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Questions tagged [conlang-creation]

For questions about the process of making a conlang.

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1 answer
53 views

Need help putting modality in my language bad (realis irrealis system)

For my conlang, which is just a proto language so far, I want a realis-irrealis grammatical mood system because other than the verbs, it's pretty analytical, so it would make sense to use more ...
3 votes
0 answers
45 views

Are there any free resources for creating a customized keyboard layout for a conlang?

Are there any free resources (third-party or otherwise) that would allow me to create a customized keyboard for my conlang? While I have still not finished my conlang I am currently working on, I am ...
1 vote
0 answers
40 views

Attempt to define verb inflection that is phonologically featural

My native language is Korean, which has a featural script, namely Hangul. Though my conlang isn't going to adopt Hangul, I came up with one question of curiosity: "Can there be a featural grammar?...
8 votes
7 answers
2k views

How many words should I create in a conlang?

Question 1: How many words are minimal for a naturalistic conlang? (1000, 1500, 3000 or even more) Question 2: How many words do the conlangers usually create?
8 votes
2 answers
286 views

How do I naturalistically merge two languages without a clear Substrate and Superstrate?

For my latest worldbuilding project, I'm trying to create a naturalistic language for a fictional empire I've been creating. This empire was born at the end of the Bronze Age when various kingdoms and ...
2 votes
0 answers
55 views

Is it natural to declare laterals and rhotics as a fortis/lenis pair?

I've sought for justification for the phoneme inventory of my conlang, but finally, I think I found one, at least for consonants. 순음 Labial 설음 Coronal 반설음 "Semi-coronal" 치두음 Front Sibilant ...
3 votes
2 answers
116 views

What made Tolkien's diachronics purposefully not naturalistic?

Somewhere else I heard that Tolkien's languages had some purposeful non naturalistic diachronics with stuff like elvish languages having the elves make some purposeful changes to them partially due to ...
9 votes
2 answers
951 views

What are the common features of "Elvish" conlangs?

I want to create a fantasy world with Elves speaking their own language. In order to avoid unwanted associations with works of other authors, the Elves should speak a newly invented language. What ...
2 votes
2 answers
295 views

How does this phoneme inventory look? [closed]

How does this phoneme inventory look and any roles for them? Like, how should these be used, what they look like, and how hard it may be for people to comprehend: a - [a] ā - [aː] å - [ø] ä - [ɛ/ɑ] â -...
4 votes
3 answers
213 views

Are there any languages with a vertical consonant distinction?

Are there any languages which distinguish consonants exclusively by manner of articulation instead of place of articulation and such, akin to a vertical vowel system?
3 votes
1 answer
64 views

Syllabic plosives

Fricatives and Sonorants can be in a nucleus of a syllable. Can plosives also act as a syllable? If so, do any of your conlangs have this feature?
2 votes
1 answer
88 views

What sounds work best for an underwater language spoken by crab people?

Currently I am working on a species of crab people who live semi-aquatic life styles, and I would like their languages to do two things: Be easy to understand underwater Be based somewhat on their ...
3 votes
1 answer
77 views

Subordinate Clauses In OSV

So, I'm working on my very first conlang, which happens to be OSV (object-subject-verb word order). But I seem to have run into something of a roadblock. How could I handle clauses such as, for ...
3 votes
4 answers
248 views

Are there any free resources for learning conlang creation?

Where are some free resources available online for learning how to create conlangs? I'm very new to this, however I can speak one conlang (toki pona). I checked a few other questions this was marked ...
5 votes
7 answers
270 views

Maximizing the distinction between affirmative and negative sentences

What are some strategies for making affirmative and negative sentences as distinct as possible? The motivation for this question is an annoying pair of words in English: can and can't. They frequently ...
8 votes
2 answers
406 views

Designing a vocabulary for geographical features

I want to draw a map of a fictional world resembling Europe in climate and basic geographic features (so there are rivers and lakes, alpine mountains, mittelgebirge, marsh lands and bogs, some plains ...
5 votes
1 answer
841 views

How to make names in a conlang?

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
57 views

Polysemies in Proto-Languages: Ways of Formation & Construction?

I'm curious about (and also stuck at) the natural formation and ways of construction of polysemies in naturalistic conlangs / natural languages. More specifically: I'm constructing the vocabularies of ...
3 votes
1 answer
249 views

How to create a Romance-based conlang?

How unoriginal! Yet another guy creating a Romance-based conlang (especially since it's already been covered several times here). Jokes aside, as the title suggests, I'm looking to create a Romance-...
3 votes
2 answers
145 views

Is there a general strategy to build vocabulary for chemical elements?

I continued building vocabulary for my conlang, and now I'm trying to name chemical elements. Here's the concept: The major speakers of this conlang are angels, and some of them have lived for a long ...
3 votes
0 answers
154 views

Since languages that use OSV/OVS word order normally have short sentences, what would this mean for creating a conlang that uses OVS/OSV word order?

About OVS word order So recently I was reading up a bit on word orders in languages when I came across this Wikipedia article about OVS word order. Now, this is what the Wikipedia article says about ...
9 votes
2 answers
228 views

Inventing A Plural Form For First And Second Person

I am working on the pronoun system for my conlang. The table below illustrates what I have ended up with so far. I am looking for suggestions on how - if even needed - to implement a plural form that ...
2 votes
0 answers
53 views

Phonetics and Phonotactics critique?

Could you help me with a conlang idea I had? I want to make a language that has a solid amount of phonemes so I don't have to make words too long (I want the language to he agglutinative, so there's ...
5 votes
2 answers
114 views

What are mandatory words groups a language have to have?

I'm creating Merovian (meroo) constructed language since about 2004 and I have yet to settle down on standartisation. Merovian currently has 5 word groups and "other words". Noun Verb ...
3 votes
3 answers
119 views

How to ensure a NATO-esque spelling alphabet works?

I thought my conlang would need a NATO-esque spelling alphabet. In my current sketch, they are words borrowed from Korean and few other languages. They are to serve as mere spelling alphabets, and not ...
2 votes
3 answers
343 views

Are there any general rules for creating verb conjugation for a conlang?

So I have been thinking a lot about trying to make my own conlang. I have attempted before to create one in the past, however, all of them have sadly been abandoned. Looking back at them (since I ...
7 votes
1 answer
104 views

How likely is it for conlangs to have verbs that have the same conjugation as another verb?

So I have been studying Spanish recently (mainly verb conjugations because I'm great at constructing sentences, but still am horrible when it comes to verb conjugations), and decided to teach myself ...
7 votes
4 answers
204 views

Do I need to start with a phonology when creating a new conlang?

The few conlangs I've read about/watched being developed in videos (such as those by Biblaridion) either started with phonology, or the description begins that way. Whether that's a representative ...
2 votes
1 answer
68 views

How to reconcile the large number of similarities between my languages' morphemes

All of the languages I've made so far are placed on the same continent of my conworld, and it's a different continent from where humans evolved, so they would have had to migrate into it. For ...
3 votes
1 answer
82 views

From what could I derive a morpheme that explicitly marks a noun as being a phrase head?

I have a number of languages I want to combine into a macrofamily, and one thing they have in common is nouns that ending the the pattern *-(V)nVm, e.g. *-n-om in a PIE-esque language, -unum in an ...
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Do I really need plural grammatical number when my conlang deals with existence and uniqueness?

I continued building my conlang, and it's time to deal with grammars of nouns. In my conlang, nouns are categorized into three: countable, measurable, and abstract. This question is about countable ...
4 votes
4 answers
249 views

How to romanize velarization, palatalization, and labialization?

I started a conlang inspired by Marshallese and Navajo, and have taken several labialized, palatalized, and velarized consonants from them. However, I am unsure how to romanize these consonants.
5 votes
1 answer
79 views

How to create realistic intonation?

How would one approach creating a conlang with a system of intonation, like English? Specifically for a naturalistic a priori conlang. Some sub-queries I have are What resources are there, if any, on ...
23 votes
10 answers
4k views

What's a good starting place to work on vocab?

Obviously, generating a lexicon is very time-consuming, and there's so much that needs to be done, I often find myself suffering with analysis paralysis, because I just can't decide where to begin. ...
5 votes
4 answers
508 views

Are there best practices for creating a lexicon or dictionary spreadsheet?

Mine has evolved over years and I'm sure I can still learn more about how to organize it. This might be an even more helpful question for folks starting out.
11 votes
3 answers
644 views

What verbs should be irregular in a naturalistic conlang?

I've read that the most commonly used verbs in a language are almost always irregular, and for the most part the irregular forms of verbs can be traced to an archaic form being preserved in the ...
4 votes
1 answer
108 views

What phonotactical constraints are commonly used by conlangers?

I'm continuing development of Der Spracherfinder (to help you fellow conlangers), and I want to know which phonotactical constraints are most common and helpful to conlangers. For example: forbid ...
6 votes
2 answers
117 views

When basing a conlang on an existing language, how can I keep the essence of that language while making it unrecognisable?

I wanted the names in my fantasy world to sound like they came from a coherent language, so I found a language that on paper (via Google translate) looks how I want my language to sound. When I wanted ...
3 votes
1 answer
116 views

What words would naturally evolve tri-consonantal roots?

I determined to create a conlang with tri-consonantal roots (I call them tri-cons for short). My question then arose, "what words would naturally have a tri-con?" Verbs and the nouns derived ...
2 votes
1 answer
110 views

Treat the gerund and/or infinitive as a case

Basic questions: Do we know of any property of a gerund or infinitive which prevents it being treated totally like a type of noun? Do we know any language which expresses gerunds or infinitives as a ...
1 vote
1 answer
87 views

What steps in the conlang process am I missing?

My currently known process for conlanging is 1) set goals, 2) define phonology, 3) Romanize, 4) phonotactics, 5) define word order, 6) define morphosyntactic alignment, 7) define morphology type, 8) ...
2 votes
2 answers
70 views

Do you make a word then give it meaning, or do you think of a meaning and assign a word to it?

I wonder which is more effective, creating a list of conwords then giving definitions or, creating a list of definitions then assigning conwords?
6 votes
5 answers
227 views

How should I define the lexicographic order for my conlang?

Though I've had a tough time choosing the phonology and the orthography of my conlang, I think I've finally confirmed it: 12 consonants, 10 vowels, Cyrillic script. The consonants are: Пп for [p] Тт ...
6 votes
3 answers
434 views

Roadmap for effective construction of a novel language

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 ...
8 votes
1 answer
468 views

How does one go about designing phonotactics for a conlang?

Most every conlanger has heard of phonotactics. However, I have yet to encounter resources about how should one go about the design of a conlang's phonotactics. How should one go about creating a ...
7 votes
1 answer
153 views

How large must my consonant inventory be in order for nonconcatenative morphology to work?

In my quest to create a language for some fictional characters of mine, I came across nonconcatenative morphology like triconsonantal roots. If I wanted to employ this in my conlang, how many ...
8 votes
4 answers
433 views

Do constructed languages need to have their own letters, words, & sounds?

In order for me to ask a higher quality question, I need to know, do constructed languages need to have their own letters, words, & sounds?
5 votes
1 answer
212 views

How can my conlang say "hot/cold" without ambiguity?

I'm creating a conlang for worldbuilding, and I'm building vocabulary for basic physical adjectives such as "long/short", "heavy/light", and "hot/cold". The major ...
7 votes
1 answer
95 views

What is the word-grammar transcription thing called?

What is the thing used under a sentence in a conlang that looks sort of like this: NOM-he.F-PAST said.F-PAST called? I know I probably used it completely wrong in that example, but what is this called,...
4 votes
1 answer
46 views

Can a lone superorganism develop an internal language?

I'm imagining a hypothetical lone organism on a planet. Something like Avatar, the movie's Eywa. I am envisioning it as a massive organism covering the entire surface of the planet but biologically ...