||We've all heard of them: people who have created their own language. Whether for reasons idealistic (Esperanto), reverential (Elvish), fanatical (Klingon), or practical (private 'jibberish' spoken by twins), certain ambitious persons have undertaken that seemingly overwhelming task of devising an alphabet and grammar, vocabulary and even literature. Why do they do it?
Well speaking for myself, I did it because I find it truly fascinating. After discovering Tolkien in junior high school--thanks entirely to my most influential mentor, "Magistra" Karen Knapp--I became intensely interested in comparative linguistics and artificial languages. Being the days before the internet, I did not know at the time that others had been doing this for years. Today they call themselves Conlangers ("constructed language-ers"), but at the time, I fancied myself one of perhaps only a handful of individuals world-wide who spoke a tongue understood by no other living person.
Originally just a writing system I would use to keep private notes to myself, my language developed and grew to include very rich grammatical rules, an extensive vocabulary with etymological considerations; and eventually inscriptions, hierograms (sacred writings), and poetry. Its grammer is inflected with three cases and encompasses several moods and three tense systems--each with a perfect and an imperfect--with simple and progressive action being synthetically represented. There are four adjectival/adverbial degrees, four genders; and singular, dual and plural suffixes along with a number of tranformative affixes and many logical conjunctions, correlators, subordinators, rogators, inquisitors, and gramatically active determiners. Rathvardic has a past history with a proto-language, "Slasing", and a future direction--a mutation vector.
Since I began this back in junior high, I have learned much about the spoken word. I've studied a number of languages (dead ones in particular!) and linguistics in general, and there is much I would do differently if I could, but like any speaker of any real language anywhere, I'm stuck with history and the mother tongue as is currently exists. I've been indulging the idea of starting fresh but have yet to actually begin. Till then, I'm the only speaker of Rathvardic and because it is the language of my personal notes, that is the way I wish to keep it.
I would consider it immensely satisfying if someone unfamiliar with constructed languages were to stumble across my own attempts and as a result, find the inspiration to undertake a similar labor of love. There can be no real practical outcome of such an undertaking--if we've learned anything from the failure of Esperanto--but as a work of art, even an intellectually abstract thing can be of great beauty. And when such a creation develops into its own literature and art and culture, then it has truly taken on a life of its own. It is the child that has grown up.
It is with this hope that I share the following short poem.