Akana - what is it?
The world of Akana is a collaborative conlanging and conworlding effort, with a focus on family diachronics and a shared historical basis for these linguistic developments. The world grew out of two different games on the Zompist Bulletin Board: a linguistic reconstruction game in 2005 for which Akana was originally created, and a diachronic derivation relay in 2006, which gradually metamorphosed into the conworld of today and its flagship language family, the Edastean languages.
Where do I find the most important information?
- For a quick overview, check out the following posters that were presented at LCC4 in Groningen, NL, in May 2011:
- A lot of the Akana conworld information is still buried in the ZBB thread, worked out in discussion and not organized into or on any other website.
- The most important stuff has already been ported over to this wiki, which will gradually grow into a sort of encyclopedia for all things Akana. However, much additional stuff remains to be added. Just start browsing where you like, and follow the links to other things that sound interesting to you. The best starting points might be the Main Page (obviously), the Timeline, or the alphabetical list of All Articles. Be sure to read the talk pages of articles, wherever they exist; some of them contain additional information and, increasingly, some of the discussion that used to happen in the ZBB thread is taking place on wiki talk pages instead.
- Nearly every conlang in Akana thus far is linked to from the Languages category. Some grammars and wordlists are available directly within the wiki, but many remain where they were originally hosted - in that case, there will usually be a wiki article with some basic information, which contains a link to the full grammar.
- Want maps? Our map repository is here. Please note that the design of the world outside the Aiwa sphere is not yet entirely finalized, especially the other continents, and any maps showing such other lands should be regarded as proposals and subject to future change.
- We've also started a separate AkanaForum, which we hope will eventually become the central place for all major discussions concerning Akana. We don't want to completely leave the ZBB, but our topics of conversation have increasingly become too specific for a general conlanging-and-conworlding-related board, and demanded a place better suited to them.
Can I join the project?
Yes, definitely. Akana has been a group project from the start, with many people contributing languages, bits of history or culture, etc. The group has never been a closed circle, and we welcome any new participants that are interested in creating an ambitious, realistic, and interesting conworld.
A good first thing to do would be to familiarize yourself with the general setting and to find an area and period which interests you. Don't worry, you don't have to learn the whole timeline by heart or speak an Akana language fluently to be able to contribute. But you should nevertheless have an idea of the framework that you place your contribution in. If you don't understand something or would like to have additional information, please do ask - we are more than willing to help!
For real-time discussion you can also visit the #akana IRC channel. It is often a rather quiet place, because the core contributors to Akana are living in many different time zones and can't be online all the time, but chances are you can get in touch with one or the other of us there.
How does participation work?
- Diachronic language development is a strong focus of Akana - but all manner of contribution is generally welcome.
- We all do our own things, have our own conlangs and areas, etc. You can too.
- But we also have a general expectation that new material will try to be reasonably consistent with established canon. Sometimes canon can be changed to accomodate new ideas, but this needs group assent, and isn't always feasible if it would create a lot of work for others.
- A basic principle to our operation has been: if you propose something, it's automatically canon unless anyone else objects or points out issues.
- Generally we've been pretty open-minded about proposals - but if someone does have concerns, there's a general expectation that one will be willing to compromise.
- We operate by discussion and consensus. So far there have been few significant conflicts. I (Radius) have tended to be central in organizing things, but I'm not in charge (nobody is), and by no means do I have the last word.
- Many of us have one or more chunks of the conworld that are our own territories, and in general we respect each others' domain over our areas. But there's little that is not open to discussion. A partial but highly out-of-date list of personal domains is provided here. If you're unsure who to ask about a specific region and/or timeframe, you can always ask questions publicly on the AkanaForum. (In fact, this is what we recommend because in some cases the creator of a language spoken nearby may not be actively following the project anymore.)
- You can derive a daughter language from any Akana language you wish (except, see below), at any time and at your own pace. There are no deadlines. Others may or may not wish to derive daughters from your language in turn.
- Exception: the languages Ndak Ta, Adāta, and Proto-Western have now spawned so many direct daughters and proposals for more that adding yet more may be unrealistic. You are still welcome to do as you wish on your own, of course, I just want to warn you there may be difficulty fitting further daughters of those languages into the historical context. Granddaughters of the above (and all subsequent generations) remain not only fair game but strongly encouraged.