Constructing languages

A few years ago I went to the 6th Language Creation Conference in Horsham, near London.

Participants in the 6th Language Creation Conference in Horsham
I am in the second row, second from the right (next to David J. Peterson)

At the time I had created a few alphabets but didn’t plan to create any languages. However, since the conference I have been dabbling with ideas for a conlang.

The language I’m working on is called Laala. It’s an isolating language, like Chinese, so there are no grammatical inflections. The word order is VSO (Verb, Subject Object), like Celtic languages. Basic words are mostly one syllable. In two syllable words the vowel in the first syllable (if there is one) can be long, e.g. teete (everything) – te = thing. Some consonants can be long as well, such as mm (to like, good, fine, happy), and mmm (to love, adore, joy).

Some words are omomatopeic (they sound something like the thing or action they represent), e.g. zz = sleep; ff = wind, air; and hh = cold.

I try to keep the basic vocabulary to a minimum, like Toki Pona, so many words have multiple meanings, and words are based on simple roots. For example, ss = fire, light; ka = big; ki = small, nu = time, nuu = long time. So sska = sun, sski = moon, sskanu = day, sskinu = night, and nuuka = year.

My aims for this language are to have fun playing with it, to learn more about how languages work, and to create something that sounds interesting when spoken and sung. I don’t expect anybody else to learn Laala, and it certainly isn’t intended as a international auxiliary language like Esperanto.

I have put together a page of phrases in Laala. The phrases may change as the language develops.

In the past I’ve only posted details of conlangs on Omniglot if they are written with an original and interesting alphabet or other writing system. I’m now thinking of creating a separate section of the site, or even a separate site for conlangs and constructed scripts. What do you think?

Have you created any languages that you’d like to see on Ominglot?

One thought on “Constructing languages

  1. I creted two languages years ago – haven’t visited them recently but used to use them. one, Nidor, which is definitely Indo-European – an independent branch though – comes in Epic, Biblical/Clawssic and Modern modes Another, Dhevel, is an isolate agglutinative/incorporative tongue, part of the Nidor substrate – oh yes, and a Romance language minority language heavily influenced by Nidor. May take it all up again full-time when I retire.

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