Archive for the ‘resources’ Category

Old High Veriden

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Ola Lisowska is a hobbyist language creator from Germany with a Master’s degree in Slavic Linguistics. While English and German are her native languages, her additional known languages include Polish, Russian, older varieties of Slavic languages, and some tidbits of French and Latin. She is most intrigued by “immersive” conlangs that go along with entire fictional universes, and very much enjoys creating these herself. She is especially passionate about creating conlangs for use in music and chant.

Abstract

Veriden, a constant work in progress, is a synthetic language that is strongly influenced by slavic languages, while not being overtly based on them. Its creation is largely driven by the author’s subjective aesthetic ideals, which are demonstrated when Veriden is used as a language for song and poetry. Veriden is part of a larger fictional universe, which comes with its own peoples, mythologies and stories, but the focus of this essay remains primarily on the grammar of the language itself. In this article, the creator presents the groundwork of the creation process along with a detailed description of Veriden’s grammatical structure.

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A Naming Language

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Jeffrey Henning is a language creator who is probably most famous for creating and maintaining the website Langmaker.com. Before it shut down, Langmaker was the undisputed number one destination for all things related to language creation. Langmaker was an outgrowth of Jeffrey Henning’s Model Languages newsletter, which was one of the first communities (in the broadest sense of the term) for language creation enthusiasts.

Abstract

In this essay, Jeffrey Henning describes how to create a naming language. Unlike a full conlang, which has its own grammar and syntax, a naming language is a phonology coupled with rules for compounding that can, among other things, allow a novelist to generate realistic, language-like names for characters, towns, regions, and geographical elements. Since its first publication in 1995 it’s continued to serve as a useful tool for world builders and game makers—and has also served as a jumping off point for many conlangers.

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Language Creation in Early Learning

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

Danny is a middle school English teacher based out of Baton Rouge and Denham Springs, Louisiana. He’s taught middle school for more than four years in both Louisiana and Massachusetts. He specializes in combining traditional English education with modern digital humanities pedagogy. While he still finds teaching rhetoric and informal/formal logic highly important in the classroom, he nonetheless includes the digital humanities in more than 50% of his instruction (He sometimes teaches his students through a virtual world after all). For Danny, the digital humanities is our present and our future. In this vein: to help his students visualize the settings, characterizations, and actions in a novel like The Call of the Wild, he’ll require his students to reenact a scene in a digital wolf simulation, and next explain their reenactments through the written word. Or, to teach his students narrative types, he may challenge his students to play games like Loneliness or Coma, and construct their own narratives based of their gameplay. You’ll witness his melding of traditional English education and the digital humanities in his study below, which investigates how conlanging impacts learning outcomes in a middle school English classroom.

Danny has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Loyola University New Orleans. In 2017, he’ll be a graduate candidate for a master’s program in English literature with a concentration in the digital humanities.

Abstract

This paper explores how conlanging impacts learning outcomes for middle school students in a structured English classroom. Starting in May and ending in the same month, 6th and 7th graders from Iberville Charter Academy in Plaquemine, LA created conlangs for their end-of-the-year English projects. 44 students participated. Danny Garrett, their teacher, oversaw the project, taught the necessary material for it, and studied the project’s pre- and posttest data. The data and highlighted student works are presented in this paper, framed in their proper historical, pedagogical, linguistic, and literary contexts. To protect student identities and statuses as minors, all student names are fictional and thus obscured in accordance with California law.

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Nuvutani: Introducing a new language

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

Sylvia Sotomayor has been conlanging since she read Tolkien at an impressionable age. She is best known for the Kēlen language, which won a Smiley Award in 2009. She is currently the Treasurer of the Language Creation Society, and keeps the membership rolls and the LCS Lending Library.

Abstract

Sylvia is most famous for Kēlen, a verbless language, and so for her second language, sodna-leni or sodemadu, she created a language with a closed class of verbs. However, in fleshing out Sodemadu, she became frustrated with its limitations, so one weekend she decided to forego the limitations of Sodemadu and created a new language, her third, that had an open class of verbs. Like Sodemadu, most of the vocabulary has cognates in Kēlen. At the end of the weekend she had a draft of a story in this new language. The story comes from a book of Australian Aboriginal myths and legends, shortened and adapted to suit her and this new language.

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Enaselvai: A Sketch of a Constructed Language

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Jonathan is a Director of Engineering at Sauce Labs, leading a team of software developers to improve the web and mobile testing ecosystem with Appium. He has worked as a programmer in tech startups for over a decade, but is also passionate about academic discussion. Jonathan has master’s degrees in philosophy and linguistics, from Stanford and Oxford respectively. Living in San Francisco, he’s an avid constructed language enthusiast, yogi, musician, and writer on topics he considers vital, like the relationship of technology to what it means to be human. Visit jonathanlipps.com for more information.

Abstract

Enaselvai is an Indo-European-inspired constructed language with a well-mapped syntax and morphology, and a minimal vocabulary (1,000 words). In this paper I detail the motivations for working on Enaselvai (which are primarily artistic), and sketch its various linguistic categories. As a case study I present the standard Babel Text with translation, and demonstrate the Enaselvai ornamental writing system by using the same text. Note: this paper was written long before I formally studied linguistics and therefore contains some oddities of style and nomenclature.

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Some aspects of the phonology of Ajitorujan

Friday, July 1st, 2016

And Rosta (1967–) studied Linguistics at UCL (BA 1989, PhD 1997) and since 1996 has been working at the University of Central Lancashire, as a shop steward and a teacher of English Language & Linguistics, his research being in both the syntactic and, latterly, also the phonological halves of contemporary English. He began inventing a language in 1977 (starting with an alphabet) and was in 1991 one of the founders of the Conlang list and has been an active member of it ever since. In 1995–96, working at Roehampton University, he developed what would probably have been the first university module in Invented Languages, which was due to be taught in 1996–97, but due to a change of job this, as with so many others of his endeavours, came to naught. He was cooriginator of the term ‘engelang’, and it is to that sort of conlanging, particularly loglanging, that, despite some occasional desultory dabbling in artlanging, he has found himself continually drawn. His conlang Livagian is notorious for always remaining disappointingly and inutilely dismantled on the workshop floor and was in 2015 justly abandoned in favour of a less ambitious loglang that he dares to hope might erelong manage to see the light of publication.

Abstract

Published here as a historical curio is a facsimile of a first-year undergraduate assignment written in early 1987 on the phonology of a friend’s invented language. An explanatory preface has been added to accompany its publication.

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Absolutive Descriptives

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Étienne Ljóni Poisson graduated from undergraduate studies in Icelandic, Finnish and linguistics from the University of Iceland in 2011, and is currently finishing a BS in organic chemistry and biochemistry from the same university. During his studies he began to systematically describe Siwa, his conlang project which he is still working on to this day. Siwa’s descriptive grammar is one of the most thorough descriptions of a conlang available in English.

Étienne speaks French, English, Icelandic, and Finnish fluently and is currently studying Georgian and Northern Sámi.

Abstract

Siwa is an a priori conlang set in pre-Columbian Quebec whose protolanguage emerged at the end of the last glacial maximum in Europe and subsequently migrated to North America. In this essay, a component of verbal morphology is described which has not been identified in natural languages, though it may be likened to Japanese counter words. Absolutive descriptives are monosyllabic infixes that add directly to verb stems and add information about the absolutive argument. Interestingly, Siwa is an active-stative language and does not display ergative-absolutive alignment. The article is part of the language’s complete grammatical description, A Descriptive Grammar of Siwa.

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The Slovio Myth

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

Jan van Steenbergen (1970) studied East European Studies and Slavistics at the University of Amsterdam, and nowadays works as a Dutch-Polish translator and interpreter. His first conlang projects of some substance came into being when he was in his twenties. Most of his work can be found on his website http://steen.free.fr/ and is somehow related to the Slavic languages: Vozgian (a fictional North Slavic language), Wenedyk (what if Polish had been a Romance language?), Poilschi (a Romanesque alternative orthography for Polish), a Polish Cyrillic alphabet, Slovianski (a naturalistic auxiliary language for Slavs) and Interslavic (a more sophisticated continuation of Slovianski). After he gained Internet access for the first time and discovered the world of conlanging, he has spent many years reading and writing about language creation. Initially, his interest was focused mainly on artistic languages, but once he got involved in the Slovianski project, he also got fascinated by the concept of a language that would be reasonably understandable to Slavs of any nationality, and his research for the Interslavic project has consumed most of his spare time ever since. Apart from working on the language itself, he also enjoys writing transliteration programs in JavaScript.

Abstract

The “universal simplified language Slovio” has been controversial since it was first published on the Internet in 2001. It claims to be immediately understood by 400 million people, and to be mutually understandable with all Slavic and Baltic languages. The impression is given that Slovio is a huge project, spoken by hundreds or even thousands of people and officially supported by major international organizations. At the very centre of a large network of websites in Slovio is the site Slovio.com, featuring a complete grammar, learning materials and an exceptionally large dictionary. But even though Slovio is being vigorously propagated as a serious rival for Esperanto, it also claims to be first and only Pan-Slavic language, and in spite of its declared global intentions, the motor behind Slovio appears to be radical Slavic nationalism more than anything else. In this paper, Jan tries to determine what Slovio is really about and on what scale it is really used, in other words, to separate myths from facts.

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Invented Languages: From Wilkins’ Real Character to Avatar’s Na’vi

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Angela Carpenter is a professor in the Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences department at Wellesley College. She earned her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a dissertation titled “Acquisition of a natural vs. an unnatural stress system”. Since joining the faculty at Wellesley in 2009, she’s taught an undergraduate capstone course on conlanging, amongst her many other teaching and departmental responsibilities.

Abstract

Angela Carpenter taught an undergraduate course on conlanging at Wellesley College during the fall semester of 2015. Collected in one .pdf are the final papers of the students from her course. In each paper, the student has documented their conlang and presented a text in that conlang. The document also contains links to audio recordings of the included texts.

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Gnóma: A Brief Grammatical Sketch of a Conlang

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

Jessie Sams is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at Stephen F. Austin State University. She generally teaches courses rooted in linguistic analysis of English, though one of her favorite courses to teach is her Invented Languages course, where students construct their own languages throughout the semester (she was even able to get Invented Languages officially on the books at SFA with its own course number). Her research primarily focuses on syntax and semantics, especially the intersection of the two within written English quotatives; constructed languages; and history of the English language and English etymology. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hosting game nights with friends, baking (especially cupcakes), and, of course, conlanging.

Abstract

Gnóma is a conlang for garden gnomes, who have a grim past behind their currently pleasant statued smiles. Their language is rooted in Gothic (as that was their native language) and has been influenced by both Romani and Turkish through long periods of language contact. The description of Gnóma in this paper treats it as a natlang, comparing it to typological trends of world languages and providing a brief overview of its sounds, writing system, and grammar.

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