Zompist books feedback

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zompist
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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by zompist »

You can track the sales meter here: http://www.zompist.com/apaf.html

We're at 79%; at the current sales rate we could still be a year away. Buy copies for all your pals!

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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by Birdlang »

It is cool that you have sold a lot of books to people. I got it from Amazon and know enough in the LCK, so I got Advanced Language Construction. I like the look of the capital eng, it is the kind I use in my conlangs. I will probably get the LCK anyways. Is that Dyirbal in Americanist???
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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by Aldwinkle »

For some reason the Lexipedia gives nipples in french as "bout de sein"

What the fuck is this

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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by Birdlang »

I have all your books except the PCK. I am going to guess it is written in the same fonts.
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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by zompist »

The PCK uses Century Schoolbook— which I like as a font, but it doesn't have good Unicode support. Fortunately there's not that much Unicode in the PCK.

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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by Xephyr »

It's pretty easy to edit fonts-- I did it to Cambria on my computer so that italic <ʔ> looks more like a dotless <?> which is how it usually looks like in irl grammars. Would there be copyright problems if you tried doing that in a book?
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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by jal »

Talking about the PCK, although I really loved it, it's should be renamed to something better covering the content. It's not as much about constructing a planet, as it is constructing cultures and civilizations.


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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by JeremyHussell »

In the Conlanger's Lexipedia, on page 171 in the discussion section of the chapter 'Dimensions', there's a paragraph about tall/short vs. high/low:

"It's a bit mysterious why English has two terms for large vertical extent. A man can only be tall; a number can only be high; mountains and buildings can be either. High can be also be [sic] used for a level (high prices, high vowels, a high platform)."

To me, the difference seems obvious: tall and short always refer to linear extent, while high and low always refer to distance. Objects have vertical linear extent, but things which move up or down have a vertical distance from the ground (or some other normal, in the case of metaphorical extensions). Mountains can be conceived of as objects sitting on the ground (e.g. volcanic cones), or as places where the ground is higher than normal (e.g. plains gradually rising into hills gradually rising into mountains). Similarly, buildings can be viewed as objects or as extensions of the landscape. It's a matter of perspective.

In some future edition of the Lexipedia, I would suggest moving high and low from the collection of linear extent words to the collection of distance words on the next page, and rewriting the above paragraph to discuss this a bit. The first paragraph on page 173 might also need to be tweaked as part of this.

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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by zompist »

It's true that we use "high" when the position of an object varies: high prices, flying high, a high pitch, high vowels, a high platform. That's what I meant by saying that we use it to refer to a level.

But we absolutely also use "high" for large vertical extent: high heels, high-rise buildings, a high stool, a highboy, a high chair, high mountains, a high fence, high waves, books piled high.

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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by Jonlang »

Xephyr wrote:
zompist wrote:I'm getting a hardcover edition of the Language Construction Kit together, and the first step is to update the text. If there's any errors you've found, please mention them here or e-mail me ASAP.


Since you're reissuing old material anyway, why not rerelease both LCK and the ALCK as a single volume? "Complete Language Construction, 600 pp, hardcover, with a new foreword" sounds pretty appealing, I think.

zompist wrote:That's a good idea! I will look into the pricing.


So is this happening? A revised, corrected, updated, combined LCK+ALC book? I'd buy it!
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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by jal »

zompist wrote:But we absolutely also use "high" for large vertical extent: high heels, high-rise buildings, a high stool, a highboy, a high chair, high mountains, a high fence, high waves, books piled high.

In most of these cases though, there also seems to be a "distance" aspect that might not be present in "tall". I'm not saying I completely buy Jeremy's analysis, but the distinction is not only present in English, but also to an extent in e.g. Dutch (which muddles it even more by applying words for size and horizontal length to vertical length as well).


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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by KathTheDragon »

dyolf wrote:A revised, corrected, updated, combined LCK+ALC book? I'd buy it!

Likewise! Despite having the LCK and the ALCK already

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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by Jonlang »

KathTheDragon wrote:
dyolf wrote:A revised, corrected, updated, combined LCK+ALC book? I'd buy it!

Likewise! Despite having the LCK and the ALCK already


So do I, along with the Lexipaedia and PCK.
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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by zompist »

The problem with a LCK + ALC hardcover is that it's gonna be pricey. The LCK hardcover is great— when I need to refer to the book, it's the one I grab— but it's $34.95. For the combined book it'd be something like $47. I'm afraid that might dampen people's enthusiasm. :?

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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by jal »

I'm always baffled that a little bit of extra cardboard sends prices soaring...


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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by Jonlang »

zompist wrote:The problem with a LCK + ALC hardcover is that it's gonna be pricey. The LCK hardcover is great— when I need to refer to the book, it's the one I grab— but it's $34.95. For the combined book it'd be something like $47. I'm afraid that might dampen people's enthusiasm. :?

To be honest I prefer paperback, I find them easier to use and hardbacks tend to be heavier and larger. Having said that I do have many hardback reference books. But I'd definitely buy a 2nd Edition version of both the LCK and ALC if they're on the cards and a combined version would be badass.

jal wrote:I'm always baffled that a little bit of extra cardboard sends prices soaring...

It annoyes me how books are often published as hardbacks waaaay before the paperback is published.
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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by mèþru »

I've seen people pay more than that for things that are less important and less useful for them than the LCK is in the conlang community.
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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by JeremyHussell »

zompist wrote:It's true that we use "high" when the position of an object varies: high prices, flying high, a high pitch, high vowels, a high platform. That's what I meant by saying that we use it to refer to a level.

But we absolutely also use "high" for large vertical extent: high heels, high-rise buildings, a high stool, a highboy, a high chair, high mountains, a high fence, high waves, books piled high.

Well, I would argue high piles, high waves, high fences, and high mountains are all examples of viewing things from the other perspective, where the thing being discussed is the surface of the landscape instead of an object, a surface which is at a higher level than the surrounding parts. "High-rise building" fits too, with the top of the building "rising high above" the tops of the surrounding buildings (if you view buildings as part of a roofscape). The other examples (high heels, high stool, highboy, high chair) are also things which have a surface higher than normal (I had to look up highboy, but it fits the pattern beautifully; note the contrast with lowboy, which is still on tall legs but has a much lower top surface). "High heels" can be a little confusing if one visualizes a person who's wearing a pair instead of the surface of the interior. I think the "high" part is the heel-end of the insole.

I think this is all yet another example of different people seeing the same thing from different perspectives, exactly like the list on pg. 116 of the LCK. Sometimes these things make their way into a language even though a significant fraction of the population view the turns of phrase as entirely metaphorical, never realizing that other people really think that way. (Classic, very clear example).

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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by JeremyHussell »

While using the Lexipedia I frequently find myself flipping back to the Greek and Russian alphabets near the front of the book. In some future edition, it would be convenient to have a copy of these tables on the back page, much like the IPA chart is to be found at the back of the LCK and ALC. If there's room, perhaps some condensed form of the material on pages 81-84 could be included too. It takes some flipping around to find that after getting out the reference book and finding that one doesn't remember what the symbols and abbreviations mean.

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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by zompist »

JeremyHussell wrote:
zompist wrote:It's true that we use "high" when the position of an object varies: high prices, flying high, a high pitch, high vowels, a high platform. That's what I meant by saying that we use it to refer to a level.

But we absolutely also use "high" for large vertical extent: high heels, high-rise buildings, a high stool, a highboy, a high chair, high mountains, a high fence, high waves, books piled high.

Well, I would argue high piles, high waves, high fences, and high mountains are all examples of viewing things from the other perspective, where the thing being discussed is the surface of the landscape instead of an object, a surface which is at a higher level than the surrounding parts.


You can argue that, but I'm not convinced. :) We say a high fence is high because we're comparing it to a low fence. To be blunt, we're saying it's tall. If the comparison is between the top and the base of the object, then that is tallness.

If distance above the landscape were the key, then a "high pile of books" would be one on a top shelf!

I agree that you might simply be adopting a different perspective to explain words to yourself. We mostly say that heels are "high" and not "tall" because that's what the language taught us. Sometimes we can look at etymology to help, but in this case it's not too useful!

While using the Lexipedia I frequently find myself flipping back to the Greek and Russian alphabets near the front of the book. In some future edition, it would be convenient to have a copy of these tables on the back page, much like the IPA chart is to be found at the back of the LCK and ALC. If there's room, perhaps some condensed form of the material on pages 81-84 could be included too. It takes some flipping around to find that after getting out the reference book and finding that one doesn't remember what the symbols and abbreviations mean.


Good idea!

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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by Ars Lande »

I would like to make a few humble suggestions concerning the non-fiction books:

- A table of contents for the Kindle edition would be great! I find often myself wanting to check something or other in the PCK and CCK, like, say, something I remembered the Old Chinese grammar and it would be great to be able to use the ToC instead of the search function (a little clunky on Kindle).
- It would be great to have the word lists from the Lexipedia put up on the web resources pages, to be able to copy/paste them.

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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by zompist »

I don't have a Kindle, so can you answer these questions?

-- Do the tables of contents for any of the books work? (I think I did it right in the China book, but maybe you didn't get that.)
-- Does your Kindle version update if the publisher creates a new version?

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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by Ars Lande »

No, none of the ToC work, that includes the China book.
As for updates, I really don't know, sorry...

(You can use the Amazon Cloud Reader now, by the way, to test this I think. The behaviour seems pretty consistent on the cloud reader and the other devices.)

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Re: Zompist books feedback

Post by Raphael »

I've checked the Planet Construction Kit and the Book of Cuzei on both my (admittedly fairly old) Kindle and my cellphone's Kindle app, and the tables of content didn't work in any case.
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