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A KICKS Academy Course:
Fictional Linguistics: Six Million Forms of Communication and Counting...
Transgalactic Lingo

Excerpted from a post at the class message board, announcing the results of the voting for the name of our invented language...

TGL (Transgalactic Lingo)!

And here again is the description of TGL:

This is a trade tongue, used as a kind of universal language.  It is the main language of trade, diplomacy, and science.  As humans spread from their homeworld, isolation occurred for a time because of the great distances that needed to be traveled at sublight speed.  Even settlements whose ancestors spoke the same Earth language, over the centuries developed their own dialets to reflect their physical and cultural world. 

Then on the planet Einstein's Legacy, which was settled by scientists and mathematicians, warp speed capabilities was developed.  That planet rediscovered many of the lost colonies and had formed an alliance with many of the lost worlds. 

Einstein's Legacy exploited the worlds to some extent, but also brought new technologies.  TGL is based on the language of Einstein's Legacy.  However, the language has borrowed words and expressions from many of the others worlds that it has developed trade relations with.  (sort of like old-world English). 

Speakers of TGL typically come from the upper classes and the educated of most worlds.  Speaking TGL is a must for those who trade offworld.  It's also the unofficial, official language of diplomacy between worlds.  And most scientists at least read and write it so that they can keep abreast of the lastest developments in their fields which are generally published in journals on Einstein's Legacy.  Also many of the beggars, protitutes, con artists, and trades men and women who operate near the space ports speak TGL.  As well, the space ship crews all speak TGL. 

The Alliance is very loose.  Individual cultures on the various planets vary enormously.  So far, peace has prevailed.  But many fear that with contact between worlds, sooner or later an aggressor will start intergalactic conflict. Therefore some worlds have begun positioning and negotiating mutual defense treaties.  Many feel that only a galaxy-wide formal government will forstall conflict.  


Congrats to Dena, who proposed TGL. Now before we get started developing this language, we need to consider how the backstory will affect the character of the language. For example, TGL developed from the language of Einstein's Legacy, a world settled by scientists and mathematicians, so we might expect a great deal of "technical terms". Yet it is currently spoken by people ranging from scientists to diplomats to space ship crews to beggars - so it must cover a great range of uses and have vocabulary to suit all these types. Perhaps from the "technical terms" of Einstein's Legacy, simpler vocabulary has emerged? Or, consider how TGL has borrowed words (as all languages do, and English is particularly fond of doing) - perhaps it gets its "advanced" vocabulary (the technical terms) from Einstein's Legacy but commoner terms from another language, the way English takes most of its "upper class" words from Norman French, "lower class" words from Anglo-Saxon, and "scientific" words from Latin and Greek roots.

Another thing to consider when we get to creating vocabulary is what languages TGL has borrowed from. If the languages of the various planets, including Einstein's Legacy, developed from Earth languages, then TGL words will have roots in existing languages - English, French, German, etc. We should decide what languages the language of Einstein's Legacy is descended from, as well as the other languages from which TGL will be borrowing. This'll help us when we get to creating words. (It would probably be best if the "ancestor" languages of TGL are languages that we in this class speak. :-) For example, we all speak English - after that, French and Spanish have the highest representation in the class.)

Think about these things, but for now we'll move on to the first lesson and start developing the sounds of TGL!
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