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The Results Are In!

Posted on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 in Conlangers

Our twtpoll received 38 responses. The question, you might remember, was:

Who has had the most impact/influence/inspiration on you in your own conlanging?

The single person with the most votes was JRR Tolkien with 14; however, the “others” received more votes overall. Here is the raw data:

Other – 15 votes (39%)
JRR Tolkien (Quenya, Sindarin, etc) – 14 votes (37%)
LL Zamenhof (Esperanto) – 5 votes (13%)
John Quijada (Ithkuil) & Sonja Elen Kisa (Toki Pona) – 2 votes each (tie) (5% each)
Marc Okrand (Klingon) – 0 votes
I will admit I cast my one vote for Tolkien.

The comments left by those responding to “other” were the most interesting pieces of information to come out of the poll. There were 13 in all. Some were general:

  • No-one has had any significant impact
  • various fantasy novels with naming languages, but not Tolkien (haven’t read him)
  • No one, really. I just read somewhere that artificial languages existed, and I thought it was a neat thing to do.

Others named persons who were influential. One comment on the previous post said, “I think only to have conlangers here is a bit of an issue. I mean… my philosophy teacher was a big reason for me to start conlanging…” This is exactly why I was so glad we got the following responses to the “other” category:

The links are all my own, and the comments are typed here as they were at the poll. If any links point to the incorrect person, I sincerely apologize. That being said, I was fascinated to find that someone attached to MAD Magazine (Edward Nelson Bridwell) was instrumental in coming up with a “language” for Superman. I was glad to see our own David J. Peterson (or Mr. Dothraki as I like to call him) was mentioned. Suzette Haden Elgin is one conlanger that deserves more mention. All in all, a nice collection of esteemed names, both linguistically and conlanguistically.

Thanks for taking part in the poll! Head over to to see the colorful graph created by twtpoll from our data.

Bring on the comments

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jan Mato, Fiat Lingua. Fiat Lingua said: The results are in! Check out the most influential conlangers. […]

  2. Eric Christopherson says:

    Something’s wrong with your markup right after “attached to MAD Magazine”. Also, is the response quoted as “(Latin), ? (?), Elzinga (Tepa)” correct, with the question marks?

  3. The Conlanging Librarian says:

    @Eric Christopherson: I greatly appreciate the heads-up on the markup. I’ve fixed that. The ?’s are from the comment on the poll as it was entered by the respondent. Check out the original poll ( and click on “See all (13)” to view.
    Thanks for commenting!

  4. Fascinating. I have always had huge interest in this, as I am one of the few (that I know of) who began conlanging before ever having heard of it or of anyone else doing it. This was when I was around 12 years old or so, and I had not yet read Tolkien, nor had I studied much in the field of linguistics or languages. I think I had studied a small bit of Latin by this point, but my initial forays into conlanging, although probably Latin influenced, were not (as I recall) too much of a Latin clone.
    It is always fascinating to find out where peoples influences, early on or presently, come from. For me, I think the greatest influence is life, existence, the scattered thoughts that flitter through my mind.
    Also, reading back through your blog (which I have just found) I really am enjoying this. Wonderful thing to do as the seagulls begin to awaken outside and I prepare for the sunrise.

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