Conlangs

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Bagliun Edar, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Bagliun Edar

    Bagliun Edar Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Laimnil (hello all),
    Conlanging, the "secret vice" as Tolkien once referred it to, is something that has bit me recently. I've been making up my own language for the past few months. Here is a sample of it.

    Zobardibi, lēnglibeigaol. Ulgro mālanalgriror vobululamaimunuzu mabezu "Enterprise". Thuirgiriadimorduldo eliogayālzuonzu ala. Bemgli andergrurbloglibomde. Bōldui zrimthabilgrobomdetha glidromungrobomdetha. Thalzēmar lonlin othalzu gayamalebaunbal mor.
    "Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission. To explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before."

    I suppose that trekkies interested on any kind of conlang would prefer Klingon or Vulcan. Yet I'm curious. It's there anyone in this forum who has constructed a language of his own? Could we see a sample?
     
  2. SmoothieX

    SmoothieX Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wow, just wow. I think I'll just stick with English.
     
  3. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Ateverwhay ouyay aysay.
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Kara tu dekat!*



    *for a translation please dig up issue 35 of the Will Payton Starman comicbook written by Keith Giffen. One of the funniest ever written.
     
  5. Chemahkuu

    Chemahkuu Admiral Admiral

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  6. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Admiral

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    I did construct a language when I was a child. I must have started when I was about 10 and continued until I was about 14 years old. At various times I was aided by schoolfriends until they got sick of it. I had several exercise books filled with vocabulary. They only thing I really remember about my language was that its number words were based on prime numbers i.e. there were words for prime numbers and all other number were made by combining those prime words.

    I am not sure what became of all my exercise books. I don't remember getting rid of them.

    A good book that is about conlangs is In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent. I read it a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it.

    also on my bookshelves but as yet unread are

    From Elvish to Klingon: Exploring Invented Languages by Michael Adams

    and The Language Construction Kit by Mark Rosenfelder (He has also written Advance dLanguage Construction and The Planet Construction Kit).
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  7. Timby

    Timby LIKE LIGHTNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING Administrator

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. Pondwater

    Pondwater Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Reminds me of the time I dropped a bowl of alphabet soup on the floor.
     
  9. SmoothieX

    SmoothieX Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Let's bust out the old decoder ring here...

    I am a 31 year old mouthbreather that lives in my mother's basement. My face looks like a pepperoni pizza and I live on Hot Pockets. I lost my job at the comic book store after my manager caught me fapping to Spiderman. I like long walks on the beach, Rainbow Brite, and paint by number. My ideal woman is a Martian.
     
  10. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    ^Dude, coming from someone on a forum for trek fans, that's pretty hypocritical.
     
  11. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Admiral

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    I started a thread on this subject more than three years ago and no-one made any derogative comments in that thread.

    That old thread is here, I provide the link hoping that no-one will bring it back from the dead.
     
  12. Triskelion

    Triskelion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Cool thread! Great stuff so far! This is a favorite topic of mine.

    I created a language called Sevencube or Sevenquad or just Quad. It's an international language that you can use instantly or speak with people anywhere - without technology.

    It's based on assigning an intuitive numerical value for the commonest lexicons using a Maslowian "human motivation" hierarchical structure. Seven levels of human motivation are each broken down into seven topics, each with seven descriptors. The foundation language contains 343 words or 7 x 7 x 7. (Actually it's 337 total because the 7th level so far just has one word, "success"). For advanced speakers, you add another exponent, bringing the total to 2401 words - enough to grok a newspaper in a second language. It can be extended from there, if desired.

    You speak the language using the numbers 1-7. You can speak or sign them, or push buttons if you want to digitize it.

    The idea is that you have a flash card with any foreign language on it you can hand to someone, and speak using numbers. You can speak with any language using the same numbers.

    Yes, this is a basis for Universal Translation. Numbers can be extended to concepts, idioms or other stimuli.

    Weakness: grammatical structure. So a Japanese person might essentially say to you "Restaurant to let's eat." Other than that, a group of ten people each with a different first language could speak with complete understanding in a language built entirely of seven numbers.

    So that's the intro. Here's the foundation lexicon of Sevencube. I have other lists in various other languages too.

    The number is what you say. The word is your language.

    The main levels/headwords are:

    1 Survival
    2 Places
    3 People
    4 Actions
    5 Ideas
    6 Descriptions
    7 Achievement

    The Structure:

    1-7 Headwords - IE: 1
    .....1-7 Subheads each - IE: 1-1
    ...........1-7 Descriptors each - IE: 1-1-1


    The --"definition" is only in this working copy to help clarify the intended meaning for building translation lists. It's not part of the actual language.

     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  13. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Admiral

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    Your language would probably be easy for me to pick up as it seems to work in a similar fashion to most forms of library classification and I am very good at cataloging anything (not just books).
     
  14. Triskelion

    Triskelion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's an interesting insight, Miss Chicken. Numbers can intimidate some; but I think memorizing seven words at a time makes it easier.
     
  15. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Admiral

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    I used to be surprised when some other students told me that they had trouble cataloging because 'they were no good with numbers".

    Cataloging has very little to do with numbers even though numbers are used. Dewey Classification uses numbers, Library of Congress Classification uses letters and numbers. I didn't used LCC much though I have used Moys Classification which fits into the LCC K Class (class for Law).

    Because I was good at classification I sometimes tutored other students in my class. I found I had to break the barrier that made people think that the numbers meant some form of mathematics. Once you get passed that it is easier to teach.

    Once people understand there are 10 main classes (similar to your seven level/headwords) and that those 10 classes could be divided 10 times again and so on it was easier to understand (technically words could have been used instead of numbers, number made it easier to put the classification on the spine of a book).

    Class 500 is Science

    of which for example
    520 Astronomy
    560 Paleontology
    590 Zoological sciences/animals

    the 590s, for example, can be further divided
    ---
    594 Mollusca
    ----
    ----
    598 Birds
    599 Mammals

    after the first three numbers a decimal point is used and topics can be further divided ( (using tables for standard subdivisions, geographic areas etc, - which I am a bit rusty at using).

    If words were used instead of Mammals being 599 it would have to written as Science-/Zoological science/Animals-Mammals so the numbers are only 'shorthand'.

    I think this is very similar to what you are doing with your language.

    The main problem with the Dewey Decimal System is that it is Anglo-American centric and I wonder if your system might suffer a little from that to a lesser degree. Could a different time system/calendar fit in? What about different kin systems? What about people who do their travelling on foot, on horse, or camel etc? Different colour phonemes?
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  16. Triskelion

    Triskelion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Miss Chicken, I appreciate these insights a lot, being ignorant in the area of library science. Tremendous potential resource.

    I agree with you that people may get hung up on math, when it's really about intuitive-yet-systematic classification. In principle, a number could be assigned to any word on Earth - which may take more descriptions in other languages. For example, in Japanese one number for "Wa" may suffice, but to translate that into English you may have to describe "Accommodation for Group Benefit," or something. So - with the help of translation software, you could assign a number to every human concept, and rely on native speakers to put it in more local terms.

    Computers could in theory interface to locate common referents in almost any medium - text, image, sound, light - to create a true exolinguistic database for Universal Translation Star Trek style. Back on Earth, I would consider this universal language a useful alternative to technology. A lot of it stems from my moving to China cold turkey without knowing a single word of Chinese. Funnily enough, I got by (sort of) on sign language but this is useful for conversations with little wallet cards in target languages.

    Yes, it does stem from my L1 English concepts. I think your questions merit more international input than what one person could answer. (This is why I tend toward open source development for this). My thinking is, English has already done a lot of global legwork ahead of Sevencube, so it's sensible to start from that reference point anyway. Besides, if people of one language understood each other perfectly there'd be no literature.

    I also have a program someone wrote in Python that translates Sevencube text back-and-forth automatically. It could work in any language.

    The really intriguing thing about this language is that it could benefit from not only speech-to-text software (and T2S), but also instant translation between humans and machines (and AI?) in any part of the world - regardless of a person's native tongue. IE, you don't have to memorize Sevencube to use it. I'm sure something similar is already the basis for translation programs out there. My idea is to classify it intuitively - as you say - and speak without need for technology, if that matters any more.

    I'm just uncertain about what people would want - to memorize, to use a phone translator, or to have a little artificial babel fish in their ear. I like the fish one. :rommie:
     
  17. Bagliun Edar

    Bagliun Edar Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    My conlang is called "Obulamga", I translate this as "Godspeech". "Obu" is the name of God within my conworld, "lamga" may mean speech, language, or the action of creating as a noun; or speak, spawn, or create as a verb.

    I began it when I needed a naming language to name the souls of my conworld. I had been developing a complex cosmology for it, and it involves reincarnation, so I needed a way to keep track of each character across the generations. I read the Language Construction Kit by Mark Rosenfelder and started on it. I feel in love with it and continued beyond a mere naming language. Godspeech is more a practice language than anything else, intended to be a divine language. Almost nothing of it would end up within a novel, if I ever write one.

    Since someone mentioned numbers, these are the numbers from 1 to 10 in Godspeech:
    al: one
    am: two
    obul: three
    ja: four
    ala: five
    vin: six
    en: seven
    enal: eight
    enam: nine
    enobul: ten

    It's a base seven system.
     
  18. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored Co-Founder of ISIS Moderator

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    Infraction for flaming. Comments to PM.
     
  19. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Letztawk idofer. :cool:
     
  20. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I did a little conlang-ing for an abandoned fantasy project decades ago, but nothing since. I threw away all my notes, because I was not satisfied with the direction that project was taking.

    The gist of my conlang was that the letters of the alphabet derived from pictograms, and the spelling of each word derived from a story that illustrated its meaning as its essential point or moral. When the pictograms got simplified over time into letters, those prototype stories accordingly become spelled out words. I guess you could say it was kind of Darmok-like to an extent, but not nearly that cool.

    I routinely pick Darmok as one of my favorite TNG episodes.

    I find this thread quite fascinating, but I really have nothing to add beyond what I've already said.