2009/10/28 Sam Stutter <[log in to unmask]>

> Hi, although I've been receiving updates via RSS, this is my first post to
> the listserv, so apologies if I screw up in formatting or something.

Welcome to the list!

> I've been working on my conlang for over a year now as revision for my
> linguistics modules at university but I've never got around to giving the
> thing a name. The language does have a vague conworld culture attached to
> it, but I've never really fleshed it out much, because frankly I like the
> ambiguity. However I do feel it's time that it got a name of sorts, and I
> just wondered how everybody else went about naming their conlangs? Have
> people generated names from other words in their language, like "community"
> or "people", stemmed it from another internal source or did one word
> spontaneously arise? Or are there other ways people have gone about it? If
> anyone is interested mine is a minority language spoken in a largely
> monoglotic empire, but due to emigration (not to mention the vast number of
> people involved) pockets of the language survive in different environments,
> from small rural societies to city communities. My only thoughts for conlang
> names have stemmed from features of the people's original homeland; think
> endless tracts of Pennine upland, moors and heaths and suchlike.
> Does anyone have any opinions on this?
Well, let's look at some of my languages (in order of current interest ;) ):
- Maggel /məˈɡɛːl/: as far as I know, the name "Maggel" doesn't have a
specific meaning (at least, not one I'm aware of yet). But that might change
in the future. I don't really remember how I coined the name, but I think my
goal was to have something that looked vaguely English-like while not being
- Nocha /notʃa/: the name literally means "No language", with "No" being the
name of a kind of mystical energy that forms the basis of the teachings of a
secret society that uses Nocha as its internal language.
- Narbonese: originally, the language was called "Roumant", which was simply
"Romance" in the language itself. But since it was spoken in a
Romance-speaking area (South France), I felt such a name was simply
unrealistic. Without dwelling too much on the history of Gaulhe (Southern
France in the alternate universe of Ill Bethisad), let's just say that
Narbonne (a French town) had (and still somewhat has) a strong reputation as
the capital of literature and poetry in Gaulhe, and as a result the dialect
spoken there became the standard and official language spoken in all of
Gaulhe (without displacing other local dialects and languages). The name of
the language (which is Narbonósc /narboˈnos/ in the language itself) simply
reflects this origin.
- Reman: my other (and chronologically speaking the first one) Romance
language's name also simply means "Roman". It doesn't have much of a
conculture, but I feel it would be spoken in an area without other Romance
languages near, so I didn't feel like changing this name.
- Moten: the meaning of that name is unknown, and in the story where the
language is spoken, it's actually an issue. Note that in Moten itself, the
name of the language is motenku|lu /motenkuʎu/ (literally "Moten language"),
and that the root "moten" is actually used in another word: motenva
/motenva/, meaning "violet" (literally "Moten colour". Moten is peculiar in
that it doesn't have unanalysable colour names. All colour names are
compounds using va: "colour").
- O: one day, I discovered notes of a language I had no recollection of.
It's only the fact that those notes were written in what was obviously my
handwriting that I knew I must have written them. The notes didn't list a
language name, so I decided to call it "O", to reflect on the emptiness of
my memory regarding this language.
- Itakian: once (in this post:,
Ray Brown misspelled "Italian" as "Itakian". I liked the look of the word so
much I decided to use it for my latest (and at that time unnamed) language.
In terms of internal meaning of the name, I made up a story of
misunderstandings, with the word "Itakian" being based on an Itakian insult
meaning "big mouth". I don't know what the native name of the language is.
- Tj'a-ts'a~n: it simply means "the language" in the language itself. It's
an abbreviation of the full name of the language, which is a long-winded
expression meaning "the language of the Sky People".
- Chasmäöcho: that name means "the good enough one", simply because that
language was supposed to be a personal language that was just "good enough"
for me.

I have a few other languages, but mostly their names were random inventions.

> Pæ ḟrétÿr (No worries)
> Sam S

Is that related to English "don't fret"? :)

Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.