Dealing with Conlanger's Block

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Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by Shemtov » Thu 19 Jul 2018, 04:01

Many people here know I have many, many conlangs. That may be because I'm a Filler- The World of Fuhe has been going on for almost two years now, and it must have at least two dozen languages by now. But it's also that I get "Conlanger's Block", I don't know were to take a language next, so I add a new one to clear my mind, and the other marinate for a while- but it never works, and just starts a cycle!
Help!
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by sangi39 » Thu 19 Jul 2018, 14:10

Shemtov wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 04:01
Many people here know I have many, many conlangs. That may be because I'm a Filler- The World of Fuhe has been going on for almost two years now, and it must have at least two dozen languages by now. But it's also that I get "Conlanger's Block", I don't know were to take a language next, so I add a new one to clear my mind, and the other marinate for a while- but it never works, and just starts a cycle!
Help!
Unforunately I'm going through the same problem with Yantas, although I've gotten into a habit of being a "phonology filler" more than anything else, and I've stalled on grammar completely (only three or four of the proto-languages I've worked on so far even have a hint of it).

One of the ways I've seen people try to break out of this rut is by writing up cultural works, either oral/written poems, written religious or historical texts, and the like, and then trying to translate them into the language they're working on. It adds something both to the culture they want to work on, and the conlang at the same time, which helps them in filling them out more later on.
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by Reyzadren » Fri 20 Jul 2018, 22:54

Choose your favourite conlang from the list with all the features that you like.
If there is some missing basic grammar, work on it. Else, it is complete.
Write a novel with that conlang, or describe stuff about the conworld with it.
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by Shemtov » Sat 21 Jul 2018, 00:54

sangi39 wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 14:10
Shemtov wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 04:01
Many people here know I have many, many conlangs. That may be because I'm a Filler- The World of Fuhe has been going on for almost two years now, and it must have at least two dozen languages by now. But it's also that I get "Conlanger's Block", I don't know were to take a language next, so I add a new one to clear my mind, and the other marinate for a while- but it never works, and just starts a cycle!
Help!
Unforunately I'm going through the same problem with Yantas, although I've gotten into a habit of being a "phonology filler" more than anything else, and I've stalled on grammar completely (only three or four of the proto-languages I've worked on so far even have a hint of it).

One of the ways I've seen people try to break out of this rut is by writing up cultural works, either oral/written poems, written religious or historical texts, and the like, and then trying to translate them into the language they're working on. It adds something both to the culture they want to work on, and the conlang at the same time, which helps them in filling them out more later on.
So, for example for Močalsumai, I could write an order by the Emperor that the Baby-burning cults need to stop it, and give them a non-infanticide option based on their theology?
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by sangi39 » Sat 21 Jul 2018, 15:10

Shemtov wrote:
Sat 21 Jul 2018, 00:54
sangi39 wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 14:10
Shemtov wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 04:01
Many people here know I have many, many conlangs. That may be because I'm a Filler- The World of Fuhe has been going on for almost two years now, and it must have at least two dozen languages by now. But it's also that I get "Conlanger's Block", I don't know were to take a language next, so I add a new one to clear my mind, and the other marinate for a while- but it never works, and just starts a cycle!
Help!
Unforunately I'm going through the same problem with Yantas, although I've gotten into a habit of being a "phonology filler" more than anything else, and I've stalled on grammar completely (only three or four of the proto-languages I've worked on so far even have a hint of it).

One of the ways I've seen people try to break out of this rut is by writing up cultural works, either oral/written poems, written religious or historical texts, and the like, and then trying to translate them into the language they're working on. It adds something both to the culture they want to work on, and the conlang at the same time, which helps them in filling them out more later on.
So, for example for Močalsumai, I could write an order by the Emperor that the Baby-burning cults need to stop it, and give them a non-infanticide option based on their theology?
I'd say that could work, and then just translate that in Močalsumai, filling out the details of the language that you don't have yet for fully translating the text [:)]
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by lsd » Sat 21 Jul 2018, 16:00

you can try to write your diary in one of your conlang ...
or translate your favorite book ...
nothing is worth the use for going deeper ...
however, the work in extension is worth the work in depth, the sharp specialists tend to cut off from the world when the generalists are better communicators ...
Moreover, writers generally do not need to build the conlangs that fill their books to make us adore the concepts that they develop with...
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by Ælfwine » Sat 21 Jul 2018, 22:13

I also have conlangers bloc.

It arises out of decision paralysis. In my Mannish I cannot decide whether or not to include initial mutations, how to work them into the language, how the grammar is affected and so on, and then I get annoyed that I deviated from my original goal of a conservative Norwegian dialect. So I go back and redo it just to feel unconfortable again because it is a little too similar to another person's conlang I stumbled upon and adopted a bit from. So I go back again.

And that's why the conlang has been in development hell for so long.
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by LinguistCat » Sat 21 Jul 2018, 23:58

Ælfwine wrote:
Sat 21 Jul 2018, 22:13
I also have conlangers bloc.

It arises out of decision paralysis. In my Mannish I cannot decide whether or not to include initial mutations, how to work them into the language, how the grammar is affected and so on, and then I get annoyed that I deviated from my original goal of a conservative Norwegian dialect. So I go back and redo it just to feel unconfortable again because it is a little too similar to another person's conlang I stumbled upon and adopted a bit from. So I go back again.

And that's why the conlang has been in development hell for so long.
I understand this and get decision paralysis pretty easily. Sometimes I just choose one option and go with it. Or I list out all my options, and sometimes that's enough to realize there's one I favor more than the others; Other times I get suggestions here or on other boards. If worse comes to worst, I can use my list and a random #gen. Either I will roll it and my brain will accept that answer, or I will react negatively to seeing the option come up, and know that is an option I don't really want.

In regards to your conlang specifically, I'd like to remind you that even otherwise very conservative languages can borrow or develop some odd traits for their family. If you like initial mutations but the language otherwise fits your goal, I don't see why you couldn't include them.
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by Ælfwine » Sun 22 Jul 2018, 01:56

LinguistCat wrote:
Sat 21 Jul 2018, 23:58
Ælfwine wrote:
Sat 21 Jul 2018, 22:13
I also have conlangers bloc.

It arises out of decision paralysis. In my Mannish I cannot decide whether or not to include initial mutations, how to work them into the language, how the grammar is affected and so on, and then I get annoyed that I deviated from my original goal of a conservative Norwegian dialect. So I go back and redo it just to feel unconfortable again because it is a little too similar to another person's conlang I stumbled upon and adopted a bit from. So I go back again.

And that's why the conlang has been in development hell for so long.
I understand this and get decision paralysis pretty easily. Sometimes I just choose one option and go with it. Or I list out all my options, and sometimes that's enough to realize there's one I favor more than the others; Other times I get suggestions here or on other boards. If worse comes to worst, I can use my list and a random #gen. Either I will roll it and my brain will accept that answer, or I will react negatively to seeing the option come up, and know that is an option I don't really want.

In regards to your conlang specifically, I'd like to remind you that even otherwise very conservative languages can borrow or develop some odd traits for their family. If you like initial mutations but the language otherwise fits your goal, I don't see why you couldn't include them.
That's true. I like the paradigm I made with the initial mutations. I'll end up splitting the project into two conlangs perhaps, so I can explore both ideas.

Here's the reddit link to Mannish if you are further interested. /shamelessadvert
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by k1234567890y » Sun 22 Jul 2018, 15:23

Shemtov wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 04:01
Many people here know I have many, many conlangs. That may be because I'm a Filler- The World of Fuhe has been going on for almost two years now, and it must have at least two dozen languages by now. But it's also that I get "Conlanger's Block", I don't know were to take a language next, so I add a new one to clear my mind, and the other marinate for a while- but it never works, and just starts a cycle!
Help!
add new words and translations, maybe also the background of the conpeople associated to them.

also avoid collaboration projects, collaborations, including inviting anyone to join your projects, is a process of abandoning your maximum amount of enjoyment to maximalize the total amount of enjoyments of everyone, which would end up being a distressful process that involves fights and resentments between participants
私のアツい人工言語活動!言カツ!始まります!!
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by Salmoneus » Wed 01 Aug 2018, 12:54

Ælfwine wrote:
Sat 21 Jul 2018, 22:13
I also have conlangers bloc.

It arises out of decision paralysis. In my Mannish I cannot decide whether or not to include initial mutations, how to work them into the language, how the grammar is affected and so on, and then I get annoyed that I deviated from my original goal of a conservative Norwegian dialect. So I go back and redo it just to feel unconfortable again because it is a little too similar to another person's conlang I stumbled upon and adopted a bit from. So I go back again.

And that's why the conlang has been in development hell for so long.
This is also why my languages never get anywhere.

But I see it as a positive thing.

Most good art encapsulates duality - it lives in a state of tension. Things in the world present themselves to us as the things they are - unitary and discrete (likewise events). A large part of the artistic response to the world is attempting to conceive of the things that would fill the gaps between objects as we encounter them - things that are part this, part that - or the moments that exist in the transition between apparently incompatible concepts.

Think of the Mona Lisa. It draws the eye because it seems on the verge between two emotions. A photograph of someone happy or of someone sad is not that memorable - but a photograph of someone almost being both at once, that can be captivating. Go through an art gallery and see how many of the great paintings seem to capture their subjects, or their arrangements, in moments of duality - strength and fear, or pain and determination, or love and sorrow; or, more abstractly, sacred and secular, humorous and profound, real and iconic.

I think conlangs are just the same. Sure, there'd be an undeniable craftsman's skill in creating a language that was unambiguously one thing - an Italian dialect, for instance, that was almost exactly like all the other Italian dialects and not particularly unusual in any respect. But most of us are drawn to languages that embody dualities, that exist in tension between two forms. Hence the classic what-if approach of "what if a Romlang looked like Germanic!?" and the like. Often, particularly for newcomers, it's that explicit - a language that's somehow, in appearance if not in ancestry, both romance and germanic, or both celtic and japanese, or both tsimshianic and sinitic. Other times, it's more abstract; sometimes we can't ourselves pin down exactly what we're aiming at. But it's usually something that exists in a state of tension between this and that.

But when we actually try to produce something, that means we need to pin it down and make it concrete. That involves making decisions, and those decisions will each invariably pull the language toward one side or the other. So when we come to it another way, we feel it's gone too far the other way, and pull it back a bit. Like someone continually trying to adjust a picture on a wall so that it hangs exactly level.

This means that we often don't end up producing anything (in this case, there's no such thing as objectively level!). But then again, does it matter? Let's be honest, unless we've got a contract with a major studio, nobody cares about what we produce anyway. And if what appeals to us is precisely exploring that point of tension, then isn't it more enjoyable to do so extensively - even if that means constantly re-writing - than prematurely coming to a conclusion and shutting off the line of enquiry to move on to something else? After all, our own enjoyment is the only real reward for most of us anyway.
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by Lambuzhao » Thu 02 Aug 2018, 06:08

First, kudos to Sal. Extremely thoughtful response. I thoroughly grokked with that idea of "betweenness" encapsulated in the image of the Mona Lisa. Indeed, Sal!
:mrgreen:
No language, natural or constructed, that has any life in it is never really free of 'developmental hell'.

As with previous posts, I also endorse using one's conlangs to really get a feel how they run.

Maybe find a "Positive Thought for Every Day", "A Prayer for Every Day", "A Sutra for Every Day", "A Grook for Every Day", "A Hadith for Every Day" or "A Randy Limerick for Every Day" calendar, or whatever floats one's boat, and translate those. Short translation exercises that will push one to fill in some unexplored nook or cranny of grammar &/or vocab can be utterly satisfying. Plus, it's something small that one can walk away from and know that one has in fact completed it.

I think a lot of frustration in conlanging is that we as conlangers learn so many things exponentially about language and linguistics, and even moreso thanks to fora like CBB and ZBB, that 'modern' conlangers feel this need to shoehorn so much into one loanguage. IMHO one thing a lot of people miss about language-creation in general is that there rarely exists or has existed ONE of any language. For every language, there are often prestige and non-prestige, slang/argot, rural/urban, central/outlier dialects. And I don't mean multiplying the workload to fully flesh out
entire grammars and vocabs and grimoires and chrestomathies of every mother-loving idiolect we whip up. Far from it.
Just an 'Other Mother's' world; just a few details, and the rest, like when walking away from Other Mother's house in Coraline.And just like that, when you walk far enough away, you find that you have come right back (!)

For example, I have hints and some details for what would amount to 6 dialects of my conlang Sadraas. Are they fully fleshed out - heavens no! Who's got time for that? But every now and again, if I wanted to make a comparison, or make a
comparative Swadesh of cognates for these dialects, with some time and effort, I can do so. Enough rules are there to make it a not unprofitable exercise. The language I construct and use and call Sadraas is a prestige dialect on a continuum of dozens of dialects.

Like in Ælfwine's case, I would stop breaking my last arse (sorry to phrase it that way) over whether to nudge Mannish closer to a more Conservative Norwegian, or Folkspraakish, or whatever linguistic axis is bringing such glossopoetic angst. Why not let there be 2 dialects of Mannish? Scribble up some details/incunabulae/marginal notes about
each, and choose to proceed with one or the other.

Live and let live & the more the merrier, I say!
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by elemtilas » Thu 02 Aug 2018, 16:59

Salmoneus wrote:
Wed 01 Aug 2018, 12:54
Go through an art gallery and see how many of the great paintings seem to capture their subjects, or their arrangements, in moments of duality - strength and fear, or pain and determination, or love and sorrow; or, more abstractly, sacred and secular, humorous and profound, real and iconic.

I think conlangs are just the same. Sure, there'd be an undeniable craftsman's skill in creating a language that was unambiguously one thing - an Italian dialect, for instance, that was almost exactly like all the other Italian dialects and not particularly unusual in any respect.
Very nicely said!, about the idea of art resting on the point of duality --- always ready to totter to one side or the other, yet never quite managing it.

Specific to invented languages, one thing I've long noticed is that the rarest of artlangs is precisely that: the realistic dialect. While there may be some (myself included) who have considered or planned or made some notes, there is really only one language inventor that I can think of who is actually attempting to tilt that particular windmill and who actually has the scholarly chops for it. But even in this obscure corner of glossopoetry, there is duality. The axis is set orthogonally: between reality and irreality. Therefore it may not excite the emotional heart so much as the rational heart and may thus skew the result in favour of craft rather than art.
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by Shemtov » Thu 02 Aug 2018, 18:21

Salmoneus wrote:
Wed 01 Aug 2018, 12:54
Ælfwine wrote:
Sat 21 Jul 2018, 22:13
I also have conlangers bloc.

It arises out of decision paralysis. In my Mannish I cannot decide whether or not to include initial mutations, how to work them into the language, how the grammar is affected and so on, and then I get annoyed that I deviated from my original goal of a conservative Norwegian dialect. So I go back and redo it just to feel unconfortable again because it is a little too similar to another person's conlang I stumbled upon and adopted a bit from. So I go back again.

And that's why the conlang has been in development hell for so long.
This is also why my languages never get anywhere.

But I see it as a positive thing.

Most good art encapsulates duality - it lives in a state of tension. Things in the world present themselves to us as the things they are - unitary and discrete (likewise events). A large part of the artistic response to the world is attempting to conceive of the things that would fill the gaps between objects as we encounter them - things that are part this, part that - or the moments that exist in the transition between apparently incompatible concepts.

Think of the Mona Lisa. It draws the eye because it seems on the verge between two emotions. A photograph of someone happy or of someone sad is not that memorable - but a photograph of someone almost being both at once, that can be captivating. Go through an art gallery and see how many of the great paintings seem to capture their subjects, or their arrangements, in moments of duality - strength and fear, or pain and determination, or love and sorrow; or, more abstractly, sacred and secular, humorous and profound, real and iconic.

I think conlangs are just the same. Sure, there'd be an undeniable craftsman's skill in creating a language that was unambiguously one thing - an Italian dialect, for instance, that was almost exactly like all the other Italian dialects and not particularly unusual in any respect. But most of us are drawn to languages that embody dualities, that exist in tension between two forms. Hence the classic what-if approach of "what if a Romlang looked like Germanic!?" and the like. Often, particularly for newcomers, it's that explicit - a language that's somehow, in appearance if not in ancestry, both romance and germanic, or both celtic and japanese, or both tsimshianic and sinitic. Other times, it's more abstract; sometimes we can't ourselves pin down exactly what we're aiming at. But it's usually something that exists in a state of tension between this and that.

But when we actually try to produce something, that means we need to pin it down and make it concrete. That involves making decisions, and those decisions will each invariably pull the language toward one side or the other. So when we come to it another way, we feel it's gone too far the other way, and pull it back a bit. Like someone continually trying to adjust a picture on a wall so that it hangs exactly level.

This means that we often don't end up producing anything (in this case, there's no such thing as objectively level!). But then again, does it matter? Let's be honest, unless we've got a contract with a major studio, nobody cares about what we produce anyway. And if what appeals to us is precisely exploring that point of tension, then isn't it more enjoyable to do so extensively - even if that means constantly re-writing - than prematurely coming to a conclusion and shutting off the line of enquiry to move on to something else? After all, our own enjoyment is the only real reward for most of us anyway.
I agree, now that you articulated it. Momčalsumai started out as PIE transitioning to Ancient Greek with a bit of NHG influence. I began to feel the pull toward more and more HG features, and the language as it stands is morphosyntactically more of a mix of OHG and NHG, with a bit of PIE and Ancient Greek sprinkled in.
Nnaçmàa-yà, morphosyntactically (Phonologically, it's a pared-down Ubykh with tones), started out as a Volta-Niger language with English influence (I felt I had been ignoring English too much in my conlangs, but what's wrong with having an English-inspired language in a Conworld with so many Languages- English exists IRL, statistically it feels unlikely a language like it would not develop), but I'm feeling a pull to more and more English. Also I'm reading about Mixtec, so some of that got thrown in.
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by Ælfwine » Fri 03 Aug 2018, 06:08

Salmoneus wrote:
Wed 01 Aug 2018, 12:54
This is also why my languages never get anywhere.

But I see it as a positive thing.

Most good art encapsulates duality - it lives in a state of tension. Things in the world present themselves to us as the things they are - unitary and discrete (likewise events). A large part of the artistic response to the world is attempting to conceive of the things that would fill the gaps between objects as we encounter them - things that are part this, part that - or the moments that exist in the transition between apparently incompatible concepts.

Think of the Mona Lisa. It draws the eye because it seems on the verge between two emotions. A photograph of someone happy or of someone sad is not that memorable - but a photograph of someone almost being both at once, that can be captivating. Go through an art gallery and see how many of the great paintings seem to capture their subjects, or their arrangements, in moments of duality - strength and fear, or pain and determination, or love and sorrow; or, more abstractly, sacred and secular, humorous and profound, real and iconic.

I think conlangs are just the same. Sure, there'd be an undeniable craftsman's skill in creating a language that was unambiguously one thing - an Italian dialect, for instance, that was almost exactly like all the other Italian dialects and not particularly unusual in any respect. But most of us are drawn to languages that embody dualities, that exist in tension between two forms. Hence the classic what-if approach of "what if a Romlang looked like Germanic!?" and the like. Often, particularly for newcomers, it's that explicit - a language that's somehow, in appearance if not in ancestry, both romance and germanic, or both celtic and japanese, or both tsimshianic and sinitic. Other times, it's more abstract; sometimes we can't ourselves pin down exactly what we're aiming at. But it's usually something that exists in a state of tension between this and that.

But when we actually try to produce something, that means we need to pin it down and make it concrete. That involves making decisions, and those decisions will each invariably pull the language toward one side or the other. So when we come to it another way, we feel it's gone too far the other way, and pull it back a bit. Like someone continually trying to adjust a picture on a wall so that it hangs exactly level.

This means that we often don't end up producing anything (in this case, there's no such thing as objectively level!). But then again, does it matter? Let's be honest, unless we've got a contract with a major studio, nobody cares about what we produce anyway. And if what appeals to us is precisely exploring that point of tension, then isn't it more enjoyable to do so extensively - even if that means constantly re-writing - than prematurely coming to a conclusion and shutting off the line of enquiry to move on to something else? After all, our own enjoyment is the only real reward for most of us anyway.
I agree with Lambuzhao that this is a very thoughtful response. However, when it comes down to our enjoyment being the only reward, that seems only possible when enjoyment is heavier on the scale with frustration. I like your idea of "tension" though, there's a lot of tension in designing languages that could have existed but for whatever reason failed too, which is usually the background of many of my a-posteriori's. Even taking something from Tolkien and developing it sort of adheres to this same "tension."
Lambuzhao wrote:Like in Ælfwine's case, I would stop breaking my last arse (sorry to phrase it that way) over whether to nudge Mannish closer to a more Conservative Norwegian, or Folkspraakish, or whatever linguistic axis is bringing such glossopoetic angst. Why not let there be 2 dialects of Mannish? Scribble up some details/incunabulae/marginal notes about
each, and choose to proceed with one or the other.
In Mannish's case, I originally set about playing with palatalization as a grammatical feature a la some dialects of Faroese before stumbling upon Travis B.'s Írsc on the ZBB in June 2017, which gave me the "idea" to include preaspiration and a fortis-lenis contrast (which incidentally were the same as his). Not unsurprisingly, my ideas for the language would've ended up looking a lot like his (with the exception of maybe the verbs), given the nearly same design goals, so I tried to introduce initial mutations (something he didn't want to include). However, I didn't really want to introduce initial mutations either— it would've necessitated losing the preaspirated consonants to be plausible, so I gave up on it for a while.

Recently, I rediscovered a message sent to me by Ephraim suggesting that I move the PoD to around 550 AD, diverging the language from Proto-Norse in order to introduce many of the changes that gave Old Irish its unique mutations, and would be much easier to work with than Old Norse's phonology (the phonologies of Proto-Norse and Primitive Celtic seem to have been very similar to each other.) While I am more enthused about this idea, it still is against my original goal of developing a language from Old Norse, something that I planned to do since 2015 if any of you recall my first posts to this board. While you are right that I could work on both projects if I desired, for what it is worth I simply can't commit to too many projects at once, especially given the snail's pace I work at. Thank you, anyway.
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by Lambuzhao » Fri 03 Aug 2018, 12:20

Shemtov wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 04:01
Many people here know I have many, many conlangs. That may be because I'm a Filler- The World of Fuhe has been going on for almost two years now, and it must have at least two dozen languages by now. But it's also that I get "Conlanger's Block", I don't know were to take a language next, so I add a new one to clear my mind, and the other marinate for a while- but it never works, and just starts a cycle!
Help!
Ur creativity needs HELP?!?

Your creativity needs no help: Keep on keepin' on, O Hecatoncheire-Demiurge of Poikiloglossopoesy!

Okay.
Since you don't know where to take a language next, like I posted herein above, and in several other places throughout, let me reiterate: translate somethings.

Translate a bunch of short somethings. You may find soon enough some grammatical or vocab-related places that you didn't realize whither your lang ought to betake itself next.

Some further suggestions (ripped from one of mine own bookshelves):
The Portable Curmedgeon Redux
Pensamientos de Sabiduría
Happiness is a Warm Puppy
Life's Journeys According to Mister Rogers
It's Not Easy Being Green, and other things to consider
A Father's Book of Wisdom
Extreme Latin
The Gospel of Thomas


and…OMG…

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's Śrī Īśopaniṣad !
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Shemtov
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by Shemtov » Fri 03 Aug 2018, 19:08

Actually, I found an interesting source of inspiration:
Personal Names. It's something I don't see a lot of Conlangers doing, but I was reading a grammar of Igbo, and it had a small section devoted to personal name formation. So I wrote up how Proper Names are formed in one of 'langs. I decided that the "last name" should be derived from the town of birth, and even created an English word for such a name on the model of "Patronymics" in Russian studies. Polinymic, from Greek Polis. It also allowed me to do some pragmatics- I was already thinking of having Personal names be proceeded by the Def. Article, but this allowed me to say that the names of Superiors take the Article, and that takes the case, but peers and inferiors don't take the article, and the case is marked on the First Name.
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by Nachtuil » Fri 03 Aug 2018, 21:59

I utterly understand conlanger's block. For me it also stems from indecision... knowing how many options there are to do things and which I'd prefer is a struggle. I often don't feel I understand new grammatical features enough to use them.
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eldin raigmore
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by eldin raigmore » Fri 03 Aug 2018, 22:00

I agree, Shemtov. I’ve worked on anthroponymics/onomastics, and have read posts by others who have also done that.
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Re: Dealing with Conlanger's Block

Post by Salmoneus » Fri 03 Aug 2018, 22:33

FWIW, I struggled with exactly the same issues with Wenthish, which likewise is a Germanic language that had influence from Old Irish. It's ended up not looking that Irish at all - other than some loanwords and maybe some spelling conventions - but I've gone through several phases of Celticising it, including toying with mutations. [and this thread make me want mutations again, damnit!]

In the end, what (mostly) resolved it for me was that I decided to have mutations, and couldn't work out how. The way the obvious culprits had developed, mutation just couldn't have had a sufficiently significant burden for it to have become systematic.

[a particular problem: Celtic had nice -s endings on things. But Germanic has weak little -z instead, and final -z drops entirely outside north germanic (and monosyllabics in irmionic). So, for instance, the masculine and feminine articles are likely to trigger the same mutation. And the feminine singular and plural must do as well. And so on.]
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