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Conlang Descriptions English Language

Lortho Reference Grammar

Brian Bourque received an Associate of Arts degree with focus in Persian from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, CA. Brian lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters and works as an information systems security officer. He is the creator of the language Lortho, a conlang he created for purely aesthetic and artistic reasons. The second language he is currently working on is the naming language Dhakhsh, which is starting to gain some roots and mature into an official conlang. During his free time he enjoys practicing calligraphy (especially for his conlangs), working on computers—from troubleshooting to scripting—and spending time with his family.

Abstract

Lortho (IPA: [ˈloɾ.tʰo]) is an a priori constructed language conceived by Brian Bourque in the beginning of 2003. It originally started as a prop for a strategy board game where only the script was created for aesthetics in the game. In 2016, Brian decided to revisit this script and flesh out a language. It is now an agglutinating, VSO language with just over 800 words in its lexicon. Lortho takes inspiration from Indo-Iranian languages and its script is inspired by Brahmi-based scripts such as Devanagari and Tibetan, and the constructed script Tengwar.

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Analysis English Language

Trigedasleng: A Study of the Verb System of a Possible Future Creole English

Tvrtko Samardžija is a Croatian tabletop game designer, worldbuilder, but first and foremost, he is a husband and father. He received a BA in English and Philosophy in 2018, an MA in English Linguistics and Philosophy in 2020, both at the Faculty for Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb. As a professional, his passions lie in the publishing business, but also storytelling, worldbuilding, and designing tabletop roleplaying games, and anything to do with the genre of science-fantasy. His favorite books belong to the old sword-and-planet period of the early 20th century, but he also loves a good dark fantasy novel. He is always interested in new ways of applying linguistics and in linguistic research, as well as any form of artistic cooperation where he might contribute with his knowledge and skills. His biggest flaw is he likes really, really dark humor.

Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to explore the possibility that Trigedasleng, a conlang, could be a future development of Present-Day English (PDE). The main argument of this thesis is that Trigedasleng developed from PDE as a creole. Three aspects of Trigedasleng will be analyzed and discussed: the pronunciation and possible changes; the system of verb auxiliaries that English-based creoles use, which determine the tense, mood and aspects of verbs (TMA auxiliaries), and its comparison to the verb system found in Trigedasleng; the phrasal aspect of Trigedasleng’s verb system, referred to as “phrasality” in this work, and an exploration of the possible developmental connections to PDE, as well as connections to the development of this feature through the history of English since the Old English period. The firm conclusions that can be drawn from this work are that Trigedasleng does seem to fit the profile of an English-based creole as far as the analyzed features are concerned, but also that phrasality “runs in the veins” of the English language, and ties Trigedasleng firmly to the English family in this aspect; lastly, it can be firmly concluded that Trigedasleng subscribes to compounding and phrasal construction seemingly as much as PDE does. Loose conclusions include the possibility of a creole developing within the “confines” of a single language, that there exists a shared cognitive reality that governs the grammar of a language as well as its possible developments, as well as that studying such constructed languages that are proposed future developed forms of present-day languages might help linguists predict the direction in which a language’s development might proceed. What remains inconclusive is whether the changes observed in Trigedasleng’s development are distinctly English.

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English Language Essays

A Discovery of Conlangs and Conlangers: A personal history

Jessie Sams is an Associate 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 recounts her personal history with language and conlanging, as well as how she came to join the wider conlang community.

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Conlang Descriptions English Language

An Introduction to the Tirazdak Language

Tim Smith has been inventing languages for most of his life, starting in early adolescence (almost six decades ago), but didn’t become really serious about it until discovering the Conlang email list in 1995. He is a retired computer programmer/analyst who has worked for several agencies of the New York State government, most recently the Office for the Aging, where he served as Information Security Officer. He is not an academically-trained linguist (although he has on occasion been mistaken for one), but has a BA in philosophy from the State University of New York at Binghamton and an MS in computer science from Union College. He is also a lifelong science-fiction fan and a musician (both singer and instrumentalist) specializing in medieval, Renaissance and early Baroque music; he sees his passions for conlanging, sf, early music, and computer science as interrelated and mutually complementary—perhaps as different manifestations of a single underlying mindset to which he has so far been unable to put a name.

Abstract

In this document Tim presents a rough and tentative description of his invented language Tirazdak (a.k.a. New Atlantean), the language of a small imaginary nation known as Tiraz Kuyemmat (“New Atlantis”), which exists on Earth, in the present time, in an alternate timeline that is otherwise almost identical to our own. The document is written as if by an Anglophone linguist of this alternate world, who has done extensive fieldwork in New Atlantis and is attempting to convey what he has learned (primarily about the language, but also touching on other aspects of the culture) to the larger world.

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Analysis English Language

You’re the Only One Who Knows My True Identity: How Fandoms Create New Identities for Constructed Language Learners

Brianna is currently a PhD student at the Queen’s University in Cultural Studies. She completed her Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus). Brianna also completed her Bachelor of Arts at UBC Okanagan, with a major in Anthropology. Her Master’s thesis focused on constructed languages, identity, and belonging, and she worked with an online community of Trigedasleng learners (the language constructed for the television show The 100). In 2020, she received the LCS Presidents’ Scholarship for her research. Brianna is also a fan of Star Wars, which has influenced both her future research and her identity.

Abstract

This thesis explores the intersections between fan studies, feminism, language, identity, and belonging. To do this, Brianna employed community-based research with the online language fan community, Slakgedakru, who spend time learning the language Trigedasleng. Trigedasleng was made for the television show The 100, which airs on The CW Network. The members of Slakgedakru consist of both fans of the language and fans of the show. Many assumptions about fans have cast them in a negative light and this research also aims to dispel misconceptions about fans. Fans are more often intelligent, mature, and reasoning than they are portrayed. This is especially true of language fans, who spend their time learning grammar and vocabulary, and, in the case of Slakgedakru, expanding the language. Slakgedakru’s international member base emphasizes the importance of online research. This research consisted of two phases: the first included a general survey for anyone learning Trigedasleng and an interview with the language’s creator, David J. Peterson; the second phase involved two text-based focus groups, one on the software platform Slack and one on the software platform Discord, both of which Slakgedakru belong to. Throughout these phases, she also conducted participant observation within the general, public chat channels on both platforms. Once these phases were complete, she analyzed the data and found that Slakgedakru comprises intelligent, mature fans who are inclusive and diverse in gender, sexuality, and ethnicity. The community itself provides a space where the language, the show, and real-life intermingle and this produces discussion on real-world, complex topics. In addition, members are able to explore their diverse genders and sexualities with a community of like-minded individuals. By accessing these alternative worlds, members are able to re-imagine possibilities for the real world.

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Conlang Descriptions English Language

Vatum: A Growing Collection of Conlang Literature, no. 1

DeSDu’/Jack Bradley is an artist, conlanger, and dedicated speaker of the Klingon language based in Chicago. He holds a BA in Visual and Media Arts from Université Laval and is currently working on an MFA in Fine Arts at Columbia College Chicago. In 2018 he passed level 3 of the Klingon Language Certification Test and has since worked on a number of Klingon literary projects, both as a translator and as an author of original works. He has worked on a number of professional conlanging projects and is currently working on a personal language, Chátsu, which will be at the center of his MFA thesis art project. He is the editor of Qugh, ‘eSrIv, and VATUM.

Abstract

This is the 1st issue of VATUM, a quarterly publication whose goal is to share and showcase the original literary work done by conlangers in their own languages. Each work is presented in a conlang with an English back-translation.

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English Language Essays

Designing an Artificial Language: Transitivity

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 changes in transitivity are accomplished among natural languages, and how the apparent flexibility of a system like that of English is not only uncommon, but also not really flexible. For a much more thorough treatment of transitivity, read the monograph Lexical Semantics.

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Conlang Descriptions English Language

Conlang Courses Around the Globe

Jessie Sams is an Associate 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. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hosting game nights with friends, baking (especially cupcakes), and, of course, conlanging.

Abstract

This is an attempt at a comprehensive list of the various constructed languages courses offered at the university level throughout the world. As courses are added, readers are encouraged to share information with the author, so that the list may be updated.

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Conlang Descriptions English Language

Setvayajan: An Abandoned Conlang

Barry J. Garcia is a 40-year-old staff and alumnus of California State University, Monterey Bay. He didn’t major in linguistics, but his interest in constructed languages initially began back in 1999 when he found the CONLANG mail list online after wondering what it would take to make a language. He is not a prolific conlanger and put the hobby aside for a number of years. He returned to conlanging in 2014 with his initial attempt at Setvayajan, now retired. He is currently working on a new version of Setvayajan which may or may not retain the name, but definitely will retain the spirit of the original Setvayajan language. Aside from Setvayajan, past projects have included his first conlang which was an unfinished Philippines-styled language and an experiment in sound changes to remove grammatical gender and reduce verb conjugations in Spanish called “Azhin” (from “Angelino”, the name for the residents of Los Angeles, California). He has also created numerous constructed writing systems.

Abstract

This document is an as-is preservation of the grammar and sound changes that went into what was created for Setvayajan from November 2015 through March 2020, with an introduction explaining why the project was abandoned.

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English Language Essays Literature

The Constitution of the Itlani Commonality

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

A little more than 5,000 years into the Itlani Imperium the people of the united planet Itlán started to push for a more decentralized form of self-governance. As a result, the Itlani Commonality was founded. The original Itlani language version of the new Basic Law (Constitution) and its English translation is presented here.

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