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I have trivially dabbled in Esperanto, Klingon, and a few other languages. Now I want to build one, and not a distorted copy of an existing one. I want to make a non-junk constructed language.

Is there a decent guide for how to build a totally novel language? What sort of approaches are used?

Could you point to decent books, or high-quality articles on the subject?

Are there classes on the subject?

I'm looking for a better start than insert-here for dummies. What is a high-quality start?

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    Don't bag on «blank» for Dummies; I've had occasion to use some of them, and they tend to be well-written and organized, and a good introduction to the basics of their subject matter. That's really all they are, though; once you've gone through them, you'll want something more advanced... Dec 17, 2022 at 19:41

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One good place where many a conlanger has started out is The Language Construction Kit by Mark Rosenfelder. I first encountered it as an impressionable teenager, and I think it's hard to overestimate the mark it left in that young brain of mine.

It introduces the reader to topics from phonology to grammar, as well as the overall process of creating a language. It also comes with examples and concrete tips on how to approach a project, what pitfalls to avoid and more!

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  • They all point to this as the foundation. That is where I am looking to go. Thank you. Dec 16, 2022 at 16:30
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In addition to The Language Construction Kit that @Edvin mentioned in his answer (and linked to), Mr Rosenfelder also has Advanced Language Construction, The Conlanger’s Lexipedia, and The Syntax Construction Kit; I have and recommend all four. ALC picks up where LCK leaves off; Mr Rosenfelder recommends using the Lexipedia to assist in building the vocabulary for your language, and SCK focuses on the syntax of languages and some of the problems involved in developing viable ones.

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  • Good follow on, and I will look at them. Thank you. Dec 16, 2022 at 16:31
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The Language Construction Kit is where I got my start, but there's also The Art of Language Invention by David J Peterson (the creator of Dothraki, among others). This is intended less as a step-by-step guide and more as a discussion of everything involved in conlanging, written by an experienced conlanger.

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  • Good follow on, and I will look at it. Dec 16, 2022 at 16:30

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