Archive for the ‘resources’ Category

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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The Birth of Xiis — A Guide to Font Creation

Monday, February 1st, 2016

George Marques is a Brazilian software developer and aspiring writer. He has been creating fictional worlds since childhood, and, inspired mostly by Tolkien’s works, also developed languages for these fantastic civilizations. He studies linguistics in his spare time mostly to work on the bridge between languages and computers, but also to create believable languages for his literary works.

Abstract

This paper shows general instructions to create a computer font for Xiis (a conscript made by George Marques). It uses the free (libre) font-making application FontForge to overview the basic knowledge of OpenType features needed to make fonts for more complex writing systems and how they were applied to Xiis.

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The Romanization of Middle Pahran

Friday, January 1st, 2016

George Corley is currently a PhD student in Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with research interests in phonology, Chinese, and minority languages. He also has a strong personal interest in invented languages (conlangs), which has led him to host and produce Conlangery, a monthly podcast on the subject, and to become Vice-President of the Language Creation Society.

Abstract

In this essay George Corley expands on his “Design Parameters for Romanization” (Corley 2011), defining five parameters for designing and discussing conlang romanizations: elegance, accessibility, aesthetics, internal history, and technical factors. He applies this framework in a detailed discussion of his own process designing the romanization for his current conlang, Middle Pahran. He pays special attention to overspecifying the phonology for accessibility, and to the compromises he made due to the technical limitations of the software he uses.

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The Romanization of Middle Pahran

Friday, January 1st, 2016

George Corley is currently a PhD student in Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with research interests in phonology, Chinese, and minority languages. He also has a strong personal interest in invented languages (conlangs), which has led him to host and produce Conlangery, a monthly podcast on the subject, and to become Vice-President of the Language Creation Society.

Abstract

In this essay George Corley expands on his “Design Parameters for Romanization” (Corley 2011), defining five parameters for designing and discussing conlang romanizations: elegance, accessibility, aesthetics, internal history, and technical factors. He applies this framework in a detailed discussion of his own process designing the romanization for his current conlang, Middle Pahran. He pays special attention to overspecifying the phonology for accessibility, and to the compromises he made due to the technical limitations of the software he uses.

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

The Romanization of Middle Pahran

Friday, January 1st, 2016

George Corley is currently a PhD student in Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with research interests in phonology, Chinese, and minority languages. He also has a strong personal interest in invented languages (conlangs), which has led him to host and produce Conlangery, a monthly podcast on the subject, and to become Vice-President of the Language Creation Society.

Abstract

In this essay George Corley expands on his “Design Parameters for Romanization” (Corley 2011), defining five parameters for designing and discussing conlang romanizations: elegance, accessibility, aesthetics, internal history, and technical factors. He applies this framework in a detailed discussion of his own process designing the romanization for his current conlang, Middle Pahran. He pays special attention to overspecifying the phonology for accessibility, and to the compromises he made due to the technical limitations of the software he uses.

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Potential Paonese: A Reconstruction from Jack Vance’s “The Languages of Pao”

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

Logan Kearsley lived in Belgium for three years as a child, but didn’t realise other languages were cool before moving back to the anglophone United States, where he started conlanging at a still-young age and eventually studied Russian in high school. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a minor in linguistics, and has had the opportunity to study a wide variety of languages while working to develop software for teaching and learning foreign languages at the university level and researching language pedagogy.

Abstract

While Jack Vance’s novel The Languages of Pao provides next to no information about the eponymous languages themselves, there are tantalizing glimpses of the intrafictional natlang Paonese. Based on narrator’s comments, glosses, and a small corpus of individual words, this article describes the process of analyzing the attested data on Paonese and producing a reconstruction. Due to the sparsity of the evidence, there is an enormous amount of room for individual interpretation and creativity in filling in the gaps; thus, we cannot say that this or any reconstruction necessarily represents the original, correct Paonese, or even that such a thing actually exists. Nevertheless, we can create a description of a language that could have been Paonese—a potential Paonese. For this particular reconstruction, I have chosen not to produce the simplest possible language that accords with Vance’s work; but rather to develop a language which is naturalistically complex, does not reflect an obvious anglophone bias, and yet still can explain the evidence in the book.

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Reviews of The Art of Language Invention and The Interpreter’s Tale

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Don Boozer has been interested in invented languages ever since discovering Dr. Seuss’s On Beyond Zebra in his elementary school library in the 1970s. Boozer’s previous articles include “I Want to Speak Elvish! Teens and the World of Imaginary Languages” (VOYA: Voice of Youth Advocates. August 2007), “Speaking in Tongues: Literary Languages” (Library Journal, Reader’s Shelf column. September 15, 2006), and “Conlanging: An Introduction to the Art of Language Creation” (Fiat Lingua. June 1, 2013). A librarian by trade, Boozer created the exhibit Esperanto, Elvish, and Beyond: The World of Constructed Languages which appeared at the Cleveland Public Library in 2008 and the 3rd Language Creation Conference in 2009.

Abstract

When the word conlang was enshrined within the venerable Oxford English Dictionary in June 2014, many conlangers rightly rejoiced. It was a major milestone in the public awareness of the secret vice of language construction. The decision of Penguin—a major, mainstream publishing house—to release David J. Peterson’s The Art of Language Invention (which, at its heart, is a conlanging how-to guide) establishes another high-water mark in the long process of making the public-at-large aware of the art and craft of language invention. Included with the feature review is a shorter “bonus” review of E. M. Epps recent book, The Interpreter’s Tale.

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

Reviews of The Art of Language Invention and The Interpreter’s Tale

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Don Boozer has been interested in invented languages ever since discovering Dr. Seuss’s On Beyond Zebra in his elementary school library in the 1970s. Boozer’s previous articles include “I Want to Speak Elvish! Teens and the World of Imaginary Languages” (VOYA: Voice of Youth Advocates. August 2007), “Speaking in Tongues: Literary Languages” (Library Journal, Reader’s Shelf column. September 15, 2006), and “Conlanging: An Introduction to the Art of Language Creation” (Fiat Lingua. June 1, 2013). A librarian by trade, Boozer created the exhibit Esperanto, Elvish, and Beyond: The World of Constructed Languages which appeared at the Cleveland Public Library in 2008 and the 3rd Language Creation Conference in 2009.

Abstract

When the word conlang was enshrined within the venerable Oxford English Dictionary in June 2014, many conlangers rightly rejoiced. It was a major milestone in the public awareness of the secret vice of language construction. The decision of Penguin—a major, mainstream publishing house—to release David J. Peterson’s The Art of Language Invention (which, at its heart, is a conlanging how-to guide) establishes another high-water mark in the long process of making the public-at-large aware of the art and craft of language invention. Included with the feature review is a shorter “bonus” review of E. M. Epps recent book, The Interpreter’s Tale.

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Lë Failikvas

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Marcas Brian MacStiofáin Ó Mhaitiú Ó Domhnaill is from Falkirk in Scotland. His first language is the Falkirk dialect of the Scots language and he learned English when he started school at 5. He is currently developing a group of related conlangs named the Sumric language family.

Abstract

The poem “Lë Failikvas” is about a battle cry from the beloved King Sarut of the Géid kingdom for his soldiers before facing the invading Wasgar Empire. As rallied as his men were, they lost and Sarut would die in battle leaving his young inexperienced son Kevoş to rule. Kevoş’s advisers persuaded him to end the war and surrender for the sake of the region’s survival. The advisers, however, were bribed by the Ainxo Empire to influence Kevoş in surrendering.

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