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

This is automatically posted 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.


==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 _mirrored_ as a Yahoo group, but there is no way to have
posts to the Yahoo group sent to the actual list.  Do *not* 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:

  ''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.''

  ''Lars Mathiesen (U of Copenhagen CS Dept)  (Humour NOT marked)''

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

Later, growing traffic and changes at the university necessitated a move. In
January–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 welcome.)

In ??? John Cowan took over actual moderation duties, as "Lord of the
Instrumentality".  The torch was later passed to Henrik Theiling, and again
(in 2014) jointly to Alex Fink and And Rosta.

==List behaviour==

The CONLANG list rejects attachments.

It also discards the HTML part of MIME-formatted messages: that is, bold or
italic text, super- and sub-scripts, tables, and anything else fancier than
plain text will not come through.  Your mail client may attempt to make
informed substitutions for these in messages you send, but for tables
especially this is unreliable; it's best to prepare your tables, interlinears,
etc. in fixed-width plain text, using spaces or tabs (but not a mix of both)
for alignment.

===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.

Each individual poster is limited to 7 messages per day.  Messages beyond the
daily limit are simply bounced, not held for the next day.  Posters are
encouraged to consolidate several shorter replies on a single topic into a
single message.

==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 immediately: no other
decoration (e.g. brackets, an extra space) should be 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 four:

* OT: off-topic stuff

* 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 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:

* 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 traffic)

* "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


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 context)

* LCC - the [ Language Creation Conference]

* LCS - the [ Language Creation Society]

* 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

Acronyms not on this list might be in general usage: try
[ Google's define:] or
[ Acronym Finder].

==Other conlang-specific vocabulary==

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


* 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) +

# (See conlang) [From art(ificial) + lang(uage)]


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

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 /məˈgɛlɪti/ (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.

ObConlang (or ObCL)

* 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]

==Related lists==

The Auxlang list, mentioned above, is dedicated to international auxiliary
languages.  Its archives and subscription interface are at .

The list [log in to unmask] is dedicated to the planning and
conducting of [[conlang relay]]s, q.v.


* [ 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