Etymology Game

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FlatAssembler
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Etymology Game

Postby FlatAssembler » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:20 pm UTC

I've decided to try to make a web game about etymology:
http://flatassembler.000webhostapp.com/etymologist.html
What do you think about it? Is it worth to continue developing it?
Does my algorithm for simulating the evolution of languages produce convincing results? If not, why?

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Zohar
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Re: Etymology Game

Postby Zohar » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:48 pm UTC

As someone who doesn't know anything about linguistics that looks incredibly unclear. The instructions are long and convoluted, and I have no idea how to solve the "riddles".
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
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FlatAssembler
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Re: Etymology Game

Postby FlatAssembler » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:19 am UTC

Excellent suggestion! I'll add some examples. It's a lot easier to do now than it would have been if I had already finished the graphic interface.

How about those examples:
Part #1: Choose the correct cognate to "twig":
A) sonne
b) bett
c) zweig
The solution is c), because English 't' in the beginning of a word corresponds to German 'z', and not to 's' or 'b'.
Part #2: Let's say we have words "ten", "zehn", "two" and "zwei". The words "ten" and "two" belong to English while the words "zehn" and "zwei" belong to German, because English 't' in the beginning of a word corresponds to German 'z'.
Part #3: Let's say we have rules "0[ t ]>z" and "V[ b ]V>v". The first one belongs to German (English 't' in the beginning of a word corresponds to German 'z'), while the second one belongs to English, because in English, 'b' between two vowels turns to 'v' (compare, for example, German "haben" and English "have" or German "geben" and English "give").

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Zohar
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Re: Etymology Game

Postby Zohar » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:56 am UTC

You talk in the game that the language is invented - why would I try to use any real-world knowledge I might have from German in order to solve it? The instructions are very unclear in that regard, and your example doesn't help much. It's obvious you have a good idea about what you're trying to achieve, but you haven't found a way yet to communicate that to your audience.
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name

FlatAssembler
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:42 pm UTC

Re: Etymology Game

Postby FlatAssembler » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:46 pm UTC

I am not asking people to use their knowledge of German to solve the puzzles, I am explaining how to solve the puzzles using the languages that are familiar to the players. It's much better to use English and German as examples than, let's say, English and Croatian (which is my native language), don't you think?

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Zohar
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Re: Etymology Game

Postby Zohar » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:50 pm UTC

I don't know what's better or worse - I'm not a game designer. I just know I, at least, didn't get it.
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name

FlatAssembler
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Re: Etymology Game

Postby FlatAssembler » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:18 pm UTC

Anyway, the game has been updated quite a few times since I last posted here. The whole game is now playable in the graphic interface and I have tried to make the examples more clear. I don't think I'd be able to add anything complicated to it though, I can barely manage the 2000 lines of code it has now.

RyanofTinellb
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Re: Etymology Game

Postby RyanofTinellb » Sat May 05, 2018 6:04 am UTC

This game makes no sense. That is, I get the concept, but the concept itself is poor. We know 'ten' and 'zehn' are cognates because they are part of a massive list of words in English and German that have those sound correspondences. There are plenty of false cognates (such as English "day" and Latin "dies"), and plenty of completely opaque cognates (did you know that 'wheel' and 'chakra' are descended from the same PIE word?), both of which make a game like this impossible on a term-by-term basis.

FlatAssembler
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Re: Etymology Game

Postby FlatAssembler » Sat May 19, 2018 6:46 pm UTC

There are many false cognates and opaque cognates because real-world languages have thousands of words. Guessing which of the four randomly selected words from a language is a cognate to a specified word in a related language is possible in the vast majority of cases.


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