Martini Tower whose name I’ve forgotten. Conversations about language interests and observations, as well as private life and experiences have been had aplenty, and it was nice to get to know each other a little more personally that way. Anyway, it’s nice to see people you otherwise only communicate with over the internet. Mostly. Nobody was downright scary, and although I hadn’t assumed so, I still had mixed feelings when I stood in front of the restaurant. I, for one, don’t meet a group of 30 20 25 half-strangers for dinner so often, after all.
On Saturday morning, we heard a couple of talks, had a cold buffet for lunch, and in the afternoon heard some more talks and also had a little panel discussion on which trends or tendencies the four of us discussers as well as the audience have noticed over the last couple of years in the conlanging fora of our choice. We came to the conclusion (I think?) that there is much more turnover of people on the ZBB than on Conlang-L, that elitist phases somehow happen on both forums, and that biting the newbies is maybe also due to simply getting frustrated about explaining the same things to new people all over again and again. Sunday morning of course had some more talks. Because I had to catch the train and with that starting my ten-hour train odyssey through Western Europe to go back home at around 1:30 PM, I didn’t have time to also attend the afternoon session (with yet more talks) and the revelation of the LCC4 relay, so I left the conference center at around 1:10 PM, and received a very kind goodbye at that.
I must admit I did not pay close attention to all of the talks, but certainly David prove again that he is a good speaker and also that there’s gone more thought into Dothraki than it seems from the materials online. Lykara did a nice job (and also one semi-relevant to my literature studies) as well, namely on some of the earliest takes on artificial languages in literature – in literary satires of the 18th century. I am also still kind of fascinated with the ZBB’s collaborative conworld, Akana, presented by Jan Strasser and Tam Blaxter, who also did a nice job fitting a complex subject into a half-hour long presentation, in spite of assembling the whole of the talk from bits each one prepared individually only on Saturday evening, as far as I understood. Njenfalgar showed fun ways to make up throwaway languages to borrow names and the one or the other word from (something Ayeri very much lacks, alas!). Christophe also did a brilliant talk on suffixaufnahme/surdéclinaison which (a) showed how awesomely weird Basque is, and (b) left me wondering whether or not Ayeri’s relative pronouns are a case of surdéclinaison if you look at them closely, or whether it’s just multiple bracketing inflection on the rightmost element. Oh well, you can find the slides of most talks online anyway.
So, was it worth skipping class on Friday morning and spending a good part of my monthly budget (as a student) for travel and accomodation in one weekend? I would say yes, probably. And now I’m scared of having to catch up on my homework reading duties for the coming week. That will have to wait until tomorrow, though, fortunately.
Last but not least, here are a few photos I took on Saturday:
PS: If you want to read something nice in German: I read Ruhm. Ein Roman in neun Geschichten by Daniel Kehlmann on the way to Groningen. It’s 200 pages and I read it in about 5 hours. The book is a bundle of witty short stories (Sonya and Philip: I guess you could call that an album as well?) about 9 characters that are strongly interwoven, and I found it a pleasure to read.
Transferred photos from my Google account to my own server because of Google+.
So I’m going to attend the 4th Language Creation Conference (LCC4) this weekend. That is, I’ll arrive on Friday evening and leave on Sunday noon. I’m already excited on the one hand, on the other hand kind of anxious about the sheer geekiness of this event. 😉 But then, in my opinion, everyone is a geek in some way. Only that being a sports or music geek is considered normal, while being into sciences (or humanities, German conveniently doesn’t make a difference, it’s all literally ‘witship’) is weird. Anyway.
The train ride from Marburg/DE to Groningen/NL will be awfully long: 8½ hours of traveling, 1½ hours of waiting on platforms – for a mere 600 km (~375 mi), in spite of using the high-speed train from Frankfurt to Amsterdam. I think I can say I’m kind of disillusioned about ‘high-speed’? And the same on the way back on Sunday afternoon… Maybe I should’ve booked a flight after all, and would’ve spent less money and time on the trip. However, flights to neighboring countries have always seemed kind of ridiculously overkill to me. On the other hand, this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, I suppose, so spending close to € 120 and 20 hours altogether for that train trip is hopefully worth it. With the current gas price here (~€ 1.50/L, or $8/gal.), it’s probably even cheaper still than going by car, and trains are so much more relaxing – provided you get your connecting trains. I’m looking forward as well to the three-course welcome dinner on Friday evening, which, I guess, I can totally use after 10 hours of traveling.
And now for some self-advertisement: I’m doing a talk there on comparative strategies in general and their realization in Ayeri specifically, scheduled for Saturday, May 15th, 9 am GMT (that is 10 am in local time). I think I might be the youngest speaker even? 😮 David Peterson’s also planned me in for the panel on Trends in Conlanging on Saturday afternoon, as it looks like, namely in my role as a long-time ZBBite. Oh my, what am I supposed to contribute? I guess discussing a little will be fun nonetheless, though.
As with the last LCCs, I suppose the whole event will be broadcast live on the internet this time as well. Due to the time difference of 6 hours to EDT, some Leftpondians will probably miss the morning programs, I’m afraid, as it’s in the middle of the night for them. I’ll try to make photos in any case, and have already planned to post some here subsequently.