Minyeva : Old News

May 13, 2002:

I have now put up the most recent suffixes/particles word list. The current total word count (this includes affixes) is 398 (almost 400!). I also put up the suffix/particle list for english->minyeva, and the root word list for english->minyeva

May 12, 2002:

The most recent root word list has been put up. The most recent suffix/particle list will be up tomorrow. I also put up a page describing the phonology and phonotactics (the sounds and rules for possible words). I removed the link to the obsolete grammar page. Eventually I will create a page on syntax, when the dust settles.

*change (May 13): discovered the term 'phonotactics', and put the mislabeled morphology stuff in the phonology section.

May 10, 2002:

I've somehow managed to keep up the interest in Minyeva, so the vocabulary and grammar rules are growing. Yay! I decided to take on the ominous task of translating the Babel Text (Genesis 11:1-9). It's basically the "standard" translation to judge conlangs by. It's the first true translation i've done with Minyeva, and it was quite a task. The NIV version isn't the most accurate, so i actually went more by the esperanto and german versions of the Babel Text at Langmaker. So, if you want to see the language in action, check out the Babel Text.

I have a bit of new words as a result of some translation exercises on the conlang list and of translating the Babel Text. However, i don't have enough time right now to put up the new words. Later, later... I'm not going to type up any grammar stuff until I iron out some details after translating things.

April 24, 2002:

I have been working a lot on Minyeva in the last couple weeks. I decided to at least put up a couple word lists; the suffixes/particles and root words pages are up now. When i get the grammar ironed out I will create a reference grammar to put on this webpage. 

April 3, 2002:

I decided to rename the language from Malat to Minyeva because people never pronounced it right (they said "mallet" instead of "muh-lot", the way i intended it to be pronounced). The new name is less ambiguous to pronounce and sounds better anyway. I have left the name Malat in the old news postings.

I have now taken a couple quarters more of linguistics classes and am now a lot more informed in the area of linguistics. This new knowledge will be infinitely helpful in developing Minyeva. A lot of stuff i was originally planning will prolly get scrapped or completely re-arranged. I prolly won't really begin development on Minyeva again until i've taken a couple more linguistics classes. If i am creating a bizarre language, i at least want it to be useable. 

August 1, 2001:

I updated the broken links on the link page and a couple broken links on this front page. Does anyone know what's up with Langmaker? It hasn't been updated in more than a year. It was one of the best conlang sites on the internet until it stopped being updated...

I have come to change some of my ideals regarding Malat. Originally I was going to make it the most logical language in existence. But then I started realizing that there's no real measure for logicalness in a language... you can only measure its regularity. But, sometimes regularity cuts down on the usefulness of a language: If similar concepts sound similar, then in suboptimal environments, they will get confused. For a language to be realistically useable, it needs to have built in redundancy. This seems to be the way that natural languages work.

Because of these new realizations, I will no longer consider Malat a logical language. This doesn't mean, however, that I'm abandoning it. It just means its purpose is different. Malat is a new way of thinking. It's construction is bizarre compared to most natural languages that I've seen. It will probably end up being one of the hardest languages to learn, not because of irregularities, but because of how much differently it has to be used than your native language. In the end, it might even be a useful tool to test the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis :)

July 31, 2001:

Now for a bi-annual update... Since I have a little bit more time on my hands this summer, I have been putting in some work on Malat. I have misplaced a few of the papers that I had created while in Germany, and I can only find mostly older papers. To fix this problem I bought one of those empty books to write my stuff in. That way, I'll have all my permanent information in one place. I have decided on a new development process for the language now:

Stage 1: Preparation
- create list of meanings to create words for
- create list of grammar features to implement

Stage 2: Ideal version
- assign sounds to words and modifiers
- test the language in translation

Stage 3: Useable version
- shorten over-long forms, make contracted forms

I expect stage one to take the longest. It will take quite a while to compile a list of meanings that I want words for. For stage 2, I just plan on a brute force method of assigning words to the meanings I organized. Once stage three is reached, the language will be useable even if minor things keep changing.

Side remark on the egroups thing: no one ever posted and I never really promoted it, so I will declare it dead for the moment. When I actually get to stage two I'll get ahead and revive it.

September 18, 2000:

I was in Germany during the summer working, and am now back at my home in america. During the summer i changed a lot of things in malat. Below in Janurary 1999 (wow, long time ago) I mentioned that i was going to be setting certain things slowly. I have changed my mind on that, and am going to use this order of development instead:

1 - develop basic grammar
2 - generate basic vocabulary
3 - "stress test": test how the language holds up in translation (a "closed beta")
4 - baseline

I expect this general timeline to take up to ten years, considering i'm in college and have so many other aspects in my life to worry about. But, throughout development I will make information available about its current status.

I have created a discussion group on eGroups for malat. It can be accessed here. You don't have to be a member to browse its archives (which there aren't any yet). I will post continual developments there more often than i post news up on this webpage.

Here are some of the major changes I have made:

I have removed the consonants x, #, h, and y. The L isn't capitalized any more. I have added a new vowel, the 'y', replacing the 'w'. It is pronounced like the German ö in schön. The gradient order looks like this now: r, y, u, o, a, e, i.

May 5, 2000:

My isp had a few issues with its webserver a while back and i didn't notice until today that there was an older version of this site up that they had restored from back up. I just uploaded the new version right now. An update about my current situation: I am busy taking 19 units (4 units over the normal load, 15), so i don't have very much free time at all nowadays. I plan to use the coming summer to work more on malat.

December 16, 1999:

Ahh, the new millenium approaches. 15 days from now, and this century will all be over. Well, at least in number it will. In any case, I redid the description of malat above. I have just completed an introduction to linguistics class here in college, it was pretty neat. I now plan to start working on malat again. Malat will never die in me :).

August 18, 1999:

Hello. I've been heavily involved in game-related stuff and kind of forgot about malat. whoops. In any case university instruction begins for me September 30, i can't wait! I'm taking a linguistics class. I hope that will get me back into malat.

March 28, 1999:

I'm not dead, really. I have just created the link page, and put links to logical languages on it. There are 10 links so far; 5 are loglan/lojban and descendants, and the rest are other logical languages. On a seperate note, only 2 people are posting on my message board, me and JJS (creater of Danovën). Don't be message-board shy! Post away!

January 7, 1999:

I still haven't updated a few of the sections on the grammar page. But, I did just make a www board to post messages on about malat or to advertise your own conlang. Click here [link removed].

January 5, 1999:

I changed some stuff with the suffixes: Intensity is now ~v (from ~); changed the location modifier from ~f to ~p (because the "p" sounds more like a specific kind of thing), plural from ~j to ~t, and collective plural from ~p to ~j. I felt that "t" was more like a definite/solid sound (for counting objects), and "j" (zh) was more of an uncountable substance kind of sound. I added a new suffix: ~f, which is for differing degrees of command; changed definitiness from ~z to ~k; changed worthfulness from ~m to ~b; changed start/finish modifiers from ~n to ~g; added a perfective modifier ~n; added a size/scope modifier ~z; and added a motion to/from modifier ~q, which functions the same as the change modifier ~d.

I re-organized the verb/noun prefix vowels into a case prefixes section. Now, only the nouns are marked, and are done so as cases would be (except unlike most cases, these are before the word). I have clarified what suffixes and prefixes are used for: suffixes are used for ideas that come in degrees, that can be relatively compared; prefixes are for binary ideas that can't be higher or lower in degree. The prefixes I've made so far are: nu-: the qualities of ~, like ~, how ~ is/does, as ~ is/does, ~ness (quite a useful prefix!); cu-: fixes another word as a reference point for comparison (usually a word that has the nu- prefix); and ku-: the negative opposite of the word (works the same way that mal- does in esperanto); pu-: male, vu-: female.

I've modified the rules for the pronouns a little bit. The full forms of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person (I, you, he/she) are LoL, LaL, and LeL. When speaking, you can say either Lo, La, Le, or do oL, aL, eL, depending on the situation and what sounds better. When adding a suffix to the word, the vL form is used: aLet = we, eLet = they. When adding a prefix, the Lv form is used: puLe = he, vuLe = she. When both suffixes and prefixes are used, the LvL form is used: puLoLet = us guys. To make sure there's no confusion in the language anywhere, no L's are used in root words; also the intensity gradient was changed from just the vowel to ~v to allow for this pronoun stuff.

I've changed the focus and patient switching stuff: no longer is a vowel inserted before the part of speech vowel; it's now put on the end of the word as a modifier. Check the grammar page for details...

I am slowly setting certain things as "definite" to stay how they are, so that i don't go around changing things; these things are now set: The vowel order of the gradients (r-w-u-o-a-e-i), and the following modifiers: ~v = intensity, ~t = plural, ~j = collective plural, ~p = location, ~z = size; the other modifiers are semi-set and will prolly stay how they are. No vocabulary is set, but I've started making some words based on a system where the word has a similar "feel" to the meaning of the word. The very first "set" word in Malat is (drumroll!)... v-s, which means "travel, move, go". The second is n-s, which means "hate, like, love" (based on intensity). Here is the first sentence using set rules of malat:

"oL nesev uLa" = I love you. [I - like:verb+ev: intensified - focus+you] (spread it around! :)

Oh and the grammar page hasn't been totally updated with all this new stuff, i didn't have enough time to do so today.

December 15, 1998:

I added a new section to the grammar (8: word derivation using focus and patients), and modified 4 (Word Conversion). I added the IPA characters to describe the vowels (for all you foreigners!). There are still a few details I have to iron out with grammar; I'm going to browse through some conlang pages to get some more ideas of how to do things. I'm also going to work on the vocabulary.

December 14, 1998:

I haven't updated the page for a while because i've been contemplating several things. I have changed the order of the gradients and created a new vowel so that it's like an open-closed-open sequence: r-w-u-o-a-e-i (er-u-oo-oh-ah-eh-ee). The 'w' is like the 'u' in 'put'. Along with this sequence change, the prounouns have changed with them: I is now "oL", you is now "aL", and he/she is now "eL". This will be the final order of the gradients and will not be changed again. The reason I changed it was because they didn't really have a logical order before, and i didn't like the two letter one ('er'). Also, whenever there are two vowels next to each other, an 'h' is now prounounced between them ("sfuad" -> "sfu-had"). I have added more consonants to the language: x = th (thing), # = dh (the), q = ng (thing), h is now a velar fricative (like the 'ch' in the German word "macht"), and the y is a voiced velar fricative (like the 'r' in the German word 'rot').

November 27, 1998:

I forgot to mention yesterday that the stress on a word of more than one syllable is on the last syllable (gesedic would be said "gess-ehd-EESH").

November 26, 1998:

I changed the function letter of verbs from -u- to -e- (because of an impending feature i am going to explain later). Also, I got rid of the secondary patient/focus/instrument; they were unnecessary and cumbersome (just use the primary vowels). I also got rid of r- for instruments/tools and decided to impliment them the same as patients are, just having them in the middle of the line of cause and effect. As I speak, I am working on creating a very regularized vocabulary derivational system.


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