Categories
English Language Essays

Art & Anxiety: Conlanging through imposter syndrome

Jessie Sams is a Professor of Linguistics at Stephen F. Austin State University. She generally teaches courses rooted in linguistic analysis of English, though one of her favorite courses to teach is her Invented Languages course, where students construct their own languages throughout the semester (she was even able to get Invented Languages officially on the books at SFA with its own course number). Her research primarily focuses on syntax and semantics, especially the intersection of the two within written English quotatives; constructed languages; and history of the English language and English etymology. Since 2019, she’s worked as a professional conlanger on the Freeform series Motherland: Fort Salem. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hosting game nights with friends, baking (especially cupcakes), and, of course, conlanging.

Abstract

In this essay, Jessie Sams discusses some of the major personal hurdles she has to overcome as a conlanger, and introduces a new personal conlang she’s working on, Zhwadi.

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English Language Essays

A Surreal Conlang

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, among others. He’s been creating languages since 2000.

In this essay, David Peterson attempts to explain what a surreal conlang might look like, and provides examples to show where conlangers might push into territory akin to surreal and abstract visual art within the conlang space.

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English Language Itlani Language Literature

Seyrán ta Tainaa

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.

What follows is the original Itlani text, in Realms-Somewhere-Real (RSR), of Seyrán ta Tainaa, translated into English and published as Circle of the Lantern in 2015 (AuthorHouse). This is a first draft of the RSR version available on planet Siarél (Earth).

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Categories
English Language Presentations/Demonstrations

Superbasic Full Conlang Starterpack

Sanh Deda grew up and lives in Bulgaria. He’s been interested in world building since childhood, and later on became a language geek and conlanger. He currently studies architecture and spends his free time on languages and gardening.

This is a basic one page guide giving advice on how to start a full conlang.

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Categories
English Language Essays

The Secret World of Conlanging – An Overview of Tolkien’s “Secret Vice”

Robin Rowan is a senior undergraduate student studying Spanish at Arizona State University online and previously earned a BA in History from Auburn University. As a life-long science fiction fan, she has always been fascinated by the concept of conlangs. When a general requirement course in linguistics called for a final project there was no question as to what the topic would be. After the course ended, she decided to expand the project to give a greater overview of conlangs from the perspective of a non-conlanger. Robin currently resides in Alabama but has lived in Tennessee, Illinois, and California, and has travelled extensively in Europe and the Middle East. After graduation Robin plans to earn her TOEFL certificate and continue her travels.

Abstract

This essay provides a brief overview of conlanging from the perspective of a non- conlanger. It clarifies what a conlang is from this same perspective and places conlanging in a historical context, especially as regards what has motivated people to create conlangs and the disdain with which some people have viewed such efforts. The terminology of conlangs is presented with a concise examination of several conlangs and their histories regarding how and why they were created and by whom. These include Esperanto, Klingon, and Láadan. Research included academic sources, internet search, and personal correspondence among others. The usefulness of conlangs as a means to study the nature of language and communication, as well as how conlangs create authenticity and depth in television, movies, and literature, is explored. While there may or may not ever be a true “universal language” constructed language, the value of conlanging and it’s popularity can be expected to continue.

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Categories
Conlang Descriptions English Language

Tanol: A Reference Grammar

Harry Cook is an undergraduate in linguistics with German at the University of York. He’s been conlanging since 2014, beginning at the age of 13. Within linguistics his interests focus on morphophonology, morphosyntax, historical linguistics, and dialectology. His other interests include writing, music, astrophysics, ale, and history. These interests typically feature extensively in his conlanging and worldbuilding. Harry began his current world building project in 2018 and has at least a decade’s worth of work left to complete. Tanol represents the first major milestone in his project, a project which Harry hopes will gain him some notoriety within the art of conlanging.

Abstract

A full reference grammar of the Tanol language.

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Conlang Descriptions English Language

Animacy and Possession in Sheña

Jasmine Scott is a middle school educator and amateur conlanger based in Wisconsin. Her primary conlanging project is Sheña, a personal artlang designed to be a global heritage language for queer folks. In her free time, she enjoys watching anime, listening to music, writing, collecting playing cards, and building vocabulary.

Abstract

This article introduces the Sheña language and its typography and examines a unique semantic/syntactic link between animacy and possession in Sheña.

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Categories
Art Conlang Descriptions English Language

Moya Abugida

Carl Buck is the creator of Kala, a personal constructed language. He works in the national security field and has worked in the US government most of his life. He enjoys cooking, spending time with his children, camping, and generally relaxing next to his fire pit in his yard. He has been a conlanger since long before he knew there was even a name for it. He created his first cypherlang around age 9 and has been creating and learning various types of languages from that time on. He lives in rural Pennsylvania.

Abstract

A detailed description of the Moya abugida created by Carl Buck for his language Kala.

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Categories
Analysis English Language

To What Extent do Constructed Languages Serve an Important Purpose in Media?

Eva Caston Bell is a student of English Literature, Spanish, and History, with these studies having shaped her interests in both the linguistic and contextual elements of constructed languages. She is also interested in fandom and pop culture and how it can be used for intellectual and academic purposes, especially on platforms of predominantly young users such as TikTok and Twitter. In her spare time, Eva enjoys playing the guitar, listening to Oh Wonder, and singing with her school choir.

Abstract

This research project explored the extent to which Constructed Languages serve an important purpose in media. The study focused largely around the combination of prior research conducted by language constructors and the experiences of those who consume constructed languages within the types of media they exist in, such as film, television, and literature. These experiences were collected through primary research in the form of a survey which compiled the sentiments of over 200 conlang enthusiasts, and covered the questions their own perspectives on learning a constructed language, their varying effectiveness dependent on the medium they existed in, and the constructed languages with which they were most familiar, in order to gauge the way in which constructed languages have the most extensive effects on those the reader or audience. Through the combination of these differing perspectives, the project was able to investigate the prevailing function that constructed languages serve within pop culture and media, and how this role has differed since the establishment of online communities in the field. The most popular trend offered by both conlangers and their fans was that constructed languages offer a sense of community and collaboration between those who would not otherwise associate, while also providing academic value to fiction and pop culture, a sentiment established more by those that construct languages, rather than those that receive them. This therefore demonstrated the role of the constructed language as a unifying presence of media, both commercial and social, and a mode of expression for everyone involved in or affected by their presence.

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Categories
English Language Essays

Designing an Artificial Language: Metaphor

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 is about the use of metaphor in ALs, why they should be avoided, and how they can be avoided.

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