24 votes

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

The idea that language would not change over 1000 years of travel in space is absolutely ludicrous. 1000 years ago was before Middle English existed. Massive amounts of language change can occur over ...
Sparksbet's user avatar
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15 votes

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

It's worth noting that widespread literacy, availability of written materials and public education are capable of greatly slowing down rates of change in the standard language. Additionally, if the ...
Circeus's user avatar
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15 votes

What is an overview of sound changes?

To answer part a), the basic syntax of the notation goes like this: [before] > [after] / [context] The part after the slash gives the situations in which the sound changes occur. For example, the ...
Doorknob's user avatar
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14 votes

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

Vocabulary Changes New words The vocabulary can be expected to contain a few new terms or simpler ways of describing certain things that might be seen a lot or might be new, such as new star systems,...
hyper-neutrino's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

How do tones disappear from a language?

I don't claim to be an expert on this, but I think it may be because that while tonogenesis is a "special" process, in that it produces a whole new dimension to the phonology (as opposed to something ...
Gufferdk's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

Greek-based altlangs

TAKE is Το Ἄνευ Κλίσι Ἑλληνική / Greek Without Inflexions. According to Ray Brown, "Graeca sine flexione" ... (considers) what Greek might be like if stripped of its inflexions in the manner similar ...
elemtilas's user avatar
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11 votes

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

My guesses would be that it evolves towards one of two extremes: less morphology, fixed word order - this is what happened to English. Dropping cases and most inflections, but having a stricter word ...
Oliver Mason's user avatar
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11 votes

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

More or less, the generation ship language will be a natural evolution of the languages brought in by the first generation (their common language probably being something similar to L2 English). Some ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
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10 votes

What are common origins of accusative case markers?

This is merely a marginal answer and I’m sure there’s a lot more data that might prove valuable, but in multiple Romance languages (at least Spanish and Romansh) the preposition a has developed into ...
Sascha Baer's user avatar
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9 votes
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Conlangs based on lesser known antique languages

Eressilian (Hittite) I wrote the answer you linked, which talks about Eressilian, a conlang based on the Hittite language, supplemented with loanwords from Arabic, ancient Greek and Persian. I talked ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

How did Tolkien model diachronic changes in his Elvish languages?

OK, here are some details on classical Quenya and classical Sindarin (based on Helmut W. Pesch, Das große Elbisch-Buch, Bastei-Lübbe 2009) The phoneme inventory of Primitive Quendian was p t k ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
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8 votes

How did Tolkien model diachronic changes in his Elvish languages?

I don't know the exact changes Tolkien enacted, but here are a few in no particular order. You can tell they are quite inspired by real world sound changes in Celtic languages, which I'll mark in ...
Janos's user avatar
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8 votes
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How would the grammar of a conlang develop as a creole from other languages?

I would think that it relates to the power structures behind the language communities, and to their relative size. This can be kind of observed with English after the Norman invasion. The basic ...
Oliver Mason's user avatar
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8 votes
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How do I naturalistically merge two languages without a clear Substrate and Superstrate?

In fact, there are a lot of possibilities, and many of them are attested in the history of natural languages. Majority language wins. This happened in China at least twice, it was conquered and ruled ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
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7 votes
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How to model the change of script over time

The surface that things are written on. Runes were carved in trees and, as such, do not have curves. The Greek alphabet was written on tablets, and curved lines were possible. The Arabic alphabet was ...
Duncan's user avatar
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7 votes
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How to develop a detailed, realistic a posteriori conlang?

So, you are going to create an altlang (a naturalistic language living in an alternate history of the the world). First, define your starting point (easiest for the first scenario: Old Irish or proto-...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
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7 votes
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Is there a set of sound change rules that undoes Grimm's law?

Define categories for aspirated and unaspirated voiced stops, voiceless stops, and fricatives: A=ḅḍġǵ U=bdgɠ V=ptkƙ F=φþxẍ (I’m forced to use strange characters for each of these phones due to the ...
bradrn's user avatar
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7 votes

What are the most common sound changes in natlangs?

By far the most common changes are assimilation, one sound becoming more similar to a nearby sound, and lenition, a sound shifting to require less articulatory effort. These are both broad categories ...
Draconis's user avatar
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6 votes

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

I'll assume here that the generation ship in question's mission is a resounding success: the inhabitants were not attacked by huge insectile aliens that enslaved them all; the Computer did not rise up ...
elemtilas's user avatar
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6 votes

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

Others have mentioned that vocabulary for things not seen in space might vanish, and @HyperNeutrino mentioned that new terms might arise if the ship reaches a planet. New terms might come into ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
6 votes

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

A generation ship is a small society that is technologically advanced but stagnant. It's a society that depends on ancient wisdom to survive. Their material and intellectual resources are very limited ...
Jouni Sirén's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

By what means might the roots "let" and "ly" mean the same thing in a naturalistic conlang?

It is a two-step process, and both steps are very natural and frequently encountered in natural languages. The steps may occur in the other order as well, but the order here deems more common to me. ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
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6 votes
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Evolution of irregular declensions and conjugations from reconstructed proto-languages

I know some fellow conlangers are much more proficient in Greek and its history than me, therefore I want to concentrate on some more general aspects of the question. First of all, you are the conlang ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
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5 votes

What is an overview of sound changes?

I guess this forum really isn't set up for the kind of intense assistance & interaction you really need. Conlang-L or Reddit or CBB would be forums better suited, but I do have some ideas that ...
elemtilas's user avatar
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5 votes
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I want to create a family of languages. Should I do one first or should I concentrate on all of them?

The usual way to approach making a family of related languages is to first make a proto-language (or adopt an existing or reconstructed natural language for this purpose), then simulating natural ...
Gufferdk's user avatar
  • 2,367
5 votes

Conlangs based on lesser known antique languages

Certainly there are a few! Modern Tocharian: Tocharian Talarian: more Indo-Hittite Ememir: Sumerian Probably more lurking about the shadows...
elemtilas's user avatar
  • 3,245
5 votes

How can I explain the origin of the dual number in my Slavic-influenced East Nordic conlang?

Both Proto-Germanic and Proto-Slavic had the dual grammatical number. So you could just say that your conlang retained it the whole time. Alternatively you could say that it lost it and then ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
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5 votes

How to develop a detailed, realistic a posteriori conlang?

Have you looked at Brithenig or Wenedyk? These were generated by applying to Latin the sound shifts that affected Welsh and Polish (respectively) over the same period. You could start with early ...
Anton Sherwood's user avatar
5 votes

Are words based on acronyms treated differently when the language changes over time?

It depends on the word in question. Not that many English speakers would recognise laser as an acronym, so it has effectively become a 'normal' word. And it can be inflected, as in She was lasering ...
Oliver Mason's user avatar
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5 votes
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How to prevent all of my words being eroded away to nothing

As a general rule, regular sound changes wear away at words, reducing their information content. Countering this, morphosyntactic changes restore the lost information. For example, let's look at Latin....
Draconis's user avatar
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