Conlang fun

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Conlang fun

#1  Postby General Heinz » Jul 21, 2012 11:24 pm

This board seems to be sort of slower than some of the others, but I'm sure there are plenty of linguiphiles here who have done their fair share of tinkering with conlangs.

For those of you who don't know a conlang is a constructed language, one that may draw features or vocabulary from natural languages that are spoken all over the world but that are unique in other ways (or in some cases made completely without regard to any one natural language).

I myself have written more than a few, but I've never really completed one...I sort of start a lot of projects without often finishing them :doh: Hopefully someday I'll actually make a completely functional one, and if possible it's my dream to see if children could learn it as they could any other natural language (though that would require a more total understanding of the requisite parameters universal to all human languages). Maybe it's a far off dream, but it's possible in theory.

Anyone here experimented with conlanging? How far have you ever gotten to "completion"?
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Re: Conlang fun

#2  Postby byofrcs » Jul 22, 2012 7:56 am

By completeness do you mean a conlang that is self hosting i.e. the conlang can be used to describe itself in itself. ?
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Re: Conlang fun

#3  Postby General Heinz » Jul 22, 2012 6:33 pm

I guess by "complete" I just mean that its grammar is outlined to the extent that it can express anything that a natural language could (complete tense system, adequate vocabulary), or at least that the patterns are defined well enough that whatever constructions aren't made explicit can be derived from those patterns. I dunno if that makes sense, and I guess it would be relatively easy to make a conlang with that level of "completeness" (given that you would just have to write all the rules without really coming up with any particular words, just individual morphemes and what they would mean and how they would combine).

I guess many conlangs don't often get to that point because they're used for some sort of fictional culture which only needs to look like it has a complete language, which it automatically would to anyone who saw the conlang's words as total gibberish (i.e. everyone, because it's not a real language :lol:).
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Re: Conlang fun

#4  Postby Saim » Sep 10, 2012 4:20 pm

General Heinz wrote: Hopefully someday I'll actually make a completely functional one, and if possible it's my dream to see if children could learn it as they could any other natural language (though that would require a more total understanding of the requisite parameters universal to all human languages).

Well, they've learned Klingon, so why not?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/1 ... 63477.html

d'Armond Speers spoke only Klingon to his son for the first three years of his child's life, the Minnesota Daily reports.

Speers says that he spent the first few years of his son's life speaking to him in the invented language of the alien race featured in the series "Star Trek" in order to better understand how children learn languages. Meanwhile, Speers' wife continued to address the child in English.

Speers told the Minnesota Daily,

I was interested in the question of whether my son, going through his first language acquisition process, would acquire it like any human language. [...] He was definitely starting to learn it.
Speers reports he "still gets nostalgic when he recalls singing the Klingon lullaby 'May the Empire Endure'" with his son.

Listen to Speers' son singing the Klingon Imperial Anthem here.

Wired reported on Speers' language experiment in a 1999 article in which Speers described the challenge of speaking to his infant son given that the Klingon language lacked words such as "diaper" and "bottle."

The article notes,
So Speers found himself using "thing which is flat" for table. "Alec very rarely spoke back to me in Klingon, although when he did, his pronunciation was excellent and he never confused English words with Klingon words," Speers says.

Eventually, Speers stopped using Klingon to communicate with his son, saying that his son "stopped listening to me when I spoke in Klingon" and "it was clear that he didn't enjoy it, and I didn't want to make it into a problem."

His son, now in high school, does not speak any Klingon, according to the Minnesota Daily.

Despite his interest in Klingon, Speers says he is not a Star Trek "fanatic."

I don't go to 'Star Trek' conventions, I don't wear the fake forehead. [...] I'm a linguist.
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