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on March 5, 2009 at 3:50:47 am

Introductory notes

This page explains some jargon used by the conlanger community.  The following notes detail the conventions used on this page.



Entries should appear in alphabetical order.


Multiple meanings

To avoid ambiguity, we distinguish multiple meanings with a numbered list, showing the part of speech (noun, adjective, verb, etc.) if the term is ambiguous. See conlang for an illustration of these points.


Syllable stress patterns

The stress pattern of some of these words, e.g. conscript, differs subtly from earlier words with the same spelling, and may be shown in angle brackets < >, using:

  • - to separate syllables,
  • ' before a syllable to mark a primary (strong) stress,
  • " before a syllable to mark a secondary (medium) stress, and
  • no mark for unstressed (weak) syllables. 

For example, <'con-"script> has a stronger stress or emphasis on the syllable <script> than <'con-script> does.


Normally, an English word has no more than one primary stress; if an utterance seems to have two primary stresses, we write it as two separate words, e.g. compare 'fast 'food with 'milk-"shake.


Whilst the expressions in angle brackets do show syllables and stresses, they are not pronunciations.


artlang: (noun) an art language; a conlang created for artistic or aesthetic purposes.

auxlang: (noun) an (international) auxiliary language; a conlang created to help people communicate better, whatever their L1.



  1. (noun) <'con-lang> a constructed language. It's just a short name for a language that someone, or some group of people, have made up.
  2. (verb) <'con-"lang> the practice of creating conlangs.

conlanger: (noun) a person who conlangs.


  1. (verb) <con-'script> to compel a person or persons to perform military service.
  2. (noun) <'con-script> a person who has been conscripted.
  3. (noun) <'con-"script> a constructed script or writing system. It's shorthand for a writing system that someone has invented. A conscript can be a writing system for a natlang or a conlang. The best-known conscript for a natlang is Shavian, a new writing system for English.


  1. (noun) <'con-text> the environment or surroundings in which something occurs.
  2. (noun) <'con-"text> a text written in a conlang, whether in a conscript or not.


L1: (noun) <"L-'one> a person's first language, usually a natlang.

loglang: (noun) a logic(al) language; a conlang created to increase the clarity and precision of expression, reasoning and argument.


natlang: (noun) a natural language, such as English, Arrernte or Spanish.  The word natlang was coined to distinguish these languages from conlangs.  These "natural languages" are thought by some to have evolved, by a process of "natural selection", akin to Charles Darwin's notion by which new species of living organisms arise through innovation of new forms, competition amongst alternative forms, and survival of the fittest forms.


Shavian: (adjective, noun) a conscript for English, which won a prize established in the will of the playwright, George Bernard Shaw, for a new writing system which would make English spelling logical, phonetic and unambiguous.




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