Which use can I give to my conlang

If you're new to these arts, this is the place to ask "stupid" questions and get directions!
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GaloCuevas
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Which use can I give to my conlang

Post by GaloCuevas » Mon 11 Dec 2017, 00:59

Hello fellow conlangers!

First things first: I want to make you know I am very glad I joined this forum with people who shares this interest for languages and culture.

As a beginer in this area, I am afraid my conlang lacks of any actual function in reality, so to those who have been in the same position as I am know:
How or where should I implement my conlang.

Bistè prons! (see you later!)

Edit: Thank you all guys!

I'm starting to build a conworld for my conlang.
If you're interested, you might find a link to a post with the story of my conworld in a few days here on CBB.

Until then!
Last edited by GaloCuevas on Wed 13 Dec 2017, 23:29, edited 2 times in total.
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Creyeditor
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Re: Which use can I give to my conlang

Post by Creyeditor » Mon 11 Dec 2017, 01:01

One answer is 'art', which changes the question to 'what is the function of art?'. One possibly answer is 'art for art's sake'.
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gestaltist
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Re: Which use can I give to my conlang

Post by gestaltist » Mon 11 Dec 2017, 11:34

For me, conlangs are always a part of a conworld, and their chief usage is so I can give local names to stuff.
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Evynova
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Re: Which use can I give to my conlang

Post by Evynova » Mon 11 Dec 2017, 12:30

I'm still kind of a noob to this whole thing myself too. I started making conlangs as part of a conworld, itself for no real purpose other than just for the sake of it. They don't have any purpose other than to please me, and with a bit of luck, other people on the internet.

Honestly, as long as you like them, it's all that ultimately matters.
Creyeditor wrote:
Mon 11 Dec 2017, 01:01
One answer is 'art', which changes the question to 'what is the function of art?'. One possibly answer is 'art for art's sake'.
Precisely.

You can use art to convey a message, or you can just do art for fun.

And if nihilism has taught me anything, it's that things don't have to have a purpose to be enjoyable.
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Re: Which use can I give to my conlang

Post by Salmoneus » Mon 11 Dec 2017, 18:26

Unfortunately, conlangs are fundamentally useless.

Potential uses of a conlang only you know include:
- self-expression through diaries, poetry, etc. However, since you already have a native language, which you have learnt far better than you could ever possibly learn a conlang, and since real languages are meaningful in a way that conlangs are not (because you are the sole arbiter of the meaning of what you say in your conlang), you will never be able to genuinely express your thoughts and feelings as well in a conlang as in your native language.

- as a way of encoding private writings (again, diaries, poetry, etc). Since others don't know your conlang, they can't read what you say. However, since the creation of a conlang typically involves the creation of materials explaining how the conlang works (grammars, dictionaries), its cryptic value is limited - and most non-weird conlangs, given a dictionary and a grammar, are much easier for a layman to read easily than a cipher would be, even provided with the analogous deciphering materials (reading a paragraph in Romanian, given a Romanian dictionary and a two-page grammar guide, may take many minutes, but deciphering a ciphertext of equivalent length by hand may take hours). Moreover, the effort of creating a conlang is huge, whereas the effort of creating or selecting a cipher is very small. A simple cipher, possibly strengthened with some codewords for repeating words, could be employed by hand, with a little practice, more easily than a conlang (which is, after all, a very complicated code), and yet still be more difficult for anyone else to read. So creating a conlang for the purpose of cryptic self-communication seems rather inefficient.


Or, potential uses of a conlang others know include:
- creation of an in-group, most often dedicated to some ideological cause, or artistic sympathies. Using a conlang can signal group membership, help shape the aesthetic of the group's ethos (a group who speak Sindarin will probably act different from a group who speak Klingon, or Lojban, or Esperanto, or Wenedyk), while also providing a cryptographic protection against outsiders. Again, a cipher or code can do the same job better, and is a much more common approach, but a fully-fledged language can provide more in the way of shared ideological bonds within the group. However, this relies on people actually learning your conlang, which will hardly ever happen, and actually maintaining use of the conlang, which will virtually never happen. The problem here is that the primary purpose of group communication is to communicate, and requiring every communication to be encoded in an extremely complex way is a big barrier to communication: either people communicate less, or they cheat and just use plaintext English. Plus, very few people have any interest in conlangs to begin with, and language learning - even languages where there are huge obvious gains to be had from learning them, like Spanish or Mandarin - is extremely hard and unpleasant for most people. And if a group DID want to learn a language, they could learn a real language, or a famous conlang (Quenya, Klingon, Esperanto, etc). So the chances of creating a group of speakers of your conlang sufficiently large and active and longlasting enough to be worth the effort is statistically very close to zero. [I believe a couple of long-standing conlang communities do exist, but as a fraction of conlangs it's statistically negligible]


So, mostly conlangs are just artworks. Means of display include:
- reference grammars, dictionaries. The purest way of showing off the language, though few people will appreciate them
- courses for learners. People won't actually learn them, but courses can be a more approachable way of showing off a language for casual fans
- works in the language. Texts, videos, comic strips, songs, etc, written in the conlang, could be weird enough to get the curiosity of passers-by and encourage them to find out more.
- incorporation of the language into other works. Here, the artistic value is primarily in the primary work, with the conlang being an ornament. The classic examples are the use of Quenya and Sindarin in The Lord of the Rings, and of Klingon in the Star Trek setting. Conlangs can also be incorporated into visual artworks.
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Re: Which use can I give to my conlang

Post by lsd » Mon 11 Dec 2017, 20:33

Conlangs are the only works of the mind that are real artifacts...
Moreover, as an interface with the world, they are able to modify the vision of who uses them...
Creating a conlang, when done in the long run, is a kind of experimentation on oneself...
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Re: Which use can I give to my conlang

Post by Kehgrehdid » Tue 12 Dec 2017, 01:35

I have been drawn to it as an outlet for creativity. You want VOS word order, nobody can say otherwise. Custom vertical writing system, go right ahead. Everything about the language from the writing to the sounds to the grammar to the vocab is up to you. Complete control as far as you want to go with it. In a world where most decision making power is far from you, this little linguistic corner is yours alone.
Or I could say it's a more hands-on way to learn about linguistics. I like seeing the internal logic and consistency of a language, how all the pieces fit together. So it could be a puzzle with as many new pieces as you want, with each new feature or word you decide on making it more complete.
Even if nobody else ever speaks a word of your language, it can be satisfying for these reasons. Or you may get so far and discover something that uniquely draws you.
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