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16 votes
Accepted

Is there evidence that any natural languages were actually constructed?

Possibility? Of course, there is always a possibility, but rather remote one, if you mean a full featured well-known modern language. The best candidates are "taboo languages", where the lexical ...
Radovan Garabík's user avatar
14 votes

Borrowing from conlangs into natural languages

The verb "to grok", having been coined by Robert Heinlein for his Novel Stranger in a Strange Land has gained significant popularity and is used with the same meaning as in the original language. I ...
caconyrn's user avatar
  • 453
12 votes

Is there evidence that any natural languages were actually constructed?

Yes, the Damin language (Wikipedia article), a ceremonial language and only natural click language outside Africa, was probably constructed.
Cecilia's user avatar
  • 1,168
11 votes
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Should I include morphology in my proto language?

I am not at all certain why you would assume that protolanguages must have no morphology. PIE is just a language like any other before or since. If we review the relevant article, the Font of All ...
elemtilas's user avatar
  • 3,255
11 votes
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Borrowing from conlangs into natural languages

Danish has borrowed the word Volapük (spelt volapyk in Danish) from the conlang of the same name, however unlike in the source where it means "world language", in Danish is has come to have the ...
Gufferdk's user avatar
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10 votes
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What is a constructed variety of a natural language called?

That would be an a posteriori conlang, in contrast with an a priori one. Wikipedia. The process of changing a language through time is called diachronic conlanging. An example of a very well-done a ...
Sascha Baer's user avatar
  • 3,482
10 votes

Conlangs based on Proto-Indo-European (PIE)?

Academia Prisca published Modern Indo-European as a revival of a late stage of the Indo-European language (Northwest Indo-European, billed as the ancestor of Italo-Celtic, Germanic and Balto-Slavic). ...
b a's user avatar
  • 1,444
9 votes

Should I include morphology in my proto language?

Proto-Indo-European (PIE) and Proto-Afroasiatic (PAA) are just the earliest ancestors we can reconstruct with reasonable certainty for their respective language families. That does not at all mean ...
Lukas G's user avatar
  • 321
9 votes

Can entire words be silent?

Dropping words happen (the ne of negation notoriously drops pretty systematically in spoken French) and commonly a that, as Gregory points out. However, I believer a true "silent word" is a ...
Circeus's user avatar
  • 1,572
9 votes

Is there evidence that any natural languages were actually constructed?

You could argue that modern Hebrew is at least partly constructed. Hebrew fell into disuse and only survived as a 'sacred' language in a religious context. Then, with the rise of the Zionist movement ...
Oliver Mason's user avatar
  • 4,133
8 votes

Borrowing from conlangs into natural languages

The most common one I can think of is yahoo, which was the name for brutish humans in the language of the Houyhnhnms from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. The words Lilliputian and Brobdignagian ...
Davislor's user avatar
  • 281
7 votes

Is there evidence that any natural languages were actually constructed?

People learn languages from other people who speak them. If someone ever got others to adopt his language as their "natural language," they would have had to learn it from him. Without a community of ...
b a's user avatar
  • 1,444
7 votes

Is there evidence that any natural languages were actually constructed?

Cryptolects (aka Cants or Secret languages) come to my mind as candidates. While they are typically not fully constructed, they often contain a constructed core vocabulary making the language ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
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7 votes
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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-...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
  • 11.3k
7 votes

What are the most common sound changes in natlangs?

By far the most common changes are assimilation, one sound becoming more similar to a nearby sound, and lenition, a sound shifting to require less articulatory effort. These are both broad categories ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 4,606
7 votes
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Is it natural that "future possibility" is a separate tense?

Instead of "tautological", the usual name for that in linguistics is gnomic aspect. Lingála, for example, has this type of marking. Similarly, your "historical" marking is usually ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 4,606
6 votes
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What is reduplication used for in natural languages?

WALS Chapter 27 describes a number of functions for reduplication. All examples below come from chapter 27 unless otherwise noted. On nouns Pangasinan uses reduplication to mark plurals: báley "...
6 votes

How to go about making a simple to speak (for English speakers) conlang?

Be extremely analytic. Definitely don't inflect nouns. Keep verb and pronoun inflections to a bare minimum, and rely on modal verbs and adpositions as much as you can in place of complicated syntax ...
TheLeanest's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Is it natural that different quantities with the same physical dimension are distinguished by adverbs?

Sure. Not to the extent that you're doing it here, but English uses "far away", "far down", "far up", "far apart", and so on to indicate physical length in ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 4,606
5 votes

Can entire words be silent?

The archaeological site L'Anse aux Meadows is pronounced (in English) /lænsi mɛdoʊz/, i.e. the aux is silent, if random internet sources can be believed. Of course, it is not quite a typical example - ...
Radovan Garabík's user avatar
5 votes

Can entire words be silent?

I'll start by saying I'm not an expert, only an enthusiast. But I believe this could be entirely possible. Written languages such as Egyptian never had punctuation. So they would not be capable of ...
Joel Nagy's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Can entire words be silent?

In terms of spelling opacity, there's a continuum between exactly mirroring speech at the phonetic or phonological level and writing in a different language. Historical spelling normally refers to ...
Greg Nisbet's user avatar
  • 1,715
5 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 ...
Anton Sherwood's user avatar
5 votes

What is a constructed variety of a natural language called?

For naturalistic languages placed in an Alternative History setting the term Altlang (short from Alternative Language) is used. An example of such an Altlang is Alternese (an alternative history ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
  • 11.3k
5 votes

Borrowing from conlangs into natural languages

At the risk of sounding too obvious, the word Esperanto has been borrowed into many natural languages, with the meaning of "universal neutral way of communication". See e.g. phrases like "mathematics ...
Radovan Garabík's user avatar
4 votes

Borrowing from conlangs into natural languages

The word Qapla' ("success") is listed as an English word on Wiktionary, which in essence means that it is regarded as an English loanword from Klingon. It has sparked some debate, but it has survived ...
loghaD's user avatar
  • 141
4 votes

Is there evidence that any natural languages were actually constructed?

Depending if you include scripts in the definition of "natural language", Hangul is a famous example of an alphabet that was created in the 15th century and has evolved since then. In addition, the ...
qwr's user avatar
  • 169
4 votes
Accepted

Is latino sine flexione dead?

It is obviously not completely dead, there is at least one blogger posting short news items in Latino Sine Flexione here http://nuntios.blogspot.com/search/label/Latino%20sine%20Flexione I don't know ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
  • 11.3k
4 votes
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Is it reasonable for numerals to behave like verbs?

One clear-cut example of a language that treats many things like predicates, numerals included, is Khoekhoe. Khoekhoe marks many kinds of predicates the same way, including numerals. The paper argues ...
Greg Nisbet's user avatar
  • 1,715

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