Most conlangs, it seems to me, are languages in search of a writing system; Caber was a writing system in search of a language. I knew I wanted to go for a logography for several reasons: One, I wanted realism, and logograms are how writing tends to start out; two, I wanted to be able to do crazy stuff with borrowing and adapting the system to languages it was wholly unsuited for, creating a big mess of things (kind of like chu nom--Chinese characters adapted to write Vietnamese--on steroids); and three, few conlangers ever really attempt logographic systems, and I wanted to be one of them. To accomplish this, I needed a language to write them for; logograms don't exist in a vacuum, and the rebus principle has to have some sort of a basis in the linguistic landscape for the writing system.

Enter Common Caber. It's not the flashiest, frilliest, or most complex of languages, but it gets the job done--it gave me a basis both for a writing system and for various daughter languages, allowing me to flex my diachronic muscles as well.

I've mentioned elsewhere on this web page about how I enjoy fanfiction. Caber has prompted a few fan creations--keenir likes to make signs out of it, clawgrip straight-up made a font out of it (in addition to all the other wonderful advice he has given me), and opipik has created actual daughter languages.


The Caber languages are spoken in western Matanhír. The earliest-attested of the languages is Common Caber, spoken around 2500 BC; it was written using a logography from which many writing systems descended. The languages that developed out of Common Caber can generally be categorized as belonging to one of several groups: Central, North, East (which itself is further divisible into Northeast and Southeast), South, West, and Mute (so named because their languages were almost unintelligible to the other Caber--cf. the etymology for "Germany" in some Slavic languages).

Caber dialects are spoken as a first language at the time of writing, mostly in the petty kingdoms and dictatorships in the west. There is a sizable Caber diaspora in the Tim Ar Empire as well, primarily involving Mute Caber. As for other linguistic influence on the Caber themselves, there is a notable Taltic substrate.