Ithkuil and Ilkash

Two languages devised by the American linguist John Quijada, both insanely complex,

whose aim is the highest possible degree of logic, efficiency, detail, and accuracy in cognitive expression via spoken human language, while minimizing the ambiguity, vagueness, illogic, redundancy, polysemy (multiple meanings) and overall arbitrariness that is seemingly ubiquitous in natural human language.

In other words, all the fun stuff.

However, the premise notwithstanding, the languages are fascinatingly terse – for example, the Ilkash word uccuẹilšrokö’z means something like concerning a hypothetically puzzling desire for an end to everything having to do with ewe-wool clothing, and Đrëu’yìrňu wufyér? means Is it those formally recognized groups of people who are helping to make inquiries about it?.

The grammars read like a toolkit for conlangers to take ideas from – Ilkash has 96 cases for nouns for example. And the verbal system is madness too : for example, each verb has a set of suffixes encoding (in a complex, compressed way) for (among other things!) Mood, Context, Phase, Version and Sanction; for example, Speculative Representational Repetitive Rebuttative Positive. Putting this onto the verb to eat we would get on the contrary, maybe [subject] succeeded in – metaphorically speaking – eating [object] at regular intervals, if indeed he is trying to, which we don’t know.


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