The Conlanger Code v1.1

This code quickly summarizes much info, both personal and conlanging-related, about we the sufferers of this time-consuming and rewarding not any longer so secret vice.

Work is underway elsewhere to design a coding-system for individual conlangs, that is not the purpose of this one.


The fine-tuning of categories are presented in tables, the leftmost column being the adjustment-value, the second column the explanation of that value and the rightmost column, if any, the names of originators etc. for that value.

Furthermore, names in [square brackets] in category-headers belong to the originators for that category.


! placed after: data undisclosed
? placed after: found no fitting category
* placed after: code does not apply, indifference, neutrality
$ placed after: gets paid for it
@ placed after: opinion/value varies
! placed before: doesn't understand question, haven't heard of category
< placed between code and adjustment: wannabee rating Steg Belsky

Note: not all the possible adjustment values (++++ to ----) are listed for all categories, but of course these lacking intermediate values are there.

The Conlanger:

C - Conlanger occupations:

Few, if any conlangers can earn a living on their Art. Therefore, money for pens & paper, grammars, dictionaries, food & housing etc. must come from somewhere else.

C plus occupational code (stolen from the Geek Code, with important additions)

B Business
C Classics
CA Commercial Arts
CM Computer Management
CS Computer Science
CL Computational Linguistics
CC Communications
E Engineering
ED Education
F Faithworker, that is priest, rabbi, guru...
FA Fine Arts
G Government
H Humanities
IT Information Technology
J Jurisprudence (Law)
L Literature
LI Linguistics
LS Library Science
MC Mass Communications
M Math
MD Medicine
MU Music
P Philosophy
PA Performing Arts
PH Philology
S Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc.)
SS Social Science (Psychology, Sociology, etc.)
ST Student, specifically when not studying for a specific profession or in a specific tradition. Freshman or eternal/professional student perhaps? Sam Bryant
T Translator/Interpreter (yeah I *know* they are different!)
TW Technical Writing
W Wealthy, doesn't have to work for a living
O Other

Special cases, cannot be combined with any of the above:

CU 'Undecided'. Doesn't know yet
!C Conlanger of no qualifications. A rather miserable existence, you would think.
CAT Conlanger of All Trades. For those that can do anything and everything.

I'm studying mainly computer science and linguistics, thus I am CCS/LI. (Not counting my dabbling in comp.ling. here, useful though it was)

v - version:

v followed by version number, always 1.1 for this one.

l - Linguistics:

Shows level of expertise, or level of interest if not a professional

l plus main discipline (if any):

a applied linguistics
c chomskyite
cg cognitive Ed Heil
f fieldwork
h historical Dale Morris
m morphology Sam Bryant
p phonology
s sociolinguistics
t tagmemics
u typology/universals
v vocabulary/semantics
x syntax (non-chomsky)
§ several of the above, picks and chooses


l++++ I am -the- authority on the field (Chomsky would be lc++++)
l+++ Spokesperson/fan/true believer :)
l++ Writes articles firmly rooted in the tradition
l+ Discipline is a tool, just like any other
l Have read a little, know what it is
l- Useless for what I try to show
l-- Useless, waste of time, to be ignored
l--- Fierce supporter of rival theory
l---- I am the main -critic-

Special cases:

!l Not a professional
l% Student Nik Taylor

I would be !lu+

c - Conlanging-factor:

Has been discussed time and time again, browse the archives.

c plus

first position: beardedness:

A all (both B and M), a real grizzly!
B beard
G goatee Fabian, Patrick Dunn
H hairless, completely Fabian
M moustache
N no facial hair
S sideburns Dale Morris
? varies too much, no known term Sam Bryant

second position: handedness:

A ambidextrous (uses both equally well)
L left handed
R right handed

third position: status of eyesight:

B legally blind
C combination
L long sighted
N no correction needed
S short sighted
E The eyesight per eye would need one entry each, they're that different.

fourth position: sexual preference:

B bisexual
G gay/lesbian
H hetero

If the specific term isn't here or you don't know, use a question-mark for that position.

I am cN:R:E:?

a - Arts/crafts/hobbies (creativity):

Do you consider yourself to be creative or is conlanging your only creative outlet?


a++++ I am an artist, I live of my art (or try to)
a+++ Others consider my work good enough to be on an exhibition or sold
a++ I also role play, paint etc. Of course my conlanging benefits
a+ I (have) dabble(d) in lots of things, nothing serious, just a hobby
a Conlanging is it.
a--- Even conlanging is too much, but I can't stop doing it!
a---- I've managed to stop conlanging/conlangers are loonies!

I am a+, Sally Caves would be a+++

x/y/z - Gender (That's -human biological-, not -grammatical!-):

x if female, y if male, z if undisclosed, followed by number of kids or # for 'yes, I have children' and/or:

!z* There are no absolutes, society is obsessed with the difference, (insert statement here)

n - Age/have conlanged how long:

n followed by exact age or number of completed decades + 'd', colon, and years/decades spent conlanging. Whether pauses are included or not is up to you.

The 'decade' marking is especially suited for conlangers that are, ahum, 39 years old... these may claim three decades :)

I would be n2d:1d

B - Belief-system

This one is instead of R in version 1.0

The importance of one's faith/religion/life-philosophy, no matter what this is.

B plus adjustments:


B++++ Leads a congregation (is a pastor/priest/rabbi/etc.) or is (an equivalent of) a missionary for a church/group/faith/etc. if such exist.
B+++ Strong believer, for instance born-again
B++ regular church (synagogue, mosque, etc.)-goer
B+ Irregular churchgoer
B Member of some church/group or other but has really never reflected much on it. Church/group used for baptisms, weddings and funerals or equivalents.
B- Currently searching for the truth, some other truth found unsatisfactory.
B-- Used to believe, but does not oppose the belief.
B--- Used to believe, now officially opposes that belief.
B---- Used to believe, now one of the best known opponents/de-programmers.

Special cases:

!B I have no religion, this does not apply for me. (Note: this is here for people, that do not consider atheism and agnosticism to be a faith/belief-system, or lack of one.)
B? Agnostic, the truth is unknown/relative.
!B* I fail to see why faith, or the lack of it, has to be branded onto everything and nothing, and furthermore what it has to do with me conlanging.

The Craft

A - Auxlanging:

What are your views on auxlanging and auxlangers?


A++++ (insert auxlang here) will save the world!
A Been there, done that, useful experience
A-- I am strictly an artlanger, thank you very much!
A---- Auxlangers are a wart on civilizations butt!

E - Esperanto:

What are your views on this the best known of auxlangs?


E++++ Esperanto is my L1, I live and breathe E-o!
E+++ I met my spouse at an E-o convention, we speak it at home
E++ I'm member of a club/would like to set up my own
E+ I know enough of it to use it, but are not really active
E Have looked it over
E- Not my thing
E---- Aigh! E-o does everything wrong! I support (insert auxlang here)

L - Loglanging:


L++++ I speak (insert loglang here) fluently! It is great!
L+ Making an effort to disambiguate can't hurt...
L Been there done that, useful experience
L- Tried it, didn't like it
L---- But... language isn't supposed to be logical! Madness, utter madness!

N - Natlangs:

N followed by number of languages you are fluent in, mother tongue included; a monoglot would be N1, most of the non-english on the list would be at least N2

I - Interest:

What's most interesting/easy to do, the stuff you concentrate on, perhaps neglecting other things in the process.

I followed by:

c surrounding culture
d diachronics, the gradual change of a lang
m morphology
p phonology/phonetics
r pragmatics
s syntax
v vocabulary/semantics

You may combine interests the same as done in C, with slashes (/), thus: Is/p interest/ease is mostly divided between syntax and phonology.

k - Conculturing

To what degree do you make elaborate settings for your lang(s)?


k++++ I conlang to fill my worlds with voices! The conculturing is primary.
k I balance the time I spend conlanging and conculturing, neither pastime dominates, both are equally interesting.
k---- Making a setting for the language is all-important. The conlanging is primary.

Special cases:

!k I don't conculture, for whatever reason.

ia - Isolating/incorporating/Fusional/Agglutinating:

What is preferred?

(With thanks to Nik Taylor)


ia++++ isolating all the way, wohoo!
ia+++ some compounds, no inflections
ia++ some compounding, very few inflections
ia+ only a few inflections
ia a balance is best
ia- only two or three "slots" for affixes
ia-- 4-6 slots for affixes
ia--- lots of slots for affixes, with some incorporation
ia---- my lang makes Inuit look isolating! Polysynthetisism rules! I could fit a book in one word.

Optionally followed by a colon and the degree of fusion: [Nik Taylor]

: fusional
:+ some degree of seperatability (like Latin with ama-ba-m, e.g.)
:++ no seperatability, some analytical structures
:+++ no seperability, few analytical structures
:++++ thousands of inflections, all inseparable

I'd have to say ia---:+ here, as formerly separate affixes have started to fuse on me, the rascals.

p - Phonology:


p++++ All you need is: sound, no sound and a clock pulse. Binary, baby!
p+++ Okay, so there's at least a difference between consonants and vowels... I'll even allow as much as two vowels!
p++ I'm a minimalist, Hawai`ian and Rotokas, well I guess they'll pass...
p+ Simpler than the norm.
p A balance is best, I aim for the natlang mean, whatever that is.
p---- Every sound defined by the IPA and then some is the way to go.

Special cases:

!p Sounds? Who needs sounds, I do gestural/telepathic/symbolic langs.

s - Syllable-structure:


s++++ Who needs syllables anyway? One word, one sound!
s+++ The only needed syllable-structure is CV!
s A balance is best, I aim for the natlang mean, whatever that is.
s---- Georgian is such a nice lang, the hairier clusters the better.

m - Productivity/perseverance:


m++++ Oh.. I have made *that* many langs! Yikes
m++ I am working on a language family
m Well, I sketch langs to test features, which then might be incorporated into my 'main' lang later
m--- I've had some false starts but this is it!
m---- This is the one, true lang, and I am faithful to it

Special cases:

m* I don't actually conlang myself, I just like to watch.

o - "Out of closet"-ness or level of pushing the craft:

Does other people know that you conlang?


o++++ I am working to make conlanging a recognized art-form!
o Those who ask, are told
o- It's on a need to know basis
o-- My family knows
o--- I think my therapist/priest knows...
o---- My gosh I hope nobody knows! I'd die if anyone found out, or deny it!

The List

P - Participation: [Dale Morris, Don Blaheta, Sam Bryant, Steg Belsky]


P++++ Answers EVERYTHING, singlehandedly stands for half the traffic on the list, and is often to blaim if the limit is reach and thereby the list held.
P Posts an average number of posts
P---- Never posts

S - Seniority on the list:

How long have you subscribed to the list?


S++++ Pshaw! In my day, we wrote our messages on clay tablets! There were no such thing as the new-fangled mailing-list-thingies!
S+++ I joined while the list was hosted on (until March 1993)
S++ I joined during the Diku years, prior to or during the move to Brown. (until December 1996)
S+ I joined in the early years after the move to Brown (after 1996)
S I've been here for years
S- I've survived my first year, wahoo!
S-- I'm starting to feel well at home, been here half a year or more.
S--- I've been here for a few months, still green
S---- I'm an absolute newbie, please bear with me

Special cases:

S% I've been on-and-off all the time, can't remember when I joined for the first time
!S* The universe existed before conlang-l? No way!

Name of conlang:

Finally, name of the most loved conlang, the best, most satisfactory one, or current main project.

My code would be:

CCS/LI v1.1 !lu+ cN:R:S:? a+ !z* n2d:1d !B* A-- E- L-- N2<5 Is k++ ia---:+ p-- s- m o P? S++ târuven

Removed from previous version

d and b is no longer part of the code as you really couldn't use them to describe yourself with them. See the very first version for what they meant.

Furthermore, due to the difficulties with defining R properly it has been tossed out in favor of B.