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Word list




Here are some basic conlanging and linguistics terms.

A word that modifies a noun.   (linguistics; Intermediate)
A word that modifies any part of language except a noun — verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, clauses, sentences.   (linguistics; Intermediate)
A word-part that attaches to words and modifies their meaning.   (linguistics; Beginner, Intermediate)
One of the thematic roles: The participant of a situation that carries out an action.   (linguistics)
The phenomenon of discovering that a weird, supposedly original feature in your conlang already exists in some natural language. Coined in recognition that natural languages regularly turn out to be even more bizarre than what conlangers can devise. Acronym for (sic) another natlang already dunnit except worse.   (conlanging; FAQ)
A posteriori 
Of a feature, borrowed from natural languages rather than invented. Of a conlang, mostly composed of a posteriori features.   (conlanging; Types)
A priori 
Of a feature, invented rather than borrowed from natural languages. Of a conlang, mostly composed of a priori features.   (conlanging; Types)
Alternative history language. An artlang meant to be what some historical natlang would have evolved into in some alternative history.   (conlanging; Types)
Artistic language. A conlang created as art.   (conlanging; Types)
Auxiliary language. A conlang meant as a common second language for people with different native languages.   (conlanging; Types)
Of a noun, its syntactic role in the sentence.   (linguistics; Intermediate)
A pair of words that mark the beginning and end of a modifying phrase.   (linguistics)
Constructed language. A language deliberately invented by someone.   (conlanging; FAQ)
Of a conlang, having its own internal fictional history.   (conlanging; Types)
Engineered language. A conlang designed to meet objective criteria.   (conlanging; Types)
An auxlang whose vocabulary is entirely Indo-European, often entirely Romance.   (conlanging; Types)
Of a verb, how the speaker knows the action happened.   (linguistics; Beginner)
Fictional auxlang. A supposed auxlang created by a character in a fictional setting.   (conlanging; Types)
A way of classifying nouns into groups.   (linguistics; Beginner)
The study of the rules governing the use of a given language.   (linguistics; Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
International Auxillary Language. An auxlang intended for use on an international scale. Auxlangs are almost always IALs, to the point where the two terms are often treated as synonyms.   (conlanging; Types)
Kitchen sink 
Of a conlang, having many exotic features with no apparent reason or overall scheme.   (conlanging; Types)
Logical language. A conlang based on formal logic.   (conlanging; Types)
Of a verb, the possibility and necessity of the verb — whether it happens, might happen, can happen, is commanded to happen, etc.   (linguistics; Beginner, Intermediate)
A word-part that has a meaning of its own.   (linguistics; Intermediate)
The study of the internal structure of words.   (linguistics; Beginner)
Natural language. A human language that occurred naturally, as opposed to a conlang.   (conlanging; FAQ)
A word that denotes a thing (concrete or abstract).   (linguistics; Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Of a noun, how many of the noun there are.   (linguistics; Beginner, Intermediate)
A part of a sentence that specifies a thing secondarily involved in the action of the verb. One of the three main parts of a sentence.   (linguistics)
The correct way of using a specific writing system to write the language.   (linguistics; Beginner, Intermediate)
Rare language type in which the neutral ordering of the three main sentence elements is object-subject-verb. Most natlangs put the subject before the object. OSV natlangs are mostly native to the Amazon basin.   (linguistics; Beginner)
Rare language type in which the neutral ordering of the three main sentence elements is object-verb-subject. Most natlangs put the subject before the object. Some native languages of the Americas are OVS.   (linguistics; Beginner)
One of the thematic roles: The participant of a situation upon whom an action is carried out.   (linguistics)
Of a noun, how it relates to the speaker and the audience.   (linguistics)
The study of the sounds of human speech.   (linguistics)
The study of the sound system of a specific language.   (linguistics)
A word that marks the end of a modifying phrase.   (linguistics)
The study of the ability of natural language speakers to communicate more than what is explicitly stated.   (linguistics; Beginner, Advanced)
A word that marks the start of a modifying phrase.   (linguistics)
A conlang that too closely imitates a pre-existing language. Shortened from relexification.   (conlanging; Types)
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis 
The hypothesis that a person's language affects how they think.   (linguistics; FAQ)
Aspects of meaning, as expressed in language or other systems of signs.   (linguistics)
Common language type in which the neutral ordering of the three main sentence elements is subject-object-verb. About 40% of natlangs are of this type. VOS languages include Latin, Sanskrit, and Japanese.   (linguistics; Beginner)
One of the thematic roles: Only participant of an intransitive clause.   (linguistics)
Common language type in which the neutral ordering of the three main sentence elements is subject-verb-object. About 40% of natlangs are of this type. VOS languages include English, French, Mandarin, and Russian.   (linguistics; Beginner)
Of a conlang, not diachronic.   (conlanging; Types)
The study of how words are arranged into sentences.   (linguistics)
Of a verb, when the action happens — past, present, future, etc.   (linguistics; Beginner, Intermediate)
1. A word that denotes action performed by or on a thing (sometimes, the trivial action of being).
2. The part of a sentence that specifies the central action of the sentence. One of the three main parts of a sentence.   (linguistics)
Of a verb, which participant in the action is the subject — whether the subject does the action, has the action done to it, or does it to itself.   (linguistics)
Rare language type in which the neutral ordering of the three main sentence elements is verb-object-subject. Most natlangs put the subject before the object. Some Austronesian and Mayan languages are VOS.   (linguistics; Beginner)
Language type in which the neutral ordering of the three main sentence elements is verb-subject-object. About 15% of natlangs are of this type. VOS languages include Welsh and classical Arabic.   (linguistics; Beginner)

People and things[edit]

List conlang-related people, organizations, discussion fora, and books (or other works) here. Languages belong in a separate section, below. Most people of interest are likely to be conlangers of note. Books about conlanging are especially likely to be relevant; we probably don't want to try to list every work that uses a conlang, as the list could get unmanageably long. If you think you or your work/forum/whatever should be listed, it's probably best to ask on the talk page for someone else to make that call and, if yes, write the entry.

David J. Peterson 
Co-founder the Language Creation Society, and its president for several years. Has created a number of conlangs for television and movies, including Dothraki for Game of Thrones.   (sister: Wikipedia;  external: page)
Language Creation Conference 
A university-hosted conference on conlanging. Recently, a two-day conference held in odd-numbered years at a university in North America or Europe, except the first one-day in 2006. So far, hosted by universities in North America and Europe.   (external: page)
Language Creation Society 
A non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting conlanging, founded in 2007. Runs the Language Creation Conference.   (external: page)
L.L. Zamenhof 
Creator of Esperanto. 1859–1917. Medical doctor, born of Polish-Lithuanian Jewish parents in an area of partitioned Poland with many ethnic groups at odds with each other; believed a common language could promote peace. His idealism earned him the Esperanto nickname Doktoro Esperanto, meaning Doctor Hopeful, from which the language got its name.   (sister: Wikipedia)
Marc Okrand 
Creator of the Klingon language for the Star Trek franchise, and later the Atlantean language for Disney movie Atlantis: The Lost Empire. US linguist; has studied native American languages.   (sister: Wikipedia)
Smiley Award 
An annual award by David J. Peterson to a noteworthy conlang, given since 2006.   (external: page)


Languages of interest for conlangers, with explanations of why they are of interest. Many are conlangs, but some natlangs are also listed too.

These should be languages that have gotten some attention in the conlanging community; don't list your own conlangs here (unless it's gained some fame/notoriety in the conlanging community). Any conlang that has received a Smiley Award presumably qualifies.

An auxlang created in the late 1800s by L.L. Zamenhof. The most widely spoken conlang; spoken by possibly as many as two million people, spoken natively by about 1000–2000 people. Intended to promote peace through communication. Indo-European; Slavic phonemes, largely Slavic semantics, Roman alphabet, primarily Romance vocabulary.   (wikibook)
An artlang created in the 1980s for the Star Trek franchise by Marc Okrand. Possibly a few dozen fluent speakers; reportedly a couple once taught their son to speak it natively. OSV, agglutinative, sound inventory very guttural-heavy, deliberately skewed toward a war-like mentality.   (wikibook)