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So, draconic in the setting is used to name places, people, and communication in general. I skipped through most of the phonotactics as I'm using the Hungarian template. So as I filled out entries in my Swadesh list, I ran a small experiment:

arán (sun) + kile (feather) = Oh, f@ck me! How am I supposed to combine two words, this incompatible, into a pair of names?

More precisely, I had a name, Amrar (pronounce: Ámrár), created before through a different method and without having a whole conlang in mind. Compared to Aránkile (which I modified into Áranki/Árenkil, a male and a female form) its soft m, loud and clear á, and grizzly r does a good job of giving off the vibes you'd expect from a golden dragon, regal, powerful, intimidating but still kind. This worked when I was going for vibes, even if it had no meaning or roots in a language at the end. However, I feel like I'm writing myself into a corner with this vocabulary.

I don't want my language to sound like it was generated on vulgarlang.com. I have to maintain my control over the "loudness" curve of each word, their length and which phoneme I use, based on their place of articulation. What should I do to balance the "sounds like an orc/elf/typical politician" with the "names have a meaning"?

  • Not an answer, but what pops into my head is the way consonants change by being misheard or mispronounced by children then repeated. K becomes hard G, L becomes R, some letters get left out etc.. – Bitter dreggs. May 24 at 22:06
  • Hmmm... While my knowledge of Hungarian is, shall we say, extremely limited, I seem to remember from my visits to Budapest that Hungarian makes compound nouns with ease. Lánchíd, repülőtér, szabadság, sárgaréz, újjáépítés... What's wrong with Aránkile? (And the entire men's names and women's names thing is not serious. How can you tell whether Jaijī or Mùzhēn are masculine or feminine names? Does the language have gramatical genders? And if it does, can grammatical genders be inferred from the form of nouns and adjectives, only sometimes, or never?) – AlexP May 24 at 22:10
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    How does the language make new words? Mainly by derivation with prefixes and suffixes, like Latin and its Romance daughters, or does it make compounds with ease, like Greek or German? When making compounds, does it prefer athematic compounds, or does it insert thematic vowels like Greek Arist o teles or Latin Agr i cola? Does it make coordinative compounds, like Camelopardalis (camel-panther, that is, a giraffe) or Heracles, or does it only make determinative compounds like Cassiopeia or Antiope? – AlexP May 24 at 22:20
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    I don't really understand what your issue actually is. Arankile seems perfectly fine as a combined form. Can you clarify what it is you're looking for: what makes those words incompatible; what is it you're actually trying to do? – elemtilas May 24 at 22:50
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    For an "Elvish" sound, look at this question and its answers: conlang.stackexchange.com/questions/589/… – jk - Reinstate Monica May 27 at 9:25
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Note that you as the conlang designer control both ends of the chain: The final wordform and the etymology. So you can play with both parts until the result meets your wishes.

So you can start with the wordform Amrar and search for an etymology, splitting it up as Am-rar and find some meanings for Am and rar, say am is short for amon "hill, mountain" and rar is "roar, load noise", making your mighty dragon a "moutain-roar(er)". Tolkien used this approach a lot. The backside of this approach is that the conlang becomes difficult to maintain.

EDIT: Going the other way, starting with arán and kile, you can vary the order of the two stems, Maybe Kilarán sounds better than Aránkil? It is your decision. You can also throw in some sounds between the two stems, say Aránskil with an inserted s, you can insert a vowel, say a, to yield Aranakil, you can assimilate the n to the k giving Arángkil.

Starting with roots from your conlang, there are still a lot of creative possibilites to combine them in compounds: Inserting a Fugenelement (example from German Herz-ens-sache "affair of the heart", from Herz "heart" and Sache "thing, affair", ens being the Fugenelement without meaning), applying some assimilations or dissimilations, dropping syllables from long words (syncope), ...).

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