Tag Archives: language

Conlang behind the ‘Avatar’ Film

USC professor creates an entire alien language for ‘Avatar’ | Hero Complex | Los Angeles Times

Cameron had come up with about three dozen words of the Na’vi language at that point in his project document, which was like a quasi-script or a long treatment (“They called it a scriptment,” Frommer said, “and that was a new word to me”)  but most of the words  were character names.

“It gave me a sense of the sound that he was looking for and then I expanded it. Given these sounds and the possible combinations, what further structure could I bring to the sound to make it interesting,” Frommer said. “That was the starting point. Probably the most exotic thing I added were ejectives, which are these sorts of popping sounds that are found in different languages from around the world. It’s found in Native American languages and in parts of Africa and in Central Asia, the Caucasus. “

Oh The Lies We Tell



I have a confession to make: Up until a few weeks ago, I’d never played Scrabble.

The revelation of that little chunk of wisdom to a few friends provoked a few, “really?!” responses.  It came about during my questions and ranting while playing Words With Friends on the iPhone.  “What do you mean it doesn’t allow proper nouns?” I cried.  “Why doesn’t it spell backwards?”

It also doesn’t do very well with medical terminology, in case you were curious.

Beyond being a tidbit, my introduction reminded me of years past when I’d have conversations with friends about Scrabble.  I’d invariably get a response like, “oh, there’s no way I’m playing with you” or “no, you’d totally just win.”  I write, therefore people automatically assume I’m awesome at words and therefore awesome at Scrabble by association.

Which is the furthest thing from the truth, really.  Sure, if I had a good vocabulary (which I don’t, really, and I’m against expanded vocabulary in writing anyways), but the point of Scrabble is to win points, and to do that, you need to understand how the game scores points.

But I never said anything to my friends.  Didn’t want to burst that bubble of awesomeness that they had erected around me.

Far be it from me to dissuade them of the notion.

Oh, the lies we tell or let carry on, eh?

Internet Names and Linguistics

“After considering a post on names like Tumblr and Flickr, I discovered that linguistic mystic was a couple years ahead of me having posted on the use of syllabic consonants in Web 2.0 apps”

The Lousy Linguist: Tumblr, Flickr, rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr