Questions tagged [vocabulary]

For questions about developing the vocabulary of a conlang

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42
votes
5answers
1k views

"Turing-completeness" in conlangs

Programming languages & programs are often said to be Turing complete when it's possible to simulate any Turing machine with it. I'm now designing a constructed language for my game and I want ...
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. ...
16
votes
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 ...
11
votes
5answers
328 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”...
8
votes
1answer
258 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
2answers
259 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
230 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
0answers
71 views

Free word building in Interlingua

There is even a Wikipedia article on Free word building in Interlingua stating that it is feasible to apply derivational affixes in Interlingua productively even when none of the so-called control ...
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
1answer
99 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
1answer
157 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
4answers
188 views

Is there an open-source set of topics and vocabulary for making a language tutorial?

Does anyone provide a freely available or licensable template that conlangers can use to develop a lesson plan? Specifically, I'm thinking about how a lot of language books divide vocabulary and ...
5
votes
7answers
786 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?
5
votes
2answers
163 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?
5
votes
1answer
76 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' ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Naming language based on real language

I apologize if similar question has already been answered, I tried to look for it but didn't find anything. I'm trying to make a simple naming language that looks/sounds vaguely like nahuatl (if I ...
4
votes
3answers
651 views

How can I name my days of the week?

In my conworld, months are divided into twelve-day weeks. That seems a bit too long (since I recall that people complained that the ten-day weeks of the French Republican calendar were too long), so I'...
4
votes
4answers
174 views

Alternate direction systems for spatial reference

What are some alternative direction systems besides egocentric direction systems (left, right, &c)? Some natural languages use {north, south, east, west} like Guugu Yimithirr and Tzeltal (Maya) (...
4
votes
2answers
122 views

Adding entire musical concepts to expand vocabulary

I want my language, Syn, to be as precise, efficient, unambiguous, and aesthetic as humanely possible. To do that, I think even the texture, dynamics, rhythm, and the likes should be accounted for. ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Syllabic restriction/word boundaries set by IPA? Or it is decided by language creator

When creating syllables we basically require an onset, nucleus, and a coda. Now, usually, all language have an onset, and the coda is fairly optional. Before creating a phonetic system, we first ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

Creating Fictional Slavic Place Names

I have a very simple question regarding a small problem I cannot find a single satisfying answer to. I am trying to create a country with a prominent Slavic culture. In my story, an alien world has ...
3
votes
3answers
251 views

Is there any general rule for constructing a word? Example: "q" or "w" should not end a word, something like this

I am developing 4 conlangs (sparish, old sparish, elvian and barrish (need a new name)) for a story which is used by humans of Spar, Northern Sparian, Elves/Aspian, Barrians of south respectively. I ...
3
votes
3answers
122 views

What are some strategies for setting verbs apart from other words without knowing it's a verb

In languages with conjugated verbs there is usually a similar structure across verbs that makes them easy to recognize even if you do not know the word. For example in German, all verbs after the ...
3
votes
5answers
282 views

Good Real World Languages to Base Proto-Lang Vocabulary

I'm working on a conlang that requires a LOT of work, particularly in the sound changes from proto-lang to the current version. Instead of creating a whole set of words from nothing, I am ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Words for Mercy in Toki Pona?

I would like to translate Bismillah Ir-Rahmani Ir-Rahim into Toki Pona. The parts I'm struggling with are the Rahma part, and the Raheem part, as they encompass similar but subtly different meanings ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

What to do when my conlang has a word that means something in one of my languages?

This is a bit subjective problem. As a Hungarian who knows English, I have the high ground when it comes to making up words, as I can mush the English and Hungarian words together with some outliers (...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Words for numbers in a language with bijective numeration

Bijective base-k numeration (or k-adic numeration) is a system of writing numerals such that the digits are 1 through k. Thus counting in bijective base-12 (such as my conlang Atili has) works as ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

I am a writer, and am trying to write a language for my story, how should I start as a complete beginner of language? [duplicate]

As a writer, I am trying to write a language so that I can name places more originally, how can I start writing a bare bones language for my story?
1
vote
0answers
63 views

What list of words do you use when creating a language? [duplicate]

What word list do you use when creating a language? Is there a conlang word list? P.S I know that this question is kinda subjective, but I think that it will be quite useful for conlangers.