Category Archives: conlang design

Machine Transliterating into Conlangs

I’ve been writing a tool kit of utilities for toki pona with an eye to making these potentially general tools for any conlang. One of them is a transliterator that transliterates any word into toki pona phonotactics, e.g. Clifford becomes … Continue reading

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Ways inflecting languages *could* turn into isolating languages

Some of these are inspired by the answers to question I asked on the conlang mailing list: * Erosion (and all other forms mutation) of causes endings to drop off or for inflections to become identical to others. * Inflected … Continue reading

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Readability Scores for Conlangs

I was making good progress on my 30 day conlang as long as I had tools that matched the task of the moment (word generation, dictionary creation), and then I ran out of tools. I needed a random sentence generator, … Continue reading

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Days 6-7 Weekend, expanding the meanings list

I’m up to 300 meanings. I’m picking words thematically, not atomically. An atomic lexicon results in phrases that build up using salient features that each add to each other. So that crappy fried cabbage dish they serve in chinese restaurants … Continue reading

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Day 4- Context free grammars

I found another context free grammar parser, Gold Parser. It is much easier to use than the last one I was working with. I may have to use both anyhow, since there are 2 kinds of parsers: ones aimed at … Continue reading

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Day 3 of the 30 Day Conlang – Syntax and Grammar

I machine generated prefixes, suffixes and particles, following roughly CV+(l), CV(C) and VC(V) respectively. I have in mind this schematic for words: [pre] +[pre] + root + [root]* +suffix +[suffix] The obligatory suffix will carry the metaphysical obsessions of the … Continue reading

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Day 2 of the 30 Day Conlang – Removing minimal pairs

I removed all the minimal pairs. I hate minimal pairs. They make a lexicon hard to memorize. I’d rather poetry be done by some means other than relying on minimal pairs in the root words. I first removed everything where … Continue reading

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The endlang conlang

By combining the ideas of endangered languages and constructed languages, I’m sure some people instantly get a bunch of ideas in their head. Maybe visions of discouraging Navajo in favor of Esperanto, or the most common, “people who are studying … Continue reading

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What makes an apriori language easy?

What is easy? There are few levels to what is easy. Is it easy to create the language, is it easy for the creator to learn the language, is it easy for some particular audience to learn the language, with … Continue reading

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Conlang: Milestones

Language Description Phonology, Phonotactics and Sandhi complete. Phrase grammar complete. CALS page complete. Morphosyntax sketch complete. (question list from book of same name) Swadesh (or alternative) list complete. Core lexicon and derivational morphology complete to the point that most if … Continue reading

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How big a phonetic inventory?

As a baby, you can hear all phonemes.  As an adult, many phonemes are experienced as one sound, even if they are different.  Often ordinary people can’t re-learn the difference until after years of listening to fluent speakers- such as … Continue reading

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Personal Languages

A personal language is created the intention of being used, but only by one person in the null domain, that being all linguistic acts that do not require an understanding collocutor. The features and goals of a personal language may … Continue reading

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50 Ways to Calque Your Mother Tongue

We all know the ordinary ways to calque your mother tongue– by wholesale import of lexical items, loan words, syntax and morphology.  It is the sign of a clumsy language, something more akin to a cipher than a foreign language. … Continue reading

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