I plan on having some ambiguity for stuff like wordplay (and to make the language feel natural). By efficient, I mean the language takes up little space on the document it is conveying information on.

The idea is the language would be "alien" or "magical" as I am planning on using this language I am making in my game for magical symbols. I plan on eventually adding a spoken equivalent of it later, but I am not concerned about that now. It is also going to be part of the lore of my game, so the naturalness of the language helps a lot (so it can have a history to it).

The wordplay can be used to have magical mishaps from using a similar, but wrong word. The last thing I plan on adding is since it is a magic based language, I only need to have one symbol per word.

The idea behind the grammatical structure would convey: Subject, Verb, Action. I would then use adjectives to modify the meaning of the subject, action, or verb. However, I don't know if I am going to include articles in the languages, but that depends on how I make the characters for the subjects, verbs, and actions.

This is not meant to be a romance language as its purpose is for use in spells and potion recipes.

I guess what I am asking for is how to make the language use grammar and structure that can be read and written efficiently. How would I make grammar and language structure that can be read and written efficiently?

  • If by "efficiency" you only mean least characters, then what sort of answer are you looking for other than "invent a logographic writing system"?
    – curiousdannii
    Sep 24 '19 at 2:55
  • 1
    I assume by "Action" you mean "Object"? An action is usually expressed through the verb. Sep 24 '19 at 6:40

First a in this form brand new fact from natural languages: All natural languages are of approximately the same efficiency despite their quite noticeable differences (some languages are spoken at a rather fast pace in syllables per second, but than the information content of a syllable is lower than in other languages that are spoken more slowly). The reference is Christophe Coupé, Yoon Oh, Dan Dediu, and François Pellegrino, Different languages, similar encoding efficiency: Comparable information rates across the human communicative niche and they give a value of 39 ± 5 bit/s.

So you can expect that a naturalistic constructed language will fall in about the same range; maybe somewhat less efficient, because it is difficult to get things just right by construction that have been optimised by language evolution over a long time.

For completely symbolic languages, look up the term pasigraphy and take a glimpse on some systems that have already been invented.

  • Pasigraphy is perfect for what I need. Looking at the example of Blissymbols for the sentence "I want to go to the cinema.", I can definitely see creating something like that for my language. Now, I just have to figure out how to use ligatures to add modifiers to my characters. :P Sep 25 '19 at 5:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.