English Language Essays

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.


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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