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We talk a little about what we like and dislike about alien languages — and what concepts we think are actually likely to work.  Then we reveiw Ebisédian.

Top of Show Greeting: Cardonian

Conlang: Ebisédian

Feedback:

Five-Star Reviews:

Great for both people interested in conlanging and linguistics in general

by stingerbrg

I’m fairly new at the conlanging hobby, so I don’t know much about languages, but this podcast has really helped me. Their discussions of different aspects of language has taught me more than I ever learned in my college linguistics class, and their evaluations of created languages helps to see those aspects put in relation to other aspects. Even if you don’t conlang yourself, the segments on the parts of language are informational enough to be quite enjoyable. This is always one of the first podcasts I listen to in a week, and that’s not just because they are good at regularly updating on Mondays.

Great!

by Heylola2

I’m into conlanging, and I find this very enjoyable to listen to, even when I’m not doing anything with conlangs. Some of the things said in each podcast inspire me to add to my conlang. I love it :]

Tweet from @AmazonDiaspora@conlangery Have you guys ever experimented in mixing tense and aspect into one concept? I did and it created a weird PoV verb meaning.

9 Responses to “Conlangery #23: Alien Languages”

  1. Solarius

    Good Episode. One little nitpick. George says the name of the language Fith is Frath.

    Reply
  2. Andrew J Smith

    In my opinion, a good example of an alien language is Dritok (the “sound of no voice speaking” by Donald Boozer) or Rikchik (a multi-tentacled sign language by Denis Moskowitz).

    Reply
  3. Cameron Sojak

    Yeah!!! You used my opening!!!

    Anyway, i liked this episode. I don’t neccisarilly enjoy alien langauges, but i can deal with them. I like how you guys look at them.

    Reply
  4. Rejistania

    I am creating an alien language as a side project, and the question of usability or usefulness kinda annoyed me. L’art pour l’art all the way 🙂

    Reply
    • admin

      Yes, of course, if you don’t care about those things then go wild. It’s just that certain alien language tropes can be a little unfeasible, and using a language in fiction of course has its own demands.

      Reply
  5. Latinist13

    Salvete mi omnes amici!

    Latinator XIII (Latinist13) sum. In reference to the alien langs, I think the following post by Okuno on ZBB’s C&C Quickies forum might be relevant. It was Lithray’s thread on Novel Case systems.

    “Maybe I’m just sour grapes because I can’t think of a scheme I’d want to use, but…

    For the most part, it seems like more than three things is generally superfluous. Binary relations (which include the relation (verb) and two parameters in a particular order (subject, object)) can do wonderful, infinite things.

    I mean, all the stuff I see suggested here could reasonably be handled by an existing case, it’s just that inmost langs, that argument is oblique. If Elkaril makes all those five things obligatory, then it’s not so different from requiring the verb to be volitive and making every sentence have an “in order to…” phrase. Obviously, he must have an easy way to express those things, but it’s not so mind-bending.

    I mean, just don’t forget about all those oblique arguments and periphrasitcs. So you want to include a reason? It’ll probably be more than just one NP, so it’ll usually look like a dependent clause, woo. You want to encode the path of an action? Sounds like the ever-exotic English’s feature of being satellite-framed: “I’ll run back down.” <.<

    Maybe I can think of a scheme, though:
    * What happened?
    * What allowed the event to happen?
    * What volition caused it to happen?

    Notice, there's no explicit subject or object, just method, opportunity and motivation. A subject is easy enough to introduce with a possesive, and an object can even be worked in with some shenanigans:
    Poisoning: Thomson's greed, his grandmother's nightcap.
    "Thomson poisoned his grandmother's nightcap for the inheritance."
    Dramatic as it might be, it's a very engineered language by any measure."
    — Okuno

    I thought I would re-post it here as food for thought before C&C Quickies goes through the purge cycle. I just find it so intriguing, that I might borrow the idea for a future language!

    Reply
  6. Anthony

    Back when I was in the readership, I was a witness to an authorized formation of an Atevi/English Dictionary, based (and extrapolated from) the books by CJ Cherryh. (the person leading the effort, previously made an English/Kiffish and English/Hani dictionaries)

    and the 10×10-speaking aliens were the t’ca and the chi. just so you know.

    Reply
  7. wolf

    In answer to Bianca’s wish to be able to say ‘niece and nephew’, in Esperanto you can say “genevoj”, to refer to both a niece and a nephew, in an epicene fashion. For parents, you have ‘gepatroj’, for brother and sister, you have ‘gefratoj’, etc.

    And you can remove the ‘j’ to make it a singular epicene word (referring to either/or).

    Reply

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