Thursday, September 30, 2004

Artistic language

An artistic language (or artlang) is a constructed language (conlang) designed for aethestic pleasure. Unlike logical languages or auxiliary languages, artistic languages usually have irregular grammar systems, much like natural languages. Many are designed for conworlds, such as J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth and Mark Rosenfelder's Almea. Others represent fictional minority languages in a world not patently different from the real world, or have no particular fictional background attached.
There are several different schools of artlangs. The most important is the naturalist school, which seeks to imitate the complexity and historicity of natural languages. However, there are also artlangers who do not care about naturalness, but follow a more abstract style.

1 Genres of artlangs
2 Examples of artistic languages
2.1 Professional2.2 Amateur
3 See also
4 External links

Genres of artlangs
Several different genres of conlangs are classified as artlangs. An artistic language may fall into any one of these groups, depending on the aim of its use.
By far the largest group of artlangs are fictional languages. Fictional languages are intended to be the languages of a fictional world, and are often designed with the intent of giving more depth and an appearance of plausibility to the fictional worlds with which they are associated. By analogy with the word "conlang", the term conworld is used to describe these worlds, inhabited by fictional concultures. The conworld influences vocabulary (what words the language will have for flora and fauna, articles of clothing, objects of technology, religious concepts, names of places and tribes, etc.), as well as influencing other factors such as pronouns, or how their cultures view the break-off points between colors or the gender and age of family members. Professional fictional languages are used for a book, movie, television show, video game, comic, toy or musical album, such as Middle Earth, the Star Trek universe, or the game Myst. Internet-based fictional languages are hosted along with their conworlds on the Internet, and based at these sites, becoming known to the world through the visitors to these sites; Verdurian, the language of Mark Rosenfelder's Verduria on the planet of Almea, is a flagshp Internet-based fictional language. Many other fictional languages and their associated conworlds are created privately by their inventor, known only to the inventor or perhaps a few friends. The term fictional diachronic language describes fictional languages that are invented in large families and have their fictional history traced over time, with a proto-language used to derive ancestors.
Altlangs speculate on an alternate history and try to reconstruct how a family of natural languages would have evolved in things had been different (e.g. What if Greek civilization went on to thrive without a Roman Empire, leaving Greek and not Latin to develop several modern descendants?) The language that would have evolved is then traced step by step in its evolution, to reach its final form. An altlang will typically base itself on the core vocabulary of one language and the phonology of another. The best-known language of this category is Brithenig, which started off the interest among Internet conlangers in altlanging. Brithenig attempts to determine what Romance languages would have evolved into had the Romans made it to Great Britain, replacing Celtic languages, and bases its phonology on that of Welsh.
Micronational languages are the languages created for use in micronations. Having the citizens learn the language is as much a part of participating in the micronation as minting coins and stamps or participating in government. The members of these micronations meet up and speak the language they have learned when they are participating in these meets. They coin new words and grammatical constructions when needed. Talossan, from R. Ben Madison's Kingdom of Talossa, is by far the best-known example of a micronational language.
The term personal language refers to languages that are created for the ultimate purpose of creating a language. There is no conworld that a personal language is associated with, no people whom the creator actually expects to speak it, no product that will be manufactured in its language. The language exists as a work of art. A personal language may be invented for the purpose of having a beautiful language, for self-expression, as an exercise in understanding linguistic principles, or perhaps as an attempt to create a language with an extreme phonemic inventory or system of verbs. Personal languages tend to have short lifespans, and are often displayed on the Internet and discussed on message boards much like Internet-based fictional languages. They are often invented in large numbers by the people who design these languages.
The term jokelang is often used for conlangs created as jokes. These may be languages intended primarily to sound funny, such as DiLingo, or for some type of satire, often as satire on some aspect of constructed languages.

Examples of artistic languages
Artistic languages include languages of fictional worlds and peoples and for alternate histories, languages for micronations, languages created for humor and self-amusement and languages created for the pleasure of inventing a language.

The following languages were professionally published in books or multimedia.
Atlantean language, in the Disney movie Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Babel-17, in Babel-17 by Samuel Delany
Baronh, language of Abh in Seikai no Monsho (Crest of the Stars) and others, by Morioka Hiroyuki
Bluddian, from the game "Captain Blood" by Cryo Interactive Entertainment
Codex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini appears to be written in a constructed language which is presumably the language of the alien civilization the book describes
Divine Language, spoken by Leeloo in The Fifth Element
Drac, language of alien species in Barry B. Longyear's The Enemy Papers
D'ni, the language spoken by the subterranean D'ni people in the Myst series of games and novels
Furbish, the language of the Furby plush toy (Furbish at (
Gargish language, used in the Ultima computer game series, by the gargoyle race
Glide, created by Diana Reed Slattery, used by the Death Dancers of The Maze Game
Kesh, spoken by the Kesh people in Ursula Le Guin's Always Coming Home
Klingon, in the Star Trek movie and television series, created by Mark Okrand
Kobaian, from the fictional planet created by French musician Christian Vander and the language sung by his progressive rock band Magma
Láadan, in Suzette Haden Elgin's science fiction novel Native Tongue and sequels
Languages of Middle-earth: Sindarin, Quenya, Khuzdûl, and others in the books by J. R. R. Tolkien
Lapine, in Watership Down by Richard Adams
Marain, in The Culture novels of Ian M. Banks
Nadsat slang, in A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Newspeak, in Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
Pravic and Iotic, in The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin
Syldavian, in some of Hergé's Tintin stories
Utopian language, appearing in a poem by Petrus Gilles in a poem accompanying Thomas More's Utopia
Several languages spoken by Panurgue in Rabelais' Pantagruel (1532)

Arovën, also a logical language, spoken in fictional Aroël, by Joshua Shinavier
Brithenig, created by the inventor of the alternate history of Ill Bethisad, Andrew Smith
Kélen, by Sylvia Sotomayor
Talossan language, by R. Ben Madison
Teonaht, by Sally Caves
Tokana, by Matthew Pearson
Toki Pona, by Sonja Elen Kisa
Verdurian, one of several languages created for the fictional planet of Almea by Mark Rosenfelder
Wenedyk (Venedic in English), a language of the alternate history of Ill Bethisad created by Jan van Steenbergen

See also
Fictional language
Constructed language

External links (
A Constructed Languages Library
Conlang Profiles at (
Retrieved from ""
Categories: Constructed languages

For more information please visit Wikipedia

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