I’m a software developer by trade. I study languages as a hobby.

About the title:

The word I wish I could use is “con-parole” as in a “contructed language as it is spoken” to distinguish it from “con-langue” as in a “constructed language that isn’t to be used” But “con-parole” is pretty much unheard of, still, con-parole would cover Esperanto and Klingon, whereas for many people, conlang means Klingon and Elvish, but not Esperanto. Why? I don’t know, I just watch how people use words.

Fake isn’t derogatory. Faux diamonds are quite the good thing in the right context.

Fake isn’t an effort to trigger any particular taxonomy. At least one person has proposed a taxonomy where a “fake langauge” is something akin to a sound effect used in a movie when the script calls for foreign sound, but doesn’t want to use French or invent a language.

I chose the word “Fake” for it’s man-in-the-street meaning, of something that isn’t real on some dimension.

5 Responses to About

  1. Hannah says:

    I find your website they insightful and useful, especially as I am a beginner in conlanging.

    After a lot of experimentation, I have decided to challenge myself and create an isolating language. So far it features words which are at maximum 2 syllables long. The meanings of the words can change according to how long the vowels are, increasing the word possibilities without the need for intonation.

    I wanted to ask, say the verb meaning ‘running’ is ‘ki’ (hypothetically), but to change the word into past tense you say ‘san’. Would that still make the conlang an isolating language? I’ve thought that maybe it’s better to place a particle in front of the verb to signify a change in tense rather than change the verb itself.

    What do you think? A reply would be much appreciated.

  2. matthewdeanmartin says:


    Short answer– that looks like a lexical, not a morphological or syntactical solution to expressing past tense, so yes it would still be isolating.

    Long answer–
    One would want to work out a variety of phrases that express various ways something happened (or is), and see if there are any patterns. If there are

    So if I had…
    I run = ki
    I ran = san
    I will run = pon

    Then I’d say there is no pattern going on for tenses. Each of these are separate words. The language is isolating.

    If I had…
    You ran = fiz san
    They ran = fizo san
    We ran = fero san

    Then I’d need some more tests to decide if fiz, fizo and fero are bound or not.

    Can words be inserted in between?
    fiz foo san
    You quickly ran (looks isolating)

    Does a word’s influence cover a phrase, or does it only affect the one it is right next to?
    fiz san ok blik
    You ran and walked (also looks isolating, the fiz didn’t have to be repeated on the second verb.)

    • Hannah says:

      Thank you for the reply. That means I can have more freedom over the conlang if something doesn’t seem right. And I now have a better understanding about what makes a language synthetic or isolating. Thank you for the information.

  3. Lex Mosgrove says:

    Hello Matthew,
    just wanted to let you know that I really like your blog. Being a languages and linguistics geek myself with a few conlangs under my belt I particularly like that you’re not focusing on conlanging only, but are also discussing languages in general. Keep up the good work!

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