I don't understand half of the things it's saying on the tab, please help.
Hey there! :D As an amateur linguist and fellow premium user, I’d be glad to help. Which categories under language would you like help with?
(Also, remember that you only have to fill out whichever fields you want. If you’re not creating a full grammar or a big word list for a language it’s totally fine to leave most of the categories blank.)
I understand that. Mainly I want a definition for some of the words they use as well as some context. I want my language to be fleshed out as much as I want, but I can't do that if half of the words are going over my head.
Okay, so I think I’ve customised my Languages template so I’m not sure which categories and fields are original and which fields are ones I’ve added, so if you can’t find fields to match some of the options below, don’t worry!
- All fields here are self-explanatory
Info - Meta stuff
- History: How did the language come to be? How long has it been used, are there languages in the same family?
Typology: In a nutshell, what type of language is it? This overlaps a bit with the Grammar tab, but this is where you could put basic information about how the language forms words
(lots of suffixes [grace-less-ly]? Compounding [black-bird, quarter-back*]? No suffixes, with only one root per word [similar to Chinese]?)
and how it arranges those words in sentences
(adjectives before or after nouns? Object before or after verb?)
- Dialectal Information: If your language has other dialects, you can put information about them here.
Register: If speakers of your language use different varieties of it in different social settings, those are called registers. As an example, we would speak with the queen differently from how we’d speak with friends.
Phonology - Sounds
- Phonology: How sounds work within your language. This includes which consonants and vowels are used therein (and which sounds aren’t), and can include other phonetic features like clicks, tone, pitch-accent, etc.
- Syllable structure: How sounds combine to form syllables (and therefore words). This could be anything from the very simple ‘consonant-vowel’ pattern (ba, fe, nati, telenu) to the jam-packed structure English has (angst, bricks, strengths)
- Phonotactic constraints: (I think I may have added this field) A few more rules regarding which sounds can be combined. For example, English doesn’t normally have ‘ng’ at the beginning of words or the sound ‘h’ at the end, and while ‘cl’, ‘fl’ and ‘bl’ at the beginning of words are all okay, ‘tl’ isn’t.
Grammar - Sentence rules
- Grammar: How words in your language are put together to form other words (Morphology) and how they’re arranged to form sentences (Syntax). This is where different verb tenses could go, or (for an English grammar) when to use ‘who’ vs ‘whom’.
Entities - Different concepts/Groups of words
- Numbers: 1, 2, 3, ten, one hundred and three, a dozen, four score and thirteen, etc.
Quantifiers: These are words used to refer to an amount (quantity) of something without specifying an exact number. Some examples in English include all, some, a lot (of), several, etc.
@Riorlyne THANK YOU!! I was lurking and hoping someone had written a cheat sheet. It looks like "Determiners" has been added to Entities. Do you know what that would entail?
@Ais Dareth, here’s a Wikipedia page on determiners, but basically, determiners are words that help speakers determine nouns. They’re a bit like adjectives, but they need context to make sense.
Some examples of determiners: