- Fictional language
Fictional languages are by far the largest group of
artistic languages. Fictional languages are intended to be the languages of a fictional world, and are often designed with the intent of giving more depth and an appearance of plausibility to the fictional worlds with which they are associated, and to have their characters communicate in a fashion which is both alien and dislocated.
Some of these languages, e.g., in worlds of
fantasy fiction, alternative universes, Earth's future, or alternate history, are presented as distorted versions or dialects of modern English or other natural language, while others are independently designed conlangs.
Fictional languages are separated from artistic languages by both purpose and relative completion: a fictional language often has the least amount of grammar and vocabulary possible, and rarely extends beyond the absolutely necessary. At the same time, some others have developed languages in detail for their own sake, such as
J. R. R. Tolkien's Quenyaand Sindarin, Star Trek's Klingon language, and Star Wars's Mandalorian languagewhich exist as functioning, usable languages. Here "fictional" can be a misnomer.
By analogy with the word "conlang", the term "
conworld" is used to describe these fictional worlds, inhabited by fictional constructed cultures. The conworld influences vocabulary (what words the language will have for flora and fauna, articles of clothing, objects of technology, religious concepts, names of places and tribes, etc.), as well as influencing other factors such as pronouns, or how their cultures view the break-off points between colors or the gender and age of family members.
Common examples are:
J.R.R. Tolkien's languages of Middle-earth
George Orwell's Newspeakin " Nineteen Eighty-Four"
Václav Havel's Ptydepein " The Memorandum"
Anthony Burgess's Nadsatin " A Clockwork Orange"
Iain M. Banks' Marainin his Culture novels
Ursula K. Le Guin's Pravicin " The Dispossessed"
* Richard Adams's
Lapine languagein " Watership Down"
Richard A. Watson's D'ni in the Myst franchise
Robert Jordan's Old Tonguein The Wheel of Time
Klingon languagein Star Trek
Mandalorian languagefrom " Star Wars"
* The backwards Japanese/Latin used in "
Ico" and " Shadow of the Colossus"
Baronhin " Crest of the Stars" Series
* Ku in
Professional fictional languages
Professional fictional languages are those languages created for use in books, movies, television shows, video games, comics, toys, and musical albums (prominent examples of works featuring fictional languages include the Middle-earth and Star Trek universes and the game
Al Bhed languageused on the video game Final Fantasy Xis not a language per se, as it is only a clever substitution cipher.
A notable subgenre of fictional languages are
alien languages, the ones that are used or might be used by putative extraterrestrial lifeforms. Alien languages are subject of both science fictionand scientific research.
Perhaps the most fully-developed fictional alien language is the
Klingon languageof the Star Trekuniverse - a fully-developed constructed language.
The problem of alien language has confronted generations of
science fictionwriters; some have created fictional languages for their characters to use, while others have circumvented the problem through translation devices or other fantastic technology.
Although this field remains largely confined to science fiction, the possibility of intelligent extraterrestrial life makes the question of alien language a credible topic for scientific and philosophical speculation.
While many cases an alien language is but an element of fictional reality, in a number of science fiction works the core of the plot are linguistic and psychological problems of communication between various alien races.
Internet-based fictional languages
Internet-based fictional languages are hosted along with their "conworlds" on the Internet, and based at these sites, becoming known to the world through the visitors to these sites;
Verdurian, the language of Mark Rosenfelder's Verduria on the planet of Almea, is a flagship Internet-based fictional language. Many other fictional languages and their associated conworlds are created privately by their inventor, known only to the inventor and perhaps a few friends. In this context the term "professional" (used for the first category) as opposed to "amateur" (used for the second and third) refers only to the professionalism of the used medium, and not to the professionalism of the language itself or its creator. In fact, most professional languages are the work of non-linguists, while many amateur languages were in fact created by linguists, and in general the latter are better developed. Fact|date=April 2007
Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence
* [http://www.xibalba.demon.co.uk/jbr/lingo.html A Primer In SF XENOLINGUISTICS] , by Justin B. Rye
* [http://www.matessa.org/~mike/inter-comm.html Interstellar Communication] , a collection of references
* [http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Galactic_Basic_Standard Galactic Basic Standard] from the "
Star Wars" universe
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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