ConLangs are Constructed Languages - that is, languages created by a person or a group of people, for any of a variety of reasons. Quenya and Klingon are two examples, both used to provide a little more background to a fictional environment. Esperanto is another example. You could consider programming languages to be conlangs, albeit of a rather restricted sort. Some are created for storytelling purposes, some for communication, some for fun, and some for more strange reasons.

The creation of a conlang generally falls into several categories (not necessarily in this order): sound (or phoneme) selection, grammar construction, and vocabulary construction. A simple language could decide to keep the same set of sounds that English uses, thus also making it trivial to construct a typeable alphabet (many conlangs feature a complete set of new symbols, of course).

[The Language Construction Kit] - a good introduction to ConLangs

ChainMaille is creating a conlang called Se. Its goals are that it be easy to learn, flexible, and aesthetically pleasing, as defined by the author. Se has a somewhat limited sound selection as compared to English; it has six vowels and 16 consonants. Words in Se all (with the exception of metawords (conjunctions, prepositions, and the like)) perform triple duty as verbs, nouns, and adjectives depending on position. Verbs are all conjugated in the same way, irrespective of tense or the nature of the subject (male, female, singular, plural). There is no verb "to be". Basically I'm going for a language that makes reasonable intuitive sense, so long as intuition doesn't make for horrible complexity later down the line. Some examples of sentences in Se:

 "Dlosi si mgayu tajesoba bwokanu Se, doni mdasu dsiku waekanu."
 <subject>Message this <verb>forces to expand <direct object>vocabulary Se, but <verb>take <subject>time many. 
 This sentence has forced me to expand the vocabulary of Se, but it's taking much time.

 "Mgerite byu, mani yi"
 <verb>Greet <implied subject>I <direct object>you friend mine
 I greet you, my friend

Anyway, you get the idea, I hope. Your average sentence in Se has four components: the verb, subject, any direct objects, and any indirect objects. These four types are indicating by prefixed letters - M, D, B, and K respectively. Any words following the prefixed word are modifiers on that prefix. Thus "Dsiku waekanu" indicates a subject, "time" with the adjective "many" or "much". There is no strict word order aside from the fact that modifiers must follow directly the words that they modify; a sentence in Se can put the verb, subject, or objects first. The default order is VSO (verb, subject, object).

Anyway, that's enough rambling about my language. I expect RyanRiegel at least to stop wanking about his language and put something up here, and at some point I'll get around to adding links to sites that explain or feature more information about conlangs.

A discussion in RyanRiegel's room led to the idea of a language whose alphabet is symmetric across the vertical axis (i.e. it has left-right symmetry). The point of this is that people read and write more efficiently if their eyes or hands move in an "S" across the page, so a symmetric alphabet will let people do that without worrying about mirror-writing and what-not.

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