League of Lost Languages

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Welcome to the home page of the League of Lost Languages!

The League of Lost Languages (LLL) is a kind of collaborative fiction-writing project in which the participants describe fictional languages that could exist or could once have existed in a world otherwise the same as the real world we all live in. The idea is that in the LLL world, some languages survived that died out in our world, without changing the world more than necessary to accomodate the languages in question. The LLL world is essentially our world with the same history and geography, just with a few extra languages.

This is a kind of "what-if" conworld, i.e. a fictional version of our world in which the change from reality is limited to the existence of a few extra languages. Examples of such "lost" languages include European languages of pre-Indo-European origin, modern East Germanic languages, fictional branches of Indo-European, sister groups of real-world families and isolates, etc. Of course, this is not limited to Europe. An LLL language could be yet another of the many diverse languages of the North American Pacific coast, a modern-day descendant of Sumerian or a pre-Bantu language in the Congo basin. It is also not ultimately necessary that the languages are spoken today; they might be extinct but having left written records.

The participants would contribute their conlangs, say where and when they are spoken, and write fake scholarly papers and similar stuff about them.

This is not a research project about actually existing languages! The languages described by our members are entirely fictional. We all do this just for fun; we just love messing around with fictional languages.

A language contributed to the LLL must fulfill the following criteria:

  1. It is naturalistic, i.e. it is plausible as a human language. (Or it represents a constructed language, e.g. an auxlang, within the fictional setting.)
  2. It is spoken by humans; non-human races (even Neanderthal survivals etc.) are out of bounds. (The Elves and Dwarves speaking Albic and Razaric are no exception to this: they are humans, not the usual fantasy races.)
  3. Its history is consistent with the known history of the real world. This means that all the major events are the same as in our world. This rule puts limits on conculturing, but it also helps avoiding awkward political and religious debates, and concentrating on the languages.
  4. It is either extinct (having left behind written records) or spoken by a community small enough not to make a difference. (This is pretty much an implication of the criterion above.)

The LLL conducts its business on the lostlangs mailing list.

The languages of the LLL

Language Family Location Author
Albic family Hesperic
British Isles Jörg Rhiemeier
Alpianic family Hesperic Switzerland The group
Alpic Danubian Switzerland Taylor Selseth
Attidian Hesperic Italy Jörg Rhiemeier
Continental English Indo-European
Unknown (Europe) Jashan A'al
Çomyopregi Indo-European Europe Damátir Ando
Eteonoric family Eteonoric Austria The group
Føtisk Indo-European
Denmark Tristan McLeay
Hairo isolate Rügen, Germany Christian Thalmann
Hattic Indo-European Russia Jan van Steenbergen
Hifahoshaj isolate Texas Bob Thornton
Kilda Kelen Tungusic Kamchatka Peninsula Kuroda
Kuman Tyli Turkic Russia/Ukraine Isaac Penzev
li~Rumaninu Indo-European
Congo Patrick Dunn
Lu Indo-European Southern France and Northern Italy Schwhatever
Mærik isolate Sweden Benct Philip Jonsson
Orinoco English Indo-European
Venezuela Rodlox R
Outidic auxlang   Raymond A. Brown
Razaric family isolate Scotland Jörg Rhiemeier
Roman Germanech Indo-European
Odenwald, Germany Jörg Rhiemeier
Rugian Indo-European
Rügen, Germany Piotr Gepfert
Tallarmen Turkic Siberia Kiwipedia
Thagojian Indo-European Egypt/Palestine/Israel Paul Bennett
Tseeyo Niger-Congo Guinea Wycoval

Selected articles from the lostlangs list

Date Author Title
2004/07/03 Jörg Rhiemeier Some thoughts about the linguistic landscape of Europe
2004/07/03 Christian Thalmann Hairo Script Brainstorming
2004/07/05 Patrick Dunn li~Rumaninu
2004/07/10 Jörg Rhiemeier pre-Homo sapiens languages; Vinca script
2004/07/10 Bob Thornton Hifahos^aj
2004/07/19 Jörg Rhiemeier The British Isles Linguistic Area
2004/07/22 Isaac Penzev First info about Kuman Tyli
2004/07/22 Jörg Rhiemeier Some facts about Caucasian languages
2004/07/23 Christian Thalmann Hairo Grammar Brainstorm
2004/09/04 Bob Thornton Possessives within Hifahoshach
2004/09/12 Bob Thornton Hifahoshach Verb Conjugation
2004/10/03 panchakahq Turkish Loans in Neo-Khitanese
2004/10/05 Christian Thalmann Hairo Page in Progress
2004/11/29 Jörg Rhiemeier Degrees of volition in Old Albic
2004/12/29 Bob Thornton Revised Hifahoshach phonology
2005/02/20 Jörg Rhiemeier Some Old Albic calendar and mythology stuff
2005/03/27 Angel Ynglesh Lawngwedg (Preview)
2005/05/22 Jörg Rhiemeier Alpine languages
2005/05/25 Benct Philip Jonsson Transcription of Proto-Noric
2005/06/03 Roger Mills Proto-Noric: A few proposals
2007/02/27 Paul Bennett Terzemian
2009/01/09 Kim Kuroda Ringe on European prehistoric linguistic diversity
2009/06/20 Jörg Rhiemeier Some speculations on prehistoric European languages
2010/05/11 Jörg Rhiemeier Let's make the Alps a second Caucasus!
2010/05/12 Jörg Rhiemeier Reconstructing Eteonoric, and suggestions about Paleo-Alpine typology
2010/05/18 Jörg Rhiemeier Some suggestions on Paleo-Alpine typology
2012/09/07 Jörg Rhiemeier The Second Caucasus Project revived