Designing an Artificial Language: Anaphora

Rick Morneau is a long time language creator who lives in rural Idaho. In the early 1990s, he wrote a series of essays on language design that proved to be quite influential in the early language creation community. Their quality has endured since their original publication, and continue to be read and enjoyed by language creators the world over.

Abstract

This essay discusses anaphora and how they can be implemented without ambiguity in an AL.

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Designing an Artificial Language: Syntax

Rick Morneau is a long time language creator who lives in rural Idaho. In the early 1990s, he wrote a series of essays on language design that proved to be quite influential in the early language creation community. Their quality has endured since their original publication, and continue to be read and enjoyed by language creators the world over.

Abstract

This essay discusses syntax, and how certain aspects of syntax can differ among natural languages. It also teaches how to use a modified version of Backus-Naur form to define the syntax of a language, and provides a complete syntax for an AL that is extremely flexible while also being extremely simple and easy-to-learn.

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Les langues construites Délimitation, historique et typologie suivies d’une illustration du processus de création d’une langue naturaliste nommée «tüchte»

Alexis Huchelmann is an Alsatian conlanger. After completing a master’s degree in linguistics, he is undertaking publishing studies and hopes to join both paths into something which could benefit the conlanging community. Other interests include playwriting and Russian literature.

Alexis Huchelmann est un idéolinguiste alsacien. Après un master de Sciences du Langage, il a commencé des études en Métiers de l’édition et espère joindre les deux domaines de façon à pouvoir aider la communauté des idéolinguistes. D’autres de ses loisirs sont l’écriture de pièces de théâtre et la littérature russe.

Abstract

This master’s thesis provides a tentative definition, history, and classification of constructed languages (or conlangs), as well as a description of the methodology used for the elaboration of an a priori language called Tüchte. (French Text)

Ce mémoire présente une définition, une histoire et une classification des langues construites, ou idéolangues ; et la description de la méthode employée pour construire une langue a priori nommée tüchte, dans le but de découvrir ce que cette occupation peut apporter à la linguistique.

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Names Aren’t Neutral: David J. Peterson on Creating a Fantasy Language

David J. Peterson received a BA in English and Linguistics from UC Berkeley in 2003 and an MA in Linguistics from UC San Diego in 2005. He created the Dothraki and Valyrian languages for HBO’s Game of Thrones, the Castithan, Irathient and Indojisnen languages for Syfy’s Defiance, the Sondiv language for the CW’s Star-Crossed, the Lishepus language for Syfy’s Dominion, the Trigedasleng language for the CW’s The 100, and the Shiväisith language for Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World. He’s been creating languages since 2000.

Abstract

This essay, written originally for the defunct publication Unbound Worlds, is aimed at fantasy authors who aim to invest their fantasy worlds with linguistic verisimilitude. Peterson discusses best practices and pitfalls to avoid in this essay intended as an introduction to the art of language invention.

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Designing an Artificial Language: Universals: Recommended Reading

Rick Morneau is a long time language creator who lives in rural Idaho. In the early 1990s, he wrote a series of essays on language design that proved to be quite influential in the early language creation community. Their quality has endured since their original publication, and continue to be read and enjoyed by language creators the world over.

Abstract

This article provides a brief description of linguistic universals, and then recommends some books that discuss universals in much more detail.

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Designing an Artificial Language: Arabic Morphology

Rick Morneau is a long time language creator who lives in rural Idaho. In the early 1990s, he wrote a series of essays on language design that proved to be quite influential in the early language creation community. Their quality has endured since their original publication, and continue to be read and enjoyed by language creators the world over.

Abstract

This essay discusses how to design a language with a morphology similar to Arabic and other semitic languages.

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Designing an Artificial Language: Morphology

Rick Morneau is a long time language creator who lives in rural Idaho. In the early 1990s, he wrote a series of essays on language design that proved to be quite influential in the early language creation community. Their quality has endured since their original publication, and continue to be read and enjoyed by language creators the world over.

Abstract

This essay discusses how to design the surface morphology of a language (i.e. the “shapes” of words) such that the words are easy to pronounce as well as computer-tractable.

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Designing an Artificial Language: Phonology

Rick Morneau is a long time language creator who lives in rural Idaho. In the early 1990s, he wrote a series of essays on language design that proved to be quite influential in the early language creation community. Their quality has endured since their original publication, and continue to be read and enjoyed by language creators the world over.

Abstract

This essay discusses how to select the phonemes of a language based on what the language is intended to accomplish, and on how much pronunciation difficulty is acceptable.

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Tone for Conlangers: A Basic Introduction

Aidan Aannestad is one more name on the long list of people who discovered linguistics through Tolkien, and he’s been conlanging ever since that seventh grade discovery. He’s learned a lot about linguistics since then, though, and now holds a BA in it from the University of Texas and is partway through a graduate degree. He holds himself (and sometimes others) to a very high standard of realism in his work, and he’s always striving to get a more complete perspective on the enormous variety found in the world’s natlangs. His creative output is so far mostly limited to the minimally-documented, though fairly well fleshed-out Emihtazuu language and its ancestors, but he hopes to someday increase his productivity and make a full linguistic area with multiple interacting families. He also speaks Japanese, and will happily discuss its history and mechanics for hours with anyone interested. He’s been on-and-off a member of a number of conlanging communities, and these days is most likely to be found on one of the relevant Facebook groups or lurking in the conlang mailing list.

Abstract

Despite being present in a huge number of the world’s languages, phonemic tone is perhaps the most misunderstood linguistic system there is. Probably because of this, conlangs with phonemic tone are next to unheard of. This paper aims to solve those problems, by providing a basic description of how to think about tone through the framework of autosegmental phonology. It also gives an overview of variation among tone systems and how tones arise and change over time, and discusses some problems unique to conlanging with tones. The author hopes that readers will be encouraged to try creating tone systems themselves, and expand their palette of conlanging tools with one more system to play with.

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How to create a language

Pablo David Flores is a long time language creator from Argentina. His essay “How to create a language”, hosted on his old website, was influential to many conlangers in the early days of the internet.

Abstract

Originally, this essay took the form of a webpage, but it was turned into a .pdf by Gulliver Metheun-Campbell some years ago. The information contained in the essay is as useful now as it was when it was first written, and the work lives up to its title: “How to create a language.”

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