ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So this is one way to represent the sounds of humpback whale songs.  Doubtless someone is doing this over in Terramagne too.  Just ignore the humanocentric reference to this being "almost like" a language.  0_o
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is the freebie for the September Creative Jam, inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] zianuray.

"Truth vs. Reality"
-- a desert poem

Between truth and reality
lies all that is, a contradiction
that completes creation.

Some things are true but not real.

What you cannot see may
still be so in its secret self.

There is knowledge that lies
within us, not out in the world.

Some things are real but not true.

What you can touch with your hands
may tell lies to your fingertips.

The shape of the body does not
always match the shape of the soul.

Only by learning to embrace
the contradiction can we
perceive the whole.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] redsixwing has a thoughtful post about "impossible colors" and how they are not actually impossible but just places where our tools -- whether linguistic or mechanical -- break down.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the August 4, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "dancing" square in my 5-20-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... from the Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger

As the article suggests, some of these were probably jokes, while others may have been power names from a sacred clown.  But there's another possibility not mentioned.  In a culture without jails, people need a way to discipline those who misbehave; and when their language uses descriptive names, it's an obvious way.  In many tribes, one horribly foolish, hilariously memorable moment can saddle you with a name that may take decades to get rid of.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
"La Belle et la Bête" is a French film that goes back to the roots of the classic fairy tale.  I stumbled across a trailer online, and it looks quite good.  I am particularly charmed by having the original French dialog with English subtitles.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
All dialects are linguistically equal.  All of them have grammar

I am particularly intrigued by the stressed-bin example, which is not one I've encountered before, but I note that it follows a similar set of rules as Southern done as an auxiliary verb.  Done means something like "all finished" or "all the way," which is much like a perfective marker, but it can also be used for emphasis or distant past.  Mostly it's a perfective, as in "He done chopped the wood."  You hear the emphatic version in things like "He done had enough" and the hints of distant past in "She done give up on men."  But like stressed-bin, you can't make a question with it: *"Done she give up on men?"

Writing an unfamiliar dialect is very challenging, because it's easy to make mistakes like that if you haven't heard it spoken regularly.  When I write dialect, it's either one I've heard or I'm using what references I can find.  There aren't many references on dialects outside the mainstream ones, because privilege, and what sources there are, often aren't very good.  But I'd rather make my best attempt at them than write everything in newscast-English.  0_o  So I cite my sources if I'm using them, and let it go at that.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Learn some words and phrases in Lakota for talking about a powwow.

They left out frybread. >_< How can you have a powwow without frybread?  Every Indian is going to say that, because the first thing you say at a powwow is: "Where is the frybread?"  There are about a dozen bumper stickers especially devoted to frybread. Of course, this is only part 1.  Maybe they will cover powwow food in a later part.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I got to talking with some friends about the uncanny valley, and then I found this video of two chatbots talking together.  The imagery is basically two talking heads, with a voiceover. The uncanny valley effect works in audio as well as visual mode, and it is creepy.  For those of you whose impaired vision has left you out of the uncanny valley based on sight, here's a chance to experiment with hearing it instead.  Or anyone else who thinks it's cool.

The conversation runs 6:37.  I didn't last a minute before tapping out.  Other friends variably lasted about two minutes, and less than ten seconds.  How long can you make it?
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This post includes written and vocal samples about tribal affiliation.

For what it's worth, Wazí Aháƞhaƞ (Pine Ridge) is the reservation where my father's brother has kin by marriage. Yes, that's complicated. It's also perfectly ordinary for tribal people to trace connections through long trails of relatives.

On my mother's side, our Cherokee ancestor, we don't know who she was.  She was one of the ones who survived by assimilating.  But I am still finding bits of things, all this time later, where family traditions overlap Cherokee culture.  Burying fishheads in the garden, that one was obvious!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This sounds promising.  Sacagawea will be played by an actual Native woman.  They also hired a bunch of consultants to cover all the tribes that will be featured, in pursuit of accuracy and respect.  This is how you do a good job of cultural representation.  Even if it doesn't turn out perfect I think it'll be really good, and they are certainly making concrete efforts.  If nothing else, it's making jobs for a lot of Native people.


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