/r/conlangs

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This subreddit is focused on the discussion of conlangs, tools, and activities to aid you in the construction of your own conlang, and creating a community environment where we can all enjoy conlanging together

Welcome to /r/conlangs! This subreddit is focused on the discussion of constructed languages (conlangs), tools and activities to aid you in the construction of your own conlang, and creating a community environment where we can all enjoy conlanging together.

While this subreddit is not restricted to accomplished conlangers, a certain level of expertise is expected. We recommend that you lurk for a while to learn the basics.


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Due to space issues, an abbreviated list is shown in the sidebar only. For a more detailed explanation, please see the full version here.


Encouraged Posts

If your post falls into one of these categories, then you may post them directly:

  1. Detailed descriptions of parts of your conlang
  2. Interesting activities and translation challenges
  3. Showcases of major achievements
  4. Open-ended questions and discussions about conlanging
  5. Useful resources such as tutorial videos
  6. If you have an idea for a post that isn't listed here but that you think would be a good contribution to the subreddit, please message the mods beforehand to let us know.
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Be civil at all times toward all users, regardless of their sex, sexuality, gender identity, ethnicity, nationality, religion, culture, language, or race. Don't escalate arguments or insult or abuse other users during disagreements. Do not discriminate, stereotype, or erase other users or identities. Violations may result in a swift ban.

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All posts must be on topic and relevant to conlanging.

2a. Discouraged posts

  • Memes and low effort humour: We would much rather top-level posts be reserved for discussion of and about conlangs and conlanging. As such, memes are a better fit for r/conlangscirclejerk.
  • Phoneme inventories: In order to receive actionable feedback, you will need to give us more than just an inventory of phonemes for your language, such as information about allophony, morphophonology and/or phonotactics.
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2b. Script & orthography posts

While we encourage you to share the writing systems you make for your conlangs, we would like the focus to remain on the languages themselves. As such, posts about scripts/writing systems alone will be removed, as r/Neography is a more fitting place for them.

Posts may still contain images of or details about a conscript (fictional writing system), but the post must have enough content to merit being a front-page post even if the script were not included.

2c. Translations

Translations make for excellent content to showcase your language and its mechanisms. However, we ask that such content always feature:

  • the text in the conlang;
  • a transcription of the text to IPA (phonemic or phonetic);
  • the text translated into English;
  • a gloss of the text, and/or an explanation of the features of the language.

2d. Cross & crown

This subreddit is not the place for political or religious debate. Political content is not allowed, unless it is set in a fictional world and has no ties to recent real-world politics.

Translations of religious or political texts are fine as long as the focus is clearly on the conlanging element. The moderators reserve the right to remove political or religious posts that are too incendiary, include open proselytizing, or handle issues that are otherwise too sensitive for the subreddit.

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Adult or shocking content has to be signaled by a special flair.
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Moderators can remove shocking content at their discretion.

3. Effort & enabling feedback

3a. Due diligence

Before asking a question on the subreddit, be it in the Small Discussions thread or as its own post, try typing it (or its keywords) into a search engine to see if you get an answer.

3b. Small Discussions threads

The Small Discussions thread is for requests for resources or advice, as well as any questions too small for a full post. It is always found stickied to the top of our frontpage!

When in doubt about whether your post has enough content for a standalone thread, feel free to always post in Small Discussions. You can also ask us directly if you're unsure.

3c. Context, goals & content

When asking for feedback and criticism, do your best to provide us with as much meta-information about your conlang:

  • Why are you creating it/what for?
  • What are your goals?
  • What do you currently like/dislike about the content you are providing in the post?
  • What sort of feedback do you primarily want to get?

Also, please try and review the formatting of your post (or comment!) preferably before, but optionally after, posting it.

4. Titles & Flairs

Make your titles clear and indicative of the contents of the post.

Do not title your post:

  • "my conlang": give us the name of the language or a description of it
  • "Introduction to Gahansre" or "Fġãse, a polysynthetic language" are fine titles
  • "Help!": tell us what you need help with
  • "Thoughts?": it's uninformative
  • Links are not allowed in titles.

    Please also flair your post with the appropriate flair.

    5. Activities

    Content related to activities should be posted in that activity's thread, unless the content goes far beyond the boundaries of the activity (for example, if you have made a speedlang out of your translations from an activity thread).

    If posts of a repetitive nature arise from multiple members, the moderators reserve the right to remove all related content starting from the creation of a Megathread for it.

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    You are free to promote conlanging-relevant external content as long as it is free to access. If what you wish to advertise requires users to pay for it or requires signing up for it a specific service you must ask the mods before posting it.

    You can advertise a conlanging community in a post, but posts consisting solely of a link to a community will be removed. Please provide enough content for the post to stand on its own as well.

    7. Collaborations

    Collaboration posts must be flaired appropriately, and must abide by the following:

    • you must describe the project as thoroughly as possible, with the set rules and your expectations;
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    Any collaboration post breaking one of these two rules will be removed.

    8. Commissions

    All commission requests are subject to approval by the moderation team.

    While we welcome and encourage people to hire conlangers to create languages for their projects, we have established a few guidelines for it.

    All posts seeking to hire conlangers must contain:

    • a description of the project;
    • a description of the result, and the amount of work, that you expect;
    • a clear price for the work expected, following the minimum amounts advised by the Language Creation Society

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    In order to appeal a removal or ban, you can contact the moderators via modmail, which lets all mods see the message.
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    /r/conlangs

    96,103 Subscribers

    2

    RTA Series 0

    For today's Random Translation Activity, please translate

    drum roll

    "I can't believe, what I just saw. I don't feel like who I am."

    — Inspired by the lyrics of "Fatal Trouble" by ENHYPEN.

    Chunking this sentence, it would be: I can't believe . What I just+saw . I don't feel / like who I am .

    Discussion (RANDOM)

    • Can your conlang omit the subject? If yes, how, and why? If no, how'nt and why'nt?

    Here's mine, sorry if I didn't mark this as spoiler, I don't know how to😭 (EDIT):

    Yeoseol

    "I can't believe, what I just saw. I don't feel like who I am."

    내가 미조안에요, 무워 붜압노솜. 먼베노 물인안고진가요.

    내-가    미조-안-에요
    1SG-SUB believe-NEG-END
    무워  붜-압-노-솜
    WHAT see-PST-GEN-recently
    먼제-노
    who-GEN
    물인-안-고진-가-요
    FEEL-NEG-seem like-PROG-END

    Romanization: nae·ga mi·jo·an·e·yo, mu·wo bwo·ap·no·som. meon·je·no mul·in·an·go·jin·ga

    Notes

    Please provide a gloss of your translation!~

    Try exploring other's conlangs, I'd love to join y'all. Thank you!

    2 Comments
    2024/05/23
    03:02 UTC

    11

    Avoiding one-dimensional conceptual metaphors

    So I feel like conceptual metaphors are a really good and maybe even required feature to make a natlang project actually feel naturalistic. But on the flip side, it seems like it’s very easy for conceptual metaphors to make a culture feel really one-dimensional, or for them to kinda beat you over the head with whatever cultural quirk they’re based on. For example, it makes sense for a culture that solely lives off of beef to have a bunch of cow-based metaphors, but at the same time it seems like metaphors like this are often way overdone, to the point that it feels like the creator is whispering in your ear “Hey get it? Cause they eat beef” the whole time.

    Am I alone here? Do conceptual metaphors just feel more cartoonish in fictional projects than in real life? Is the problem just having one source for metaphors instead of multiple, or is it something else?

    3 Comments
    2024/05/22
    22:54 UTC

    8

    Translation Activity: Starry's Quotes #50

    Every bat is born with only so many wingbeats.

    —Frieda in Sunwing by Kenneth Oppel

    This is the third time I’ve quoted this book in five TASQs, but it happened to have several interesting sentences. In this case, the part that caught my eye was only so many.

    8 Comments
    2024/05/22
    17:24 UTC

    18

    A small tutorial of pluralization/dualization in Hyaneian

    Hyaneian has three grammatical numbers that nouns are indicated for: singular, dual, and plural. Singular is the default number, and thus a word is not inflected for singular.

    ~ Dual ~

    Dual number conveys that there are exactly two of something. The suffix <-dan> (pronounced /dɑn/) is the dual suffix. If, in a rare circumstance, a noun word ends with a consonant (rare in Hyaneian), the suffix <-adan> (/ɑdɑn/) is used instead.

    Dual and plural numbers both affect the tone on the last syllable of a word, applying a high tone on the last vowel or removing one if it is already present. If the second-to-last syllable of a word has a tone, that tone is usually shifted to the final syllable.

    yeva > yevádan (/jɛvɑ/ > /jɛvɑ˦dɑn/)

    "feather" > "[two] feathers"

    pum > púmadan (/pum/ > /pu˦mɑdɑn/)

    "lip" > "[two] lips"

    ~ Plural ~

    Plural, conveying more than two of something, uses the suffix <-(a)di> (/(ɑ)di/). It affects tone in the same way Dual number does.

    qa'o > qa'ódi (/qaʔo/ > /qaʔo˦di/)

    "cloud" > "clouds"

    úbe > ubédi (/u˦bɛ/ > /ubɛ˦di/)

    "toe" > "toes"

    ~ Irregularities ~

    Hyaneian does have irregular plurals/duals, whether they are through irregular suffixing or tone, due to sound shifts over time:

    háva > hávadi ~ hávadan (/hɑ˦vɑ/ > /hɑ˦vɑdi/ ~ /hɑ˦vɑdɑn/)

    "person/hyena" > "people/hyenas ~ [two] people/hyenas"

    [*Not "havádi ~ havádan"]

    a > ai (/ɑ/ > /ɑi/)

    "I" > "we"

    [*Not "ádi"]

    0 Comments
    2024/05/22
    15:07 UTC

    31

    John 3:16 in Your Conlang

    Good evening, readers. John 3:16 is perhaps the most famous bible verse in the world. So, how would you translate the verse? For reference, see below:

    John 3:16 NRSVUE‬

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

    Now that you have a reference, let me tell you about my translation in my conlang, tʷink. See the translation below:

    zulginʔaħt ji bida siɣ ʔirux ji fʷa, sʷasah ji xix ħʷa qʷaqʷaqʷ, zulginʔaħt niruni siɣ qʷaqʷas wimanjaħat, ʔalʔʔalʔaħt.

    cause-PST.PRF-3P of god many love-IX of earth give-3P of that one HMN.CLF-son cause-PST.PRF-3P believe many CLF.HMN-person NEG-die-3P eternal-3P

    Please comment your translations below, and between now and the next time, may any deities be on your side.

    25 Comments
    2024/05/22
    11:41 UTC

    7

    Seeking help refining an IAL

    I'm working on designing an international auxiliary language and could use some feedback and advice. I aspire for the typical goals of making it easy to learn and speak, but more ambitiously, I refuse to accept the conventional wisdom that it's impossible to effectively utilize an a priori language where the meanings of words are directly related to their spellings. I do, however, recognize that there are inherent challenges to such a language, and I want to minimize those as much as possible in order to ensure the language's practicality and widespread adoption. I think I have some good strategies to take on the challenges, but I think I need to get a little farther to make it able to stand up to the rigors of a global population that overall isn't interested in learning a new language.

    I didn't think I'd be able to focus enough to get through a comprehensive post on my language, but after spending all day working on it, I think I got it all pretty much covered. There are quite a large number of thoughts on the language I've casually accumulated over the years, so I can't (and probably shouldn't) cover everything, but I got what's important and touched on some extra stuff as well. Get comfortable because I have a lot to say.

    Key features and philosophies

    1. Guiding principles: I see languages as a tool for communicating ideas. There are different things about languages which I can find interesting, and I endorse creativity in fantasy languages, but with something I'm going to be stuck using on a daily basis, I just want something that gets the job done completely and efficiently. This includes being able to be as clear or as ambiguous as I desire. The reason I'm making my own language is because I don't consider natural languages to sufficiently accomplish that, and constructed languages tend to have aspects which I think could be improved upon (although I could probably get over it if any constructed language was broadly accepted). Moreover, although some level of neutrality is required for an international language to achieve maximum adoption, I'm not particularly concerned with whether my language ends up somewhat paralleling an existing language group as long as it gets the job done. However, I don't think I'm in too much jeopardy of that, and I don't think it would be too big of a deal anyway if the language was easy to learn. The only statement I'm trying to make with this is, "Now we all can finally understand each other." ... Maybe a secondary statement is, "Let's hurry up and get something better before we're all stuck with English."
    2. Syllable structure: Primarily C(C)V(C)C, with longer words incorporating repeated patterns of V(C)C. I'm open to other structures, but I'd really like to always be able to tell when one word ends and another begins.
    3. Phoneme scheme: Part of the reason I chose my syllable structure is because of these sounds I chose to use in the language. I'm not super attached to these particular sounds, but I want them to be easy for the largest number of people possible while also allowing for the largest number of combinations possible.
      • Leading consonants: [b, v, z, ʒ]
      • Second phonemes: [∅, l, w]
      • Vowels: [e, a, ɑ, o]
      • Fourth phonemes: [∅, ɫ, j]
      • Ending consonants: [b, v, z, ʒ]
    4. Sound preferences: I'm open to a variety of phonemes to use in the language, but I have some principles which I think would prove beneficial.
      • No differentiation between voiced and unvoiced consonants (can't tell the difference very well when whispering)
      • No differentiation between plosives (can't slow them down to say them more clearly). I'd actually prefer to not have any, but there are only so many sounds to work with.
      • No nasals (can't say them when sick and can't say them as loudly). At the very least, I don't want to differentiate between nasals.
      • I don't like considering affricates to be a single unit of sound, but I'll indulge it if it improves the quality of the language.
      • Maybe only sounds present in English? I don't want to be that person who models their constructed language off of their native language, but English has many phonemes to choose from, and it's the most spoken language in the world, so it shouldn't be difficult to find someone to teach the sounds to new learners if they don't know them already, and since I'll surely be the only one creating content for quite a while, it seems sensible to choose sounds which I'm sure I can pronounce well.
    5. Semantic spelling: This is the big one. Most languages that associate the spelling of the words to their meanings inevitably arrive at the situation where similar concepts sound similar, and then you get irritated when you have a hard time determining whether someone is talking about a horse or a donkey because the words are hard to differentiate, and the context can apply to either. I don't want to be that donkey (and a language like that would never be adopted), so I came up with the idea of attaching the meaning to sequences rather than the actual sounds and grouping the sounds/letters together. In essence, a group of related ideas would go through the alphabet, and a separate group of ideas would offset the letters and go through the alphabet again. Since this is a difficult concept to explain, here are some example groupings for what a word ending consisting of two sounds would be like: [eb, av, ɑz, oʒ], [ev, az, ɑʒ, ob], [ez, aʒ, ɑb, ov], and [eʒ, ab, ɑv, oz]. Within each group of related meaning, the words would have rather distinct endings (e.g. "tree" and "bush" would sound sufficiently different despite referring to similar things), and the other groups with the similar-sounding endings would refer to concepts that aren't likely to be confused (e.g. "tree" and "treat" may sound similar, but no one mixes them up because they refer to two completely different things).
    6. Isolating language: I prefer to have concepts stand on their own and to have additions to the concepts be separate. As such, I would want aspects such as tense and number to be separate words (which can be omitted).
    7. Dividing up words: I also kind-of like the idea of using multiple short words to describe a complex idea rather than one long word, but I don't want to go crazy with it like Toki Pona which only has 120 or so words; I want words to be able to be long if necessary. Shorter words would have an easier time sounding distinct, though.
    8. Shortening words and pronouns: Once a topic was established, further discussion could refer back to the topic using only the first one or two syllables. (e.g. If you were talking about a banana and a window, you could later say how you threw the "ban" out the "win".) I'd like to largely replace pronouns with this, but I'd have to be careful not to introduce confusion.
    9. Prepositions and conjunctions: I would have a typical array of prepositions and conjunctions, but I would allow optional additions at the end of or after those words to specify exactly how the clause relates to the rest of the sentence. I hate seeing things like "shortening words and pronouns" and having no way of determining whether it's "shortening [words and pronouns]" or "[shortening words] and pronouns". (It's supposed to be the second one.)
    10. Miscellaneous: Subject-verb-object unless prepositions indicate otherwise; no gender, cases, or tones (as if anyone thought otherwise); adjectives after nouns; no agreement between nouns, verbs, adjectives, or anything; initial syllable stress if people feel like stressing a syllable; Latin alphabet without any accent marks, although I have aspirations of sneaking in my own script.

    Remaining challenges

    I think I've set my language in a pretty good direction, but there are still some shortcomings that need to be addressed, and I think I'm pushing the limits of what I'm able to accomplish without input from anyone else. Armed with the knowledge of my language (if you were able to get through it all), I'm hoping you could provide your advice on how I might be able overcome these shortcomings.

    1. Settling on phonemes and word structure: I don't think my current system is too bad, but it only allows me to make 576 single-syllable words, and some of those words are kind-of cumbersome. I'm shooting for close to 1,000 single-syllable words which are all fairly easy to pronounce.
    2. Phonetic Distinctiveness: I think my method of grouping the sounds and meanings is a good tactic, but as words get longer, it becomes less effective because the differences become subtle enough that it would be possible to mistake the word for one that differs on the next level above. For example, "tree" could be distinguished from "bush", but what if the similar-sounding word was "flower" instead of "treat"? That would be fine for, "I climbed a [tree or flower]," but it would be hard for something like, "Look at that beautiful [tree or flower]!" I've brainstormed a number of ways to account for this such as conditionally devoicing the preceding syllable or adding a plosive to it or structuring the distribution of words to always sound like very different things (e.g. living things always sound like nonliving things or verbs always sound like nouns or something), but it's a tricky issue, and I don't want to make the rules so complex that people would prefer everything to be arbitrary.
    3. Distributing and categorizing concepts: This problem is two-fold: deciding how to categorize every thought imaginable and making sure that every category has an even distribution of easy and harder-to-pronounce words. Although I may make some controversial choices, I feel like I'm capable of taking this on; it would just be difficult, and I've been held up by the first two issues. However, I could surely benefit from other opinions, and certain word structures might make it more difficult for me. I've also considered making everything after a certain point completely arbitrary because ideas don't like to fit into a set number of categories, and I suppose it wouldn't be too bad if the most obscure word could still have 75% of its meaning known from the spelling.
    4. Accommodating borrowing: I don't want to borrow anything from any language; I'd much rather have a new word or phrase with the same meaning be added to my language's dictionary. However, it's hard to keep up with that stuff, and if people don't have suitable way of describing that concept with my language, they'll just bring the original word into my language and destroy all of my careful planning. I'd like to have some way bringing those words into the fold just enough that they don't stick out like a sore thumb but can still be recognized as loanwords which need a more conventional designation. Maybe adapting the phonology and adding a loanword prefix? Maybe adding an adapted word directly to a category if the categories aren't too deep and arbitrariness is allowed after that? What about technical terms? What about names? I have some ideas, and I'm not afraid to go against the grain, but I'd much rather get something that works as opposed to try to strongarm the world into my ideology (not that fitting the world into my ideology isn't appealing on some level, though).
    5. Anything else: Have I overlooked anything? There must be something. What do I think is no big deal but actually matters a lot to other people? I'm only one person, and I'm a freak of nature on top of it, so I'm bound to be out-of-touch with the general population on some things. What else do I need to do to make sure my language is a success (besides popularizing it)? It's not possible to satisfy everyone, and I reserve the right to take my language in whatever direction I feel like, but if I don't want this to be a huge waste of my time, it would make sense for me to carefully consider what other people have to say.

    If you've gotten all the way down to this part of my post, you already have my appreciation. If you want to be a real rockstar, though, I would be even more appreciative of any assistance you can offer. The rest of my life doesn't put me in a good position to get language advice from people, and it would be nice to get meaningful feedback on my thoughts rather than blank stares followed by questions of why I would want to pursue such a thing. I eagerly await your comments.

    6 Comments
    2024/05/22
    04:41 UTC

    8

    New KR post from me, featuring a fan drawing of my own design of PFFR's apple-headed creature and the 4 members themselves :)

    I haven't posted a lot on my new Kalennian-language blog (until now), but it's now become a place for me to share fan art of logos (and not fanart of other shit), as I have an obsession with personifying them! Here's me finally showcasing a post from the blog...

    See the post here.

    Gloss

    KR post description (line-by-line):

    Kam burku-so   ân      mediyokâr-sâm    go utanvu-ga -ni prâkes -sa -k    
    1S  create-PST IND_ART moderate -amount of draw  -NML-PL feature-PRS-PTCP 
    PFFR-i    sâgar-isvâk-yât -krintâs
    PFFR-POSS apple-head -ADJF-creature
    
    (yon-utanvu-ga  nekya-sa  PFFR ber -sâlva-ni, tâbevin)... â   kam poldeyo?
    (DEM-draw  -NML have -PRS PFFR 3P.N-self -PL, though)...  COP 1S  crazy?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Oh, umvâs   adis-ga...  yon-ârkine  -ga -diyâkrita dâb kasnâ âl yâ      
    oh, another add -NML... DEM-identify-NML-mark      2S  see   on DEF_ART
    gânalde-paltâs go yâ      utanvu-ga 
    top    -part   of DEF_ART draw  -NML
    
    â   yâ      stârlo-logâ kam glân-murne-se  lyo ârbit-utanvu-ga -ni kam â   âtha 
    COP DEF_ART new   -logo 1S  RELV-use  -FUT for any  -draw  -NML-PL 1S  COP able
    gâ sâvkalo
    to post
    
    âl yâ      renovât-ga -gâket.   Dâb han-tâmas  gâ kasnâ kos âl nismâk okâsanto
    on DEF_ART update -NML-website. 2S  IMP-expect to see   3S  on more   occasion
    -ni
    -PL
    
    yonâno.
    DEM-year.

    KR post title (line-by-line, again):

    Kam mori PFFR
    1S  love PFFR

    Translation

    KR post description:

    "I've made a moderate amount of drawings featuring PFFR's apple-headed creature (this drawing features PFFR themselves, though)... am I crazy? Oh, another thing... This branding you see on the top is the new logo that I'll be using for any drawings I can post on the blog. Expect to see more this year."

    KR post title:

    "I love PFFR."

    Useless info

    I originally posted PFFR art on the DeviantArt equivalent of my YouTube channel (the link for it is seen in the description)

    0 Comments
    2024/05/22
    04:11 UTC

    0

    Looking for someone experienced with Xamarin for App Development

    I can provide you with a bunch of information regarding the apps features. It'll included a guided step by step (both basic, and advanced) process for developing a conlang, and the app could be used for storage of the lexicon and grammar rules, as well as a functional translator

    17 Comments
    2024/05/22
    03:44 UTC

    10

    Half dead conlang

    My conlang went through a very strange period. My old 'fereshker' conlang started to sound very incoherent and since the country being spoken was an empire, I started to prepare some foreign words in advance. and the whole thing got complicated. I tried to provide some religious texts with 'borrowed' words not related to the religion of the empire. And I got bored. In order to make this imperial language I need to make sample tiny languages so that these borrowed words are systematic. So this time I started to make a smaller language, the language of a nation where the speakers are more clustered within themselves and more conservative towards other nations. But this time ērtes and fereshker became very similar. the sounds and the rules were very similar. I handed over fereshker to ērtes and now I have a list of 500 root words. 200 ērtes and 300 fereshker. This means the death of fereshker. Anyway, fereshker was so inconsistent that I even chose the sounds when I designed the words. Have you experienced something similar? It's not quite dead, but did you have to give it up?

    2 Comments
    2024/05/22
    03:19 UTC

    35

    A sister language of Spanish I've been working on.

    This yet-unnamed conlang is a sort of "con-dialect". Based on Old Spanish, it is spoken by a group recently discovered Latin American tribe of seemingly indigenous people, who were taken over by a group of conquistadors on a lost expedition; they married into the native elite and formed a new Spanish speaking upper class, out of touch with the Spanish crown, though to this day they still proclaim their loyalty to the Spanish Crown, and their leader calls himself the Bisorrei, [bisoʁej] (Refered to by the Spanish speakers as the "Bisoguey"), originally derived from the renaissance Spanish word for viceroy.

    Phonological Inventory

    LabialDental/AlveölarPalatalVelarUvular
    Nasalmnɲ
    Voiceless Stopptk
    Voiced obstruëntb~βd~ðɟ~ʝg~ɣɢ~ʁ
    Voiceless Fricativefθ, s(ʃ)x~χx~χ
    approximant(w)ljw
    trillr

    While at first glance the phonology may be basically like any real spanish dialect, the only real difference beïng the voiced uvular stop, which is simply a gutteral double r, (which exists in Portuguese), the way it came to these sounds is much different. It even has the same allophonic rules with its stops. The other allophonic rules include that the velar series becomes uvular before a back vowel. So, "coudo" (es. codo) is pronounced [qowðo], and this leads to /ʁ/ and /ɣ/ merging before back vowels, even to the point where spellings of [ɢ~ʁ] does not always reflect etymology, so [ɢoβre] 'oak' is spelled "gobre" (es. roble) despite etymologically beïng "robre".

    Development of Etymological Sibilants

    In Spanish, all lingual fricatives derive from medieval sibilants. In Spanish, this was a result of first losing their voicing distinction and then becoming /θ/, /s/, or /x/. In the conlang, however, they moved first, merging with the lenited forms of the stops, so medieval [dz] merged with medieval [d], and [ʒ] became [ʝ] rather then [ʃ] and then [ç].  This changes a lot more though because there is also already a [ʝ] segment, which would render the functional load of the distinction great enough to possibly prevent further mergers.

    This leads to the following pairs of cognates:

    ConlangConlangSpanishSpanishOriginlOriginalGloss
    azuraðurazulaθulazuradzuɾblue
    roxoɢoχorojoroxoroxoroʃored
    muyermuʝermujermuxeɾmugiermuʒeɾwoman
    biejezbjeʝeðvejezbexeθvejezβeʒed͡zage

    note: Glosses represent conlang meaning, not the spanish or medieval denotation of the word

    Latin /f/

    Beyond this, the fate of Latin /f/ is also slightly different. In early Spanish it became /h/, and Depending on the variëty of Spanish it either is still /h/ (as in Extremadura and parts of Andalusia), was lost entirely (the typical outcome), or merged with the reflex of Old Spanish /ʃ/ and /ʒ/ (some rural varieties of Latin America.). In the conlang however, the outcome depended on the context. Before front vowels and also after [i] it became [ç]. When between [a] or [o] and [u], [o], or [a], (or simply finally after [a] or [o]) it became [χ]. Both [ç] and [χ] mostly merged with the outcome of etymological [ʃ], which as already mentioned earlier underwent a shift of [ʃ] => [ç] => [x], and then uvularises after [a] and [o]. The sole exception to this merger is [χ] before [u].

    The clusters [hw] and [hj] both became [f] and [x] <- [ç] respectively.

    ConlangConlangSpanishSpanishMedievalMedievalGloss
    xiyoxiʝohijoixofijohiʒoson
    fennaxennahembraembrafemnahemnawoman
    truhantruantruhántruantrufantruhancomedian
    ozhozfozfodzgorge
    taxorrataχoʁatahúllataˈuʝatahullatahuʎaunit of roughly 1/4 acres
    pherrofeʁofuegofweɣofuegofwegofire
    xerroxeʁohierroɟ͡ʝerofierrohjeroiron

    The palatal lateral

    Spanish /ʎ/ also has no single clear cognate. Between non-front vowels, or initially before back vowels, /ʎ/ became [ɣ], passing through [ʟ] (this then backed to [ʁ] before /a/ and /o/). After syllables containing [j], it also dissimilated to [l]. Otherwise it became [ʝ] like in many variëties of Spanish.

    ConlangConlangSpanishSpanishOld SpanishOld SpanishGloss
    ceborraθeβoʁacebollaθeβoʎacebollatseboʎaonion
    ayiraʝirfallirfaʝiɾfallirhaʎiɾ~faʎiɾfail
    ragoɢaʁogallogaʎogallogaʎochicken, turkey
    gubiaguβjalluviaʝuβja*lluvia*ʎuvjarain
    jenoɟenollenoɟ͡ʝe.nollenoʎenofull
    caudieloqawðjelocaudillokawðiʎocabdielokaβdjeʎogeneral

    The reason for words such as "gubia" and "jeno" having initial stops is the aforementioned rule whereby the voiced fricatives merged with the voiced stops.

    Rhotics

    Finally, we get to the outcome of [r]. Like in portuguese, this conlang has a gutteral rhotic; a simple [r] to [ʁ] shift. When combined with the broader betacism, this resulted in an initial allophone of [ɢ]. This did not affect the flap however, [ɾ], which has since turned into a trill.

    ConlangConlangSpanishSpanishMedievalMedievalGloss
    rephtarɢeftarretarretaɾreptarreptaɾto delay
    jegoɟeʁoyerroɟ͡ʝeroyerrojeromistake

    Other Changes

    Of course, these are merely the most notable changes. Other changes include voiceless plosives becoming fricatives in coda before an obstruent, and vowels raising before a coda nasal (except before a geminate nasal).

    All in all, the result is a language with a very spanishy-sound (except the uvulars) but still quite distinct. This is not to get into the research I have yet to do to account for the language contact one would reasonably expect, which will be reflected in the morphology (hence why none was provided here).

    2 Comments
    2024/05/21
    20:42 UTC

    52

    What categories does your conlang divide living things into?

    In English (and many other languages) there are words like "animal", "plant" and "fungus", but not every language categorizes living things like that. For example, this video mentions a language that distinguishes between land and sea lifeforms as well as another language that has "eat-things" (things you can eat), "bite-things" (things that can harm you) and "useless things". For my interstellar auxiliary language, since biological groups based on cell type don't work across planets, I've thought of distinguishing between "people" (intelligent lifeforms), "animals" (non-sessile non-sapient lifeforms), "plants" (sessile non-sapient lifeforms, including things like anemones and fungi), and maybe micro-organisms.

    29 Comments
    2024/05/21
    18:33 UTC

    35

    Is this natural?

    So, i want to make this conlang that is very similar to Chinese without actually deriving from Chinese (having the same writing sistem, and a similar phonology).

    My main idea was to make a Proto-Language and sound change it until it gets like i want it to be.

    However i want each character to be a monosyllabic sound (example: "pa"), but i feel like they shouldn't be monosyllabic from the start (in the Proto-Language), and become monosyllabic with sound changes.

    Is this sound change (of non-monosyllabic words becoming monosyllabic) natural?

    (Of course, this change will only be applied for individual characters, the words with more than one character will have more then one syllable)

    20 Comments
    2024/05/21
    17:33 UTC

    24

    Comparing Comparative Constructions

    I recently noticed that I never really formalized how to express fully-fledged comparisons in Ntali. I only ever took it half way. I could say something relatively simple such as "This stone is better", but for whatever reason I never determined how to incorporate the second element of the comparison into the utterance. I could not say "This stone is better than that one". And let's be honest - what good is it to be able to say that something is better if you cannot specify what it is better than?

    In order to remedy this oversight, I headed over to WALS and had a quick look at how natural languages typically deal with comparative constructions. A comparison typically consists of two noun phrases. The first one is the comparee NP and the second one is the standard NP the comparee is compared to. The authors of the relevant WALS chapter identify four major strategies:

    1. using a transitive verb that means "to exceed"
    2. using a locational adposition to mark the target of the comparison
    3. using two separate clauses with antonymous predicates
    4. using a comparative particle

    What is interesting about these different types is how they interact with case. The first two types usually come with a fixed case for the standard NP, whereas in the last two types the standard NP takes on the case of the comparee NP.

    Speakers of Indo-European languages are probably most familiar with the fourth type. The English particle "than" for example is exclusively used for comparative constructions and doesn't serve any other function. The two elements being compared typically (albeit not always) take on the same case.

    Now, I want to ask you: How do your conlangs handle comparative constructions? How do syntax and morphology interact? Are there any redundancies that help the listener parse the comparison, or are comparisons somewhat ambiguous in their structure and meaning? I'd love to know!

    16 Comments
    2024/05/21
    15:11 UTC

    8

    How Would You Expand on The Constructed Kryptonian For Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel?

    I’ve been reading it over, and as a conlang it truly fascinates me, as I see some semblance to Japanese and Sanskrit, but I can’t help but see that it feels incomplete, especially in the official dictionary.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Xo7A4ZlfXJ8a_xMCvGDe3cVntfCa9uG7qM3BBJgDGeA/edit

    Having said that, what words would you add or how else would you expand on this language?

    1 Comment
    2024/05/21
    14:31 UTC

    47

    Monosyllabic Analytic Language with Consonant Mutation. Is this insane

    Hello guys

    Nautralistic artistic monosyllabic analytic language with consonant mutation. Is this insane? Obviously totally impractical but I like consonant mutation and I think it's a fun idea.

    The idea is that this language in its old form (Old Language) will feature nasal, plosive, fricative, and approximant codas, but for now plosive codas are most important (example words would be like: pʰɔt ("red"), zeik ("horse"), maoq ("sun")). In adjectival pairings (so like, 'pʰɔt maoq' "red sun") and maybe some other scenarios, this language will develop consonant mutation, so the onset of the second word will switch to the place of articulation of the coda of the first word ('pʰɔt maoq' would become 'pʰɔt naoq', the place of articulation changing where the manner does not). Then following this, the language loses plosive codas (maybe tone will develop, I'm unsure, feel like that would maybe happen) so "sun" alone would be 'mao' where "red sun" would be 'pʰɔ nao'. So all words gain a particular grade ('pʰɔ' would be alveolar-grade, as words in an adjectival pairing with it would have their onset become alveolar). Anyway by this point it's translated into the modern form.

    This language features six significant places of articulation which would affect consonant mutation: labial, alveolar, post-alveolar, velar, uvular, glottal. Glottal wouldn't matter too much because the only glottal sound (/h/) would occur on onsets, so no words would be glottal-grade. Same for post-alveolar, only post-alveolar sounds would be /ʃ/ and /ʒ/ which would occur only on onsets, so no post-alveolar grades. This leaves labial-, alveolar-, velar-, and uvular-grade. Then there are seven manners of articulation: nasal (m, n, ŋ~ɴ (the velar and uvular nasals would be allophones)); plain voiceless plosive (p, t, k, q); aspirated voiceless plosive (pʰ, tʰ, kʰ, qʰ); plain voiced plosive (b, d, g, ɢ (/ɢ/ would only occur due to mutations)); breathy voiced plosive (bʱ, dʱ, gʱ, ɢʱ (/ɢʱ/ would only occur due to mutations)); voiceless fricative (f, s, x~χ (allophone)), and voiced fricative (v, z, ɣ~ʁ (allophone)).

    I wonder if this makes sense . So a labial-grade word (I'll label this word A) in an adjectival pair with a word (B) with an aspirated voiceless plosive onset would cause the /pʰ/ sound on the onset of word B. This would happen for all adjectival pairs.

    Do you guys think this could feasibly happen . Total mashup of what I think is Celtic consonant mutation + transition from Classical to Mandarin Chinese. Would speakers let this mess gradually happen or would the loss of plosive codas even happen if there's consonant mutation? Thank you anyone who reads this mess

    21 Comments
    2024/05/21
    13:59 UTC

    37

    Planck's law

    Yes, you guessed it. It's science time!

    Are your conlangs able to handle scientific concepts? Let's find out! Try and translate this semplified bit of Planck's Law:

    Every physical body spontaneously and continuously emits electromagnetic radiation. (cit. Wikipedia)

    Isn't your conlang set in the modern world? No worries, translate this, instead:

    Every magical body spontaneously and continuously emits magical radiation. (cit. Tome III of the Elders)

    And if your conworld has no magic, well, try your hand and adapt the Planck's law to concepts your conpeople would certainly understand.

    31 Comments
    2024/05/21
    07:38 UTC

    11

    Old English Ideas

    Currently working on an old English-derived language, and I have a few areas that im looking for input in!

    The language is descended from English just after the founding of the Danelaw, when many British people move to Doggerbank (above ground in this universe). They become the primary settlers, but interact frequently with Norse speakers (and French and Dutch… I don’t know if that would happen until later… any ideas?). They’d be very isolated from other English speakers, and Norse speakers wouldn’t be quite as integrated into their society, leading to a much more conservative grammar, but innovative phonology. What ideas do you have related to grammar?

    For phonology, I have a few areas that I need to flesh out. What ideas do y’all have for the voiceless sonorants: n̥ l̥ r̥ ʍ? I was thinking that r̥ could become x, creating a phonemic distinction between h and x. I may make θ ð ʍ w -> f v, but I’m not sure if that reduction would be too extreme? Finally, I have no idea what to do with the velar allophones g ŋ ɫ rˠ. Do any of you have any ideas on evolving ŋ word-initially?

    So excited to hear any and all of your ideas! Thanks in advance, and feel free to comment on anything related to the conlang!

    8 Comments
    2024/05/21
    00:29 UTC

    23

    A casual conversation in Atasab

    Here's an example of a casual conversation in my experimental conlang, Atasab:

    A: Maise selaaboliattetiinaio múinnuse?
    B: Nissi! Kaahulisattuse minilliibiihi.
    A: Tita! Lobbo. Tuuko, Atassa?
    C: Úi. Mokkuukiiluliaahili minenuummihi.
    A: Iaise. Tals' einiebbiili.
    C: Toli, tolutto. Lúiseliatsiite!

    A: /majs 'sela:poljat:eti:najo 'muj:nus/
    B: /'nis:i/ /'ka:hulisat:us 'minil:i:pi:hi/
    A: /'tita/ /'lop:o/ /'tu:ko atas:a/
    C: /uj/ /'mok:u:ki:lulja:hili 'minenu:hmihi/
    A: /jajs/ /'tals 'ejnjep:i:li/
    C: /'toli 'tolut:o/ /'lujseljatsi:t/

    A: Does anyone wanna go swimming in the lake with me?
    B: I do! I really need to cool down in this hot weather.
    A: Great! So do I. What about you, Atas?
    C: Nah. I’d rather sit here and drink some cold water instead.
    A: Alright. Let me know if you change your mind.
    C: I will, but I won’t. Have fun with the swimming!

    And here's the glossing:

    maise    sel-aab-ol-iat-tet-iin-a-i=o                         múin-nuse
    someone  swim-together.with-me-NMLZ-to-want.to-be-POS=INTERR  lake-in
    
    nis-s-i!     ka-a<h>ul-isat-tuse        minil-l-iib-iih-i
    want-V-POS!  this-warmth<Ø>-weather-in  cool.down-V-need-really-POS
    
    tit-a!       l=obbo.  tu-uk=o,         Atas-sa?
    great-ATTR!  me=too.  you-TOP=INTERR,  Atas-GEN?
    
    úi.   mok-k-uuk-iilul-iaahil-i       minen-uum-m-ih-i
    nah.  sit-V-here-instead-rather-POS  cold.water-some-OBJ-interact.with-V.POS
    
    iaise.    tal-s'    einieb-b-iil-i
    alright.  tell-IMP  reconsider-V-if-POS
    
    t-o-l-i,         t-o-l-u=tto.         lúi<sel-iat-s-i-i>te!
    do-FUT-1-V.POS,  do-FUT-1-V.NEG=but.  have.fun<swim-NMLZ-IMP-POS-OBJ>!

    And lastly, here are some fun facts regarding this example of Atasab:

    1. There's not really any infinitive in Atasab. Instead the action noun is used, f.e. seliate "swimming" or oliate "being".
    2. Person and tense marker can be omitted if the context is clear, f.e. nissi literally means "wants", but is here understood as "I want". If not omitted, nissi would be nisali.
    3. The verb miniliate "cool(ing) down" is derived from the noun minile "fridge".
    4. The genitive case can be used as vocative.
    5. Interaction verbs, f.e. minennihiate "interact(ing) with cold water", change meaning depending on the context. Here it means "drink(ing) cold water", while in another context it might mean "swim(ming) in cold water".

    Feel free to ask any questions or give any constructive criticism!

    4 Comments
    2024/05/20
    22:38 UTC

    10

    Let the cross I bear be even heavier

    Translate this quote from The Three-Body Problem.

    When this physics professor walked onto the stage in front of the crowd, his expression clearly said: Let the cross I bear be even heavier.

    Emañan:

    Al Sabiè em jea cord’ eñe de maçe acutéia.

    DEF.SG.F sword in 1SG.POS.M heart be-VOL.3SG of more sharp

    Let the sword in my heart be sharper.

    A similar idea to the cross idea except, in the main religion in Emaña, the central figure of the religion died by being stabbed in the chest with a sword. Hence why ‘Sabiè’ is capitalised because it’s the sword, not just any sword.

    7 Comments
    2024/05/20
    22:21 UTC

    61

    My take on a no/little verbs language

    This is my take on a (at least nearly) verbless language. Technically it has no adjectives either. Here are some random sentences with literal translations.

    I was bored, so I decided to make an alien language or something. Nouns have 19 cases + possessive suffixes (or nominative/absolutive, genetive and 17 adpositional suffixes + possessive suffixes). Possessors get a genetive suffix and possessees get a possessive suffix. There may or may not be some particles. I guess that's it, would love some thoughts or feedback. =)

    Words in brackets in Guptak can be dropped.

    https://preview.redd.it/c0hni5xdjn1d1.png?width=1253&format=png&auto=webp&s=e66990851f456687c640ad4b75361dc1aaa29855

    24 Comments
    2024/05/20
    21:46 UTC

    26

    An ode to Dinlih

    I am writing just to embarrassingly gush about how amazing I find Dinlih, the script created by u/Dedalvs for the Chakobsa language, used in the Dune movies.

    The language in general is cool, but Dinlih is just above and beyond. It is so sophisticated, and so beautiful. The ligature system in mind-blowing. This might be because of how ignorant I am about languages, but I've never seen anything like the ligature system (though I'm very interested to know if you know of anything comparable, especially in real-world languages). I know it is somewhat popular to get tattoos in conlangs. I have never found this especially appealing, but with Dinlih, I get it.

    UPDATE: I just discovered Devangari conjuncts, used in real-world Brahmic scripts. They're wild. So there's a good real-world correlate of the ligature system.

    5 Comments
    2024/05/20
    18:33 UTC

    5

    Am Xwexi Globasa | Let's learn Globasa [ Part 1 ]

    0 Comments
    2024/05/20
    17:54 UTC

    17

    Biweekly Telephone Game v3 (592)

    This is a game of borrowing and loaning words! To give our conlangs a more naturalistic flair, this game can help us get realistic loans into our language by giving us an artificial-ish "world" to pull words from!

    The Telephone Game will be posted every Monday and Friday, hopefully.

    Rules

    1. Post a word in your language, with IPA and a definition.

    Note: try to show your word inflected, as it would appear in a typical sentence. This can be the source of many interesting borrowings in natlangs (like how so many Arabic words were borrowed with the definite article fossilized onto it! algebra, alcohol, etc.)

    1. Respond to a post by adapting the word to your language's phonology, and consider shifting the meaning of the word a bit!

    2. Sometimes, you may see an interesting phrase or construction in a language. Instead of adopting the word as a loan word, you are welcome to calque the phrase -- for example, taking skyscraper by using your language's native words for sky and scraper. If you do this, please label the post at the start as Calque so people don't get confused about your path of adopting/loaning.


    Last Time...

    Valtamic by /u/very-original-user

    Озё⟫ ⟨Ozjo⟩ /ˈoɕjo/ [ˈɵ̞ˑɕjɔ]

    (middle-harmony, stem: озй-)

    1. To hear, To listen
    2. (with separative or (archaic or poetic) dative) To listen to, to hear from (someone)
    3. (idiomatic) To figure, To know something

    From Proto-Valtamic *hozɨ + *-u, the former borrowed from Proto-Germanic *hauzijaną ("to hear"). Supplanted native Proto-Valtamic *áľztľo (from Proto-Italic *awizdjō), most likely due to its difficult pronunciation.


    «Ноур озıэмэр оур нахѣр ѣсѣм вьıхсьıм елет, ѣц поуличу тѣлзѣрмѣњ»

    «Nour ozjëmër our nahär äsäm vyhsym elet, äc pouliċu tälzärmäṅ»

    /nur ˈoɕjɤmɤr ur ˈnɑxær ˈæsæm ˈvɨxsɨm ˈelet | æt͡s puˈlit͡ʂɯ ˈtælɕærmæɲ/

    [ˌnʊˈɾ‿ɵ̞ˑɕjɜˌmɜˌɾ‿ʊɾ̥ ˈnɑ̝ˑχɛˈɾ‿æˑs̺ɛm̥ ˈʋɨˑxs̺ᵻˈm‿e̞ˑlɛt̪ | ɛs̪ ˌpʊˈliˑʈ͡ʂω ˈt̪æˑʎˌɕɛɾ̥mɛɲ̊]

    nour     ozj  - ëmër         our      nah  - är           äsäm    vyhsy    - m      elet     , äc       pouliċu    tälz - ärmäṅ
    1.ᴘʟ.ɴᴏᴍ hear - 1.ᴘʟ.ᴘʀᴇꜱ.ᴀᴄᴛ 2.ꜱɢ.ɴᴏᴍ kill - 2.ꜱɢ.ᴘꜱᴛ.ᴀᴄᴛ 2.ꜱɢ.ɢᴇɴ daughter - ꜱɢ.ᴀᴄᴄ true.ᴍᴏᴅ , and.ᴄᴏɴᴊ police.ɴᴏᴍ tell - 3.ᴘʟ.ꜰᴜᴛ.ᴘᴀꜱꜱ

    "We know you killed your daughter, and the police will be informed"


    Peace

    Peace, Love, & Conlanging ❤️

    70 Comments
    2024/05/20
    09:40 UTC

    6

    FAQ & Small Discussions — 2024-05-20 to 2024-06-02

    As usual, in this thread you can ask any questions too small for a full post, ask for resources and answer people's comments!

    You can find former posts in our wiki.

    Affiliated Discord Server.

    The Small Discussions thread is back on a semiweekly schedule... For now!

    FAQ

    What are the rules of this subreddit?

    Right here, but they're also in our sidebar, which is accessible on every device through every app. There is no excuse for not knowing the rules.Make sure to also check out our Posting & Flairing Guidelines.

    If you have doubts about a rule, or if you want to make sure what you are about to post does fit on our subreddit, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

    Where can I find resources about X?

    You can check out our wiki. If you don't find what you want, ask in this thread!

    Our resources page also sports a section dedicated to beginners. From that list, we especially recommend the Language Construction Kit, a short intro that has been the starting point of many for a long while, and Conlangs University, a resource co-written by several current and former moderators of this very subreddit.

    Can I copyright a conlang?

    Here is a very complete response to this.

    For other FAQ, check this.

    If you have any suggestions for additions to this thread, feel free to send u/PastTheStarryVoids a PM, send a message via modmail, or tag him in a comment.

    88 Comments
    2024/05/20
    09:01 UTC

    41

    What phrases in english have multiple translations in your conlang?

    In Nanbāilia, you can translate "i'm sorry" in at least 3 ways:

    1. "toñine mo kixōnustetne" /to.ɲi.ne mo kɪ.t͡ɕoʌ.nu.ste.tne/ literally translates to "please pity me" used for apologizing to someone you have wronged or asking for forgiveness

    2. "mo kixōnustebwōkotne" /mo kɪ.t͡ɕoʌ.nu.ste.pfwoʌ.ko.tne/ literally translates to "i apologize" used when inconveniencing someone like bumping into them, more of an "excuse me"

    3. "kixetemo" /kɪ.t͡ɕe.te.mo/ literally translates to "i am pitiable"/"i am remorseful" used to express sympathy for someone going through something rough, like "i'm sorry about that"

    7 Comments
    2024/05/20
    06:34 UTC

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