March 17, 2010
Constructed languages (conlangs) have always been a really interesting topics for me.
The first ones I met were, as a fan of Tolkien’s universe, Quenya and Sindarin (between many others he developed). The elvish languages are as beautiful as the elves themselves, as Tolkien wanted when he started developing this languages. Here you can hear a recording of Tolkien reciting the poem “Namárië“.
They have also a beautiful alphabet, called Tengwar, as you can see in this Quenya example:
The aim of this languages is purely artistic. They were used in literature, (fantasy, in this case), but there are many constructed languages in science fiction too. The most famous perhaps, is Klingon, of the Star Trek’s series. There is a really significant number of Klingon speakers, and you can also set your Google language to it. There were many others, like Na’vi (of James Cameron’s Avatar).
Other people created languages with other ends. Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis is the reason of many of the scientific ones (including lojban). I hope I’ll write a post about that hypothesis in the future.
Suzette Haden Elgin created Láadan (that’s the link to wikipedia, this is the official page), a language designed to be better in communicating and expresing ideas and views of woman. It has many words to be unambigous when refering to emotions about what someone is saying. It was also used in science-fiction series Native Tongue.
This is extracted from their official page:
I became aware [...] of the feminist hypothesis that existing human languages are inadequate to express the perceptions of women. This intrigued me because it had a built-in paradox: if it is true, the only mechanism available to women for discussing the problem is the very same language(s) alleged to be inadequate for the purpose.
In the next post, I’ll be commenting about other languages (artificial or not).
co’o lo tcidu
(I’m really busy to be studing lojban, but I didn’t stopped!)