Posts Tagged ‘requests’

Where’ve we been?

Monday, December 14th, 2009


Hi, this is David Peterson from the LCS podcast.

You may have noticed that the last podcast (John Quijada’s LCC2 talk [which was excellent, by the way!]) was the first in some…six months? Podcasts can’t come everyday, of course, but one would hope they’d come in smaller increments than half-years.

And given the great amount of time between podcasts, I’m sure there are many who are wondering if our podcast has lost steam—perhaps we’ve run out of ideas, or people to interview. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you view it), this is not the case. Content isn’t an issue at all. We have the rest of the LCC2 and LCC1 videos to stream, and also a backlog of at least four interviews (probably more) that have already been recorded. Some of those we’ve interviewed have been asking us when the heck they’re going to air.

That leads to the actual problem: audio editing.
Our production is entirely voluntary, and unfortunately, Sai and I don’t have the time or the skill to successfully edit an entire interview. We need someone to do the content edit—also known as the “make people sound incredibly smart and articulate” edit—and our current editors have gotten a bit bogged down with real life and related matters. This is why the LCS podcast has stalled.

So, what to do? Well, we need help, so we’re turning to you. If you have audio editing skills, please contact us at There’s a post on our jobs page describing what’s involved in the two editing stages. You don’t need to do all of them; we’ll take any help we can get.

If you, like me, don’t happen to be skilled as an audio editor, you can always donate to the LCS; just mention that it’s for the podcast in the notes section on PayPal. Perhaps some day soon we’ll be able to pay a professional audio editor to do this instead of relying solely on volunteers, and we’ll be able to keep the podcasts coming more consistently.

We could also really use a video editor for the LCC3 video; if you have a MiniDV camera and know how to use Final Cut, this means you. Again, see the jobs page for more details.

Thanks, again, for listening, and fiat lingua!

Introduction to the LCS Podcast

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009


In this inaugural edition of the Language Creation Society Podcast, Sai Emrys and David Peterson explain what conlangs are, why someone would want to do such a strange thing as create their own language, what the Language Creation Society is all about, and the future of this podcast.

Ahh, creaky voice…

For those unfamiliar with linguistic terminology, creaky voice is the term for what my voice sounds like. My old phonetics professor at UCSD asked me once, quite honestly, if it hurt to talk the way I do. I haven’t the slightest idea how I do what I do, or why. It seems natural. That’s how I got the nickname “Creaks” at Berkeley.

I think the importance of goals in language creation can’t be overstated. If there is no stated goal (or, perhaps, no obvious goal) that a given conlang is trying to achieve, how is one to evaluate or interpret it? The answer is, one evaluates it based on whatever goals one creates, or attributes to the language, even if this is done implicitly.

Now, if it comes to that, I’d say there’s something wrong with the presentation. Who knows what associations the viewer has built up in their mind? Here’s a nonce example from a made-up conlang:

Yo te amo.

Without a gloss, someone will look at that and think it’s another romlang (and not a very good one, if it’s so close to Spanish). Of course, if you gloss it…

/1sg.Sbj.”to be” DEF. walrus-NOM./
“I am the walrus”

…things change quite a bit.

Sometimes the unstated goal, as Sai mentions in this episode of the podcast, is just to create “what sounds good” or “what feels right”. For outsiders, this is important to know when looking at a language. When evaluating one of these languages, how natural, how original or how logical a language is simply doesn’t matter. For these truly personal projects, what’s interesting is to then try to analyze what it is that the creator finds pleasing and/or appropriate. Chances are an unreflective language creator may be mimicking the patterns of whatever languages they’ve come into contact with, but sometimes what makes sense to one is senseless to another. That in itself can be interesting.

To reiterate a point made in the podcast,
this blog is what we all make of it. The thing itself is strong kind of an experiment, and we’re interested in experimenting further. If you have ideas for the blog, or come across something interesting on the wilds of the internet, let us know. Anything that is of potential interest is interesting to me. 🙂

Edited by Virgo Audio Production Services; music by Gary Shannon, and Scotto Hlad.

Welcome to the Language Creation Society blog/podcast

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

We’re moving from a plain ol’ RSS feed for the podcast to a blog, right here.

Podcast subscriptions should be unchanged by this (though may be affected by the FeedBurner merger w/ Google).

It’s brand-new now of course, but soon we hope to have some regular text entries to go with the podcasts.

Anyway: we’re looking for contributors, both for the podcast and the blog. If you’re interested in writing or speaking (or singing!) for the conlang audience, please let us know. (David Peterson will be leading the writing effort.)

The criteria are the same: have something to say that’s interesting to a broad set of conlangers, and do it in a way that’s high quality. We’ll handle as much or as little of the technical & hosting parts as you want; you just have to come up with the content.

Speaking of podcast contributors: Matt Arnold, LLG President, is joining the LCS podcast with a revamp of the “About Lojban” series.

Matt already announced this on lojban-l, but: if you have suggestions for what you’d like to see on or contribute to the podcast relating to lojban (or other logical languages), please email him (he’s CCed).

We hope to be able to bring you other specialized podcast series in the future.

If you’re still not subscribed: go to

Recent podcasts: an interview with Thomas E. Payne (author of Describing Morphosyntax, aka “the conlanger’s bible”); high-quality video of Donald Boozer & Lila Sadkin‘s talks from LCC2; and an introductory discussion of what conlangs are in the first place.