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We talk about ideophones, a fun, fun class of words that describe a general feeling.  We also review a language that’s not quite an elflang, so William doesn’t quite hate it.

Top of Show Greeting: Dothraki

Links and Resources

Featured Conlang: Old Albic



I’ve just started listening to your podcast and since I’ve started to listen to your podcast I’ve significantly simplified (lolz paradox/oxymoron) the aspects of the language to just two aspects and all others are implied by lexicon.
However, I’m not too sure about the perfect and imperfect aspect on the present tense along with tenses and aspects on imperatives. Could you help me out a bit there? I don’t want to mess with my verb grammar until I work that out a bit more…Also, I could appreciate it if you make a podcast on grammatical voices. I try to avoid voices mostly because I view them as pointless. How do I do this? Well, I use a person called the fourth person or zero person. This translates roughly into “one; person; people; someone; etc” and extracts the object of the sentence and makes a never mentioned “common-person”. This makes the sentence “The deer was seen by the hunter” literally “The deer seen (by) someone”.No. It isn’t unnatural. Look at Finnic languages. -.-But anyway, I was wondering if you could help me out with the first part and BOW DOWN TO MY AWESOMENESSwith the fourth/zero person construct.Thank you you time.
Go(o)d be (with) ye. Which is now apparently “Goodbye”
~~ From Australia. Gildoff.If you say “g’day” in reply or in a future podcast I will stab you in the face… A simple Hello/Hallo/WHATDAF***DOYOUWANTBITCH?! is socially acceptable now.=P

19 Responses to “Conlangery #20: Ideophones”

  1. WmAnnis

    Woah! That Dothraki intro makes it sound less like we’re creating languages than we’re beating them into submission.

  2. WmAnnis

    Please add this link — – since you say you’ll do so in the podcast. 🙂

    • admin

      Damn it, I had three links from his site in the shownotes (because it was so hard to navagate), and they are inexplicably gone. I will fix that.

  3. Bristel

    I think “Daniel Tammet” is the name you meant in that link to the Ideophone website.

    And hi guys!

  4. Ossicone

    I went back and listen to this just to hear the effect you put on the “BOW DOWN TO MY AWESOMENESS.”

  5. Carsten

    There used to be someone on the ZBB who knew stuff about African languages, though I forget which ones. He went by Wycoval and his main conlang was African inspired and he wrote it like a fieldwork report IIRC. It also included ideophones, but unfortunately I don’t know the name anymore. He used to have information up on Google Pages.

  6. Uroš Dimitrijević

    Lojban is a conlang which *may* have something like ideophones: namely, its attitudinal/discursive system (inspired by Láadan). They are somewhat limited to abstract ‘inner feelings’ (e.g. alertness, togetherness, ‘no love lost’, cruelty, hauteur) as opposed to descriptions of any kind of external phenomena, but can be combined to form arbitrary ‘vectors’ in the possible attitudinal space.

    You guys seemingly panned Láadan, and I’m hardly expecting you to be much fonder of Lojban, but I imagine it being a nonetheless inflammatorily entertaining podcast if you ever cover it. Are you planning to?

    • admin

      Yeah, I think that attitudinal systems are an entirely different thing from ideophones. For one thing, attitude can be grammaticalized.

  7. Alex

    Well, I’m working on a language that uses ideophones instead of adjectives, the language is not yet ready for the world to see, but to describe a characteristic, instead of saying: “The book is blue and old.” you’d say something more like, “The book is a blue thing and an old thing.”

    • admin

      The emailer wrote that in BOLD ALL-CAPS, so I yelled it and added some reverb when I read it.


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