• Language: Kelenala
  • Created: 2003
  • Alternate names:
  • Language code:
  • Language family: personal language
  • Script:

A constructed language by David J. Peterson.

Kelenala is what I call a "speed creole". I drafted a list of about 400 "basic" words (with no grammar), made up phonologically reduced forms for them, and, using these words, and only these words, I've created a language. As such, it models what might happen if I were dropped into the middle of a jungle and had to form a pidgin based on the data I received. (Well, that is, if I didn't actually bother to learn the language...)

Language sources: Both Wasabi and Language X--the two languages of my two pidginization experiments. I drafted a word list for students to use so that they could create a pidgin, and my job was to record the results. It never failed, though, that they would do things differently from the way I thought they would, and the way I would if I were a subject in the experiment. Hence, now that the experiments are over, I've made myself the subject of my own experiment.

Most creoles are based on one or more other languages. Kelenala, being a speed creole, is not. So, I create the language based on what I think "sounds best", and what I like. There's definitely English influence, since that's one of my L1's, but I'm not unconsciously mapping English onto these phonological forms; I'm creating the way I would if I had to speak a pidgin/creole. So, sometimes it's like English, but often it's not.

Actually, yes. A group of RPG'ers from Poland decided they liked Kelenala, and wanted to use it in their RPG. This they proceeded to do. Also, I've extended an open invitation to anyone who wants to create a language from the Kelenala word list. The rules: (1) You can't add any new roots; (2) you should credit me as having created the wordlist; and (3) the name of the resulting language cannot be "Kelenala". If someone translates the Babel Text into their Kele-oid, I'll host it on my site. Someone actually took me up on the offer, but I haven't heard back from them.