Vulgar is capable of generating 100 quadrillion unique and usable conlangs. How does it achieve this? Using pseudo-randomness!
Vulgar begins with a random seed number between 0 and 1 to 17 decimal places (10 to the power of 17 = 100 quadrillion). This number is then run through a formula that generates many many thousands of other random numbers. (Pseudo-random because, although there is nothing truly random about them (i.e. they are determined by an exact mathematical formula), every decimal number between 0 and 1 is equally likely to be produced, and there is no obvious pattern, at least to the human eye.)
These numbers are used to make tens of thousands of decisions about which phonemes to select to build words, and what grammar rules to generate based on pre-defined thresholds. The seed number is converted to an alphanumeric which can be used to retrieve its full output in the premium version.
What does it generate?
Vulgar generates about 2000 unique words to begin with, based on a list of English's most common words. However, the program is more than just a one-to-one mapping of conlang word to English word. Vulgar also assigns words polysemy (more than one related meaning) inspired by examples from real world languages. For example:
- There is a 50% chance in every generated language the word for ‘tongue’ also means ‘language’
- There is a 60% chance in every generated language the word for ‘white’ is also the word for ‘blank’
- There is a 10% chance in every generated language the word for ‘air’ is also the word for ‘wind’
- There is a 30% chance in every generated language the word for ‘girl’ is also the word for ‘girlfriend’
There are about 150 polyseme possibilities in the current version of Vulgar.
Vulgar also creates related derived words with affix rules. For instance:
utu /ˈʏtyː/ adj. violent
utua /ˈʏtyːa/ n. violence (suffix -a changes adjectives into nouns)
pson /pʂon/ n. paint; v. paint
psonru /ˈpʂonru/ n. painter (suffix -ru changes nouns into the doer of the noun)
ootsui /ˈɔotsui/ v. divide
ootsuilb /ˈɔotsuilb/ n. division (suffix -lb changes verbs into nouns)
There are also about 150 derived words in the current version of Vulgar.
The grammar output of Vulgar draws on statistics from real world languages. Much of this data comes the excellent research at World Atlas of Language Structures.