First conlang advice and tips

If you're new to these arts, this is the place to ask "stupid" questions and get directions!
Post Reply
User avatar
Aleks
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat 20 Jun 2015, 00:37

First conlang advice and tips

Post by Aleks » Sat 20 Jun 2015, 20:21

I am new to conlanging and thought I would share my conlang which is in it's baby stage and still a work in progress. It's intended to be a Romance language with Slavic influence much like Romanian albeit more Slavic like. Also with a bit alien like with new root words and ones I just happened to make up. Some tips and help in a basic terms would help as I don't know about linguistics much.

The language is spoken by people on an alternate version of Earth where the Russia equivalent is a super power. This is the reason why it has a strong slavic influence. I will also try to do other conlangs if I can even make this one. Would like to try to do a Germanic language as well.

Proto Des Xeli Alphabet
Aa Ăă Áá Вв Сс Ĉĉ Dd Ee Êê Éé Ff Gg Ĝĝ Ii Íí Jj Жж Ll Ĺĺ Мм Ии Oo Pp Rr Ŗŗ Ss Şş Tt Ţţ Uu Vv Xx Zz Žž Яя Юю

Dic Xeli / Dixelyi Alphabet
Aa Ăă Bb Сс Ĉĉ Dd Ee Êê Ff Gg Ĝĝ Ii Kk Ll Ĺĺ Мм Nn Oo Pp Rr Ŗŗ Ss Šš Tt Uu Vv Xx Zz Žž

Consonants
/m n/ <m n>
/p b t d k g/ <p b t d k g>
/ts tʃ d͡ʒ/ <c č j>
/f v s z ʃ ʒ/ <f v s z š ž>
/l w/ <l u>
/r/ <r> trilled

/ln mr/ <ĺ ŗ>

Vowels
Front i e <i e>
Central ə a <ă a>
Back ɯ u o <ý u o>

Diphtongs
/aʊ/ <au>
/eɪ/ <ei>
/aɪ/ <ai>
/ɔɪ/ <oi>
/ɪa/ <ia>
/ɪu/ <iu>
/ɪe/ <ie>
/ɪi/ <ii>

Google Doc
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vOC ... sp=sharing

Phonological rule regarding <iu ia ii>
<ia iu ii> only appear at the end of a word and not followed by a consonant.

Syllable structure I want is (C)CV(C) or (C)CV(V)

Sample sentences
The stars is where they came from, the ones who spoke the language given to us.
Dic xeli os kuanz deu vena sin, doč unau kuale gaincina des linva daina fa noiă

The beautiful women of France love to dance the night away in the castle.
Doč bečasu xe Franca avase fa danza des noačve ričate výn des čiade
Last edited by Aleks on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 04:48, edited 7 times in total.
User avatar
Lambuzhao
earth
earth
Posts: 7616
Joined: Sun 13 May 2012, 01:57

Re: First conlang advice and tips

Post by Lambuzhao » Sat 20 Jun 2015, 21:59

Welcome!

I am surprised no one has already mentioned this. So here goes (sorry if I get highfaloutin in my vocabulary):

1) Learn aboout IPA and use it for your phonetic transcriptions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internati ... c_Alphabet

2) You may/will baulk about using IPA. Just familiarize yourself with it, b/c you will be asked to use it/ show your conlang in it.
Plus, it really is helpful in a metacognitional sort of way.


3) Practice using IPA by including phonetic transcriptions with some simple sentences.

And my favorite

3) Test-drive your conlang on the Conlang Conversation Thread

Hope to see more soon!
[;)]
User avatar
Lambuzhao
earth
earth
Posts: 7616
Joined: Sun 13 May 2012, 01:57

Re: First conlang advice and tips

Post by Lambuzhao » Sat 20 Jun 2015, 22:07

Also, when I build a conlang, I tend to make a thematic dictionary/ word-list first.

That is, I grow little sets of related words, Vegetables, Sports, Animals, Family.
And I also do grammatically related words as well: Adverbs, Correlatives, Frequency Words, Conjunctions, etc.

*I guess I sort of think-map my way through vocab-building


Eventually, these grow and smoosh into one dictionary of the new lang.

But that's just how I work.

A Swadesh List can be a guide/initial core vocab check list of sorts:

http://www.aveneca.com/cbb/viewtopic.ph ... list#p4368


Here's a much more fortified version of the concept of a thematic vocabulary: The Landau Core Vocabulary-
http://www.aveneca.com/cbb/viewtopic.ph ... andau+Core
User avatar
Aleks
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat 20 Jun 2015, 00:37

Re: First conlang advice and tips

Post by Aleks » Sun 21 Jun 2015, 03:24

Thanks, I actually put the IPA symbols for the sounds :)

I am working on the pronouns and refining what is allowed and what is not.
User avatar
Ketumak
hieroglyphic
hieroglyphic
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed 31 Dec 2014, 20:50
Location: Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK
Contact:

Re: First conlang advice and tips

Post by Ketumak » Mon 29 Jun 2015, 19:15

Welcome!

I see your first list, the one headed "Alphabet" includes some cyrillic letters mixed in to a largely Roman script. I don't think I've seen that done before - a neat idea! I wonder if it's what you intended though, as these aren't defined with IPA in any of the following lists. Perhaps I'm just missing something, but what's that about?

Also, you say the pronouns for "I" and "you" are just added to the verb. I guess you mean when they're the subject. I know other Romance languages do this as a rule (e.g. Spanish, Italian, Portuguese), but they have exceptions. They all maintain a set of independent subject pronouns, which are used for emphasis. These are used as well as verb endings. I'd recommend following that approach.

And what when they're not the subject? You'll probably also want forms for when they are the object of the verb and when they follow a preposition. You'll also probably want polite and informal words for "you", like most Romance languages (I don't know if the Slavic languages have this feature, though).

The Wikipedia article on Portuguese pronouns discusses these and other points:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portugues ... l_pronouns


Finally, can you tell us some more about the setting where your language is spoken?
Good: :fra: :esp: :por: | OK :ita:

Mohai
User avatar
Aleks
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat 20 Jun 2015, 00:37

Re: First conlang advice and tips

Post by Aleks » Fri 25 Sep 2015, 05:08

I see your first list, the one headed "Alphabet" includes some cyrillic letters mixed in to a largely Roman script. I don't think I've seen that done before - a neat idea! I wonder if it's what you intended though, as these aren't defined with IPA in any of the following lists. Perhaps I'm just missing something, but what's that about?
I was noobish and decided to put the Cyrillic letters to look cool. Yes I know it was not a good idea but I like how you liked it. I took the cyrillic letters out and updated the first post with changes to the conlang.
Also, you say the pronouns for "I" and "you" are just added to the verb. I guess you mean when they're the subject. I know other Romance languages do this as a rule (e.g. Spanish, Italian, Portuguese), but they have exceptions. They all maintain a set of independent subject pronouns, which are used for emphasis. These are used as well as verb endings. I'd recommend following that approach.
This has been abandoned as I wanted the language to be logical so "I love you" is Sa avase xicu
Finally, can you tell us some more about the setting where your language is spoken?
The origin of the language is that it comes from an alien race that mixed with a language on the fictional planet. The people of this country speak a language similar to Romanian but different and with alternate root words. For example gainci means to speak. When the aliens came to the country they shared their language and in turn blended their languages. The aliens speak a language Slavic like and similar to English with it's grammar. The dog in their language translates as the dog instead of dog-the like some languages. This later results in a universal language across the world and is the English of that world.
ac45982
rupestrian
rupestrian
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun 11 Oct 2015, 22:29

Re: First conlang advice and tips

Post by ac45982 » Sun 11 Oct 2015, 22:47

Hello! My name is Adam and I just got into the art of creating languages. I know a little bit about phonetics and linguistics in general. The only problem that I have is how do I create a realistic phonology? Should I research the phonology of other languages? My native language is English, but I'm studying Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. I did use the Gleb Phonology Generator, but some of the outputs that I got were really weird and the allophone stuff didn't make sense at all. Hopefully someone can help me create a realistic phonology! Thanks!
User avatar
Adarain
greek
greek
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri 03 Jul 2015, 14:36
Location: Switzerland, usually

Re: First conlang advice and tips

Post by Adarain » Sun 11 Oct 2015, 23:18

Gleb is at best useful for inspiration. My current main conlang's phonology is actually quite directly from gleb, but I wouldn't rely on it without if you don't know a lot about phonology. 9 out of 10 times the stuff it gives you is quite unrealistic, that last time tends to be realistic enough but quite boring. And the allophony stuff tends to be bonkers.

Looking at other language's phonologies is always a good start. Maybe think of some languages that sound like what you want to achieve and see how their phonologies look like and draw a bit from each. The most important part tends not to be the inventory though, but the phonotactics.
At kveldi skal dag lęyfa,
Konu es bręnnd es,
Mæki es ręyndr es,
Męy es gefin es,
Ís es yfir kømr,
Ǫl es drukkit es.
ac45982
rupestrian
rupestrian
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun 11 Oct 2015, 22:29

Re: First conlang advice and tips

Post by ac45982 » Sun 11 Oct 2015, 23:25

Thanks for responding! I'll look at phonologies of languages that I'm interested in and I'll try to come up with something.
User avatar
elemtilas
runic
runic
Posts: 3197
Joined: Sat 22 Nov 2014, 04:48

Re: First conlang advice and tips

Post by elemtilas » Mon 12 Oct 2015, 02:28

ac45982 wrote:Thanks for responding! I'll look at phonologies of languages that I'm interested in and I'll try to come up with something.
Well, you can very easily look at Wikipedia: very many articles exist on the phonological inventories of languages. Just try searching for articles like "Occitan Phonology" or "Tagalog Phonology". Good place to get some general ideas on different languages' inventories.

And seeing as you're new to this, some general thoughts, which you can take with as much salt as you like:

A lot of conlangers, here especially I've noticed, and perhaps almost too many, seem to be almost fixated on phonological matters. Especially the minorest and nigglingest of details and to the point where very many never do any work beyond the phonology. My best advice would be find something you like okay enough and leave it at that -- you can always tweak it later -- and then get into the heart of the art! Start writing the stories and poems and folk tales of the language's speakers. Get into the depths of the grammar and the syntax. Get into the ancient and future histories of it.

Next, never be afraid to jump out of the box, run away from it and never look back. Don't pigeon-hole yourself into "safe", "plausible", "realistic" stuff. If you want to make a realistic conlang, fine, but ask yourself this: if all you really want to do is create a "plausible" and "realistic" Romlang, why not just invent Spanish? Don't be afraid to look beyond that horizon. You say you're just getting into the Art of glossopoesy -- well, forget about plausible and probable. Leave that for the auxlangers! Plumb the depths of your own thinking & explore the borders of your conlangs. Push the envelope, and don't be afraid to punch holes in it. Take that language into weird and wonderful directions, and don't be so shy of "really weird outputs"! If someone ever tells you there's a "universal" against what you're thinking to do in your language, feel free to break that law! Learn as much as you like about language and languages, and use that knowledge to shake things up in your own work, to break those rules aesthetically and artistically.

Last, don't be afraid to make mistakes. Everyone has some horrible conlang project in their past. Sort out what went wrong, learn from it and move on.
Image

If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera
ac45982
rupestrian
rupestrian
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun 11 Oct 2015, 22:29

Re: First conlang advice and tips

Post by ac45982 » Mon 12 Oct 2015, 05:11

Thanks for the advice! I was creating a phonology and I think I got a little bit too carried away with the phonology part. I was working on it before I saw your post and not only did I create a phonology, but I made syllable structure rules and made restrictions and allophones. I don't know if I put too much into it or if natlangs do it, but some natlangs have complex syllable structures and phonotactics. I created a Google Doc of my conlang so far. Let me know if you can't see it. Also, feel free to give me suggestions. I don't think anyone else besides me can type on it, but if you can, please don't type on it.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aFK ... N0b_Q/edit
HoskhMatriarch
mayan
mayan
Posts: 1779
Joined: Sat 16 May 2015, 17:48

Re: First conlang advice and tips

Post by HoskhMatriarch » Mon 12 Oct 2015, 05:25

ac45982 wrote:Hello! My name is Adam and I just got into the art of creating languages. I know a little bit about phonetics and linguistics in general. The only problem that I have is how do I create a realistic phonology? Should I research the phonology of other languages? My native language is English, but I'm studying Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. I did use the Gleb Phonology Generator, but some of the outputs that I got were really weird and the allophone stuff didn't make sense at all. Hopefully someone can help me create a realistic phonology! Thanks!
You should research other languages, but you shouldn't focus on the inventories so much as the phonological processes and how the sounds are put together. I once put together a sketchlang called Ȥdișkf of nothing but English phonemes but everything else was pretty different (hence the name being pronounced [ʒdiʃkf]). Phonological processes can be part of the morphology of a language, but individual sounds not as much. Just think about how you want your language to sound, think about what kind of morphology you want to have, and then make something that works with those and tweak it later, and use the phonological processes to make it not just be a copy of some natlang. Don't get stuck on phonology to the point of not making other stuff, like elemtilas has said. Although, if you want to make a naturalistic language, I wouldn't say that's a bad thing, since I like historical linguistics and it's kind of hard to do historical lingusitics on unnaturalistic languages.

Edit: I see you have a Google Doc, but it's set to private so I can't look at it.
No darkness can harm you if you are guided by your own inner light
ac45982
rupestrian
rupestrian
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun 11 Oct 2015, 22:29

Re: First conlang advice and tips

Post by ac45982 » Mon 12 Oct 2015, 05:38

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aFK ... sp=sharing

Here is the link to the Google Doc that you can see.
Post Reply