10th Language Creation Conference

The 10th Language Creation Conference took place on the 22nd and 23rd of April, 2023, entirely online.


On LCS’ YouTube channel @FiatLingua, fully captioned:


LCC10 Schedule

All times listed are in UTC.

LCS Conlangers’ Calendar


The Conlangers’ Calendar has all LCC events separately listed — as well as various anniversaries of events in conlang history and any future LCS events. This is an iCal URL — do not click or download it; copy and paste it exactly as is in your calendar software. Instructions:

Saturday, April 22nd, 2023

13:30 30m Equipment set up. Speakers ensure screen sharing and audio/visual work.
14:00 10m Welcome and opening remarks Joseph (Joey) W. Windsor
14:10 30m The Semitic Influence on Conlangs Dominique Stephan Bobeck
14:40 30m Reflection of (natural) language structures in different types of conlangs Roman Tarasov (Роман Тарасов)
15:10 20m Bōzdaratlā bōzdaratlā bōzdaratlā bōzdaratlā bōzdaratlā. Reductionist Morphosyntax and the Classless Grammar of Akhirene Michael M. Goessler
15:30 10m Break
15:40 30m Linguistic Poachers of the Star Trek and Stars Wars Storyworlds Andrew Higgins
16:10 30m Grammatical Tonology for Conlangers: Tonogenesis, Tone Rules, and More Gabriel Swai
16:40 20m A prototype for De Arte Combinatoria Jack Kausch
17:00 10m Break
17:10 30m Khơlīvh Ɯr: A Study of the Interaction between Language and Culture Sidney Welsh
17:30 1h Panel: Getting Jobs From the #Jobs Channel BenJamin P. Johnson, Margaret Ransdell-Green, Joseph (Joey) W. Windsor
18:30 10m Break
18:40 30m Experiments in Divergent Translation: A Showcase and Test Run of Rhapsodaic Natanya Norry
19:10 30m Conlanging with a Metrical Grid George Corley
19:40 20m The story of /ts/ and its relation to Skerre Douglas (Doug) L. Ball
20:00 10m Break
20:10 30m Creativity & Constraint: Conlanging Beyond the IPA Logan Kearsley
20:40 30m Conlangs and Neurolinguistics Benjamin Fox
21:10 20m Introduction to the Nuráma Language Ben Norton
21:30 Close

Sunday, April 23nd, 2023

13:30 30m Equipment set up. Speakers ensure screen sharing and audio/visual work
14:00 30m Writing systems and their relationship to language Carl Buck
14:30 20m Sā Dyngā—Living Indo-European Panlanging Yoshi Smart, Georgia Stavros, and the Dyngā Community
14:50 20m Clausal negation in Xwere Gonom Keras Saryan
15:10 20m Break
15:30 1h50m Conlang Relay Presentation (Three Rings) Kelvin Jackson and relay participants
17:20 10m Break
17:30 30m Thh-Tmaa: Rediscovering the Lost Language of the Hive Matt Pearson
18:00 30m More Than Their Parts: Linking Actions and Creating New Senses Through Serial Verb Constructions Margaret Ransdell-Green
18:30 20m Klingon Canon Formation and Negotiation John R. Harness
18:50 10m Break
19:00 1h Panel A Na’vi, a Dothraki, and a Klingon Walk into a Trinkejo… John R. Harness, Jeannie Ashelin, Tihi Hayslett
20:00 10m Break
20:10 30m Paratextual Fictional Languages for Characterisation and World-Building Israel A. C. Noletto
20:40 20m Evolving a Script with a Conlang Brian B. Bourque
21:00 20m Life Without Adjectives and Adverbs in Ketoshaya Bruce Arthur
21:20 10m Closing Remarks Joseph (Joey) W. Windsor
21:30 Close


LCC10 Talks


The Semitic Influence on Conlangs

Dominique Stephan Bobeck

Twitter @DomBobeck, dom.bobeck@nullgmail.com  

slides (pdf)

The fact that natural languages inspire conlangers and even influence their work is nothing new. Prominent a priori examples are Sindarin resembling Welsh and Quenya with Finnish, Latin and Greek influences.There were several attempts to attest natlang influence on conlangs by various studies (e.g. Cotugno2022, Tikka 2007, Zielenbach 2021). But a consistent methodology is still a desideratum. The usual way is to select properties of a conlang that can be found in a certain natlang and compare them. This way of detecting natlang impact on conlangs has the severe disadvantage of determining random features and being prone to a selection bias.

In my master thesis about the Semitic influence on conlangs (funded by the LCS President’s Scholarship), I chose a different way of determining natlang influence on conlangs. I selected a random sample of 16 “popular” conlangs with the addition of two conlangs being not as popular but which I have chosen on purpose. These 18 conlangs are: Adûnaic, Khuzdul, Quenya, Sindarin, Atlantean, Klingon, Na’vi, Dothraki, Fremen, Lishephus, Sardaukar, Sondiv, High Valyrian, Verbis Diablo, Méníshè, Sangheili, Xanz and Eḥeiθymme. To these conlangs I applied seven phonological and morphological features which should be (a) hallmarks of Semitic languages and (b) infrequent in the world’s languages.

The presentation will address the subsequent questions: (i) Which Semitic features should be considered? (ii) How frequent and in which natlangs do these featuresoccur? (iii) Finally, which conlangs show the most striking similarities to Semitic languages so that we can speak of influence?

  • Cotugno, Francesca (2022) L’impatto della tradizione linguistica classica sull’opera di Tolkien, presentation at the International Conference on Constructed Languages, 14–15.07.2022, University of Turin.
  • Tikka, Petri (2007) The Finnicization of Quenya, in: Arda Philology 1. Proceedings of the First International Conference on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Invented Languages, Omentielva Minya, Stockholm, 2005, 1–13.
  • Zielenbach, Maria (2021) The Semitic connection. Near Eastern Influences on Tolkien’s Invented Languages, (presentation).


Reflection of (natural) language structures in different types of conlangs

Roman Tarasov (Роман Тарасов)

Twitter @TropncRoman, Facebook @RomTarRus, Instagram @Roman_Tropative, VK TropativeTypologist, romantarasov2000@nullyandex.ru / romtarvik@nullgmail.com

slides (pdf)

report (pdf)

My report is dedicated to the way some grammatical and lexical features are expressed in conlangs created with different aims and how the distribution of these features is connected with their two main characteristics: level of coverage and rate of grammaticalization. This is a meta-report based on the two projects I completed before with the support of the Language Creation Society.

The first project (Causative and Apparetive in Different Types of Constructed Languages: a Typological Approach), which received the LCC President’s Scholarship in 2021, was dedicated to the expression of three grammatical meanings — causative, tropative (‘to consider smth/smb to be smth/smb’) and apparetive (‘to seem to be smth/smb’) — in conlangs and carried out using two main methods: grammar descriptions analysis and the cross-sectional method, a short online-survey for advanced users of conlangs involving a translation of 6 sentences from English or Russian.

The second project (Towards a Typology of Single Negation and Negative Concord in Constructed Languages), which received the Scholarship in 2022, was dedicated to the participant negation in non-elliptic and elliptic contexts in conlangs and carried out using the same methods (cross-sectional method involved translating 3 sentences).

The results of the first project show that conlangs use quite a wide range of tropative and apparetive strategies. Languages with a common aim usually utilize similar strategies. However, the results of the ‘causative’ part are dramatically different: the majority of conlangs (within a sample) use the same model, which is quite close to the results of the second project. My hypothesis is that it is explained by the difference in levels of coverage and grammaticalization of these features.



Bōzdaratlā bōzdaratlā bōzdaratlā bōzdaratlā bōzdaratlā. Reductionist Morphosyntax and the Classless Grammar of Akhirene

Michael M. Goessler

Instagram @Michael.Goessler, YouTube @MichaelMGoessler, Facebook @MichaelMGoessler, email info@nullseligon.conlang.org, seligon.conlang.org/about

slides (pdf)

How many moving parts does a grammar need?

On the surface level, very few, as has long been established and many an isolating language will attest to. But formally? What can a really reductionist grammar look like?

I am presenting Common Akhirene, created as part of a language family for a client who kindly permitted me to not only use it as a sandbox for my dissertation research but also to present it to anyone who has the wish to be talked at about grammar theory.

It is not the most minimalist language possible. It is more of an experiment, a reductionist’s attempt at producing a conlang built entirely out of predicates, and predicates on predicates, and predicates on predicates on predicates. Akhirene grammar stands on only two pillars: a syntax based on recursive topic–comment couplets (in the sense of binary Merge) and a morphology trimmed to express little more than number and aspect. It has no need for word classes, derivational morphology, or syntactic rules beyond the barest of phrase structure.

Is it still a viable language? How does it work in practice? And how many preaching preachers can preach to preaching preachers without tying my tongue into a knot?


Linguistic Poachers of the Star Trek and Stars Wars Storyworlds

Andrew Higgins

slides: pptx, pdf

In this paper I will explore the role that fan reception andengagement has had in the invention of languages for two of the most popular and ongoing story worlds in fiction – the worlds of Star Trek and Star Wars. From the genesis of both these story worlds fans have sought to engage with and add to its world-building by inventing languages for the peoples of the world. This paper will explore, compare and contrast several of these attempts including the first versions of a language for the Vulcans of Star Trek that appeared in the earliest fanzines while the original show was in its first run to one of the earliest websites ‘The Complete Wermo’s Guide’ that offered fan developed versions of established Star Wars languages like Huttese, Jawas, and Ewokese. Through this analysis I will explore how these fan language inventors employed sophisticated methodologies of language invention to ground their works in the reality of the worlds they were creating and also explore how some of the work of these linguistic poachers went on to become part of the ‘canon’story world they were contributing to.


Grammatical Tonology for Conlangers: Tonogenesis, Tone Rules, and More

Gabriel Swai

Twitter @GabrielASwai, Reddit u/GabrielSwai, email gabriel.a.swai@nullgmail.com

slides: Google Slides, pdf

From Mesoamerica to New-Caledonia, natural grammatical tone languages can be found on every corner of the Earth (Gil Burgoin, 2021; Lionnet, n.d.). The use of tone to distinguish grammatical features is the primary defining trait of these languages (“Grammatical Tone,” 2003). The surface pronunciation of the tones in these languages can be completely different from their underlying placement (Goldsmith, 1990). Grammatical tone languages also typically follow a set number of tone rules that dictate how tone in a given utterance is pronounced on the surface (Hyman, n.d.). Some grammatical tone languages may have what are called tone melodies: a set of the only sequences of underlying tones allowed on a morpheme (Goldsmith, 1976). For example, the Niger–Congo language Mende of Sierra Leone only permits five different combinations of tones onto three syllable morphemes while mathematically there could be up to 125 different combinations (Mende, n.d.). 

In this presentation, using a combination of my own personal experience with creating a constructed tone language and academic work from the field of tonology, I explain how conlangers can add the following two main features to their conlangs:

Natural evolution from a toneless language into a tonologically complex grammatical tone language and continued evolution between instances of a grammatical tone language.

A series of realistic tone rules that govern surface pronunciation complete with a tonal inventory, tone melodies, and optional floating tones.



A prototype for De Arte Combinatoria

Jack Kausch

Twitter @Kausch, https://www.fims.uwo.ca/people/profiles/john_kausch.html

slides: pdf, pptx

The young Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s 1660 pamphlet, De Arte Combinatoria, caused a fervor throughout Europe. It also began a theme for what would become his career – the creation of an ideal language, the Characteristica Universalis.

This paper is a work of research creation, which demonstrates a modern user interface constructed according to the specifications in Leibniz’s pamphlet.

Leibniz’s Characteristica Universalis is interpreted as a phonosemantic or ideographic writing system to be used as arguments in a logical calculus. He describes a set of Llullian mnemonic wheels, which are implemented as rotating pie charts (completing the circle of some of Playfair’s original inspiration for the pie chart, Ramon Llull) (Spence, 2005).

The hieroglyphic characters Leibniz describes are implemented as Unicode hieroglyphs which are hyperlinks to DBpedia entries. The relation of Leibniz’s representation system to relational and graph database models are also discussed, as well as the potential to use multidimensional data visualization to achieve the aims of Leibniz’s ideal language.

  • Spence, Ian. “No humble pie: The origins and usage of a statistical chart.” Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics 30.4 (2005): 353-368.
  • Universal character design portfolio


Khơlīvh Ɯr: A Study of the Interaction between Language and Culture

Sidney Welsh

sid@nullsidlangs.com, https://wiki.sidlangs.com/wiki/LCC10

slides: pdf, Google Slides

In this talk, I will describe my language Khơlīvh and how it connects to its world, through the lens of speculative and naturally observable phenomena, while describing its sounds, interesting features, evolution, writing, and culture. As an experiment playing with the relationship between naturalism and artistic ideas, I’ll show how I’ve tried to emulate the concepts of naturalistic culture and world in a creative and thought-provoking way, and how its development mirrored that of its changes in-world. Khơlīvh is a strongly head-final language with a phonology full of vibrant, odd vowels and harsh velars, using some aspects of phonemic stress and vowel length. Khơlīvh employs a complicated, nonstandardized, and roundabout writing system with hundreds of logographic signs, and has multiple dialects with their own unique features. Along with speculation on the classification of languages and the meaning of diversity across languages, I hope to present why (for me) bad systems are sometimes the best ones and how the aesthetic of a language goes far beyond the sounds, the words, or the writing system.


Panel: Getting Jobs From the #Jobs Channel

BenJamin P. Johnson, Margaret Ransdell-Green, Joseph (Joey) W. Windsor

Jamin: Facebook @BenJamin.Paul.Johnson, Twitter @BPNJohnson, Mastodon @BPNJohnson@nullwandering.shop, Instagram BPNJohnson, YouTube @lingufacture, Linguifex bpnjohnson https://www.benjaminpauljohnson.com/

Joey: Twitter @LingJWWindsor

Margaret: YouTube @PureIceFire, Twitter @aeniith_ / @MintakaGlow, Tumblr @aeniith, http://aeniith.com/ / https://aeniith.blog

This panel explores the techniques that make conlangers successful in being selected for contracts by posters to the LCS Members’ Slack #Jobs channel. Each of the panelists have worked with several employers to create conlangs for various media (novels, graphic novels, games, etc.). As LCS President, Joey often receives feedback from potential employers, and he offers that insight on this panel as well.

Some sample questions for this panel are:

  • What are posters on the #Jobs channel looking for?
  • What are crucial components of a successful application?
  • How do you create/display a portfolio?
  • What if the employer wants full copyright/control of the conlang you create? (Purposefully loaded question.)
  • Do you need a contract? How do you negotiate a contract?

Additional questions from the audience.

Information on LCS Conlang Jobs: https://conlang.org/jobs 

For access to our Members’ Slack, join the LCS.


Experiments in Divergent Translation: A Showcase and Test Run of Rhapsodaic

Natanya Norry

Reddit u/Loria187, https://rhapsody-langs.neocities.org, Rhapsody discord server

slides: pdf, pptx

For many conlangers, the ability to losslessly translate in and out of a conlang, with little to no change in meaning or nuance, is a major design priority. In this presentation, I instead explore the potential viability and value of conlangs where the tendency for translations of the same text to wildly differ from one another is an intentional feature.

Rhapsodaic is a written engelang built around combinations of a small set of root words, each of which refers to a cluster of emotional experiences. To refer to more tangible phenomena, the writer must phrase them in terms of the emotions they feel, elicit, or otherwise hold an association with for the writer. Different people’s translations into and out of Rhapsodaic are thus bound to greatly diverge, but this gears the language towards a process wherein writers can gain further insight into their subject matters, as well as one another, through the comparison and juxtaposition of their translations of the same material.

Sample text in Rhapsodaic
Sample text in Rhapsodaic

To test the function of this language outside personal use, I sent a number of participants Rhapsodaic’s full reference grammar and root word dictionary, a short story written in Rhapsodaic, and a short list of English words, and asked each participant to translate the material from one language into the other. In addition to a showcase of how Rhapsodaic functions, I present the results of this initial experimentation, and share my thoughts on its implications for “divergent translation” as a conlanging feature and design strategy.


Conlanging with a Metrical Grid

George Corley

Mastodon @gacorley@nullmstdn.social, Tumblr gacorley, https://conlangery.com/

slides: Google Slides

Conlangers have a complicated relationship with linguistic theory, but we all use it at some level, and there are times when theoretical constructs are useful. In this talk, I will demonstrate the use of starred metrical grids, specifically working from Simplified Bracketed Grid theory (Halle and Idsardi 1995) as a tool for creating complex stress systems. The SBG and metrical grids in general provide a framework I find useful for developing more complex weight-sensitive stress systems.

I will cover cases where the SBG is relevant, where it’s more trouble than it’s worth, and cases where it might lead to odd results. This will also be demonstrated using a model conlang to give an idea how things shake out. I hope to give conlangers another tool in their toolbox for particular kinds of stress systems.


The story of /ts/ and its relation to Skerre

Douglas (Doug) L. Ball

Fiat Lingua papers, Twitter @tsketar, http://skerre.conlang.org

slides (pdf)

In May of 2020, after the end of the most pandemic-affected semester (Spring 2020), I did not have anywhere to go or much to do. So I did what any quarantining conlanger-linguist would do: began a project, just using internet resources, to look at the phonological behavior of the affricate [ts].

This was a sound I had, at one time reluctantly, adopted into my principle conlang, Skerre. In the years since, I had never investigated how it might behave.

(Plus, its behavior did not seem to have ever been explicitly addressed head-on before; though, once I got digging, I found more than I thought I would. I ended up being influenced by studies of sibilant fricatives by Padgett & Żygis (2003) and Boersma & Hamann (2006) as well as the typologically-oriented study by Nikolaev & Grossman (2018).)

This talk reports some of the results from that investigation. I will focus mainly on the apparent 4 kinds of sibilant affricate inventories one finds in natural languages (partially disregarding laryngeal properties like voicing and aspiration), 3 of which include /ts/.

I’ll focus on patterns of contrasts, worldwide distribution (to the extent I could determine), and (apparent) implicational relationships between /ts/ and other stops, affricates, and fricatives. I will also discuss how my findings contributed to how I viewed /ts/ within the phonemic inventory of Skerre.



Creativity & Constraint: Conlanging Beyond the IPA

Logan Kearsley

Fiat Lingua papers, Twitter @gliese1337, Mastodon @gliese1337@nullwandering.shop, Facebook @LoganRK, Reddit u/gliese1337

slides: pdf, pptx

IPA. WALS. Index Diachronica. All of that goes out of the window if you want to make a language in a weird modality, or one not spoken by human(oid)s. So where do you even start?

Logan presents several case studies of developing the phonologies of exotic languages to demonstrate how identifying new constraints can breed creativity. He  talks about the variety of alternative ways that humans communicate, and looks at the motivations and structures behind the phonologies of a whistling language, a language communicated by electric fields, a language for dogs, and a language encoded in cephalopod skin patterns.



Conlangs and Neurolinguistics

Benjamin Fox

Reddit u/AussieLinguist

slides (pdf)

Speaking a second language alters the grey matter density of the brain. To date, however, the linguistic understanding of the bilingual brain has always relied on speakers of natural languages. Conlangs may have the same or similar effects on the mind as natural languages. In this research proposal, it is suggested that speaking a constructed language may have the same effect on white and grey matter. This paper will compare the brains of four types of language speakers: monolinguals (English), bilingual speakers of non-constructed languages (English-Mandarin), bilingual speakers of constructed auxiliary languages (English-Esperanto), and bilingual speakers of artistic constructed languages (English-Toki Pona). This experiment expects a similar increase in myelinations in white matter tracts in the brain of bilingual speakers of constructed and non-constructed languages. By proposing this research, this paper seeks to ascertain if the effects of bilingualism apply only to natural languages or, rather, if the human mind is elastic enough to change when exposed to a manufactured system.



Introduction to the Nuráma Language

Ben Norton

Facebook @BrushesAndBladesLanguages, YouTube @BrushesBladesConlang, Instagram BrushesAndBlades_Languages, email bnorton328@nullyahoo.co.jp

slides (pdf)

This talk introduces my constructed language, Nuráma (based on my constructed script, Nortish).

After providing a brief overview of the Nuráma alphabet and orthography, I highlight some of the concepts I’ve incorporated into the language that serve as perimeters for creating new vocabulary.

These concepts include diacritic marks that indicate whether a word is a noun or adjective, associating the initial vowel of a verb with one of the five senses, and the order in which affixes are applied in order to conjugate verbs.

Abstract in Nuráma:


Writing systems and their relationship to language

Carl Buck

Fiat Lingua papers, https://footballbatsandmore.wordpress.com/

slides: pptx, pdf

Understanding how language typology can influence script development is an important aspect in creating a naturalistic neography that aligns with the goals of the conlanger. An outline of types of scripts, methods of writing such as epigraphic, paper and brush, etc. The means of writing can and does influence the type of system that eventually succeeds in conveying the language in the most efficient and effective way possible.

These considerations are directly related to not only the language, but also the culture in question. The presentation will cover from a mid to high level the types of writing systems that tend to develop in various environments and with consideration of certain environmental, religious, political, and even economic influences.

The above can be broadly categorized as internal and external influences, respectively. These ideas are intended to afford the conlanger with a perspective that will hopefully assist them in creating systems that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but linguistically realistic and useful in their projects.


Sā Dyngā—Living Indo-European Panlanging

Yoshi Smart, Georgia Stavros, and the Dyngā Community

Yoshi: YouTube @Yoshimidsu, https://yoshimidsu.jimdofree.com/ 

Georgia: YouTube Dyngās Kanāl (@dyngaskanal398)

slides (pdf)

Dyngā is a project undertaken since September 2021 by a Discord community (discord.gg/PcVzhZT4rB) comprised primarily of amateur linguists and language enthusiasts. It aims to form an Indo-European panlanguage informed by both PIE and all branches (especially modern) of the Indo-European language family, a top-down diachronic and bottom-up synchronic, syncretic approach. We now have a small but stable speakerbase of learners, and about 4,500 coined lemmas and affixes.

That the community is mostly made of amateurs is vitally important to counter subconscious scientific prescriptivism of trained or training linguists (such as myself) with how layfolk see and experience their own languages, which is afterall the majority speakerbase. This allows the language creators (i.e. grammar and vocabulary writers) to continuously update the language whenever learners and speakers of Dyngā perceive a feature to be unnatural to them.

On the flipside, the linguists can use historical knowledge of IE to reconcile diverse features into simplified paradigms, and to specially design formations of parts of speech that are most common across the entire language family, explainable by common historical origin or neological surface similarities (e.g. SD byšmad ← Alb. gisht i madh; Arm. բութ մատ (butʿ mat); Ru. большо́й па́лец; Brezh. biz-meud; Beng. বুড়া আঙ্গু ল (buṛa aṅgul); Fr. pouce).

We have a YouTube channel (Dyngās Kanāl @DyngasKanal398), and create charts, short texts or even music on various topics that interest us, the speakers. Below is an anatomy chart using the Abgde script designed for Dyngā:

Anatomy chart showing the names of various internal organs in Dyngā.


Clausal negation in Xwere Gonom

Keras Saryan

Reddit u/keras_saryan, Discord keras_saryan#4307, email keras.saryan@nullgmail.com,  https://keras-saryan.github.io/

slides (pdf)

In this paper, I describe negation in Xwere Gonom [ˈxʷɛɾɛ kɔˈnɔ̃], with a particular focus on clausal negation.

Clausal negation is expressed by way of negative particles that typically occur in pre-verbal position (though these may occasionally be found elsewhere in the clause). In declarative clauses, the default negator is xen [xɛ̃]; however, there also exist various other negative particles and which one it is appropriate to use in a given utterance can depend on factors such as clausal mood, clausal time reference (Xwere Gonom is morphologically tenseless), the continuity of events or expectations regarding the occurrence or successfulness of an event. Those negators used in declarative clauses are not generally found in non-declarative clauses such as imperatives. In this case, the prohibitive particle ke’ [kʼɛʔ] is preferred.

Negation in general also shows interactions with the morphological aspect-marking system of the language, with a reduced number of aspectual distinctions being available in negative contexts. For example, the separate perfective, immediative and terminative forms of verbs in the affirmative are collapsed into a single perfective form when negated.



Thh-Tmaa [txː-tmɑː]: Rediscovering the Lost Language of the Hive

Matt Pearson

Fiat Lingua papers, email pearsonm@nullreed.edu, https://pearson.conlang.org

slides (pdf)

When I was a graduate student in linguistics at UCLA, I was hired to create the alien ‘Hivespeak’ language for the UFO conspiracy series Dark Skies, which aired on NBC from 1996 to 1997 and was later rebroadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel (Syfy). Canceled after a single season, Dark Skies failed to develop a significant fan base and has now been largely forgotten. As a result the Hive language Thh-Tmaa, which the show runner hoped would attain the same level of notoriety as Klingon among SF conlang enthusiasts, sank into obscurity.

Now, two decades later, I have unearthed my old notes from this project and set about rediscovering the grammatical features of Thh-Tmaa. In addition to describing the structure of the language, I discuss its development and my experiences working as a professional conlanger in Hollywood at a time before Game of Thrones and the Lord of the Rings movies, when developing conlangs for film and television properties was even rarer than it is today.


More Than Their Parts: Linking Actions and Creating New Senses Through Serial Verb Constructions

Margaret Ransdell-Green

YouTube @PureIceFire, Twitter @aeniith_ / @MintakaGlow, Tumblr @aeniith, http://aeniith.com/ / https://aeniith.blog 

slides: pdf, pptx

Serial verb constructions (SVCs) are typically grammatical constructions in which two or more verbs are combined within a single clause.

Often, SVCs are conceptualized as a single “integrated situation” (Aikhenvald 2006). They can create a composite meaning that is more than the mere combination of the semantic values of two (or more) verbs. In this presentation, I offer a broad typological overview of SVCs, including how they can be lexicalized and incorporated into conlangs to create a semantically rich lexical base without the creation of further root words. I also explore some methods of grammaticalization of SVCs (Hwang 2000) in developing a daughter language as derived from a proto-language.



Klingon Canon Formation and Negotiation

John R. Harness

Twitter @cartweel, cartweel.neocities.org, Klingon Wiki

slides (pdf)

This presentation examines the ongoing formation and evolution of lexical and grammatical canon in the Klingon language community.

While the Klingon Language Institute (the largest and most influential Klingonist organization) officially maintains a conservative stance toward the question of official Klingon words and grammar, the speaker community (including KLI members) nonetheless continually innovates upon, expands, and questions the boundaries of Klingon’s canon.

This presentation discusses several processes or strategies of canonization in Klingon, highlighting questions such as:

  • How did Klingon’s original design constraints and ethos affect its early canon formation?
  • What is the “prefix trick,” who created it, and when did it become canonical?
  • Who or what might be the source of Klingon canon when Marc Okrand, the language’s creator, retires or dies?
  • Who is Maltz–a fictional character–and what is his function in the negotiation of Klingon canon?
  • What is loH poD (“backwards language”) and how do language games and illicit slang contribute to Klingon speaking practices?
  • How did a conversation about LGBTQIA+ words in Klingon provide a possible model for Klingon canonization in the future?


Panel A Na’vi, a Dothraki, and a Klingon Walk into a Trinkejo…

John R. Harness, Jeannie Ashelin, Tihi Hayslett

Jeannie: https://learnnavi.org, Learn Na’vi Discord Server

John: Twitter @cartweel, cartweel.neocities.org, Klingon Wiki

Tihi: Languages of Ice and Fire Community Discord

slides (pdf)

In November of 2022, neurolinguistics researchers at MIT invited speakers of Esperanto, Klingon, Dothraki, and Na’vi to participate in an fMRI brain scan study. That research project seeks to understand the way conlangs work in the brain, and to help neuroscientists compare brain activity during different modes of communication (languages, puzzle solving, and gesture interpretation).

The panelists for this presentation–each a speaker of a different constructed language–all participated in this study. They spend some of the session time describing their experiences at MIT and their thoughts on the study’s preliminary findings.

Additionally, the MIT fMRI study represented a seemingly unprecedented meeting of participants from various conlang speaking communities. Over beer and vegan food, these panelists met and began to compare their experiences as conlang speakers.

Building upon this preliminary gathering, the majority of the session continues discussions started then: How are various conlang speaker communities alike, and how are they different? How have these communities built themselves, and how do they sustain themselves? How have speakers of various constructed languages adapted their languages to the needs of a community?



Paratextual Fictional Languages for Characterisation and World-Building

Israel A. C. Noletto

Twitter @IsraelNoletto, email israelnoletto@nullifpi.edu.br, https://tinyurl.com/israelnolettoifpi

slides (pdf)

Different notions of the narrative or literary functions of fictional languages have been proposed (see Tolkien 2016, Stockwell 2006 and Cheyne 2008). Elsewhere, informed by stylistics and narrative theory, I proposed a 5-part model for reading fictional languages in science fiction, comprising the following narrative functions: speculative, rhetorical, descriptive, diegetic, and paratextual (Noletto 2022). This last function stems from the notion of paratext advanced by Genette (1980), which addresses textual elements found outside what is typically considered the narrative discourse – glossaries, primers, maps, etc. In this paper, I present the partial findings of an ongoing case study on the short short story ‘Outros 500’ (2000) by Brazilian writer Antônio Luiz Monteiro Coelho da Costa. This e-narrative describes an alternate history in which Brazil did not become a colony of Portugal. The writer stylised the story as a chronicle and explored paratextual materials (a primer and a glossary of the Abajeheŋa language) for characterisation and worldbuilding purposes. Deploying my model of fictional languages, I highlight key stylistic features of the short story’s paratexts that may impact interpretation and the reading experience.

  • Cheyne, R. (2008) ‘Created languages in science fiction’, Science Fiction Studies 35 (5): 386-403.
  • Costa, A. L. (2000). ‘Outros 500‘. In Scarium Magazine.
  • Genette, G. (1997) Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation (trans. J.E. Lewin). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107784321 & 9780511549373, OCLC 867050409 & 1164178648. Available at archive.org,  WorldCat, & Amazon.
  • Halliday, M. A. K. (1994). An Introduction to Functional Grammar (2nd edn.). London: Arnold. ISBN 0340574917, OCLC 31152299. Available at archive.org & WorldCat
  • Kress, G. & van Leeuwen, T. (2001). Multimodal Discourse: The Modes and Media of Contemporary Communication. London: Arnold. ISBN 9780340662922, OCLC 46694668. Available at archive.org & WorldCat
  • Noletto, I. A. C. (2010). Glossopoese: O Complexo e Desconhecido Mundo das Línguas Artificiais. São Paulo: Biblioteca 24horas. ISBN 9788578936303. Available at Google Books.
  • Noletto, I.A.C. (2022) Language Extrapolation. Glossopoesis in Science Fiction. (Unpublished PhD thesis). Federal University of Piauí, Teresina.
  • Norledge, J. (2022). The Language of Dystopia. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9783030931025, OCLC 1343119021. Available at WorldCat & Google Books.
  • Stockwell, P. (2006) ‘Invented language in literature’, in K. Brown (ed.) Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2nd edn), Oxford: Elsevier, pp.3-10.
  • Tolkien, J.R.R. (2016) A Secret Vice (eds D. Fimi and A. Higgins). London: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0008348090. Available at LCS Lending Library, WorldCat, & Amazon.


Evolving a Script with a Conlang

Brian B. Bourque

Fiat Lingua papers, Mastodon @bbbourq@nulllingo.lol, Reddit u/bbbourq, Discord @bbbourq#4561, email bbbourq@nullgmail.com 

slides (Google Slides)

A specific niche of conlangers have a drive to create a unique writing system for their conlang.

However, not all conlangers focus on the writing system. In fact, it is not uncommon to see conlangers use a modified version of the Latin alphabet and consider it largely—if not completely—finished. Many conlangers will focus on the diachronic linguistics of their respective conlangs, but neglect the possibility of its writing system also experiencing changes.

This presentation takes the viewer through possible scenarios and best practices that will help the conlanger evolve a script through subtle changes over time. Thus, giving the creator a possible proto-script from which to spawn other writing systems, or just to have a historic account of the extant one.



Life Without Adjectives and Adverbs in Ketoshaya

Bruce Arthur

Reddit u/FelixSchwarzenberg

slides (pdf)

Ketoshaya is a conlang that I have been working on for over a year that has about 1800 dictionary-defined words. Ketoshaya lacks adverbs or adjectives as a separate part of speech. In my talk, I discuss the various strategies that Ketoshaya uses for adverbial and adjectival functions, including (1) agglutination, (2) comitative nouns for adjectives, (3) comitative, instrumental, and locative nouns for adverbs (“The Great Chain of Adverbial Noun Cases”) – each case has a somewhat different connotation when used as an adverb), and (4) stative verbs.

I will also briefly discuss my personal reasons for making a conlang “without adverbs or adjectives” and discuss some natlang inspirations and analogues.

Conlang Relay Presentation (Three Rings)

Kelvin Jackson and relay participants

A conlang relay is essentially a game of translation telephone: each participant, working in one of three separate relays (“rings”), receives a text in the previous participant’s conlang, and translates it into their own. At the end, we compare the texts and look at how the story (or song, in the case of ring NG) has evolved. 

The LCC 10 Conlang Relay was run from February 10th until around the end of March, with three RINGs: noRmal, conscrIpt, and soNG.

Relay results: https://kechpaja.conlang.org/lcc/10/relay/

Note: the relay is not yet in a separated video, due to technical limitations on YouTube’s end. We’re working on it. In the meantime, you can watch it from the day 2 livestream, starting at 1:49:34.


Ring Participant Language Links
Ring R
(NoRmal Ring)
Pete Bleackley (original text) Khangaþyagon
Scott Villanueva-Hlad Asirka
Henrik Theiling Tirkunan
Alex Hailman Žskđ https://hailman.conlang.org
Jeffrey Brown Beltös https://www.temenia.org/Beltos/index.html 
Nicolás Campi Tulvan
Matt Pearson Okuna http://pearson.conlang.org 
Holly L. Ellis Jaixa
Jake Penny & Miles Wronkovich Yaatláw https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ycBylu67xy0Kmhjr9SC5sDDZ5oh2Y3TveNpfOF7-7Zo/edit 
Graham Hill Sivmikor
Seth Kazan 3SDeductiveLanguage (1Sense=1Sign=1Sound)
Aydın Baykara ABCL https://aydinbaykara.com 
Tim Stoffel Na’vi
James Wolter Jayodang https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OxZ070weZ3QdNB7G7h1WjnQBJddYl32-xhOZ–ieBg0/edit
Huchelmann Alexis Hannestiks https://ovahtin.fr/category/mes-ideolangues/hannestiks 
Sidney Welsh U̇vįolıhu https://sidlangs.com/g/UviolihuGrammar_v12-2-3.pdf, https://sidlangs.com/d/UviolihuDictionary.pdf 
Jeffrey Jones Mar18 http://qiihoskeh.conlang.org/cl/o/Mar18/MpIntro.htm 
Carl Avlund Nepper-Christensen Aedian
Jan van Steenbergen Volapük
Tchakamau Ra Dzadza https://www.reddit.com/r/conlangs/comments/zimtg7/random_phonology_speedlang_dzadza
Pete Bleackley Khangaþyagon
Ring I
(ConscrIpt Ring)
Pete Bleackley Khangaþyagon
Jeff Lilly Sasrâl https://axonfirings.com/gnial/sasral/ 
Enrique Gamez Azalian
Stephen Edward Seale Old Deru
Alex Fink & Sai UNLWS https://s.ai/nlws/ 
Jonathan Kane T’owal https://mindutme.tumblr.com/tagged/T’owal 
Michael Goessler Old Besokian https://seligon.conlang.org/world/Old_Besokian_language 
Benjamin Young Panċone
Juhani Mönkkönen Auma
Beverly Little Shalti
Pete Bleackley Khangaþyagon
Ring NG
(SoNG Ring)
Kelvin Jackson Lullaby Language
Glenn Abastillas Circle Tongue
Margaret Ransdell-Green Rílin
+merlan #flirora Ŋarâþ Crîþ https://ncv9.flirora.xyz/index.html 
John R. Harness Ancish
Kevin Rae K’awatl’ https://docs.google.com/document/d/1f0jRMVNHe80jELik68QD-KLwDNjJaPAFfPboAyTeqMg/edit 
Daniel Swanson Xanz https://sajemtan.miraheze.org/wiki/Xanzite_language 
PastTheStarryVoids Ŋ!odzäsä
Gabriel Swai Archaic Arettian
Enrique Gamez Tallfellow https://www.frathwiki.com/Tallfellow 
Nicolás Campi Omonkwi
Yoshimidsu Dyngā https://yoshimidsu.jimdofree.com/dyng%C4%81 
Kelvin Jackson Lullaby Language


LCC10 was live captioned by stenographer Mirabai Knight — Twitter @StenoKnight, https://stenoknight.com & https://www.openstenoproject.org.