Conlang Descriptions English Language

Victoria Fromkinʼs Reform-Pakuni of 1995

Thomas Alexander has been interested in languages since his youth. He has a minor in German, spoke Esperanto as a home language for a number of years, and has dabbled in well over a dozen other languages. His conlanging interest is primarily in historical auxlangs, including Volapük and the Zamenhof reform Esperanto of 1894, but with fond memories of Saturday morning television, he also enjoys Pakuni from Land of the Lost.


Victoria Fromkin’s Pakuni language was released to the world through the 1974 TV series Land Of The Lost but it wasn’t till more than 20 years later that she released a lexicon and grammatical description of the language. This description was not widely distributed and contains a number of self-described ‘corrections’ to the language as it appeared in the show. It also contains a surprising number of typos and internal inconsistencies. This article discusses those errors and contrasts the language Fromkin described in 1995 to the language seen in the show, and puts Fromkin’s later description in the context of what insight it can give to fans of the show.

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