Archive for the ‘resources’ Category

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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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 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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