Archive for January, 2008

Merges through sound changes

January 27th, 2008 Comments off

Sound changes meant that the singular and plural nom/acc neuter article would be the same in Rhaetian (probably δα).

I initially worried about that, but then thought that in German, the feminine nom/acc article is also the same in the singular and plural (“die”), and Germans seem to manage fine with that.

Categories: Rhaetian Tags: ,

Gregorian-to-WHATL calendar conversion

January 26th, 2008 Comments off

So I tried to make a little program that would convert Gregorian dates to the equivalent WHATL dates.

The first version only used the current date; then I wrote one which would parse a date or a time_t value on the command line. After messing around with it, I eventually got it to work – and found that it gave wrong results in leap years.

Apparently, it was off by one. I had used code from Zefram’s Stardate program, and apparently that assumed that the epoch was 0001-01-01 rather than 0000-01-01.

What annoyed me, too, though was that it only worked during the time period where gmtime() and friends work – on my system, until early 2038.

And since WHATL years and Gregorian years are the same length nearly always (by a fortunate coincidence), you can simply convert from one to another by adding or subtracting four to the year and a certain bias to the date (which depends on the month and whether it’s a leap year or not, and varies between 6 and 9). So I wrote a second version which did that.

After a bit of playing around with that, I think it more or less works now. Pity that I can’t output month and day names in Greek, though (it’s a C command-line program and my command line is not Unicode-aware).

Perhaps I’ll write a Java program or something, though I’m not sure how to integrate it into Java’s existing i18n framework. Presumably a subclass of Calendar and one of DateFormatSymbols. But I don’t see any way to tell DateFormat to use a different calendar, and even SimpleDateFormat can only be passed separate DateFormatSymbols. Where does that leave people using different calendars? Somehow, I think that it’s only half-baked. Perhaps IBM’s ICU will be more amenable.

Or I could just forget about them and just write a little class of my own, which will not have as many features and may have a different interface, but does work with my dates.

Categories: WHATL Tags: ,

V2 in Rhaeto-Romance

January 3rd, 2008 Comments off


It appears that verb-second word order in main declarative clauses (rare enough among the world’s languages in the first place) is found not only in German, but also in Sorbian (through influence from German) and in *drumroll* Rhaeto-Romance! Whee!