Basic Word List?

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Chelsara
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Basic Word List?

Post by Chelsara » Sun 05 Sep 2010, 04:24

I'm trying to get some words into my conlang so I can just start making some sentences. Is there some sort of word list of 100 or so basic words?
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by Ossicone » Sun 05 Sep 2010, 04:30

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Chelsara
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by Chelsara » Sun 05 Sep 2010, 04:37

Thanks! I was looking for it but forgot its name... haha...
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by Veris » Sun 05 Sep 2010, 07:51

Just be careful when using a list like that -- don't feel pressured to make a corresponding word in your conlang for every word on that list, or you'll be well on your way to an English cipher.

I'd particularly warn against automatically translating "husband," "wife," "road," and "name" since those are cultural concepts that not all cultures have and thus not all languages will have. I also sort of resent human being "Man." It couldn't just be "human?" Or "person?"

Anyway, if you're making a conpeoples to go along with your conlanguage, don't forget to look at the world from their perspective when filling out the lexicon. Your people don't need a word for "molecule" if they have no concept of chemical elements, or "glass" if they have no means of creating it; things like that.

Also, the number one thing to keep in mind is that the Swadesh list was used to compare extant languages. It was never intended to be used to generate a new language (to say nothing of grammar). With great shortcut list comes great responsibility.
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by MrKrov » Sun 05 Sep 2010, 16:14

Um, why would a wordlist ever be expected to generate (a) grammar?
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by Raydred » Sun 05 Sep 2010, 17:31

I'd advise to translate phrases instead of words:
-The phrases you would translate should be phrases that would appear on a person from you conworld daily life. Thus avoiding one of the problems Veris is talking about.
-Translating directly words will make it pratically a cipher(as he said too).
-You should make the grammar before the words in my opinion. You should atleast know how your conlang works. And then the vocabulary will probably be well addapted to your conlang.
-And when you look at the phrase you want to translate. You should think what the speaker would be thinking, and how he can express himself, how he wants to express himself, and the surrounding situation too... Making the translation addapted to these two things too.
I think this way you avoid copying other languages and give originality to your conlang.

Edit: After having a good list of words, and the grammar and all that stuff done. You can directly translate words from a list for example, but only if you feel confident that you are not going to simply translate them ciphering the other language. If you can't do this I think you should rather stick to copying phrases.

Also copying stories should help as they most of the time, explain to you stuff in a lot of detail. They express the speakers feeling, the situation, etc, etc.
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by Chelsara » Sun 05 Sep 2010, 22:02

Clarification: I have a grammar and everything, I'm just a tad too lazy to think up words as I go. :-P
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by masako » Mon 06 Sep 2010, 01:05

Word lists:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ky%C5%8Diku_kanji use the meanings, of course

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionar ... categories a good categorical listing

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionar ... ency_lists various lists based on frequency

http://www.zompist.com/thematic.htm a thematic list that might inspire you

There are dozens more out on the web...have a look.
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by Hakaku » Mon 06 Sep 2010, 01:26

Yup, and here's another list and questionnaire:
http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/fieldtools/linguaQ.html
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by Khemehekis » Mon 06 Sep 2010, 07:20

Veris wrote:Just be careful when using a list like that -- don't feel pressured to make a corresponding word in your conlang for every word on that list, or you'll be well on your way to an English cipher.
Someone using the list would not be making an English cipher, as the Swadesh List is not a list of English words, as I understand it, but of concepts.

The person translating the list is supposed to understand that "stick" means "elongated thin piece of a branch", and not "adhere", that "back" refers to the body part, that "smell" refers to using the sense and not to the linking verb sense of the word, that "lie" means "recline" and not "prevaricate", and that "arm" refers to the part of the body and not "weapon". The list even explicitly distinguishes the two senses of "man". The person using the Swadesh List in conlanging would come up with a word to describe each of these concepts, or two or more words if they distinguished exclusive from inclusive "we", or light from dark "red" or whatever. Just because Joey Conlanger glosses a Komgithrian word as "left", that does not mean he intends it to mean both "opposite of right" and "remaining" (to say nothing of "liberal").

Perhaps the best way to avoid any misunderstandings with your readership would be to include definitions of your words, such as 'left (opposite of right)', or 'back (posterior region of the body)'.

While I was developing my Kankonian dictionary, every time I added an English word I'd cover every meaning I could think of, so a reader wouldn't look up "point" trying to translate "I missed the point" and unwittingly use the word that meant "unit of scoring".

There was some confusion about the meanings of the words listed in my own Basic 150 List, so I added the disambiguating definition of all the words that needed them. Now it is made explicit that "earth" means "dirt, ground", not the planet, that "to see" refers to using your sense of vision, that "man" is opposed to woman, not to God or the animals, and that "to play" refers to playing a game, not to playing a musical instrument.

Even before the editing, the list did clarify the meanings of "life", "to love", "to live", "hair", "fight", "to feel", "short" and "old".
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by Avjunza » Mon 06 Sep 2010, 07:37

Buy the LCK. It's got pages of word lists plus all the basics of conlanging and more.
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by Veris » Mon 06 Sep 2010, 10:18

MrKrov wrote:Um, why would a wordlist ever be expected to generate (a) grammar?
It wouldn't, but I know from experience that just taking a list of words in your native language and making con-words based on that can lead you to copy the grammar without realizing it. I copied lists of English words into con-words when I was very first starting out (years before I ever even heard of the original CBB) and without even realizing it, copying the words lead me to copying the ideas, concepts and then grammar.
á (0225); í (0237); ú (0250); é (0233); ó (0243)
Á (0193); Í (0205); Ú (0218); É (0201); Ó (0211)
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by Golahet » Mon 06 Sep 2010, 14:42

http://www.conlanger.com/cbb/viewtopic.php?t=3696

MrKrov wrote:Um, why would a wordlist ever be expected to generate (a) grammar?
Swadesh list has entries for "you (singular)" and "you (plural)", while in my conlang there are two kinds of plural "you", one of them is a morphological plural of the same stem as singular "you". It has an entry for "five", a conlang uses base-4. It has "tree" and "forest" as different entries, Ithkuil have them being different forms of the same lexical item. It has "die" vs. "kill", both the same lexical item in my conlang. And "fire" vs. "burn".

Apart from this words have a part of speech, e.g. the colors are adjectives – will they be adjectives in your relex too? "at", "in", "with", "and", "if", and "because" all might be affixes rather than words in some language.

All this is grammar, so if you want to develop a language without copying the grammar of English, you can't relex a list of English concepts without being careful.

Raydred wrote:-You should make the grammar before the words in my opinion. You should atleast know how your conlang works. And then the vocabulary will probably be well addapted to your conlang.
Precisely.

Khemehekis wrote:Someone using the list would not be making an English cipher, as the Swadesh List is not a list of English words, as I understand it, but of concepts.
Even if you remove the polysemy, synonymy, and allomorphy, it will still be a relex, albeit a good relex. The only non-English concepts in Swadesh list is the difference between singular and plural "you". The closest thing to "dog" in my conlang is "canid". I might implement a lexical item for "dog", but it will probably be a compound headed by "canid" or "carnivoran", not its own morpheme, nor does my conlang differentiate between "knee" and "elbow", and I'm thinking about having a single concept for "cloud/fog/smoke".
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by Khemehekis » Mon 13 Sep 2010, 02:03

Mahal wrote: Even if you remove the polysemy, synonymy, and allomorphy, it will still be a relex, albeit a good relex.
Does this mean that Classical Yiklamu is a relex of English?

And Chelsara, if you really want it, I can send you the Landau Core Vocabulary. Just PM me with your email address and I'll send it to you.
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by clockworkbanana » Mon 13 Sep 2010, 03:30

I had a thought: What if instead of a list of words, you get pictures (preferably drawn or photo'ed by the conlanger) and translate how your culture would express what is going on in the picture. Even just the basic nouns, adjectives, verbs (or whatever are the most basic categories...)
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by Ilaeriu » Mon 13 Sep 2010, 03:56

clockworkbanana wrote:I had a thought: What if instead of a list of words, you get pictures (preferably drawn or photo'ed by the conlanger) and translate how your culture would express what is going on in the picture. Even just the basic nouns, adjectives, verbs (or whatever are the most basic categories...)
That's actually a good idea, even for learning natlangs :D . I might start doing that for my conlangs.
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by Golahet » Sat 18 Sep 2010, 20:24

Khemehekis wrote:Does this mean that Classical Yiklamu is a relex of English?
Yes. (Though it seems Classical Yiklamu replaces some productive morphology in English with suppletion, which makes it slightly less a relex.)
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by mark.p.line » Sat 10 Sep 2011, 03:33

(I realize I'm a year late with this. I read very, very slowly.)

Yiklamu is not a relex of English.

A relex involves a mapping of lexical items of a source natlang (or conlang, for that matter) to lexical items in the new conlang. In a pure relex, this mapping would be one-to-one.

There is no such mapping in Yiklamu. The Yiklamu lexicon was generated by mapping the phonological forms of word stems onto synset meanings in the then-current version of WordNet.

In other words, the Yiklamu lexicon maps into an abstracted semantic space of English, not into the English lexicon. Even this semantic space is not purely lexical, as WordNet synsets include the meanings of nominal technical terms like "moving-coil galvanometer", not just single words. Also, the relationship between English forms and WordNet synsets is many-to-many, thus removing synsets and the Yiklamu lexicon even farther from the English lexicon.


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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by eldin raigmore » Sun 11 Sep 2011, 08:07

Chelsara wrote:I'm trying to get some words into my conlang so I can just start making some sentences. Is there some sort of word list of 100 or so basic words?
I've posted a set of lists of English words here before; but now I can't find it, or at least not after my first search.

But see this;
and this whole thread.

And see this.

See this thread.
Also this site or this site.

You might also profit from looking at this, and maybe its thread.

And consider the following links:

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionar ... 04/1-10000 [10000; as per Project Gutenberg - word list targeted pre-1920s books I think, so it's probably a bit outdated]
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category: ... asic_words [1000; alphabetical order]
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionar ... ry_fiction [2000; contemporary fiction]
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionar ... 006/1-1000 [1000; TV]
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Re: Basic Word List?

Post by yyqVxzb10 » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 15:44

mark.p.line wrote:
Sat 10 Sep 2011, 03:33
(I realize I'm a year late with this. I read very, very slowly.)
Hi! It was a bit hard to find the description of Yiklamu, the site is down. Can you publish it again? The last copy is there: https://web.archive.org/web/20160920050 ... m/yiklamu/
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