Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Yet more book ideas (paca)

I always have ideas for stories and books to write. If only I wrote some of them. Readers of the old pacatrue blog may remember my Hawaiian Hotties Handbook, where I interview hot Hawaiians about how they got so damn hot and publish a diet/exercise/lifestyle book from it. I've also had various linguistics related book ideas pitched at various levels:

1) A series of mystery novels where our intrepid linguist heroine from the University of the Pacific (I have to look up still if that exists already - the U of South Pacific is in Tahiti; it sooo must exist and I will have to come up with a new name) travels to remote places to document a dying language. Murder ensues. She solves the crime with a little romance and suspense along the way. This is plain pulp fiction for adults with serious backdrops of language extinction, changing culture, and the nature of human language. Trust me. Some languages are freaky in the way they work from an English perspective. Fortunately, the people who read books, namely women, also often like language stuff.

2) A guide to the writing systems of the world for young adults. If you go to the children's section at a large bookstore, you will discover whole series of books for 10 year olds with titles like Pyramids, Knights, Castles, Cars, Dinosaurs, etc. So we would add mine to the list.

3) Idea 2 actually came from this idea here at 3. An alphabet book with words from many languages, probably languages common to multicultural America - English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Hindi, Arabic, Navaho, Tlingit - you get the idea. This is for the younger than 10 crowd. Maybe N will do this one for me.

4) Language Music Brain. Some nonfiction popularization of what I want my dissertation to be. I am working - supposed to be anyway - on an abstract for a music psychology conference about the connections between music and speech intonation.

5) This is more do-able, but is purely for the academic presses. Two phonology courses are required for my doctorate - one is an intro to phonological analysis where you learn how to analyze speech sounds; the second is phonological theory where you learn umm the theory side of that analysis. There needs to be a simple book on phonological description. One that simple tells you all of the things going on in an easy to follow format. As far as I can tell right now, it is all piecemeal. You look at language x and Y; you look at how this and this is explained by this theory. We need a theoretically neutral story of what sound systems are like across the world. I can't tell you how many times I have used the same 3 examples in my essays due to a lack of knowledge.

OK, off to pick up B at day care.

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