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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Feb 06, 2010
    Posts
    129
    language builder
    I have a great idea for an app, especially with the mac app store out now.

    I am a semi-amiture linguist (I minored in it), and I love to create languages, but the hardest part is coming up with the lexicon (list of words and suffixes), but that would be a great job for a computer. Basically the first thing you do when creating a language is come up with the phoneme inventory (the list of sounds that your language will have) and the phonetactic constraints (where each sound can and cannot go in a syllable or word, what other sounds can come before and after it, and how the sound changes in different contexts.)

    i'd love to make a program where you input the phonemes and phonetactics, and the program gives you a list of words (really morphemes) based on the information you gave it.

    So, as a very simple example, I could say that my language consists of the following sounds (phonemes)

    consonants: [p] [t] [k] [n]
    vowels: [a] [u]

    (a real language has more sounds, of course)

    and the following phonetactic constraints

    (C)V(n)

    This means that a syllable must consist of a vowel, but can have a consonant at the beginning or an [n] at the end. The computer would then return the following list, assuming i restrict the list to only single syllables:

    a
    u
    an
    un
    pa
    pu
    pan
    pun
    ta
    tu
    tan
    tun
    ka
    ku
    kan
    kun
    na
    nu
    nan
    nun


    Additionally, the program could match the words to a list of english glosses (an = me, nun = dog etc) saving even more time. A feature that allows you to apply historical sound changes to your word list to create new languages descended from the first language could also be added.

    So, how do I go about making that kind of program? I took computer science (where we learned Java) and webmastering (HTML, javascrpt, etc) in High school, but that is the extent of my programming knowledge. What about Cocoa? I looked up some materials, and all of them say I need to know something called objective C before learning Cocoa, and I would also benefit from a non-threatening "for dummies"-style introduction to programming in general.

    Help or advice would be great, and please don't say GFGI, if I wanted to do that, I wouldn't have posted this.

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
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    Given the competitive nature of writing applications for computers...discussing your ideas on an open internet forum probably isn't a great idea...especially an internet forum that is computer related!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
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  3. #3


    Member Since
    Feb 06, 2010
    Posts
    129
    I wasn't really planning on making money off of it. It wouldn't be terribly profitable anyway, and there were (or are) windows programs that pretty much do the same thing. Besides, if I can't bounce my ideas off of people who might be able to help, then how will I learn anything or improve my ideas?

    Besides, if someone who actually knows both programming and linguistics goes and makes an app using my ideas, it saves me the hassle of doing it myself, even if I have to pay for what would most likely be a better product than if I cobbled something together in my spare time with little programming experience.

  4. #4

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    35,787
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Ecg■eow View Post
    I wasn't really planning on making money off of it. It wouldn't be terribly profitable anyway, and there were (or are) windows programs that pretty much do the same thing. Besides, if I can't bounce my ideas off of people who might be able to help, then how will I learn anything or improve my ideas?

    Besides, if someone who actually knows both programming and linguistics goes and makes an app using my ideas, it saves me the hassle of doing it myself, even if I have to pay for what would most likely be a better product than if I cobbled something together in my spare time with little programming experience.
    It's all about the money. If you're not concerned about:

    - keeping any secrets
    - creating any unique abilities or features of that would make your app better than other apps out there
    - and not interested in making any money

    ...then discussing your ideas & learning from others via an internet forum is just fine.

    But if you wanted to make some money...and if your app would have unique & useful features other similar apps don't have...then you would or could be giving away your "creative edge" discussing it on a computer internet forum!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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