Having decided to embark on the pointless and Quixotic task of creating my own conlang, the obvious question was what to call it? I chose to call it Pixie out of whimsy. It's simple, easy to remember, and if you can have languages for elves, goblins, Vulcans and Klingons, why not a language for Pixies too?
As I'm new at this, I thought I'd start a thread so other people can offer ideas and suggestions that I might not have thought of otherwise. Also so I can share it with others (assuming anyone is interested).
So if you have any advice for me, or ideas that you'd like to see made part of a language, please feel free to speak up. I might not follow all the advice and suggestions I'm given, but I'll at least think it through.
I'm also planning to put details of the language on a website.
The address is: http://www.deadsquirrel.net/pixie
At the moment it's mostly got the same information I'm providing here, although it does have additional information about the Pixie calendar, and more details and history of the Pixie numbering system. (I'm not putting that information here, because this post is going to be far too long as it is.)
It's also got a True-Type font for the Pixie script:
Here's what I have so far...Symbols: See first attachment.Letters
The sixteen letters shown above will be be given names consisting of a consonant followed by a vowel (I haven't named them yet).
When the letter is written in the "high" position, it represents the consonant from it's name, and when written in the "low" position, it represents the vowel from it's name. Essentially, there are thirty-two phonemes represented by sixteen symbols.
The Pixie letters may be represented by the Latin letters from K to Z. Upper-case represents the "high" position, and lower-case the "low" positon. Letters are written from left to right.Numbers
A hexadecimal numbering system is used.
The top-left numeral in the chart represents zero.Punctuation
The most common punctuation marks are shown in the chart, with the dots being the most significant. One dot represents a short pause (similar to a comma), two dots represents a long pause (similar to a period/full-stop, but does not necessarily represent the end of a sentence) and three dots represents an indefinite pause (indicating the end of the body of text).
The presence of three dots at the end of a body of text should not be confused with the use of ellipsis in English. The symbol that most closely fills the role of ellipsis is the "trailing off" symbol which can be seen at the far right of the top line of punctuation marks.
The "trailing off" symbol is used within a sentence to suggest an absence or omission, or at the end of a paragraph to suggest that the text continues elsewhere, either in the following paragraph after a dramatic pause, or in a different location indicated by the sentence that immediately follows the paragraph. In cases where ellipsis would sometimes be used to indicate a pause, using two dots to indicate a long pause should be used instead.Introductory Glyphs
In the Pixie language, every body of text begins with an introductory glyph. These glyphs are used as a cue to give the reader an indication of the nature of the text that follows. These glyphs are unvoiced, never read out loud. They are closer in nature to punctuation than letters.
Newspaper articles, short stories, letters, diary entries, chapters of books, etc, should always begin with an introductory glyph and end with an indefinite pause.
Headings, dates, bylines, addresses, short notes, ect, do not need to be preceeded with an introductory glyph.
The introductory glyphs shown above are used as follows:
1. General-Purpose neutral
2. Personal, non-intimate
3. Personal, intimate
4. Translation or oral tradition
5. Raw record of facts & figures
6. Dictation, transcription or record
7. Recollections of past events
8. Fiction Character Set: See second attachment.Pixie Character Set
At the dawn of the digital age, America created the ASCII character set as a standard for text communication in English. This was shortly followed by other nations creating variations of this adapted for use with their own language. Naturally, Pixies did the same with their language. (Just because they're tiny magical fairytale creatures doesn't mean they can't use modern technology.)
Immediately apparent is the usefulness of this chart for romanticizing the Pixie language. One needs only to locate the Pixie symbol on the chart (yellow) and substitute the ASCII equivalent (blue).
Pixie text files that use this chacter set use the PXT filename extension. Since the contol codes are the same as ASCII, these files can also be opened and edited with a standard ASCII text editor.
If you examine the chart, you may notice that the PICSII symbols equivalent to the letters A to F are identical for both upper and lower-case. This is deliberate, so that hexadecimal values represented as letters in English will be displayed with the correct Pixie symbol regardless of case.
At first glance it may appear that the PICSII symbols represented by the letters K to Z are also identical to for both upper and lower case, but closer inspection will show that the symbols are positioned at different heights.Syntax
I want to get the phonemes settled before I start worrying about sentence structure, but I recently read this...
Word order typology is the classification of languages by how certain types of words are ordered relative to one another in a sentence or constituent. The most common word order typological classification is the order of subjects (the noun that is verbing), objects (the noun that is getting verbed), and verbs (the action) within a sentence. Since there are three types of words, we have six possible configurations: VSO, SVO, SOV, VOS, OVS, OSV. In surveys of natural languages, the first three, with the subject preceding the object, are overwhelmingly used as the normal declarative word order, the latter three comprising lower single digit percentages.
Since it's most common to put the subject before the object, I thought about bucking the trend by putting the object before the subject. Trying it out, I think I like the result. The sentences have an odd Yoda-like feel to them.
For example, instead of "John will kick the bucket", you'd say "Kick the bucket will John".
Then I had another idea, to seperate the tense from the verb.
"John will kick the bucket" / "Kick the bucket will John".
"John kicked the bucket" / "Kick the bucket did John".
"John is kicking the bucket" / "Kick the bucket does John".
Repeated or ongoing action could be indicated by pluralizing the verb.
"John was busy kicking the bucket" / "Kicks the bucket was John occupied."
"John will be kicking the bucket for an hour" /
"Kicks the bucket for an hour will John."
It could be an interesting way to set up a language.