Category Archives: conlang design

Animal Conlangs

The British are afraid of genetic engineering allowing monkeys to speak. (Just wait until they find out about all the little talking Great Apes in Britain that the scientists have been secretly creating in their bedrooms)  SF writers are using … Continue reading

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Culture is not normally embedded in language like a paracite

While I enjoy putting on my viking hat and woolly sweater, getting out the skyr an playing some Sykur while I’m studying Icelandic– Icelandic would still be Icelandic without all of that cultural stuff.  For every charismatic word that says … Continue reading

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How do I say my name in ….

This is probably the first question I have when ever I get more than a mild interest in a constructed language. Surprisingly, this often is poorly documented and there is usually a tedious discussion about the merits of picking a … Continue reading

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What it would take to finish Shyriiwook (aka the Wookie Language)

Here is one of the longer documents on Shyriiwook. I’m in the mood the beat up on a middle of the pack conlang, one of the sort that seems like there is something there for a fan, but there isn’t … Continue reading

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My Conlang Manifesto

Please see the Conlang Manifesto Manifesto before subscribing to any advice here. Unless you are me, this doesn’t really apply to anyone, least of all those writing conlangs as amusing reference grammars, auxlangs or conlangs to support the writing of … Continue reading

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Conlang Manifesto Manifesto

The world needs a meta-manifesto. Manifestos are a recipe for creating one sort of conlang. As soon as you depart from that sort of conlang, the manifesto doesn’t apply. (Here is a fully worked example) If a conlang author hasn’t … Continue reading

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Conlangers Reading List

(I’ll be updating this with specific book recommendations… soon) Field Linguistics Manuals Especially the Morphosyntax related ones. Many field linguistics focus a lot on how to get information out of the head of the fluent speaker. Those techniques, obviously, don’t … Continue reading

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Word Generation, now with a web UI

I web enabled the word generator from whee.dk, So now you can copy and paste this into the following: WordGenerator.Wakayos.com These are called “wordo” programs. This is one of many I used to generated the 500 or so words for … Continue reading

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Cutting Edge Linguistic Theory and Conlangs

Nothing will make you feel as humble as reading cutting edge linguistic papers about language features. If a language, say Cree, has a feature and no one in academia agrees on how it works, one can still go that community … Continue reading

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To create a conculture or to not. That’s the Q.

First, lets identify the audience. If you enjoy writing fake ethnographic reports, the follow your joy. Ditto if you are writing a fictional novel and want a thoroughly developed setting. But, if you are writing a conlang and are wondering … Continue reading

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Secret languages and amateur linguistics

I wrote a post somewhere about personal conlangs, i.e. conlangs that are intended to be used and used by only one person. Thanks to a comment (albeit from a very angry elf), I started thinking about something not so different, … Continue reading

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What is a polysynthetic lanuage?

Well, it depends on which linguists is using the word today. So welcome to cafeteria linguistics and please choose your mystery meat: Option 1. It is a Chomskian style parameter which says, all verbs mark for subject and object, or … Continue reading

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Learning Curves and Languages

The learning curve charts your language learning results with your language learning efforts. In a linear learning curve, a unit of time or effort yields a unit of results. In a nonlinear learning curve, at times, great efforts yield nothing … Continue reading

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Publish a reference grammar or it didn’t happen

There is an internet meme, “pictures or it didn’t happen”, which is also a website for funny photos. The conlang world is in a similar situation. “Noyatowa” is supposed to be a conlang that is polysynthetic. It has 7 google … Continue reading

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Lexicography for Conlangers- First Notes

So I’m trying to create a database schema for dictionary work with toki pona. I’d like it to be re-usable for other languages, so I’m think about what concepts in lexicography are useful and universal. Lemmatization. Picking the dictionary form … Continue reading

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