21 votes
Accepted

In what ways are well-known a priori conlangs inadvertently eurocentric?

While it's true that languages like Na'vi and Klingon (can't speak for Dothraki) do contain quite a few explicitly non-SAE (Standard Average European) features, it's worth noting that both Paul ...
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  • 3,241
18 votes
Accepted

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

The term "Standard Average European" (SAE) pretty much covers it, and has been around since the 1930s. Haspelmath listed a number of typical "Euroversals" in a portion of the 2001 book Language ...
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  • 3,241
16 votes

What is R'lyehian based on?

Ostensibly, the transcription we have of R'lyehian is supposed to be a crude attempt to represent utterly inhuman sounds with the Latin alphabet. Most of what I can find on R'leyhian claims that it ...
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  • 3,241
15 votes
Accepted

Is Tolkien's Dwarvish really based on Hebrew?

Yes. According to this interview with Tolkien, he really did design it to be Semitic. He says, The dwarves of course are quite obviously, wouldn't you say that in many ways they remind you of the ...
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  • 1,187
11 votes

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

Expanding on Sparksbet's answer, additional features, from the conlanging point of view as listed by Mark Rosenfelder in Advanced Language Construction (pp. 30-31), that tend to pile up on top of the ...
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  • 1,512
10 votes

In what ways are well-known a priori conlangs inadvertently eurocentric?

The Na’vi language for the movie Avatar was created from scratch by a linguistics PhD, Paul Frommer. In an interview available on Unidentified Sound Object, he details how the language was devised. ...
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  • 834
9 votes

How much of Slovio is based on Esperanto?

In terms of the vocabulary, not much is based on Esperanto. From the Slovio website: Esperanto? While Esperanto is a simple language its main problem is the fact that it is made up of too many ...
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  • 199
8 votes

Is the Klingon alphabet inspired by Tibetan alphabet?

Considering this question is a rehash of another question on SX, I'm inclined to say it's chance resemblance — and not a very high one at that. It is very highly plausible that it was designed by a ...
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  • 1,334
7 votes

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

Besides the traits of Standard Average European given in Sparksbet's answer, another defining feature is the phonology and basis of the lexicon. Eurocentric conlangs draw their phonology and their ...
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6 votes
Accepted

How to develop a detailed, realistic a posteriori conlang?

So, you are going to create an altlang (a naturalistic language living in an alternate history of the the world). First, define your starting point (easiest for the first scenario: Old Irish or proto-...
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6 votes

Finding inspiration for letter forms?

After all, there is a limited number of shapes that one can draw with reasonable effort. You can measure the effort for writing a character in a writing system by the number of strokes needed. For ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Does Volapük contain any elements (order, participle, etc) not present in its European source languages?

The Volapük panoply of mood suffixes contains distinctions that were familiar to its audience through classicising education, but I think it fair to say they weren't in the immediate source languages: ...
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4 votes

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

Tolkien took inspirations from lots of existing languages. His inventions bear much resemblance to those languages in phonology and in syntax, but less obviously so in vocabulary. Ken's answer already ...
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  • 231
4 votes

How to develop a detailed, realistic a posteriori conlang?

Have you looked at Brithenig or Wenedyk? These were generated by applying to Latin the sound shifts that affected Welsh and Polish (respectively) over the same period. You could start with early ...
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4 votes

Finding inspiration for letter forms?

The question basically provides the answer. Consider the primary writing (and reading) conditions the conscript was hypothetically developed and employed in. This obviously includes the affordances ...
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  • 256
3 votes

How could the future "Kesh" language from the book "Always Coming Home" by Ursula K. Le Guin develop from modern languages?

5000 years is a really long time for linguistic evolution, and after such a long time little resemblance between the original and the final outcome is left. So almost anything is a plausible outcome. ...
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3 votes
Accepted

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

I think you are looking for the constructed language called Lojban According to an earlier reference to its grammar, Technical note for readers conversant with relativity theory: The Lojban time ...
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3 votes

Finding inspiration for letter forms?

In order to construct a realistic and suitable writing system, these are some things you should consider before you think about how you want it to look: Could your needs be served by a writing system ...
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3 votes

In what ways are well-known a priori conlangs inadvertently eurocentric?

I had a look through the conlangs in Wikipedia and listed which ones I could see morphologically marked TAME categories. There are sure to be some mistakes in here. Tense: Atlantean, Dothraki, ...
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  • 3,511
2 votes

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

As mentioned on Wikipedia, it was modelled on Welsh and some other Norse languages: Sindarin was designed with a Welsh-like phonology. It has most of the same sounds and a similar sound structure, ...
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2 votes

Is the Klingon alphabet inspired by Tibetan alphabet?

According to this answer on Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange, no. The author draws from the official Klingon language website, saying: "...the producers called on professional linguist ...
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  • 1,187
2 votes

Finding inspiration for letter forms?

My reply is going to look a lot sillier in comparison, but I suggest taking inspiration from the shapes of a large collection of items. I've seen conlangs use alphabets inspired by mushrooms and ...
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  • 286
2 votes

A Hypothetical Mediterranean Language Inspired by Both Greek and Latin

The situation you describe, in which Classical Greece invades the Roman Republic, has two probable outcomes. (This is assuming a single language "merged into one" excludes the possibility of both ...
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  • 1,384
1 vote

Finding inspiration for letter forms?

1. Erosion I like the emoji suggestion above, but I have a similar suggestion, and that's to start with simple line pictures of the things represented. In other words, follow the same kind of ...
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  • 111
1 vote

How much of Slovio is based on Esperanto?

Slovio isn't intended to be an IAL right? The fact that Esperanto is derived from many languages, is why it is suitable as an IAL. Otherwise It's just another Interslavic. That's what Esperanto was ...
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