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Shmigan Language
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Description of the motivation behind Shmigan.
This public article was written by Louis Burke on 19 Jul 2016, 16:33.

[comments] The shmigan language is a language I am creating for a fictional world. In this fictional world it acts as a form of auxlang. The name is a gross mispronounciation by humans of the actual language name due to the language lacking distiction between voicing and the /m/ and /n/ nasals.

The language is based on the people of the three planets, Shmiga, Ugashmiga, and Kashmiga. Shmiga is by far the largest and most economic planet. Ugashmiga and Kashmiga are both smaller, with Ugashmiga a more 'social paradise' in terms of government (think Canada/Scandenavia) while Kashmiga is in a more turmultuous state (think Somalia/Syria). At the time this language was created, the planets each spoke their own unrelated languages and communication amongst them was difficult.

An interplanetary jurisdiction-free tyranical police force took over and decided to unify the languages. The resulting language is in development here. It is mostly based on the original Shmigan language, with additions from Proto-Indo-European roots (the police force was founded by a human).

The language is designed to be as approachable as possible for alien tongues. For example, the glottal stop is a valid allophone of the bilabial stop so as to accomodate species which either lack lips or cannot close their mouths. Additionally most of the language can be spoken very slowly to make artificial synthesis more effective. Even the orthography is designed to be fairly easy to replicate with a wide variety of tools.

Of course the separation of the three planets results in three major dialects of the language. The Shmigan language is the 'core' language. They do not use any voicing, they use the bilabial stop and the velar fricative as described here. The Ugashmigan dialect sounds less harsh, they still use no voicing, but the glottal stop is substituted almost universally for the bilabial stop, as is the palatal fricative for the velar fricative. By contrast the Kashmigan dialect sounds much harsher. They use voicing on all phonemes for which it is an option while maintaining bilabials and velars as the Shmigans.

The language uses the OSV order to make giving orders easier. It does not distinguish between the subjunctive and the interrogative and it has very condensed encoding of conjugation (a single character in front of the verb, with all characters representing theoretically valid conjugations). Distinctions are also made between active and passive dynamic voices.

This page is the result of the migration of my website's page on the language here: www.labprogramming.net/en/shmigan.html
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