Natural and Universal Languages: List of Artificial Languages

A chart or list of artificial languages, history and information of the languages and inventors, characteristics.


Language Inventor/Source Characteristics

Volapuk Johann Martin Schleyer, a Roman Catholic priest, invented in 1880.

English and Latin-Romance roots, Germanic grammatical structure. Name means "world-speak." Too difficult for nonlinguists. First part of Lord's Prayer in Volapuk: O Fat obas, kel binol in suls, paisaludomoz nem ola!

Idiom Neutral Simplified Volapuk.

First part of Lord's Prayer in Idiom Neutral: Nostr patr kel es in sieli, ke votr nom es sanktifiked.

Esperanto Ludwig Zamenhof, in 1887.

Probably most successful of artificial languages. Vocabulary derived from root words in Indo-European languages. Simple 16-rule grammar. A 28-letter alphabet with one sound for each letter. First part of Lord's Prayer in Esperanto: Patro nia, kiu estas en la cielo, sankta estu via nomo.

Ido Descendant of Esperanto, 1907.

First part of Lord's Prayer in Ido: Patro nia, qua esas en la cielo, tua noma santigesez.

Nov-Esperanto Offshoot of Esperanto, 1925.

Esperanto II Another revised form of Esperanto, 1942.

Latino Sine Flexione Created by Giuseppe Peano, 1903.

Derived from classical Latin. First part of Lord's Prayer in Latino Sine Flexione: Patre nostro, qui es in celos, que tuo nomine fit sanctificato.

Interglossa Invented by Hogben, editor of The Loom of Language.

Latin and Greek roots combined with Chinese syntax. "I went there in order to do it" reads mi pre kine topo tendo un acte re and translates literally "I past go place purpose a do thing."

Interlingua Created from 1924-1951 by the International Auxiliary Language Association, an American organization.

Based on word forms in English, Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Still used in medical circles. Easy to understand, to wit: Le Secunde Congresso Mundial de Cardiologica, que habeva loco in Washington, D.C., in septembre, 1954, adoptava interlingua como lingua secondari del summarios in su programma official.

Monling Relatively new international language.

Uses only monosyllabic words. Monling for "The language easiest to learn and use is obviously the best" is ling 't top pai ken ad ploi, il klar top bon.

Gibson Code Invented by coast artillery officer

Uses only numerical symbols. "The boy eats the red apple" reads "5--111-409-10-5-516-2013."

Timerio Created by mathematical-minded American in early 1900s.

A language based on numbers, each numeral representing a word or letter. It never caught on. People seemed to want a more euphonic way to say, "I love you," than "1-80-17."

Lincos Developed by Hans Freudenthal in 1964.

A truly universal language, and perhaps the language of the future. It is composed of various scientific symbols, and is translatable into the binary code, which means it could be transmitted any place in the universe.

Solresol Invented by Jean-Francois Sudre, of France, in 1827.

Author Victor Hugo and many in Europe welcomed it until 1900. The language is based on notes of the musical scale, and can be whistled, sung, or played on an instrument. Written in symbols of musical notation, it can form almost 1,200 words. But it has a difficult grammar, and its vocabulary would require a prodigious memory.

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