Make a language

Esperanto: you probably know it. You also probably know it failed, and you believe it proved once and for all artificial languages are dead.

Some people must not have gotten the memo, though. There is a whole community of inventors of languages. Yes, the world is this awesome.

Sometimes there are economic reasons to invent a language; one obvious is creating believable fictional civilizations. The most known probably being Klingdon …and the last Dotraki in Game of Thrones -yes they do have a real language!

And sometimes there are really real groups of people who think in such a peculiar way, they start looking for a more suitable language than the natural ones. Lojban, for one, aims to be the language of the logic-minded.

Also, some are reinventing English. To make it more English. Because England.

But mostly, it’s for an exotic mix of play, and exploration of the boundaries of the mind. Kēlen, for instance, has no verbs.

So, what would a verb-less language look like? Possibly the language would have a small number of words that do the functions of verbs without any of the semantic content. In other words, words that would tell how many arguments to expect and what the relationship is between these various arguments. This is what I have done with Kēlen— given it a closed class of “relationals” that perform the syntactic function of verbs.

There are only four relationals: LA, which asserts that an argument exists in a location or a state; NI, which asserts that an argument is or has relocated or changed its state; SE, which asserts that an argument is related to a source and/or a goal; and PA, which asserts that one argument contains another. Combine these with case markers, mood markers, and various modifiers, and we have even more ways to express the relationships between the various arguments in the sentence.

Oh, and it can be written like this:


This is a name. “Lājathīn”.

Is this awesome? Yes it is. It’s not excluded one of my future blog posts will be about my first own language -I’m already thinking the central idea. In the meantime I’ll try studying more this crazy languages; and maybe those crazier still and actually used by peoples of the world! You can never find an end to peculiarities.

And you? What would your language look like?


Informazioni su francescodondi

Qui il mio curriculum online. "nerd score"
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