Conlang

The Conlang Flag is a symbol of conlanging, designed by the community at the CONLANG mailing list.  It depicts the Tower of Babel against a rising sun.  Like the Tower, conlangs are built piece by piece, and their construction is an open-ended process.

Conlanging is the art of creating languages. People create languages — conlangs — for all sorts of reasons: practical, theoretical, and artistic. This book will show you how. There are three parts, each aimed at a different level of experience; they are intended to be read in order, but more proficient readers may skip earlier sections.

  • The Beginner level takes you through the steps of creating a conlang, without a lot of technical details or technical terms. With the help of this level, you can create an interesting conlang that doesn't accidentally copy the sound and feel of your native language.
  • The Intermediate level takes you through the parts of a language, avoiding really esoteric technical details and terms, but providing a systematic working knowledge of the building blocks from which conlangs are made. With the help of this level, you can create conlangs with added depth.
  • The Advanced level explores language features and techniques that can give a conlang extra flair. With the help of this level, you can create conlangs that are sophisticated, exotic, or even downright alien.
     

[help] [edit] Table of Contents

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Appendices

Other resourcesEdit

[edit] State of the Book

For each module, the table of contents shows an icon indicating subjectively how complete that module is:

0% developed  as of 3 January 2008  The module doesn't exist yet, or near enough.

25% developed  as of 3 January 2008  Content and organization has yet to be fully decided.

50% developed  as of 3 January 2008  The information is scattered, incomplete, or may be unreliable.

75% developed  as of 3 January 2008  Much of the information is there, but it needs to be touched up or organised. This is still usable.

100% developed  as of 3 January 2008  The information is essentially complete. However, additions and improvements can still be made.

[edit] How to contribute

  • The phonetic notation in this book is CXS (Conlang X-SAMPA). (The choice of CXS was discussed in this talk thread.)

You may contribute any linguistic knowledge you have, but

  • keep in mind this book is a tutorial for anyone wishing to create a language — which is a bit different from a tutorial on linguistics.
  • think about which level your knowledge belongs on. For example, the Beginner level tries to keep technical terms to a bare minimum, so if it can't be said without those, maybe it's at least Intermediate. Also keep in mind that because this is a conlanging book, technical linguistic knowledge is liable to go at a higher level here than it would in a linguistics book.

A high-quality module will be easy to understand while going in-depth, and will explain early and often how it could be used in a conlang. Examples are important, and detailed explanations are great things to have, without being redundant or droning on. So get out there and write some great modules!


Last modified on 11 January 2014, at 20:10