Archive for January, 2021

A Terminology Thing / (Non)underlying Case

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

I will use an example from Swedish. This example does not hold universally for Swedish, and I doubt anyone who has it even has it in every register (i.e. at least in one commonly known prayer, there is an exception).

For some speakers, in most contexts, far and fader ('father') are exchangeable, as are mor and moder. There is, however, an exception: for some, fader and moder cannot be used as a vocative. (Possibly with the sole exception 'fader vår ...', which is part of the Lord's Prayer.)

Now, consider a language in which such pairs are common. Would 'antivocative' or 'avocative' be a good term for the synonym that is restricted from occurring as a vocative?

Could similar names be used for forms that cannot be used as complements or maybe as subjects or as objects be a reasonable term? "Antinominative", "antiaccusative", "anticomplemental", etc?

This type of thing is probably not entirely uncommon in the languages of the world, but as a phenomenon it's a bit underreported or underdescribed.

A Discovery of Conlangs and Conlangers: A personal history

Friday, January 1st, 2021

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. Since 2019, she’s worked as a professional conlanger on the Freeform series Motherland: Fort Salem. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hosting game nights with friends, baking (especially cupcakes), and, of course, conlanging.


In this essay, Jessie Sams recounts her personal history with language and conlanging, as well as how she came to join the wider conlang community.

Version History

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