Artificial Languages

Here are six well-known constructed languaiages that can help you think and express yourself in novel ways.

Esperanto. Esperanto is the most widely spoken conlang on Earth, with an estimated 2 million speakers, putting it on par with Lithuanian, Icelandic, and Hebrew. 1 It was designed in 1887 by Dr. L.L. Zamenhof as a kind of neutral, universal second language that would allow native speakers of all languages to meet one another on even ground, with none having an intrinsic fluency advantage.


Lojban is designed to remove as many restrictions as possible on "creative based on propositional logic, and it has a culturally neutral vocabulary that was algorithmically derived from the six human languages with the most speak¬ ers (Mandarin Chinese, English, Hindi, Spanish, Russian, and Arabic),

Lojban's grammar is more regular than even Esperanto's, so much so that it :an be fully specified on a computer with a program such as YACC. This lighly regular grammar leads to Lojban's famous audiovisual isomorphism, meaning that spoken Lojban can be unambiguously transcribed; you even pronounce punctuation. Lojbanists speculate that this feature might be use¬ ful for human-computer communication. Science fiction has beaten them to it, however; the characters in Robert Heinlein's 1966 novel The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress use Loglan for just that purpose.

In short, Lojban is a kind of super-language designed to shoot off your Sapir-Whorfean hnguistic shackles and blow your mind open. Give it a try.


Dr. Okrand explicitly designed Klingon to be alien, to stretch the human brain by violating human linguistic universals. For example, its syntax uses a word order seldom observed among human languages. Dr. Okrand has a puckish sense of humor and has added other features that are hard for humans to wrap their minds, lips, and larynxes around, but despite this, Klingon has a devoted fan base.

Here's an example of how Mark "Captain Krankor" Mandel, Chief Gram¬ marian of the Klingon Language Institute, 1, hacked his mind with Klingon. You can, too!

Mandel offers a story about the way Klingon makes him feel. During one of the annual qep'a', he went out on a mission to pick something up for the convention. A light rain was falling; he felt wet, tired, and a little droopy. But he strengthened his resolve by saying a Klingon phrase to himself: jISaHqo', which he says could be translated as "I refuse to care," "I will not care," i" and "I refuse to let this bother me." In English he would only have had d the weaker phrase, "I don't care," which wouldn't have conveyed the strength of his intentions. He smiles at the memory. Thinking in Klingon reminded him that being irritated by a little rain was the sort of thing only a foolish h human would do.2

AIINoun. More a constructed grammanr than a constructed language, Tom Breton's AllNoun has a vocabulary and a grammar that consist entirely of English nouns, thus embodying an idea first proposed in Jack Vance's 1958 science fiction novel, The Languages ofPao.

An AllNoun sentence is a web of relationships with a weirdly static, timeless feel. Here's an example of a sentence written in AllNoun:

act-of-throwing:whole Joe:agent balhpatient

And here's a rough transliteration:

In some context, there is an act of throwing, and the agent of that act is Joe, and the patient is some ball.

which conveys this basic intended meaning:

Joe throws the ball.

You might think that act-of-throwing is an attempt to smuggle a verb into the sentence, but in a full constructed language, as opposed to the prototype project that AllNoun is, that hyphenated word would be a timeless, tenseless noun in its own right.

With only one part of speech, AllNoun's grammar is extremely simple. Paradoxically, if you try hacking your mind with AllNoun, you might find its simplicity to be the most difficult, yet most rewarding, aspect of this language.


Although the principle of forming antonyms by reversing the notes in a wore teresting (for example, fasimisi means advance and simisifa means retreat), there's probably not much in Solresol to broaden your mental horizons.

Its real value instead comes from enabling you to communicate multimodally. You can express Solresol syllable-notes via singing, playing a musical instrument, flashes of light, semaphore, spoken language, written language, musical notation, and so on. You can even use it to add another informa¬ tion "channel" for modifying the meaning of verbal language.


Tools for thinking in different ways.

Folksonomies: language linguistics

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 Mind Performance Hacks
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Hale-Evans, Ron (2006-02-06), Mind Performance Hacks, O'Reilly Media, Inc., Retrieved on 2013-12-29
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