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Constructed Languages: Conlangs as Linguistic Vehicles

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Zach W

on 17 April 2015

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Transcript of Constructed Languages: Conlangs as Linguistic Vehicles

con
structed
lang
uages
conlangs as linguistic vehicles
nowadays,
we're no strangers to conlangs.
so let's not focus too much on the
usual stuff.
let's talk about why
conlanging is important.
Creative pursuits often
have
academic counterparts
.
{
painting ::
art criticism
writing ::
literary criticism
architectural design ::
engineering
How about
linguistics?

for the first time,
linguistics is not just

theoretical h
yp
oth
etica
ls

because conlanging becomes your sandbox.
as you
learn
, you
experiment
, and you
understand.
Have you heard of

Ithkuil?

Now let's justify that
with an example.
Let me tell you about Ithkuil.
How many of you had trouble memorizing the IPA?
Phonetic Inventory of Ithkuil
How much do you know about tone languages?
Tones of Ithkuil
Or about agglutinative morphology?
how complex can one "word" be?
hremsoqaithsurkoi
"purportedly by means of the value derived from all the varied attributes of humanity"
...and the list goes on.
Ithkuil is an experiment.
as most conlangs are.
But to experiment successfully,
the creator must
learn & understand
their tools.
At first, linguistics may seem
opaque
obscure
scientific
abstract
depressingly difficult
like a lot of memorization.
All of that changes when
you can use what you learn in class
to create something unique.
let's change gears.
and I will talk about
łaá siri.
As my knowledge of linguistics has grown,
so has my conlang.
yaraá łusi «sayari» luraa’sarsii, sirisaá łaasi łaá siri.

Parts of my conlang fall vaguely into two categories:
experimental
&
empirical
(invented)
(natural)
For every utterance,
the verb must indicate the
subject and object's
position relative to the speaker.
I call this "morphological deixis."
It is not found in natural languages.
'araá

łaa’ła

l-
ii-
tłara.

speaker
"That woman hurt that animal."
'araá

łaa’ła

ł-
ii-
rtłara.

speaker
"This (my) dog hurt that woman."
This is just one of several features I have engineered
as a test of human ability to
use
&
understand
language.
łaá siri makes the
most
out of a
little!
It also has a complex system of
morphophonological pitch accent.
łasií.
vs.
łasii.
"I have spoken to them."
"I have not spoken to them."
Oh, and it has
no personal pronouns!
(This is taken care of with morphological deixis.)
so...
Hopefully I have shown:
conlanging and linguistics need not
be in competition.
you no longer need to
memorize
a function.
without
Conlanging is inherently
experimental.
It is a sandbox for ideas.
A place to
test
and
tinker.
Conlanging is not just making up words.
It is mirrors the complexity of
natural human language.
Conlang is an
artistic pursuit
which makes an
academic field
accessible.
ri lalisaá?
helpful links:
http://conlang.org
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conlang
http://lhaasiri.tumblr.com/
Full transcript