Celebrating 25 years of Kankonian

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Khemehekis
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Re: Celebrating 20 years of Kankonian

Post by Khemehekis »

On Thursday, Kankonian reached 72,000 words with Omahah. Omahah means "Omaha" and obviously was borrowed from Earth. The ending is spelt -ah to place the accent on the last syllable (the /ha/ syllable instead of the /ma/ syllable).
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Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 77,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!
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Re: Celebrating 20 years of Kankonian

Post by Khemehekis »

I just reached 73,000 words in Kankonian! Word #73,000 was Phurzenodonik, the name of the Kankonian geological epoch that makes up the late part of the Zenodonik. The Zenodonik was the period equivalent to the Jurassic in Kankonian prehistory -- lots of big dinosaurs. Phur is the Ciladian word for "new" (or "late", as in "late December"). The Zenodones are a formation of hills in southern Hegheos, where lots of dinosaur fossils from this period can be found.
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Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 77,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!
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Re: Celebrating 20 years of Kankonian

Post by Visions1 »

Congrats on 20 years! I can hardly imagine the effort it must've taken.
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Re: Celebrating 20 years of Kankonian

Post by eldin raigmore »

An average of ten words a day? Did I do that right in my head?
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Re: Celebrating 25 years of Kankonian

Post by Khemehekis »

I began my work on the Kankonian language, starting with a grammar and dictionary, 25 years ago. This means my conlang is now officially 25 years old (old enough to run for the U.S. House of Representatives, and older than many of the posters here)!

This Kankonia/Kankonian/Lehola Galaxy stuff all started when I was 14 in late 1993, when I was at home with my sister Liz, then 11, and my brother Alex, then 5. We were drawing people and their planets with sidewalk chalk. It was originally Liz's idea. She said to draw people who live on another planet; she said, "Don't give them 6 fingers on each hand or anything; make it look so if they were drawn in black and white they'd just look like Earth people with a funky hairstyle or something". And so each of us drew extraterrestrial humans. I drew the Kankonians of Kankonia, with curly black hair and brown skin, wearing flannel and felt hats, and practicing such religions as Hazumas, Rasaphism, or Musefism. Liz drew the Silancians of Silancia, who were usually blonde and blue-eyed and looked like sunny blonde Californians. They had a Jamaican-colored flag. Alex drew the Kinkrakians of Kinkraki, who came in many phenotypes and were technology-crazy.

Over the next couple of years, we developed these planets further -- their religions, money, fashion, anthroponymy, education systems, forms of government (including royalty on Alex's planet), plants and animals, and calendars. I was particularly influenced by SimEarth, and put a number of carnivorous plants (like SimEarth's carniferns) onto Kankonia and other planets. Like Jaaaaaa's conworld, Kankonia also had living trichordates. We never much questioned the idea that so many of the same species we had on Earth could evolve independently on three other planets that weren't Earth. Later this developed into the concept of the Iteli. In late 1994, I drew the peoples on many other planets in the Lehola Galaxy, and my siblings created and named additional planets, such as Fatala, Liebo, Swasari, or Hea. Many of these were human people, such as the Shaleyans, but others were Greys (like the Tzielites and the Tayaonits), or sapient parrots or orca-like creatures or cephalopods or carniferns, or original peoples from taxa that didn't exist on Earth (like the Reds of Hapoi, the nila of Chatony, the zesmans of Farume, or the bansaks of Mensinghi). Sometimes Liz would host a game with her Playmobil sets and we'd make one queenly woman a Mensinghi queen (even though she looked human instead of bansak). We also created animals and plants not found on Earth for our human-inhabited planets, such as the sac lizard, the anole-descended, floating natural animal of Kankonia, or the tippary, a seven-petaled flower of Silancia, or the kengkaka'i, a cetacean of Kinkraki. We would pretend to be Leholans sometimes, and would make passports for the customs that took place at spaceports. We designed flags and coins and tried to write national anthems for our planets. Liz would sometimes be a Silancian teen-age girl looking for "teen-age girl" things to do as a visitor on Kankonia. And it was Alex who came up with the name "Lehola" for the galaxy.

In the summer of 1996, when I was 16, I was browsing an Internet directory and that was when I first came across the term "conlang". I saw webpages for tongues with names like Sulekhï/Merdian, Rokbeigalmki, Teonaht, Xara, Neelan (a language for mermaids), q^upl, Rhean, Gevey, Verdurian, Mango, Talossan, Ilish, Ahua, Ceqli, Fith, Rikchik, aUI, Picture Language, and Tomato. I found Richard Kennaway's now-mothballed site. I also happened upon a Klingon dictionary while visiting the foreign language of a bookstore around that time, and marveled at the fact that an actual dictionary had been published of a language for a fictional people. Around the same time, I was taking summer enrichment classes in Latin at UC Berkeley. The instructor, a 70-year-old Ukrainian man who told us he was 90, did not like me, and halfway through asked me not to return, falsely claiming I was constantly "complaining about pressure". I looked at the Latin noun paradigm and verb conjugations in the book. I decided I wanted to get to work on the Kankonian language and make a webpage about it. In the next few months, the Kankonian language was born.

Before I go any further, you need to know that I am not a normal person. I'm not even a common type of weird person either. A lot of people say they're "weird", or even call themselves by the epithet "weirdos", but what they really mean is that they're obsessively interested in something; they don't know how to make conversation; they're shy/plagued by social anxiety so they can't talk to cute girls/boys or order food at a restaurant; either they're quiet or they'll talk for four hours straight about superheroes or computers or Pokémon; they'd rather be alone reading than go to a party; they like comic books and World of Warcraft and Dungeons & Dragons and stuff like that; they like Star Wars and Harry Potter and superhero films (which are actually the most popular movies/franchises around right now, so how is that weird?), they can't handle loud noise; they can't handle crowds; they don't have any friends or perhaps don't even know how to make friends; they love rules and are huge rule-followers; they don't like unpredictability or changes in routine; they dress for comfort instead of style and don't attempt to look hip; they don't get emotional about people dying (wherefor other people tell them they're psychopaths) . . . in other words, they're weird in more or less the same ways as tens of millions of other nerds/Aspies around the world. Other people are considered weird because of schizophrenic or schizotypal symptoms, like hearing voices; thinking God speaks to them personally; thinking they are God; thinking they're Napoleon or Michael Jackson or Jessica Simpson; thinking the CIA is after them; thinking the government is installing cybernetic implants into their body; thinking they're from another planet (literally), etc.

None of the points in the above paragraph apply to me; nor am I, however, a normal, neurotypical person either. I'm really weird. And I don't mean the fact that I'm bisexual, or that I'm a deist, or that I have long hair and a beard and long nails and wear sunglasses all the time, or that I didn't get behind Bush after 9/11, or that I break social rules like not spitting in public or not squatting on the floor (and breaching social conventions is normal for Millennials anyway), or other things that aren't the norm, but are at least fairly common. I mean that I seem to have some truly unique psychological and neurological issues.

First of all, I get the sensation I'm swallowing words when I hear or read them, and swallowing objects when I see them, and I even synaesthetically taste words ("doodle" tastes like macaroni while Donald Trump's surname tastes like sautéed mushrooms, for instance) and objects (sunglasses taste like lemon drops). The "gross" words, like "whxxps" (which tastes like whipped cream and makes me slam my forehead like Homer Simpson and go, "D'OH!") or "scxxt over" or "drxp" or "ice xxxxx", and gross objects (like pajamdras or Spider-man or plastic silverware) make me have to do a ritual I call purging to get them back out of me after I've seen/heard them and thus "swallowed" them. I scrape my nails across my groin while chanting a vaccinated form of the word, or the object's name (so "whxxps" becomes "whadoloops" and "ice xxxxx" becomes "adolice cradoleam" and plastic froks become "fadorork"), and then I move the nails of both hands up, over my abdomen, chest, throat, and out my mouth, and they're out of me. I normally have to unbutton my pants for this to work, and now I always do it in a restroom or my own bedroom, although when I was younger I did it in public. I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 9, and reading about OCD often gives me, "Yes! It's just like that!" moments, but a few years back I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Patricia Zurita-Oña, or "Dr. Z", as she is popularly called, an expert on OCD, and she told me the symptoms I described to her did not sound like OCD because I had compulsions but not the accompanying obsessive chains of thought (of the "I'm going to be doomed because THIS will happen!" variety). Dr. Z says I probably have something called thought disorder, instead.

This has a number of side effects. For one, I have a lot of false positives when trying to figure out if a word I overheard was a purge word ("what's" or "looks" can sound like "whxxps", for instance), so I'm often asking people, "Did you say the WH-word?" or "Did I hear an I-word?", which can become trying after a while. For two, after I hear a purge word or see a purge-inducing object, I can't swallow until all my purging has been taken care of. This means I've had to turn off my autonomic swallowing, and saliva builds up in my mouth, so I need to spit a lot. It also means I often go long hours at a time without eating or drinking anything, which can cause frequent burping and I often even have to delay swallowing my Risperdal or Pristiq. For three, I have to do a lot of closing my eyes to avoid seeing things that will make me purge, which makes me getting a driver's license out of the question, and makes it hard for me to find my way around stores or even people's houses. I often have to close my eyes when talking with someone because there are spiders or cobwebs or plastic silverware in the room, or someone in view is in her/his pajamdras, and I wear sunglasses all the time because I don't want my interlocutor to know that I have my eyes closed while I'm talking to her/him.

OTHER IDIOSYNCRASIES:
Spoiler:
I also attack myself in an empathic way. I imagine I'm Donald Trump, or George W. Bush, or a cop, or a teacher who wronged me, and attack myself while imagining I'm that person, and I feel the attack as if it's happening to them. I bite myself, especially my hands and wrists, and they are visibly covered by scabs. I punch my gut as if I'm smashing open a watermelon, and imagine I'm that person being butchered in the abdominal region. I also bang against my head (I'm pretending bullets are being pounded into someone else's skull). I do it much more without my Risperdal. Before I was put on the Risperdal, I also did a lot of yelling and screaming because I would have flashbacks all the time of horribly unjust things that had happened to me, or even things that I read about happening to someone else.

Another abnormality I suffer is a sensation I call That Feeling. I will be in the middle of an activity, or just lying down, when all of a sudden my vision will blur, and then I feel as if spiders are going to fall down from the ceiling onto me. I begin constantly looking for spiders on the ceiling, and checking my own hands for specks of dead spider that may have gotten on my hands from handling objects -- again and again. I think somebody else is watching me when I have That Feeling, and I imagine someone I know is watching me go to the bathroom and wash my hands afterwards, even when I'm alone in the bathroom. I feel as if my eyes are going to cross. It feels as if I am using 110% of my brain. I notice every object and sound around me equally, and have a hard time telling my surroundings from my own thoughts. It's hard for my eyes to clearly piece images together when I have That Feeling because objects look so fragmented. It's episodic, and goes away about 30 to 90 minutes after I start lying down, but the only thing that makes it go away is time.
So now it was October of 1996, and the wood grains on school desks (actually a certain eye-like mark, which arguably looked more like a sicklocyte than an eye, which was repeated in the formica pattern over many desks) and the floor at home were really triggering my purging symptoms. Before I could purge the "eye" in the wood off, I had to actually "slice it in half" by scraping over it with my nail -- every "eye" I saw.

One day, I had just finished history class and was headed towards the homecoming skits in the auditorium (that year's theme was Dr. Seuss books). After I walked out of the history classroom and it was locked, I looked inside and accidentally saw the desks in there, all of which had the eye formica pattern.

I panicked. Then I got an idea. I threw my five-dollar bill lunch money inside the classroom, through a window, and decided to tell the assistant-principal, Mr. McGinnis, that my money was locked up in the history classroom.

All the eyes that I saw, all the occurrences of the words "eye" or "I" that I heard, and other words that had the diphthong /ai/ in them (like, might, time, my, by, find, etc.) were accumulating inside me as I waited for the classroom to be opened so I could scrape the eyes off the desks and begin purging them all off.

I reached the auditorium, where I heard the skits. The freshman class did "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" Then the seniors did "How the Grinch Stole Homecoming", a (faculty-censored) skit in which the senior class steals the other classes' homecoming floats, but magnanimously gives them back at the end. Lots of /ai/ sounds. I saw Mr. McGinnis in the crowd, and said, "Mr. McGinnis?" No response. I repeated: "Mr. McGinnis?" Still no reply.

Then I said, "Mr. McGinnis?" loudly. He didn't budge, and I concluded that my assistant-principal was ignoring me.

The homecoming rally finally ended. I was able to find the library assistant, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, who had the keys to all the rooms.

Mrs. Fitzpatrick opened Mr. Hart's history classroom for me. I grabbed my dollar bill, and scraped the "eyes" off every desk in the room. But by now I had hundreds of "eye"s to purge off. I then left and followed Mrs. Fitzpatrick into the library.

Once in the library, I hid behind the shelf of paperback novels. I closed my eyes and begin purging and chanting "adolye, adolye, adolye", hundreds of times. My nails were down at my groin.

Before I finished purging, Mrs. Fitzpatrick saw me. "Inappropriate!", she said. "Please go and eat your lunch!"

That "inappropriate" was the last straw! I then began crying and hyperventilating, crying and hyperventilating. I made it all the way to the office, still crying and hyperventilating.

Mrs. Abel, the school nurse, saw me in there and heard me. "James!", she said. "Stop making that noise! It's very loud and very disruptive!" Noise? Hello?!? It's called "crying"! You do it when you're sad? And disruptive, dischmuptive! This was lunchtime, for Pete's sake! How could any disruption occur then?

I said I couldn't stop crying. Mrs. Abel said, "Your mother told me that you're able to control the things you do". I explained to her that my mother was referring to the purging, not to things like crying!

I went to Mr. McGinnis' office and told him everything that had happened. He called my mother to pick me up. My mother arrived and I was still crying and hyperventilating. "Close your eys and breathe in", she said.

My mother drove me home. Mr. McGinnis was no longer on Campolindo High School's campus, having driven home for the day. As my mother drove me home, I told her about the wood grains and the purging and everything. I told her how Campolindo wasn't made for students with OCD. She asked if their treatment of students was too uniform, and I said it was.

I had been absolutely traumatized by that incident, and about having to attend school. I realized that school was a prison. I was in an extreme state of angst and became a leftist who would fall onto the anarcho-syndicalist octant of a Vosem Chart.

Before that incident, I had been immensely fascinated by all things about words, the purge words notwithstanding (I had gone to the National Spelling Bee in the eighth grade and won my high school county spelling bees in my freshman and sophomore years, and it had also become seen as my destiny that I was going to become a lexicographer -- much in the same way a lot of Americans thought it was an inevitability that Hillary Clinton would one day become president -- and eventually I started telling people that I wanted to be a lexicographer when I grew up). I was also fascinated by taxonomy of Earth's life, and was collecting the scientific name of every plant and animal. And I was fascinated by human ethnic groups -- more by physical anthropology and by classifications of races and the social issues involving discrimination, race relations, and prejudice than I was by the cultures of those human ethnic groups. After the incident, all of that meant nothing to me anymore. I remember the time my mother brought home a dictionary of anagrams for me. I flipped through it, then placed it on the bookshelf in our family room, never to open it again. And although I had been having my doubts about whether being a lexicographer would really work out for a couple of years, I finally told my father, "This thing about becoming a lexicographer is turning into a nightmare". I felt relieved to be liberated from that expectation. There was no high school county spelling bee my junior or senior years, so I didn't have to choose whether to attend.

Even though I would never again be able to feel the feeling of fascination or absorption, I soldiered on with the Kankonian language. I had some feeling that "this is going to be important someday". In 1997, I put up the first Kankonian webpage on Prodigy. Cetonian, Hapoish, and Shaleyan followed within the next year.

While I worked on those, I was a cool, left-wing high school (and later junior college) student who cared about politics, popular music, youth culture, and my group of friends. My high school at the time was about 70% "Youth Culturalists" (skater, goth, hippie, beatnik, hip-hop, slacker, trendy, stoner, emo, etc.), 25% preppies (the clean-cut, socially conservative kids who follow society's script by taking AP and Honors classes to get into a college to land a corporate office job that would give them enough money to raise a family with their opposite-gender spouse and 2.5 kids), 5% jocks and rednecks, and 1% nerds. (Yes, I'm aware that those percentages add up to 101%.) Like so many male Youth Culturalist high school students, I had a garage band. Our band, Red Cilantro, constantly changed its membership and only ever recorded one song. At this time, I made the Shaleyans hippieish as I was developing them, and worked out psychedelic drugs from the Lehola Galaxy: oezha, phamein, bituwas. I wrote about the decades-long battle between the social-norm-bound devesas and rebellious counterculture of khemehekas on Kankonia that gave me the screenname I would later use for my conworlding work.

From 1998 to 2002, I put the Lehola Galaxy aside while I ran around with my band and spent time with my friends. Additions to the Kankonian language stalled. Right around my twenty-first birthday, my purging symptoms started getting worse. I went downhill -- fast. Ryan, my Red Cilantro bandmate, moved to Sacramento.

Then, near the end of 2002, something called to me to work on the Lehola Galaxy again. The Prodigy page was now off the Net with the demise of Prodigy. I joined the CONLANG mailing list, and posted a thread titled "Kankonian has disappeared". Somebody found my old website archived using the WayBack Machine. I downloaded the pages and expanded on them on my own computer.

My grammar bloated in size and my lexicon reached 10,000 . . . 15,000 . . . 20,000 words as the years went on. It was also in these years that I invented the Hitans with their Hitan language, the Tentans with their planet Junsu and their Tentan language, and the Bodusians with their planet Bodus. I created my first language spoken on Mensinghi, Palang. I joined a now-defunct forum whereon I posted about the Lehola Galaxy when I was about 22 or 23. It was then that I chose Khemehekis as my screenname. That forum later fed into the ZBB, and then the CBB. Around 2007-2010, I put up my new Kankonian website, my Angelfire page. I discussed the Kankonians and the other Leholan peoples (with their languages) on the CBB. I created many more planets and sapient species. The website http://alienjigsaw.com/ -- with its aliens whom abductees and contactees have actually reported seeing! -- inspired me a lot.

The topic of the lexicon sizes of Kankonian and other people's conlangs often came up. In 2010, Ossicone said: "Not to mention your ridiculously huge lexicon. (Seriously 23,000? You should write a book in Kankonian.)" The creator of Rejistanian wrote in her blog: "3) It needs to have a sufficient amount of root words. This does not mean that it needs to have a dictionary of 23k words like Kankonian supposedly* has, it means that there need to be sufficient ways to say what you want to say in your conlang either by words [or] by constructions." Eventually, the lexicon of Kankonian became not just huge, but freakishly huge: Kankonian reached 50,000 words in November of 2015, by which point I was 36 years old.

As the years passed, I kept at it with the Lehola stuff in general and building Kankonian's lexicon in particular. As I created words, figured out grammatical constructions, drew many bioswaths' worth of creatures, started new planets, dreamt up dystopian forms of government for this planet or that, and came up with the concept of lifespeeding, I felt a dopamine-heavy rush of Herculean proportions from my achievements and got a high of feeling powerful. Developing and writing about the Lehola Galaxy also became a way to share my thoughts and understanding on politics, theology, morality, education, ageing, Man's relationship with nature, Man's relationship with technology, health and medicine, scientific method and scientism, death, and more. I had many good conversations on the CBB, particualrly with Tanni and Elemtilas. In 2016, a half-decade ago, Kankonian celebrated its twentieth birthday. That was when I posted the OP for this thread.

Over time, my Kankonian grammar ballooned to over 150 pages. (It's an HTML grammar, not a PDF grammar, so there are no rows and rows of whitespace between chapters in that 150 figure.) I continued to expand my dictionary, often using corpora such as COCA. My lexicon reached 60,000, and eventually 70,000 and then 75,000 words. Around the beginning of this year, the program I was using for my dictionary spreadsheet began crashing repeatedly if I entered too many new rows without frequently saving, exiting, and restarting the program, so I switched from OpenOffice to Quattro Pro. And last year, I resumed studying Japanese to keep my brain from shrinking too much (I had an MRI that revealed "mild brain atrophy"). Can't say that Japanese grammar has influenced Kankonian too much, though.

Now Kankonian has a lexicon of 76,804 words, 25 years after it was begun. The latest word to be added was navoervithmedia, meaning "acetylcholinergic". I, as well as anyone who studies it, can say and write so much in it now! My conlang is going places. Just as Sally Caves never scrapped Teonaht, all of you can rest assured that I have and will never scrap Kankonian.

Here's to 25 more years! Happy birthday, Kankonian!
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 77,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!
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Re: Celebrating 25 years of Kankonian

Post by Reyzadren »

Forbes wrote:Studies have shown a full 20% of small businesses fail in their first year. A full 70% of small businesses don’t make it past their tenth birthday.
If your conlang was a business, it would definitely have outlived many establishments and be a landmark in the local community frequented by loyal customers.
#Achievement 🏆, please call again~
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Re: Celebrating 25 years of Kankonian

Post by Khemehekis »

Reyzadren wrote: 07 Aug 2021 00:01
Forbes wrote:Studies have shown a full 20% of small businesses fail in their first year. A full 70% of small businesses don’t make it past their tenth birthday.
If your conlang was a business, it would definitely have outlived many establishments and be a landmark in the local community frequented by loyal customers.
#Achievement 🏆, please call again~
Wow. Only 30% of small businesses live to see their tenth birthday? [O.o]

And thanks for the trophy! Think of how many conlangs scrappers have created, and then scrapped, in the past 25 years. Kankonian's outlived all of them!

There are still quite a few living conlangs that are even older than Kankonian, though -- some of Elemtilas' tongues, Teonaht, Spocanian, Vabongula, Verdurian, maybe some other Almea langs. Oh, and Klingon.
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 77,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!
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Re: Celebrating 25 years of Kankonian

Post by Khemehekis »

To commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Kankonian's creation, I am offering to anyone who wants one a 105,000-line English-to-Kankonian dictionary spreadsheet file for Quattro Pro X9. Write me at savegraduation at yahoo dawt com and I'll send you the file, with 77,000 Kankonian words, as an email attachment.
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 77,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!
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