Archives of the Conlang Mailing List, 1991-94

There is a newer, more complete version of this archive at

For many years the Conlang mailing list ws the most active English-language forum for designers and collectors of constructed languages, also called artificial languages, universal languages, Plansprachen, Kunstsprache, hanna tungumál, gervimál, planlingvoj, artefaritaj lingvoj, etc.

Click here to see the current Conlang List headquarters.

During the list's first 4 years – the first time in world history when people interested in this relatively obscure topic were able to communicate in realtime – members discussed many fundamental issues in language design. They established a trend toward more original designs and more accurate descriptions of language features, and made an effort to find and share data about earlier projects. In order to make this important material available to future language creators, we have put together this lightly edited archive of those early years. Enjoy!

Polar opposites.
The names of colors.
Vladimir Nabokov's Zemblan.
Science fiction works containing conlangs.
DLT (modified Esperanto used in machine translation).
Descriptions of Dhamiathua, Laadan, aUI, Schklorpya.

(1992-93 under construction)

July 1993 (187 kilobytes)
Loglan trademark and copyright enforcement and resistance.
Metaphorical use of prepositions.
Brevity and speed of languages.
Cultural assumptions in vocabulary design.
Mentions of Solresol, Paleneo.
Problems of non-ASCII scripts.
Using the apostrophe as a letter of the alphabet.

August 1993 (75 kilobytes)
Does English have more idioms?
The language of Finnegans Wake.

September 1993 (35 kilobytes)
Tom Breton's Allnoun.
Interlingua and Occidental.

October 1993 (98 kilobytes)
How to decide which concepts will be represented by words.
Marking gender in pronouns.
How to count the parts of speech.
Designing anaphora.

November 1993 (74 kilobytes)
Andre Martinet and the IALA.
Dutton's Speedwords.
Whimsical spelling reforms.

December 1993 (53 kilobytes)

January 1994 (85 kilobytes)
Speedwords grammar and lexicon.
Klingon language development.

February 1994 (180 kilobytes)
Critiques of Láadan.
Elements of vocabulary creation.
List of ontologies (concept catalogues).
Universal semantic primitives.
Marking the relationship between roots in a compound.
Rarity of Volapük books.

March 1994 (98 kilobytes)
Lists of Volapük books.
Font creation and invented scripts.
Statistical differences between conlangs and natlangs.
The Paternoster translated into a few dozen conlangs.

April 1994 (53 kilobytes)
Cut English (spelling reform).
Tolkien's views on language esthetics.

May-June 1994 (220 kilobytes)
Artlangs and science fiction languages.
Counting, syntax, universals, and Chomsky's theories.
Non-vocal languages and tone languages.