ŋ/ɜɪ/ʒə: A constructed language to verbally portray a signed language of alien descent

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Adams, Kelly
Menon, Mythili

Adams, Kelly. 2022. ŋ/ɜɪ/ʒə: A constructed language to verbally portray a signed language of alien descent -- In Proceedings: 21st Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p. 6


A human is tasked with deciphering an alien race’s spoken language. The elders of the alien race have no mouths, therefore, communicate via sign language. However, the younger generations have mouths as a result of their race reproducing with a neighboring planet’s race. The younger population has developed a spoken language to use simultaneously with their race’s native sign language. The speaking generations have also added spoken, linguistic properties to represent the non-manual components of the sign language that retain grammatical information. The new spoken language is called, ŋ/ɜɪ/ʒə, meaning ‘mouth.’ The name given to the younger population is, ŋ/ɜɪ/ʒəχɑ, meaning, ‘mouth people.’ American Sign Language was researched to determine various morphological components. ASL uses OSV for its main structure. Its determiners are indicated using indexing, creating non-gendered pronouns. It deploys reduplication to represent plurality. Nouns are non-gendered, and temporal markers are free morphemes which always occur at the beginning of a phrase. Affixations are used to change a verb/noun to a noun that references an agent. Some grammatical features in ASL are non-manual, therefore ŋ/ɜɪ/ʒə incorporates infixation of verbs to represent these features. The phonology of ŋ/ɜɪ/ʒə is inspired by English, Scottish English and Elvish. The velar plosives ‘k’ and ‘g’ as well as the post-alveolar fricatives ‘ʃ’ and ‘ʒ’ have been derived from Scottish English. Due to the primitivity of the spoken language the phonology of ŋ/ɜɪ/ʒə uses open syllabification, as most beginning verbal utterances such as ‘ba,' ‘ma,' and ‘da’ mirror this type of system. This component is inspired by the constructed language, Elvish. Several of the phones are derivative of English.

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Second place winner of a poster presentation for Applied Sciences at the 21st Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum (URCAF) held at the Rhatigan Student Center, Wichita State University, April 15, 2022.