A brief history

The earliest version of Toaq was published in 2013, under the name Tòaq Dzũ, and is also sometimes referred to as Toaq alpha. The language had no less than nine tones (eight tone plus one neutral tone), some of which performed different functions than the ones found in modern Toaq, and a slightly more permissive syllable structure. While the language underwent several refinements, the core design largely remained intact as the language entered its next major stage of development: the beta.

The next version of Toaq, labeled as public beta version, was published in Sep 2017. Its name was now Toaq. This language was a more polished take on the design principles underlying the original Tòaq Dzũ. The number of tones was reduced to seven tones plus one neutral tone, and the phonology became more streamlined and the entire dictionary was overhauled. Many of the areas that weren’t fully explored in the more draft-like alpha version finally got a more thorough treatment, bringing the language closer to a well-engineered yet human-usable loglang. Over the course of the next four years, and with the support of a language community, the language was refined further and several changes to the beta design were made official. As the documentation on the official website began to lag more and more behind, the time was finally ripe for the publication of an updated design document: the present Reference Grammar of Toaq.

The Reference Grammar of Toaq, which is intended to reflect the current state of modern Toaq, was published in Sep 2021, alongside this website.

What kind of language is Toaq?

Toaq is a loglang. In the traditional language classification of constructed languages, loglangs belong to the class of engelangs (engineered languages). These are languages which are created with specific (objectively testable) design goals in mind. These goals are often highly experimental in nature. Many engelangs are intentionally artificial, either because they explore the boundaries of what a human language can be, or because they are not meant for humans in the first place. While Toaq certainly has a very clear set of goals, mainly due to its claim to loglanghood, and while it can fairly be called an engelang, it is expressly intended to be only as artificial as is necessary to meet the requirements of a loglang. The language is intended as a human language, and this means that it should offer similar mechanisms as those found in natural languages, even if it does so in a more controlled fashion.

What is a loglang?

“loglang” is short for logical language, which is a technical term with a specific definition, rather than describing any language that is “logical” in certain aspects. In colloquial language, “logical” is often used in place of “rational”, “reasonable”, “predictable” and other things that aren’t necessarily closely related to the mathematical kinds of logic (predicate logic, propositional logic, modal logic, etc). The “logical” in logical language refers to the concept of logical form, the logical (semantic) representation of a sentence.

This is a common source of confusion among people who are not familiar with the study of this niche of conlanging. Because of this, some people have proposed alternative names for this particular kind of language, such as monoparsing language, or monosemic language, among others.

A logical language, in the narrow sense that is used on this website, is a language which unambiguously bidirectionally encodes predicate-argument-structures such that any phonological form corresponds to exactly one logical form (i.e. every phonological form has exactly one meaning) and every logical form corresponds to at least one phonological form (i.e. every meaning can be encoded in at least one phonological string).

Toaq achieves this in an ergonomic way, with its main features being:

succinctness granted by tonal inflections and short minimal root forms
an efficient and robust syntax of variable binding
an efficient system of serial verb constructions

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