Archive for May, 2022

Detail #429: Pseudo-Gender

Saturday, May 21st, 2022

It struck me that a language could have a system of lexical associations that are somewhat gender-like without quite being a gender system. Let's begin with a basic, fairly gender-like version.

The ways in which this system expresses itself is in which nouns are used to express relations:

If a thing is the origin of something, it's either its mother or father; if it originates with another thing, it is its son or daughter; it goes together with something - brother or sister. Closely associated with something? Husband or wife. Other typically sex-specific terms are also associated, and human-metaphors are either fully male-centric or fully female-centric for any given noun.

However, we can also imagine other ways of expressing relations. Maybe the categories are streams and trees!

Origin - source, root.
'Offspring' - (part of) delta, branch (or nut, or seed, or fruit)
Associate - a different, named river that is culturally seen as close, a specific different species of tree
Intimate associate - a named tributary, the word for a major branch
Decline - drought, fall over
Increase - flood, grow

A Question about Syllabic Consonants

Sunday, May 1st, 2022

Is there any language that has a syllabic consonant that, in the language, lacks a non-syllabic equivalent?

E.g. a language whose only lateral is a syllabic consonant, or whose only rhotic is syllabic.

To What Extent do Constructed Languages Serve an Important Purpose in Media?

Sunday, May 1st, 2022

Eva Caston Bell is a student of English Literature, Spanish, and History, with these studies having shaped her interests in both the linguistic and contextual elements of constructed languages. She is also interested in fandom and pop culture and how it can be used for intellectual and academic purposes, especially on platforms of predominantly young users such as TikTok and Twitter. In her spare time, Eva enjoys playing the guitar, listening to Oh Wonder, and singing with her school choir.


This research project explored the extent to which Constructed Languages serve an important purpose in media. The study focused largely around the combination of prior research conducted by language constructors and the experiences of those who consume constructed languages within the types of media they exist in, such as film, television, and literature. These experiences were collected through primary research in the form of a survey which compiled the sentiments of over 200 conlang enthusiasts, and covered the questions their own perspectives on learning a constructed language, their varying effectiveness dependent on the medium they existed in, and the constructed languages with which they were most familiar, in order to gauge the way in which constructed languages have the most extensive effects on those the reader or audience. Through the combination of these differing perspectives, the project was able to investigate the prevailing function that constructed languages serve within pop culture and media, and how this role has differed since the establishment of online communities in the field. The most popular trend offered by both conlangers and their fans was that constructed languages offer a sense of community and collaboration between those who would not otherwise associate, while also providing academic value to fiction and pop culture, a sentiment established more by those that construct languages, rather than those that receive them. This therefore demonstrated the role of the constructed language as a unifying presence of media, both commercial and social, and a mode of expression for everyone involved in or affected by their presence.

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