a conlang is born!

At long last, I’ve completed the first working specifications for my first conlang – constructed language. It’s my first step into a big, big world.

Why invent a language? To quote myself from the specs' introduction:

The reasons for indulging what Tolkien famously called his “secret vice” are hardly unique; to explore the mechanics of language and, quite simply, to have fun. My discovery of conlangs – constructed languages – began when I first took a stab at learning Spanish. As a language related to French, Spanish bears essentially the same grammar and verb conjugations – that is, the same fragrantly irrational grammar and verb conjugations. This led me to Esperanto, the famous “interlang” (international language) created by Dr Ludwig L Zamenhof in 1887, but not to finding a language that makes as much sense as I’d like. Esperanto did, however, lead the way to the wonderful world of conlangs, which comprises everything from well-known conlangs like Klingon to not-so-well-known languages developed by private individuals for their own amusement.

And so comes my first attempt at creating a conlong: Asesulu, which originally began life under the name Amu’ipalo’i. To give you a brief taste, here’s a snippet from Genesis 11 1:9, the infamous Babel text:

11:1 The entire earth had one language with uniform words.
11:2 When [the people] migrated from the east, they found a valley in the land of Shinar, and they settled there.

11:1 Eto’uku a’ovofe’ele a’otama’oki o’ate u lajaja’uku o’avumu’ele.
11:2 Avena pesonukula o’atusi’oki o’ate de e’asa, ube a’oliki’oki ele Sinar ele vili’uku. Ube o’aliki’oki.

Literal Translation:
11:1 The whole earth possessed a homogenous language.
11:2 When the people migrated from the east, they found in Shimar a valley. They settled.

Beyond the cerebral fun to be had in creating a language (I categorically refuse to use the word geeky), I am planning to put Asesulu to use as a fictional language, namely, as the language for a series of stories, ultimately forming a novel, set in an artistic utopia called the County of Imagination where crimes are investigated by the Department of Forensic Poetry. I have two stories written; before I go on, though, I’m going to edit the existing stories to include Asesulu.

If you want to read more, you’ll find the specs here. And for more on conlangs, check out langmaker.com, a site chock-full of conlanging goodness.

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