Previous Entry Share Next Entry
I started conlanging, if that is the correct terminology, long before I knew anyone else had ever done it. I was about 10 and spent most of my time in the woods. It was very basic then, but developed until I was a bit older before I heard of Tolkien, Esperanto, etc. and learned more about it all. I began studying linguistics regularly at around 14 and working on Conlangs from that point on.
Some of them are lost, some are still around in handwritten notes strewn about in boxes and pads of paper. It has been a few years since I have had the time or inspiration to work on anything new, or old for that matter. A few weeks ago I began working on a new one, found this Conlang group, and recently created a Livejournal account so I could join.

I have been doing a lot of work on a new Conlang, like I mentioned above. It is a posteriori in some ways, as I am experimenting with some interesting features of little-known/endangered natural languages. However, the grammer is, on the whole, a priori: that is, of my own creation. It is a sort of experimental language. I am working on mythology, and some story lines, and this whole concept for some writings etc. and want this language to be a part of the work in some fashion.
I am not really ready to give any examples or description of the grammar for this language yet; it is not ready. Nonetheless, I will give a broad-based description of what I am experimenting with so far but know that it may change wholly or in part at any point.
Note: I am very interested in phonetics and phonemes, as well as sound change, and will likely drift away from the current phonemes for this language as I play with ideas.

Some Basic Aspects:
Currently the phonemes are very basic, but will be shifting, I am sure...
Consonents: p, b, s, sh, t, ts, d, k, g, l, n, m, w, h, r,
Vowels: a, e, i, o, u, y
IPA transcription will come later as I play with this...It is not even remotely set in stone at this point.

Excepting the phonemes the first, most basic, aspect of this language is that it is going to be my attempt at a in between stage of an inflectional and agglutinative language with an SOV (Subject-Object-Verb) word order.

Nouns are created from root morphemes strung together, a large lexicon of which is in the making, and has much room for expansion. There are classifiers which are the last morpheme in each noun that define the noun class to which the noun belongs. This is used solely as a descriptive classifier and is does not express anything but the information about what it (the thing, i.e. Noun), inherently, is.
ocean = large + ancient + water classifier
ocean = wakwytyaksu / wakwy + tyak + su

child(Masc.)= small + male + human classifier
child(Masc.)= mahonwatso / mah + onwa + tso

These are two simple examples of this process. The morphemes, root words, which create these Nouns are often adjectives but can be other Nouns as well as basic root words. This gives, although complicated, many apparent lexical opportunities when dealing with new concepts, places, and things. For example if a person speaking this language came across a grove of birch trees which had never before been encountered by anyone within their realm of experience they could, perhaps, call it:

white + tree + grove + location classifier
narugashemlye / naru + ga + shem + lye
(in the above example naruga is the noun for "white birch" which will be aparent in the following example).

or it could be:
new/most immediate + birch (white + tree classifier) + grove + tree classifier
suwanarugashemga / suwa + naruga + shem + ga

amongst many other options. These are two examples of possible names for this birch grove, the second of which is obviously more cumbersome.

However, due to this root morpheme string-along, if you will allow me to call it such, there is the opportunity for very long words. There is a tendency to always choose the simpler option if one is available. Despite the many possibilities most nouns are already set in stone, as they say, and other possibilities are no longer options.

I have never created Nouns with this sort of process so we shall see if it ultimately succeeds or fails - anyone have experience with this? What works? What doesn't? I'm a little rusty here...haha.

As for Verbs, that is where the inflectional aspect is going to come will be something like the language has lost all inflection except in certain aspects of the Verbs. Still working on this, but I am interested in working on something which has a set of root verbs and a large class of modifying prefixes, or preverbs, that would be used to create verbs with specific meanings.

Also, adjectives follow the nouns which they modify (excepting in the root morphemes of Nouns in noun creation/etc.), postpositions are the norm, and auxilery verbs follow the action verbs.

As I type this out, as it has mostly been in scratchings on paper and in my head, I am starting to see some issues which need fixing, especially in the root morpheme based noun-creation.
Modifications to this process are likely necessary.

I want to work with Reduplication as a major aspect of the language as it has always appealed to me. Still toying with the manner in which I want to use it.

Perhaps pluralization of Nouns by reduplicating the classifier?
For example:

child(Masc.)= small + male + human classifier
child(Masc.)= mahonwatso / mah + onwa + tso

child(Masc. Plural) = mahonwatsotso

Anyone like/dislike this idea? I was also considering the possibility of something along the lines of reduplication of the initial morpheme?
which would make: child(Masc. Plural) = mahmahonwatso

Am I just wasting my time, or is there something here that could, perhaps, work?

I think there is but as I said, early early stages and there is much to do...Comments/constructive criticism greatly appreciated.


Log in