change log

In case you missed it, a couple of changes on



Over at Mefi, there’s a nice post on Faye Wong, showcasing a number of videos, some with English subtitles.  The poster was nice enough to mention my page, because of the Mefi connection and, probably, because most of the other Faye sites of that vintage have link-rotted away.


I took the opportunity to update it to Unicode, add more pics, and translate a couple more songs.

I wanted to see how different it would be in this modern world of today.  Answer: very.  What I did back in 1996 was to write out the Chinese text by hand, look it up word by word, puzzle out a translation, and then show it to a Chinese co-worker for help. Today I started by using an IME to enter the text right into the document– for the second new song I realized I could just Google the Chinese lyrics.  In any case I used Google Translate to get a rough draft, then looked up individual words as Google is usually comically wrong with Chinese.  I actually do know the basics of Mandarin grammar now, though I’m still pretty terrible at it.

I found my old folder of Faye stuff, one of many folders full of Information On Stuff that I accumulated back in the pre-Internet era.  (My Dad was the same, I discover.  Once, going through his desk, I found a file on my website: he had printed out some of my pages.  Probably it felt more real when it was down on paper.  Of course, given the scourge of link rot, maybe he had the right idea.)

It’s been twenty years since I wrote the American culture test, so it’s time for an update.

(Mostly it’s new pop culture references, but attitudes about race and sexuality have changed significantly, and there’s more to say about the Internet.)

I was going to write a placeholder page for Dhekhnami– just to check, I clicked the link on my local page, and found this.

That is, I’d already HTML-ized the grammar (er, well, back in 2010), I just never uploaded it. I was never quite satisfied with the language, but I sure don’t want to re-HTML-ize it. 😛 So, it’s now officially done. (I hope to get to Carhinno someday, in which case I’ll probably add a bunch of borrowings to Dhekhnami.)

(So, you’re wondering, is Sarroc done too? Sadly, no. I have a healthy lexicon, but the grammar is just notes for now.)

In case you don’t check the mothership anymore, I have a new page up, on the track record of liberalism vs. plutocracy. (Spoiler: the former works better.)

As part of the LCK2, I’ve updated the Sound Change Applier.  Like gen, it’s written in Javascript for portability.

A summary of the changes (for details see the help page):

  • Supports Unicode
  • Spaces are treated as word boundaries
  • Supports epenthesis (adding new phonemes)
  • Supports metathesis (reversing the target string)
  • Nonce categories (useful if they’re just for one rule)
  • Extended category substitution
  • Gemination and degemination
  • A gloss can be added that isn’t changed by the rules
  • Rules can be written in the form c→g/V_V
  • Rewrite rules allow you to use digraphs, or long category name

As usual, there’s a bug in IE, which I’m looking at now. Would you believe, in the year 2012, IE doesn’t support s[i] to get s.charAt(i).

After 16 years, the online Language Construction Kit was in need of an overhaul.  And here it is!

It’s been Unicoded and generally prettified, I’ve greatly expanded the phonetics section, and corrected a number of errors or obscurities.  (In most cases this meant bringing in text from the print LCK, but not always.) 

There’s also two entirely new pages!  One is a guide on writing your grammar.  It covers outlining, how to create paradigms, how to write glosses, how to know when you’re done.

Plus, I’ve created a Javascript vocabulary creation program, gen. It runs in your browser, so I don’t have to make versions for multiple operating systems.  The neat thing about it is that it chooses possibilities according to a power law, rather than assigning all of them the same probability.  This is far more naturalistic.

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