Every Word is a Portal: Conlanging at the Crossroads of Art, Mystery and Science

James E. Hopkins received a BA in French from Hofstra University in 1974 and an MS in Metaphysics from the American Institute of Holistic Theology in 1998. He is a published poet, Eden’s Day (2008), and has a novel which features five of his conlangs, Circle of the Lantern, with the publisher as of this writing. He has been involved in language construction since 1995 with the birth of his first conlang, Itlani (then known as Druni). Although Itlani is his first and foremost love, since that time he has been developing Semerian (Pomolito), Djiran (Ijira), Djanari (Nordsh) and Lastulani (Lastig Klendum), the other languages spoken on the planet Itlán. One further language project, Kreshem (Losi e Kreshem), is also under development. His primary interest in language construction is from an aesthetic and artistic perspective.

Abstract

The roles played by art and metaphysics may sometimes go unnoticed and underappreciated in today’s growing, busy and scientifically oriented conlanging world. This article explores these roles and the essential balance of art, mystery and science that informs and inspires so many involved in the constructed language scene.

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Gadanlirós: A Collection of Itlani Poems

James E. Hopkins received a BA in French from Hofstra University in 1974 and an MS in Metaphysics from the American Institute of Holistic Theology in 1998. He is a published poet, Eden’s Day (2008), and has a novel which features five of his conlangs, Circle of the Lantern, with the publisher as of this writing. He has been involved in language construction since 1995 with the birth of his first conlang, Itlani (then known as Druni). Although Itlani is his first and foremost love, since that time he has been developing Semerian (Pomolito), Djiran (Ijira), Djanari (Nordsh) and Lastulani (Lastig Klendum), the other languages spoken on the planet Itlán. One further language project, Kreshem (Losi e Kreshem), is also under development. His primary interest in language construction is from an aesthetic and artistic perspective.

Abstract

Storytelling, poetry and song are important to the Itlani. Storytelling is the primary Itlani planetary art form and poetry is a very close second. The planet-wide lingua franca on the planet Itlán, the reformed Ravzhurian speech know as Itlani is the core around which all Itlani planetary identity is built. Stories, poetry and song embody this linguistic identity. In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the discovery of the Itlani language, I have presented in this short collection a variety of Itlani language poems along with their English translations. Please note that not all the English translations have been polished up to be proper English poems but many of them have and could easily stand alone in their own right. Have a great Itlani Language Day, February 8, 1997-2017.

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The Itlani Alphabet

James E. Hopkins received a BA in French from Hofstra University in 1974 and an MS in Metaphysics from the American Institute of Holistic Theology in 1998. He is a published poet, Eden’s Day (2008), and has a novel which features five of his conlangs, Circle of the Lantern, with the publisher as of this writing. He has been involved in language construction since 1995 with the birth of his first conlang, Itlani (then known as Druni). Although Itlani is his first and foremost love, since that time he has been developing Semerian (Pomolito), Djiran (Ijira), Djanari (Nordsh) and Lastulani (Lastig Klendum), the other languages spoken on the planet Itlán. One further language project, Kreshem (Losi e Kreshem), is also under development. His primary interest in language construction is from an aesthetic and artistic perspective.

Abstract

The Itlani alphabet, known natively as ta Datáb, after its first three letters d, t, and b, was initiated by the Itlani poet, storyteller, scholar and spiritual reformer, Rozh-Shpiláv. Some believe, as the legend says, that the writing system was revealed to him by the Creator Uramún in a dream. Others say that he invented the script for his reform movement, ta Drunit Trel, “The Purple Movement”, before the time of the Crossing. It is a semi-featural script and has been in use on Itlán for over eight thousand years. It is presently used in two forms: the square form known as chendifér or “stone-writing”, and a cursive form called yenifér or “sand-writing”. The cursive form is used for most calligraphic art and for everyday writing by hand. The square form is used in most print media although it is not unheard of to have entire books printed in the cursive yenifér for special effect.

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Concerning the Book Living Language Dothraki and the Dothraki Language with a Response from the Khal

James E. Hopkins received a BA in French from Hofstra University in 1974 and an MS in Metaphysics from the American Institute of Holistic Theology in 1998. He is a published poet, Eden’s Day (2008), and has a novel which features five of his conlangs, Circle of the Lantern, with the publisher as of this writing. He has been involved in language construction since 1995 with the birth of his first conlang, Itlani (then known as Druni). Although Itlani is his first and foremost love, since that time he has been developing Semerian (Pomolito), Djiran (Ijira), Djanari (Nordsh) and Lastulani (Lastig Klendum), the other languages spoken on the planet Itlán. One further language project, Kreshem (Losi e Kreshem), is also under development. His primary interest in language construction is from an aesthetic and artistic perspective.

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

James Hopkins wrote a review of David Peterson’s Living Language Dothraki in his language Itlani and sent it to David. David then responded in Dothraki. The exchange included herein has an English translation to go along with it.

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An Itlani Wedding Blessing

James E. Hopkins received a BA in French from Hofstra University in 1974 and an MS in Metaphysics from the American Institute of Holistic Theology in 1998. He is a published poet, Eden’s Day (2008), and has a novel which features five of his conlangs, Circle of the Lantern, with the publisher as of this writing. He has been involved in language construction since 1995 with the birth of his first conlang, Itlani (then known as Druni). Although Itlani is his first and foremost love, since that time he has been developing Semerian (Pomolito), Djiran (Ijira), Djanari (Nordsh) and Lastulani (Lastig Klendum), the other languages spoken on the planet Itlán. One further language project, Kreshem (Losi e Kreshem), is also under development. His primary interest in language construction is from an aesthetic and artistic perspective.

Abstract

Itlani wedding poems are composed according to traditional Itlani poetic forms. They consist of four stanzas and are personalized in the last stanza using the names and outstanding characteristics of the newly-wed couple. Like all Itlani poetry, wedding poems are loosely accentual in nature and rely more on alliteration and rhythm than on rhyme although rhyme may be present. Traditionally, a close family member will compose the poem and read it at the kenatún ta zarenifa or “great feast of the coupling”. Itlani wedding poems are considered among the class of burakhenú or “blessings” and are customarily called Burakhenunú or “Great Blessings” reserved for the central passages of life.

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