Proposal: Constructed languages

What sets programming languages apart from artificial ones? I feel like there are important connections here, but I can't put my finger on exactly what they might be. It is definitely arguable that questions about the readability of a programming language you're developing have as much of a place in this proposal as they do in StackOverflow.

  • Such an interesting point-of-view. Related: REON-4123 language (conlang). Jan 27, 2018 at 9:58
  • StackOverflow is more focusing on using a language to program, not creating one. If proglangs are allowed here, why not also include natlangs? I don't feel it's a very good idea, stay peculiar ~. However, the question might rises for esolangs
    – mklcp
    Jan 31, 2018 at 19:01
  • It's in beta and if you're still wondering you could take it to the new sites meta. conlang.meta.stackexchange.com
    – Helmar
    Feb 23, 2018 at 14:39

4 Answers 4


Possibly… but probably not in way you are implying.

I think calling a conventional programming syntax a "language" in the context of this subject space is playing a bit fast and loose with the metaphor. If you want to include anything that uses a type of syntax to communicate ideas, architectural diagrams would be on topic; so would algebraic systems, graphing theory, art, music notation, music expression, and what type of flower you give on any occasion.

There may be a sliver of relevancy around constructed languages meant to aid in more natural human-computer interaction, but I don't think the folks truly studied in this space would consider the programming syntax used to compile executable code a language in the context of what they study.


The problem is that all programming languages are constructed (yes, even Common Lisp), so basically anything about programming would be on-topic in this case, since all have to use a (constructed) language.

More concretely, I think that we should focus on languages intended for communication between humans (or sentients, at any rate), not a language for specifying problems suitable for mechanical transformation into a sequence of primitive commands for execution by an automated system.

Like Robert said, some engelangs might be suitable to eventually develop a programming system around, if they are (or can be made) free from redundancy: Lojban comes to mind. Nevertheless, they are not the original or main purpose of the language.


A good question. As Wtrmute pointed out, all programming languages are constructed (artificial). Data description languages are artificial too. I guess that you want to narrow the scope to universal languages. People can talk about anything in a universal language. Programming and data description languages are specialized.


A much discussed question in the glossopoetic community!

My take on this is that while some lexicon seems to overlap between natural & invented languages on the one hand and machine programming languages on the other hand, really, the latter are not all that close to the former in either form or function.

Constructed Languages are those life-imitating objects d'art that are or could be intended for communications between living, thinking, self-aware beings. They range from the purely aesthetic & artistic to the engineered to the auxiliary mode of communication. But they all share a fundamental basis in the language using capacity of the sophont mind. We use language. We assume that the peoples in our fictional worlds use language. Invented languages are the token representations of the actual languages of those other people.

Programming Languages are (sub)sets of code used to instruct a machine to do something, to produce an output. As such, this Stack really isn't the place for programming language questions. Now, that said, some folks in the past have tried working on e.g. human-machine constructed interlanguages. Questions about these kinds of works I think ought to allowable.

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