More on Conlanging

by johannespunkt

The language of the Cekno has evolved! (See /2012/12/14/thoughts-on-conlanging/ for context.)

With the help of @kerastion (Rob Mitchelmore), @drakekin, and @eleniturner (Lily Newman), the language is going places and it is exciting.

Prototype of what the language would look like, by @drakekin. Isn’t it pretty?

It still is not anything you can communicate with, but it has ideas! There is a Glossary of Definitions you can check out: /glossary/idiosyncratic-glossary/. You can also check out drakekin’s work at his ministry-of-plenty.co.uk/, or his version of the glossary (with glyphs!) here: …pages/a-cekno-dictionary.html.

Some cool words from it are the word for light or photons, which I aim to make as diverse and difficult as the Greek λόγος (logos), or the Latin re. One can dream, right? Also the word for waiting, without knowing something is going to happen. It is almost always a retroactive verb, for saying things like ‘I waited for the reaper to come (having never heard of the reaper before he came)’ where the bracketed part is only implied. Can be used in present-tense if one is very careful.

I have the tendency to do these things depth first, so some of the word areas are a bit overthought. I believed I would be able to add at least 300 simple words before encountering vast philosophical problems like, How does a raging furnace see beyond its own light?, or, What is death? But nope. So with a pretty good amount of words, though not enough to tell any kind of story, we have to consider the grammar.

In the glossary, I’ve got a bunch of different classes of words: noun, verb, adjective, adverb, suffix, prefix and position/interfix. The Ministry of Plenty wisely cuts this down to ‘verb, noun, modifier’ and I might take the same route when I scrub it the next time. I am also considering going back on the verb-object-subject thing. This is mostly due to everything being several abstractions away from me already, and I can’t handle the world at especially high Cuil levels.

Some of the problems/questions I am trying to solve/answer are detailed below:

  • What determines wether something is a prefix or a suffix?
  • How do adjectives and other modifiers work?
  • What is the actual divider that separates one word from another?
  • In what order did the Cekno hirself come up with the language? (This would help in figuring out what to do next)
  • Are there any grammatical tenses?
  • How about grammatical genders?
  • How does the language deal with describing a thing the speaker has not encountered before (an Out of Context Problem)? (comparison/new names/rethinking and restructuring/utter confusion and resignation)

In the next post on this I might even have an answer to some of those!

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