m. c. de marco: The Accidental Conlanger

En la komenco: Introduction

It’s easy to find conlanging advice for the intentional conlanger who’s intrigued by agglutinating languages or the ergative case. These resources are good for a month or two of cat vacuuming, but are too deep and narrow in scope for the accidental conlanger. Most conlanging sites won’t tell you when to cheat or how to cut corners. On the other hand, conlanging advice addressed to writers is often lacking in linguistic sophistication and in pointers to the wider world of constructed languages.

You may be wondering why you should listen to me. For my part, I may be wondering what makes this good blog material to mix into my light and fluffy writing linkblog. Although I am not a linguist, I have spent years vacuuming this particular cat. I’m the sort of amateur who reads scholarly papers about proto-Semitic affricates and gets frustrated when specialty fonts don’t include a curly-tailed l (ȴ) for the alveopalatal lateral approximant. I have La Sankta Biblio in Esperanto on my bookshelf (which I took down to title this page), not to mention A Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages.

And yet I promise not to go into gory detail about the biliteral root system of Dwerrow or semantic domains in Reason like an intentional conlanger would. My constructed languages grew out of stories, and the story will always come first here. If it were a consonant, The Accidental Conlanger would be the bilabial trill (ʙ) of entertainment, not the dark l (ɫ) of obsession.

This page was brought to you by the letter ȴ.

October 1, 2008