Conlang: Catlang version 0.01

This is just an initial draft, I have to fix the phonetic inventory. I know it will have mostly initial “m”, final “w”, r or ss anywhere, maybe 15 or so vowels (a, e, i, o and variations on those and a very deep uh sound)  I expect the final inventory to have some uncommon vowels and may be hard to pronounce.

Ever hear your cat go meow-meow-meow-meow?  Well, he’s trying to talk.  His language has lots and lots of minimal pairs (words pairs differing by a single sound).  Some  unavoidables are edibility, movability–that is you won’t be able to say much without indicating if it’s edible or moving.

The idea came to me when I was snoozing and realized in a flash that in cat language, “human” literally meant ”slow-moving-edible-monkey”  Obviously I’m somewhat influenced by “Get Fuzzy” 

The cat has a lot of specialized words for things that cat care about, but outside of that he deals in semantic primes.

Because the phonetic inventory is small, I probably will use a mix of agglutination and inflexion.

For those who care, this is an artlang.  It is not especially efficient, unambiguous, international or easy, although I plan to make it very easy to coin a plausible and likely intelligible word on the fly. I hope to keep the total number of morphemes under about 500, big enough to be roomy, but not so big as to make it a burden to learn.  The corresponding conculture is the culture of domestic house cats.

(no this has nothing to do with LOLCat)

Language License: Creative Commons Attribution, Share a like.  Feel free to make your own derivatives, including works written in Catlang, variants on Catlang. Feel free to try to make money of the idea.

meow. noun. cat language, speak, tongue

m–may not be final to word

w– may not be an initial

r– English r

rr– french r

rrr– Spanish trilled r

ss– Really only used in fighting words

yo, ye, yi, a (only after r)


myo — eat
mye — sleeping
myi — jumping
myor — biting
myow — scratching
myowrow — play
rowrow — give

myew — food (still alive)
myiw — small edible animals
ryor — slow edible animals
ryow — fast inedible animals
ryaw — fast edible animal
ryew — liquids
ssrar — scary creatures
rar — night time

myrarri– I/me/self
rararri — you

Prefixes for building new nouns
yo-  not
myi– dead, edible
e.g. myi-myew– dead edible food
yi– not moving

Verb + Suffix
-uh — he/she/it/are in the middle of doing something
-uhr — I am in the middle of doing something
-uhss — a scary animal is in the middle of doing something
-row — he/she/it/they have finished something
-wow — you will do something
-ow — You did something
-rar — I did something
-raw — I will do something
-ss  — somebody (did something) to a scary person/animal

myo-uh — he/she/it is in the middle of eating
myo-uhr — I am in the middle of eating (something)
myo-uhss– a scary animal is in the middle of eating

Prefix + Noun
{prefix}+ryaw  = something+mouse

nominative = 0 + ryaw
accusative = ryi + ryaw
dative = myi +ryaw

V + O + S + D
Word order can be modified, but verb, object, subject, dative is preferred.

myo-uhr ryi-ryaw.
[eating]  [acc+mouse] [0]
I am eating a mouse

myowrow-uh  ryi-ryaw ryow
[play+he] [acc+mouse] [dog]
the dog plays with the mouse

ryow myowrow-uh ryi-ryaw

[S] [V ] [O] [D    ]
[I] gave you a mouse

rowrow-rar    myi+ryaw    ryi+rararri myrarri
[give-I-past] [mouse-acc] [you-dat]   [I-nom]

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