LangTime Chat, Episode 17: Tonogenesis Language Sketch, Part IV

In this episode, we finish our four-part focus on tonogenesis in the language sketch we created to explore the introduction of tone. The PDF of the sketch with the information we worked on is included as an attachment to this post so you can see the final products of our sound changes that introduce tone!

Also, when you get to the part near the end where we disagree about whether David said “romanize” or “harmonize,” he totally said “romanize.” Just as I said I would, I went back and checked. 😂


LangTime Chat, Episode 16: Tonogenesis Language Sketch, Part III

In this episode, we finally introduce sound changes that incorporate tone into our language sketch! During the episode, we reference an article on tonogenesis by Michaud and Sands, which is attached as a PDF to this post. We hope you enjoy listening!


LangTime Chat, Episode 15: Tonogenesis Language Sketch, Part II

In episode 14, we began a language sketch that will eventually incorporate tone as a way of addressing tonogenesis in language. We continue that language sketch in this episode, as we add more details to the phonological inventory and sound shifts. While we don’t quite make it to tone (there is always more to add as you conlang!), we end in a place where we are fairly certain tone will be the focus of episode 16. We are getting there!


LangTime Chat, Episode 14: Tonogenesis Language Sketch, Part I

In this episode, we start a new conlang sketch to target Mike K.’s suggestion that we focus on tones in the podcast. Rather than just talking about tone, we are crafting a language with tone in it, taking opportunities to discuss options and reasons for making particular decisions along the way. This will be a series of episodes, and in this first one, we introduce the sound system and create some preliminary sound changes. You can check out the work we completed in the attached PDF, too!


LangTime Chat, Episode 13: Gaming and Games

On our Patron Discord server, Jasmine suggested an episode focusing on gaming, and we were very happy to spend an hour talking about games! We also managed to talk about language at various points during this episode. 🙂 

We hope you enjoy the game-centric discussion!


LangTime Chat, Episode 12: Creating Fanlangs

This episode focuses on how to create fanlangs, or conlangs created for existing fantasy worlds. The episode provides advice for conlanging within an existing framework and things to think about as you work, such as remembering that fanlangs don’t have to be true to every aspect of the canon, especially where the canon has incongruities.

If you’d like some examples of fanlangs for inspiration, you should check out Nina-Kristine Johnson’s Va Eheniv (, a language for the Gerudo in Legends of Zelda (you can also find her on Twitter: @GerudosEheniv). Other fanlangs include the Mando’a language (for Star Warsuniverse), which was started by Karen Traviss but has since been taken over by fans (, and languages created for Andrew Smith’s Brithenig universe, such as Jan van Steenbergen’s Wenedyk. Perhaps less classically considered “fanlangs,” there are also spin-offs of the Toki Pona conlang.

We hope you enjoy the episode, and stay grammar!


LangTime Chat, Episode 11: Conlang Pedagogy

In this episode, we talk about teaching and conlanging (otherwise known as conlang pedagogy)!

After recording this episode, David let me know that my terminology may not be universally known, specifically my use of “made” in a sentence like “The course made.” For me, that means the minimum number of students enrolled in the course to allow it to run—every university has a minimum standard for enrollment that will allow a course to run, and for Stephen F. Austin State University (where I teach), the minimum is 10 students. So when I say the courses made, it means I have at least 10 students in the course. And that’s exciting! 🙂

We hope you enjoy this episode!


LangTime Chat, Episode 10: Jessie’s Conlangs

Neither David nor I can believe we have already reached episode 10 of our podcast! That fact will become pretty evident in the opening 15 seconds when we try to remember how long we’ve been recording these episodes. This episode is titled “Jessie’s Conlangs.” 

In this episode, I introduce five of my conlangs, which are all at different stages in how developed they are, but they all have enough structure that I can translate sentences into the conlang. I briefly introduce each conlang, providing a bit about the speakers and the language’s typological information, and then I send David a sentence or two in IPA, putting him on the spot to serve as the reader.

Here are the IPA transcriptions David reads in the episode; acute accents mark primary stress, and any grave accents mark secondary stress. Otherwise, these sentences are written in standard IPA. Where I had the interlinear glosses handy, I have provided those, too.

Conlang #1: Hiutsath

luxɑkɑθíto tɑɸíhɑ θesúsu luletotóɑʃ letɑɸíhɑhomɑ ɸɑleámo.

‘may your tree grow and have four branches’

Conlang #2: Xyrab

ɣe by ger

(question marker) you understand

‘Do you understand?’ / ‘Understand?’ / ‘See?’

ɣe wə βwɑ Jessie gwe eβ

(question marker) I find Jessie where please

‘Where can I find Jessie?’

Conlang #3: Gnomá

jadúgra bijanns twai gumannim gibmut dzabíjann wasjaka ja waiθaika jadwa bainn.

wizard seed-PL-ACC two man-PL-DAT give-GEN.PAST PROX-seed-PL grow-FUT and become-FUT magical tree-PL

‘A wizard gave two men seeds that would grow into magical trees.’

Conlang #4: gineso

tʃe jibók’ado ata anlúfeje ómwati hédi tajománad.

3sg,hum,nom c4,pl-berry-acc dem c3,sg-tree-loc tall-att near 3sg-3pl-past-find

‘She/He found berries near that tall tree’

Conlang #5: woxtjanato

wúakladɛn àllelát ʀet. fáidɛn itové jiféɛn swa adzé tomúgwe iùɲolenáox íkside dézu adzé totjávi.

‘A tree grows in a field. She believes that she herself possesses strength because of this: her branches are near to the sky goddesses.’

Along with these conlangs, I have created some conlang sketches, but they are so woefully incomplete that they are really more of playthings than something sharable. And I have created one other fully developed conlang, but that work was done for a project that is not my own. While I can’t really share the details of the language or project right now, someday I hope to be able to share that one with you, too.

Thank you to everyone who has shown interest in my conlangs in the livestream comments, and I hope you enjoy this episode!


LangTime Chat, Episode 9: Name That Language (Celebrating Indigenous Languages)

In this month’s podcast, we play a round of “Name that language!” where I read language facts and have David try to guess the language being described. In honor of National Indigenous Peoples Day, all languages discussed are native to North America.


If you want to play along with David, don’t scroll down because the resources I provide below give away the languages.


Language 1

Navajo Spatial Terms (Navajo Language Academy), which is mentioned in the podcast and is the article I shared with David on the screen: 

Young and Morgan’s original work on The Navajo (Navaho) Language: 

McDonough’s article on how to use Young and Morgan’s guide: 

Wall and Morgan’s Navajo-English dictionary: 

Language 2

Ullrich’s dissertation on Lakota: 

Language 3

Chafe’s Grammar of the Seneca Language: 


LangTime Chat, Episode 8: LINGsanity!

Welcome to LangTime Chat! In this episode, Jessie creates a language-based game for David to play called LINGsanity (if you’ve ever seen Winsanity, then you’ll know the gist of what David’s in store for).

In terms of gameplay, contestants are presented with numerical-based facts and must “stack” those facts in the correct order to win. For instance, a contestant might be asked to stack “Number of times David has sneezed during the live stream” and “Number of times Jessie has sneezed during the live stream.” Of course, the correct ordering is to put Jessie’s sneezes on top since she had an attack of allergies during a single episode that earned her more sneezes than David.

After the game, David and Jessie keep chatting (it is LangTime Chat after all) and cover everything from games to photos. Jessie mentions a drawing of David presenting at SFA–one of her students brought her son to David’s presentation, and he drew a photo to commemorate the event.

The details are quite amazing (and accurate!). And now for more information about the game.


If you want to play along with David, do not keep scrolling to view all the images below. The images below present the facts in each round that David is asked to stack, and then the next image provides answers for that round. If you don’t mind seeing the answers before listening to the game, then scroll away.

Jessie selected each fact for this game for specific reasons, and each round is followed by discussions and chit-chat focusing on those facts and the reasons they were selected. Whether you play along or peek at the answers first, enjoy the first-ever unveiling of LINGsanity!

Round 1: Duo for the win

Below are the first two facts David has to stack, both focused on Duolingo and courses offered through that app. The first round is always the easiest. 🙂

Round 2: All in the family

Now it gets MUCH trickier, especially with a fact about WALS, and David sweats his answers to this round, which focuses on language families and speakers.

Round 3: Against the WALS

This round focuses specifically on data provided in WALS chapters, requiring David to stack facts whose answers are quite close. While this round should have been more difficult than the last, David astounds Jessie with his knowledge of linguistic feature frequencies.

LINGsanity: Final answers

The image below shows all facts from the game stacked in the correct order with their numerical values assigned.

What a game!