What steps can be taken to reproduce analogy in a constructed language? Which parts of grammar are more likely to evolve with analogy, and why? Are there rules for what analogy does to which words, or rules that show where analogy may take place?

  • What kind of "analogy" are you talking about that it involves phonetic rules?
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 3:30
  • I'm not meaning phonetics, but analogy falls into the domain of diachronics and I showed it in (forgive the pun) analogy.
    – Duncan
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 9:11
  • Sorry, but I have literally no idea what you're asking about. Can you give a link to this type of "analogy"?
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 10:25
  • It's some sort of diachronical change that is responsible for a big part of grammatical evolution, such as Latin neuter disappearing in French and the English plural of octopus being octopuses, including the reason you can pluralise garbage words like jibbledinoss > jibbledinosses. I'm looking for a link right now
    – Duncan
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 11:18
  • See Trask's Historical Linguistics
    – Duncan
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 11:21

1 Answer 1


Let's look at a made-up example. Assume that we want to apply a sound change from /g/ to /d͡ʒ/ before /e/ and /i/ in Esperanto. Then, the conjugation of the Esperanto verb pagi "to pay" suddenly becomes irregular:

paĝi, pagas, paĝis, pagos, pagus (The infinitive and the past tense have a different consonant (ĝ) than the rest).

Analogy will force one consonant for all forms but we cannot predict which one. In this respect, analogy is quite irregular, and we can end up either with the original Esperanto paradigm, or with all forms shifted to the new consonant (paĝi, paĝas, paĝis, paĝos, paĝus).

Analogy affects usually inflected or agglutinative word forms, such as verbs and nouns, but it can also be applied to derivational morphology.

Another type of analogy tries to level out differences between conjugations or declensions. Assume, your language features two different conjugations. Than borrowing an ending (or prefix, or vowel change) from one conjugation to the other is also an analogy.

  • What sense of "analogy" are you writing about here?
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 10:26
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    LIke in the first bullet point in this wikipedia page en.wikipedia.org/w/…
    – Sir Cornflakes
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 10:41
  • Ahh. I'd missed that. Odd that levelling is called an analogy, but I get why the form of dive->dove arising from drive->drove would be called an analogy.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 10:49

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