Málycanis

Málycanis is an artlang that adopts some interlang sensibilities. Specifically, it is a hypothetical sci-fi descendant from English as spoken by non Anglos (as French, Spanish, and Portuguese are descendants from Latin as spoken by non-Romans.) It may or may not show up in my sci fi stories.

I derive it by taking English and slashing out sounds and concepts that aren’t widely found in other languages unless I fancy them so much I couldn’t bear to part with them.

To be quite clear, if English actually turns into Málycanis, that would be tragic. But, as a toy language, I quite enjoy it.

Phonology

Phonotactics

Syllables of Málycanis take the form [C][L]V[C][s] where…

  • C = any consonant
  • L = s, w, l, or y,
  • V = any vowel or the ai/ay diphthong.
  • s = s, and as a second consonant in the coda, only follows a nasal (m or n) or unvoiced stop (p, t, c).
  • Any syllable after the first must start with a consonant.

Consonants

Romanization, followed by (IPA). Multiple IPA symbols indicate dialectical alternatives that are also considered correct. A given dialect will only use one of these pronunciations per character, with certain exceptions listed below, so it’s not technically kosher to use both, but there should be no ambiguity so it doesn’t really matter.

I know that parenthesis are not the right way to indicate phonology, but I can’t be arsed to look it up just now.

m (m)n (n)
p (p)t (t)c (k)
v (b/β)d (d/ð)g (g/ɣ)
f (f)s (s/ʃ)h (χ/h/ʔ)
w (ɰᵝ)l (l/ɾ)y (j)
  • “ts” before a vowel is always pronounced “tʃ” (that is, like the English digraph “ch”).
  • “ds” before a vowel is always pronounced “dʒ” (that is, like the English letter j).
  • Yes, I do use ‘c’ instead of ‘k’ for the unvoiced velar stop. Because I like it better.
  • I also especially like voiced fricatives, despite the fact they are uncommon, and so have them as alternate pronunciations of the voiced stops. I am liable to always pronounce the voiced stops this way, and you can’t stop me.

Vowels

I tried to cut them down to the three vowels found in e.g. Arabic, but my aesthetic sense forced in an interloper. Good thing this is an artlang and not an interlang.

  • a (a)
  • i (i)
  • u (u)
  • y (ɪ/ɘ)
  • The diphthongs ‘ai’ or ‘ay’ (both cases pronounced ‘a͞i’) are also allowed.
  • Due to Málycanis phonology, it should never ambiguous whether ‘y’ is a consonant or a vowel. It would be better to use ‘j’ as the consonant, but I don’t like it, and I’m not gonna.
  • An acute accent can be placed above a vowel to indicate that syllable is stressed. This is only done in words with two or more syllables, not counting affixes.
  • Any non dipthong vowel may be doubled, which merely indicates you pronounce it for twice as long.
  • These vowels are not meant to be super precise, and vary wildly across dialects. Because there are so few, as long as you land closer to one corner than the others, it’s going to be considered correct.

Vocabulary

There is, at present, little defined vocab. A good first start would be to steal the lexicon of Toki Pona for the core, and then only add words as needed.

Each Málycanis word should be a more or less direct conversion of an English word, favoring synonyms that avoid homonyms as much as possible, or a compound of two Málycanis words.

Here are some examples, to be amended as an official lexicon is compiled.

  • fight: fait
  • art: aat
  • walk: wac
  • run: fáswac
  • Jack: Dsyc

Grammar

Again, not so well defined as phonology. Subject – Verb – Object, obviously, but to be worked out in detail as needed for stories or what have you.

Verbs do conjugate for past and future tense, but it’s just a prefix or postfix.

  • run: fáswac
  • ran: fáswacyd
  • will run: ylfáswac

The plural of every noun is a ‘ys’ postfix.

  • Artist: aátman
  • Artists: aátmanys

Ay ylfait da aátmanys.

Wheel Spinning

Theoretically, as I work, study, and brainstorm in my card box, clusters of cards will eventually grow to the point where I can just harvest one such cluster and produce a book.

As I’ve noted before, though, I feel less like I’m producing books and more like I’m spinning my wheels. Previously, my method was to pick a project, and come hell or high water, work until it was done, while allowing myself to be flakey and goofy about which projects come next. And I grow increasingly convinced this is the superior methodology in some ways.

Maybe not in all ways. Maybe the Zettelkasten concept is a piece of what I need to do rather than the whole. But my lack of apparent progress annoys me, and I think I need to buckle down and finish something.

Continue reading “Wheel Spinning”

A Brief(?) Write-Up of Re-Tail

Scott Adams posits six dimensions of humor. People find something humorous if it is:

  • Clever (e.g. a pun or wordplay)
  • Cute
  • Bizarre
  • Familiar
  • Naughty
  • Cruel

Not everyone finds all six dimensions funny. In fact, most people are only amused by one or two of the dimensions, and some people have no sense of humor at all, relying instead on social cues to know when to laugh (which is why laugh tracks on sitcoms are a thing).

A professional joke tries to hit at least two dimensions. To be cute and bizarre, or naughty and clever, or familiar and cruel. The more the better. A superb example:

Image may contain: text that says 'Death flashed before my eyes WTF CS'

Clever (a pun), Bizarre, and Naughty. Arguably, it is also Cruel.

A professional humorist tries to hit all six over the course of several jokes, and accepts that most of his jokes won’t hit with most of his audience, but everyone in the audience will remember one or two that cater to his tastes.

Naturally, a comic strip is well advised to bake in as many of these factors as possible.

I’m going to show you how the pros do it, and then you’ll be set to understand the concept of Re-Tail.

Continue reading “A Brief(?) Write-Up of Re-Tail”

Vocation Specific

God has graciously placed me in a position where I can focus on my art if I choose. It may be better for me to go get a job and help pay the bills, but if I want, I can work on and off as a farmhand, and try to make money as an artist in the mean time, and my family will live in relative poverty, but not badly for all that.

And yet, if I got a job, if I went through Lamda School, things could be so much better for my family. A little bit of that distress of decision making is showing through in my apathy towards 3D, my trying to pick a project, and so forth.

As I wrestle with the decision of what is the best thing I can do for those under me, it is good to remember a man’s vocation is not abstract. I am not a father, a husband, a farmhand, and an artist. I am a father to my specific kid, a husband to my specific wife, a farmhand to my brother, and so on.

It’s like my theory of creativity.

Continue reading “Vocation Specific”

Apathy

I grow weary of making the 3D models the moment the sculpting phase is done. When I decided to ditch my current set of rotoscopes for a new set, this was at least part of the motivation, although the rationalizations I came up with were legitimate reasons.

I need to decide whether this is an obstacle to be overcome, or a sign I should sculpt for fun, but continue to illustrate books with drawings.

No matter what you do, there will be parts you don’t like, that bore or discomfit you. Overcoming this resistance is key to accomplishing anything. But! Sometimes you are unwilling to do something because you shouldn’t do it.

Telling these two situations apart is hard.

Possibly, I should sculpt characters, render turn-arounds, and use those to create model sheets.

Well, I’m gonna go feed my face, ponder the question, and maybe look at other stuff I should be examining, such as education related stuff.

Yet Another List of Projects

Yesterday, I went through my old attempts to build a 3D basis for book making and extracted a new proportion set:

Big feet, big hands, big heads gives a cartoon/toy feel. Sculpted forms plays into my prejudices also. I think it will do. I won’t know until I model a couple of characters, and ultimately make a book with them. But I have a good feeling about this set.

The single, most efficient way to test this idea of using lego people to make books is to design a book that only has one character. At most, two. Preferably a constant background. Preferably a blank background.

Basically, The Monster at the end of this Book.

Vintage Books for the Very Young: The Monster at the End ...

Although, come to think of it, making posters would be a good intermediate step. Just having finished, printable pictures would tell me a lot of what I need to go to keep, cancel, or modify the project. So, my prior contention that I should just use this as a way to do the Original Character challenge is probably the way to go. And that is probably what I’ll do.

But I started this blog post with the intention of listing as many potential projects as occur to me in the off chance that one of them will have an obvious “Monster at the End of this Book” story I can tell. And having that list will be useful. So I’m still going to make it. In alphabeticalish order.

Read on, reader!

Awesome Moments Models

Last time I spent any time on the Awesome Moments project, a few months ago, I came up with some drawings and a concept for proportions based on the drawings.

The idea is to make what I call “lego people”. Not that they have any physical resemblance to legos, but that I have hands and torsos and legs and heads and hairpieces that I can mix and match to create several different cartoony characters.

And the art style is an art style I can be happy with for most of my projects because, using them as a basis for paintings, I can produce higher quality books faster than if I were drawing them.

Mind you, I’m not 100% sure I don’t want to draw them yet. Only 90%. I’m sculpting and sketching away secure in the knowledge that I don’t need to make that decision until the book is ready to harvest from my deck box.

Thing is, this is not the first time I had the idea to do lego people for a project.

Continue reading “Awesome Moments Models”

Sculpting Warmup

This is part 3 of 2. Part 1 is why I’ve stopped work on Hat Trick for now (I have and I haven’t), part 2 is I’m likely to work on Awesome Moments next (we’ll see), and this is less a member of the series and more the fallout of that decision.

Here’s a bunch of pictures I’ve made by slapping down a 3D render, and then painting over it.

It’s not the only way I do things. I can also paint stuff without relying on 3D to cheat.

Wren Fall

And I left out the more egregious examples where the end result looked worse for the technique rather than better.

But I’d like to use the technique for Awesome Moments.

Or more specifically, I’d like to use a variation on the technique.

I would like to create a library of character pieces that I can mix and match to create a wide cast of characters. Stick Head A on Body B with Legs Q, and we all have the same hand model…

With each book I release, the new parts exponentially increase the number of characters, situations, etcetera, I can use. But first, I have to settle on a style and build the parts library for a single story.

It’s been about a year since I last did anything serious in 3D. I was starting to get a knack for sculpting in Blender when I made a lamb for a nibling.

But that knack has gone. And so, last night and today, I have been working on relearning how to sculpt in Blender.

Continue reading “Sculpting Warmup”

I drew a picture today

I put in my 2 pages today (3, actually), and then, for the heck of it, I entered a contest on the internet.

(Yesterday, alas, my progress on Hat Trick was a couple of cards written for the card box seed. I had to stay out of the house while it was fumigated).

The contest is to replicate the following image in one’s own style:

Image

And here is my entry:

Image

This marks the first time since I moved to Minnesota that I did an illustration start to finish. All the drawing I’ve done ’til now has been concept work or draft work. And, as I won’t have a book draft ready to produce for a good while, the pattern seems liable to hold.

thoughts occur