Topic: Constructed languages

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🔗 E-Prime: English without the verb 'to be'

🔗 Linguistics 🔗 Linguistics/Applied Linguistics 🔗 Languages 🔗 Constructed languages 🔗 English Language

E-Prime (short for English-Prime or English Prime, sometimes denoted É or E′) is a version of the English language that excludes all forms of the verb to be, including all conjugations, contractions and archaic forms.

Some scholars advocate using E-Prime as a device to clarify thinking and strengthen writing. A number of other scholars have criticized E-Prime's utility.

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🔗 Lojban

🔗 Constructed languages

Lojban (pronounced [ˈloʒban] (listen)) is a constructed, syntactically unambiguous human language created by the Logical Language Group and succeeding the Loglan project.

The Logical Language Group (LLG) began developing Lojban in 1987. The LLG sought to realize Loglan's purposes, and further improve the language by making it more usable and freely available (as indicated by its official full English title, "Lojban: A Realization of Loglan"). After a long initial period of debating and testing, the baseline was completed in 1997, and published as The Complete Lojban Language. In an interview in 2010 with The New York Times, Arika Okrent, the author of In the Land of Invented Languages, stated: "The constructed language with the most complete grammar is probably Lojban—a language created to reflect the principles of logic."

Lojban is proposed as a speakable language for communication between people of different language backgrounds, as a potential means of machine translation and to explore the intersection of human language and software.

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🔗 Ithkuil is an experimental constructed language. Nobody speaks it fluently

🔗 Languages 🔗 Constructed languages

Ithkuil is an experimental constructed language created by John Quijada. It is designed to express deeper levels of human cognition briefly yet overtly and clearly, particularly with regard to human categorization. It is a cross between an a priori philosophical and a logical language. It tries to minimize the vagueness and semantic ambiguity found in natural human languages. Ithkuil is notable for its grammatical complexity and extensive phoneme inventory, the latter being simplified in an upcoming redesign. The name "Ithkuil" is an anglicized form of Iţkuîl, which in the original form roughly means "hypothetical representation of a language". Quijada states he did not create Ithkuil to be auxiliary or used in everyday conversations. He wanted the language to be used for more elaborate and profound fields where more insightful thoughts are expected, such as philosophy, arts, science and politics.

Meaningful phrases or sentences can usually be expressed in Ithkuil with fewer linguistic units than in natural languages. For example, the two-word Ithkuil sentence "Tram-mļöi hhâsmařpţuktôx" can be translated into English as "On the contrary, I think it may turn out that this rugged mountain range trails off at some point". Quijada deems his creation as too complex to have developed naturally, seeing it as an exercise in exploring how languages could function. No person, including Quijada himself, is known to be able to speak Ithkuil fluently. It was featured in the Language Creation Conference's 6th Conlang Relay.

Four versions of the language have been publicized: the initial version in 2004, a simplified version called Ilaksh in 2007, the current version in 2011, and as of 2017, various revisions of a new version of the language, named Ithkuil IV. In 2004—and again in 2009 with Ilaksh—Ithkuil was featured in the Russian-language popular science and IT magazine Computerra. In 2008, David Peterson awarded it the Smiley Award. In 2013, Bartłomiej Kamiński codified the language to be able to quickly parse complicated sentences. Julien Tavernier and anonymous others have followed suit. Since July 2015, Quijada has released several Ithkuil songs in a prog rock style as part of the album Kaduatán, which translates to "Wayfarers". Recently, online communities for the language have developed in English, Russian, Mandarin, and Japanese.

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🔗 Zaum

🔗 Philosophy 🔗 Philosophy/Aesthetics 🔗 Constructed languages

Zaum (Russian: за́умь, lit. 'transrational') are the linguistic experiments in sound symbolism and language creation of Russian Cubo-Futurist poets such as Velimir Khlebnikov and Aleksei Kruchenykh. Zaum is a non-referential phonetic entity with its own ontology. The language consists of neologisms that mean nothing. Zaum is a language organized through phonetic analogy and rhythm. Zaum literature cannot contain any onomatopoeia or psychopathological states.

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  • "Zaum" | 2023-08-18 | 160 Upvotes 46 Comments

🔗 Blissymbols, an Ideographic Writing System

🔗 Disability 🔗 Writing systems 🔗 Constructed languages

Blissymbols or Blissymbolics is a constructed language conceived as an ideographic writing system called Semantography consisting of several hundred basic symbols, each representing a concept, which can be composed together to generate new symbols that represent new concepts. Blissymbols differ from most of the world's major writing systems in that the characters do not correspond at all to the sounds of any spoken language.

Blissymbols was published by Charles K. Bliss in 1949 and found use in the education of people with communication difficulties.

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🔗 Loglan – a predicate logic-based language for humans

🔗 Constructed languages

Loglan is a constructed language originally designed for linguistic research, particularly for investigating the Sapir–Whorf Hypothesis. The language was developed beginning in 1955 by Dr James Cooke Brown with the goal of making a language so different from natural languages that people learning it would think in a different way if the hypothesis were true. In 1960 Scientific American published an article introducing the language. Loglan is the first among, and the main inspiration for, the languages known as logical languages, which also includes Lojban.

Brown founded The Loglan Institute (TLI) to develop the language and other applications of it. He always considered the language an incomplete research project, and although he released many papers about its design, he continued to claim legal restrictions on its use. Because of this, a group of his followers later formed the Logical Language Group to create the language Lojban along the same principles, but with the intention to make it freely available and encourage its use as a real language.

Supporters of Lojban use the term Loglan as a generic term to refer to both their own language, and Brown's Loglan, referred to as "TLI Loglan" when in need of disambiguation. Although the non-trademarkability of the term Loglan was eventually upheld by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, many supporters and members of The Loglan Institute find this usage offensive, and reserve Loglan for the TLI version of the language.

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🔗 Toki Pona – An attempt to understand the meaning of life in 120 words

🔗 Languages 🔗 Constructed languages 🔗 Taoism

Toki Pona is a philosophical artistic constructed language known for its small vocabulary. It was created by Canadian linguist and translator Sonja Lang for the purpose of simplifying thoughts and communication. It was first published online in 2001 as a draft, and later in complete form in the book Toki Pona: The Language of Good in 2014. A small community of speakers developed in the early 2000s. The community grew after the release of the official book and has continued to grow larger since its publication. While activity mostly takes place online in chat rooms, on social media, and in other groups, there were a few organized in-person meetings during the 2010s.

The underlying feature of Toki Pona is minimalism. It focuses on simple universal concepts, making use of very little to express the most. The language is isolating and has 120–125 root words and 14 phonemes that are easy to pronounce across different languages. However, it was not created to be an international auxiliary language. Inspired by Taoist philosophy, the language is designed to help users concentrate on basic things and to promote positive thinking, in accordance with the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis. Despite the small vocabulary, speakers are able to understand and communicate with each other, mainly relying on context and combinations of several words to express more specific meanings.

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🔗 Lincos language

🔗 Constructed languages

Lincos (an abbreviation of the Latin phrase lingua cosmica) is a constructed language first described in 1960 by Dr. Hans Freudenthal in his book Lincos: Design of a Language for Cosmic Intercourse, Part 1. It is a language designed to be understandable by any possible intelligent extraterrestrial life form, for use in interstellar radio transmissions. Freudenthal considered that such a language should be easily understood by beings not acquainted with any Earthling syntax or language. Lincos was designed to be capable of encapsulating "the whole bulk of our knowledge."

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🔗 Solresol

🔗 Languages 🔗 Constructed languages

Solresol (Solfège: Sol-Re-Sol) is a constructed language devised by François Sudre, beginning in 1827. His major book on it, Langue Musicale Universelle, was published after his death in 1866, though he had already been publicizing it for some years. Solresol enjoyed a brief spell of popularity, reaching its pinnacle with Boleslas Gajewski's 1902 publication of Grammaire du Solresol. An ISO 639-3 language code had been requested on 28 July 2017, but was rejected on 1 February 2018.

Today, there exist small communities of Solresol enthusiasts scattered across the world, able to communicate with one another thanks to the Internet.

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🔗 Esperanto, an International Language

🔗 Languages 🔗 Constructed languages 🔗 Constructed languages/Esperanto

Esperanto () is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. It was created by Polish ophthalmologist L. L. Zamenhof in 1887, when he published a book detailing the language, The International Language whose editions in Russian, Polish, German, French and English, under the pseudonym “Doktoro Esperanto” together constitute the “original edition”, usually referred to by Esperantists as “La Unua Libro” (“The First Book”). The word esperanto translates into English as "one who hopes".

Zamenhof's goal was to create an easy and flexible language that would serve as a universal second language to foster world peace and international understanding, and to build a community of speakers, as he believed that one could not have a language without such a community.

His original title for the language was simply "the international language" (lingvo internacia), but early speakers grew fond of the name Esperanto and began to use it as the name for the language just two years after its creation; the name quickly gained prominence and has been used as an official name ever since.

In 1905, Zamenhof published Fundamento de Esperanto as a definitive guide to the language. Later that year, French Esperantists organized with his participation the first World Esperanto Congress, an ongoing annual conference, in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. The first congress ratified the Declaration of Boulogne, which established several foundational premises for the Esperanto movement; one of its pronouncements is that Fundamento de Esperanto is the only obligatory authority over the language; another is that the Esperanto movement is exclusively a linguistic movement and that no further meaning can ever be ascribed to it. Zamenhof also proposed to the first congress that an independent body of linguistic scholars should steward the future evolution of Esperanto, foreshadowing the founding of the Akademio de Esperanto (in part modeled after the Académie française), which was established soon thereafter. Since 1905, the congress has been held in a different country every year, with the exceptions of those years during the World Wars. In 1908, a group of young Esperanto speakers led by the Swiss Hector Hodler established the Universal Esperanto Association in order to provide a central organization for the global Esperanto community.

Esperanto grew throughout the 20th century, both as a language and as a linguistic community. Despite speakers facing persecution in regimes such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union under Stalin, Esperanto speakers continued to establish organizations and publish periodicals tailored to specific regions and interests. In 1954, the United Nations granted official support to Esperanto as an international auxiliary language in the Montevideo Resolution. Several writers have contributed to the growing body of Esperanto literature, including William Auld, who received the first nomination for the Nobel Prize in Literature for a literary work in Esperanto in 1999, followed by two more, in 2004 and 2006. Those writing in Esperanto are also officially represented in PEN International, the worldwide writers association, through Esperanto PEN Centro.

The development of Esperanto has continued unabated into the 21st century. The advent of the Internet has had a significant impact on the language, as learning it has become increasingly accessible on platforms such as Duolingo, and as speakers have increasingly networked on platforms such as Amikumu. With approximately two million speakers, a small portion of whom are even native speakers, it is the most widely spoken constructed language in the world. Although no country has adopted Esperanto officially, Esperantujo is the name given to the collection of places where it is spoken, and the language is widely employed in world travel, correspondence, cultural exchange, conventions, literature, language instruction, television, and radio. Some people have chosen to learn Esperanto for its purported help in third language acquisition, like Latin.

While many of its advocates continue to hope for the day that Esperanto becomes officially recognized as the international auxiliary language, an increasing number have stopped focusing on this goal and instead view the Esperanto community as a "stateless diasporic linguistic minority" based on freedom of association, with a culture worthy of preservation, based solely on its own merit.

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