‘Conlangs’ Category Archives

31
Dec

New Title!

by Geckat in Conlangs, Minor, Site

Except not!  It’s pronounced the same, I just decided I really don’t like /ɕ/ as a distinctive phoneme in Taðýric.  It’s just too noisy, so instead I’m having it only appear in palatalizing environments (ie before /i/).  Fun with phonotactics.

3
Dec

Lutrin? Oekin!

by Geckat in Conlangs, Minor

I’m finally changing Lutrin’s name.  When my friend and I came up with the idea, we weren’t planning on doing a whole lot with it except for some private writing, so yeah, why not be lazy and just name a race off of their literal translation in Latin?  Now, though, Ipakha has its own name as a canon, and has publications, so I think it’s time we glazed over our laziness and at least gave them a unique name.

Being a tribal society, those-who-were-formerly-known-as-Lutrin would probably name themselves something very egocentric when asked: typically, these societies call themselves things like “the first people,” like in my own beloved Blackfoot (niitsitapi), or, indeed, just “people”.  In the case of ex-Lutrin, the translation of this would be oekinmerel, but because I want my names to be shorter and so more memorable, I am just going to stick with “people”.  This would be oekinel, which I believe I will continue to use as an endonym, but because encroachers rarely properly use inflections, if they use the native language at all (or even a translation: ‘Blackfoot’ is lucky; there are nations close by that wound up being called ‘Carrier’ or ‘Slave’ by translated exonyms), I will drop the plural suffix and make the common name of the people and language Oekin.

My friend, bless him, likes it particularly because it ends with -kin.

21
Oct

Ipakha and Lutrin Culture

by Geckat in Conlangs, Minor

Ipakha, the universe for which Lutrin is being created, is finally getting written as a story.  The first couple chapters written thusfar (by me; my collaborator is still working out things on their end) are about the Lutrins, either in part or in full.  This means that, especially in the case of the second, their language finally sees some real use, which is very exciting to me.

The first is titled Sinking of the SSS Dungong, and follows two Lutrins aboard a sinking landship, a hybrid of comedy and tragedy and a lot of in-line exposition.

The second is A Sacrifice to Child Lake, which tells the bloody, sordid story of one Lutrin’s mother, and illustrates the tribal nature of these otter-like people.

More to come, very soon, in Ipakha.

3
Jul

Mantis

by Geckat in Conlangs, Major

So, I’ve been playing a lot of a game called “FTL: Faster Than Light”. It’s an indie roguelike developed by Subset Games in which you command a space vessel with a mission to deliver vital information to Federation Headquarters. You deal with ships and colonies in distress, get attacked by pirates, slip through nebulae, evade erupting supergiant stars, engage in diplomacy, hire (and lose) crew, ship systems, weaponry…all while the huge rebel fleet is only a few FTL jumps away in hot pursuit of you and your intel.

It’s hellishly difficult most of the time, especially given its roguelike status — that is, there is no saving and reloading; if your ace pilot ends up being eaten by giant alien spiders, that’s your problem to deal with. Of course, though, what I always find the most enjoyable is the lore and text, of which there is a lot. I smiled, I laughed, I furiously threw objects, and most of all I came across two words — names — that are relevant to this blog.

Urggghtnag, a hunting clan.
KazaaakplethKilik, a dreaded space pirate.

These are, as far as I’ve seen, the only instances of foreign languages in the game, and both are of the “Mantis” race: a bloodthirsty insectoid species who specialize in boarding your ship and carving up your less exoskeletal crew members in melee combat. My first reaction upon reading these names was: those are absolutely absurd.  Three A’s?  Three G’s, even?  And a capital K thrown in the middle for good measure?

My second reaction was…I can totally make this work.

So, I’ve started to make this work: The Mantis language is now in my projects wiki, in which I churn out geminates, nuclear fricatives, click consonants, and a full three levels of phonemic vocalic length.  My first goal of creating a viable translation and gloss of those two names has been met: our hunting clan is now unofficially “The Great Thorax” clan, and the most feared pirate in the sector was christened “You Will Resonate In Glory” in typical synthetic language style.  I had particular fun thinking of examples of phonemic vocalic length: zhiKik “you yell” – zhiiKik “you negotiate” – zhiiiKik “you run electricity through (something)”.  What else would you need three I’s for but electrocution?  That’s what I thought, too.

I’ll continue to work on this and Taðýric in my spare time, when I’m not grinding out half-hour poems for the amusement of my friends — or, of course, having my crew shredded by giant geminating bugs.

31
Mar

Lutrin – Demonstratives and Copula (aka What Is THAT?)

by Geckat in Conlangs, Minor

A few days ago I worked on Lutrin a little more, because my main partner in crime in writing who commissioned (see: made me want to create) Lutrin got me excited again.

I realized that throughout Lutrin’s development hitherto it has not really used the verb “to be”. This verb rarely appears in Genesis 11:1-9, the only text I’ve translated into Lutrin, which makes me wonder if I should change my benchmark first translation; where it does appear, it’s in the present tense, third person.

Because I’m not just writing this conlang for myself but also for another person who really isn’t a linguist and has no experience as far as I know with learning second languages, I tried to keep it simple and used the aspect/mood infixed morphemes as the roots of their respective copular inflections. It means the copula isn’t irregular at all, apart from the infinitive, but given the amount of inflection in the language I think this can be realistic.

Demonstratives, on the other hand, have nothing to regulate to. I based them on the e/o alternation found throughout Lutrin when it comes to gender and smashed paradigms together until there were only five different proximal demonstratives that agree with both gender and case. Once again, in the interest of keeping things sort of simple without making Lutrin an English clone or a “logical” language, I formed the distal just with a single non-syllabic suffix.

Now I just need more things to translate.

28
Mar

Taðýric

by Geckat in Conlangs, Major, Site

After several years of working on Mésylþo, I have decided to scrap it in favour of working on a similarly inspired but new project called Taðýric. The reason I did this was the decision that to make a language beautiful it must be natural-sounding and not just contain the elements that I find pleasing.

Taðýric’s morphology is largely the same as Mésylþo’s, but its morphemes are influenced by a relatively new phonology, particularly new phonotactics. Most importantly, plosives have been added, and more consonant clusters recognized. I’ve also added a standard for diphthongization in morpheme combining that should allow for the language to remain quite regular without compromising for strange combinations of vowels at morpheme boundaries despite the language’s large and relatively free vowel inventory.

Due to Mésylþo’s death, this site has been renamed in Taðýric, with the same meaning as it had previously. The pronunciation is [ˈɕaːʁataˌðyːʁɛθ], for those interested, and the meaning… well, I’ll leave the translation to you.

Best,