Writing meme

I’m not really one of memes, unless they’re of the genetic variety, but Jangari tagged me so here goes. (By the way, speaking of Jangari, anyone know if matha ‘language’ in Yolŋu is likly to be cognate with matjjin?) The meme is ‘good blog writing tips’.

  1. Be a bit careful what you write about. This is perhaps especially important for faculty, and for non-anonymous blogs. There’s no rule that ‘what gets put on the blog stays on the blog’ – what gets posted affects real life too. Hence my rule of no Rice-related posts on my blog, unless it’s to announce PhD defences or similar cool things. It’s just simpler if everyone knows that nothing personal and nothing department-related is likely to end up online.
  2. Write about things that you find interesting, not what you think your audience might like. For me, this blog is more musings on stuff I find interesting than it is something intended to be read by a huge audience (I get about 100 hits per day, which is about 1% of language log’s audience, by way of comparison). I also don’t know who reads it (although I can name some of the usual suspects) so second-guessing my audience would be hard.
  3. Write regularly. I also agree with Jangari about revising until you’re happy with the result (that goes for all writing) but the best way to get better at writing is to write a lot.

2 responses to “Writing meme

  1. The matjjin ~ matha similarity never occurred to me before. It’s even made more clear if you ignore the final -(i)nwhich is historically a nominal suffix and is usually removed when other suffixes are present; garradin ‘money/rocks’, garrad-gu ‘for money’. So we may be talking about cognacy between matj and matha.

    What’s the current story on corresponding sounds for Yolngu dental stops in Gunwinyguan languages (with which Wagiman shares many features, especially phonological)?

  2. Dunno much about Gunwinyguan, but it’s a bit funky because a lot of the Yolŋu varieties in recent contact with languages like Wubuy got rid of most of their voicing contrasts. For Yan-nhaŋu and Burarra, the loans correspond in voicing (voiced/short is borrowed as voiced, voiceless/long borrowed as voiceless). Barry Alpher and I have a paper showing that the most likely origin of the voicing contrast in Yolŋu is that it entered through loans and was then extended in morphology.

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