Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Constructed Languages



Sites devoted to constructed languages Below is a list of the constructed languages in the LINGUIST List database, accompanied by a brief description and the proposed language code.

Language codes are used in electronic searching for language resources. Since no codes for ancient or constructed languages formerly existed, LINGUIST has augmented the Ethnologue codes for modern languages with codes for constructed languages and ancient languages. These codes are being proposed as a standard to the Open Language Archives Community.

Code Old Code(s) Name FamilyID Description
bzt BZT
CBRT
Brithenig AE An attempt to create the Romance language that might have evolved if Latin speakers had been a sufficient number to displace Celtic as the spoken language of the people in Great Britain.
dws DWS
CDUT
Dutton World Speedwords AE Dutton World Speedwords is intended to be an international auxiliary language that can also be used as a universal shorthand system.
ido IDO
CIDO
Ido AE A simplified form of Esperanto, with modifications provided by another artificial language, Idiom Neutral. It was produced by a committee which included the Danish linguist Professor Otto Jespersen and the French mathematician and philosopher Professor Louis Couturat.
igs IGS
CING
Interglossa AE Interglossa was the work of Prof. Lancelot Hogben of Great Britain, who devised a language whose vocabulary consists entirely of roots from Greek yet whose grammar was borrowed from Chinese. Moribund by the 1960's, it was revived in 1972 by Ronald Clark and Wendy Ashby, who built the new language Glosa upon it.
ldn CLAA
LDN
Láadan AE Suzette Haden Elgin's women's language from her novels. It is now used in other contexts.
jbo LJB
Lojban AE A constructed language. It was originally called Loglan by project founder Dr. James Cooke Brown, who started the language development in 1955. Designed to be culturally neutral, and based on the principles of logic.
nov NOV
CNOV
Novial AE Invented by the famous linguist Otto Jespersen, Novial was conceived in the 1930's as a midground between completely regular constructed languages such as Esperanto and the more unpredictable qualities of a natural language.
occ COCC
OCC
Occidental AE Occidental was invented in the 1920's by an Estonian, Edgar von Wahl/de Wahl who was dissatisfied with the Esperanto movement, feeling that the language was not Western enough. Occidental diverges from its predecessors in that it is based essentially on Romance grammatical patterns, and is not entirely regular, in that -- as in natural languages -- more than one suffix can serve the same role.
qya CQUE
QYA
Quenya AE "The Ancient Tongue". Also called "High-Elven". One of the Elvish languages invented by J. R. Tolkien, and which were ultimately used in his Lord of the Rings cycle. Based loosely on the "feel" of Finnish, though in the mythos it is related to Sindarin, which is based on the "feel" of Welsh.
rmv CROM
RMV
Romanova AE An artificial language based on the four major Romance languages: Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. Designed to make it easy for Romance speakers to communicate.
sjn CSIN
Sindarin AE "The Noble Tongue". Also called "Grey-Elven". One of the Elvish languages invented by J. R. Tolkien, and which were ultimately used in his Lord of the Rings cycle. Based loosely on the "feel" of Welsh, though in the mythos it is related to Quenya, which is based on the "feel" of Finnish. Originally called Golgodrin or "Gnomish". Its later, heavily revised, form was called Noldorin.
tlh CKLI
tlhIngan-Hol AE The Klingon Language was invented by linguist Marc Okrand for Paramount Pictures Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and has been used in subsequent movies and television shows.
vol VLO
Volapük AE Invented by Johann Martin Schleyer, a Catholic priest in Baden, Volapük was the first constructed language to achieve some success. Its aim was to provide a neutral medium for international exchange. A description of the language was published in 1880, and hundreds of Volapük societies soon grew up. The language, though completely agglutinative and regular, was very complex, with a nominal case system and verbs which marked person, gender, number, tense, mood and voice. Perhaps because of this complexity, it ultimately failed, though it provided a foundation for the Esperanto movement that shortly followed.