Sunday, February 1, 2009

Welcome to the Language Design Workshop!

Welcome to February, and the Language Design Workshop. Consider yourself invited.

If you would like to participate in this workshop (for free, of course!), please submit answers to the following questions in my comments area by 5pm PST on February 8th:

1. Is your language spoken by humans or by aliens?
1a. If spoken by humans, in what climate do these humans live? Please describe.
1b. If spoken by aliens, what kind of aliens? Please describe.

2. How do your people (humans or aliens) live? Please describe as much as you can about their social interaction.

3. What divisions are there between groups of people (aliens or humans or both) in your world?
3a. What kind of language differences are there between these groups?
3b. What kind of value judgments are placed on these language differences?

4. How deeply does your language penetrate your story?
4a. Does your story use names? If yes, give examples.
4b. Does your story use object labels? If yes, give examples.
4c. Does your story use extended sequences of created language material (dialogue, songs, poetry etc.)? If yes, give examples.
4d. Do you have any created-language point of view characters? Please describe.

5. Do you expect language issues to influence the story's plot? If so, how?

Please answer all these questions to the best of your ability. If you can't answer every single one in detail, don't worry. I'm not looking for people who have already got perfectly designed languages here, but people to whom I can be of help. That said, please provide the best and most complete answers you can, because I'll need a good sense of the language you're aiming for in order to help you flesh it out. I urge you to read through my "How linguistics can help you!" posts from the past month. This should help you get some ideas.

Since I'm not sure what kind of answers I'll get, or how many people will submit, I'm being cautious about numbers, but I'm hoping to have five to ten participants.

I look forward to hearing from you!