Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.


Conlang Grammar Issues

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

A conlang without a grammar is just a cipher.

Think about that for a minute. If you’re just transposing words, you haven’t created a new language so much as you’ve created a new code. Maybe that’s all you’re after. If so, that’s fine and you can stop reading now, but if you want more than that, think about your native language and your conlang for a minute.

Still with me? Great. I can make up words, either by hand or by machine, but making a grammar takes a lot more thought and work. Last month, I was reading the blog over at, the Ultimate Constructed Language Resource which is maintained by Jeffrey Henning. He had several links to conlang grammars there, including: The Sixteen Rules of Esperanto Grammar, Syntax for Artificial Languages, and A Training Device for Translation Theory and Practice. Any of them are good places to start looking at what goes into a grammar. If you’re a little more advanced than that, and feeling brave, you can try reading Describing Morphosyntax : A Guide for Field Linguists. But, as good as it is, I have to warn you, this is NOT for he casual reader or the easily intimidated. It is a daunting book that damn near put me into a coma! But, if you can make it through this bad boy, you will have a really good grasp of what can go into a language’s grammar. You will also be able to endure incredible, mind-numbing torture as dosed out by mothers-in-law. Or, you will be a gibbering idiot. Either way, it’s all great fuel for conlanging.
I often find myself getting stuck in the “research phase” of my many creative projects. Sometimes, I get so caught up in the research that I never get the project started. This is where I’m at with my conlanging. I need to get past that. I hope that the inspiration from Langmaker, and Jeffery Henning will help me get started on those projects. As they say on the street, ‘aint nothing to but to do it. So, let’s all take some inspiration from those links up above and get started on that conlang that we’ve been putting off.

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