seren arbazard 2015/5/5
Jan 24th, 2015
“How do native speakers of a conlang learn their mother tongue?”
How do native speakers of a conlang learn their mother tongue?
I’d like to write on the theme.
First, what’s a conlang? It’s the short form of “constructed language.” Its antonym is a natlang (natural language). A natlang is a language which exists in the world by nature. A natlang is a language which specific people grew in their history. A conlang is a language which a person or a group made on purpose.
The most famous conlang is Esperanto. Esperanto is so famous that people might have heard of it even if they haven’t heard of the word conlang. Esperanto is not a foreign language, but a conlang. It was made by Zamenhof, a Polish eye doctor in 1887.
There’re two types in conlangs. A priori ones and a posteriori ones. In the conlang world, a priori doesn’t mean “innate” but “the language doesn’t borrow words and so on from natlangs like English, Japanese.” while a posteriori conlangs do. The definition means it is generally harder to make an a priori conlang than to make an a posteriori one because you have to make phonetics, grammar, thousands of words from scratch.
In linguistics world, a language is just as good as others, but in conlinguistics, there might be a significant difference among conlangs. A conlang which somebody conjured up in one day cannot be as good as Esperanto which has a history.
In conlinguistics world, the quality, reality or elaborateness of a conlang are appreciated. Conlinguistics is a kind of competition like sports and arts.
You can easily make a well-made a posteriori conlang because you can borrow phonetics, grammar and lexicon from natlangs. Esperanto is the most famous a posteriori conlang. A posteriori conlangs have a defect; you make a conlang from molds of natlangs so that you cannot make a conlang freely from scratch. A posteriori conlang must be like natlangs.
You can make an a priori conlang freely because you have to make it up from scratch. However, you have to compose phonetics, grammar, lexicon by yourself. If you want to make an a priori conlang which is as elaborate as a natlang, it takes a very very long time. It takes more than ten or twenty years to make a natlang — like a priori conlang, so no one succeeded in making one.
It was in the 20th century that human beings made a natlang-like elaborate a priori conlang. The name of the conlang is Arka ([aɹka] in IPA). What is Arka then?
Arka was not originally a conlang for being a natlang-like elaborate a priori conlang. The following names are names in Arka.
In 1991, a current Estonian lady called Liiza Lutia [liːza lɯtɪa] performed an experiment; what if she has children from all over the world make and use a conlang? She had her own daughter Ridia Lutia [ɹɪdɪa lɯtɪa], children of her friends, orphans and volunteers make a conlang. The conlang is now called Old Arka. Liiza was interested in conlangs when she was little. Her teacher spoke a cipher language which refers to the language of flowers. Being influenced by him, Liiza began to make a conlang with her friends in 70s to 80s. Her teacher’s language is now called First Arka and her conlang is now called Previous Arka. They are irrelevant to Old Arka, so Arka was officially created in 1991, but actually it could be back to before 1991.
Liiza had the children around ten years old make and use arka. She was the leader of the experiment until they became around fifteen years old and studied linguistics. In the latter part of 90s, more than thirty people spoke Arka, but speakers were divided into two groups. Their Arkas were so divided that a member of one group couldn’t communicate with the other group. So some of them tried to unite their Arkas. Liiza had her daughter Ridia’s boyfriend Seren Arbazard [sɛɹɛn aɹbazaɹd] (me), a French-Korean Japanese unite their Arkas.
I began to make a new Arka called Established Arka in 2001. I decided not to use ideograms anymore and to use phonograms. I cast away a posteriori words to let Arka be an a priori conlang. I began to use a computer, not paper, to make a conlang, which sped up my work on Arka. Moreover, I tried to use the Internet.
In 2002, Ridia decided to make a child with me to make a native speaker of Arka. We tried again and again, but Ridia didn’t get pregnant. That made Ridia very depressed. I felt my love for her tortured her and broke up with her. On June 27th, 2003, I became a boyfriend of a girl called Esta Akua [ɛsta akɯa] and stayed away from Axet [aʃɛt], the group which spoke Arka.
On March 6th, 2004, we got married. I grew up Established Arka with Esta.
We didn’t release Arka to the Internet because we thought it was underground. We didn’t need any more users of Arka at that time. My family including my wife Esta didn’t agree with the release, but I decided to release Arka to the Internet on October 4th, 2005.
In the same month, I made a website, “New Conlang Theory.” In the website, I released not only Arka but also how to make a conlang for the first time in Japan. I wrote about conlinguistics for the first time in the world. At that time, conlangers didn’t know what the difference was between a priori and a posteriori well. They didn’t recognize the importance of influence to conlangs by culture and climate (i.e. world). Now most Japanese conlangers know they need to think about a conworld when making a conlang but they didn’t at that time. I had to enlighten conlangers as to how Arka, an a priori conlang with an a priori conworld and a priori conusage, was great.
In 2003, I asked if Esta was OK with raising a child with Arka and she said yes but in 2005 when she got pregnant, she suddenly began to disagree with the project saying “My baby is poor if he can’t speak Japanese.” On December 19th, 2005, Esta left me. On June 16th, she gave a birth to her son, Arxe [aɹʃɛ].
On June 27th, Ridia and I got back together and she gave a birth to my second son Yult [jɯlt] and my first daughter Luxia [lɯʃɪa]. If they’d have been born in 2002, the history of Arka would have changed greatly. The twins became the first a priori conlang native speaker in the world.
More and more people learned Arka by the Internet. My best friend, Nias Avelantis [nɪas avɛlantɪs] found Arka with the Internet, too.
Established Arka was too rational and logical. You can easily learn its grammar and lexicon. The features attracted heavy users like Axtan Acma [aʃtan arma]. However Established Arka had a fault: if you miss even one sound, you can’t understand the meaning of the sentence. Established Arka had a fault in using it. Enna Vajo [ɛnna vaʒɔ], one of Arka speaker was hard of hearing and pleaded the others for changing Established Arka. On January 19th, 2008, some of the users of Arka including me made a new Arka called New Arka. Established Arka was abolished and I tuned Arka. Eventually New Arka became a conlang which was like a natlang. 17 years of experiment taught us a lesson; natlang-like conlangs are the easiest to use. We made a demonstrative experiment for conlinguistics with 17 years of languages use.
Axet broke up in 2009. So I put emphasis on activities on the Internet. But I was still corresponding to the ex-members of Axet. Ridia and I raised the twins with Arka. After Established Arka, its raison d’être was “which a priori conlang is the most elaborate in the world?” That was why Arka became the first natlang-like most elaborate conlang in the world.
The year of 2011 was the anniversary year; Arka became 20 years old, I made a group called conlinguists (levianklel in Arka).
Arka ruled at that time. If you googled for 人工言語 in Japanese, you’d find Arka’s website on the top page. Every conlanger was influenced by Arka or conlinguists.
In 2006, I wrote a unique novel “The Book of Xion” (How do you survive if you are summoned into another world where people speak UNKNOWN languages?) and published it in 2011.
I also published “Conlinguistics and Arka” to establish conlinguists. There were all kind of contents using Arka; film, movie, manga, novel, music and game.
Yult and Luxia, the native speakers of Arka were growing up and Arka users were increasing.
This book is about how native speakers of a conlang learn their mother tongue (i.e. how Yult and Luxia grew up learning Arka).
It’s the first book which is about learning of well elaborate a priori conlang in the world. So the paper is very important to conlinguistics.