Bryatesle: Case Usage IV: The Ablative

March 4th, 2015 by Miekko
The ablative is a general oblique case; with locative postpositions, it tends to signify 'away from', but with other kinds of postpositions it quite widely occurs without any particular meaning attached to it. It also appears sometimes as a quirky case object, and with a very small number of verbs as a quirky case subject.

Many verbs of emotion take the ablative as their objects. So do some verbs of perception:
en enam vibai
he her.abl like.3sg
he likes her 
nëm bubeta vret
I pulse-abl hear-1sg.atelic
I hear a pulse
The object use, and the locative use, are the main contexts where the definite and partitive forms appear. (The partitive is of course conflated with the dative, but does still appear there.)

 Also actively perceiving something as something other than it is:
xnivi nïty-nïsr kugdak bevrine
you-pl me(abl)-me(2ndsubj) fool-acc consider-2pl
you take me for a fool (but I assert I am not)
Some verbs of perception can take the perceiver in dative and the perceived thing in either the nominative or accusative, depending on the volitionality of the stimulus. Some verbs of perception, on the other hand, take the nominative as perceiver and the ablative or accusative as object, depending on the implied accuracy of the perception. Many of the more 'abstract' verbs of perception permit both - however, most speakers would find a dative perceiver with an ablative stimulus somewhat odd.

Regarding the construction given above, making the two arguments go the other way around as far as case marking goes would essentially mean the same thing, but often the thing considered will go first, and the quality or thing it is perceived as second:
xnivity na-nïsr kudgaty bevrine
Secondary subject marking is not mandatory for this kind of construction, but is not unusual. Something turning into something will also generally be marked with the ablative; however, if the thing that is transformed is the subject, the secondary subject marking is usually affixed; if the thing transformed is the object, the reciprocal object marking often is affixed:
Kerba Dinimak pardïtysus kirstai
Kerba Dinim-acc poor(noun).abl.recpr.obj play.3sg.telic
Kerba played Dinim into a poor man (Kerba won over Dinim in gambling, making him poor)
 The partitive ablative|dative sometimes marks transition from a state:
Dinim pardër urgui.
Dinim poor(noun).abl|dat.part rise.3sg.telic
Dinim rose from being a poor man
 This can also mark ability to transform on the noun itself:
Kerber dynak(dynareze) (ake) dïsdei
Kerba.A|D.part rich.acc.(part/neg) (not) succeed.telic
Kerba does (not) have it in him to succeed

I think one more post will be necessary to this initial description of the case usage of Bryatesle.


March 4th, 2015 by Bad conlanging ideas

IPA Feng Shui: align your vowels and consonants to maximize your language’s qi.

Tatediem: Fractions

March 4th, 2015 by Miekko
Previously we saw the somewhat octal system of Tatediem, but now that we look into the fractional system, we find there are two distinct systems - a fourths-based exponential system, and an ordinals-based analytical system.

We will first look at the fourths-based system. It is basically a 1/4-base system, that has four numbers:
-xùŋge  1/4
-kìdge   2/4
-pàŋge  3/4
-taúm-, -taúŋ-, give sixteenths:

taúŋùŋge    1/16
taúŋìdge     2/16
taúmpàŋge 3/16
pártu- gives 64ths. dértu- gives 128ths and karú gives 256ths. The last two only occur in administrative contexts, and are not known to have been part of colloquial speech ever.

These can combine, in which case only the first part gets the gender congruence marker:
(ga)kìdge taúnùŋge = 2/4 + 1/16 = 5/16
(ye)pàŋge taùmpànge pàrtukìdge karúpàŋge = 3/4 + 3/16 + 2/64 + 3/256 = 192/256 + 48/256 + 8/256 + 3/256 = 251/256 (or somesuch)
The gender congruence always uses nominal prefixes for these for most dialects. A handful of far-south dialects have a twelve-based system instead, with sub-bases 1/3 and 1/4. The letìrti dialect has base 1/4 for the first 'decimal', followed exclusively by base three. In all of these, the fraction can follow on an integer number.

The analytical system takes a ratio, either of the form N raxi (P/Q) or R/Q. N, if present, is treated just like an ordinary numeral (and thus takes the nominal gender prefix). P (or R), however, is marked with the adjectival marker of the gender, and Q is marked with the grammatical gender's nominal dual or plural marker, thus:
wankint raxi wansélx suxuns raxpelì suxuns - two and twelve fifteenths
Raxi is the conjunction 'and', inflected for the plural of the grammatical gender. (It's stem is -əl/-əj, which is reduced in the presence of rax- to raxi.)

Conlangery #107: Moten

March 3rd, 2015 by Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
Conlangery #107: Moten:

Hi everyone,

My conlang Moten was featured in the latest episode of the Conlangery podcast! Yeah me! Please go and listen to me in my full French-accented glory! :P

from Tumblr

music is musiki

March 3rd, 2015 by Mariska
musiki = music (some things Google found for "musiki": an uncommon term; in Turkish another word for music in addition to the more common word müzik; user names; a rare last name; a very rare first name; similar Musikhi is the name of places in Russia)

Word derivation for "music":
Basque = musika, Finnish = musiikki
Miresua = musiki

For this word, I didn't have very much to work with.

The word music appears three times in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
...the Hatter said, tossing his head contemptuously. "I dare say you never even spoke to Time!"

"Perhaps not," Alice cautiously replied: "but I know I have to beat time when I learn music."


March 2nd, 2015 by Bad conlanging ideas

Inspired by a comment in the Constructed Languages group on Facebook:

The same language is spoken in an empire; it breaks down into a Western half and an Eastern half à la Rome. The Western half adopts VOS word order, the Eastern half SOV.

Conlangery #107: Moten

March 2nd, 2015 by Conlangery Podcast
Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets comes on to talk about his conlang Moten. Top of Show Greeting: Nærut Nɑnɑ́rɑ Links and Resources: The Moten page of Christophe’s blog Christophe’s presentation at LCC4


March 1st, 2015 by Bad conlanging ideas

All vowels are phonemically identical. Tense is conveyed by vowel height, formality by vowel backing, and passivity by laxness. Rounding doesn’t technically mean anything, but is informally used to indicate sarcasm.

Yuletide Cards from the Dreamtime

March 1st, 2015 by Fiat Lingua

James William McCleary was born somewhere, possibly in the usual way, though some accounts claim he was given, as a baby, to an uncle and aunt to rear, after he was given a lightning scar by some Wizard who shouldn’t be named, whereas other accounts claim he arrived in an alien space ship from a dying world and was found in some Kansas cornfields by an elderly farming couple. Sophocles gives a completely different account as to James McCleary’s beginnings, but let’s not get silly.

By the age of eight he was writing and drawing his own stories based upon a character his grandfather had created, a boy character named “Puey.” By the age of twelve he added the character of a Princess who created her own fairy language to these stories, because it seemed like a good idea at the time. In general, fairy languages and Princesses make any story or artwork better, as he came to learn.

In high school he probably studied something, though his surviving notebooks are somewhat filled with doodles of Princesses and a made up language. At university he probably studied something, but his surviving notebooks are completely filled with doodles of Princesses and a made up language. Teachers had no idea what to do with him, and frankly, I can’t blame them.

In 2009 he read a book that claimed that “conlangers” exist. He sought them out using the alchemy of “computers” (some sort of clockwork journal, one my suppose) mostly so that he could exchange Christmas cards with them, since he celebrates Christmas for about half of the year. In 2012 he translated the entirety of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, and Hunting of the Snark. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Nowadays James McCleary can mostly be found solving crime, fighting dragons, rescuing Princesses, engaging in mad science, and being completely serious. Maybe next year he’ll start making his Christmas cards early since they take so long to craft. He’s never actually met a “conlanger” face to face, but he’s reasonably sure that they, along with mermaids, sasquatches, and the Great Pumpkin, exist.

He has been accused of being silly, a charge which I can assure you is completely false.


Do you love Christmas? Yep! Do you love Christmas cards? Sure, we all do!

Making a Christmas Card in a fairy language can be quite a lot of hard work, requiring sketches, a lot of planning, and even more patience. In 2014 James McCleary created eight original Christmas cards featuring text in the Khlìjha language, and he recorded every step in the process. This paper gathers together all of the sketches and works-in-progress of his first Christmas Card of 2014. Each image represents anywhere from one to three hours of work. It takes a lot of Christmas cheer to finish one of these cards, so let’s take a look, shall we?

Version History

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Language Creation Tribune, Issue 4

March 1st, 2015 by Jessie Sams

Language Creation Tribune

Issue 4


A word from our President


Hello everyone, and welcome to the 4th edition of the Language Creation Tribune. Sorry for the delay (which was mostly my fault, I have to admit), but it’s finally here for you to enjoy! Once again, Jessie, John and the other editors have done a great job in putting it together. And given Jessie’s infinite patience waiting for me to get my column ready, she deserves an extra round of applause!

So, as you already know, the Sixth Language Creation Conference is really going to happen (we’re busy setting up the schedule at the moment). So if you plan to attend but haven’t registered yet, now’s the time to do it! (The registration form is on the LCC6 page.) Also, if you are interested in a giving a talk but haven’t made a proposal yet, there are still slots available in the schedule, so you are welcome to send a proposal to Because we only have a few slots left, though, make sure you send a proposal as soon as possible!

With information about LCC6 out of the way, I’m going to turn my focus onto another point: As you probably know, it’s now been just over a year since I was elected President of the Language Creation Society (if you don’t, that means you’re a relatively new member of the LCS, and let me use this opportunity to welcome you here. It’s a great place; the snacks are at the back). It’s a good time to reflect on how that year has been. I’m not going to talk about how the LCS has fared during the year (that is something for the Members’ Meeting), but I do want to talk about my personal experience as the President of the LCS. A little bit of introspection never hurt anyone!

So, how was my year?

When I first considered putting up my candidacy for the position, I knew that I was taking a very big bite, possibly more than I could ever hope to chew. And indeed, since the elections, it has been a very steep learning curve for me. Even today, I’m still learning a lot about what this position entails. Luckily, people have been very understanding and patient with me, and I cannot thank them enough. There are a few people I want to mention by name, though, as they’ve been especially helpful to me: David Peterson, for helping me through the first months of my presidency and taking the time to teach me the ropes, despite his busy schedule; and George Corley, for picking up the slack when I just didn’t have the time to handle things. But I want to give very special thanks to Sylvia Sotomayor, who’s really helped me get through this first year as President and has been extremely supportive even when I was constantly asking for help and even though the President no longer lived close to home but lives half a world away, with different ideas, approaches, and time zones. Really, Sylvia, I wouldn’t have managed this well without your help!

Of course, I also want to thank all the Officers and Directors of the Board for being so patient and putting up with all my ideas, even the weirdest ones. And naturally, I’d like to extend a big thank you to all the members of the LCS, for making me feel so appreciated. Basically, for me, this year was one big learning experience, and I’m really glad I was given this chance.

But how did I do during this first year of presidency? What did I do well? Where do I need to improve? Those are incredibly difficult questions to answer—especially since I’m not the best at self-assessment. Feedback from LCS members is really the only way I’ll be able to evaluate my performance thus far. So let me ask you these questions: How have I done so far? Are you satisfied with my performance, or do you think I’ve made a mess of things? Are there things I’ve done that I should do more of? Are there things I haven’t done that I should do? As I said when I was elected, I’m not here to lead you but to serve you, and I can only serve you when I know what you need. So don’t hesitate to contact me and tell me what you think. I can’t promise I will be able to answer quickly (one of the few things I’m aware I’ve been bad at is the speed with which I answer e-mails), but I promise I will read everything you have to say. Getting your feedback is vital for my performance, so don’t hesitate to respond!

Fiat Lingua!

Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets,

President of the Language Creation Society.

Conlang Curiosities 

by John Quijada


I’ve been spending a few days exploring a French-language website called Argtxep created by Argor, the nom de plume of Jean-Pierre Mallaroni, a computer scientist from Marseilles, France. The Argtxep website is rather chaotic at first glance (especially given the garish colors and outmoded use of frames) and is organized in a rather peculiar fashion. The homepage welcomes us to ARGTXEP “The Concept of the Citadel” and immediately announces a language for the gay world, further explaining that the language is not meant to isolate gays, but rather “to give the opportunity to foreigners of the same affinity who would . . . like to communicate on equal terms in spite of their linguistic differences . . . .” What’s weird is that nowhere on this homepage is the name of the language given nor the title “Argtxep – Concept of the Citadel” explained. One must click on another link labeled in French “Letter to the Visitor” to begin to understand what all this is about.

The “citadel” in question turns out to be his conlang Silarg, a word meaning “Celestial Citadel”. The word Argtxep (pronounced /argtʃɛp/) refers to Argor’s overall project, i.e., the Silarg language, its four different writing systems, and the language’s intended use as an international auxiliary language. I found it curious that, despite the grand announcement on the homepage that this is a conlang for use by gays, nowhere else in the website could I find any basis or rationale for this exclusivity. Sexual orientation isn’t even mentioned anywhere in the grammar or on any of the numerous pages describing the writing system or other aspects of the language, nor could I find any aspect of the grammar or writing systems that would suggest why the language should be specifically for an exclusive group of people.

At any rate, once past the homepage and introductory letter, the “Concept of the Citadel” becomes quite interesting. First of all, the Citadel itself, Silarg, must be approached by a door. That door is Argpal (meaning “Gate to the Citadel”), the writing system. Argor devotes a thirty-page treatise to the writing system and, I have to say, it is quite a fascinating script, akin in some ways to the Ithkuil writing system in its degree of complexity. The script is phonemic like any alphabet, but the individual symbols are essentially ligatures constructed from individual parts and pieces in ingenious combinations. One gains the impression that Argor is far more enamored by the Argpal script than by the Silarg language itself. In fact, the site features a series of English-language videos explaining in detail how the script functions and can be used to transliterate any language. An example of Argpal is shown below.

Argpal script

Argpal script

In addition to Argpal, a cursive version of the script exists called Argclaw (“Key to the Citadel”), as well as a secret script called Argbriht (“Labyrinth of the Citadel”) known only to the Argor. Argor has also created a font for both Argpal and Argclaw, which is available for download on his site.

Eventually, one finds their way to the Silarg Grammar, which begins with a detailed explanation of the fourth writing system – the Romanized transcription called Argla, which I personally find fascinating but others will think bizarre, e.g., digraphs such as <ye> = /œ/, <yy> = /ə/, unusual semi-vowels such as <bk> = /œ̯̃/, <dk> = /ã̯/, <qh> = /ɔ̯/, <th> = /ɛ̯/, and nasal vowels shown by following <h>. The phonology appears heavily influenced by French in its use of nasals and front-rounded vowels and the semivowel /ɥ/. The strange phonotactics and even stranger orthography give us Silarg words such as bkyhq, pronounced /œ̯̃œ̃ʒ/ (the name of a letter in the Silarg alphabet). Not exactly the friendliest Roman orthography for a proposed IAL.

The vocabulary of Silarg is based on real-world word-roots from the world’s languages. Visitors to the site are even invited to submit proposed Silarg words based on roots from real languages. These roots are then mutated and/or truncated to comply with Silarg phonology frequently to the point of being unrecognizable (in a manner reminiscent of Volapük). An example is phews “violence” derived from the corresponding Hungarian word heves. The name Argtxep itself derives from Latin arx “citadel” plus Latin conceptus “concept”. The site contains a comprehensive Silarg dictionary with detailed etymology for each of the several thousand entries. In addition to common Western European languages, Silarg roots abound based on words from languages as diverse as Aztec, Aruak, Coptic, Hebrew, Finnish, Japanese, Quechua, Fon, Tahitian, as well as sources such as Marseillais slang, Picardy-Walloon dialect, Ladin/Rumansch, Ancient Greek, Anglo-Norman, Corsican and Old French. And there are even some a priori native Silarg words!

Despite the original phonotactics and orthography, and word etymologies global in their scope, the grammar of the Silarg language itself strikes me as a bit conservative. Compared to the treatise on the Argpal script and the huge dictionary, the grammar itself is relatively brief, being contained on a single HTML page. It appears to be heavily influenced by French with a few Germanic-looking, non-Romance morphological structures. For example, the tense system for verbs and the pronouns bear an almost one-to- one correspondence with French, however genitive and partitive constructions are much more like Germanic languages.

Being one who has spent decades working on a single conlang, I can appreciate efforts such as Argor’s to craft one’s vision of language with exquisite and exacting detail. The fact that the finished product is so esoteric and unpredictable—okay, I’ll avoid the euphemisms and just call it plain weird—makes it all the more fascinating.

Member Milestones

William Annis created the language for the Beta aliens in the RTS video game Grey Goo, which came out on January 23. This post on William’s Tumblr has a link to an example of the language in use.

Congratulations to D.R. Merrill, whose book Lamikorda was named a Book of the Year on SciFi365! On a more personal level, Merrill has continued work on Kiitra (the main conlang featured in the novel) and has expanded its vocabulary to over 3600 entries.

J.S. Bangs has recently released a new novel, Storm Bride, which contains several of his conlangs. [INSERT IMAGE]

William Barton released his novel Crimson Darkness in December, which primarily focuses on the Semkanya conlang.



Conlanging News

News on classes, talks, conventions and articles relevant to conlanging:


News of websites relevant to conlanging:

  • Jonathan Fleury, the moderator of the “Linguistics and Conlangs” Facebook group, has started publishing a monthly online magazine, Conlangs Monthly, available here.
  • Jeffrey Brown published his sociolinguistic study on auxlangs in Fiat Lingua.
  • Google provided a statement in Elvish in response to the addition of Sauron’s Tower, Barad-dûr, to Google Maps.


News specific to LCS:

  • You shop. Amazon gives. If you shop Amazon, you can now support the LCS by using this Amazon link for your shopping. Amazon will give a percentage of its profits on all the purchases you make through that link to the LCS.

LCS Membership benefits

You can find more information about becoming a member, as well as more information on the benefits, here.

  • Two permanent domain names and free full web and email hosting; for more information or to fill out the form to claim a domain name, please visit this page.
  • Checkout privileges for the LCS Lending Library.
  • Access to a Hightail account (you can find more information about Hightail, an online file server, at its website); please email Sylvia to create your account.
  • Full voting rights in the LCS.
  • Discounts on all LCS events.

Please direct any questions you have regarding LCS membership to Also, all communication regarding your membership will come from that address as well, so please white-list