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12
votes
4answers
705 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-...
12
votes
4answers
525 views

Features of unlearnable languages

In this article about miniature artificial languages on motherboard.com experiments are described where children learn carafully designed miniature artificial languages. It is also said that children ...
12
votes
5answers
330 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”...
12
votes
3answers
246 views

Consider an isolated, close-knit community; which characteristics is their language likely to have?

For the sake of concreteness, let's say my low-tech conculture is living in a few villages on a smallish island in the middle of the ocean (Pitcairn Islands comes to mind). Basically, this would ...
12
votes
2answers
520 views

How did Tolkien model diachronic changes in his Elvish languages?

Wikipedia explains that Tolkien modelled changes to his Elvish languages, something we'd call diachronic conlanging these days: Tolkien conceived a family tree of Elvish languages, all descending ...
12
votes
1answer
580 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
232 views

Is the concept of “spatial aspect” attested in any natural language?

As described here, Aspect refers to the grammatical marking of the relation between topic and eventuality time, that is, it marking in what way the time an action actually occurs relates to the time ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

How should my conlang enable arbitrarily large integers to be said?

Whilst worldbuilding, I decided to make a conlang. It's named Leksah. Leksah is heavily influenced by the programming language Haskell. As such, Leksah has only 3 parts of speech: Literals, which ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there anyone that has a conlang as their first/only language?

It seems that people generally use constructed languages in very limited circumstances, or within small communities that speak the language. Thus it seems to me unlikely that one of these languages ...
11
votes
4answers
225 views

Do any conlangs have verbs that change form depending on the object?

Are there any examples of constructed languages that have verbs with different forms depending on the object of the verb?
11
votes
4answers
667 views

How to say right and left in Toki Pona?

As we know, Toki Pona is a quite minimal language and it sometimes not easy to come up with a word we use everyday in English. The problem is that I cannot think of a non-culture-specific and easily ...
11
votes
2answers
418 views

What are the main limitations of Lojban?

Suppose we want to translate the whole of Wikipedia from English into Lojban, what are the main known big limitations or concerns we should be aware of? In other words, does Lojban as a language have ...
11
votes
6answers
402 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
250 views

How to classify the language of "Uncleftish Beholding"?

The essay Uncleftish Beholding by Poul Andersen is written in a special kind of English without borrowings from Latin, French, and Greek. The gaps in the lexicon are filled with German style compounds ...
11
votes
1answer
266 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) ...
11
votes
2answers
358 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
3answers
268 views

Anti-Newspeak, making a language harder

So, the government of Oceania in 1984 creates a new, altered cersion of English to make its people easier to control. What about the opposite? A dictator wants to make his people harder to control, ...
11
votes
3answers
434 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,...
11
votes
1answer
534 views

Is any of the Wakandan writing in Black Panther used for something other than English?

For the film Black Panther production designer Hannah Beachler created a Wakandan writing system partially based on real African writing systems. Well that's what this and other news articles say, but ...
11
votes
1answer
136 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
185 views

What does xorlo do, and is it an official part of the Lojban language?

I've noticed that many speakers of Lojban use xorlo, which is a modification branching off the base language, but finding explicit information about it is difficult. What does it do? I also know ...
11
votes
7answers
244 views

How could a conlang enforce subjective idealism in a constructed world

Subjective idealism is the monistic metaphysical doctrine that only minds and mental contents exist. It entails and is generally identified or associated with immaterialism, the doctrine that material ...
11
votes
1answer
571 views

How developed is the Old Tongue in the Wheel of Time series?

Robert Jordan's fantasy novel series The Wheel of Time includes a lot of short quotes in the Old Tongue, a fictional ancient language from a previous Age. Translations are provided for these, either ...
11
votes
1answer
202 views

With the death of CSUR, has there been any new Unicode proposal for con-scripts?

The CSUR (ConScript Unicode Registry) is — or, rather, with its last update in 2008, was — a project "to coordinate the assignment of blocks out of the Unicode Private Use Area (E000-F8FF and 000F0000-...
11
votes
2answers
164 views

Have language regulators ever made concessions and changed the language to adopt naturally occurring changes?

A few conlangs have language regulators or academies. Have any of these ever been faced with naturally occurring linguistic change and changed the official version of the language to match? Please ...
11
votes
1answer
336 views

Are there constructed languages with a tense system inspired by Theory of Relativity?

For readers who aren't familiar with the Theory of Relativity, here is a sketch of how the Special Theory of Relativity structures space and time: There is a point "here and now" where the observer ...
10
votes
3answers
630 views

International Auxiliary Language created by a Japanese person

I remember some facts about an international auxiliary language (IAL) created by a Japanese person, but unfortunately I both forgot the name of the inventor and the name of the IAL. Can someone help ...
10
votes
3answers
403 views

What is an overview of sound changes?

One of my works-in-progress is a language called Proto-Oreadin. As the name suggests, it is a proto-language, which eventually I am hoping to expand into a family of languages. Currently I have a ...
10
votes
3answers
750 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
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.
10
votes
5answers
222 views

How does one write an easily decipherable language?

I'm writing a book about humans finding alien writing off-planet, which is why I want to know how—without referencing known human languages like the Rosetta Stone does—it may be deciphered. Does it ...
10
votes
4answers
323 views

Sciences in toki pona

I managed to translate a lot of things but I'm stuck on a word. How to say "physics" (knowledge of the nature) in toki pona? A proposition for "nature" would also be appreciated. ...
10
votes
3answers
383 views

What verbs should be irregular in a naturalistic conlang?

I've read that the most commonly used verbs in a language are almost always irregular, and for the most part the irregular forms of verbs can be traced to an archaic form being preserved in the ...
10
votes
3answers
433 views

How does one express "want to want" in toki pona?

For example, "I do not want to want opium" For example, this doesn't work, it is a yes-no question! mi wile ala wile e ijo nasa Do I want a drug? ? Do I want not-want a drug? The ...
10
votes
1answer
318 views

What is the oldest known constructed language?

Historically speaking, what is the oldest known constructed language that we are able to determine with historical evidence?
10
votes
2answers
374 views

What significant traits are found in conlangs and not in natlangs? [closed]

Recently I encountered the acronym ANADEW, which I found to mean A natlang's already dunnit, except worse. Pondering a comment from Logan R. Kearsley where he speculated that "... it's mildly positive ...
10
votes
1answer
109 views

How much Dothraki was created prior to "Game of Thrones"?

Reading A Song of Ice and Fire and watching Game of Thrones are two different experiences. One difference that pops out to me is the language that the Dothraki speak, known by the same name. ...
10
votes
1answer
153 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
450 views

Is the Klingon alphabet inspired by Tibetan alphabet?

Is the Klingon alphabet inspired by Tibetan alphabet? Because they look similar..
10
votes
3answers
207 views

How much of Slovio is based on Esperanto?

According to Wikipedia, Slovio (from the Slavic word "slovo") is a constructed language begun in 1999 by Mark Hučko. Hučko claims that the language should be relatively easy for non-Slavs to learn ...
10
votes
1answer
734 views

What do double consonants specify in Esperanto?

The Esperanto word for 'Finland' is Finnlando. What does the doubled consonant specify? The Esperanto alphabet is phonemic. Why are there two consonants? Is it gemination (which doesn't appear often ...
10
votes
1answer
114 views

Is there existing terminology for distinguishing multiple imperative moods?

I have found a conlang, Klyran, which has a rather interesting feature: multiple imperative moods. Quoting from the documentation: For imperative mood there are number of suffixes that correspond ...
10
votes
1answer
218 views

Is there a practical lower limit to the number of morphemes required in a language?

Many conlangers have tried (and occasionally succeeded in) creating oligomorphemic¹ languages. What are the most minimalistic successful attempts? From this, can we extrapolate a lower bound? ¹also ...
10
votes
0answers
103 views

How can we define words? [closed]

Even though the question seems trivial, it's still a hotly debated topic (as far as I'm aware). For example, in the Oxford Handbook for Polysynthesis, Fernando Zúñiga says: Recent literature (e.g. ...
9
votes
2answers
370 views

How Standard Average European is Esperanto?

Esperanto is by design based on European languages, so every similarity to European languages is in fact intended. But I want to know how Standard Average European (SAE criteria listed by @Sparksbet) ...
9
votes
5answers
853 views

What is the word “li” in Toki pona, grammatically?

In Toki pona, words are never inflected, and many words can act as a noun, verb or adjective in different contexts. The word "li" usually separates the subject from a predicate, and “e” goes before ...
9
votes
2answers
305 views

What is the influence of Russian on Tolkien's languages?

I have noticed some artifacts from Russian in published earlier manuscripts of Tolkiens works, e.g., The figure named Beorn in The Hobbit was named Medwed in earlier manuscripts In Early Quenya, ...
9
votes
3answers
378 views

Should I use “double o” in Toki Pona?

In Toki Pona, the small word o has several meanings. In the official book Toki Pona: The Language of Good, it says The particle o has three uses: (1) after a noun phrase to show who is being ...
9
votes
2answers
241 views

How similar are Loglan and Lojban?

Loglan is a predecessor to Lojban, and Lojban apparently directly grew out of Loglan. How similar are the two languages at this point? Are they more like dialects of the same language, or more like ...
9
votes
2answers
321 views

How would the grammar of a conlang develop as a creole from other languages?

Assume that the backstory of a conlang is that it developed from a set of other languages. In other words, speakers of these (different) languages were living in the same area and were communicating ...

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