|Created by||Thomas More, Peter Giles|
|Setting and usage||Utopia (book)|
|Sources||Influenced by Greek, Latin, and Hebrew|
Official language in
|ISO 639-3||None (|
The Utopian language is the language of the fictional land of Utopia, as described in Thomas More's Utopia. A brief sample of the constructed language is found in an addendum to More's book, written by his friend Peter Giles. Pretending to be factual, the book does not name the creator of the language; both More and Giles have been alternately credited, with Giles often thought to have designed the alphabet.
Although some words in Utopian show different forms corresponding to different cases in the Latin translation, there is no evidence of a consistent relationship between form and meaning, as can be seen from the following comparison of the nominal, pronominal, and adjectival case forms:
|Nominative||Vtopos, Boccas, bargol, he
Ūtopus, dux, ūna, ego
|Accusative||hā, chamāan, āgrama, gymnosophon
mē, insulam, civitātem, philosophicam
There are only four verbs in the Utopian poem, and these also show no evidence of a correspondence between form and function:
|1st person||3rd person|
Utopian has its own 22-letter alphabet, with letters based on the shapes of the circle, square, and triangle. These correspond almost exactly to the 23-letter Roman alphabet used in the 16th century, lacking only z. The letters f, k, q, and x only appear in the alphabet, not in the Utopian text.
The only extant text in Utopian is a quatrain written by Peter Giles in an addendum to Utopia:
It is translated literally into Latin as:
This, in turn, is translated into English as follows:
Armed with these translations, it is possible to deduce the following vocabulary:
|agrama||civitatem||city (accusative; cf. Sanskrit grāmam, village)|
|bargol||una||one, the only|
|bodamilomin||mortalibus||for the mortals|
|heman||mea||(those which are) mine|
|larembacha||expressi||I have represented (perfect)|
|lauoluola||gravatim||unwillingly (la + voluala)|
|maglomi||terrarum||of the lands|
|pagloni||meliora||those which are better; better things|
|peu||ex||from, out of|
|Vtopos||Utopus||Utopus (mythical founder of Utopia)|
In accordance with 16th-century typographical custom, the letters v and u marked a distinction in position, not sound; v was used at the beginnings of words and u elsewhere, but the same letters could represent the sounds of either u or v. Analysis of the metre of the verse shows, however, that the reader was expected to read Vtopos as Utopos, voluala as volvala, and lauoluola as lavolvola.
More's text also contains Utopian "native" terms for Utopian concepts.