Questions tagged [conlang-creation]

For questions about the process of making a conlang.

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36
votes
14answers
4k views

From known languages, what are the expected features of a Generation Ship Language?

Pandorum is a generation ship movie. Generation ships are a fairly big sub-genre of sci-fi where people live for many generations in a ship while travelling to a distant star. The movie Pandorum did ...
31
votes
3answers
1k views

How common is it for the creator of a conlang to be fluent in that conlang?

This was one of my example questions but I now am actually interested in the answer. I am an amateur conlanger; I have one pretty complete language and a couple in the process. But I can't construct ...
30
votes
6answers
771 views

How can syntactic ambiguity with pronouns be avoided?

Due to the way pronouns work in place of any particular noun (subject or object) in the sentence, this often leads to ambiguous grammatical constructions. Take this phrase in English for example: ...
23
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3answers
2k views

Are there any good programs out there to help when constructing languages?

Are there any tools out there to keep track of which works you have already defined, managing your lexicon easily, and storing conjugations and the like? Barring that, what are some good strategies ...
19
votes
9answers
3k 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. ...
18
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6answers
358 views

How could my to be constructed language reflect a culture of carefulness?

For a role-playing setting, I want to construct an elven language. The society of these elves strongly values being careful, thinking things through, taking one’s time and preventing mistakes. This is ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

How to "Naturalize" a Conlang?

Many conlangs that I have encountered have an “artificial” feel to them–all conjugations and declensions are perfectly regular, stress rules for speaking are rigorously adhered to, ...
16
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6answers
2k views

How to keep track of a language?

At the moment I have my fictional language written down in a notebook, but as the vocabulary increases its becoming harder and harder to find words. I am adding new words all the time, so writing ...
15
votes
4answers
425 views

What are the benefits of inventing irregular verbs in one’s conlang?

Many natlangs have irregular verbs that do not follow the same patterns as the majority of verbs, often as a product of old verb patterns that are no longer used. Some of the benefits of not having ...
13
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4answers
489 views

What are language concepts that could be considered to be based on human anatomy?

I'm in the early stages of creating an alien language for a personal writing project. I'm trying to avoid the aliens' language having properties that human languages do that are somehow linked to our ...
12
votes
4answers
706 views

Are there any "unspeakable" languages?

Sorry, my title is slightly misleading; what I'm after is more like a written language that doesn't have its roots in spoken language, and has no definitive translation into speech, but is none-the-...
12
votes
5answers
332 views

How can I make my conlang's borrowings naturalistic?

As something of a follow-on to my question about “naturalizing” conlangs, I’m looking for any information - actual tools would be nice, too, if available - for “borrowing”...
11
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6answers
1k views

How should my conlang enable arbitrarily large integers to be said?

Whilst worldbuilding, I decided to make a conlang. It's named Leksah. Leksah is heavily influenced by the programming language Haskell. As such, Leksah has only 3 parts of speech: Literals, which ...
11
votes
6answers
402 views

How to describe a purely symbolic writing system?

Before I jump headlong into constructing a language, I'd like to do some research and see what others have done before me and learn from their experiences/mistakes. The keywords I'm currently using ...
11
votes
7answers
244 views

How could a conlang enforce subjective idealism in a constructed world

Subjective idealism is the monistic metaphysical doctrine that only minds and mental contents exist. It entails and is generally identified or associated with immaterialism, the doctrine that material ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there any free online conlang creation tools?

I was wondering if anyone knows of any conlang creation websites that are free to use. I know this sounds silly but I have little experience to go on as for creating a custom language.
10
votes
5answers
222 views

How does one write an easily decipherable language?

I'm writing a book about humans finding alien writing off-planet, which is why I want to know how—without referencing known human languages like the Rosetta Stone does—it may be deciphered. Does it ...
10
votes
3answers
383 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
321 views

How would the grammar of a conlang develop as a creole from other languages?

Assume that the backstory of a conlang is that it developed from a set of other languages. In other words, speakers of these (different) languages were living in the same area and were communicating ...
9
votes
2answers
607 views

How to develop a detailed, realistic a posteriori conlang?

Background To begin, I’ve been conlanging ‘properly’ for around two to two and a half years now and have been into it for far, far longer. However, I have yet to create a conlang that is truly in-...
9
votes
2answers
321 views

Are there any constructed languages designed for legal agreements / country constitutions?

A few weeks back i've watched a talk of Stephen Wolfram. I think was this video. Plus this article is also relevant. The idea discussed was: how to build a language for formalizing every day ...
9
votes
2answers
150 views

Are there any rules of thumb for number of "steps" between two points in a language's natural development?

Let's suppose that you want to create Conlang B. You want this conlang to be derived from Conlang A. Let's also suppose that you have some arbitrary period of time in between A and B. Are there any ...
8
votes
5answers
924 views

Is there a middle-written language?

Real languages I am aware of several types of writing systems. The first one would be left to right and a prime example is English and also most of other languages, no matter if they use letters or ...
8
votes
2answers
281 views

Should I include morphology in my proto language?

Most, if not all natural languages have some form of morphology, such as noun case or poly-personal agreement. However, these features are usually evolved from prepositions and auxiliary verbs, and ...
8
votes
4answers
771 views

Are there any Conlangs using Chinese characters?

The Chinese character system is one that is universal to many Chinese dialects. Two people can pronounce the same character in two different ways, but when writing to each other it is intelligible. ...
8
votes
5answers
405 views

Finding inspiration for letter forms?

I believe I've mentioned before on here how I struggle to come up with forms for letters. I've tried to solve this by looking at other systems. Despite the diversity in our world, I've found it ...
8
votes
2answers
209 views

How to model the change of script over time

I want two languages to share a root but I want them to look unrecognizable written down (with the original language having a written form, so not independently created writing systems). Are there any ...
8
votes
3answers
117 views

How can I add irregularities to a morphological paradigm?

So, I'm trying to make something with a naturalistic feel, even though the current phonetic system distinguishes about 38 phonemes... Let's say I'll tackle this later. I have issues with grammar... I ...
8
votes
3answers
79 views

State-based analogue to distributive case

I am developing conlang that has grammatical cases system for nominals that for each spatial case there is state-based case. In Finnic languages grammatical cases that denote states occur, examples ...
8
votes
1answer
264 views

Organizing a lexicon in a logographic writing system

A little background before my question: I am an amateur in mid-development of a logographic writing system, not necessarily a whole language with phonetics. As I develop, I don't so much care about ...
7
votes
4answers
251 views

How can I avoid "relexing" punctuation?

I'm trying to design a conscript for my conlang Atili and would like to create punctuation in order to deliminate sentences and transcribe limited prosody. However, I don't just want to create new ...
7
votes
2answers
675 views

How can I become a professional conlang designer?

There is some market for constructed languages in film, television, computer games and literature. Some conlangs designs were commissioned to linguists who did the real word. Is there a possibility ...
7
votes
3answers
917 views

What is the key to realistic inventories [closed]

Shy of simply recreating or stitching together natural languages' phonological inventories, what is the solution for making a naturalistic conlangs' inventory naturalistic?
7
votes
2answers
265 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
236 views

Swadesh List for Verb Infinitives?

I was looking through Wikipedia's Swadesh Lists recently and wondered if there was anything like a Swadesh list for verb infinitives, similar to how Spanish verbs work (to be, to want, to eat, to know,...
7
votes
1answer
278 views

How does one determine the date a constructed language was invented?

Some constructed languages list a date, or at least year, of creation. Is there any official or unofficial standard to determine that date for any given conlang? The way I see it, there are several ...
7
votes
2answers
520 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
166 views

How do you model language changes with wave theory (areal developments)?

I'd like to hear from anyone who has built a dialect continuum, in which innovations spreading from different centres affect overlapping subsets of the range (see wave theory). How do you model it? ...
7
votes
1answer
159 views

Would these features be naturalistic in this scenario?

Background I am planning a naturalistic Goidelic language which shall have quite an influence from Old Norse – probably at least 1/4 or 1/3 of the vocabulary to be of North Germanic origin, as well ...
7
votes
0answers
175 views

What types of words should one start with when creating a language from scratch? [closed]

Is it more appropriate to start by creating nouns, verbs, general sentence structure words ie "the, a, or", or from somewhere else, when creating a language from scratch? Would it be more proper to ...
6
votes
3answers
284 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?
6
votes
7answers
827 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?
6
votes
2answers
181 views

What is the minimum number of words needed for a conlang?

What would the minimum number of words needed for a conlang, while still being able to speak with about the same level of information passed as a natural language?
6
votes
1answer
100 views

Methods to avoid similarity in lexicons [closed]

When creating words I have often run into the problem that too many words sound similar even when I have allowed many different phonemes. Are there methods to avoid too much similarity between words, ...
6
votes
2answers
90 views

Where should I start planning my grammar?

I'm about creating my first conlang grammar, I know a few general characteristics yet I don't truly know where or how I should start to outline it. I only have messy pieces of informations about. From ...
6
votes
1answer
123 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
158 views

Has anyone analysed the invented languages in the Earthsea books?

Ursula K Le Guin's Earthsea stories contain vocabulary and utterances from three invented languages. The first step to fleshing these out into fully developed conlangs would be to list all the ...
6
votes
1answer
79 views

How many different interjections like 'aha,' 'oh' would you make up for a conlang?

I wonder if other people have thoughts and experience on this topic from the conlanging perspective. Have people with lots of translation experience found the distinction between (for example) 'aha' ...
6
votes
2answers
331 views

What are some examples of mathematical conlangs?

What are some examples of mathematical conlangs? I'm curious as to if there are any full existing conlangs that allow you to do arithmetic or mathematical manipulations from a conlang perspective. The ...
6
votes
1answer
127 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 ...