The following is the de facto Conlang-L FAQ, hosted at .

Someone will post it once a month, copied directly from that page, for
the benefit of new members. If you would like to change it, please
edit it at the link above.

- Sai

==Where to get Conlang-L==

The official archives are at . From there, you can
search the archives, get an RSS feed, manage your subscription, etc.

It's also the ONLY place you can go to sign up and post things to the list.

A read-only archive with a nicer user interface is at .  [As of April 2009 this archive has
ceased mirroring new messages.  Henrik Theiling knows about the
problem and has said he's planning to fix it but hasn't had time to do
so yet.]

Conlang-L is also <i>mirrored</i> as a Yahoo group, but there is no
way to have posts to the Yahoo group sent to the actual list.  Do
<b>not</b> subscribe to the Yahoo group.  It has no admin anymore.  Go
to instead!

==A brief history of the list==

The list evolved from some informal email conversations among an early
group of language enthusiasts. The earliest mail mirror was run by
John Ross out of the BU physics department, and was up and running by
29 July 1991. It moved to Denmark on 23 March, 1993.

The original note reads in part:

<blockquote><p>''By agreement with John Ross, the CONLANG mailing list
has been moved to, the mail hub of the CS Department of the
University of Copenhagen. Send all submissions to CONLANG at diku dot
dk. The address at buphy still works, but it is just an alias for the
new list.''</p>

<p>''Lars Mathiesen (U of Copenhagen CS Dept)  (Humour NOT

(Note that the submission address in that historical note '''NO LONGER

Later, growing traffic and changes at the university necessitated a
move. In January&ndash;February of 1997 the list moved to its current
home at Brown University's LISTSERV server. David Durand made the move
and actively moderated the list from that point on.

Before the move, threads centered on debates on the relative merits of
[[auxlang]]s had become common on CONLANG; these were often incendiary
and irritated many listmembers.  Accordingly, when the new CONLANG
list was set up at Brown, a sister list AUXLANG was set up to cater to
participants of these threads, and auxlang advocacy was banned from
CONLANG.  It still is.  (Dispassionate discussion of auxlangs is

In ??? John Cowan took over actual moderation duties, as "Lord of the

Later the torch was passed to Henrik Theiling.

==Subject Topic Tags==
In the subject line of a post, you can mark the post with one of the
following tags.  Tags are only recognised if a colon follows and not
other decoration (e.g. brackets) are used. Any 'Re:' etc. is
irrelevant -- the software skips it.

Good tag syntax:

  CHAT: Is the world really round?

Bad tag syntax:

  [CHAT]: Is the world really round?

These are the official tags the listserv software can be instructed to
filter automatically.  There are currently exactly three:
* CHAT: off-topic stuff of the conversational sort
* USAGE: natural language usage (all of the YAEPT and similar should use this)
* THEORY: linguistic theory discussions
Only the above three tags are official and configured for filtering.
However, most advanced mail clients can be set to have extra filters,
such as for the following unofficial tags:

* OT: should not be used, use CHAT instead as some software had
problems with 'OT'
* OFFLIST: not actually seen on-list, this tag is added to make
explicitly clear that you are taking a subject offlist (i.e. you're
emailing someone directly about it)

The following are explicitly not included in the list of filterable tags:
* META: threads about CONLANG-L itself
* TECH: technical issues (e.g. email programs, list-related technical
problems, etc)

Finally, there are two meta-tags:
* [CONLANG]: This should not be actually added when starting a new
subject; you can make the listserv prepend it automatically to all
email (so that you can set your mail client to filter all list
* "was": used to change the subject, or more commonly, to indicate
that the subject of a thread changed a while ago and you're no longer
pretending it's about the original topic


  JAMA says flat earth leads to flat [@] (was CHAT: Is the world really round?)

Note that tags ARE included after the "was", but "Re:" is NOT, nor is [CONLANG].

==Posting limits==
As a traffic-limiting measure, if the list receives more than 99
messages in a given day (in Brown's time zone), all subsequent
messages will be automatically held and not delivered until the admin
unblocks the list.

Sometimes, during longer periods of high traffic, a further limit is
imposed restricting each person to five posts a day.  ''This
restriction is currently in force.''  Posters are encouraged, during
such periods but also in general, to consolidate several shorter
replies on a single topic into a single message.

List of acronyms specific to the Conlang Mailing List:

* AFMCL - "As for my conlang.."
** AFMOCL - "As for my own conlang"
* ANADEW - "A natlang's already dunnit, except worse"
* ANADEWism - Something you thought was unique, but ANADEW
* IML - "in my 'lect" (dialect or
[ idiolect], depending on
* LCC - the [ Language Creation Conference]
* NCNC - "No cross, no crown".  In the context of the list, "don't
discuss religion or politics"
not its more general meaning]).
* NLF2DWS or NLWS - Non-linear [fully 2-dimensional] writing system
* YAEPT (the original acronym) - Yet Another English Pronunciation Thread
** YADPT ... Dutch Pronunciation ...
** YAGPT ... German Pronunciation ...
** YAEGT ... English Grammar ...
** YAEUT ... English Usage ...
** general pattern: YA(Language)(Topic)T

==Other conlang-specific vocabulary==

From [ here]
and [ here].  See also
[[Conlang terminology]].

* constructed __ (generally a contraction): conlang, conworld,
conhistory, conculture, ...

* a language characterised by ___ (generally a contraction): conlang,
artlang, auxlang, ...

# A language constructed for the beauty or fun of doing so. [From
art(istic) + lang(uage)]
# (See conlang) [From art(ificial) + lang(uage)]

* A language constructed to replace or complement natlangs to
facilitate cross-linguistic communication. [From aux(iliary) +

concultural [From con(structed) + cultur(e) + al]
* Adjective form of "conculture".

[[conculture]] [From con(structed) + culture]
* A fictional culture created as a backdrop to a conlang. See also "conworld".

[[conlang]] [From con(structed) + lang(uage)]
# n. A constructed language
# v. To construct a language

[[CONLANG]] (all caps), conlang-l, Conlang-L, or CONLANG-L
* A very active conlang mailing list hosted by, and
currently operated by Henrik Theiling

[[conworld]] [From con(structed) + world]
* A fictional world created to host a conlang or conculture. See also

[[engelang]] /ˈendʒlæŋ/ [From eng(ineered) + lang(uage)]
* A conlang that is designed to certain criteria, such that it is
objectively testable whether the criteria are met or not. This is
different from claiming that the criteria themselves are 'objective'.
For example, the Lojban/Loglan roots are designed to be maximally
recognisable to the speakers of the (numerically) largest languages in
the world in proportion to the number of speakers. It is not a matter
of taste whether this criterion is met; it is something that can be
tested. (by John Cowan) [From eng(ineered) + lang(uage)]

etabnannery /raːmnænəɹi/ (rare)
* The state of appearing entirely unpredictable, but, upon closer
analysis, failing at even being that. [From Etá̄bnann(i), a conlang by
Tristan McLeay, which was supposed to have an unpredictable
orthography, but ended up just having a confusing one. Damn people
trying to make patterns everywhere. At least it's a bugger to
typeset!... errm... back to the derivation + -ery]

maggelity /mə"gɛːlIti/ (rare) [From Maggel, a conlang by Christophe
Grandsire which has a rarely predictable orthography]
# The state of being entirely unpredictable. (Tristan McLeay)
# The state of being regularly unpredictable, such as to horribly
confuse anyone unfamiliar with the language, lulling them into a full
sense of security before pointing out, cartoon-character-style, that
the ground no longer exists where they're standing. (Tristan McLeay
and H. S. Teoh)

Maggel's Paradox (rare)
* Your radical ideas have already occurred to others. (Muke Tever)

[[natlang]] [From nat(ural) + lang(uage)]
# A natural language, i.e., one that naturally developed in the world,
as opposed to a conlang.

* Just before something about conlanging in an otherwise off-topic post.
* From ob(ligatory) + conlang (i.e., an obligatory on-topic comment
about conlangs just so that the post isn't completely off-topic).

[[translation relay]]
* A game similar to Telephone or Chinese Whispers, wherein the
participants translate a passage one at a time, in serial, into their
own languages - and then marvel at how far from the original the
translations have gotten.

==CXS (Conlang X-SAMPA)==
[[CXS]] is a version of X-SAMPA for use on the CONLANG mailing list.
X-SAMPA is a way to write the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)
using normal plain-ASCII text that everyone can read.

* [ Theiling Online: Conlang X-Sampa (CXS)]
- includes CXS-to-IPA conversion chart
* [ CXS at Wikibooks]


* [ Arthaey's Conlang FAQ]
* [ LangMaker] - repository of many conlang
* [ Frath Wiki] - a similar site, and host of the
Conlang-L (wikified) FAQ
* [ Omniglot] - which has information on more
writing systems than you thought could exist