Post XUZxsExUtmv

Paul Strack Dec 30, 2017 (16:59)

I said I'd post more about “what's next” for Eldamo, so here it is.

Given my recent posts, it’s no secret that I think we need a generally improved Elvish vocabulary, and ideally some kind of normative dictionary in much the same way we have normative grammars. I intend to move Eldamo in the direction of providing such a dictionary, or providing a solid baseline of data so that it could be used for community-driven efforts.

However, one of the main values to Eldamo as it stands now is that it does a reasonably good job of documenting Elvish as Tolkien actually wrote it, with all its contradictions. I very much don't want to lose this. Going forward, Eldamo is going to have two missions: (1) descriptive (listing the things Tolkien actually wrote) and (2) proscriptive (indicating how such words might best be used in Neo-Elvish communication).

Towards this end, I plan on introducing two new languages: Neo-Quenya and Neo-Sindarin. I will use these languages as a basis for my “proscriptive” ideas. Tolkien’s languages Quenya, Qenya, Sindarin, Noldorin, Gnomish will be reserved purely for descriptive purposes.

Right now there are some “Quenya” and “Sindarin” words that really should be marked “Neo-Quenya” or “Neo-Sindarin”. For example, raen “crooked” is a phonetic adaptation of N. rhaen. Strictly speaking, this is not something Tolkien ever wrote, so it should be Neo-Sindarin. I plan on reassigning a fair number of entries like this to the two new languages. I also intend to get more rigorous about how I use the “reliability” markers for words (#, *, ?, !, ^ etc.).

This is a big undertaking, and I have no idea how long it will take. I plan on a “first pass” cleanup of Eldamo for the next release (0.6.1), fixing the reliability markers and language assignments.

After that (or possibly at the same time) I intend to get serious about evaluating Quenya and Sindarin phonetic rules. I’ve already done a first pass at Early Quenya, Gnomish and Noldorin phonetic, but I need to cover the later languages and get more rigorous about it.

I also need to start incorporating information from secondary sources like Salo’s “Gateway to Sindarin”, numerous online articles on the languages and so forth, and start including higher-quality neologisms from such projects as Helge Fauskanger’s Quenya Bible project. Not to mention reviewing all the material for errors (of which I am sure there are a large number).

So yeah ... even though the data entry is “finished” there is still a lot more to do.

Rick Spell Dec 31, 2017 (01:13)

I really like the idea of two "neo" languages. That will make it easier to distinguish the attested from the new. It sounds like a very large amount of work!

Paul Strack Dec 31, 2017 (02:45)

Yes, it’s a fair amount of work, but it can broken up into small pieces. The trick to moving forward on a big project like this, especially one you are doing mostly for fun, to figure out how to make tiny but continuous improvements which can add up over time.

Rick Spell Dec 31, 2017 (03:08)

I agree. Alot of small steps add up.

Rick Spell Dec 31, 2017 (03:09)

You must be having LOTS of fun!

Tamas Ferencz Dec 31, 2017 (12:29)

I am just wondering how do you say "nerd" in Quenya? :P

Ицхак Пензев Dec 31, 2017 (19:01)

I am just wondering how do you say "fun" in Neo-Quenya? Can we make smth usable from EN. gairuid?

Severin Zahler Jan 01, 2018 (02:02)

If I can help with processing the data programmatically (i.e. assemble you a list of all words marked as neologisms) please tell, should be no big feat for myself ;)

Paul Strack Jan 01, 2018 (02:21)

+Severin Zahler I not clear what you are offering here.

If you are offering to assemble a list of sourced neologisms in a clean format (e.g. a spreadsheet/CSV) that would be very useful.

If you are offering to extract neologisms from the existing data model, it's a kind offer but I already have that covered. I am already reviewing the model for these kinds of things and doing general cleanup at the same time.

It's not just a question of identifying the neologisms. It's also a matter of reorganizing the data to prepare for Eldamo's new "dual mission", which means manually massage the data, not something that can be done programmatically.

Severin Zahler Jan 01, 2018 (11:12)

I indeed rather meant extracting data from eldamo. But I would be very interested to collaborate with carrying together a list of sourced neologisms, at last that's something I want to have for my webpage as well.
Bit of an open question is whether the authors of the various neologism collections would be okay with a republishment on eldamo

Paul Strack Jan 02, 2018 (06:58)

+Severin Zahler Yes, well, one of the premises of Eldamo is that “it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission”. But a lot of these people are still accessible, so it should be possible to ask them.