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The Conlang Flag, a symbol of language construction created by subscribers to the CONLANG mailing list, which represents the Tower of Babel against a rising sun

A constructed language (shortened to conlang) is a language whose phonology, grammar, orthography, and vocabulary, instead of having developed naturally, are consciously devised for some purpose, which may include being devised for a work of fiction. A constructed language may also be referred to as an artificial, planned or invented language, or (in some cases) a fictional language. Planned languages (or engineered languages/engelangs) are languages that have been purposefully designed; they are the result of deliberate, controlling intervention and are thus of a form of language planning.

There are many possible reasons to create a constructed language, such as to ease human communication (see international auxiliary language and code); to give fiction or an associated constructed setting an added layer of realism; for experimentation in the fields of linguistics, cognitive science, and machine learning; for artistic creation; for fantasy role-playing games; and for language games. Some people may also make constructed languages as a hobby.

The expression planned language is sometimes used to indicate international auxiliary languages and other languages designed for actual use in human communication. Some prefer it to the adjective artificial, as this term may be perceived as pejorative. Outside Esperanto culture, the term language planning means the prescriptions given to a natural language to standardize it; in this regard, even a "natural language" may be artificial in some respects, meaning some of its words have been crafted by conscious decision. Prescriptive grammars, which date to ancient times for classical languages such as Latin and Sanskrit, are rule-based codifications of natural languages, such codifications being a middle ground between naïve natural selection and development of language and its explicit construction. The term glossopoeia is also used to mean language construction, particularly construction of artistic languages.

Conlang speakers are rare. For example, the Hungarian census of 2011 found 8,397 speakers of Esperanto, and the census of 2001 found 10 of Romanid, two each of Interlingua and Ido and one each of Idiom Neutral and Mundolinco. The Russian census of 2010 found that in Russia there were about 992 speakers of Esperanto (the 120th most common) and nine of the Esperantido Ido. (Full article...)

Selected language

Ithkuil is an experimental constructed language created by John Quijada, designed to express deeper levels of human cognition briefly yet overtly and clearly, particularly with regard to human categorization. Presented as a cross between an a priori philosophical and a logical language striving to minimize the ambiguities and semantic vagueness found in natural human languages, Ithkuil is notable for its grammatical complexity and extensive phoneme inventory, the latter being simplified in the final version of the language. The name "Ithkuil" is an anglicized form of Iţkuîl, which in the original form roughly means "hypothetical representation of a language". Quijada states he did not create Ithkuil to be auxiliary or used in everyday conversations, but rather to serve as a language for more elaborate and profound fields where more insightful thoughts are expected, such as philosophy, arts, science and politics.

"Tram-mļöi hhâsmařpţuktôx" written in Içtaîl, the native script of Ithkuil
"Tram-mļöi hhâsmařpţuktôx" written in Içtaîl, the native script of Ithkuil

The many examples from the original grammar book show that a message, like a meaningful phrase or a sentence, can usually be expressed in Ithkuil with fewer sounds, or lexically distinct speech-elements, than in natural human languages. For example, the two-word Ithkuil sentence "Tram-mļöi hhâsmařpţuktôx" can be translated into English as "On the contrary, I think it may turn out that this rugged mountain range trails off at some point". Quijada deems his creation too complex and strictly regular a language to have developed naturally, but nonetheless a language suited to human conversation. No person, including Quijada, is known to be able to speak Ithkuil fluently.

Three versions of the language have been publicized: the initial version in 2004, a revised version called Ilaksh in 2007, and a final, definitive version in 2011. Find out more...

Did you know...

...that the auxiliary languages Ido and Esperanto both have their own versions of Wikipedia?
...that Newspeak, used by George Orwell in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, is interpreted as a hidden critique against universal languages by some?
...that Sequoya, a Cherokee silversmith, created the Cherokee syllabary, despite being illiterate at the time?

Current events


Corresponding categories


You are invited to participate in WikiProject Constructed languages, a WikiProject dedicated to developing and improving articles about constructed languages.

Things you can do

Here are some Constructed language tasks: Several articles about constructed languages have been deleted for lack of verifiability, independent resources or notability. If you think one of the following subjects meets Wikipedia's criteria for inclusion, don't hesitate dig it up from the graveyard, but don't forget to add proper references:

Web resources


Constructed language types

A priori language, Artistic language, Constructed language, Constructed script, Controlled natural language, Engineered language, Experimental language, Fictional language, International auxiliary language, Language game, Logical language, Musical language, Oligosynthetic language, Pasigraphy, Philosophical language, Pivot language, Relexification, Universal language, Whistled language, Zonal auxiliary language (Pan-Germanic, Pan-Romance, Pan-Slavic)

General language types

Agglutinative language, Analytic language, Inflectional language, Fusional language, Isolating language, Polysynthetic language, Synthetic language

See also: Interlinguistics/Cosmoglottics, List of constructed languages, List of constructed scripts, List of constructed languages with Wikipedias

Esperanto flag
Esperanto flag

Languages: Adjuvilo, Afrihili, aUI, Babm, Basic English, Bolak (Blue Language), Communicationssprache, Dutton Speedwords, Efatese, Esperanto, Esperanto II, Eurolengo, Europanto, Folkspraak, Français fondamental, Globish, Glosa, Guosa, Idiom Neutral, Ido, Interglossa, Interlingua, Interlingue (Occidental), Interslavic, Intal, Kotava, Langue nouvelle, Latino sine flexione, Lingua Franca Nova, Lingua sistemfrater, Lingwa de planeta, Mondial, Mundolinco, Nal Bino, Neo, Novial, Pasilingua, Poliespo, Romániço, Romanid, Sambahsa, Slovianski, Slovio, Simplified Technical English, Solresol, Sona, Tutonish, Universal, Universalglot, Uropi, Unish, Volapük

Creators: Arturo Alfandari, Louis de Beaufront, C. George Boeree, Léon Bollack, Claudius Colas, Louis Couturat, Reginald J. G. Dutton, Alexander Gode, Ján Herkeľ, Lancelot Hogben, Otto Jespersen, Arie de Jong, Juraj Križanić, Léopold Leau, Matija Majar, Diego Marani, Elias Molee, Charles Kay Ogden, Giuseppe Peano, Jean Pirro, Waldemar Rosenberger, Joseph Schipfer, Johann Martin Schleyer, Kenneth Searight, Jan van Steenbergen, Paul Steiner, Petro Stojan, François Sudre, Edgar de Wahl, Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof

Language comparisons: Esperanto and Ido, Esperanto and Interlingua, Esperanto and Novial, Ido and Interlingua, Ido and Novial

See also: Arcaicam Esperantom, Esperantido, Proto-Esperanto, Reformed Esperanto

Lojban logo
Lojban logo

Languages: An Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language, aUI, Blissymbols, Characteristica universalis, CycL, Gibson Code, Ilaksh, Isotype, Ithkuil, Kalaba-X, Láadan, Lincos, Lingua generalis, Loglan, Logopandecteision, Lojban, Loom, Ro, Toki Pona

Creators: Charles K. Bliss, James Cooke Brown, George Dalgarno, René Descartes, Hans Freudenthal, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Francis Lodwick, Kenneth Lee Pike, John Wilkins

Language comparisons: Lojban and Loglan

Artistic and fictional languages
Quenya, written in Tengwar
Quenya, written in Tengwar

Languages: Adûnaic, Aklo, Al Bhed, Alltongue, Asa'pili, Ascian, Atlantean, Aulëan, Babel-17, Balaibalan, Baronh, Barsoomian, Belter Creole, Black Speech, Brithenig, Chakobsa, Chorukor, Cirquish, Common Eldarin, Darkovan, D'ni, Doriathrin, Dothraki, Dritok, Enchanta, Enochian, Furbish, Galach, Gargish, Gnommish, Goa'uld, Huttese, Interlac, Iotic, Kēlen, Khuzdul, Klingon, Klingonaase, Koalang, Kobaïan, Ku, Láadan, The Languages of Pao, Lapine, The Lexicon of Comicana, Linguacode, Loxian, Lydnevi, Mandalorian, Mangani, Marain, Mänti, Mezangelle, Moss, Nadsat, Na'vi, Newspeak, Old Tongue, Pravic, Ptydepe, Quenya, Rihannsu, Shyriiwook, Simlish, Sindarin, Speedtalk, Spocanian, Starckdeutsch, Stark, Starsza Mowa, Syldavian, Taliska, Talossan, Telerin, Teonaht, Tho Fan, Transpiranto, Tsolyáni, Utopian, Vendergood, Verdurian, Valyrian, Wenedyk, Zaum

Scripts: Aurebesh, Cirth, Sarati, Tengwar

Creators: Richard Adams, M. A. R. Barker, Anthony Burgess, Sally Caves, Samuel R. Delany, Suzette Doctolero, Diane Duane, Suzette Haden Elgin, Paul Frommer, Václav Havel, Frank Herbert, Hergé, Madhan Karky, Ursula K. Le Guin, Barry B. Longyear, Hiroyuki Morioka, Marc Okrand, George Orwell, David J. Peterson, Poto and Cabengo, George Psalmanazar, Mark Rosenfelder, David Salo, Andrzej Sapkowski, Jan van Steenbergen, Daniel Tammet, J. R. R. Tolkien, Stanley Unwin, Christian Vander, Xul Solar, Marion Zimmer Bradley

See also: Alien language, Codex Seraphinianus, Elvish languages, False writing system, Languages in Star Wars, Languages constructed by J. R. R. Tolkien (Elvish languages (Middle-earth)), North Slavic languages

Constructed languages for special uses

Languages: Bongo-Bongo, Boontling, Brajabuli, Damin, Eskayan, High Icelandic, Iazychie, International Sign (Gestuno), Kesen dialect, Lingua Ignota, LoCoS, Medefaidrin, Nuwaubic, Palawa kani, Polari, Runyakitara, Tadoma, Timerio, Yerkish

See also: John Lyons, Voynich manuscript

Constructed writing systems for natural languages

Writing systems: Cherokee syllabary, Cree syllabics, Deseret alphabet, Hangul, Landsmål, Nynorsk, Shavian alphabet

Creators: Ivar Aasen, James Evans, William Fulco, Ronald Kingsley Read, Heinrich Schmid, Sequoyah

Organizations and regulating bodies

Akademio de Esperanto, Centre de documentation et d'étude sur la langue internationale, Esperanto Museum and Collection of Planned Languages, International Auxiliary Language Association, International Volapük Academy, Klingon Language Institute, Logical Language Group, Uniono por la Linguo Internaciona Ido


A Secret Vice, Bible translations into fictional languages, Conlanger, Conlanging - The Art of Crafting Tongues, Cosmoglottics, Esperantology, Ill Bethisad, Interlinguistics, ISO, SIL, and BCP language codes for constructed languages, Langmaker, Language planning, Language reform, Zompist.com

Wikipedia in constructed languages

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject: