• saizai

[Conlangs-Conf] First Language Creation Conference videos are live!

They're taking a disproportionate amount of time to approve one of the videos (Pearson's), but I didn't want to wait. Just check back at the same URL for it in X hours/days and it'll be there.

It doesn't seem to be terribly smart about sorting by title, but if you want to watch them in order, they're numbered.

Interviews and the 720x NTSC version are not yet up. Wait another week or two for that.

DVD version is on hold pending someone from the ZBB having a crack at the original tapes. Contact me in early July for that.

  • saizai

Volunteers needed!

Hello everyone.

I am in need of volunteers - more people, in fact, than listed themselves on the program, so I'm sending this to all of you. Below are the things I will need people to do.

If you can do any of these, please reply to this email with just the cropped list of things you CAN do. I'll assign people to tasks once I have enough to fill everything.

If we don't have enough volunteers to have one task per person, then we'll just have to have more than one per. This is a case of more hands = lighter work. :-P

All morning volunteers (other than those busy picking things up) will need to assemble at 8 AM at the front of MLK. Doors will open at 8:30, but we need to start setup earlier than that; most of it can be started as soon as we get bodies on the ground, and the sooner the better.

I will help out with all of these of course, but my main job will be to stay at the conference, field questions, direct everyone, and handle emergencies (hopefully we have few!). I can only be in one place at one time (I'm not *that* advanced at meditation), and there's a lot of stuff to get done - so please help out!

As an extra inducement: all volunteers get one entry into the raffle, currently consisting of 4 cards for a free regular smoothie at Jamba Juice, and 2 gift certificates to Smart Alec's.


MORNING SETUP: (19-25 people)
* Make & post signs (giving directions, nearest bathroom, etc - to post all over the conference building) - 2-4 people
* Get equipment to Tilden (need 3-4 people in decent shape)
* Set up equipment (3-4 people capable of wiring together cameras, speakers, a mixer, etc - preferrably one savvy person in charge and others to help)
* Setup registration table (cashbox, registration tags, physical setup) - 1-2 people
* Move & setup flag & banners on 2nd floor balcony (1-2 people, one preferrably with tough gloves [motorcycle, gardening, work gloves etc] or tough hands, to handle the wire rope on the flagpole)
* Pickup food from Noah's (1 block down) at 8:30 AM - 3 people
* Pickup coffee from Starbucks before 8:30 AM - 1 person, must have car
* Pickup food from Andronico's - ditto; would use a gift cert & shopping list picked up there or from me
* Pickup food from Berkeley Bowl - ditto
* Setup food at Tilden - lay out food, plates, knives, etc - 2 people
* Emergency Gopher - 1 person with a car & cellphone willing to go immediately to pick up any miscellaneous supplies that turn out to be necessary, any time before or during the conference (hopefully not needed, but need to have someone on standby just in case)

* Man registration desk - need 2-3 people (Anna?) who can handle cash & checks, write name tags in pretty / legible handwriting, add identifying dots as appropriate (e.g. registered, speakers, volunteers), and record all transactions.
* General gopher - 2 people for taking care of any miscellaneous tasks that may crop up during the conference
* Question-answering - 2 people familiar with the area to answer any questions people have (e.g. where are bathrooms, parking, ATMs, etc etc)

DURING CONFERENCE: (11-15 people)
* Run videocamera - preferrably one person for the whole time (for stylistic continuity), to run the video camera, make sure it's pointed and zoomed correctly, aim at audience members asking questions and back at the speaker for the answer, swap tapes about once an hour (timed to be between talks), etc. 2-3 people in shifts if noone's willing to take it for the whole time.
* Man registration desk - need 1-2 people to handle any latecomers
* Field audience questions / mic gopher - one person at a time, but enough people (or people doing it long enough) to have one person on duty all the time - to get the wireless stick mic to any audience member asking a question, and possibly to collate & pick out questions if there are too many to fit everyone
* Pick up food from Smart Alec's (1 block down) at 11:45 sharp - 4 people (will miss part of last talk)
* Set up lunch (same as earlier) - 2 people
* General gophers - 2 people

EVENING TAKEDOWN: (16-23 people)
* Checkout - opinion book, emails, etc - 2-3 people to handle people leaving, make sure that everyone has filled out and submitted the feedback forms, give directions as needed
* Cleanup - 6-10 people to handle all miscellaneous cleanup - take down banners & signs, dispose of all food or related waste, etc etc.
* Equipment takedown - 2-3 people to disassemble all equipment and prepare it for moving back into storage
* Move equipment to Dwinelle locker - 3-4 people to ferry it back to storage
* Runners - 3 fast people willing to skip part of the last talk, to go to different nearby restaurants and report back to me on how much free space they have (which one to take over for the 'afterparty' will probably be a last-minute decision based on the answers)
  • saizai

Meetups & other info

Hello everyone.

1. The Saturday meetup will be at Long Life Vegi House at 2129 University Ave. (@ Shattuck), at 4 PM. They serve lunch specials until 5 pm (full meal for $5), vegetarian fakemeat, and real seafood. Metered parking is available in the area, and is free after 6 PM.

Location is very near the Downtown Berkeley BART and lots of different bus lines. Google it, or use TripPlanner (

It's right next to the Domino's Pizza, and a couple stores down from the hardware store.

PLEASE RSVP FOR THE SATURDAY MEETUP! I need to tell them exactly how many people to expect - and there's a big difference in seating between 15 and 40 people showing up!

2. The Friday meetup will be at Cafe Milano, 2522 Bancroft Way (@ Telegraph), also at 4 PM. They serve basically your usual cafe fare. Can't comment on the coffee, since I don't drink it, but it's rated pretty decently (and cheap).


3. Video interviews will be done on Saturday either before the meetup (anytime from 1:30-4), or as a step-away. (Preferrably the former.)

PLEASE RSVP WITH A SPECIFIC TIME WINDOW, preferrably from 1-4 PM Saturday or Friday, if you want to be interviewed on camera!

4. During the event itself, William Richard, morning news producer and radio host at Berkeley's KALX (, will be conducting audio interviews (recognizable by the DAT recorder, mic, headphones, and stentorian voice). Flag him down if you're interested in participating.

All interview material will be used as you specifically allow us to (we'll ask). My intent is that it be used e.g. for posting online, possibly for responsible radio or TV shows (NPR perhaps?), and for general documentary purposes.

Questions asked will be the usual things, as I mentioned earlier. If you have something to say about conlanging, or IN your conlang, this is your opportunity. ;-)

5. Rideshares

If anyone is coming from, or passing through, Davis CA, please let me know - I've got one person there without transport who would like to come.

If anyone else needs a ride, please let me know and I'll send out a request.

6. For everything conference-related, LOOK FOR THE CONLANG FLAG!

I will be present at both meetups with an actual flag on a pole, so that should be pretty easily recognized. Conference signs (which wil be posted on MLK) will also bear the stylized flag design as used in the T-shirts

That's all for now.
  • saizai

T-shirts & other conference gear

Here's how to order your very own conference gear. The page for this on the website should be updated soon (once Ellen has some time free), but I'm telling y'all now.

We have two shops - CafePress and Zazzle. CafePress has some mugs, stickers, and buttons. Zazzle has a bunch of shirts and some stamps. [Note - the stamps have to get approved for content, so they may take a few days to show up in the Zazzle shop.]

Zazzle offers lower prices and more customizability than CafePress. You can modify your shirts in various ways - e.g. change the text on the back (or the font), the colors, etc.

CafePress -
Zazzle -* <- Yes, with a star - adding it means we magically get 70% more royalty, so please keep it there if you post a link.

You have two options to buy:

1. Order it yourself, to your own address, via CafePress and/or Zazzle. Nice and easy, but no bulk discount.

2. IF it is a Zazzle item, AND you will be at the conference, AND it is currently before April 13th - you can order it through me using PayPal.

Go through the steps of checking it out the normal way, until Zazzle gives you the "subtotal" - i.e. including estimated shipping cost and any quantity discounts on your own number of items. Subtract 8%, and PayPal that amount to me using the form on the website. Be sure to note EXACTLY what you want in the text fields - i.e. which item, what size, what color and type of shirt, and any customizations you want. (E.g.: "gold on dark t-shirt, navy blue, adult L, no customization".)

This will net you the 8% (plus not having to pay the tax) discount. (E.g. that shirt would normally cost you $28.43+tax; via this option, it'd be $24.09. Two would be $49.62, or $48.63 via this.)

Don't order more than one "item" through paypal - those fields are just for your convenience to describe what you want. Just make it one lump sum payment.

You can of course still order Zazzle items yourself directly; this just provides a way for them to be bulk ordered without having to guess at how much to stock, etc.

Hopefully that's clear enough. If you want any more options to choose from in terms of design, please let me and/or Ellen know, and we'll try to add 'em.


  • saizai

First Language Creation Conference

First Language Creation Conference
UC Berkeley - MLK 5th Floor - 23 April 2006 9am-5pm
Tickets $5-25 as able (no one refused for lack of funds)


What Is the 1st Language Creation Conference?
The Conference is a set of talks and panel discussions about various issues related to language creation, from several different perspectives. It includes both fairly academic linguistic discussions as well as more general sociological ones; voices from many parts of the conlanging community; and people from all over America. The conference is open to the public; preregistration requested. Lunch and snacks will be provided.

What Is Language Creation?
Language creation (or "conlanging" -- "conlang" is short for "constructed language") is the process of inventing and (usually) describing a new language. Though the extent to which a language is created varies, creators might include sound systems, grammars, and writing systems for their languages. Some creators are also interested in cosmogenesis: the creation of cultures and worlds in which their languages are used.

What's the Point?
People create constructed languages for a number of reasons. Artistic languages are often included in fictional works: for example, Tolkien's Quenya in The Lord of the Rings or Klingon in Star Trek. International auxiliary languages (auxlangs) are intended for communication between people of different native languages, usually to prevent one being elevated over others or to making learning easier; some famous examples are Esperanto, Ido, and Interlingua. Logical and philosophical languages are used to test linguistic (and other) theories; Loglan and Lojban are well-known examples of the former, and Suzette Haden Elgin's Láadan is an example of the latter -- which she incorporated into the Native Tongue series of novels.

Doug Ball: "Conlanging and the Linear Aspects of Syntax"
Sally Caves: "The Medium and the Internet Conlanger: Vision, Venue, and Play"
John Clifford: "Semantic Primes: aUI to Esperanto with Stops Along the Way"
Sai Emrys: "Non-Linear Fully 2-Dimensional Writing Systems"
Don Harlow: "The Use of Conlangs for Creativity"
Matt Pearson: "Case, Aspect, and Argument Structure: One Conlanger's Investigations"
David Peterson: "Down with Morphemes: What Word and Paradigm Morphology Can Teach Us"
John Quijada: "Applying Concepts from Cognitive Linguistics to Your Conlang"

Conlang Teaching; Conlang Aesthetics; The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis and Its Implications

Sponsored by ASUC & Language Creation Society. Wheelchair accessible.


Print-ready version of this flyer at

Please forward this to all relevant mailing lists, message boards, or people you know. Thanks!

  • saizai

Funding & structural update

I spoke to my senator and showed up at the meeting briefly, and successfully got a "best of both" scenario going.

$300 will be in a ASUC Events fund - spendable by reimbursement only, reimbursed after the event, with the full limitations.

$150 will be in the LCS account itself, spendable by normal ASUC restrictions (no food). Not sure if this part is restricted re honoraria etc. Any printing has to bear ASUC logo and state wheelchair accessibility (it is).

This means that the LCS is now a ASUC sponsored student group, which means that we will have an ASUC account and be able to accept donations via the ASUC's nonprofit tax ID. Also removes most of the weirdness/complications from the previous (allornone) scenario I outlined). All donations go to the LCS itself, spendable as decided (NSA) - much easier to deal with. Wouldn't even need to be reimbursement-only AFAIK, since it's "our" money we can spend it as desired. Dunno if I can write checks directly on the LCS account though; probably not, but I'll find out.

I'll need to have a meeting with one of the other signatories and the ASUC finances person to go over how accounts work, how to take donations, etc; will update when I know that procedure.

Still waiting on the outcome of the second grant request.

One issue though is that the $450 *is* reimbursement-only money, and $300 of it only can be reimbursed *after* the conference. I'm not really flush enough to be able to just take that debt on myself comfortably. :-/ So, I'm not sure what to do about it. This would be even more so if it turns out that LCS funds are also reimbursement-only; it'd leave me having to carry debt while the reimbursement process goes through, and probably from my checking account rather than credit - which isn't really practicable.

I'll have to bring this up with our financial advisor and see about the pragmatics of it, but if it's feasible on my end - anyone willing to loan the LCS a few hundred for a couple months - just long enough for the event to finish and reimbursements to go through? I have no idea how this would work though; not sure if it'd be more juggling than it's worth.

FWIW: I've gotten several offers of donations lately - thanks! Pledged donations so far total $635. That puts us definitely within reachable range of at least breaking even. I'll be updating everyone with details on how to send the money (and get tickets in advance) soon.

  • saizai

FLCC T-shirt Contest entries

Update 3/5: added Ellen's entries
Update 3/5 #2: added Ellen's color versions & 2 backs
Update 3/5 #3: added Ellen's versions for black backgrounds

Roger's entry #1 Roger's entry #2
Roger's entry #1

Roger's entry #2

Roger's entry #2 back Roger's entry #3
Roger's entry #2 back

Roger's entry #3

Roger's entry #1 back taliesin's entry #1
Roger's entry #1 back

taliesin's entry #1

taliesin's entry #2 Marikochan's entry #1
taliesin's entry #2

Ellen's entry #1

Ellen's entry #2 Ellen's entry #3
Ellen's entry #2

Ellen's entry #3

Ellen's entry #4 Ellen's entry #5
Ellen's entry #4

Ellen's entry #5

Ellen's entry back #1 Ellen's entry back #2
Ellen's entry back #1

Ellen's entry back #2

Ellen's entry #6 (for black t-shirts) Ellen's entry #7 (for black t-shirts)
Ellen's entry #6 (for black t-shirts)

Ellen's entry #7 (for black t-shirts)

  • saizai

Funding update, request for help

I just concluded my meeting with the ASUC financial committee (am still in senate chambers even).

I was expecting to get $200 (the normal cap for a 1st year group), asked for $2500, and got $450.

The catch: funds cannot be used for food/drinks, tech, or honoraria (which are $1745 of the $2535 budget). Those will need to be covered by grants or other funding. (It does cover goods like plates and such though, oddly.) I'll also need to come back next week for a fee waiver on the Tilden room, but that should be automatic and is assumed in the budget already.

Offered donations so far total $385 above door fees. I have gotten one $300 grant, and am waiting on decision on the second. Assuming >30 people attending paying the low door fee of $5, that makes for another $150 - for a total of $1285 funded so far.

That means we have $1250 to make up, or $590 without food. Part of that should be covered by the second grant, but it's still a significant gap.

It's possible that SLUgS could duplicate my efforts and request both ASUC sponsorship and grants, but they seem to be inactive this semester - I've not heard anything from them, nor any response to emails. (I wonder if I could just take over the group? It's just an organizational skeleton without members, and should be possible to simply sign up as its signatories and thus gain control of it...)

Lastly, the budget is intended to be a conservative one. Some line items may turn out costing less than budgeted for. (Honoraria, if speakers can get outside funding for their travel expenses or if the $200 honoraria contingency turns out to not be needed; and food, if donated or gotten for <$600 food & drink for all.) Some might go over though - printing costs, etc. I've not budgeted for T-shirts, but hopefully that will be a profit item or at least break even. I also forgot to budget for advertising (flyers and the like), so that comes out of contingency fund.

So, the rest needs to come from other sources... businesses, departmental funding, maybe (?) something from Ethnic Studies, higher attendance / door fee committments (a more optimistic projection of 45 people x $15 would increase funds by $500), other donors, etc.

What this means for you:
1. Please email Chairs / Professors Kihlstrom (CogSci) and Inkelas (Linguistics) and ask them to help sponsor this event. They will probably be more responsive to academic "pitches", especially ones that show how it would benefit the standing of the department, the university, or if it would argue for an increase/decrease in undergrad / graduate major enrollment (which directly hits their pocketbook).
"Sharon Inkelas" <>,
"John F. Kihlstrom" <>,

2. If you know any businesses or individuals willing to donate money or supplies - please pitch them on my behalf and CC me. Perhaps another university (or student group?) would be willing to help fund this? Obviously, sponsorship is exchangeable for advertising space / acknowledgements in the program / flyers / etc or similar considerations.

Stuff that could be donated:
* food
* drinks
* copy costs
* tech (see below for needs - highest costs are digital projector, camcorder, and spare laptop)

I've copied the budget below, in case it is of interest. It should be tab & CRLF delimited - just paste into a table / spreadsheet for prettiness.

Ask me if you have questions.

 - Sai

BudgetCollapse )
  • saizai

Status update

The LCS is now a fully registered & official student group (thanks to David Peterson & William McPherson).

I have submitted applications for two grants and ASUC sponsorship; it should take approx. two weeks to resolve both.

The "normal" limits are $500 per for grants and $200 for sponsorship - but these can be waived, and I intend to request that that happen. The grants and sponsorship come out of completely separate parts of the ASUC budget.

Once the ASUC sponsorship goes through, we should be able to begin pitching businesses in earnest (with nonprofit tax ID in hand etc).

I have an almost certain reservation for the Tilden Room on April 23rd (Sunday) - beautiful room, seats up to 100, on the roof of the MLK building. (See for pics and details.) It will probably cost some amount in building manager fees; not sure if that can be covered by a fee waiver, but I've added it to the budget anyway.

April 22nd (Saturday, Cal Day) will be more difficult. So far, I have asked the ASUC and Heller Lounge people whether I can get reservations, and both are fully booked. Other options are relatively limited and expensive (~$300-700/day), but I'm looking into it.

Parking on the 22nd is free 'cause it's Cal Day, but likely to be fairly hard to obtain ('cause it's Cal Day). Reserving spaces costs $8 per for either day, which makes it not really financially worthwhile from an organizational standpoint - especially since bus service is thorough, and one can park freely about a dozen blocks away and take the bus to campus (this is what I do almost every day).

That's about all for now. If anyone cannot make April 23rd but CAN make the 22nd, please let me know ASAP; at this point, I am planning on the 23rd being the one-day-only date, and adding the 22nd if the schedule can be expanded to a full two days.