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Wil sha![edit]

Welcome to the WikiBook on Láadan!

The purpose of this WikiBook is to provide a resource for learning Láadan that is under a Creative Commons license. There exist other resources, but may be expensive (the original print book) or hard to find (lessons on webpages that have since gone down), but due to lack of licenses being stated in the works, they cannot be freely shared and preserved.

As a creative commons work, you are free to use this WikiBook as you wish. Please share, add, and help keep Láadan alive!



Láadan is a constructed language created by Suzette Haden Elgin in 1982. The Láadan language appears in the book series Native Tongue. Both the language and the book series were created in order to explore questions about language and culture. [1]

The language itself was built for women, for the specific purpose of expressing the perceptions of women. [1] However, it is not meant only for women - it can be used by whomever, even though the language was created specifically with women in mind. [2]

Native Tongue[edit]

Native Tongue is a three-book science fiction series, created as a ten-year experiment, along with the language created "within" the series, Láadan. [3]

Native Tongue is set in the 22nd century, where the Equal Rights Amendment was defeated in the 1980s. At the same time, Earth is dealing with many alien species, and has need for translators.

These translators come from special "Linguist lines", whose lives revolve around studying alien languages and acting as interpreters.

Within one of the Linguist houses, a group of women secretly construct a language for women...

Suzette Haden Elgin[edit]

Suzette Haden Elgin (1936-2015) was a linguist and sci-fi author. She first began writing science fiction novels to help her pay for tuition for grad school. She taught linguistics at San Diego State University until 1980. [3]

Learning Láadan[edit]

Part 1: Basic Sentences

  1. Sounds, tones, and euphony
  2. What is it? What is it doing?
  3. Speech Act morpheme, Evidence morpheme, and verb negation
  4. Time, adjectives, and plurals
  5. Pronous, objects, and multiple verbs, to try to [VERB]

Part 2: Relations

  1. The Goal and Source markers (to, from)
  2. The Association marker and Beneficiary marker (with, for)
  3. The Instrument marker and the Location marker (per/by means of, at)
  4. The Manner marker, the Reason marker, and the Purpose marker (in this manner, because, in order to)
  5. The Path marker (Through, across)

Part 3: Perception

  1. Ways to perceive
  2. Possession markers
  3. Relationships
  4. Degree markers
  5. Duration markers and Repetition morphemes
  6. State of Consciousness
  7. Additions to the Speech Act morphemes
  8. Noun declensions

Part 4: Additional

  1. Who, what, when, where, why?
  2. Embedding sentences
  3. Passive voice


Grammar Reference[edit]

Grammar Reference

A quick-reference list of grammar rules and examples.

Phrase Book[edit]

Phrase Book

A list of categorized phrases in Láadan

Word Lists[edit]

Word Lists

Categorized word lists to quickly find useful words.

Practice Material[edit]



Short stories for practicing reading Láadan text

Additional Resources[edit]

Authors and contributors[edit]

This Wikibook is written by:


  1. a b A First Dictionary and Grammar of Láadan 2nd Edition, Suzette Haden Elgin
  2. http://laadanlanguage.org/node/21
  3. a b http://www.sfwa.org/members/elgin/