Three interests of mine have come together (or crashed together, depending on how I feel): Micronations, Chaos Magick, and Conlangs. I’ve talked about the Nation of Lemuria before. I will be talking about chaos magick in later posts. But for right now, I want to talk about colangs, and my own conlang, Lemurian Barbaric.
The term ‘barbaric‘ means, in this context, a language that is barbarous on your tongue. It is not a langue that you think in reflexively, and it’s not supposed to be. This is a language designed to be exotic.
A conlang is, essentially, a CONstructed LANGuage. Tolkein’s Elvish and Star Trek‘s Klingon are both examples of conlangs. There are websites, podcasts, and online communities all devoted to conlangs (it is primarily an online phenomenon.)
One of the fun things about developing your own conlang is developing rules and grammar different from the ones you grew up with (the other one is coming up with dirty jokes in your conlang.) For example, here are some of the rules I’ve come up with for Lemurian Barbaric.
Lemurian Barbaric is generally a verb-framing language. This means the the path (or lack thereof) of an action is indicated by the verb itself, while the manner of movement is indicated by a modifier. In English, this would look like, “I moved away runningly”, as opposed to “I ran away.”
Lemurian Barbaric is unlike many other languages in two respects. It lacks the ‘to be’ verb (this is sometimes known as E-prime), and it lacks the singular tense. Thus, nothing is ever something else, nor is anything itself. All things (the closest word for ‘thing’, translates into ‘rhizome’ in English) have the aspects, shape, for characters, of the thing it is being compared to. Also, there is no ‘I’, although they do recognize singular people. This is due to their belief that all organisms are colonies. Thus, the only difference between a person and a group of people is size and complexity.
Lemurian Barbaric is an ergative language.
Lemurian Barbaric is typically noncontatenative. This means that root words are strings of three consonants. Derivations are through vowel placement and prefixes.For example, the words for ‘ten’, ‘tenth’, and ‘ten times’ are kugug, kugag, and kugig.
There are five grammatical genders in Lemurian Barbaric. Unlike in most other languages, which tend to denote sexuality and physical gender, gender in Lemurian Barbaric denotes agency and materiality. Thus, you have the genders material inanimate, material animate, ideological, immaterial inanimate, and immaterial animate.
The word order in sentences is typical Object, Verb, Subject. Which does lead to everyone sounding a bit like Yoda.
Lemurian Barbaric is still very much a work in progress. I’m also working on a writing style for the conlang. I’ll be posting updates on this from time to time.
Feel like making your own language? Drop me a line in your new language in the comments!