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Constructed Languages

Discussion in 'Make It So' started by Elaienar, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. Elaienar

    Elaienar "sorta spooky"

    We've got a thread for languages in general, and now here's one for the languages you made up yourself! Let's hear about grammer and puns and alphabets and the evolution of your invented language(s)!

    (I'll post something of my own once I can dig up my notes and get to a computer with an actual keyboard.)

    (Also, paging @albedo !)
     
    • Like x 4
  2. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    Hurray! :D

    I was full of constructed language when I was a kid, mostly because I wanted a language that no one would be able to read. Sadly, because it was secret, I never wrote it down and have since lost most of it. There are notebooks full of cryptic runic scrawl that no one can read.

    I totally stole the Dinotopia footprint 'language' (http://dinotopia.wikia.com/wiki/File:Dinotopia_alphabet_new.jpg) for writing in code. Just an alphabet cypher, but it was easy enough to write.

    I know there were different cases and constructions for different levels of formality, and a lot of associative connections between colors and ideas, like, red = memory.

    Also it was supposed to be a dragon language. Because DRAGONS.
     
    • Like x 5
  3. Aniseed

    Aniseed Well-Known Member

    I wish I still had my notebooks from the last time I messed around with making my own language... still, this stuff has always been very interesting to me, so I'm interested in seein what other people have done.
     
    • Like x 1
  4. Coriander

    Coriander Active Member

    I never really constructed a language but through high school i was BIG on constructing/using different alphabets
    I memorized an alphabet a good friend of mine had designed--it had some cool features, like vowels that attached to the letter prior, so there were all sorts of different ways to spell a word that looked very different visually but read as the same with few confusions
    I also memorized and wrote in braille. By sight, not by touch, so essentially useless braille :) I tried morse code but got pissed off bc in order for it to be readable you have to space each letter out individually as there isn't a set number of characters per letter
     
    • Like x 1
  5. Aondeug

    Aondeug Ferdinand von Aegir

    Would it be fine to share what I can remember of mine even if it's mostly cultural notes?
     
    • Like x 1
  6. Elaienar

    Elaienar "sorta spooky"

    • Like x 1
  7. Exohedron

    Exohedron Doesn't like words

    I wanted to make a loglang at some point, having just read the appendices of LotR. I, after a long time, decided on a few basic ideas:
    All verbs are transitive.
    All adjectives and adverbs and tense/aspect/number/etc markings are replaced with relative clauses (relative clauses applying to verbs as well somehow).
    Part-of-speech, parentheses and stack-depth are morphologically marked and attached to words so that word order doesn't matter.
    So I'd end up with "the green ball rolled down the hill" becoming "ball-subj that-subj1 greens-subj1 itself-subj1 roll-verb dummy-subj-verb1 rel-verb-verb1 down-direction-verb1 dummy-subj-verb2 rel-verb-verb2 past-verb2 hill-obj"
    I just really, really wanted to do away with word-order.
    I also came up with a ridiculous fractal tense system, so that someone could express something happening "sometime between the period slightly after the recent past and arbitrarily far in the future".
    I'm going to revisit this language eventually, now that I think I understand what I want to do a bit better. It's not the word order that bothered me, it's the linearity. Word order works by a combination of argument numbering and proximity, both of which make perfect sense in higher dimensions.
    It's not like the society that's meant to use this language needs to bother with vocal speech; they can just hand each other hypercubes of words instead of relying on puny lines of words.
     
    • Like x 4
  8. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    The most I have is two alternate alphabets. One is just a letter/symbol replacement, for passing notes back in school that teachers couldn't read.
    [​IMG]
    I used numbers so rarely that I forget which of the 5/6/7/8 set was which...

    The other is more an excuse to learn about linguistics and specifically about sounds. Mostly consonant+vowel sets, along with loose vowels, the sustainable abounds like sssss and mmmmm, and whatever else catches my interest. (I do not know terminology yet.)
     
    • Like x 2
  9. Lissiel

    Lissiel Dreaming dead

    At one point i was working on an abugida, because i love the coherence of making sound- sets that match also match visually. Ca and ba should have visual similarities, as well as ca and co. But it started just basically becoming a full aphabet where i was inexplicably pretending that 'c'and 'a' weren't separate symbols. :( i should play withthat some more.
     
    • Like x 3
  10. Exohedron

    Exohedron Doesn't like words

    You could make a syllabary with the vowel as a radical on the consonant. So it looks more like ca and ba and co
     
    • Like x 5
  11. Elaienar

    Elaienar "sorta spooky"

    Okay, so! I dug up the notes for two of my oldest languages. One of them I named "Konnoria Pixan" - I only have one page of notes, and it's entirely vocabulary, with the exception of a note detailing which parts of speech take which ending. All of the words ended in vowels (a for nouns, e for pronouns, i for adjectives, o for verbs, u for prepositions) with the exception of adverbs (l) and plurals (s). Oh! And a note that the word "zuti" (twisted) was used by the pixies to mean "evil".

    I've got quite a bit more on the other one so I'm spoiler-ing it.

    Ccirro is a language I invented for a race of people living in Kailea, a LOTR-inspired country that was also the setting for quite a bit of RPing I did with some friends when I was in my mid-teens. Funny thing is, although they were the original inhabitants of Kailea, they'd started dying of an energy-sapping illness that they attributed to contact with Elves, and had retreated to a few tiny settlements in the boonies millennia before any of the events in our RP threads took place. But I've got notes on their language and nothing on Dwarvish, whatever language the humans of Kailea spoke, and the only thing I know about Elvish is its name (Yveliƫ) and that apparently my main goal for it was to include as many accented vowels as possible. (Did I mention inspired by LOTR? Yeah....)

    So, Ccirro! Ccirro has six vowels and eighteen (or nineteen) consonants. (My notes contradict each other in places. I've got b and j but not p listed in one place, and p and but not b listed in another. P has a rune, though!

    [​IMG]

    The "c" up there is actually the voiceless velar fricative, a sort of "kh" sound, like in loch. The Ccirroni were the Cirroni, until the Elves arrived and their mispronunciation of Cirroni became the accepted pronunciation. The Elves also influenced the pronunciation of "i" - before they arrived it was more like "hee", heavy on the h, light on the eel; afterwards the h disappeared and the ee because much more prolonged and noticeable.

    I've got little on the grammar besides a cryptic note than the language was "complex" (thanks, Past Me, that tells me a lot) but looking at the vocabulary list I have, Ccirro words mostly end in vowels, same as Pixan ones. The final consonants are l, m, n, nn, and very rarely cc, and then there are a couple of slangy suffixes: -iw for past tense, presumably appended to a verb instead of stuck at the end of a whole sentence the way the Strictly Correct past-tense wy is, and -jj or -ijj, a noun suffix that indicates that you don't much like the noun you've attached it to.

    Pronouns are gendered - even the plurals, with the exception of second person. Nouns usually aren't, but "mother" and "father" are. Interestingly, although "woman" is gendered and "man" isn't, the list of names I have is the opposite - a significant portion of the boys' names have the masculine ending, while none of the girls' names have the feminine, and one even has the masculine. (Apparently "Oewo" is a masculine noun but a feminine name?)

    Aaand that's it for now, I will probably be back later when I discover the location of the notes I was looking for when I find these.
     
    • Like x 3
  12. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    Is that the thing going on in Hebrew and Quenya and such, with larger consonant symbols topped by the vowels that directly follow them?
     
    • Like x 2
  13. Exohedron

    Exohedron Doesn't like words

    Hebrew is an adjad, i.e. not necessarily indicating the vowels at all, but is often marked up as an abugida, where the vowels are marked as diacritics on the consonants. A syllabary would have a separate symbol for each consonant-vowel pair, like in Japanese, and the vowels are not considered separate objects from the consonants. I guess I was thinking of something somewhere between an abugida and a syllabary, so that despite having a specific "a" mark, it wouldn't be considered a full object in its own right.
     
    • Like x 3
  14. Exohedron

    Exohedron Doesn't like words

    In that sci-fi novel I am never getting around to, the conlang is supposed to be the academic language that, like Latin, is dead and never used colloquially. The two main characters both speak it, but come from different enough backgrounds that their dialects are very distinct, so they argue about pronunciation. I'm having fun thinking up differences in vowel choice and number of syllables and how to roll one's rs sarcastically.
     
    • Like x 3
  15. Re Allyssa

    Re Allyssa Sylph of Heart

    So! A friend just reminded me that he and I had never shared our languages that we did for class with each other, which reminded me that I never shared it here!
    So here's the paper I wrote + the lexicon (which is mostly random generated).

    There's a decent amount of technical speak in the paper, but I still tried to make it accessible. If anyone needs something explained, feel free to ask =3

    Oh, and it's not a /full/ language. I had meant to include stuff like conditionals, but I ran out of time. xP
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like x 2
  16. NumiTuziNeru

    NumiTuziNeru @#$%?

    !!
    okay so, this isn't really complete or professional or even competent or anything but;

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    weird swirly faerie language bullshit, yay!

    (I guess there are more notes to myself on how to give the illusion of Things Making Sense than anything else, to be honest.)
     
    • Like x 10
  17. Re Allyssa

    Re Allyssa Sylph of Heart

    Someone mentioned a huge conlang project in the chat which reminded me:

    zompist.com is a pretty cool site with a lot of resources, including a word generator that you can specify rules for which is really cool. Also the guy who runs the site wrote two books, the Language Construction Kit and the Advanced Construction Kit (I think), which give a decent overview on how to conlang. They were our textbooks for the conlang class I took. Also talks about how to do related languages.

    People might already know this, but I didn't see i mentioned, so here you go. xP
     
    • Like x 4
  18. Exohedron

    Exohedron Doesn't like words

    The Zompist's books are pretty good. His Planetary Construction Kit is also a good read for worldbuilding purposes.
     
    • Like x 1
  19. Aondeug

    Aondeug Ferdinand von Aegir

    I've read through the site version of the language construction kit and I do like it quite a bit. That and I think it's a nice introduction to some very important linguistics shit. I'm using it and the full version of the book to help a friend of mine with conlanging. He wants to make a game where puzzles are linguistically based. I am along for the ride to help him with the language puzzles and the language itself. WE CAN TEACH PEOPLE LANGUAGE SHIT WITH FUN. Like how some games slip in logic or math puzzles.
     
    • Like x 4
  20. Aondeug

    Aondeug Ferdinand von Aegir

    So because I am a piece of shit nerd I have decided that I am going to try and force Gerudo into being a language. By which I mean creating a language based off what very few names we have available, the alphabet, and what I know of Semetic languages. Given their very Arab and Islamic inspiration and design it only seems fitting to use the Semetic family as a sort of base.

    Step one has been dealing with the alphabet. It is very wavy and stupidly so. I am finding it kind of a pain to write so I am solving this by making it one of those languages that is written almost entirely in cursive because fuck print form.

    Next matter of business has been the letters c, k, q, and s which shows us that it's just a simple English alphabet cipher. However that is exceptionally boring and we have reasons as to why all of those letters exist. Given the Arab theme they've got going for them instead of arcane spelling rules like we or French have it's instead a matter of Gerudo having a bunch of sounds the Hylians (and our English translators) have no fucking idea what the do with. C has the value of kaaf, k the value of khaa', q the value of qaaf, and s the value of seen. X meanwhile has been given the value of Haa' while h has the value of haa'. Next problem is the r/l. In the example of the alphabet we're given Gerudo is actually spelt Geludo while typography is spelt typography. Which is well and good and I will be retaining l for the r of Gerudo. Which brings me to the problem of just what the fuck values I am even assigning this shit. L for the time being will have the alveolar flap value of Japanese, with the lateral approximant we call l being some sort of regional variation. R meanwhile will carry either the value of the alveolar tap, the alveolar trill, or our stupid shitty retroflex r that I hate. Again this is a regional problem. The j carries the value of the shaami jiim because I am biased as dicks. The sheen has no letter corresponding to it which either means that it must be written with a digraph or it does not exist. I am undecided. Now due to fucking up my precious little consonant chart it is ambiguous as to whether or not f and v are labio-dental or bilabial fricatives. I may just make them bilabial due to my horrid fondness for the Spanish v and the Japanese fu. Ok yes fuck it they are that until further notice. Everything else we will just lazily ignore and say "values of English".

    Vowel wise our five vowels will have the values of Japanese vowels, and for the time being the ou of Koume will have the value of ou in Hepburn. Nabooru's name has never been said correctly ever in English from what I know. It's apparently supposed to be a long o as opposed to the uu that it tends to be when English speakers say it. Because oo is a very shitty way of transcribing anything. For the time being it will have the value of the uu in faSuul. So waw, long u, whatever the fuck. This is a very shitty explanation.

    I am unsure if I want to allow this thing to remain an alphabet or if I want to modify it to be an abjad. I am leaning towards abjadifying it because alphabets bore me and also we are Semetic language inspired god dammit. You don't see Hebrew having an alphabet do you? No? GOOD.

    That all out of the way we have a very small set of names to be working with...We have Gerudo, Ganon, Ganondorf, Nabooru, Kotake, Koume, Twinrova, Yuga, and Aveil. With this we can have words with patterns of cvcv, cvcvc, cvcvcv, cvvcv, cvcvvcv, cvcvccvcc, ccvccvcv, and vcvvc. Assuming that all these things are native and given that we only have a very select number of names to be working with we may as well.

    Of course this now leads us to wondering just what the fuck to do with words and grammar. For the time being I am spitballing the idea of titles being suffixes. So the -dorf of Ganondorf functioning as a suffix denoting his kingly status. The -rova of Twinrova is another potential title, this one here potentially denoting a status as a high witch. That brings into the matter of why is Ganondorf only called just Ganon when he is a giant pig and also how important are these titles anyway? Questions for me to answer.
     
    • Like x 5
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