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7 votes
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Is a naturalistic language without countable nouns possible?

As a matter of fact, Mandarin Chinese can be considered to be such a language - it treats every noun as a mass noun. Every noun requires a "measure word" for counting, like "bottle" in "four bottles ...
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6 votes

Designing a vocabulary for geographical features

The first thing is: Design not only one word for each geographical feature, use several of them. To give some examples from a natural language (German in this case): A mountain may have a name in -...
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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 ...
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5 votes
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Designing a vocabulary for geographical features

There are many factors that make actual real-world placename not look schematic (unless, maybe, you're looking at Japanese placenames...) Have many different etymological sources from names In ...
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5 votes

Do I need a Dative Case?

Yours is a very interesting and legitimate question, but in the light of what we know from the languages of the world, what you ask might not be what you mean to ask. Let me expand a bit below. To ...
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  • 151
4 votes
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Structure only conlang? Nouns?

It happens with sign languages - often there are two "versions" of a sign language, the first one (less official, natural) is generally used by the community and has its own grammar, the second one (...
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3 votes
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How to handle denoting the noun in a sentence when there are noun-modifiers present?

What you call "multi-word nouns" are usually called "noun phrases". It is a peculiarity of English (but not uncommon; isolating languages tend to do this, see Chinese) that you can ...
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2 votes

Is a naturalistic language without countable nouns possible?

Yes. A language can treat all nouns as mass nouns and require classifiers when counting objects.
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  • 351
2 votes

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

I think taking the dual retained in old Indo-European languages is a good idea. However, if your language is settled in Skandinavia, you could attribute it to contact with an Uralic language. While ...
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1 vote
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Is num-det-n-adj-rel a reasonable order for a noun phrase?

It is reasonable, but I'm having trouble finding unambiguous precedent for it in natural languages. This handout shows the frequency of different orders of demonstratives, adjectives, nouns, and ...
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  • 1,580
1 vote

Is num-det-n-adj-rel a reasonable order for a noun phrase?

Reasonable: sure! We do this in English, fronting the number for emphasis or for poetry. There's no reason why you couldn't do this as a matter of ordinary in your language. Five the orange balls ...
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1 vote

Do I need a Dative Case?

You might consider something like: "I gave you it" > "I gave it so that you recieved it" "I told you it" > "I said it so that you heard it" "I passed ...
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1 vote

Do I need a Dative Case?

Your lang, your rules. But generally speaking, no, you don't need a dative case. Funny thing is, you don't even need a dative case even if you were to wrack your brain and come up with handfuls of ...
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  • 2,910

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