The BG Language Creation Guide

Final Language Write-up

Grammar and Dictionary of Language X

Compile the language creation assignments you have done to date. Intigrating all the feedback I've given you, make the kind of document linguists call a 'grammar and dictionary'. Throughout the document, note where something you have invented is typologically unusual. Be sure that you write in a professional tone, using complete sentences. Give glossed examples of positively everything. I will check through to make sure you are being consistent, thorough and following your own rules as you go. Just to be extra clear, do *not* simply paste all your LC homeworks into a document and send it off: rewrite, update, clarify and refine. go back and add cultural footnotes where you like. Put in more examples. Make it beautiful. Amaze me!

Here are the topics you should cover, using all the technical linguistic terminology you have learned and NOTHING that's pseudo-linguistic. In most cases, I will not need a hard copy. I'll let you know if I do need one from you.

You may use an attachment: MS Word, RTF or TXT files are acceptible. Please do not submit excel or other formats; it is possible to export an excel file into a word processing document.

Here are the pieces of information in order as they should appear:

  1. Title: Grammar and Dictionary of "Name of Language" compiled by (you).
  2. Basic cultural description of the speakers: where the language is spoken, how many speakers it has etc.
  3. Phonetics and Phonology
    • a. Segment inventory with place manner and voicing of each segment
    • b. Allophonic variation
    • c. Syllable structure restrictions (include maximum syllable)
    • d. Any other restrictions on segment placement or what segments can combine with each other
    • e. Prosodics: details of tone or word stress. (If the language has tone, how many and what are they? If it has stress, where is it placed?)
    • f. Is any of this unusual for an Earth language?
  4. Basic Morpho-Syntactic characteristics: (Do not say simply yes or no to these. Explain them if the language has them, and note in a full sentence if it does not.) Give glossed examples for everything.
    • a. Basic word order svo/sov etc.
    • b. Locative placement (prepositions or postpositions (or suffixes/prefixes)
    • c. Order of noun and adjective
    • d. Noun classes
    • e. Plural formation (include duals if the language has them and how it marks singular)
    • f. Agreement anywhere in the language: verbs with subjects or adjectives with nouns?
    • g. Copula
    • h. Tense
    • i. Articles
    • j. Pronoun system (Explain these in terms of number, person gender, etc, not by listing English pronouns and translations.)
    • k. Negation of nouns, verbs and adjectives
    • l. Possession
    • m. State what is unusual typologically if anything.
  5. Sample text. Translate the following story into the language. You should not have to invent any new content morphemes to do this. Remember that translation is an art, not a science and you may need to recast sentences to make them grammatical. Where you see XXX, fill in whatever you like. Finish the story with at least three additional sentences; more is better.

    For each line of story, give the grammatical yourlanguage translation, a gloss of morphemes and finally the grammatical English. Remember that you have done bits of this as examples in your assignments. go back and collect those, double check them and use them here.

    1. Hello. My name is XXX,
    2. and I live in the forest.
    3. My house is in the big trees
    4. near a beautiful long river.
    5. All my friends live near the river.
    6. We are not lazy!
    7. We swim a lot
    8. because the river is not cold,
    9. but we do not drink the water
    10. because fish swim in it.
    11. Fish are not good.
    12. We do not eat fish
    13. or birds or (animal names)xxx.
    14. We eat seeds and (vegetable names)xxx.

    15. One day, my friend and I walked away from the river.
    16. We saw a strange woman.
    17. She said: "you will come to me
    18. and sit down.
    19. I will tell you a wonderful story."

    20. But, she lied.
    21. We walked to her.
    22. She touched us,
    23. and we fell asleep.
    24. She kidnapped us!

    25. We woke up in the night.
    26. The moon was big and round
    27. and we were cold.
    28. My friend felt sick.
    29. We lit a fire.
    30. The men and women near our river did not see the smoke
    31. because the sky was dark,
    32. but we stayed warm near the fire.
    33. They did not hear us
    34. because the river makes a lot of noise.

    (Finish the story.)

  6. 6. Lexicon: If there are bound content morphemes, be sure to also include them in the lists below. Include pronouns, loan words and anything else you have made that is a separate word. For loanwords, state the language borrowed from, if it is a calque and, if the borrowing forced you to substitute segments or translate morphemes, include the original form of that lexical item. Include etymology of the words: that is, put - between morphemes and say what the morphemes mean. Remember that homophones (being separate words) should each get their own entry, but that polysemy (where it exists) should be indicated within a single entry for that word.

    Please give a list of all the words, alphabetized by English translation.

    Grading Rubric for Final Projects

    • 15%; Professionalism: style, lack of first person pronouns, editing, professional tone. (Note this does not preclude having fun with the material: parody is a fine art...) I am serious about this: I will deduct 5% if you regularly use the first person, 5% if you paste in questions from the homework assignments and another 5% if your writing is unprofessional in other ways.
    • 15%; Terminology: accurate and appropriate use of linguistic terminology
    • 20%; Glossing and examples within the grammar portion
    • 10%; analysis of typological uniqueness of the language
    • 20: Lexicon: including borrowings, bound affixes, function words-- all glossed and alphabetized by english headword
    • 20%; Translation: applying all your rules, glossing and any associated notes; finishing the story.

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    Updated 3/24/2011