27 votes

Why are sign languages considered to be natural rather than constructed languages?

The history of sign languages is more akin to that of creoles than that of a constructed language which later gained native speakers. Consider the following two examples: The grammar of Esperanto and ...
Sascha Baer's user avatar
  • 3,482
20 votes
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Is there any concept of "isomorphic" constructed languages?

There is the term relexification meaning that the words of a given language are replaced by new words without changing the structure of the starting language. Relexification does not only occur in ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
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18 votes

Can programming languages be categorized as conlangs?

No. "Constructed languages" on this site refers to artificially created languages for intelligent beings, not machine languages. In the absence of another qualifier a "language" is, as I wrote on ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
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17 votes
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What is the difference between tense and aspect?

When discussing tense, aspect, and mood, it's important to distinguish a given language's grammatical markers from the abstract concepts being described. Thus, linguists use the words temporal ...
Sparksbet's user avatar
  • 3,401
12 votes

Why are sign languages considered to be natural rather than constructed languages?

The constructed versus natural language distinction is less of a binary opposition, and more of a continuum. There are many spoken languages as well that can partially qualify as 'constructed', ...
Sjiveru's user avatar
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12 votes
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What is the meaning of ANADEW?

ANADEW means "a natlang already did it even worse" or "a natlang already did it, except worse". In essence you thought of a strange feature for your conlang, but there is actually a natlang that has ...
Cecilia's user avatar
  • 1,111
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

What is the difference between an Isolating and an Analytic language?

Isolating languages do not use inflectional morphology, i.e., using affixes or other manipulations of roots to create words--all words are seperate, and none contain multiple morphemes. Vietnamese is ...
CHEESE's user avatar
  • 1,365
10 votes

Can programming languages be categorized as conlangs?

Programming languages are constructed, but they are not languages, in the sense English or Esperanto or Klingon are languages, as curiousdannii shows. We cannot translate things like "I will be late ...
Luís Henrique's user avatar
9 votes

How to describe a purely symbolic writing system?

I think you're overthinking this a little. While what you're considering is unusual, I can't see any reason why it wouldn't just be a written language in a logographic script. is purely for reading ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
  • 3,710
7 votes

Can programming languages be categorized as conlangs?

As a programmer and a conlanger, I'd say "no". As noted above, programming languages cannot convey metaphor, emotions, sensory impressions, and other such human-relevant messages. Abstraction they can ...
aruslanovych's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Is there existing terminology for distinguishing multiple imperative moods?

I don't think there is any really reliable cross-linguistic labelling system that would include all of these. There are terms for most of them, but they're often used for only a few languages, and ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
  • 3,710
7 votes

Creation of Alphabets

Neography As with language invention, there are different names for fashioning writing systems. While "conscirpt" and other "con-" forms are current, their problems are numerous. ...
elemtilas's user avatar
  • 3,245
7 votes

How do languages distinguish formal and casual noun phrases?

In English, we use stress. Think about how you say "greenhouse" versus "green house", or "redwood" versus "red wood": English doesn't allow two stressed ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 4,266
6 votes

Syntactic word that carries no meaning - is there a name for that?

I am not aware of a generic term covering all instances of function words without meaning, but only some specific cases. The pronoun it in phrases like It's raining or It seems that ... is called a ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
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6 votes

Syntactic word that carries no meaning - is there a name for that?

One general term would be function words; these are words that do not carry any lexical meaning, but are used to link content words together and clarify their relationships (eg in the case of ...
Oliver Mason's user avatar
  • 4,133
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
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5 votes

What is the difference between tense and aspect?

The difference is that tense refers to the time an action (or state or phenomenon) happened: I was slim. I am fat. I will be fatter. while aspect refers to the way an action (or state, or phenomenon)...
Luís Henrique's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

How is ANADEW pronounced?

As a native speaker of American English from the middle of the North American continent, I have always pronounced it as /ˈænədu/, like Xanadu (the movie), but with out the leading /z/. Visit https://...
lee's user avatar
  • 66
5 votes
Accepted

Term for the converse of "instrumental"

I think you're conflating a/o confusing a couple different things here. First, "cutter" is not "instrumental". (At least in English!) In English grammar, -er is (among zillions of other uses) the ...
elemtilas's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

Name of a group of languages with has "less is more" property

These languages could be called minimalist conlangs. This term has been applied to languages like Toki Pona quite regularly, as a Google search will bear out. The term has also been used to describe a ...
A. R.'s user avatar
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5 votes
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I need help with understanding perfect, perfective, perterite, and pluperfect

All the times you mention are in the past, but many languages, including English, care about more specific aspects of this past. In a nutshell, preterite past describes things that happened, perfect ...
Edvin's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

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

I don't think there's already a word for this exact subset of scripts. However, I think such a term would be a useful one -- we certainly have to refer to these sorts of scripts in the conlanging ...
Sparksbet's user avatar
  • 3,401
4 votes

Language with contextual-free vocabulary

Firstly, I have thought about this too before. Actually, only one word is needed for all of I, you, this, there, tomorrow, etc. You can analyse these as I, (the person I am referring to), (the thing I ...
Duncan's user avatar
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4 votes
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How do you call a "stillborn language"?

You're describing a couple different and not totally related things with different terminology used for each: Classical Latin is an example of a literary language, a language used not really in ...
snorepion's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

How to safely import loan words in a conlang?

What I am wondering is what are the different ways you can "safely" import these words into another lang? In natlangs, the one overarching purpose behind everything in a language is to ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 4,266
4 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between city, county, state, and nation (and others)?

The simple answer is we have these words because they're useful. People find it easier to talk about state government vs city government, rather than talking about level two government vs level four ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 4,266
4 votes

How do languages distinguish formal and casual noun phrases?

This works mainly through context. That is a bit difficult to give examples for without actual context: Situation: a (very) large aquarium with whales of different species. If you say "the blue ...
Oliver Mason's user avatar
  • 4,133
4 votes

How do languages distinguish formal and casual noun phrases?

In addition to what @Draconis say, many of the compound names don't make sense grammatically unless they are read as a unit. A river horse could not be interpreted as "a horse that is river",...
Edvin's user avatar
  • 644
4 votes

I need help with understanding perfect, perfective, perterite, and pluperfect

The most important thing to recognize is that many of these terms are language-specific. The word "preterite" is mainly used in describing Germanic languages, for example; in Ancient Greek, ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 4,266

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