what brought you to conlanging?

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Amorris25
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Re: what brought you to conlanging?

Post by Amorris25 » 10 Nov 2019 05:05

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:
09 Nov 2019 20:55
I first became interested in conlanging with my discovery of Latin at a young age. I was fascinated by the tables of morphology (the noun cases, the conjugations) and it disappointed me that English had no parallel. Once I started learning Latin in middle school, my interest only increased. My first attempts at conlangs were Latin-based and not particularly interesting, but later when I started studying Proto-Indo European I became interested in combining my love of Latin and languages in general with my love of fantasy. For me, conlanging has always been tied to conworlding (and I was conworlding before I ever started conlanging). I had maps of made-up worlds with unusual-sounding toponyms, but I hadn't coalesced any of it into a conlang until then. (Reading LOTR was part of it--I loved Quenya and Sindarin and what Tolkien did inspired me). From then on, I've been working mainly on a single conlang with Indo-European grammar and an original vocabulary, spoken in my conworld. I enjoy sharing it with others, but it's not intended to be of any practical use, just fun. [:)]
And it does sound fun! I am of the mind that fun is a practical use, in and of itself. Did/do you do conworlding as a solo activity or with a group? Thank you for your response.

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LinguistCat
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Re: what brought you to conlanging?

Post by LinguistCat » 10 Nov 2019 05:28

I liked codes as a kid and then got into language learning. I also did read The Lord of the Rings in the year before the movies came out, and that really got me into conlanging proper but I think I might have gotten into it even if I hadn't read LOTR, just maybe at a different time and with different influences.

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Re: what brought you to conlanging?

Post by Nachtuil » 10 Nov 2019 07:08

I've enjoyed language and the history of languages for a long time. When I was a teenager as I remember thinking deeply quite about English and the other languages I've run into and it was interesting how the different languages did the same things. I saw a lot of irregularities in English and other languages and spent a great deal of time thinking of how spelling might be reformed before I really had any deep linguistic understanding. I found dictionaries really interesting and saw the etymologies and that sounds and letters do not neatly correspond and are not fixed through time. Somehow I must've known language creation was possible as I remember toying around with making new words and pronouns for a created language that would be highly regular, which I think is a pretty normal instinct for a lot of people. I vaguely remember "ko" being a 1st or 2nd person pronoun. I'm sure it wasn't that impressive or fleshed out.

After highschool I didn't really spend much time with it but my interest in language reignited quite a few years later and I started getting more and more into linguistics and encountered the idea of language creation again. For a long time I've found history interesting and it is impossible to study history without also seeing how language changes over time. My growing interest in linguistics fed into my desire to conlang and my desire to conlang fed my interest in linguistics. A couple of years ago I started listening to the "conlangery" podcast which was basically napalm to my growing interest. I find the process of language creation incredibly creative and I really can't explain it sufficiently. It is just too bad most people are indifferent to the hobby. I think one should mostly conlang for oneself and not take the interest of others in your own work for granted.

In terms of pop culture, I do have an interest in conlangs that have been used in film and television generally. I like Dothraki for instance but I've never made any serious attempt to learn it. If I were to do such a thing that might be the language I'd choose though. I hear Na'vi is still popular and with the coming sequels maybe it will grow more popular again. I think a conlang needs a community behind it to really grow either around an ideology or more recently, a shared fandom.

Part of my initial interest is probably because I grew up in a house where a language other than English was spoken and my grasp of English wasn't maybe as strong as it could have been (English was and remains my first language though) so that drove me to dig into grammar and writing. I can't even say that even without my youthful desire to conform to prescriptivist standards I wouldn't have gotten into it. I could say I frequently have felt I don't fit in socially but I'm also mindful that I don't belong to a minority of any real negative consequence. I say that because I notice there is a lot of diversity in the community in terms of sociological identity though I couldn't say what percentage I also don't think it matters too much. Feeling like an outsider may or may not make one more inclined to conlang but if does maybe because language is a tool to define group boundaries so controlling it could be freeing. That is pure speculation though and not something I really have thought about. I really like that the community seems very open and welcoming. We all seem brought together by a love and language and joy in creativity. We share a creative nerdiness.

I definitely am also one who sees conlanging and conworlding as linked, though I'm more into the conlangs per se, to really design a language you need to make some decisions about culture, technology, and history. So much of that information affects how languages change over time and what kind of words they pick up and how. You couldn't make a language with a word for motocycle unless enough speakers had a shared concept of what that technology even is. A language with 5 or five different words for numerous types of domesticated animals for is more likely to be closer to agrarian roots etc. The language lacks a word for sea? or maybe their word for sea is "big lake"? Maybe it's because their ancestors spent many generations far from any ocean and only later did the conceptual awareness of ocean arise in the population because of migration or increased communication and travel. I'm completely getting side tracked but the point is conlanging invites world building very easily.
Edit: I want to add there is also a certain element of exploring how people can think which is interesting. I don't believe in the strong version of the Sapir Whorf hypothesis (or even the medium or mild strength versions) but the fact that the same thought can be manifested in such structurally different ways is fascinating and worth exploring. Conlanging lets you play with different morphosyntactic and semantic constructions.

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KaiTheHomoSapien
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Re: what brought you to conlanging?

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » 11 Nov 2019 01:49

Amorris25 wrote:
10 Nov 2019 05:05
And it does sound fun! I am of the mind that fun is a practical use, in and of itself. Did/do you do conworlding as a solo activity or with a group? Thank you for your response.
It's almost always been solo, with a small exception of a shared fantasy world with another online user, but he unfortunately wasn't interested in conlanging.

Conworlding for me started out as making maps of fictional modern cities. I've always been interested in maps, roads, city planning, etc.

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LinguoFranco
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Re: what brought you to conlanging?

Post by LinguoFranco » 12 Nov 2019 02:36

I like worldbuilding and decided to create a language for the main country of my world, and ended up discovering the conlanging rabbit hole.

Amorris25
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Re: what brought you to conlanging?

Post by Amorris25 » 15 Nov 2019 00:19

Thank you to every one who responded, I appreciate the time taken and the knowledge given.

-Angie

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Re: what brought you to conlanging?

Post by WeepingElf » 15 Nov 2019 18:28

With me, it is that two currents met in my mind. First is a fascination with worldbuilding, which I have had since my childhood. Second is a fascination with language, which started when I leafed through my brother's Latin school grammar and saw all those wonderful paradigm, building on an even earlier fascination with letters, numbers and other kinds of symbols.

My first conlangs, which I made in my teenage years, were all fictional languages, meant to be spoken in my fictional worlds, and all looked more or less like Latin (though with fewer irregularities). In the 1990s, I didn't conlang much, but in the year 2000, the conlang bug bit again when I began to explore Tolkien's languages more deeply and found a fan fiction story about Elves in the modern world on the Web. I wondered what kind of language those Elves would speak, and began building a descendant of Sindarin. I joined the CONLANG mailing list and checked out linguistics textbooks from the local university library, because I wanted to do something good. This way, I learned a lot about languages and conlanging, enough to cast the Sindarin-based project aside and venture to new horizons.
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