15 votes

How do languages manage to make sense with a free word order?

It should be noted that in addition to relying heavily on one strategy, it's also possible to mix strategies is various different ways, relying on different strategies to back each other up. For ...
user avatar
  • 2,257
11 votes

How do languages manage to make sense with a free word order?

The way these languages do this is with inflections. Nouns, for example, can be declined to show cases, which tell the speaker things about what they are doing. Verbs can be used to show who the ...
user avatar
  • 1,285
10 votes
Accepted

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

Derek Bickerton and John McWhorter both have studied pidgins and creoles. A general observation is that communities that have to deal with other communities who don't speak their language, but still ...
user avatar
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 ...
user avatar
  • 199
9 votes

How similar are Loglan and Lojban?

Lojban vocabulary was deliberately constructed from scratch, in an attempt to get around James Brown's copyright on Loglan (Brown was the creator of Loglan, but continued to retain control over it. ...
user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

How do languages manage to make sense with a free word order?

There are three main strategies for indicating grammatical relations in languages with free word orders. It is common for languages to have more than one of these, and to my knowledge all free word ...
user avatar
  • 3,541
8 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,285
8 votes

How do languages manage to make sense with a free word order?

The key principle to understanding what is being uttered or has been written is to know how to put the words into a structural context. This is often explained in simple terms using the W questions: ...
user avatar
  • 844
8 votes
Accepted

What are the common features of "Elvish" conlangs?

One way to look at "elvish" features is to compare how different elvish languages look, and to take inspiration from that. A look at the phonologies of a few elvish languages: Quenya (phonology from ...
user avatar
  • 1,414
7 votes

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

There are a lot of hypotheses and conjectures floating around the linguistic community regarding typological features (like phoneme inventories, inflecting or isolating type etc.) and size of the ...
user avatar
7 votes

Which categories of inalienable possession have conlangs expressed?

Lojban differentiates between inalienable possession, alienable possession, and association: po'e, po, pe. But Lojban does so because its design aspired to typological completeness: it's followed the ...
user avatar
7 votes

How do languages manage to make sense with a free word order?

Apart from the morphological / grammatical angle, we can also understand meaning by context. A mournful song sang the choir. Except in the Land of Strange Tales, we know that choirs sing songs. ...
user avatar
  • 2,955
7 votes
Accepted

What significant traits are found in conlangs and not in natlangs?

There are a broad range of answers possible here and it would be impossible to list everything. In general, it is rather easy to come up with a feature that does not seem to occur in natural languages:...
user avatar
  • 3,292
7 votes
Accepted

How long do words get in other languages, and how hard are long words to say or read?

The complexity of a pronouncing a word does not depend on its length, but more on its phonological structure. Even long words in a language you are familiar with will be quite easy to pronounce (...
user avatar
  • 3,516
6 votes

What are some options for alternative contrasts in demonstratives?

As the linked WALS chapter already mentions, a common distinction is to contrast near speaker/near listener/distal rather than a simple distance constrast. One way to make such as system more "...
user avatar
  • 2,257
6 votes
Accepted

Evolution of irregular declensions and conjugations from reconstructed proto-languages

I know some fellow conlangers are much more proficient in Greek and its history than me, therefore I want to concentrate on some more general aspects of the question. First of all, you are the conlang ...
user avatar
5 votes

What significant traits are found in conlangs and not in natlangs?

Whilst I also think that this question is too broad as you could argue that almost all conlangs that weren't created to be "naturalistic" have some feature never before seen in a natural language. ...
user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Valyrian - what living languages does it resemble the most?

It is probably impossible to say which language resembles Valyrian most, lacking a metric for similarity. But there are clearly identifyable influences of other languages, both constructed and natural....
user avatar
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: ...
user avatar
5 votes

Are there any examples of artificial creoles of natural languages?

More of a pidgin experiment than full fledged con-creole, but worth a mention anyway: Viossa. Being made by conlangers, it likely has somewhat more elaborate grammar than most pidgins though (such as ...
user avatar
  • 3,292
5 votes

Are there any examples of artificial creoles of natural languages?

Additionally, Lang Belta, which is the constructed creole spoken on the science fiction television show The Expanse.
user avatar
  • 51
5 votes

Are there any examples of artificial creoles of natural languages?

To name a few: Da Mätz se Basa: High German. Old Piscean: British English. Kjā: Yoruba. Cheyoon: Mandarin. Al Mastizu: a creole of English, Spanish and Arabic.
user avatar
  • 2,955
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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,373
4 votes

What similarities does The Black Speech in Tolkien have to Hurrian?

Well, The Font of All Knowledge (a.k.a. Wikipedia) tells us several things: There is not much similarity as far as phonology, as Hurrian seems to lack consonant voicing distinction (except in certain ...
user avatar
  • 2,955
4 votes

What are some options for alternative contrasts in demonstratives?

I can imagine a system that is based on size/importance instead of one based on near me/near you/distant. In this system, one demonstrative would point to the larger, more massive, more important, ...
user avatar
  • 844
4 votes

How similar are Loglan and Lojban?

Lojban started as a relexification of Loglan but it has evolved independently from Loglan since that starting point. I don't think that the two languages can be considered dialects of each other ...
user avatar
4 votes

Is mathematics considered a constructed language?

I think Programming and Mathematics fail to meet the standard because, despite being more precise, they are ultimately nowhere near as expressive as a language like English. Per request I will expand ...
user avatar
4 votes

Is mathematics considered a constructed language?

Jesse Adam's answer already does a good job of establishing that programming languages do not have the same expressive power as human language. The notation used in mathematics certainly also does not ...
user avatar
  • 3,301
4 votes

How long do words get in other languages, and how hard are long words to say or read?

Be careful to distinguish the words of the language and the orthography - the latter can sometimes obscure the former¹. If the German orthography spelled it Donau Dampfschifffahrts Gesellschafts ...
user avatar
3 votes

How do languages manage to make sense with a free word order?

Many languages, like Japanese and Korean, have particles added to words to show which part of speech they are. While word order is still necessary for these languages to make sense, a conlang might ...
user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible