Thursday, August 18, 2016

52 in 52: Conlangs

Of course I want to learn these. All of those mentioned. :-D

A planned or constructed language (sometimes called a conlang) is a language whose phonology, grammar, and vocabulary have been consciously devised for human or human-like communication, instead of having developed naturally. It is also referred to as an artificial or invented language. There are many possible reasons to create a constructed language, such as: to ease human communication (see international auxiliary language and code), to give fiction or an associated constructed setting an added layer of realism, for experimentation in the fields of linguistics, cognitive science, and machine learning, for artistic creation, and for language games.

The expression planned language is sometimes used to mean international auxiliary languages and other languages designed for actual use in human communication. Some prefer it to the adjective artificial, for the latter may be perceived as pejorative. Outside Esperanto culture, the term language planning means the prescriptions given to a natural language to standardize it; in this regard, even "natural languages" may be artificial in some respects. Prescriptive grammars, which date to ancient times for classical languages such as Latin and Sanskrit, are rule-based codifications of natural languages, such codifications being a middle ground between naive natural selection and development of language and its explicit construction. The term glossopoeia is also used to mean language construction, particularly construction of artistic languages.

Artistic languages, constructed for literary enjoyment or aesthetic reasons without any claim of usefulness, begin to appear in Early Modern literature (in Pantagruel, and in Utopian contexts), but they only seem to gain notability as serious projects beginning in the 20th century.
A Princess of Mars (1912) by Edgar Rice Burroughs was possibly the first fiction of that century to feature a constructed language.
J. R. R. Tolkien developed a family of related fictional languages and discussed artistic languages publicly, giving a lecture entitled "A Secret Vice" in 1931 at a congress. (Orwell's Newspeak is considered a satire of an IAL rather than an artistic language proper.)
By the beginning of the first decade of the 21st century, it had become common for science-fiction and fantasy works set in other worlds to feature constructed languages, or more commonly, an extremely limited but defined vocabulary which suggests the existence of a complete language, and constructed languages are a regular part of the genre, appearing in Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings (Elvish), Stargate SG-1, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Game of Thrones, Avatar, Dune and the Myst series of computer adventure games.

The languages of Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

I would like to say that there are plenty of invented languages around, most of them are not... hmm... viable. Like J.R.Ward's "Old Language". This is supposed to be the language the vampires spoke in Europe for thousands of years ago.

“The Old Language really was beautiful, Blay thought. 
Staring at the symbols, 
for one brief, ridiculous moment 
he imagined his own name across Qhuinn's shoulders, 
carved into that smooth skin in the manner of the mating ritual."
- J.R.Ward: Lover Mine
(Yes, there are people who have gotten a tattoo like this...)

Some words in this "Old Language"

ahvenge (v.) Act of mortal retribution, carried out typically by a male loved one.
cohntehst (n.) Conflict between two males competing for the right to be a female’s mate.
doggen (n.) Member of the servant class within the vampire world.
ehros (n.) A Chosen trained in the matter of sexual arts.
exhile dhoble (n.) The evil or cursed twin, the one born second.
ghardian (n.) Custodian of an individual. There are varying degrees of ghardians, with the most powerful being that of a sehcluded female.
leahdyre (n.) A person of power and influence.
lheage (n.) A term of respect used by a sexual submissive to refer to his or her dominant.
mahmen (n.) Mother. Used both as an identifier and a term of affection.
newling (n.) A virgin.
phearsom (adj.) Term referring to the potency of a male’s sexual organs.
rythe (n.) Ritual manner of assuaging honor granted by one who has offended another.
sehclusion (n.) Places the female under the sole direction of her ghardian.
wahlker (n.) An individual who has died and returned to the living from the Fade.
whard (n.) Equivalent of a godfather or godmother to an individual.

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