-----Original Message-----
From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On
Behalf Of Jan van Steenbergen
Sent: Friday, March 15, 2002 2:26 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: proposed conlang database & my classification

>It does not mean that it will be more work to enter the classification. :-b
>My problem with your classification is, that our languages will be divided
>mainly between "descendent of natural language" and "a priori, non-
>categorical". So, that's why I propose to make a few subdivisions.

i'm sure there are plenty of other languages out on the net to fill in the
other categories. Those types happen to be the ones people concentrate on

>By the way, I fully agree with your distinction in classification between
>the Prime Vocabulary Source and the Design Motivation.

i thought it was a good distinction :)

>Before giving my own classification, I would like some more remarks:
>1. "Date added" and "Date modified" could best be automatized.

yeah they will be. i just had them in there to show what data will be

>2. Three categories of estimated users seems to much to me (I'd prefer

that's more of an internal thing and shouldn't concern people who are merely
searching the database.

>3. The categories "Cases used", "Aspects used" and "Tenses" dig a big too
>deeply. I think this is really too much information for one database entry.

are there general recurring patterns over natural languages that use certain
combinations of these? Looking at this, i can see aspects and tenses prolly
wouldn't be of too much use. Cases seems interesting to me... maybe they
could just say whether it's a nom/acc system or erg/abs system, and give a
number for how many cases are used (instead of specifying each one).

>4. To the category "Design motivation" it could be useful to add: Fictional
>naming languages (for RPG's and the like) in the category "Artistic" and
>Stealth languages in the category "Personal".

what other types of personal languages are there (to contrast with
stealth/secret languages)?

>Now, here's my classification:
>1. Modifications of existing languages
>   1.1. Latin
>   1.2. English
>        1.2.1. Simplifications
>        1.2.2. Spelling reforms
>        1.2.3. Superset
>        (* these subdivision can also be applied elsewhere)
>   1.3. German
>   1.4. French
>   1.5. Spanish
>   1.6. Other
>   1.7. Combinations of two or more existing languages
>2. A posteriori
>   2.1. Romance-based
>        2.1.1. Romance-based languages (proper)
>        2.1.2. Esperanto and relatives
>   2.2. Germanic-based
>   2.3. Baltic- and Slavonic-based
>        2.3.1. Slavonic-based languages (proper)
>        2.3.2. North-Slavonic languages
>        2.3.3. Baltic-based
>   2.4. Celtic-based
>        2.4.1. Celtic-based languages (proper)
>        2.4.2. Celto-Romance languages
>        2.4.3. Celto-Germanic languages
>   2.5. Other (existing) Indo-European branches
>        2.5.1. Indo-Iranian-based languages
>        2.5.2. Greek-, Armenian-, Albanian- and Illyrian-based languages
>        2.5.3. Hettite- and Tocharian-based languages
>   2.6. Fictional Indo-European branches
>   2.7. Non-Indo-European languages
>        2.7.1. Uralic-based languages
>        2.7.2. Afro-Asiatic-based languages
>        2.7.3. Languages based on other Asiatic or Austronesian languages
>        2.7.4. Languages based on other African languages
>        2.7.5. Languages based on Native American languages
>3. Mixed a priori/a posteriori
>4. A priori
>   4.1. Categorical (philosophical languages)
>   4.2. Non-categorical languages
>   4.3. Pasigraphies (picture languages)
>   4.4. Number languages
>   4.5. Pasimologies (sign/gesture languages)
>   4.6. Musical languages

your system reminds me of the one i found at (mostly because of
how comprehensive it is and the fact that a number system is used). I
basically made a simpler version of it. So you used this system in your own
database? Did the languages spread across the classification evenly?

>I must add here, that especially point 4.2. will need some elaboration in
>the form of subdivisions, since it will cover a very large number of
>languages. However, I consider myself unable to do this. Other people know
>their way much better in this province in Conlang Land than I do.
>I've never really understood the point of 3 (mixed-type languages).
>Sometimes I get the impression that this category is some sort of garbage
>can for everything that couldn't be placed elsewhere.
>Hope this message got thru somehow.
>With kind regards,

I'll be thinking on this vocab categorization thing and on how best to do
it. It would be nice if other people gave their input too :)