The suffix -tron, along with -matic and -stat, are what the historian Robert Proctor at Stanford University calls “embodied symbols.” Like the heraldic shields of ancient knights, these morphemes were painted onto the names of scientific technologies to proclaim one’s history and achievements to friends and enemies alike. Stat signaled something measurable, while matic advertised free labor; but tron, above all, indicated control. To gain the suffix was to acquire a proud and optimistic emblem of the electronic and atomic age. It was a totem of high modernism, the intellectual and cultural mode that decreed no process or phenomenon was too complex to be grasped, managed, and optimized. The suffix emblazoned the banners of nuclear physics’ Cosmotron, modern biology’s Climatron, and early AI’s perceptron—displaying to all our mastery over matter, life, and information.
Vulgar is a constructed language (conlang) generator for fantasy fiction writing that creates unique and usable constructed languages in the click of a button. Vulgar’s output models the regularities, irregularities and quirks of real world languages; phonology, grammar, and a 2000 unique word vocabulary.
A brief history of twentieth-century linguistics. An introduction to the different ways that language can be studied, and the contributions of Saussure and Jakobson in context.