Constructed Language: Conclusion

Introduction

We now near the end of our long journey through the lore, technique, and arcana of constructed language. In the first week of my research, I studied existing constructed languages, ranging from the most useful (e.g., Esperanto) to the most abstruse (e.g., Ithkuil). I used what I found in my first 40 hours to guide the creation of my own constructed language. In this final blog post, I will discuss the outcome of my foray into the strange world of language construction.

Methods

I constructed my language piecemeal, first adding the 100 most commonly-used English words to the lexicon, and then translating many random quotations into the new language, adding words as I needed. The guiding principles behind the syntax of my language were:

  1. Don’t use two or more words where one morphologically-modified word will do.
  2. Don’t conjugate or decline anything unless absolutely necessary.
  3. Don’t introduce any irregularity to the substantive, verbal, and adjectival forms.

These rules served me well, for I ended up with what I think is a simple and consistent language.

After the initial stage of addition to the lexicon and syntax, I then formalized the syntactic rules of the language. This was probably the most difficult stage of my work (please see my previous post for more details). I decided that normal syntax rules and trees could not adequately describe the morpho-syntax of my language, and so had to resort to a written description.

Outcome

I decided to call my language “Ma-simplico ling e-ling latino,” which translates to “Very simple language from the Latin language.” It has a lexicon of hundreds of words (maybe more like 1000) which contains many essential concepts. I also included a guide to phonology (including phonemes and allophones and a set of pronunciation rules), a derivational morphology chart, examples of morpho-semantic changes, partial syntax rules, example syntax trees, a written description of the syntax and morphology, a discussion of the writing system (including alphabet and punctuation), a slew of example sentences, and even a guide to future lexical expansion.

Conclusion

I believe that I have succeeded in my goal: to create a usable constructed language. Thanks to my first week of research, I think that I was able to avoid the syntactic pitfalls that made other constructed languages so difficult to master. While I entertain no real expectation that anybody will use my language, I hope that it will prove an interesting study.

Je-sei fut adve-ma-bono a-vidi i-PDF a-posui-t! I-PDF sei omno information-i de-ling qui eg i-labi fin adve-tam-exacto. Eg vuli grati tu-dam for-attention tut-at, et eg ori tu ui fut ling! Dici dat ad-eg in-annotation-i quid tu-plur puti de-ling eg-at.

(It might be better to look in the attached PDF! In the PDF is all the information about the language upon which I have labored so precisely. I want to thank you for your attention, and I hope that you will use the language! Tell me in the comments what you think about my language.)

Comments

  1. kmwenger says:

    Wow, it’s very impressive that you made an entire language with long vocabulary lists. Having no conjugations or accents seems pretty straightforward. I’m a little confused by the part where you have to add a cognate if it ends with a vowel. Otherwise, this is an amazing language you wrote.

  2. teramage says:

    Thank you for the nice comment; I’m so glad you enjoyed the language!
    The reason why one would have to use a cognate instead of an original Latin form is because in my language, the nouns must end in consonants. If the original Latin form (e.g., consultatio) ends in a vowel, then one would use a derivative word from French or some other Romance language (e.g., consultation) which ends in a consonant. That way, the regularity of the lexicon is preserved.

  3. kmwenger says:

    That makes sense. Thanks for explaining.

  4. jdnguyen says:

    Cool research! I’m impressed with the structure of the language. Maybe it’s like many languages (I have no idea) but it definitely feels similar to Spanish. Based on what you know about different languages, do you think your language would be viable for people to use once all words are defined (ignoring the obvious complications of teaching millions of people a new language)? It sounds efficient and useful, but I don’t know nearly enough to guess whether it’d be viable in practice. Also, are there any words in your language that don’t have a Latin translation? If so, did you come up with the word or did you derive it from another language?

  5. iawilliams says:

    This is a fascinating project! Your language is very impressive and easy to understand. I thought the phonological rules were a nice touch. I am a little confused about the verb tenses. Are there tense markers or is it context-based? Also curious to know if you approached this with the goal of making an ideal language for communication, or if you added some quirks and irregularities to make it more similar to real languages.

  6. teramage says:

    Thank you for the nice comment, Joey!
    Yes, I think that people could use my language if it had a completed lexicon; it is phonetically pretty close to Latin, and so shouldn’t be too difficult for speakers of romance languages to pick up. It may not be usable in practice, however, since the usability of a constructed language is difficult to predict. Regarding your second question, there are some words in my language that don’t have a classical Latin translation; these words are derived from Ecclesiastical Latin or of my own creation. Words such as the adverbial tense markers have no equivalent in Latin and are thus sui generis.

  7. teramage says:

    Thank you for your nice comment!
    Regarding the verb tenses, there are tense markers, but they are adverbial in nature. These separate words coming after the verb determine the verb’s tense. For example:
    Eg vuli = I want
    Eg vuli fin = I wanted.
    Here, the word fin shows that the verb it modifies should be understood in the perfect tense. I did not approach this project with the goal of making a naturalistic language, and so I maintained regularity within the syntax and lexicon as much as I could. All the same, I didn’t intend to make an ideal auxiliary language; the final product merely turned out an auxiliary language because I chose Latin as a base.

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