Viossa is a colllang created by members of /r/conlangs with a unique creation process. The language was originally written in a Skype group called Viossa tekstiklaani and spoken in a separate group called Klaani Kamaha Kotobafuviossa, but has since moved to Discord.
Viossa came into existence and continues to evolve by people trying to communicate while only being allowed to speak one language besides Viossa. The words from these source languages are incorporated into Viossa, similar to a pidgin. Each member has a different source language, including the natlangs Ainu, Albanian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Irish, Japanese, Latin, Mandarin, Northern Sami, Norwegian, Old English, Portuguese, Russian, Scots, Spanish, Swedish, Swiss German, and Xhosa, the conlangs Tardalli and Wanya, and possibly more. New members are encouraged to choose a non-Indo-European source language.
The three ground rules of the project are:
- Use of English is strictly restricted to meta discussion. No word or phrase may be translated directly or indirectly into English or vice versa, and no grammar may be described in English. This is to simulate a circumstance where the contributors truly didn't share a language, and to allow semantic shifts.
- If a phrase is understood by everyone, it is perfect Viossa, even if it was unusually constructed. If no-one understands a phrase, it is by definition not Viossa, even if it used a lot of Viossa grammar and vocabulary.
- There are no prescriptions or standards. Because of this, a lot of semantic and phonetic shifts happen, and each contributor has their personal dialect and orthography. Despite this, the contributors do fight the urge to use a copula.
As an exception to rule 1, the following four words are allowed to be translated, and are taught to newcomers:
- akkurat (often abbreviated to ak, akk, or akku) — yes
- nai — no
- ka — what
- fšto (also spelled fshto or frsto) — understand
It should be noted that all of these words have additional meanings, which are not allowed to be translated.
The name of the language is sometimes considered a fifth allowed word.
First anniversary changes
On the language's first anniversary, which coincided with Christmas Eve 2015, the first rule was expired and an AMA was held on Reddit which included some translations. Using Viossa to explain words is still preferred by some members.