BenJamin P. Johnson (“Jamin” - /ʤəˈmɪn/) was born in upstate New York some decades ago, and studied many various languages before focusing on linguistics more broadly. He currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia with his husband Terrence. He was a member of the Language Creation Society’s Board of Directors from 2015‒2019, and the LCS’s Minister of Memberships from 2016‒2019. He made a brief appearance in the 2017 film Conlanging: The Art of Crafting Tongues, right around the 44-minute mark.
- 1 Conlangs
- 1.1 Brooding (Baus Broodingee)
- 1.2 Dlatci
- 1.3 Grayis
- 1.4 Maltcégj
- 1.5 Northeadish (Druðþþȳðesc)
- 1.6 Valthungian (Sō Grējuga Tunga)
- 1.7 Adzaay/Adɮāλ(a.k.a. Ox-Yew)
- 1.8 Gothic Romance
- 1.9 Others
Brooding (ISO-639-3:qbd; BRCL:brdg) is an a priori language originally created by Veronica Hamilton for the Riddlesbrood Touring Theater Company. Brooding is used in the company's theme song and logo, and was used in their 2012 production of The Dark Side Show, the 2015 and 2017 productions of Harken, and 2016 book Riddlesbrood: The Greatest Brochure in the World. Jamin has been curating and expanding the language on behalf of Riddlesbrood since the fall of 2014.
Dlatci is an a priori language that Jamin has been working on since 1994. It has undergone some massive changes over the years, though, and is currently in a state that isn’t entirely “presentable.” He hopes to fix this soon.
Grayis is an a priori language commissioned by Infinite Mind Pictures, Inc., spoken by a race of aliens called the Grayis Kin.
Maltcégj (BRCL:mltj) is an a priori language created out of boredom and full of vicious puns. Maltcégj started as a sort of blog, before there were blogs, and has been subsequently transferred to https://blog.benjaminpauljohnson.com (keyword Maltcégj).
Northeadish (BRCL:nthd) is an a posteriori Germanic language with some medievalist flair. Work on the language has ceased, and it is gradually being subsumed into Middle Valthungian.
Valthungian, or the Grey Tongue (ISO-639-3:qgt, BRCL:grey), another Germanic a posteriori, this time a close relative of Gothic. Not directly descended from Gothic, as such, but maybe a great-great-nephew. Jamin aspired to maintain a blog about it as it developed, but as you know, he’s seriously bad at that: https://blog.benjaminpauljohnson.com (keyword Valthungian). Jamin formally presented Valthungian as a theoretical descendant of Gothic at the 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo in 2018, which was attended by twos or even threes of people.
In the process of creating Valthungian, it became necessary to create some intermediate steps as well. These aren't fully-fledged conlangs, but more like synchronic snapshots of a two millennia long diachronic process.
Middle Valthungian represents a period in the development of Valthungian lasting from around 1200‒1600ad marked mainly by palatalization of a great many consonants as well as some minor reduction to unstressed vowels. Though this is a range which experienced many changes, the most representative example of “Middle Valthungian” is the language as captured by the suddenly-prolific Valthungian writers at the beginning of the Renaissance, circa 1450‒1500ad
Old Valthungian represents a period in the development of Valthungian lasting from around 800‒1200ad marked mainly by changes to geminates and intervocalic consonants, as well as the introduction of Germanic ī/j-umlaut and some small but important changes to all of the vowels. Though this is a range which experienced many changes, the most representative example of “Old Valthungian” is the language as captured in a few surviving texts believed to date to around 950‒975ad
This is a language that is very much under construction, with not much to look at yet.
Building off of the original idea of what Valthungian was supposed to be, before it became what it is instead, Gothic Romance is actually a collection of three languages in several stages. It starts with the idea that the Goths who sacked Rome in 410ᴀᴅ continued to speak Gothic (or a close relative thereof) in parallel with Latin, rather than just switching to Latin completely as they did. This gave way to Old Valthungian, much as described, but from there, the development changes course from what eventually leads to Middle Valthungian, and by around 1200ᴀᴅ we find ourselves in a remote northern Italian town where the locals all speak both a form of Gothic and a form of post-Vulgar Latin which come to have a roughly equivalent phonology. From this point, the two languages exist in tandem, borrowing words back and forth between them until eventually we end up with Gothic Romance. Is it a Romance language with a lot of Gothic vocabulary? Maybe. Is it a Germanic language with a lot of Latin vocabulary? Maybe. Is it a creole? Probably not, but also maybe. Is it dark and spooky and probably something that vampires would speak if they were feeling particularly poetic? Definitely.
Gothic Romance is the result of the evolution and gradual merging of two historic languages, Italian Gothic (a 13ᵗʰ-century descendant of Old Valthungian) and a yet-unnamed Romance language (possibly of the Rhaeto-Romance or Gallo-Italic persuasion; a 13ᵗʰ-century descendant of Vulgar Latin):
Stay tuned, because I have no idea where this is going!...
Some Vague 13ᵗʰ-Century Post-Vulgar Latin Romlang
Over the years Jamin has invented dozens of other languages to various states of completion ranging from a few scribbled notes to monstrosities like Latinovesa, his first and only Aux-Rom-Lang, of which we shall never speak again. Most of them didn't have names. Some of them had ridiculous names, like ɮaxu or Baraqesh or Iatu Nukta Amat.