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    Default Language Assistance (and more)

    I've been working on a novel for about 12 years+ now, and for a long time I had trouble gathering my thoughts toward plot and story due to a simple problem - I didn't know my world well enough. So, I decided it would be best to take an allotted time off (for me - a year) and develop my world more so I'd be at a better spot creatively. Well...creativity did soar, but not to the novel. What was supposed to be a year turned into...eight. I've made huge leaps forward in what once was an idea, but my problem is this - my world keeps getting bigger!

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    Not bigger in the sense that I keep making more places. In this category I've been most fortunate - cartography and naming are hobbies. It's everything else. Let’s say I'm insanely thorough. Each region has a history. Each people a culture. My history goes back hundreds of thousands of years and has a different take depending on race. I have star charts, and scientific explanations for dragons, and explanations of other "mythical beasts". I've taken it upon myself to create new ecosystems, so that it's realistic how many that may be classified as "super predators" along with multiple "human-esque" peoples can be fed and not dramatically destroy the balance. Each sentient race has a language. Each race has sub-races. I'm delving into how magic works (this a doozy). This is just scraping the surface.

    If any of the other topics I mentioned were something of interest or you're interested in the project on a curiosity level, feel free to comment as well.


    To put it lightly, I don't know if I ever will know EVERYTHING about my world, (and that's ok) but some of the features go outside of my expertise. This is most true with language. I've been attempting to create 5 or 6 languages for about 7 or 8 years (if not more) and as of now, I'll be happy if one is finalized. Elvarian (elven to the common) is my closest to complete. It’s based very loosely on Greek, though I pull from many things. If there is anyone out there who is experienced or has insight on language creation, your advice or assistance would be invaluable. Even if you aren't experienced, any suggestions or comments are appreciated.


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    Update as of 5/22/13 - Descriptions of Languages for advising purposes.

    Human - Alright, so I'm starting the process of the human language. First thing I need to decide is it's basic structure. It seems best if it were similar to the latin based systems in certain structures (with various other languages mixed in), and then reverse engineer elven from it. There will likely be several regional and continental languages, but a main form I can work with would be ideal.

    Elvarian - One suggestion I liked that Neek orginally proposed was fast and slow Elvarian. One formal (slow) for between Elves, and one fast for between other groups, or in time sensative or even maybe familiar settings (family). Another tidbit is there are four kinds of elves - earth, water, wind, and fire. They each could have different dialects (as of now, I just had small variancies in writing and spoken). I enjoy the feature of Ancient Greek in which the most important word begins the sentence, so that's been a partial starting point for this.

    Dwar - The dwarven language is influenced by languages such as Japanese or Chinese, (and keep in mind there will some reverse engineering from the Human language as well, since it's been influenced by the Dwarves). I currently have written out around 10,000 individual characters for this language, thought these are largely undefined. The Goblins stole some characters from the Dwarves to create a rudimentary language, but I'm unsure as to what that could be influnced by.

    Tauric - For Centaurs, I was thinking could be a native american esque, or maybe even norse. Ideally, a mixture of both. Their written language in the current world is the only remenant of an older, runic language they once had, but now are in favor of images to write instead. Only a few scholars know Old Tauric.

    Drae - The Dragons have an Arabic influenced system, and their writing is similar to the religous caligraphy in that langauge. There are eleven species of dragon, and around seven or eight of them are sentient. The rest...are still wild, and while they communicate with each other, I see no need to define it further than that of the language of an animal - roar, snarl snarl, grunt grumble.

    I think this is a good start - to figure out what I need to research, and what the languages feel like. However, it's a very...large span of things. The most important is tackling the human language, but I wanted to list everything here in case someone had an idea for any of the languages, or suggestions for how to proceed for one thing or another. Questions are encouraged! Sentences like - "It would be neat if..." are wonderful things, and encouraged. Any knowledge you all can bring to the table will be welcomed with open arms!
    Last edited by TheWombatOfDoom; 2013-05-22 at 07:23 AM. Reason: spoilering some non-topic material, updating the OP

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    Default Re: Language Assistance (and more)

    Are you looking more for structure or vocabulary?

    By structure, I mainly mean coming up with a CFG that determines how the sentences are put together. The beginning of one for English, for instance would be
    Sentence -> Subject Verb Object, Subject Verb Object PrepositionalPhrase
    Subject -> NounPhrase
    Object -> NounPhrase
    NounPhrase -> Determiner Noun, Noun and Noun
    Noun -> Adjective Noun
    PrepositionalPhrase -> Preposition NounPhrase

    and for yoda it would be similar, but with
    Sentence -> PrepositionalPhrase Object Subject Verb

    And by vocabulary I mean either coming up with a whole lot of words that you'll need and/or rules to generate words in the target language that are both internally consistent and sound the way you want the language to sound.

    Either way, I'll try to help if I can.
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    Default Re: Language Assistance (and more)

    Both, to be honest. I've gotten as far as alphabet and pronounciation (save I don't have names for all the letters), and have not delved terribly much into the realm of application and conjugation. Now, in my world, I have it that common (english) is almost a direct rip off of elvarian (elves came before "hewn-men" [or human]) and the characters of english mostly used from dwarven characters (i'm insane and decided to give dwarves a character language - up to 8000+ characters with no hope of translation...I'm pretty sure I don't WANT to ever finish that monster)

    I get of track...so basically, spelling wise, Elvarian is kind of a reverse cypher, where the cypher instead of a letter is a sound or group of sounds. That doesn't really mean the sentence structure has to follow english. In this way, it will probably be "easier" to complete since i'm technically "cheating" with the whole cypher thing. I wanted to give a lasting example that hewnmen basically have adapted a bunch of existing cultures to create their own. I also like the idea of making english the demi-child of many other languages. However, I also don't want to make Elvarian too similar to english. I want to make it its own. Does this give you anything? Do you need more information?

    Either way, I REALLY appreciate your help in whatever capacity you are able! Even if it is just assisting me in organizing some thoughts. If you feel something can be bettered, propose away. Almost nothing in this aspect is set in stone.
    Last edited by TheWombatOfDoom; 2012-05-24 at 06:51 AM.

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    Default Re: Language Assistance (and more)

    Language creation for a novel is a fruitless endeavor. It's fun. It's satisfying. But the reality is that most fans won't appreciate it or care about it. In the situations where it is appreciated, it's either Tolkein's languages (which are extremely well done), or it's a hack job. And in Tolkein's case, it took a better part of a lifetime to generate, and even once it was in printed form, the languages received multiple revisions and retoolings.

    Fact is, once you start working on a language, you're never quite done. You find flaws you missed. You find that the aesthetics you're working on to be rather ugly.

    Or, you come to the realization that your language looks and feels completely artificial. And that's no good.

    And for the purpose of world-building, it's a wonderful, fulfilling, if not completely lonely occupation of one's time--there are few people who'll appreciate it.

    So, you have a few choices. You can push through and hope for progress at the cost of a lot of free time and limited feedback, or you can "wing it." The key to designing a good world is immersion: Immersion, however, can be an act of stage magic. Make it look like there's more to it than there is. A complex skeleton-framework of language. A dictionary from which to take words from one language, modify to appear as another, strung together in a seemingly consistent way.

    I accomplished this with Rahfatge, a language I've designed for a fantasy story I've been working on. The key "attraction" to the language is that the orthography is by far the most horrid and ludicrous thing I've ever designed. Why? Because phonological spelling doesn't truly exist in any language, or it exists marginally or temporarily. But moreover, it draws the attention away from the absence of a true "grammar." Words like Raitchnoecht, Soepry, etc., all appear to feel very real, feel very true and aid in immersion without all the mess.

    Other languages I've worked on, such as for a more modern story about the development of a nuclear bomb on another world than ours, I've started from scratch. The grammar I developed for a proto-language for the upcoming languages started out as a pretty generic clone of Indo-European languages didn't pan quite out as well as I expected, so going back to the drawing board and being unemployed, I produced around a 60 page grammar, and it's still growing. It's pretty amazing, but it's entirely cursory information--nothing that'll ever make it into a story. Moreover, the end-language (Hanawenzo, as it's called now; who knows if that'll change!) is written in a demotic-like script, a combination syllabary, logographic, and alphabet (like ancient egypt), in cursive. The end result is a massive bit of script, but at the same time, when you go that large, you just need to show enough to make someone think there's more to it than what you've got.

    For a d20 Apocalypse game, I've designed a future dialect--mostly just adoption of new words (carrick < car wreck, v. to scavange, n. goods found as a result of carricking, egber < big bear, n. dire bear, etc.) But this generates immersion, not real world-building. For a group of gamers at a table, it's all you need.

    So? How do you procede: You can go whole-hog and develop a massive language with real linguistic effort, or you generate a few naming languages which exist only in a base framework.

    Here's where to start:
    Look at the Virtual Verduria. His work on this fantasy world, which started as a D&D setting back in the early 80s, is quite a wonderful experience. His earliest languages (Verdurian) show the sort of novice attempts at language making, even when well executed, while his most recent languages show real ingenuity and real complexity and oddity (when designed from the purposeful POV of an English-speaking reading base).

    Then take a look at his Language Construction Kit. It exists in print format as well. It may seem like some beginner stuff, but it's quite good and it's a resource I default back to quite often.

    I've also got a link to a wiki in my signature that's mainly for constructed languages, though I haven't paid much attention to in a while, but there's good content in there too (and it features some of my languages. :P)

    For good feedback, there are a variety of communities to go to. I'd say head over to the Zompist Bulletin Board, which is related to his Virtual Verduria site. The group can be quite gruff at times, but can be quite helpful too.
    Last edited by Neek; 2012-05-25 at 08:42 AM.
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    Default Re: Language Assistance (and more)

    Neek, well said in many points. Many things in world creation I see as possibly "fruitless" in the fact that much of it won't directly relate in the story (though I’m sure some of it might). Will an evolution tree of the dragon species play a key role in a plot line? More than likely not. However, I feel the more information I have on the elements of my world, the more each can indirectly influence my writing. One of the key features in a culture is language, so it can help me make a more complete culture. Communication illicits behavior. Even names of places often are from older languages.

    I doubt I'll ever be at the level of language creation that Tolkien got to (tweeks or not), especially to keep in mind he was well versed in the study of language and I am...something less or more to an amateur. That leaves me with mostly going into the realm of a hack-job, as you say. Dwarven (only a working name) will always be that, especially since I decided it would be something akin to chinese and a multitude of characters. Like most of your descriptions of role playing settings, I really only want the bare bones, perhaps a few defined characters here and there, laced with some impressions of the format, such as sounds in the language that are missing, structure of writing, and maybe a few words that don't translate the same. I have written thousands of characters out for Dwarven so that I can pick and choose what I like, and because I may be slightly insane. I love doing it though.

    Immersion is a good word for what I am trying to accomplish. I need that skeleton! Currently I have a pile of bones that I've discovered, then brushed and worked out of the earth, and currently just trying to piece together into something that makes sense.

    In the language presented in my original post - Elvarian - I currently have a language where I use 32 unique characters which represent A - Z, as well as a few double consonants and common combinations of letters such as sh, th, and ch. Here's where we get into the hack-job. I decided I wanted to have a reason as to why there is English (Common) in my world. This is to identify something that I'd always found strange - why do all humans in fantasy novels speak English, and only other "humanoids" speak in other languages. I know this isn't a blanketing fact by any means, but personally I wanted an explanation for myself as to why it was the case in my world in particular. I also thought on if I wanted other kinds of human to have other languages in my world, but the origins of humans in my world dictated they'd all have similar language, with some major or minor variants depending on region and how far removed from other races the culture has been.

    Humans are actually the product of two core races reproducing together - Elves and Ancients (true men). Ancient’s language...well, they don’t really have much in the way of written language because they communicated mostly, for lack of a better word, telepathically. They mostly spoke in the languages of other races TO other races, with their more private communication for their race only, with exception to a mate. So knowing all that, human language would largely be influenced by Elvarian.

    With this in mind, I decided that English would do the same thing in my book as it does in real life – steal from various languages to make up its own. So I had to reverse engineer Elvarian as the proto language to English. So now here I am, trying to do that. I originally made it so English was a direct cipher of Elvarian, and to some capacity, I still like that idea. It’s a simple(ish) concept and works well with that whole illusion of a complete language you were talking about. However, there are obvious problems with this system – mainly the fact that it’s not necessarily fine tuned enough. I nod to the fact that it probably will never be completed as language is an ever changing creature, influenced often by silly or strange nuances.
    The cipher is hard to translate in anything but phonetics, because Elvarian symbols are not like English, so direct translation gets you a whole lot of neat looking symbols, but not much else. If I write it out phonetically (not IPA), the name “Josh” would be – Yoahni (or Yoh-ahn-knee). That works alright, not too clunky. But say the word “forest”. That is- Faehneraefel (or Fae-ahn-airl-ae-fell). Rs are rolled, so I added the L for connotation. “The dog ran swiftly” becomes “Elpae deranjye airen sheenufaelat.” See? Clunky. Sounds kind of nice though (though its sometimes a tongue twister). Maybe I could swing the fact that, because elves live so much longer than humans, taking forever to say things is okay but humans broke down the language into a speedier process for themselves.

    If I continue this cipher language, maybe the correct train of thought should be to complicate our English to make up Elvarian, such as adding feminine and masculine variations. Then, keep sentence structure similar with some exceptions so you see a relation from one language to the other. The trick with this is to not be too similar while also not being too different. Even some of the sounds of letters I mimicked some of our alphabet, so there could be a visible evolution. Other letters are completely different.

    Looking at the Verdurian site and I’m amazed at the fact that I’ve never seen or heard reference to it in the past! This is great stuff, as much as I have read so far. I’ve actually recently purchased the Language Construction Kit, and am awaiting its arrival in the mail. I’ve been gearing back up to language lately after several years of avoiding it or working on other sections of the world. I’d love to look at your own creations in the near future, but for the moment I’ve run short on time. I’ll surely go over some of these things more in depth in the next few days. If you’d like, I can scan some of my things and pm you or post them, if you would like to further council me as I continue looking into these resources you’ve provided.

    Either way, you have my thanks for your reply! I’m curious to see if you have any insight on what information I’ve presented here.

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    Default Re: Language Assistance (and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    Neek, well said in many points. Many things in world creation I see as possibly "fruitless" in the fact that much of it won't directly relate in the story (though I’m sure some of it might). Will an evolution tree of the dragon species play a key role in a plot line? More than likely not. However, I feel the more information I have on the elements of my world, the more each can indirectly influence my writing. One of the key features in a culture is language, so it can help me make a more complete culture. Communication illicits behavior. Even names of places often are from older languages.
    You're right. Language isn't just a transmission of information, but also a conduit for culture, habit, and art. It is, however, fruitless as a means of art--one I realized about half a decade ago. Has it stopped me from making languages at any point? No. Not at all. Just because it's fruitless doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Just that you have to assume the risk that you may be the only person to ever truly appreciate the craft. If you find it intellectually satisfying, then there's no harm in proceeding forward.

    One thing to note is that Tolkein's languages aren't particularly interesting; they're a rather obvious mash-up of European languages, but languages Tolkein loved. He also had a sense, an appreciation even, of aesthetics. And that sense drove the true beauty of the languages. It's not that they were linguistically taxing languages, but simply and wonderfully executed. It's a hard thing to hit, because the current trend in conlangs has been, for a while, linguistically creative languages. Languages that operate in weird, special ways.

    On the other hand of literature, Robert Jordan's language for the Wheel of Time books weren't particularly good in any aspect. They were obvious mashups of modern languages with a piss-poor grammar. Did it stop the stories from being good? (Well, if you ask me, it made no impact: The Wheel of Time series was trite. But to his fans who did enjoy the stories, whether or not the languages were present). Then there's also that Dragon language featured in Skyrim--it isn't well done, but at the same time, people enjoy writing down the glyphs and trying to translate what's there. That sort of inolvement, whether it's easy or complex, is gratifying in the end.

    So yeah, there's two sides to this: You can be a professional and ahead of the league when it comes to being a linguistic pro, or you can be an amateur or completely haphazard about it. Ultimately, it doesn't come down to what sells well. It comes down to what feels right to you, and how much you want to divulge in the stories. And when dealing with alien cultures, a different language is a wonderful way of portraying that.

    Dwarven (only a working name) will always be that, especially since I decided it would be something akin to chinese and a multitude of characters. Like most of your descriptions of role playing settings, I really only want the bare bones, perhaps a few defined characters here and there, laced with some impressions of the format, such as sounds in the language that are missing, structure of writing, and maybe a few words that don't translate the same. I have written thousands of characters out for Dwarven so that I can pick and choose what I like, and because I may be slightly insane. I love doing it though.
    Utilizing something like a logographic script isn't a bad idea: It lets you pepper in some mystery and symbolism where you might be stuck for inspiration. Remembering also that if you're moving towards a Sinitic style culture, you might want to know that the earliest Chinese glyphs were found on oracle-bones and that they may have been used frequently as a fortune-telling device. This can be an excellent story-point or plot device at some point, and by not revealing too much to the reader, can add an air of mystery and investigation to the reader. Like I said about Skyrim's Dragon Tongue, effort that carries a reward, no matter how negligible, involves the reader more into the story.

    Now, to your pont on English: Tolkein used English because he supposedly translated the "Red Book" from whatever language the Hobbits spoke, which is closely related to the languages that some of the men of nations nearby spoke--there are actually some linguistic oddities present in the story, and you have to dig to find it. You can't always have the sort of meta-consciousness when writing a story. It's sometimes a needless detail that I find stressful at times, and for a lot, having a detached third-person narratory means that whatever the default language the story is set in is irrelevant. As the writer, you have the power to step-in and describe certain things. Nevertheless, it's a good starting point.

    There are a few rules to learn when dealing with languages. 1). There always exists a lingua franca, whether it's a combination of two languages, a contemporary language from a nation that holds wealth and power, or an ancient one; 2). Learning a new language is relatively easy (with some caveats). This second point is important: People learn languages as a tool of expression and survival. In the modern world with printed text, telecommunications, and global lingua francas, the necessity to learn a new language for survival is minimal. But if you got stranded somewhere English wasn't spoken, you'd learn a new language in less than a month and become fluent in a short number of years. Babies learning languages easy is a fallacy. Children begin developing the building block of languages at around one to two, and don't really grasp any real proficiency until years later. Adults can learn languages much faster. Babies learn it the hard-and-fast way because they have no choice. In a similar position, you'd be far more proficient because you don't have to create the pathways and connections in your brain to facillitate language: It's already there.

    Why're these points important? Because you don't have to bend over backwards to describe what language you're using, or why it has to be English. You just have to know that if there is a lingua franca, adventuring type characters will learn it. Educated will know it. Merchants will change money in it. Therefore, whatever you define "common" as, it's the language of the story.

    Now, to the languages!

    Elvarion, you list, has 32 unique characters, representing all existing Latin characters plus characters representing combination letters (digraphs). This isn't really anything real: Writing is a mode where your brain attempts to process the sounds into a meaningful, coherent way. You need to define what sounds there are, else you suffer from overlap. In English, c, k, and qu can represent the same sound, [k]--cat, kill, queso. Sometimes c can be [s], sometimes qu can be [kw]. Sometimes q appears by itself. Or at least, in your language it might. You don't want to suffer the pitfall that English spelling is phonetic, nor do you want to assume that there's a difference between those letters where they represent the same sound. Simmer it down some. The realization that writing is an artificial layer over spoken language helps create more original, more in-depth languages. It also lets you deal with the aesthetics of the language by throwing out not just sounds, but letters, that may feel unattractive for that language. You may want to look at the IPA charts which show cardinal sounds (that is, sounds as they are pronounced), and match them against the characters you're using--you can double them up, you can spread them out over a few letters. It doesn't matter.

    Utilizing a cypher is decent, but you want to make it more difficult to stop a cypher. I mentioned that I made a naming language, Rahfatge. Most of the words in the language are outright stolen from Hindi. Why? Because it's fun. But it also makes sure that you can't backtrace the words. If you're going to cypher English, or create a bogolang (like Pig Latin; that is, your language is derived by simply altering English with very specific rules), you might want to add a few more in--obfuscate it with a slightly different structure and create a larger set of rules to change the way words feel after they're imported (instead of having one stage of cypher, have two stages: One is a simple English -> Elvarian cypher, the other is a more complex, finer one that changes Elvarian words).

    This also helps with clunkiness. If you add a syllable, delete a syllable in a consistent pattern. Re-organize sentences as well so that the structur doesn't remain the same. The Boy hit the Window -> Boy window hit (you don't definte articles, most languages get by without them.)

    Lastly, walk yourself into an idea: Elves are longer lived, taking time with a conversation may not be a consideration and some information can be relatively short to convey, other simpler statements take longer. This is true for most langauges. In Classical Aztec (Nahuatl), to say "There is a house," you say, cualli. It's also just the word for "house." There's less syllables, shorter statements there, but consider the difference in "I speak Nahuatl": Ninonahuatlahtoani in nehuatl. Much more complex, much longer, but it doesn't convey the same information either: It's not "I speak Nahuatl." It's three words, but more information is given there. The accurate translation would be, "I am oft to speak the Commanding language." And you can say the same sentence by leaving out the last two words; they're not necessary at all! A lot of information gets encoded into the verb -tlahtoa-, which receives a good number of prefixes and suffixes to add additional information. It makes expressions longer.

    But if Elves, for instance, have longer words by nature, and are by nature more apt to be long-winded, then perhaps to the point isn't their style? It's not that "dog ran into the forest," but rather, you can include information like the color of the dog. That's important. Was it running? Jogging? Chasing? Hunting? Was the forest bare of leaves because of winter? Was it dew covered? Were the branches heavy from rain or from snow? All this can be encoded.

    But perhaps the Elves know better than to be so polite with humans, who don't have such time. You can end up with two registers: Long and Brief Elven. Brief would be the kind humans learn. Why bother learning all the grammar to express dew-laden trees and soggy dogs?

    Just food for thought, after all.

    Looking at the Verdurian site and I’m amazed at the fact that I’ve never seen or heard reference to it in the past! This is great stuff, as much as I have read so far. I’ve actually recently purchased the Language Construction Kit, and am awaiting its arrival in the mail. I’ve been gearing back up to language lately after several years of avoiding it or working on other sections of the world. I’d love to look at your own creations in the near future, but for the moment I’ve run short on time. I’ll surely go over some of these things more in depth in the next few days. If you’d like, I can scan some of my things and pm you or post them, if you would like to further council me as I continue looking into these resources you’ve provided.
    Scan them! Post them! Probably a D&D Homebrew thread isn't the appropriate place, and I think my e-mail is accessible from here. Or go to the ZBB, as I've linked, where there's more people than just me to respond.

    I discovered that Verdurian site about in 1999. It's held my interest since, but information comes far and few between. What you see there is about 30 years of one person's work. Like I said, it's time intensive ;).

    I'm glad you ordered that book. It might be a bit over someone's head, but I think he did a good job with it. It's rather excellent, nevertheless.
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    Default Re: Language Assistance (and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by Neek View Post
    On the other hand of literature, Robert Jordan's language for the Wheel of Time books weren't particularly good in any aspect. They were obvious mashups of modern languages with a piss-poor grammar. Did it stop the stories from being good? (Well, if you ask me, it made no impact: The Wheel of Time series was trite. But to his fans who did enjoy the stories, whether or not the languages were present).
    Agreed wholeheartedly. While I enjoyed elements of the books (I only got to the 5th), I only liked the first one and after that it seriously decresendoed. I'm withholding a rant...I'm just going to stop here.

    Then there's also that Dragon language featured in Skyrim--it isn't well done, but at the same time, people enjoy writing down the glyphs and trying to translate what's there. That sort of inolvement, whether it's easy or complex, is gratifying in the end.
    While I still haven't gotten to play Skyrim (money is a friend that has not visited me in awhile), what you describe sounds enticing - individuals enjoying attempting to translate what is there. Still, video games are not the same as books, and often reach an audience never reached in novelizations. However, if I can reach that demographic (the whole effort carries a reward) I'd certainly not complain. A cypher language would definatly hit that chord.

    Utilizing something like a logographic script isn't a bad idea: It lets you pepper in some mystery and symbolism where you might be stuck for inspiration. Remembering also that if you're moving towards a Sinitic style culture, you might want to know that the earliest Chinese glyphs were found on oracle-bones and that they may have been used frequently as a fortune-telling device. This can be an excellent story-point or plot device at some point, and by not revealing too much to the reader, can add an air of mystery and investigation to the reader.
    This gave me an idea about why Dwarven characters were used in Human writing and alphabet - they were on the walls of ruins they settled near or in. That would be interesting...hm. I will have to think more about that.

    Now, to your pont on English: Tolkein used English because he supposedly translated the "Red Book" from whatever language the Hobbits spoke, which is closely related to the languages that some of the men of nations nearby spoke--there are actually some linguistic oddities present in the story, and you have to dig to find it. You can't always have the sort of meta-consciousness when writing a story. It's sometimes a needless detail that I find stressful at times, and for a lot, having a detached third-person narratory means that whatever the default language the story is set in is irrelevant. As the writer, you have the power to step-in and describe certain things. Nevertheless, it's a good starting point.
    Now that's commitment to an idea! To write a book with linguistic oddities based on the awareness that it is a "translation" from a fictional language in the story is...well, incites a whole new level of respect for the man. I did not know this. A lovely tidbit, that. Anyway, for me, I had two facts that inspired my decision to explain "english". In dwarven characters, based on the patterns, much of the latin alphabet appeared in the language. I also knew I wanted humans to speak a vastly borrowed language from the elves, with others influencing it. In the end, I put two and two together. It ended up assisting with some things, and it gives me something to go off of. Just like before you paint a picture it's good to decide what colors to paint with, I decided to "paint" with english, so that I'd have limitations to refine around. Sure, in many ways it's irrelevant, but alas!


    As for lingua franca, originally Elvarian was the lingua franca of earlier ages, but now it's human, although dragons have their own lingua franca for when talking to other kinds of dragon, while a different language when talking to their own kind. These branches were forms of survival. The dragons often warred in old times, so they developed private ways to communicate so that the other would not know what each was saying. Dragons have syrinx's, which give them an exceptional range of sound. I'm getting off topic, but there is a point. Currently humans are largely dominant for the language because their population verses other races. This and two of the three proto-races have exclusive languages based on certain traits - Ancients with thought, Dragons with unpronouncable dictations based on the syrinx. Think of trying to communicate with bird people or something akin. Some sounds you could mimic, but not enough. Dragons however, can speak elvarian and common, because they DO have that range. The ancients speak elvarian and common because they DO have that range. It would be interesting if dragons and ancients had a middle ground language awhile back in history, though. Meh, I think they'd just fall back on Elvarian. So in these cases, Elvarian was the easiest in the past, and as of now, Humans are dominant in many capacities, and have an easier language than elves. Dragons have also pulled away from other peoples more, and now are rarely seen, so have less influence on the common language. Love your points on this section!

    Now, to the languages!
    To them indeed! For each character I have what sound they represent, as well as a basic understanding of what they do when they combine. The letter combinations (like "LL" or "ST") are just examples where they don't follow the patern when sounds are combined. In otherwords "P" is Rho, and "PP" is Rhono. "S" is Sha, "H" is Pa, and "SH" is Ni. Granted some of this needs some major fine tuning, and when I send you a diagram we can discuss this easier. Some of the sounds DO repeat, or are combinations of already existing sounds like "ahn" which is "ah" and "nuh". I avoided the c, k qu and a few more obvious, but my pitfall is I started with alphabet, and went from there. And I made a lot of characters. I will mostly need to go back over this a bit - and I expected to! Any help in that particular area will be highly appreciated. I have thrown out sounds in the language - particularly th's (fuh), r's (rolling l), and b's (vuh). IPA I have looked over, and it's daunting! I have a small amount of musical experience, but that didn't get me far. The farther I get in reading your suggestions, the more I think I'm mostly ok, however. We'll just have to see.

    Utilizing a cypher is decent, but you want to make it more difficult to stop a cypher. I mentioned that I made a naming language, Rahfatge. Most of the words in the language are outright stolen from Hindi. Why? Because it's fun. But it also makes sure that you can't backtrace the words. If you're going to cypher English, or create a bogolang (like Pig Latin; that is, your language is derived by simply altering English with very specific rules), you might want to add a few more in--obfuscate it with a slightly different structure and create a larger set of rules to change the way words feel after they're imported (instead of having one stage of cypher, have two stages: One is a simple English -> Elvarian cypher, the other is a more complex, finer one that changes Elvarian words).
    If you could go into this a bit more with me, I admit I'm not completely certain what you mean by backtrace. Do you mean if I'm going to do a cypher, I should hide it so no one knows it actually is one by making a second layer? That could work. You mention if I add a syllable, to delete one. Do you mean in the overall language?

    The sentence structure is something I've been keeping an ear out for. I was thinking on things like taking away the present participle -ing, for starters. Instead of I am walking - I walk. I also wanted to make sure the subject of the sentence is at the beginning. So: Thomas walks here. Dragon Shadow flies quick. Mother died asleep. With Dragon Shadow, it is a dragon of the shadow type. So race, then kind. So for an elf - Elvari Wood. These are subject to change, but it shows I've at least started thinking about it a bit. I was planning on seeing how it turned out as I progressed.

    I also really like the idea of 'long' and 'brief' speech patterns based on who they speak to. It definately follows the theme of most of my other races, while also being different in its own way as well. I'll have to think on that while going forward with a possible second layer in my cypher, as well as meanings of words. I guess words can also have prefixes and suffixes that denote condition. Like one ending signifies it was wet, and a variant of it signifies it was wet from snow. Or something of the sort. All this from soggy dogs!

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    Anyone else have any suggestions, in light of the fact that Neek has disappeared for the upwards of 10 days now?
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    Trying once more to breathe life into this thing. I know it seems long winded, but if anyone had any opinions on fictional languages at all, I'm open to hearing them.
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    Hm, let me read this and see what I can think up.

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    Thank you! Let me know what questions you have.
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    If you're willing to put that much time into the project consider learning a few foreign languages from different groups (e.g. you already know English, which is Germanic, so consider learning a Romantic one, learn a Semitic language, learn an Asian one, maybe even a Native American one...) That way you'll get a sense of what can vary (there's a lot more to structure than just sentence structure, and besides that and vocabulary there's also the actual sounds involved), and pick different features for different languages.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    If you're willing to put that much time into the project consider learning a few foreign languages from different groups (e.g. you already know English, which is Germanic, so consider learning a Romantic one, learn a Semitic language, learn an Asian one, maybe even a Native American one...) That way you'll get a sense of what can vary (there's a lot more to structure than just sentence structure, and besides that and vocabulary there's also the actual sounds involved), and pick different features for different languages.
    I have the time to create OR learn. I currently am just balancing writing with studying for a teaching exam and a full time job. I can't commit to fully learn that many languages. However, if I could find information on nuances and basic setup, I wouldn't mind going through that. But learning an entirely new language is something I can't possibly commit to, nor do I think I could learn more than one at a time, which means several years before I have them all under my belt.

    That being said, I know English, French, Spanish, and Sign Lanuage. I'm kind of familiar with Greek, and I'm slightly familiar with some russian (not much), and I've been trying to find a way to study Japanese in a way that would work for me. In that case, independent study hasn't amounted to much.

    While this is indeed something I have invested a lot of time in, I also know what limitations there are in what I'm currently capable of doing at this time...which is why I'm asking for advice on language on here, instead of trying to find all the answers independently, if that makes sense.
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    I'll be back with a longer post later, but here's my 2 cp for now:
    • One interesting thing between languages is that they can have the same literal translation, but with different reasons. "Ich will mit dir sitzen" "我要跟你坐" (Chinese probably not entirely correct, I can't remember if sit was a compound word) Anyway, they both literally translate to "I want to sit with you" but the German is because verbs get pushed to the end of the sentence with modals, whereas Chinese puts prepositional phrases before the verb.
    • Here's a linguistic oddity- the hobbit dialect of Westron lacks formal pronouns. So in Minas Tirith, everyone assumed Pippin was important because he literally talked down to everyone
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    I'm willing to contribute, if you can give me a task and point me at it. I'm a fair hand at phonological and historical stuff, but I really could lend a hand to any aspect of it depending on where you need it. Send me a PM.


    EDIT: if it counts, I've studied (but often don't remember) French, Japanese, and Latin, in addition to my native English.
    Last edited by MoleMage; 2012-09-21 at 03:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    I have the time to create OR learn.
    You'll have a much richer language system if you first learn some languages and then after you finish that start creating; whether it's worth delaying your production for another few years for the added richness is your call.

    Although you wouldn't have to learn them in such depth; a basic course in each would be plenty.

    That being said, I know English, French, Spanish, and Sign Lanuage. I'm kind of familiar with Greek, and I'm slightly familiar with some russian (not much)
    Those are all pretty similar. You'll get some sense of variety that way, but probably not as much as if you added in Japanese as well as Hebrew or Arabic.


    Here are some ideas on how languages might vary:
    -Syntax.
    -The sounds involved. Some might have glottal stops or the arabic ghain or a clicking sound, etc. etc. Others might not have l or r, but rather something in between, the way Chinese does IIRC.
    -What parts of pronunciation are significant. In English, where you put an accent on a word tends not to change the meaning, and neither (with occasional sentence-scale exceptions) does the pitch at which it is spoken. There are counterexamples to both of those in other languages.
    -Grammar. English has as its main tenses the past, present, and future. There are languages with other sets, dividing up the uses differently (and possibly putting some on tenseless parts of speech such as adjectives.) You're probably aware that some languages have subject/verb agreement in gender just as English has number agreement; consider how that might be extended (perhaps there could be different tenses for the nouns to agree with the verbs, perhaps transitive verbs could have number or gender for the object as well as the subject.) Or of course you could have a language with no agreement rules at all.
    -Conjugation structure. In English, there is a fairly weak conjugation structure; there's rules for turning a tense into past or future tense or indicating a passive act (having something done to you), but no systematic rules for turning it into a noun or adjective, or for indicating the act of causing another act. Again, other languages have more, you can have different levels for different languages. Also, consider issues such as the frequency of irregular verbs (those that don't follow the usual pattern)...and of course there might be two or more usual patterns, with some verbs following one and some following the other, and maybe a few irregular verbs that don't quite follow either.
    Also, consider the size of the root form of a verb; in English it can be anything, but Semitic languages generally require exactly three letters (all consonants). Again, there's a lot of room to vary here.
    -How it's written. Are vowels written as letters (as in English)? Are they written above or below the consonants (as in Semitic languages)? Are they left out entirely? Is each word a separate symbol, as in Chinese (for simple words)? Or maybe only each syllable is a separate symbol. Maybe a single symbol can stand for more than one syllable or sound, as in Akkadian. Again, there's a lot of room for variety here.
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    Whew, this thread is very dense!

    1. I think it's awesome that you're putting so much thought into creating all these complementary facets to your world (culture, language, ecosystems, etc.). It's very refreshing compared to how many settings just handwave everything.

    2. I would dearly love to see scans of your Chinese-inspired Dwarven logograms. I've been interested in making a logographic conlang, but every time I sit down and work on it, my logographs always come out looking like Simplified Hanzi clones. Perhaps I'm just not creative enough.

    3. Human language
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    Echoing others, I'd personally advise against making English the de facto human language.

    One of my favorite quotes is: "The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary." And it's very true; English is an amalgam of hundreds of different languages and cultures, something like: two cups Germanic, a cup of Latin, a cup of Norman French, a heaping teaspoon of Spanish, season with other languages to taste.

    It's a living creature, uniquely evolved to its current form based on the environment around it. So taking English, dropping it in the middle of a new world and trying to pass it off as naturally-developed in that world would be as hard to pull off as dropping a donkey on Venus and claiming it evolved there. It would break verisimilitude for anyone who knew anything about etymology.

    Plus there are logistic issues—if English is the actual language of the humans, will it remain English in translations of your novel, just like any other "alien" language would?

    I personally would go the Tolkien-ish route here: English (or whatever language the book is published in) is a translation of the actual human language, just like English in The Lord of the Rings is a translated version of Westron. It frees you up to make the human language whatever you desire, English be damned, and prevents the nightmare of trying to extrapolate/justify the origins of English words with extremely different etymologies (e.g. typhoon, czar, fiancée, tsnunami, noodle, alligator, chocolate, etc. etc.).

    And if you want the human language to be a hodgepodge of other languages like the real English is, you could use it to determine vocabulary and culture for your other languages! Say the human word for iron is "paseek", and like many metal- and mining-related words, it comes from Dwarvish ("baashiq"). But in Dwarvish, "baashiq" is actually a compound word: "baash" = bane, "iq" = of the fey, named for iron's damaging properties against fairies, elves and the like. This gives you three words of Dwarvish and some insights into their thought process/culture as well.

    4. Elvarian
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    Similarly, if you're going for a naturalistic approach to language, a cipher definitely isn't the way to go, simply because it's just that: a cipher, nothing more. If you want to make Elvarian one of the major contributors to the human language, you might look at comparisons between German and English, or Latin and (Central American) Spanish. It's clear that there's some relation, but there are numerous and striking differences because of other languages getting mixed in at some point (the Romance languages for English, the Mezoamerican languages for Spanish).

    5. I definitely agree with Neek that you shouldn't get too hung up on the orthography. Writing systems are an abstraction, nothing more. Just make sure your rules are consiseant throughout a given language, and preferably more logical than the nightmare that is Irish, French and English orthography. And as far as the Latin alphabet being used, that falls prey to the same issues as using English for default human language—the Latin alphabet is a nightmare mishmash of cultures all the way back to Proto-Sinaitic (which was a weird abjad/alphabet hybrid). Again, this is averted by treating whatever script your book is written in/translated to as a translation of the "human script".

    TL;DR version: If you're going for realism, I would recommend focusing primarily on your human language, seeing that it's a combination of all the others, and then using it to extrapolate the vocabulary/culture of other languages. Oh, and don't make the human language English.

    I have some ideas about various aspects of grammar and what can make languages "pop", but those will have to wait until I'm less sleepy.

    Let me know if any of this was at all helpful!
    Last edited by Inglenook; 2012-09-25 at 02:57 AM.

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    It was indeed helpful. However, don't you know what this means?! I have nothing! Hahaha. It's very true, I shouldn't focus on how to make english fit into my world. Especially with the well made point that if the book were to be translated into another language, then the cypher would fail to work. The whole english and elven cypher was my way of cheating having to make two entire languages, but I see now that cheating comes with some bigger consequences than I was counting on. Alas. Well, now I'm really going to need help.

    1. Thank you for the compliment. It really is just a natural part of my creativity: How do you write about something you don't know about. Research the subject. Oh wait, there's nothing to research? Well, we're going to have to fix that. The plot and characters are so much richer now that I have an in depth history, and cultures have been taking more and more shape, though I've been holding off on working on them completely until after heavy influencers like the magic system and language are completed for the world (the former is nearly complete, though it's grown out of the clothes I put it in and has turned into it's own monster!). Basically when it comes to my world throughout the last 12 years of creation - any class I took or anything I learned, my first consideration of the information was: Hmmmmm, how can I apply this to my world. That may sound strange, but it worked well for me: Not only did it reinforce the ideas of my world but it helped me remember what I learned because I was instantly converting it into relevent data. Handwaves are for hellos and goodbyes, not for world creation.

    2. The Dwaven Language - Dwar - is currently about 8000 characters and growing. One issue I'm experiencing is that many are very similar in appearance, and some have slight variancies. At the time I started making them, I made an orginal symbol, and then add the same series of lines to the bottom of them as it progressed, so it became a bunch of them, depending on which and how many lines were present. I figured they could all be something like representing tenses, where the symbol told you when the subject was taking place. So no lines could mean its current, or present tense, and so on. Goblin language has really only more recently developed as they did, and has stolen a handful of dwarven symbols to mark things. They mainly still speak in a form of sign language and morse code.

    3. Human language - So what you're suggesting is that I create the Human language to reverse engineer the others (aside from Draerien, or Draconic to the non-versed)? Also, is there any evidence in language as to if there was a time when the human race on earth ever spoke one language, or has it always been a seperate thing? The reason I ask is if we're creating a human language, it's generally unrealistic to have it just one. Other peoples and cultures will have different languages, and I've never been one to believe that the other races replace these ideas. Now with the human orgin story (they're a fairly new race, and half elves to boot), it would make sense if they developed language seperately based on location (such as seperate continents), but they all would have similar influence from the elves, though some would have never known what a dwarf was, so that influence could vary. Other outliers like centaurs might throw in some irregularities however.

    4. Elven - I'm not familar with the mezoamerican influences on spanish but I see what you're saying. Start from the product, not from the root.

    5. Alas, being an artist by profession, I often start with visual cues to assist my creativity. This was the case with language. The first place I started was iconography of the symbols and went from there. Basically the whole reverse engieneer the language around the symobols once I had them, because I liked their look. They're open to change I guess, but I don't want to deviate from them too much, because I like them. Bearing that in mind, if it's hindering the creation of the language, then I'll have to set it aside for now and see how we can fit them in later.

    I look forward to less sleepy responses, and I thank you for your contributions to my project, despite it taking me back down a few pegs in the progress stage. Hopefully we'll be able to develop something in short(ish) order.
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    Default Re: Language Assistance (and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    2. The Dwaven Language - Dwar - is currently about 8000 characters and growing. One issue I'm experiencing is that many are very similar in appearance, and some have slight variancies. At the time I started making them, I made an orginal symbol, and then add the same series of lines to the bottom of them as it progressed, so it became a bunch of them, depending on which and how many lines were present. I figured they could all be something like representing tenses, where the symbol told you when the subject was taking place. So no lines could mean its current, or present tense, and so on.
    In that case, what you have isn't really a huge number of very similar characters, but a smaller number of "root" characters and then some conjugation modifiers. It'll probably be easier to record in that form, as there's far less to record, and you don't have as much similarity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    In that case, what you have isn't really a huge number of very similar characters, but a smaller number of "root" characters and then some conjugation modifiers. It'll probably be easier to record in that form, as there's far less to record, and you don't have as much similarity.
    True. Then I'd have something around...2000 or so word characters. I just didn't know if that would work out, since I'm focusing more on the characters than the language itself as I was doing with the others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    True. Then I'd have something around...200 or so word characters. I just didn't know if that would work out, since I'm focusing more on the characters than the language itself as I was doing with the others.
    From what you're describing, the characters are essentially a written vocabulary for the language, complete with conjugation rules. They might not have a phonetic connection with the spoken form of the language, but they do have the relevant linguistic structure.
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    Default Re: Language Assistance (and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    From what you're describing, the characters are essentially a written vocabulary for the language, complete with conjugation rules. They might not have a phonetic connection with the spoken form of the language, but they do have the relevant linguistic structure.
    You know what, you're right. With this system its not as reliant as say the Elvarian language. Sweet. Considers implications...
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    It was indeed helpful. However, don't you know what this means?! I have nothing! Hahaha. It's very true, I shouldn't focus on how to make english fit into my world. Especially with the well made point that if the book were to be translated into another language, then the cypher would fail to work. The whole english and elven cypher was my way of cheating having to make two entire languages, but I see now that cheating comes with some bigger consequences than I was counting on. Alas. Well, now I'm really going to need help.
    I mean, if you're happy with what you have and feel like it works, then go with your gut. I feel bad being the linguistics monster who runs around squashing people's creativity.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
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    Very well said, haha. I may have to quote you on this at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    3. Human language - So what you're suggesting is that I create the Human language to reverse engineer the others (aside from Draerien, or Draconic to the non-versed)? Also, is there any evidence in language as to if there was a time when the human race on earth ever spoke one language, or has it always been a seperate thing? The reason I ask is if we're creating a human language, it's generally unrealistic to have it just one. Other peoples and cultures will have different languages, and I've never been one to believe that the other races replace these ideas. Now with the human orgin story (they're a fairly new race, and half elves to boot), it would make sense if they developed language seperately based on location (such as seperate continents), but they all would have similar influence from the elves, though some would have never known what a dwarf was, so that influence could vary. Other outliers like centaurs might throw in some irregularities however.
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    I'd personally use the human language to partially reverse engineer some of the others, yep. And as far as a single human language … well, that's one of the great questions of historical linguistics, haha. It's a bit of a slog, but you might try looking up polygenesis, monogenesis and the origin of language. If such a thing did exist, it would likely be mostly unrecognizable simply because of how fast languages change, especially when there's no written form to "solidify" them. For comparison, since 4000 B.C.E. we've gone from all of Europe and India speaking the same language to hundreds of very distinct ones today.

    However, if the human language is the lingua franca of your world, it might make sense that there exists a relatively standardized form. The most common/realistic way for this to occur would be humans in different regions having distinct languages, but one region is especially powerful in commerce, and thus their language becomes the international language of trade and the "default" human language that most people learn. There would be different accents and variations in grammar/vocabulary from place-to-place based on the other languages in that area, but for the most part people would be able to understand one another.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    4. Elven - I'm not familar with the mezoamerican influences on spanish but I see what you're saying. Start from the product, not from the root.
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    I'd personally start from the product in a situation like this, yeah. And Mesoamerican languages to Spanish was a poor example, my bad; they contributed some vocabulary (especially foods, animals, tools) but not much in the way of grammar.

    Something worth noting that if you're using Elvarian as the largest contributor to the human language: oftentimes when languages change to become new languages, simple and oft-used words/concepts are more likely to remain similar, while more complex and less-common words change more quickly. Look at how similar pronouns are throughout Romance languages, or how words for water and sun are almost all variations of "sol" and "aqua". So human and Elvarian words for "food" and "person" and "earth" might be very similar, but once it gets to specialized vocab they might be extremely different.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    5. Alas, being an artist by profession, I often start with visual cues to assist my creativity. This was the case with language. The first place I started was iconography of the symbols and went from there. Basically the whole reverse engieneer the language around the symobols once I had them, because I liked their look. They're open to change I guess, but I don't want to deviate from them too much, because I like them. Bearing that in mind, if it's hindering the creation of the language, then I'll have to set it aside for now and see how we can fit them in later.
    Actually, looking at this again, it would probably be okay. An alphabet has a complex history, but not nearly as complex as a language. It might be worth looking at the origins of the actual Latin alphabet, though. For example, the original symbol for "A" was an aurochs' head. And since the word for aurochs ("alp") began with the "A" sound, the head-glyph was used to represent the "A" sound in all words. It later got simplified to this, and you can see how we got our "A" from that.

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    Default Re: Language Assistance (and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by historiasdeosos View Post
    For example, the original symbol for "A" was an aurochs' head. And since the word for aurochs ("alp") began with the "A" sound
    Actually, I think "ALP" was the root for a head of cattle, not a single animal.
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    Default Re: Language Assistance (and more)

    But a head of cattle is a single animal?

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    Dude, publish this thing. I'd pay.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    You'll have a much richer language system if you first learn some languages and then after you finish that start creating; whether it's worth delaying your production for another few years for the added richness is your call.

    Although you wouldn't have to learn them in such depth; a basic course in each would be plenty.

    -What parts of pronunciation are significant. In English, where you put an accent on a word tends not to change the meaning, and neither (with occasional sentence-scale exceptions) does the pitch at which it is spoken. There are counterexamples to both of those in other languages.
    First part: Tolkien knew English, Welsh, Latin, Finnish, Anglo-Saxon and maybe German (he at least knew tollkühn means foolhardy)

    Second part: Greek for Athena is "Άθηνα" Greek for Athens is "Αθήνα" the only difference is stress

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    In that case, what you have isn't really a huge number of very similar characters, but a smaller number of "root" characters and then some conjugation modifiers. It'll probably be easier to record in that form, as there's far less to record, and you don't have as much similarity.
    Chinese actually follows this somewhat. The "root characters" sound similar in concept to radicals (水 "water" -> 冰 "ice" the two dots on the side mean "cold" or "ice"). They also have a few conjugation modifiers. 了 正 没 and 的 – In order, they mean "-ed" "-ing" "have not" and "-'s"
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    Default Re: Language Assistance (and more)

    Well, here's the best advice I can give to any budding conlanger: Look into how actual human languages work. I cannot stress this enough; Actual human languages are far more rich and complicated and wonderful than anything you could sit down and come up with by yourself in 20 years. The best any conlanger can hope for is a pale imitation of that.

    The further away they are from your first language, the better. Ones like spanish and german are okay, but the really fertile ground is to be found in languages like Wambaya, Ket, Basque, Makah, Koasati, or Wari.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelkon View Post
    Dude, publish this thing. I'd pay.
    Thanks! What exactly prompts you to say this exactly, so I know exactly what you like!

    @Craft - Noted. I'll definitely be borrowing heavy influence from many. I still have to decide which ones where though. HAha. Learning some of the interesting irregularities is the trick.

    For instance - Ancient greek. You could see into the mind of a specific writer in ancient greek, because in it, you start the sentence with what you deem to be the most important part of the subject. So say when translating the bible, you could see what each writer felt was the importance of the message by how they started it. The focus, is what i mean there.

    @historia - I don't mind squashes as long as they direct me in a positive direction. And it means I have a fall back if I ever decide to trash an idea!

    any good references for Poly and Monogenesis?

    I feel a discussion on a chatting program might better serve some of this...are you interested?
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    Default Re: Language Assistance (and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    Thanks! What exactly prompts you to say this exactly, so I know exactly what you like!

    @Craft - Noted. I'll definitely be borrowing heavy influence from many. I still have to decide which ones where though. HAha. Learning some of the interesting irregularities is the trick.

    For instance - Ancient greek. You could see into the mind of a specific writer in ancient greek, because in it, you start the sentence with what you deem to be the most important part of the subject. So say when translating the bible, you could see what each writer felt was the importance of the message by how they started it. The focus, is what i mean there.

    @historia - I don't mind squashes as long as they direct me in a positive direction. And it means I have a fall back if I ever decide to trash an idea!

    any good references for Poly and Monogenesis?

    I feel a discussion on a chatting program might better serve some of this...are you interested?
    A whole fleshed out world is wonderful and I'd love to both read fiction in it. A book with all the world information would be just mind blowingly awesome, FYI.
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