forum Love Conlang, anyone?
Started by @Ocean_rover

people_alt 43 followers


I'm starting from scratch… So far I've got only the location of the places that the languages originate from (to help determine if other languages would influence the other in any way)… I'm pretty new to this so I don't have an idea about what is expected to be known. I know that I'll require 12 languages. (I'm thinking of making a few of them non-written but I'm not sure how that would play out). As for the languages itself, I don't know exactly if I'm supposed to take English alphabets and make new symbols for them or just make symbols to represent words?

@Riorlyne pets

Okay! So if you’re starting from scratch, there are a few beginning steps you can use to help give your language its own flavour:

  1. Choose which sounds your language has (you don’t have to use all the ones English has, and you can add some English doesn’t have!)
  2. Choose how your sounds fit together into syllables. Maybe your language doesn’t allow consonants at the end of a syllable. Maybe it allows different combinations than English does (like vl or fskr).
  3. With these sound rules, create some morphemes! (morpheme = sound/s with meaning). Cat is a morpheme. Walk is a morpheme. -ed is a morpheme too, with the meaning “past tense” - the word walked has two morphemes: walk+past tense.
  4. Choose how your morphemes combine to make words. Some languages (like Mayan) fit a lot of them into each word, and some have only one or two per word (like Chinese). If you choose to combine them to form words, you can pick what order they go in as well.
    • Think of the two last names MacDonald and Donaldson - they both mean “son of Donald”, but one language put “son of” at the beginning, and the other put it at the end.
  5. Choose how your words combine to make sentences. One example is the order of subject (S), object (O) and verb (V) in a simple sentence. English does it SVO:
    • The cat eats mice.
  • But other languages use all the other possibilities! Here they are in order of frequency:
    • SOV - The cat mice eats.
    • VSO - Eats the cat mice.
    • VOS - Eats mice the cat.
    • OVS - Mice eats the cat.
    • OSV - Mice the cat eats.
  • That’s just order of subject, object and verb. There are a lot of other things you can do with arranging words into sentences but it’s a good place to start.

Here are some resources that I have found really helpful, and looking into them could give you lots of ideas:

Mark Rosenfelder’s Language Construction Kit - (Online tutorial via webpages)
David Peterson’s Art of Language Invention series - (Videos)
Artifexian’s Conlanging videos - (Videos)
The World Atlas of Language Structures Online - (information on features that real languages use, which is where I got the frequency of SOV to OSV from)

Let me know if this is the sort of thing you were looking for! If you have any questions I’m more than happy to answer them. :)


Thank you so much! I feel some inspiration for a few of my languages… I'm sure it's a start. I'll come back when I get stuck again and I'll definitely check these links out! Thanks a ton again!