Collaborative alien culture/language/interlanguage construction idea

Submitted by kittybecca in glossopoeia

I debated whether to respond to /u/shanoxilt's thread asking if anyone was interested in collaboration with this, but since it was a ways down I figured this might warrant a new thread.

I have an idea for a collaborative project that would take multiple stages:

Stage 1: Participants separately construct alien cultures and languages for them

Stage 2: Participants show each other their cultures and languages and try to arrive at a consensus for a plan and outline of an auxiliary language between the different alien cultures. The nature of this auxiliary language can be decided in this stage as well; it may be a pidgin, a form of one of the specific languages, an in-universe constructed language, etc.

Stage 3: Participants collaboratively flesh out the details of the auxiliary language.

Possible Stage 4: Participants evolve the auxiliary language.

Possible Stage 5: Participants split the auxiliary language into dialects, with a possible premise being the loss of contact between the civilizations.

Is this too big? What would be some ways to handle inevitable issues like people dropping out, etc.? Has something like this been done before?


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kore wrote (edited )

I'm really really interested in making a language but I have almost no experience with this sort of thing. I study historical linguistics but don't really know much about conlangs besides they exist. Can i still participate and will you all help me?

EDIT: could we make a matrix channel for discussions? It seems like Raddle is on thin ice and I don't want this idea and collaboration to die out if Raddle goes down


yaaqov wrote

I think absolutely! I'll say this; /u/kittybecca's current idea is very cool but definitely is something of an advanced project, as it seems to presuppose each participant's comfort with making a language on their own. Perhaps, as a first project engaged in by the conlang-interested among us, something closer to "just a collaboratively designed language" (as per /u/shanoxilt's original posting), without the additional layers of simulated history (at first, at least) and independent work, might be a better first project for getting each other on the page and for developing a communicative foundation.

What do y'all think? (I suppose this should be a top level comment).

Also, yeah I think a matrix channel is a good idea. I don't know how to make one, though.


kore wrote

Yeah I agree. I think it would be really nice to make a conlang with others instead of on my own because that would be a way for me to get into it without taking on the effort of an entire language


yaaqov wrote

With what level of extra-conlang metadiscussion do you envision the interlanguage being created? In other words, would we more be designing it together, using English (or whatever) as a meta-language to do so, or would we try to communicate with each other using the languages we've created individually, and let the interlanguage take shape from those efforts without it being collectively designed?


kittybecca wrote

That's a good question. I had thought about both, and was maybe leaning toward using English to design the interlanguage, but I imagine it would depend on who was interested and what they were comfortable with... I'm not against doing it all with the individual languages.


kittybecca wrote

Comment on own idea: It should be encouraged in such a project that people not essentialize their constructed cultures and instead make them heterogeneous, nuanced, three-dimensional, etc..

Additional question: What would a reasonable time frame for the stages be?