How To Read A 223-Page Novel In Just 77 Minutes
Spritz is a company that makes a speed-reading technology which allows you to get through a mass of text, reading every word, in a fraction of the time it would take if you were turning the pages of a book or swiping through a Kindle.
The basis of Spritz concept is that much of the time spend reading is “wasted” on moving your eyes from side to side, from one word to the next. By flashing the words quickly, one after the other, all in the same place, eye movement is reduced almost to zero. All that’s left is the time you take to process the word before the next one appears.
The company is selling licenses for other companies who might want to use the technology in operating systems, applications, wearables, and websites. Obviously, the tiny screen of a smart watch instantly springs to mind.
But the real revelation of Spritz is in trying it yourself.
Buses in Shanghai include announcements in Shanghainese. In the past it was devalued, but has recently been promoted as a key to Shanghai’s unique and time-wrought culture.
Marketplace near Xizang Lu // 市场靠近西藏南路
Huaniao Market, Shanghai // 上海，花鸟市场
Huaniao Marketplace near South Xizang Lu // 花鸟市场靠近西藏南路
I did a quick search a couple of days ago on Atlas Obscura for locations in Shanghai and found an entry for this marketplace. The directions I found to get there were all inconsistent and vague, but after asking several people in the area, I found it. Just wandering around, you’ll absolutely be able to hear it before you spot it. The entrances sound zoo-like with the echoes of birds, cats, dogs, and (most of all) PEOPLE. Packed like every other place worth seeing in China, Huaniao Market is brimming with flora and fauna and is totally worth the push and shove.
The animal sympathizer in me was a little bit sad for the tightly packed animals, but with the amount of traffic this place gets, I’d say for most of the animals it’s just a temporary stopover before going somewhere a little more spacious.
If you’re ever here, though, remember to bargain. I saw some other Americans hand over 100RMB for a tiny cage and I wanted to shout some sense into them to 砍freaking价.
2014 - Watercolor + pen
I usually keep my visual arts off of lhaasiri but this one includes łaá siri, so I’ll put it here.
Shanghai, Hongkou District // 上海虹口
Last one from my exploration of Hongkou. This weekend I’ll go elsewhere to continue the search.
Thank you for reading! :D
8: How long have you been conlanging?
Since I was 8 (how appropriate!). But back in the old days it was really just making symbols and ciphers. When I was 14 I started actually using linguistics as a basis for conlangs. And I’m 20 now, soo…
15: What really perplexes you about natlangs or conlangs?
The amount of detail in some conlangs is perplexing in itself…
Here are some perplexing things:
How much is literacy related to full competency in Mandarin? There are a lot of homophones and Chinese people often need to clarify by referencing how a character is written or a compound it appears in if it’s a single form.
What were the ancient languages (i.e,. PIE) like?
If languages are products of human cognition, how differently do people of different parts of the world process things?
And some other simple questions that could probably be answered by googling them. :’)
19: What is something that your conlang just MUST have?
25: Are there any natlangs you find to be especially conlang-esque?
Mandarin!! So many things about it feel very intuitive, like the tone sandhi, the compounds, how (almost) every single character is like an abbreviation of a two-character compound (it’s like legos!!!).
Finnish as well, I think. Its very euphonic and I think its case system is something that conlangers who like case often are fascinated by at least once in their conlanging career.
1: What natural languages inspire you?
I have definitely drawn from English, Navajo, and Mandarin, in different respects. For instance, I drew on Navajo for animacy and inverse marking, on Mandarin for structuring of compounds and some grammatical patterns, and on English for some easter egg-like word coinages (like “frozen, cold”) is the root <-‘isi> which comes from Old English isig. Things like that.
11: What conlangs do you admire/envy?
Tolkien’s languages don’t count because that’s basically like every conlanger’s ideal, I think. So aside from that: Sandic, Kubi, Ithkuil, Celinese, maybe some others but they don’t come to mind right away. I saw a talk at LCC5 about a movie which would use a conlang, Senn, and its conscript was so perfect!
16: How have people reacted when you tell them you conlang?
Almost unequivocally negatively. You know, in middle and high school it wasn’t a sexy thing to do, so I kept it hidden. In college, a few people are receptive, but for the most part, it’s still met with: “Why, that’s a waste of time?” “Oh you’re just making up words? Boring” or things like that. In linguistics, professors in my experience view it with contempt and unrelated to linguistics. Needless to say I tell very few people.
18: Do you have linguistic pet-peeves in conlangs?
Of course, that’s why this question came to mind when I was writing the post! Indo-European conlangs peeve me because of the lack of creativity (if I can make sweeping generalizations), just reinventing the languages which we already know a lot about. I also am not a fan of conlangs which have terms for cultural concepts that occupy the same semantic-syntactic space as in English (or IE languages in general). This is one thing that made me stop learning Na’vi, despite being an alien language, words for certain things like “please” were basically just recast English. I much prefer conlangs which at least establish some kind of cultural infrastructure outside of what we know. This doesn’t mean conculture, necessarily. For instance, łaá siri is specifically meant to project my own view of the world, but it has no conculture or conworld.
I am not peeved by unnaturalistic conlangs, in fact, I’m inspired by them. Things get most interesting (in my opinion) when we get out of a narrow view of naturalistic / unnaturalistic and begin to tinker solely on creative impulse.
But everyone’s different, so I certainly don’t look down on people who peeve me. n_n
19: What are some qualities that your conlang(s) just MUST have?
Well, at this point I can say that I’m a huge fan of agglutinative, templatic morphologies. I LOVE when a single phoneme is also a morpheme (c.f., łaá siri’s verbs…). For some reason, I also prefer SOV word order. So, for the last few languages I’ve worked on, I’ve sort of used these as a starting point and gone from there. AND EJECTIVES!! łaá siri has allophonic ejectives and the experimental infixlang I’m working on has sets of ejectives and ejectives with velar frication. Ejectives are so nice!
Spatial deictics and evidentiality are obligatorily marked. There are also valence adjusters (detransitivization, inverse, causative inverse, applicative for instrumentals), which are sometimes unnecessary and sometimes mandated syntactically or semantically. Mood and aspect, however, are conflated, and if you want to use mood or aspect, you must use them both in conjunction. So essentially, mood and aspect are bound to each other and can either: 1) both be left off, or 2) both be included.
This might seem a little limiting because if you want to use the habitual aspect, you need to have a mood, but what if you don’t want to convey a mood? Mood and aspect also play off of evidentiality, so for most cases, you can slightly alter one or the other and the meaning will also change.
In this example (1), DETRANS is <-yu-> and is required because of the nature of the verb <-yaa’u>, “to rain.” The mood+aspect morphemes indicate the deontic mood (the speaker’s dread, disgust, fear) with <-ł-> and habitual/frequentative with <-i->. The DIRECT evidential is used in assertions or declarations known to be true.
The DEONTIC morpheme is homophonous with the CONDITIONAL morpheme, but how do we know that one’s not the other? Evidentiality!!
The use of the INFERENTIAL evidential thereby clarifies our use of the modal morpheme.
I swear I could write a book about TAM (tense aspect mood) in łaá siri, but suffice it to say that the system is really robust. Aspects can also convey things like telicity (terminative aspect is used for the end of events as well as the successful completion of them), and the conditional mood is used in far more environments than would be expected by someone familiar with IE languages.
Hey there! :D
This is a good question! If you had asked this even a few months ago, the answer would probably have been a flat-out “abstract,” since they are strictly neither animate/inanimate. Well, maybe the corpse is inanimate…
But now, I have come to a more fluid (possibly more convoluted) understanding of the system of animacy in łaá siri. I imagine this is actually how systems of gender in natlangs arise, originally used fairly restrictively and predictively, but over time they generalize and shift in specificity.
Now I think a deceased human would still be sentient, because the animacies, in addition to physical properties (i.e., a hammer is inanimate, a dog is animate, etc.), can also be used for things related to their animacy. I’ve found that this happens mostly in the sentient and animate animacies. It’s also happened in a more-or-less natural way, meaning I didn’t purposely engineer it that way, it just sort of arose.
So, let’s take as an example silayar-. This root has several meanings not easily described in a concise translation. In INANIMATE, its meaning becomes “crypt, tomb, burial ground, graveyard,” rather generally. You’d expect a location to be inanimate (or maybe abstract? but I reserve abstract for concepts and things), right? But in the SENTIENT animacy, its meaning narrows to “grave of smb,” like if you were to say, “that’s my friend’s grave.” And finally, the same root in the ABSTRACT refers nonspecficially to a a mythological or metaphorical kingdom. In itself it has no religious connotation, but can be used to refer to: Heaven, Tartarus, Narnia, etc.
So, that was a rather long-winded explanation of how animacy has naturally shifted from specific > more general, and I’m really happy you asked, anon! :D