An artificial or constructed language, colloquially \'conlang', is a language whose vocabulary and grammar were specifically devised by humans, rather than having naturally evolved as part of a culture like a natural language. They are usually designed for use in human communication, the same as natural languages. Many are devised to function as an international auxiliary language, but they can also be created for secrecy, use in fiction, or linguistic experimentation.
The term planned language is also used, especially for international auxiliary languages, and by those who may object to the more common term "artificial". Speakers of Esperanto, for example, have said that "Esperanto is an artificial language like an automobile is an artificial horse."
Constructed languages are often divided into a priori languages, in which much of the grammar and vocabulary is created from scratch to serve a particular purpose, and a posteriori languages, where the grammar and vocabulary are derived from one or more natural languages and are intended to resemble them. A posteriori languages can be further divided into naturalistic planned languages which follow the natural languages from which they are patterned closely to minimize learning time, and schematic planned languagess, whose features are deliberately simplified or synthesized from various sources.
Another way of dividing up constructed languages:
- artistic languages (artlangs) - those intended to create aesthetic pleasure
- auxiliary languages (auxlangs) - those intended to be used for international communication
- logical languages (loglangs) - those intended to be an experiment in logic or philosophy
Some people create constructed languages as a hobby in their spare time.
Intended for general human use
Intended for machine assisted automatic translation purposes
Languages not intended to be spoken
Languages designed for knowledge representation
Languages of fictional worlds and peoples
See Fictional language.