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Constructed language

An artificial or constructed language is a language whose vocabulary and grammar were specifically devised by humans, rather than having naturally evolved as part of a culture like a natural language. They are usually designed for use in human communication, the same as natural languages. Many are devised to function as an international auxiliary language, but they can also be created for secrecy, use in fiction, or linguistic experimentation.

The term planned language is also used, especially for international auxiliary languages, and by those who may object to the more common term "artificial". Speakers of Esperanto, for example, have said that "Esperanto is an artificial language like an automobile is an artificial horse."

Constructed languages are often divided into a priori languages, in which much of the grammar and vocabulary is created from scratch to serve a particular purpose, and a posteriori languages, where the grammar and vocabulary are derived from one or more natural languages and are intended to resemble them. A posteriori languages can be further divided into naturalistic planned languages which follow the natural languages from which they are patterned closely to minimize learning time, and schematic planned languages, whose features are deliberately simplified or synthesized from various sources.

Another way of dividing up constructed languages:

  • artistic languages (artlangs) - those intended to create aesthetic pleasure
  • auxiliary languages (auxlangs) - those intended to be used for international communication
  • logical languages (loglangs) - those intended to be an experiment in logic or philosophy

A constructed language can have "native" speakers, if children learn it at a young age from parents who have learned the language. Esperanto has a considerable number of native speakers, variously estimated to be between 200 and 2000. There was an attempt to raise a native Klingon speaker, but the child lost interest before reaching the age of 5.

Some people even create constructed languages as a hobby in their spare time.

Table of contents

Intended for general human use


Intended for machine assisted automatic translation purposes

Languages not intended to be spoken

Languages designed for knowledge representation

Languages of fictional worlds and peoples

See Fictional language.

Language games

See also:

External links

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