ozarque (ozarque) wrote,
ozarque
ozarque

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About that new Láadan grammar....

There are an assortment of different genres of traditional teaching grammars for foreign languages. There's the one that's strictly for tourists; it has a lesson about finding the bathroom, a lesson about buying a ticket, a lesson about going to a restaurant -- that kind of thing. There's the one that's mostly scripts -- it has a lesson where two people greet one another, a lesson where two people tell one another goodbye, a lesson where one person orders a meal and another takes the order, a lesson where one person asks another how to say something and the other person answers the question, and so on. There's the one that has a Nuclear Family as its cast of characters and takes them through their daily lives -- it has a lesson with the NF at breakfast, a lesson with the NF at dinner, a lesson with the NF going to the mall, a lesson with the NF celebrating a birthday, and so on. There's the one that describes the world -- it has a lesson about a country, and a lesson about weather, and a lesson about transportation, and so on. And there are more. Choosing your genre from this assortment is critical, the way choosing your genre for a novel is critical, because the choice immediately dumps a bunch of rules and constraints and tropes and stuff on you.

I've been trying to pick a genre for the new Láadan grammar I need to write, because if I had that done I'd be able to work on it in odd moments. What I'd really like to do, if I had unlimited free time, is set it in my fictional cyberdragon universe ... but that would be a monumental project and I have absolutely no business doing anything of the kind. I have sense enough not to do that; heck, if I had that much free time available I'd just write a novel about that universe and be done with it.

On the other hand, it seems to me that it might be possible for me to write it with a family of dragons -- extended, not nuclear -- as its cast of characters, instead of a family of human beings. [The Láadan word for "dragon" is óowamid -- literally "fire-creature." (The shiniest thing about doing a teaching grammar for a language you've constructed your own self is that you get to decide things like that.)]

On the other other hand, maybe that would be silly self-indulgence. Maybe I should remember that the goal is a traditional teaching grammar. Maybe I should stick to lessons and dialogues with Dick and Jane and Spot and Puff and Mother and Father.

If you have any advice for me on this matter that could help me make this decision, I'd be very interested.
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  • Wednesday; "Gone With The Wind"...

    I just want to mention something here, in case you're not already aware of it. I want to mention the extraordinary craftsmanship that's demonstrated…

  • Saturday; the new novel...

    I have to re-write the new novel, in longhand, from start to finish -- which will take a while. It does have to be done in longhand, and there's no…

  • Monday; the new novel...

    I'm pleased to report that the writer's block has come to an end. Apparently, all it took was a blogpost to the Magic Live Journal, and I was…