'twas but a day ago on the factory floor. A discussion was held about the beauty of languages and thus the brave builders came up with the idea of creating a new language, one to surpass them all, a language to rule them all! A language to find them! A LANGUAGE TO BRING THEM ALL AND IN THE DARKNESS BIND THEM..1

Long story short, the idea is to create a series of fortnightly ( events/tasks here on meta with the goal of creating a language for the WB.SE by the WB.SE community. This series would run over the course of a few months, and hopefully be done somewhen between spring and summer 2017.

Each challenge would be accompanied by a blog post summarizing the results and decisions made, explaining why they have been made and giving examples of the language's current state.

Thus in the end we would have created two things:

  1. A feature-complete conlanguage that can be shown off and used for secret WB discussions
  2. A guide on: How to create a conlanguage step-by-step, complete with pictures and examples

The goal of this discussion is to a) find out if there is enough interest in the community to pursue this venerable venture, and b) to collect ideas on how to approach this undertaking

The goals of this discussion are the following:

  • Find out if there is enough interest in the community to pursue this most venerable venture
  • Collect ideas on how to approach/organise these events (e.g. what to start with; what comes when)

Addendum: My proposal on how this could roughly be pursued/structured:

  1. Start by agreeing on some 2-3 real-world-languages to inspire grammar, orthography and vocabulary of the conlanguage
  2. Decide upon a range of some 100 nouns/thing-words needed in the language and create tables with these words in each of the chosen inspiration languages
  3. Collect ideas on what grammatical constructs should be used in the language (e.g. verbs? adjectives? cases? etc.)
  4. magic
  5. Have a finished conlanguage

1read with grave bass voice

  • $\begingroup$ If we're just going to handwave, why not write a letter randomization algorithm that spits out words, then give those words translations? Additionally, this feels more like "because we can" than "we need to achieve this." $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Nov 8 '16 at 14:45
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Perhaps 0: pick a couple existing conlangs that work well and see what can be learned about how they approached the task? Or have you done that already and this list is the result? $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Nov 8 '16 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio basically everything will be better than what I proposed, I mostly proposed it to show what I mean/am asking for by those that would be interested to help organise/set this up :) $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Nov 8 '16 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ If you're interested, please come check out the proposed new site on conlangs on area 51 $\endgroup$ – CHEESE Jan 7 '17 at 12:26

What about worldbuilding slang instead?

We already have good basics.

  • We use $_DEITY in religion related Worlgbuilding questions
  • In chat it was used happy $timeofday or happy TZ to greet ourselves respecting different timezones
  • We have worldbuilding-specific words like handvawium and unobtainium

I think the effort should be put to broaden the slang and make it used by the community

Arguments for working on slang

  • Selecting languages to work with is hard (Example: Conlang slovio is easy to understand for me as someone using Slavic language but might be totally off for most Worldbuilding users)
  • Agreeing on something is hard (Example: This very answer which disagrees with some group having agreed on something)
  • Inventing language is boring (Source: My neighbour in highschool)
  • Learning new language is both boring and hard (Source: Me being forced to learn Latin on hinghschool)
  • Everybody uses English here as neutral communication language. Lets stick with that

One way or another

I cannot promise anything, but you caught my attention. I will try to follow the discussions. And pinky promise, if I will put my five cents in, I will try to follow already set agreement and not disagree.

Well, from now on


I would participate

I would love some sort of every-few-weekly collective language building exercise. I could definitely participate at that level, if someone would organize posts in a way that we can cover small bits of the language at a time.

Proposed structure

To really build a language, I think you have to start from the basics then build up. First iron out a list of phonemes, and since we are writing to each other, develop a map of phoneme to letters (preferably the ones that are on my keyboard).

Second, determine a grammar, probably by straight copying from some other language. This will set the basic rules for tense, gender, pluralization, etc.

Next, build a proto-language. These are the basic words that any developing civilization would have, equivalent to Proto-Indo-European.

Finally, flesh out the language with loan words and advanced terms and concepts.

Starting languages

I would be interested in starting from proto-Germanic. First off, it is the ultimate root of the langauge that everyone on this forum has in common. Second, there are many resources available for it. Thirdly, there are many easily accessible daughter languages. And lastly, it would be an interesting experiment to see how far our collectively constructed language differs from the language we are speaking today.

  • $\begingroup$ I, too, would love to participate. I've made conlangs before and I want to do it again. $\endgroup$ – CHEESE Jan 7 '17 at 12:24

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