11 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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  • 2,910
10 votes
Accepted

Grammatical cases occurring only in conlangs

I think the best conlang to look for such cases is Ithkuil. http://ithkuil.net/04_case.html contains a list of all cases. My [short] research suggests that some of them (e.g. navigative for "noun ...
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  • 956
10 votes

What reasons would there be for not having a human conlang with only vowels?

A vowel-only language is surely constructable (and I think, learnable, too), but I am afraid that it will be instable against evolutionary pressure. Vowel sequences like /aua/ or /aia/ tend to ...
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9 votes

What reasons would there be for not having a human conlang with only vowels?

There are generally a lot fewer vowels than consonants in the phoneme inventory of human languages. That means, with fewer sounds you need to make the words a lot longer if you want to have a decent-...
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  • 3,331
9 votes
Accepted

Which features make a language easier to learn?

Difficult question. I think regularity would speed up learning, as children during language learning overgeneralise (see experiments with English past tense endings). Thus instead of learning the ...
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  • 3,331
9 votes

Are there any grammatical aspects which do not have parallels in natural languages?

Well, y'know, ANADEW and all that, but... As far as I know, there is no natural language with a grammaticalized antiperfect aspect--i.e., an aspect where the time of the action is after the reference ...
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9 votes

What reasons would there be for not having a human conlang with only vowels?

Well, there is always Solresol, which has several isomorphic representations, and some of those could be considered vowel-only (depending on the instrument used). For natlangs, there are whistled ...
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8 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 ...
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  • 301
8 votes
Accepted

Features of unlearnable languages

If you search for the researchers mentioned in the article, you can find some of their research papers. In those, they describe their methodology. In one paper that I looked at briefly, for example, ...
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  • 3,331
7 votes

Features of unlearnable languages

Original Fith is a stack-based conlang (LIFO, reverse polish notation) and considered to be unspeakable in real-time since in order to speak good Fith you need to be able to remember more parts and ...
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  • 211
7 votes

Features of unlearnable languages

I've seen a paper that children have a lot of trouble learning nonconservative determiners. For instance, "every" is a conservative determiner because every dog is brown is equivalent to every dog is ...
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  • 351
7 votes

A biphonic language

In a way, vowels are already biphonic! Acoustically, vowels (and most sounds, actually) are simply combinations of formants: specific frequencies at which the vocal tract resonates. The differences ...
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  • 592
6 votes
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Designing a mildly weird phonology

Probably the best technique is making the language weird by absence. Instead of giving the language weird phonemes, make it lack the most common phonemes. A language with 5 vowels but no /a/, /i/ or /...
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5 votes

A biphonic language

You already hint a possible answer in the question: There is an art form named throat singing. A community where throat singing is practiced may carry over the some biphonic distinguishing features to ...
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5 votes

Designing a mildly weird phonology

You should start with consonants, I don't think you can make a vowel inventory as weird as a consonant inventory (maybe complex tones? creaky voice?). After that, it depends on your opinion of "...
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  • 956
5 votes

Which features make a language easier to learn?

Children learning an L1 have most of the same challenges as people in general learning an L2. Children learning a conlang, will have all of the problems of children learning a non-community language ...
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5 votes

A biphonic language

I'll take a stab at the "evolve" part. Throat singing might be a possibility, so we could look at the environment surrounding that. "The popularity of throat singing among Tuvans seems ...
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  • 151
4 votes
Accepted

Is there some more detailed information about Dritok available?

This website contains a video and links to some resources. The most important is this PDF, which explains gestures ("Dritok Gestural Syntax"), phonology and grammar.
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  • 956
4 votes
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Use of string reversion in conlangs

Solresol actually reverses the syllable order of a word to denote an opposite meaning, though this occurrence is inconsistent through the creator's published dictionary. For example, fala means good, ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Alternatives to independent verbs for encoding desiderative meaning

Quite a few languages have desiderative as an affix within the verbal system (whether it is analysed as an affix or a full mood being irrelevant here). Japanese and Sanskrit do, for example. It is ...
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  • 1,512
4 votes

Could you have a language with only three words?

After seeing a lot of different things thrown out there, I've decided to take a shot at this one. I think what you are suggesting is totally possible and plausible. The confusion of answers arises ...
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  • 1,187
4 votes
Accepted

Are there conlangs designed to be whispered?

Yes. The Whispering Language is designed for communicating with deaf-mutes -- a language that can easily be lipread. Ahtialan came to be used as a whisper language. Xylphika only rarely demonstrates ...
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  • 2,910
3 votes

Could you have a language with only three words?

If you really mean "morphemes" or "phonemes", then yes, of course you could design your language this way. One straightforward example is the Morse code, composed of three symbols - dot, dash, pause. ...
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3 votes

IPA for Voiced Velopharyngeal Stop?

What I think you meant to ask is to create a stop consonant by stopping air flowing through the nasal cavity while the mouth is open, then releasing it only through the nose while the mouth is closed. ...
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  • 1,384
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

Could you have a language with only three words?

From an information theory point of view, you can express anything if you have at least two signs: computers do this through the use of binary, where the signal is either "on" or "off&...
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  • 328
3 votes

Are there any grammatical aspects which do not have parallels in natural languages?

Morotuncanian has some verbal aspects that I rather doubt appear in natural languages of the primary world. Sedative and Excitative verbal aspects. The former aspect expresses the nature of the ...
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  • 2,910
3 votes
Accepted

Are there human beatbox inspired conlangs?

I tried to find conlangs based on such sounds but could not find any. However, the closest human phonemes to such sounds are clicks and many conlangs use them. I don't know any well-known conlangs ...
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1 vote

Could you have a language with only three words?

Your terminology is a little strange, but it sounds like your suggesting something like the tri-consonantal roots of Arabic. For example, د ر س represent the idea of acquiring or giving knowledge. ...
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