01 January 2012


So, in times of trouble one can always turn to conlanging.

I was thinking about my language of mostly 5-letter words, the conlang which has been called Penta, Zengo, Dengo, Tango and so forth. (About due for another new name.)

In making a word for ‘light’ I wanted to blend lu- from Romance words like luz, luce, llum, lumière with something else, anything else. In Hindi and Urdu there are words for ‘light’ similar to raušnī, rośni (romanizations vary).

This gives 4 possibilities for a Tango word: lusni, luzni, lušni, lužni.

lušni would be spelled luxni in the Tango alphabet, and that’s awesome because luxni contains a visual callback to the Latin word lux.

However, š is a voiceless consonant and Tango generally uses voiceless consonants only for concepts that are unpleasant, harsh, or technological. So now I must decide whether to bend that rule in this case.

1 comment:

Chris Bogart said...

Light is overused as a positive metaphor, and I think it's interesting to contemplate swapping the metaphorical sense of light as good and darkness as bad. Light can be harsh and unpleasant and unforgiving: http://www.panhala.net/Archive/Sweet_Darkness.html

P.S. Sorry to hear about your friend. Have you read Douglas Hofstadter's ruminations about his sister, who was otherwise normal but never had any language capability? He writes about it some in his latest book. It's hard to imagine what it would be like to not have language.