SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:Are there any examples of semi-natural and semi-con langs?
A 50% : 50% language or anything like that?
I can't say I've heard of such a thing, and I'm having difficulty even figuring out what "A 50% : 50% language" would look like. Are we talking about all aspects of the language, like syntax, phonology, pragmatics? Because the only area where such a division would begin to make sense to me is vocabulary.
The "50% : 50%" thing is tripping me up, so I'll try to look at other things. With any luck, I'll bring up what you were looking for. A common distinction made in conlanging is between a priori
and a posteriori
conlangs. The exact boundaries vary from person to person, but the definitions I use are the following:a priori
- not regularly derived from a natural languagea posteriori
- regularly derived from a natural language
Either of these kinds of conlang could be "semi-natural" in a sense. An a priori conlang might take inspiration from a natural language (e.g. Esperanto), and an a posteriori language by definition has a natlang as its starting point. There aren't any conlangs fitting my definition of "a posteriori" with any pop culture currency, but Brithenig
is the most well-known example among conlangers; it is a Romance language developed under Celtic influence.
You might also look at cyphers, which most conlangers don't consider true conlangs. These are simple re-encodings of natural languages. For example, a cypher might seem unfamiliar on the surface, but if you looked closer you'd see its vocabulary and grammar map 1:1 onto English vocabulary and grammar. The Ancient Language from the Eragon series is such an English cypher.
SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:And if yes, why do they exist?
Short answer: Because someone made them.
Long Answer: People can have any number of reasons for making any kind of conlang, or even a cypher. A person making an a priori language could choose to take inspiration from a natlang in order to make the conlang more familiar to their target audience. A posteriori languages can serve to explore alternate histories, like Brithenig does. I'm making an a posteriori Romance conlang, and the process helps me better understand the actual history of the Romance languages. Making a cypher could be a matter of expediency for someone who needs a language for a story, but it could also come from ignorance of what is truly possible with language creation.
Reconstructed modern languages are also on-topic
Care to elaborate? Reconstruction usually applies to dead, unattested languages. Given modern languages exist now, why would we reconstruct them?