The general public often looks down on Conlanging.
may be considered a "weird hobby" if done for fun
an "impractical concept" if done for communicative
Yet IMO conlanging is going on at all times in the
of natural language. People coin new slang terms
and new inventions like "radar" and "modems"
words than may become quite common. All this may
be serious stuff. Some is clearly for fun -- take
-- not without its influence on the English
Natural languages are "under construction"
constantly. Moreover, the leading "natlangs" are all to some extent
result of conscious efforts to define norms and
a common vocabulary. Famous poets have set the
standards for many -- including Pushkin's role in forming
modern Russian; Dante in Italy, etc. Hungarian vocabulary
was in part an
artificial creation of its pioneer lexographers.
Hebrew came back from the dead -- reorganized by
planners. Norwegian was restructured (from Danish)
and reorganized (at least twice). Most literate
"languages" today were created by conscious choice
by language planners by selecting from leading
dialects, often fusing them into a norm that is
in the schools. Missionaries did the same with
and other South Sea languages.
An Emperor of Korea invented Hangul; Kemel Ataturk
reorganized Turkish, replacing much grammar and
vocabulary and putting it all into a new
To imply that languages "just grow" is IMO
nearsighted. Even the major "school grammars"
show the impact of the conscious efforts of
individuals on the direction of
"Classical Latin" "Classical Literary Chinese,"
etc. were all norms set by "grammarians" -- not
refections of what was being spontaniously spoken
some population. Further back, languages like
seem to have been "devised" from various souces by
series of planners.
ASL and all the other sign languages for the deaf
clearly inventions. So were things like Gregg
Also things like Bliss Symbolics.
Natural languages and subsidiary language forms
in fact, often the result of conscious efforts to
fill a need.
And fun can be a need as well.
Leo J. Moser