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23
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there any good programs out there to help when constructing languages?

Are there any tools out there to keep track of which works you have already defined, managing your lexicon easily, and storing conjugations and the like? Barring that, what are some good strategies ...
19
votes
9answers
3k views

What's a good starting place to work on vocab?

Obviously, generating a lexicon is very time-consuming, and there's so much that needs to be done, I often find myself suffering with analysis paralysis, because I just can't decide where to begin. ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

How to "Naturalize" a Conlang?

Many conlangs that I have encountered have an “artificial” feel to them–all conjugations and declensions are perfectly regular, stress rules for speaking are rigorously adhered to, ...
11
votes
4answers
697 views

Are there any "unspeakable" languages?

Sorry, my title is slightly misleading; what I'm after is more like a written language that doesn't have its roots in spoken language, and has no definitive translation into speech, but is none-the-...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there any free online conlang creation tools?

I was wondering if anyone knows of any conlang creation websites that are free to use. I know this sounds silly but I have little experience to go on as for creating a custom language.
13
votes
2answers
991 views

What is the difference between tense and aspect?

Many conlangs contain tense, some contain aspect as well or instead, and much of the recommended reading for conlangers assumes that you know what tense and aspect are and what the difference between ...
13
votes
1answer
152 views

Is there any evidence that learning a zonal Slavic conlang can help conversing with native speakers of Slavic languages

The relatively high degree of mutual intercomprehensibility of the Slavic languages has fascinated a lot of people for a long time. It was also a motivation in the design of zonal constructed ...
18
votes
2answers
565 views

Is there a constructed language in existence that has graduated to "natural" status?

That is, are there any such languages in use today that are in use for day to day activities, or are formally recognized, etc?
13
votes
2answers
556 views

What makes lojban such a "logical" language?

The title says it all. While I have not studied it, I have repeatedly heard that lojban is an especially "logical" language, one that could even be a way to speak a "natural" language to the computer ...
16
votes
8answers
720 views

Can programming languages be categorized as conlangs?

Would it be correct to say that the majority of computer programming languages (such as functional or procedural) are the form of constructed languages? If so, what makes it a constructed language in ...
12
votes
1answer
564 views

How do tones disappear from a language?

There have been many good writeups on Tonogenesis, i.e. how language acquire tones. But never have I seen such a writeup on the opposite phenomenon, which one might call Tonoexodus. Obviously, one way ...
11
votes
3answers
428 views

Which features make a language easier to learn?

Which features make a language easier to learn for children learning a constructed language as L1? Are children learning a language with these features able to learn the language faster than a natural,...
13
votes
1answer
157 views

What are some reasons that constructed languages would want to have ambiguity?

As far as I know, most constructed languages have no syntactically or semantically ambiguous grammatical constructions. However, would there be any reasons that a constructed language might include ...
12
votes
3answers
544 views

What are the defining traits of a Euro-centric conlang?

I know that a Euro-centric conlang is a conlang based mostly on Indo-European grammar, or more generally a conlang that is written from a worldview (conscious or not) that the "normal" language is ...
11
votes
5answers
328 views

How can I make my conlang's borrowings naturalistic?

As something of a follow-on to my question about “naturalizing” conlangs, I’m looking for any information - actual tools would be nice, too, if available - for “borrowing”...
11
votes
1answer
133 views

How does mood relate to tense and aspect?

Moods are often intertwined with tense and aspect. In fact, the triad is commonly referred to in linguistics as tense-aspect-mood or just TAM. Aspect and tense are relatively straightforward, but how ...
10
votes
3answers
730 views

Conlangs based on lesser known antique languages

The canon of classical languages studied in Europe comprises Latin, Greek, and Hebrew (and maybe classical Aramaic). Inspired by this answer mentioning a conlang based on Hittite, my follow-up ...
10
votes
1answer
150 views

What legal aspects should one consider when creating a constructed language?

Constructed languages, like everything, is an intellectual property, and most countries worldwide do care about protecting the rights of the owners. If I'm about to create a new conlang, should I ...
7
votes
2answers
509 views

What are the common features of "Elvish" conlangs?

I want to create a fantasy world with Elves speaking their own language. In order to avoid unwanted associations with works of other authors, the Elves should speak a newly invented language. What ...
6
votes
2answers
295 views

Teaching children constructed languages

Are there any modern accounts (either of personal experiences of individuals on this forum, or in general) of an individual creating their own language and teaching it to their child(ren)/family?
5
votes
4answers
503 views

I'm constructing a language with some rather hard-to-produce symbols. Computer or paper?

My constructed language has 26 English letters and 30 special characters (plus four different accent marks.) The characters are slightly abstract. The closest I've gotten to producing them is with ...
19
votes
3answers
495 views

Were Tolkien's Elvish languages based on known natural languages?

I'm a great fan of Tolkien's books, especially The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. One thing I have always wondered about in his books though, is whether the Elvish tongues were actually fully new ...
19
votes
1answer
338 views

How does Láadan aim to express the views of women more than natural Western languages?

Láadan was created, according to Wikipedia, to try an experiment in seeing if a constructed language designed specifically for women could better express the views of women better than natural Western ...
12
votes
2answers
537 views

Is there a specific term for a constructed writing system purportedly used for a conlang but actually for a natlang?

Many constructed writing systems are purportedly used to write conlangs, but in reality are actually used to write English or another natlang. For example, omniglot.com says that Kryptonian is "a ...
10
votes
6answers
394 views

How to describe a purely symbolic writing system?

Before I jump headlong into constructing a language, I'd like to do some research and see what others have done before me and learn from their experiences/mistakes. The keywords I'm currently using ...
8
votes
2answers
591 views

How to develop a detailed, realistic a posteriori conlang?

Background To begin, I’ve been conlanging ‘properly’ for around two to two and a half years now and have been into it for far, far longer. However, I have yet to create a conlang that is truly in-...
8
votes
1answer
258 views

Organizing a lexicon in a logographic writing system

A little background before my question: I am an amateur in mid-development of a logographic writing system, not necessarily a whole language with phonetics. As I develop, I don't so much care about ...
7
votes
2answers
259 views

Designing a vocabulary for geographical features

I want to draw a map of a fictional world resembling Europe in climate and basic geographic features (so there are rivers and lakes, alpine mountains, mittelgebirge, marsh lands and bogs, some plains ...
7
votes
2answers
162 views

How do you model language changes with wave theory (areal developments)?

I'd like to hear from anyone who has built a dialect continuum, in which innovations spreading from different centres affect overlapping subsets of the range (see wave theory). How do you model it? ...
7
votes
3answers
378 views

What reasons would there be for not having a human conlang with only vowels?

All natlangs have both consonants and vowels, but it's not immediately obvious why a human language couldn't be made from only vowels. Has anyone theorised about why natlangs always have consonants? ...
6
votes
3answers
317 views

Are there any sites you can use to develop an online course for your own conlang?

Creating a conlang is usually only half (or less than half!) of the necessary effort: someone has to be able to learn it, unless you want to keep it as your own private secret code. I use Duolingo to ...
5
votes
7answers
787 views

How many words should I create in a conlang?

Question 1: How many words are minimal for a naturalistic conlang? (1000, 1500, 3000 or even more) Question 2: How many words do the conlangers usually create?
18
votes
3answers
438 views

Why is the Lord's Prayer so common as a translation?

I'm an amateur conlanger, but I've seen multiple instances of people using the Lord's Prayer as a test or a way of showing off a translation of their conlang. I've even done it a couple times myself. ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

What is R'lyehian based on?

In his Cthulhu Mythos, H. P. Lovecraft includes several snippets of the R'lyehian language, including the "Cthulhu chant": Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! We have a vocabulary ...
13
votes
2answers
287 views

Which constructed language has the largest body of literature?

Which is the constructed language which has the largest body of literature, including both works that have been originally created in that language as well as works written in natural languages which ...
11
votes
2answers
349 views

Can Kēlen truly be considered verb-free?

It has been claimed that the conlang Kēlen, winner of the 2009 Smiley award, is supposed to challenge Greenberg's universal of always having a noun-verb distinction by eliminating verbs. In light of ...
11
votes
1answer
265 views

How much of Tolkien's "black language" exists?

What samples or knowledge do we have of the black speech created by Tolkien? Having read a decent amount of the legendarium (Silmarillion, LotR, Hobbit, Children of Hurin, and some of the Lost Tales) ...
7
votes
0answers
175 views

What types of words should one start with when creating a language from scratch? [closed]

Is it more appropriate to start by creating nouns, verbs, general sentence structure words ie "the, a, or", or from somewhere else, when creating a language from scratch? Would it be more proper to ...
7
votes
2answers
8k views

How would you say "good morning" or "hello" politely in Klingon?

Klingons from Star Trek aren't very polite, and the language developed for them reflects that - they don't exactly have many polite ways to say things. The closest think I've found to a polite ...
7
votes
1answer
619 views

What is the meaning of ANADEW?

The acronym ANADEW is quite popular among conlang enthusiats, but what does it mean? For an answer, I'd like to see not only an expansion of the acronym, but also some good usage examples.
5
votes
2answers
269 views

What is opposite of "burzum", "darkness", in Tolkien's Black Speech?

I'm aware that burzum means darkness in The Black Speech. Do we know what the opposite is? How is lightness written?
5
votes
2answers
801 views

Greek-based altlangs

The Wikipedia article on Artistic languages says in its current version What if Greek civilization had gone on to thrive without a Roman Empire, leaving Greek and not Latin to develop several ...
5
votes
1answer
153 views

Is Loglan still alive?

Loglan is a predecessor of the Lojban language. Is it still supported and actively used/developed, or is it a dead language?
3
votes
2answers
187 views

Are Esperanto's part of speech endings actually beneficial?

I was wondering if they really serve any practical advantage. For one, what they mean depends on what the innate part of speech of the root is, which isn't marked except through the part of speech ...
3
votes
3answers
167 views

Strategies for dealing with limited/simple phonologies

What problems arise when creating a language with an extremely simple phonology and what are some good strategies for dealing with them? I'm calling this type of phonology extremely simple for the ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

Is there a word for "skull" in Klingon?

Exactly what it says on the can - I'm looking for a word in tlhingan-Hol (Klingon) for "skull". Fallback: In case there isn't a canon word, I'm defaulting to using "head bone" as a replacement. I ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

How does the Wede:i language reflect their cultural focus on government?

We can see that the Wede:i have a focus on the state in their culture: The central fact of existence has always been the state, always essential. The southern religions had always preached support ...