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3 votes
2 answers
41 views

Why would a language created by humans lack both the /k/ and the /g/ consonants?

In my story, there is a species of aquatic humans often called merfolk (Homo maritimus, so they are still humans, just not Homo sapiens). They do not look the typical descriptions of merfolk (I want ...
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6 votes
2 answers
69 views

Creating a language for intelligent, sapient creatures that resemble large cats

In my world, there is a race of intelligent, sapient creatures that resemble large cats. They have fur, tails, and whiskers, and can purr and meow like regular cats, but they can also walk upright on ...
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6 votes
2 answers
71 views

Why would a language created by humans lack the /j/ semivowel, and even the /i/ vowel?

What I mean is the sound /j/ (as in English yellow and French hyène 'hyena') is the most common semivowel around the world. This phoneme is highly conserved in Indo-European languages (this language ...
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5 votes
2 answers
51 views

What is a good way for a speaker of English to get started learning Toki Pona?

I am interested in learning Toki Pona. As a speaker of Toki Pona and English, what would be a good learning path for someone that speaks primarily English and has a moderate amount of knowledge about ...
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5 votes
1 answer
61 views

How does one go about designing phonotactics for a conlang?

Most every conlanger has heard of phonotactics. However, I have yet to encounter resources about how should one go about the design of a conlang's phonotactics. How should one go about creating a ...
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3 votes
2 answers
193 views

What are auxlangs?

I often hear certain conlangs (e.g. Esperanto) referred to as auxlangs. What exactly is an auxlang? How can I tell if a conlang is an auxlang? What are some examples of auxlangs?
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1 vote
1 answer
41 views

What are artlangs?

I often hear the term artlang applied to some conlangs (e.g. Toki Pona). What does it mean? How would I determine if a conlang I am creating is an artlang? What are some examples of artlangs?
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1 vote
2 answers
59 views

Why would a language lack a T-V distinction, but with a pronoun system that is the opposite of English?

In English, you is used both in the second-person singular and in the second-person plural (thou is now only used in some old proverbs and old expressions). At the opposite, French (my native language)...
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3 votes
1 answer
236 views

How do trade languages form?

I’ve read books (mainly Star Wars) that tend to have a species language (e.g. cheunh for chiss) and then trade languages that the greater part of a region also speaks (e.g. Minniesiat and Sy Binsti). ...
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3 votes
1 answer
85 views

What is the second most elaborate constructed language up to date after Esperanto?

What would be the most elaborate constructed language today in terms of size of vocabulary, complexity of grammar, number of exceptions to the rules of the language, etc.? If we exclude Esperanto, of ...
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  • 229
4 votes
1 answer
303 views

How to translate to Black Speech this sentence "Eye of the Sauron is always watching"?

How to translate to Black Speech phrase "Eye of the Sauron is always watching"? or more simply: "Sauron is always watching", or even more simply "Sauron is watching". and ...
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2 votes
1 answer
34 views

For a whistling language, what other keys could be used to represent tones/tone actions

I already have used ~,<,>,’,=,-,^, and v for trills, rising tones, falling tones, glottal stops, chord tones, neutral tones, rising/falling tone, and falling/rising tone. This language is ...
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3 votes
1 answer
83 views

How to know if a language is constructed or natural?

Imagine you get access to a rather long book for which the following is true: It is written in an unknown language with an unknown script. We can't rely for whatever reason on the fact that the ...
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  • 229
6 votes
2 answers
228 views

Where do you start when you try to translate from an unknown artificial language?

The question is sparked in part by an article about Phyrexian language on Polygon. Imagine you have a text written in a language that nobody knows. You might have some loose idea what the text is ...
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  • 229
3 votes
1 answer
37 views

is it naturalistic for a language to change alignment like this?

I'm working on another conlang for my world and its evolution, and one of the defining qualities of its handling for transitive verbs in sentences is using nominative-accusative alignment, but ...
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2 votes
1 answer
39 views

If there was a group of perfect-pitched alien, who spoke in whistles, would humans without perfect pitch be able to learn that language of whistles?

Essentially, without perfect pitch, could someone learn a language that requires you to have the pitch perfect.
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3 votes
1 answer
45 views

How would a language of whistles work

The language consists of 3 different tones: high, medium, and low. There are trills (~), chords(=), neutral tones (-), rising tones (<), falling tones (>), and rising/falling tones (^). Would ...
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2 votes
0 answers
40 views

How would different species (e.g. human + hypothetical alien) create a language dictionary/ translation guide?

So I’m working on a species (called Xohamyan if your curious) in a sci-fi universe. They possess three tones (high, medium, and low) and a variety of ways to use them. As the written language is ...
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7 votes
1 answer
58 views

Did the Elvish languages converge before they diverged?

I have the impression that Tolkien, for whom pinning anything down permanently was Not The Point, worked his philology forward and backward almost equally. Is it known whether or not Qenya and ...
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6 votes
5 answers
99 views

Are there set example sentences used when developing a conlang?

When working on fonts, it's typical to use a pangram to show how it handles letters, like so: Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow Is there an equivalent set of sentences for testing how a conlang ...
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5 votes
1 answer
71 views

Evolution of irregular declensions and conjugations from reconstructed proto-languages

In designing an artificial dialect of the Greek Language, most words and inflections have predictable patterns with a well-guessed/documented evolution which show the origin of the word's roots and ...
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  • 53
3 votes
3 answers
488 views

I want to build a language that expresses the maximum amount of information with minimal words spoken

I'm trying to come up with a conlang for a setting where spoken word casts magic etc. In this case, a group of wizards, etc. Develop arcadian, which functions to give the most information with the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
39 views

What resources are there on tone system creation?

What resources are there on tone system creation? Resources could include Documentation on conlangs that have tone systems Guides on tone system creation Resources on tone in natural languages, for a ...
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5 votes
0 answers
34 views

How to create realistic intonation?

How would one approach creating a conlang with a system of intonation, like English? Specifically for a naturalistic a priori conlang. Some sub-queries I have are What resources are there, if any, on ...
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8 votes
1 answer
54 views

phonology design for a nonhuman species

I'm working on an alien species for a fantasy-ish world I'm making, and I recently started on making a language for them. For the most part, their consonant-making abilities are very similar to humans,...
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4 votes
2 answers
30 views

Are there any thesauri that use a small controlled-language to define terms?

I have been looking for what I believe would be a very valuable resource in language construction. Ideally, this would be a full-size dictionary, where every description is a short list of words that ...
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6 votes
1 answer
42 views

What is the word-grammar transcription thing called?

What is the thing used under a sentence in a conlang that looks sort of like this: NOM-he.F-PAST said.F-PAST called? I know I probably used it completely wrong in that example, but what is this called,...
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5 votes
2 answers
27 views

How to decay (remove) vowel harmony system by conlang evolution?

So I have a Back vowel harmony system in my conlang, where front and back vowel cannot occur in the same word. Now that I am evolving my conlang, How can I decay the harmony system giving space to ...
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5 votes
1 answer
67 views

Were Tolkien's languages used in the works of C. S. Lewis and other inklings?

It is well-known that J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and others were members of an informal club named inklings and spoke which each other about their literary work. I also remember that some of the ...
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5 votes
2 answers
68 views

How do I change the word order of this complex sentence?

I have an English sentence that I need to switch the word order of so I can translate it into my conlang smoothly, but the sentence is pretty complex and I’m not sure how to go about it. The sentence ...
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5 votes
1 answer
73 views

How to Indicate Idea Flow

Are there any other schemes to indicate the flow of words/thoughts in writing? (Outside of what I have researched.) I am specifically asking about how languages present complete grammatical statements ...
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7 votes
3 answers
121 views

Do I need to start with a phonology when creating a new conlang?

The few conlangs I've read about/watched being developed in videos (such as those by Biblaridion) either started with phonology, or the description begins that way. Whether that's a representative ...
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5 votes
1 answer
47 views

Is lowering the tongue at word-ending a voiceless vowel?

In my conlang, some consonants can cluster with l at the end. For example, 'story' is 'coánl'; following dictionary.com's IPA for 'metal' as / ˈmɛt l / I had set out pronouncing this like /koˈa:n l/. ...
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  • 733
4 votes
2 answers
71 views

Are words based on acronyms treated differently when the language changes over time?

Do sound and grammar changes affect acronyms, that can be pronounced as words, differently than other words in a language? Are words based on acronyms treated differently or not when sound/grammar ...
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3 votes
1 answer
81 views

Is it possible to have consonant followed by Uvular sound

I am thinking of creating a language that has a sound system a little similar to Latin, with a guttural feel like German. The people who are going to speak this language are harsh and sound annoyed at ...
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  • 311
1 vote
1 answer
57 views

How important/useful is it to derive words from smaller parts in a conlang?

In a similar light to How do conlangs/natlangs have prefixes suffixes and not get them jumbled up? , what is the use or purpose of deriving words from smaller parts in a conlang, generally speaking? ...
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  • 693
4 votes
2 answers
102 views

How do conlangs/natlangs have prefixes suffixes and not get them jumbled up?

When thinking how to build a conlang system of prefixes/suffixes, I get stuck right at the beginning: how do you prevent clashes within the prefix/suffix/base system? By that I mean the following. Say ...
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  • 693
5 votes
3 answers
82 views

What is the variety of ways one can deal with absorbing words from different languages in a conlang?

The conlang I am working on has very strict rules on word formation: They must start and end with a consonant They can only have single vowels between consonants (which can be in consonant clusters). ...
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  • 693
8 votes
3 answers
186 views

How do swear words work in real languages?

How many swear words should you have in a conlang, and how are they designed? What is their purpose really? And should any other "regular" words be constructed out of them? Like if "bar&...
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  • 693
5 votes
2 answers
109 views

How long do words get in other languages, and how hard are long words to say or read?

So I have a list of basic words in my budding conlang. I would like to construct compound words now, like we do with Latin/Greek in English (e.g. "hyacinthoides"). One word I can create in ...
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  • 693
2 votes
2 answers
64 views

How to handle the "key" *focusing* words in a Conlang, like the, me, we, here, this, etc.?

So I have a burgeoning conlang that I've been playing around with, still stuck on the word portion (it has been several months). But every now and then I can take a little breather and work on some ...
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  • 693
4 votes
2 answers
102 views

How to create words which will be unambiguously parsable in a conlang?

Right now I am working on this, a list of words to translate into the conlang. At first I started by manually deriving the words from Hebrew/Arabic/Sanskrit/Greek/Latin/English/Spanish, but then found ...
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  • 693
4 votes
2 answers
193 views

How to break out of the English mold when creating a conlang (specifically in regards to word modifiers)?

I am working on a conlang. I have to some degree (i.e. a little bit) studied the grammar of Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Sanskrit, and Hebrew, and know Spanish relatively well in comparison from ...
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  • 693
3 votes
1 answer
39 views

How to handle denoting the noun in a sentence when there are noun-modifiers present?

I am working on a conlang and considering ways to denote a noun in a sentence. It's easy to handle single-word nouns (translating from English), because, well, they are one word. An example of a ...
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  • 693
4 votes
2 answers
84 views

Are there languages that don't prefix verbs with "to be" or "to do" in continuous or progressive aspect and the like?

I am working on a conlang and wondering how we can rework the "continuous" aspect, like present continuous, looking for how other languages implement such a grammatical verb feature. Some ...
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  • 693
4 votes
0 answers
33 views

How do you handle the distinction between "modifiers" (adjectives and adverbs) and "determiners" in a generic way?

I am working on a conlang and am trying to better handle the distinction between adverbs, adjectives, and determiners. Adverbs modify verbs (and other things), and adjectives modify nouns, but ...
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  • 693
2 votes
2 answers
84 views

How do you write a language without the word "to" preceding verbs?

I am working on a fantasy language and am perplexed by the true meaning of the word "to" in English, at least when it appears before a verb, as in these sentences. I want to go somewhere. I ...
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  • 693
2 votes
2 answers
71 views

What are some key languages which don't have distinctions between me, myself, and I?

I am working on a conlang and would like to treat "I" or "me" or "myself" as one thing, "me", as a noun I guess. Are there languages that do this, that don't ...
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  • 693
2 votes
1 answer
55 views

Finding Sentence Structure in VSO

I'm making a Conlang, and this conlang uses a Verb-Subject-Object Sentence Structure. I'm trying to convert part of the poem "The New Colossus" into the Conlang, but I'm stuck trying to ...
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6 votes
1 answer
127 views

Looking for a conlang I once encountered

I am looking for a conlang I once encountered. Sadly I lack specific and reliable info, but I'll dump what I can recollect. It was built from simple semantic units (syllables?), with the latter ...
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