Constructed Language: An Analysis of the Phonemic Sounds Influenced by Historical Stereotyping

Ashlie Devenney recently graduated from R.L Paschal High School in Fort Worth, Texas and will be attending A&M University. This research was completed through the AP Capstone program under the supervision of Ian Connally and with the assistance of Dr. Jessie Sams of Stephen F. Austin and David Peterson.

Abstract

The perception of constructed languages in film is not a topic that has been researched extensively in the past due to the scrutiny concerning the field of constructed languages as a valid field of study. An understanding of how humankind perceives constructed languages is vital in our understanding of how natural languages are perceived. The purpose of this research is to examine how the base phonemic sounds of a language (particularly constructed languages) affect how the listener hears and perceives a constructed language as well as how and why this perception is constructed. This study is done through a survey consisting of several languages wherein the participant rates the languages on certain qualities which establish how the participant feels towards the language. The research finds that a historical relationship between the beginnings of language construction and the listener’s perception of that language, discovered through an analysis of the phonemic sounds, exists in both constructed and natural languages. This finding will help those who create constructed languages determine what sounds need to consistently occur for their language to be perceived according to intention.

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