|Justin B Rye 1995–2001|
Constructed Language #4892
Release Notes, 2001-04-30
This being the first significant addition to my pages for a year or so, I rushed it out a bit early; but I think it's had all the major bugs shaken out now, so I'll call this its official release and get on with some maintenance work elsewhere… any further tweaks in this directory will be documented as usual on my changelog page.
First I'd better explain what a conlang (or
language) is. It's obvious, really, as long as you
don't imagine I'm talking about anything as mundanely
utilitarian as the development of computer
like Intercal, or language-planning projects like the one that
brought Hebrew back from the dead. Some conlangs are
indeed contenders for the role of International Auxiliary
Language, or Philosophically Perfect Logical Language; but most
are just the fictional languages of fictional societies.
JRR Tolkien, patron saint of conlangers, described it as
Secret Vice… though that was before he came
out of the closet and found a way of turning a tidy profit on
the hobby. I await with interest the Peter Jackson
big-screen adaptation of Appendix F.
Once that's been explained, the next question is usually
why? – and the answer tends to be
expression of an obscurely specialised creative urge, or
as a Gedankenexperiment in linguistic typology, or
perhaps once the thumbscrews come out
because I had more
imaginary than real friends to talk to. However, I've
got an excuse handy: of all the toy languages I've sketched out
over the years, this is the only one I've built to order!
A friend offered to pay me a few quid (or was it pints?) if I'd
give him a language suitable for use as background colour in a
roleplaying campaign he ran; I didn't get any further details,
so I just put a week or so's free time into creating something
that felt like an adequate compromise avoiding…
flintlockI tried to reduce it to a lowest common denominator. I didn't even take the step of naming my brainchild – it just received a tongue-in-cheek serial number. The contrast with the stereotypical in-depth approach just made it more fun!
I should emphasise that I don't seriously expect people to want
to learn the language; it's just here as a curiosity, though I
suppose other RPGers might find it a handy source of
just-add-water glossolalia. Nor is it
language – it just happens to be particularly
thoroughly documented, and thus easy to HTMLise. I may
continue to reorganise and expand on the documentation, but it
went into a
feature freeze years ago.
(Postscript: what I should have given him is a
con-trick language like